Published: October 27th, 2011 | Tags: First and 10, Buffalo Bills, Darren Sproles, Elliot Harrison, Gil Brandt, Jason La Canfora, Jeff Darlington, Mark Ingram, Matthew Stafford, Michael Fabiano, Mike Ditka, NFL Films
Ditka: A certain magic still lingers in the very name. Before he was Chicago’s favorite tough guy, Ditka the player was one of the NFL’s all-time tough guys, a tight end who delivered as much punishment as he absorbed. His coaching tenures in Chitown and The Big Easy were no less bruising. Don’t miss the premiere of NFL FIlms’ “A Football Life: Mike Ditka” Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on NFL Network, and click here to watch a sneak peek.
Here’s what else is on tap for Thursday:
- Sunday’s Steelers-Patriots matchup stands out as Week 8′s top game, says Jason La Canfora as he previews all the weekend’s action.
- How did the Buffalo Bills go from bottom feeders in the AFC East last year to a legit playoff contender in 2011 with largely the same roster? Jeff Darlington says it began in a house in Gilbert, Ariz.
- As two former SEC quarterbacks prepare for an important NFL showdown this Sunday, Elliot Harrison writes about his concern for Detroit’s injury-prone Matthew Stafford, and takes a try at tempering the Tebowmania.
- After offenses around the league dominated the early portion of the season, defenses have made the necessary adjustments. What’s been the difference? Gil Brandt has the answer.
- They can block like a lineman and catch like a wide receiver, but they’re often forgotten men in the passing attack. Take a look at the history and development of the tight end.
- Darren Sproles has somehow stood out in the New Orleans Saints’ crowded backfield, and with Mark Ingram possibly out for Week 8, NFL.com fantasy editor Michael Fabiano says now’s the time to start Sproles.
- You can have a say in who wins top honors for last weekend’s games by voting for the NFL’s Hardest Working Man award, the Rookie of the Week, Air & Ground Player of the Week, and Never Say Never Moment of the Week.
- The time has come to nominate the players you want to see in the 2012 Pro Bowl. Click here for your electronic ballot and cast your vote for the AFC and NFC’s best players at each position.
- Come up with names for the week’s most exciting plays, and tweet your way into the NFL history books. We’ll pick our favorites, and let users pick the final winner each week.
- Want to get NFL.com’s top 10 headlines sent to your inbox daily? Click here for details.