First and 10: Put your voting hat on

Friday is the last day to 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. And don’t forget to fill out your Pro Bowl ballot!

Here’s what else is on tap for Friday:

  • Rookie linebacker Aldon Smith has been one of the keys to the San Francisco 49ers’ impressive 5-1 start. Tune into NFL Network’s “Around the League Live” Friday at 5 p.m. ET to hear from Smith, plus Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny stops by to discuss Jacksonville’s big upset of Baltimore on Monday night.
  • What does a 5-o’clock shadow, a hoodie and a ratty red hat have to do with the Chiefs’ recent three-game winning streak? Let Albert Breer explain and cover much more in his weekly notebook.
  • Most fans know that the New England Patriots have had the edge over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Ben Roethlisberger era, but what other teams are in a good position to pick up tough road wins this week? Find out in the latest edition of Greatness on the Road.
  • Dave Dameshek makes Adam Rank‘s day by inviting his boyhood hero, L.A. Rams legend Jack Youngblood, onto his podcast, then makes it even better by adding an interview with Bills RB Fred Jackson, the fantasy football hero of the season.
  • Rich Eisen‘s second podcast of the week features Pro Bowl RB Arian Foster, Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari and “Pardon the Interruption” co-host Michael Wilbon.
  • MC Hammer knows what it’s like to have it all, and then lose it. The rapper told his story to the San Francisco 49ers this week and offered advice to the players. Holy Jerry Glanville!
  • Bengals receiver A.J. Green is proving that it’s not only rookie QBs who are making great starts to their NFL careers. NFL.com fantasy guru Michael Fabiano says you’d be wise to start Green in Seattle.

First and 10: Da coach

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

First and 10: Cast your Pro Bowl ballot

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.

Here’s what else is on tap for Wednesday:

  • Watch last year’s top NFC seed take on one of this year’s surprise NFC powers when NFL Replay shows last Sunday’s Atlanta Falcons-Detroit Lions contest — a game that got rather chippy, as they say — Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network. Plus, hear from the always-quotable Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie and Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma on “Around The League Live” Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET.
  • Mike Ditka is famously curmudgeonly and a stickler for time management. So what was it like working with him on the latest NFL Films documentary, “A Football Life”? Find out from the producer, and don’t miss the film’s premiere Thursday on NFL Network at 10 p.m. ET.
  • What’s wrong with Philip Rivers? Why does Chris Johnson look like a shell of his former self? These are questions that keep many a fantasy football owner up at night. Lucky for them, Michael Fabiano has the answers in his latest Fantasy Mailbag.

First and 10: Whither T.O.?

Is Terrell Owens‘ NFL career over? The free agent wide receiver hopes not, and he’s holding a public workout on Tuesday to convince as many teams as possible that he has recovered from offseason knee surgery and is ready to rock. NFL Network will have reporters at the workout, and then be sure to tune into NFL Network Tuesday night as T.O. drops by the studio to assess how it went.

Here’s what else is on tap for Tuesday:

  • Catch Sunday’s best games again Tuesday and Wednesday night on NFL Network. On Tuesday, relive the New York Jets’ comeback against the San Diego Chargers at 8 p.m. ET, then watch the Green Bay Packers get a scare from the Minnesota Vikings in Christian Ponder‘s debut at 9:30 p.m. ET. And if you missed the Atlanta Falcons’ 23-16 victory over the Detroit Lions last Sunday, which had each team accusing the other of being dirty, you can watch that replay Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.
  • If the season ended today, some familiar faces would be back in the playoffs, but several others would be left out in the cold. Check out our playoff picture as it stands after seven weeks.
  • Cowboys rookie DeMarco Murray rushed for 253 yards on Sunday, so it’s no surprise that NFL.com fantasy expert Michael Fabiano advises you to pick him up for your team.
  • Many believed Philip Rivers would enjoy a historic season, but he has more picks than TD passes so far and hasn’t looked like himself. Jason La Canfora shares what’s plaguing the Chargers QB.

First and 10: Tebow the hero

The Tim Tebow era got off to a memorable start in Miami Sunday, where the former Florida Gator looked terrible for three-and-a-half quarters before rallying the Broncos to turn a 15-0 deficit with 2:39 left into an 18-15 overtime win. Jeff Darlington was in Miami for the aftermath of a thrilling Denver comeback, and a shocking Dolphins collapse.

Here’s what else is on tap for Monday:

  • Quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan and running backs Beanie Wells, Earnest Graham, Darren McFadden and Willis McGahee were among the players injured on Sunday. Get the full injury roundup here.
  • Atlanta Falcons players accused Lions defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril of taunting quarterback Matt Ryan when Ryan was on the field writhing in pain after hurting his knee during Atlanta’s victory in Detroit.
  • Carson Palmer‘s Silver and Black debut was a disaster, as Palmer and Kyle Boller were each picked off three times in a 28-0 shutout courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Texans running back Arian Foster had a monster stat line against the Titans, amassing 234 total yards and three TDs, but was he the top fantasy player of the week? Cast your vote now to decide!

First and 10: Get those ballots in

Friday is the last chance to have your 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.

Here’s what else is on tap for Friday:

  • Tune into NFL Network’s “Around the League Live” at 5 p.m. ET to hear from Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bradie James on the team’s soap opera of a season, which continued this week with quarterback Tony Romo and coach Jason Garrett each expressing confidence in the other.
  • Rich Eisen is joined by Jim Nantz and Dennis Miller for his second podcast of the week, and both are eager to impart their thoughts on the Harbaugh-Schwartz handshake and other big NFL stories.
  • The Packers are the only undefeated team remaining in the NFL. Will Green Bay join the ’72 Dolphins and ’07 Patriots and go the entire regular season without losing? Our analysts investigate.
  • Chargers running back Ryan Mathews‘ fantasy star is on the rise, and Michael Fabiano advises you to start him in Week 7 against a Jets defense that has allowed 22 points per game this season.

First and 10: A life in pictures

Ninety-four-year-old Ed Sabol became the oldest man ever inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this year. See how the founder of NFL Films changed the way we watch sports and earned the gratitude of generations of NFL stars when “A Football Life: Ed Sabol” premieres on NFL Network Thursday at 10 p.m. ET, and watch a special sneak peek here.

Here’s what else is on tap for Thursday:

  • Packers’ receiver Jordy Nelson and Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley haven’t met since last year’s Super Bowl, but they’d sure like to do it again next February. Hear what they have to say on NFL Network’s “Around the League Live” Thursday at 5 p.m. ET.
  • After just three practices, Carson Palmer must go from not playing at all to leading a 4-2 Oakland team against the defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Jeff Darlington writes.
  • Cincinnati Bengals rookies Andy Dalton and A.J. Green were wired for sound as the team got its fourth win against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6. Watch and listen.
  • Recent history shows there’s usually at least one big-name coach to be fired each season. Who could be the next surprise? Gil Brandt has some heavy hitters on his list.
  • Joe Theismann, Dhani Jones, Steve Mariucci and Warren Sapp go over the hottest NFL topics, including the Jim Harbaugh-Jim Schwartz handshake flap and the Raiders’ trade for Carson Palmer, on the latest “No Huddle” podcast.

Amid another shampoo ad, Steelers get down

Enough with the hollow chirps about the aging Steelers looking slow and clumsy on their feet.

Behind the scenes of yet another Head & Shoulders commercial spot, All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu and (furiously bearded) defensive end Brett Keisel were caught on film engaged in the cha-cha with wideout Hines Ward, the most-recent winner of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

Crew members and small children wandered close, but no matter — this Steelers trio was in a dream world of their own, holding hands, giggling and spinning on their heels to the music. A delightful moment, but not one about to strike fear into the Baltimore Ravens.

Thanks to Sporting News for the heads up on this.

– Marc Sessler

First and 10: Just win now, baby

The Cincinnati Bengals’ trade of disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday stands as one of the biggest deadline-day deals in NFL history. Who got the better end of the exchange? Our experts debate. Plus, would Al Davis have surrendered a first-round pick and a second-round pick for Palmer? Michael Lombardi has the answer in his Front-Office View.

Here’s what else is on tap for Wednesday:

  • If you missed the New England Patriots’ last-minute comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, catch the replay on NFL Network Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.
  • Saints TE Jimmy Graham, a former scholarship basketball player at the University of Miami, has some advice for the Miami Heat’s LeBron James on how to successfully make the transition from roundball to hardball.

First and 10: Who works the hardest?

Some players — and even some coaches — bring a blue-collar, working-man approach to their football, and we like to honor that spirit with the Hardest Working Man award. You can vote for this week’s winner, and don’t forget to make your choice for Rookie of the Week, Air & Ground Players of the Week and Never Say Never Moment of the Week.

Here’s what else is on tap for Tuesday:

  • While the post-game handshake has been the main topic of conversation, that 49ers-Lions game really was a classic battle — and you can check it out for yourself tonight on NFL Replay (NFL Network, 8 p.m. ET).
  • With starter Jason Campbell out with surgery on his broken collarbone, the Oakland Raiders are in the market for a quarterback to back up Kyle Boller and Terrelle Pryor, but their time might be running out.
  • Thanks to the confidence instilled in them by fiery coach Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers have all but wrapped up the NFC West. Michael Lombardi explains why as he looks back at a wild Week 6.
  • Picking the best college quarterback after Andrew Luck isn’t easy, but Bucky Brooks suggests that a converted receiver offers the next-best possibility in his weekly College Stock Watch.
  • It’s Tebow time for your fantasy team! Michael Fabiano says you should add the Broncos’ starting QB off the waiver wire, and he offers nine other players you should watch.
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  • First and 10: The coaches’ show

    The near-fight between 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Lions coach Jim Schwartz was the talk of the NFL on Sunday, overshadowing San Francisco’s 25-19 victory over previously undefeated Detroit. If you missed all the hubbub, you can catch a replay of the game Tuesday on NFL Network at 9:30 p.m. ET. In the meantime, Albert Breer writes that the incident reflects how both upstart teams are taking on the personality of their fiery head coaches, Steve Mariucci offers a lesson in postgame handshake etiquette, and NFL Network takes a look at some other great on-field confrontations in recent NFL history.

    Here’s what else is on tap for Monday:

    • Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier wouldn’t commit to Donovan McNabb as his starting quarterback after McNabb was benched for rookie Christian Ponder in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s 39-10 Vikings loss to the Chicago Bears.
    • Four interceptions on Sunday got Washington quarterback Rex Grossman benched for John Beck as the Redskins were beaten by the desperate Philadelphia Eagles, 20-13.
    • The Denver Post reported Sunday that the Patriots, 49ers and Rams are all interested in acquiring Broncos receiver Brandon Lloyd before Tuesday’s trading deadline.
    • Hear from Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks and Sunday’s winning and losing coaches, plus injury updates and more fallout from the Great Handshake War on NFL Network’s Around the League Live Monday at 1 p.m. ET.

    First and 10: Donnybrook in Detroit

    Tune into NFL Network’s “Around the League” Friday at 5 p.m. ET to hear San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree talk about his team’s hot start and big game Sunday against the upstart Detroit Lions.

    Here’s what else to look for on Friday:

    • Did you miss Thursday night’s airing of “A Football Life: Walter Payton” on NFL Network? Fear not, for NFL.com has you covered. Check out an assortment of videos from the program that gave an in-depth look into “Sweetness.”
    • Finding yourself hitting the waiver wires to bolster your fantasy team? Michael Fabiano has the names you need to know if you’re looking for a boost.
    • Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall promised to make quite the splash on Monday night. Marshall promised a spectacle, and not just with his play.
    • Could this year’s trade deadline feature some fireworks? Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd is on the market, according to a report.

    li>Want to get NFL.com’s top 10 headlines sent to your inbox daily? Click here for details.

    First and 10: The sweetest thing

    Few players in the history of football are as universally beloved as the late Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton. Enjoy the legendary skills and grace of the man called “Sweetness” in the premiere of “A Football Life: Walter Payton” Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on NFL Network, and click here for a sneak preview.

    Here’s what else is on tap for Thursday:

    • Tune into NFL Network’s “Total Access” Thursday at 7 p.m. ET and catch all-world Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. And don’t miss Washington Redskins running back Tim Hightower on “NFL Fantasy Live” at 2 p.m. ET.
    • Pete Carroll and Carson Palmer are old friends. Could they be reunited in Seattle? That’s just one of the moves Gil Brandt suggests should happen before next week’s trade deadline.
    • Mike McCarthy was one of two coaches to suffer from conversion confusion in Week 5. Michael Lombardi provides some insight into when teams should and shouldn’t go for two.
    • The league is committed to growing the game overseas, but could an NFL franchise ever be based outside of the country? Our experts debate if and when it could happen.
    • Tony Romo could be in for a big game Sunday when the Cowboys visit the Patriots, a matchup that gives you a great reason to start him on your fantasy team, Michael Fabiano writes.

    First and 10: The polls are open

    Aaron Rodgers had another scorching game for the Packers last Sunday, but Matt Cassel tossed four touchdowns and Ben Roethlisberger topped him with five. Which QB had the best performance? And who was the most impressive running back: Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore, or BenJarvus Green-Ellis? Log onto NFL.com to vote for the FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Week. And don’t forget to cast your vote for the week’s top rookie performance and top comeback, too.

    Here’s what else is on tap for Wednesday:

    • The San Diego Chargers are quietly off to their best start since 2006. Catch up with their Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers on NFL Network’s “Total Access” at 7 p.m. ET. And don’t miss Bills running back Fred Jackson and Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel on “Around the League Live” at 5 p.m. ET.
    • Derrick Mason‘s stint with the New York Jets lasted just five games, as the team agreed Tuesday night to trade the veteran receiver to the Houston Texans for an undisclosed draft pick.
    • The NFL is solidifying its own special relationship with the United Kingdom, announcing that the league’s annual commitment to overseas games will continue through the 2016 season.
    • Did Al Davis really “have his hand” on the interception that sealed Oakland’s upset of the Houston Texans Sunday? It might sound silly, but video review confirmed that the Raiders had only 10 men on the field for their game-winning stand.
    • In losing three straight playoff games, the New England Patriots showed a lack of toughness, but Albert Breer writes that the missing edge finally showed up against the Jets last week.
    • Dave Dameshek shines the white hot light of shame on some new targets, and some repeat offenders (hint: a certain team that wears green and plays half its games in Philadelphia) in this week’s Shame Report.

    First and 10: A Super announcement

    Tune into NFL Network at 12:45 p.m. ET on Tuesday to hear coverage of the NFL Fall Meeting in Houston, where the league will announce who will host Super Bowl XLIX in February 2015. And log onto NFL.com for full coverage throughout the day.

    Here’s what else is on tap for Tuesday:

    • Aaron Rodgers had another scorching game for the Packers on Sunday, but Matt Cassel tossed four touchdowns and Ben Roethlisberger topped him with five. Which QB had the best performance? Log onto NFL.com to vote for the FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Week. And don’t forget to cast your vote for the week’s top rookie performance and top comeback, too.
    • Two of Sunday’s best games will be shown again Tuesday on NFL Network. Watch the Philadelphia Eagles battle the first-place Buffalo Bills at 8 p.m. ET; then, at 9:30 p.m. ET, relive the Oakland Raiders’ emotional win in Houston one day after the death of owner Al Davis.
    • Fresh off his team’s big upset on the East Coast, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll joins NFL Network’s “Around the League” Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET to talk about his young team and its starting quarterback situation.
    • Stanford’s Andrew Luck is proving hype about him is well deserved. Bucky Brooks explains what’s so impressive about the Cardinal QB’s game beyond the numbers in his weekly College Stock Watch.
    • Former NFL head coaches Brian Billick and Jim Mora talk Tim Tebow, the Eagles’ misery and the 49ers’ under-the-radar success in this week’s edition of “The Coaches’ Show Podcast.”
    • If your fantasy team took a dive this week, Chiefs RB Jackie Battle could be the key to victory in Week 6. He’s one of 10 players NFL.com fantasy editor Michael Fabiano says to add on the waiver wire.
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