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NFL

Around the AFC

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 7, 2003

The question is whether a 41-0 victory over Indianapolis on Saturday was the result of New York's excellence or the Colts' ineptitude.

It was probably a little of both.

"They made a mistake when they let us in the playoffs," guard Dave Szott said. "A 9-7 team is not supposed to scare anybody. But we're doing a lot of things very well. Everything came together at the right time."

The team has won eight of its past 10, but is playing an Oakland team on Sunday that has won seven of eight, including a 26-20 defeat of the Jets on Dec. 2.

RAIDERS

Guard Frank Middleton, who spent four seasons with Jets coach Herman Edwards with the Bucs, is pleased New York is the team Oakland will face this week.

"This is a game I wanted," Middleton said. "I was hoping for Cleveland to lose."

That the Jets dismantled the Colts on Saturday only made the 6-foot-3, 330-pound Middleton shrug his broad shoulders.

"That doesn't impress me, what they did against the Colts," he said. "They're playing good as a team, but I don't even think the Colts should have been in the playoffs."

But Middleton knows Edwards will have the team ready.

"Even in Tampa you could tell he had that good leadership in him," Middleton said of Edwards' role as an assistant head coach to Tony Dungy, now the coach of the Colts. "If Dungy had to go do something, (Edwards would) take over the head coaching job and you could see the smile on his face. He never gets down on himself or his team."

STEELERS

Safety Mike Logan is out for the rest of the playoffs after he injured his right knee during Sunday's win against Cleveland.

Logan had surgery Monday to repair a hyperextended left knee that he injured while returning an interception of a Kelly Holcomb pass in the third quarter.

The Steelers scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession to get within 24-14 to begin the sixth-biggest comeback in NFL playoff history.

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