Digest of sports enterprise stories for weekend use, moving for Nov. 9-10. For questions, please call (212) 621-1630. For repeats, call the service desk at (800) 838-4616.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
PHILADELPHIA — Nick Foles finished off perhaps the best statistical performance by a quarterback in NFL history and spent the final quarter watching the Eagles complete their rout of Oakland from the sideline. He didn't lobby coach Chip Kelly to put him in to try for an eighth touchdown pass, and then he gave everyone credit but himself. Foles is a team player in every sense, a backup worthy of starting who finally may get the No. 1 job. By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. SENT: 800 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
GAME OF THE WEEK
SAN FRANCISCO — Bring in the reinforcements. The San Francisco 49ers have reloaded coming out of their bye week. All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith is returning after a five-game absence to receive treatment for substance abuse. Wide receiver Mario Manningham is healthy again going on 11 months after a devastating, season-ending knee injury. Those two are a big boost to a team already rolling at 6-2 and riding a five-game winning streak heading into Sunday's home game against Carolina, which has won four straight. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 841 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
FBN--ON FOOTBALL-HALFWAY AWARDS
There are slam-dunks (Andy Reid, Peyton Manning) and wide-open races for individual NFL awards through nine weeks. A look at the favorites — and some offbeat awards, too. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 912 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
FBN--NFL THIS WEEK
Jack Del Rio and Wade Phillips know all about the stress of being head coaches, about the thrills and the disappointments. Both have been thrust into that role again because of the illnesses of John Fox in Denver and Gary Kubiak in Houston. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 1,600 words by 1 p.m. Friday, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Not even in their wildest dreams could Kansas City fans have envisioned this, a 9-0 record heading into their bye week. But behind the stabilizing influence of coach Andy Reid, savvy moves by general manager John Dorsey, mistake-free play from quarterback Alex Smith and one of the league's most feared defenses, the Chiefs have the best record in the NFL — and AFC West rival Denver awaiting. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 812 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
CLEVELAND — The rookie coach has shown he's a gambler. He's also provided a steadying hand during a turbulent nine weeks and given at least one halftime speech during which Rob Chudzinski revealed his deep roots as a life-long Cleveland fan. The Browns hit the bye week in better shape than they've been in years, and Chudzinski deserves much of the credit. By Tom Withers. SENT: 912 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots' offense has struggled for most of the season. The defense will be without three of its best players for the rest of the year. But somehow, going into their bye, the Patriots are 7-2 after their most impressive performance of the season, a 55-31 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. By Howard Ulman. SENT: 778 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
NEW YORK — Raise your hand if, before this season, you had the Jets at 5-4 and holding a playoff spot in the AFC after nine games. Yeah, right. Sure you did. Gloom and doom was predicted even by many of the most die-hard of Jets fans, but the job Rex Ryan has done could be considered among the finest in the league so far. Ryan's ability to mesh with new general manager John Idzik, strengthen New York's defense despite trading his best player in the offseason, and maneuvering around up-and-down rookie quarterback Geno Smith has the hot seat cooled down and the Jets focused on a second-half playoff push. By Dennis Waszak Jr. SENT: 806 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
FBN--NFL NOTES. SENT: 1,088 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
FBC--GEORGIA TECH-UNLIKELY RECEIVERS
ATLANTA — Georgia Tech may love to run, run, run, but the Yellow Jackets have a way of turning out NFL-quality receivers. Demaryius Thomas. Stephen Hill. And now another unlikely candidate from the triple-option — DeAndre Smelter, who finally joined the football team this season after three years playing baseball for the Atlanta university. He's averaging more than 34 yards a catch and opening plenty of eyes. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 875 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
AMHERST, N.Y. — Bobby Hurley's hair is grayer, and yet he feels much younger. At 42, Hurley is preparing to open a new chapter of his basketball career as coach at the University at Buffalo. It's a long-awaited second act that comes some 13 years after the former Duke star point guard walked away from the sport that continues to define him. And Hurley's back in the spotlight nearly 20 years after his NBA career was derailed by a near-fatal car accident. By John Wawrow. SENT: 1,024, photos words. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
BKC--JACK TAYLOR-BEYOND 138
It took 138 points for the college basketball world to finally notice Jack Taylor. A year removed from the most prolific scoring binge in history, Taylor, of little-known Grinnell College, is eager to cast aside lingering doubts — about his size, skills and even the way he broke the NCAA record — and let the nation know he's for real. By Luke Meredith. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 1 p.m. Friday, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. — A year away from the opening ceremonies for the Sochi Olympics, American slalom skier Hailey Duke was undergoing brain surgery to remove a tumor attached to her pituitary gland. It had been there for who knows how long — maybe as long as a decade — and constantly robbed the 28-year-old Duke of strength and energy. Now, feeling better than she has in quite some time, Duke, who competed in Vancouver, is trying to earn a place on the U.S. team bound for Sochi. She's unfunded and yet undeterred, willing to spend around $150,000 in expenses prove herself around the world in lower-tier races. "I'm supposed to be done. I'm supposed to be moving on with my life, doing something else, knowing I had a good run at this," Duke said. "But I owe it to myself to at least try." By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 900 words by 2 p.m. Friday, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
— OLY--OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK. By Nancy Armour. SENT: 1,532 words, photos. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
BRISBANE, Australia — Seven concussions in 18 months ended Shaun Valentine's rugby league playing career, and the lingering effects concerned him so much he decided to donate his brain to a man he's never met and rarely spoken to. He understands that he'll die without knowing the full impact of those concussions, but hopes his decision will help future generations of athletes. By Dennis Passa. SENT: 1,190 words. ADVANCE for use in weekend editions of Nov. 9-10.
— AP Sportlight. SENT.