SuperFreak flashback

For the first time since he joined the Patriots in 2007, Randy Moss is being accused of loafing on the field. The enigmatic receiver, who was one of four players coach Bill Belichick sent home early on Wednesday for being late to a meeting, dropped two passes, fumbled away his only reception and ran a lackadaisical route that contributed to an interception during New England's 20-10 victory over Carolina. Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble told the Boston Globe after the game that the Panthers knew Moss would quit if they could shut him down early with physical double coverage. "I know everyone who plays against him, they can sense that," Gamble said. "Once you get into him in the beginning of the game, he shuts it down a little bit." Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who was seen preaching to a dejected Moss on the sideline, said he was simply trying to motivate him. On his radio show Monday, Brady defended Moss, saying, "Everyone takes liberties to say whatever they want to say in a situation like [Sunday's]. I've seen plays made on Chris Gamble over the course of the season, too. Guys, when they play Randy, want to show what they can do, and I guess they came off the game pretty confident. But Randy's one of the best players in the history of the NFL. ... He's one of my favorite guys I've ever played with, one of my good friends on the team."

Cutler wades into unwanted territory

When Jay Cutler was traded to Chicago, the general feeling was he would do things we haven't seen from a Bears QB in decades. Well, with two more interceptions in Sunday's loss to the Packers, Cutler became the first Bear to throw at least 22 picks in a season since Bill Wade tossed 24 in 1962. The team record of 31 by Sid Luckman in 1947 appears safe. Maybe.

To sit or play on, that is the question

With home-field advantage secured, the unbeaten Colts' next truly meaningful game won't come for at least another 34 days. So do they now rest starters or strive for a perfect season? Owner Jim Irsay answered that when he told reporters, "We'd love to get to 16-0, but the biggest focus is going to be on being prepared for that first playoff game." Naturally, the starters want to keep playing. Defensive tackle Raheem Brock also warned against too much rest, saying, "Sometimes if you sit around too much, you lose a step or two."

MARK CRAIG