THUMB THINGS TO PONDER

Thumbs Down

* To the Atlanta Falcons, who

wasted little time taking advantage of their surprising success. They acknowledged this week that their average ticket cost will increase 9 percent in 2009. Seventy percent of the seats in the Georgia Dome will be unaffected. But the other 30 percent, which all are in prime locations, will go up in price significantly. Because they have such a big heart, though, they're pushing back the deadline for initial payment on season- ticket renewals from Dec. 31 to Jan. 30. Oh, and they didn't lay off anybody this week, either.

* To former Rams running back

Marshall Faulk, who is campaigning to be the team's next head coach. Faulk, who retired in 2006, is an analyst for NFL Network, and not a very good one at that. He doesn't have one iota of coaching experience at any level, but still seems to think he can step right in and captain this sinking NFL ship.

Panther Draft Pick Watch

Record: 11-4

Last Sunday: lost to Giants, 34-28

This Sunday: at 7-7 Saints

Current draft position: 29th

Current position of Eagles' own pick: 17th

- Paul Domowitch