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Adam Vinatieri folded under pressure and Rex Grossman came through in crunch time.  It's that kind of improbability that makes the NFL America's favorite reality TV show.

However, you could sense the Vinatieri thing coming. In case you missed it, the Patriots kicker (left) shanked a 29-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining in Indianapolis' 23-21 loss to the Chargers last night.

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He had already missed a makeable field goal in a fire drill at the end of the first half.  Then, late in the game, he changed shoes to help cope with the slick field in San Diego but soon after sent a short kickoff to about the San Diego 15-yard line.  And then there was that ominous sign when the Colts tried to be cute on fourth-and-inches from about the Chargers' 6-yard line just before the game-deciding attempt and they drew a five-yard penalty in one of their fancy shifts.

In Chicago, there was no such precursor to an unlikely finish. Grossman, filling in for injured Brian Griese, was having so-so success trying to move the Bears in a miserable game with Oakland -- that the Raiders were leading, 6-3 -- when he hit Bernard Berrian with a 59-yard strike with a little over three minutes left that rekindled now distant memories of Chicago's Super Bowl run last season.

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Redemptions and falls from grace -- just a Sunday away.

Photo credit:  Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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