The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 27, 1996 · Page 39
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 39

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Sunday, October 27, 1996
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THE SALINA JOURNAL NFL SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1996 D7 NFL MATCHUPS: WEEK 9 New York Giants (2-5) at Detroit (4-3), noon Key stats: The Lions' Herman Moore leads the NFL in receptions (55) yards (723), and touchdowns (seven). The Giants' 89 points scored are the second fewest In the NFL. Comments: After a blistering halftimB talk by Coach Dan Reeves last week the Giants made a respectable second-half showing against the Redskins. Maybe Reeves should light Into his team before the Lions game, because the Giants would benefit greatly by getting a huge lead against Detroit, then forcing fhem to play catchup. The Lions have many offensive weapons, and the Giants are hurting on the defensive front. That means more holes for Barry Sanders and better , pass protection for Scott Mitchell. It also means a loss for the Giants. ':, Carolina (5-2) at Philadelphia (5-2), noon ? Key stats: The Eagles have the NFC's No. 1 rushing attack, averaging 131.7 yards a game. The Panthers are tied with Denver for the most sacks in the NFL with 26. Comments: These are two well-coached teams, and this should be a very ^well-played game. Ty Detmer answered some of his detractors last week ' against Miami when he fired four touchdown passes to Irving Fryar. It also did- "n't hurt that Ricky Walters had 173 yards rushing. That's the kind of balance that the Eagles will need against Carolina, which has a very aggressive defense. Kerry Collins has been on since his return from a knee injury (four touchdowns, one interception). The Eagles have the answers for any problem that Carolina 'Will present. Indianapolis (5-2) at Washington (6-1). noon Key stats: Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh has thrown just two interceptions this season — the fewest in the NFL. The Redskins are plus-11 in turnover difference, which Is second in the NFC. Comments: Harbaugh will be playing with a broken nose. It slowed him down last week, but it didn't stop him. The Colts' running game is in big trouble. Zack Crockett Is out with a knee Injury, and Marshall Faulk continues to be plagued by a toe Injury. The Redskins don't have as many problems as the Colts. Gus Frerotte is feeling fine, and so is Terry Allen, who leads the NFL with 10 rushing touchdowns. Plus, the Redskins are getting a big lift from their defense. They 'thwarted a Giants comeback last week, so they're prepared for anything the Colts can throw at them. Jacksonville (3-5) at Cincinnati (1-6), noon Key stats: Jacksonville's Mark Brunell has completed 64.5 percent of his passes and Is averaging 8.14 yards per completion, which leads the AFC. The Ben- jigals are giving up 26.5 yards per kickoff return, the worst in the league. Comments: Dave Shula has been dismissed and offensive coordinator Bruce Coslet has been given a battlefield promotion to Bengals head coach. Coslet Compiled a 26-39 record as the Jets head coach from 1990-93. The Bengals put forth a great effort against the 49ers last week, but Steve Young was valiant in rallying the Niners. The Jaguars probably won't be up to the same kind of hero. ics. The Bengals beat Jacksonville In both meetings last year They'll kick oft the : ' Coslet era with a win. ' San Francisco (5-2) at Houston (5-2), noon "key stats: Houston quarterback Chris Chandler's 11 £.4 passer rating on third downs (31 of 56 for 430 yards, seven touchdowns, one interception) leads the AFC. The four interceptions of San Francisco's Marquez Pope ties him for second in the NFC. Comments: Steve Young is gimpy with his injured groin muscle. Elvis Grbac - has an injured shoulder. Quick, who is the Niners No. 3 quarterback? Jeff Brohm. But Young is supposed to start. Fullback William Floyd returned from a serious ; iknee injury last week, and that will help take some pressure off Young. The Oil- ers are riding high, tied atop the division with Pittsburgh. With the way Chandler and George are playing the offense is in good hands. It will be up to the Oilers defense to take care of the Niners offense. They can, and they will. jl i Pittsburgh (5-2) at Atlanta (0-7), noon Key stats: Falcon Jamal Anderson's 5 yards per carry Is the best among backs wjth at least 400 yards. The Steelers' defense has allowed just seven touch- 1 aowns in the last six games. '• Comments: The Falcons finally waived suspended quarterback Jeff George c 'thls week, bringing to a conclusion a very sordid episode in the team's history. -'George wasn't the burden that has been keeping them from winning games. They're still operating with an offense that Is totally unsuited for goal-line situations, as they demonstrated In their loss to the Cowboys last week. Pittsburgh's '.defense won't be any easier for the Falcons to maneuver around. The Steelers have won the last seven games between the two teams. They'll win again. St. Louis (2-5) at Baltimore (2-5), noon Key stats: Ram Eddie Kennlson's 20.3 yards per punt return leads the NFL. Baltimore's 69.6 touchdown percentage inside the opponent's red zone is second best in the AFC. 'Comments: The Ravens have been involved in some shootouts in the last few weeks and have come out on the losing end. With Vinny Testaverde's 15 touchdown passes, the Ravens should have won more games. Unfortunately, the defense isn't holding up its end of the bargain. The Rams are coming off a narrow victory over the Jaguars last week. They're still a little wobbly at this winning thing. They're also ill-equipped to get into a Shootout with the Ravens. Baltimore can score some points, and the Rams can't match them. Tampa Bay (1-6) at Green Bay (6-1), noon ..Key stats: In the last two games Tampa Bay's Trent Dilfer has completed 62.9 •percent of his passes for 447 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Green Bay leads the NFL in scoring with 227 points (an average of 32 points a ,. game). ' Comments: These two teams are like day and night, although Dilfer is beginning to see the light as a passer. It hasn't materialized into wins for the Bucs yet. The Packers are at the top of the league in most offensive and defensive categories. The best the Bucs can hope for is that the Packers get very sloppy, turn over the ball a lot and Brett Favre develops a case of amnesia. It won't happen. " The Packers are a championship caliber team and they don't have the kind of let downs that the Bucs need in order to win. New York Jets (0-8) at Arizona (3-4). 3 p.m. Key stats: Wayne' Chrebet's 19 third down receptions leads the AFC. In four .starts Kent Graham has completed 65.4 percent of his passes for six touchdowns and one interception. Comments: There really isn't a chance that the Jets will make the playoffs this yisar, and all the expectations they had at the beginning of the season are down the drain. Maybe they can relax now and start playing some winning football. The Cardinals still have playoff aspirations, and a victory over the Jets would put them in decent shape heading into the last half of the season. Graham has really provided them with an offensive spark. Dajlas (4-3) at Miami (4-3), 3 p.m. •'Key stats: Dolphin quarterback Dan Marino is 3-0 against the Cowboys. The Cowboys offensive line is tied with Washington for the fewest sacks allowed with seven. Comments: This is the game that everyone has been pointing to since the schedule was announced back in the spring. The luster is off somewhat, because the Cowboys have stumbled coming out of the chute. Dolphins Coach Jimmy •- Johnson, who guided the Cowboys to two Super Bowl championships as the Dallas coach, would like nothing better than to punish his former team. He'll get some help from Marino, who will return after missing three games with a broken ankle. With this game In Miami, Johnson will have his team flying sky high. But the Cowboys still have the talent edge and that gives them the advantage. San Diego (4-3) at Seattle (2-5), 3 p.m. Key stats: San Diego kicker John Carney has made all eight of his last field gqal attempts against Seattle. The Seahawks have converted 66.7 percent of their fourth down attempts (4-of-6), which ties them for second best in the AFC. ' Comments: San Diego quarterback Stan Humphries dislocated his left (non- throwing) shoulder against the Raiders and won't be available for this game. He'll 'be replaced by Sean Salisbury, who. threw for 252 in replacing Humphries •against the Raiders. Junior Seau has a twisted knee. That will hurt. Sari Diego has won the last five games against the Seahawks and seem to have them figured out. It will be a little tougher to win without Humphries. Buffalo (5-2) at New England (4-3). 7 p.m. ' Key stats: New England's Terry Glenn leads all rookie receivers with 33 receptions for 432 yards. The Bills' defense has allowed just five passing touch~ downs which is the second fewest In the AFC behind Kansas City (two). Comments: New England should still be soaring from its big win at Indianapolis last week Part of their success came on defense, where linebacker Chris Slade gpt good pressure from the right side. The Bills barely sneaked past the Jets, having to win on a last-second field goal by Steve Christie. Chicago (2-5) at Minnesota (5-2). Monday night Key stats: The Bears have given up just three points in the first quarter this season The Vikings' 13 interceptions are tied for second most in the NFC. Comments: Both teams are coming off a bye, and no one needed It more than the Bears. Linebacker Bryan Cox appeared to be coming unraveled in the weeks leadlna up to' the break. Maybe the time, off has given Cox and Bears Coach Dave Wannstedt time to work things out. It gave funning back Raymont Harris time to heal and return to the lineup. The Vikings front will still present trouble for Bears quarterback Dave Krieg, and that will have a ripple effect through Chicago's offense With Robert Smith running as well as he's running, Cox will probably blow another gasket. The Vikings won't blow the game, though. Penn now KC's go-to man Injuries to Vanover, Dawson giving receiver chance to shine By CRAIG HORST The Associated Press PENN KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chris Penn was only doing what the Kansas City Chiefs told him to do. Beyond that, he was doing what his football instincts told him to do. Penn's block on Seattle linebacker Winston Moss drew a $5,000 fine in Kansas City's 3416 victory over the Seahawks Oct. 17. It was a low block on a defensive player away from the play — a block Chiefs' receivers take pride in. He would do it again, and everybody else on the Chiefs sideline says that's the way to play the game. "I can't let my level of play go down to his," said Penn, a third- round draft choice of the Chiefs in 1994 after making the most receptions for the most yards in college for Tulsa. "If his level is to slow down and my level is to keep going, then I'm going to keep going." Penn, whose two years with the Chiefs have netted 11 catches for 220 yards going into this season, suddenly has become a prime receiver with injuries to Lake Dawson and Tamarick Vanover. "Other than Chris, we don't have another guy who we can say is the guy to go to," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. Penn was fined by the NFL along with seven other Chiefs for CHIEFS GAME CAPSULE A look at today's Kansas City Chiefs NFL game KANSAS CITY AT DENVER, 3 p.m. • TELEVISION — NBC, Salina cable 3,13. • RADIO — KINA, 910-AM; KSKG, 99.9-FM • LINE —Denver by 3'/a • RECORD VS. SPREAD — Chiefs 3-4; Broncos 5-1. • SERIES RECORD — Chiefs lead 42-30. • LAST TIME MET — Chiefs beat Denver 17-14 at home in Week 4. • LAST GAME — Chiefs rolled over Seattle 34-16 last Thursday night In Kansas City. Broncos won Shootout at home vs. Ravens 45-34. • CHIEFS OFFENSE — RUSH (No. 12), PASS (No. 23), OVERALL (No. 21) RB Marcus Allen has scored six TDs rushing, one more than he had In 1996 season. Offensive line has not given up sack in last two games. Twelve sacks allowed on season tie for second in AFC. Team has scored 15 touchdowns on 21 trips inside opponents' 20-yard line, tops in AFC. QB Steve Bono completed 17 of 26 passes for 194 yards. • BRONCOS OFFENSE — RUSH (No. 1), PASS (No. 7), OVERALL (No. 1) QB John Elway led his 39th career comeback in win over Ravens. He has three straight 300-yard passing games after 25-for-39, 326-yard, three-touchdown effort. RB Terrell Davis had team-record 194 yards rushing vs. Baltimore. WR Shannon Sharpe caught nine passes for 161 yards and WR Ed McCaffrey caught seven others for 57 yards and three touchdowns. • CHIEFS DEFENSE— RUSH (No. 17), PASS (No. 17), OVERALL (No. 16) Opponents are just 1-for-5 on fourth-down attempts, lowest percentage In AFC. LB Derrick Thomas is tied for third in AFC with seven sacks. CB Dale Carter has three interceptions, also good for third-place conference tie. • BRONCOS DEFENSE — RUSH (No. 2), PASS (No. 11), OVERALL (No. 3t) DE Alfred Williams is second in AFC with 71/2 sacks and needs 21/2 more to equal his single-season best, set in 1992. S Tyrone Braxton is in third-place AFC tie with three pickoffs. Allowed Ravens three touchdowns and a field goal in their four trips Inside 20-yard line. • SPECIAL TEAMS — Chiefs KR Tamarick Vanover was reinserted in first half last week as return specialist, but was injured and did not field second-half kickoff. ... Broncos K .Jason Elam has made all 24 extra-points this season. • STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Chiefs have beaten Broncos three straight. ... Seven of last 11 games between clubs have been decided by four points or less.... Elway has not had four consecutive 300-yard games since last two weeks of 1993 season and first two weeks in 1994. ... Kansas City's 340 yards of offense vs. Seattle was most this season. ... Chiefs WR Sean LaChepple's had first touchdown reception of his career last week.... Davis' 71- yard touchdown run vs. Ravens was longest of his career and fourth longest in team history. It was longest by Denver back since Joe Dawkins went 72 yards in 1973. their role in a fight-marred game with Seattle. His violation came when he chased down linebacker Winston Moss far away from a tackle being made on the opposite sideline, and blocked him beneath the knee. He was sentenced under an NFL rule that prohibits a player from blocking another player who is easing up or who is out of the play. Penn certainly did not know about the rule, and neither did Schotten- heimer, who served on the NFL Competition Committee for many years. "If the situation comes up again, then I would do it again," Penn said. "If they explain the rule to me, if I was in the wrong, then I don't feel bad about the fine. But if the play isn't over and he's still on his feet, I will block him." Penn is a 200-pounder with sure hands and a knack for catching passes in traffic. He has proved himself valuable this year as the Chiefs have struggled with the losses of Dawson and Vanover and both of their tight ends to injury. "I'm ready to do anything they ask of me," Penn said. "If they want me to step up and be a bigger part of this offense, that's what I'm going to do. I have to step up my practice habits and step up my practice tempo, and that will help me in the games." He is known in the clubhouse for his quiet demeanor, but do not doubt his determination on the field. "I'm going to be harder on myself than anybody else is going to be," he said. "I've got confidence in what I can do. I've worked hard to get this far. I need to keep working hard. I think I can do it." Three tangled threads reunite JONES Jimmy, Jerry, Barry come together today as Dallas plays Miami By JOHN ROMANO St. Petersburg Times They knew each other long before we knew them. This was before Jerry Jones was turning oil into cash, before Jimmy Johnson was parking his boat in South Florida, before Barry Switzer revealed himself as the Bootlegger's Boy. This was. in 1964 in Fayetteville, Ark. Switzer, then 27, was an assistant coach at Arkansas. Jones, 22, and Johnson, 21, were senior captains. The Razorbacks were 110 and national champs. It was the start of their success in football and the start of a decades-long — and deeply weird — relationship. Barry has beaten Jimmy. Jimmy has beaten Barry. Jerry has hired and fired Jimmy. Barry has succeeded Jimmy. And now, this afternoon at Pro Player Stadium, Jimmy, Jerry and Barry will be together again. Johnson, the Dolphins' coach, will face Jones, the Cowboys' owner, and Switzer, the Cowboys' coach. "My relationship with their owner and their coach really has nothing to do with this ballgame," Johnson said. That, of course, is hooey. Their oft-cantankerous relationship has everything to do with the game. The early years No one in the NFL cared, or even knew, of these three men in the early 1960s. Switzer, fresh off a stint in the Army, had returned to his alma mater as a coach. Johnson, known in Fayetteville as Jimmy Jump-up because he got up so quickly after being knocked down, was a defensive lineman. Jones, son of a grocery store owner, was an underweight offensive lineman. They weren't overly chummy —Jones and Johnson were roommates on road trips — but shared an uncommon will to succeed. "I don't know that I could ^ut a finger on it, but they all have a quality that you know will make them successful," former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles said. "They have a competitive instinct, the kind of nerves that thrive under pressure. They're the kind of men who won't quit when quitting time comes." While Switzer and Johnson were immediately drawn to coaching, Jones was a born entrepreneur. His parents would dress him in a black suit and bow tie when he was a little boy and he would direct customers to the proper aisles in the family store. By the time Jones was at The Associated Press Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson will direct his team against his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, today in Miami. Arkansas, he had several side business ventures on his own — just a precursor to his millionaire adventures in the oil fields in the 1970s. X "I remember waiting to get on the bus for the airport after a game at Texas A&M," Broyles said. "One of the managers for A&M came running up to me and said, 'Coach, we just found your diamond ring.' Well, I didn't have a diamond ring. So I said, 'This must be Jerry Jones' ring.' And it was." Switzer helps Johnson When an assistant's job at Florida State fell through in 1967, Johnson found himself working at Picayune High in Mississippi. Switzer, by then, had moved up to offensive coordinator at Oklahoma and he interceded on Johnson's behalf to get him a job at Wichita State. Two years later, Johnson went to Oklahoma. The pair spent three years together in Norman before Chuck Fairbanks' resignation in '72. Along with Johnson and Switzer, that Sooners staff included future Oregon State head coach Jerry Pettibone and future Cowboys personnel director Larry Lacewell. But when it came time to replace Fairbanks, Switzer was the chosen one. "All the assistants wanted me. They didn't want Jimmy to be the head coach at Oklahoma. They didn't want Lacewell," Switzer said. "Who did they want? They wanted Barry Switzer to be the head coach. All the assistants did when Chuck left. "It was my time." Switzer-Johnson rivalry Much of the 1970s and early '80s were Switzer's time in college football. He won three national titles and 12 Big Eight championships while at Oklahoma. Meanwhile, down the road in Stillwater, Johnson had become a head coach himself at Oklahoma State. The Cowboys began to make a move toward national respectability, but Johnson had trouble claiming success in his own state. Five times he played Switzer and Oklahoma. Five times he lost. Johnson left for the University of Miami in 1984, but he did not leave behind his rivalry with Switzer. In Switzer's last three seasons at Oklahoma, he lost three games. All came against Johnson's Hurricanes. In 1986 and '87, the losses kept the Sooners from the national title. Johnson won his own national championship in 1988 when Miami beat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. "He got the upper hand when I was at Oklahoma State," Johnson said Tuesday. "But when I went to the University of Miami, we were able to beat him three straight times, including once for the national title. I think we resolved that issue." The Cowboys Before buying the Cowboys from Bum Bright for $149 million in 1989, Jones made one thing clear — he was going through with the deal only if Johnson was his coach. Five years later, he paid Johnson $2 million to stop being his coach. In between, the coach and owner took a team that had dropped to the bottom of the NFL and steered it to the top with back-to-back Super Bowl titles. Johnson was hailed as a mastermind. Jones was teased for being a football wannabe. The credit Johnson received for reviving the Cowboys clearly was irritating to Jones. He made an infamous claim that 500 coaches could have won a Super Bowl with the talent on that team — talent he helped assemble. "There is nothing you can trade me for having those five years we had together and what we went through together and how it worked out," Jones said. "(And) there is nothing you can give me to have one more day of it." Johnson and Jones have an icy relationship today. While neither claims any friction, both acknowledge their relationship effectively is over. Johnson often is complimentary when discussing Jones, but always with a twist. "If you're insinuating that Jerry gives suggestions on blocking protections, you're giving him too much credit," Johnson responded, when asked about sideline conversations with Jones. "As far as football is concerned, Jerry was always very, very good. He relied on the people that had expertise." By hiring Switzer to succeed Johnson, Jones appeared intent on proving his claim that virtually anyone could coach the Cowboys.

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