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Brocoum Ponders Football Matchups for Fall Season

By Chris Brocoum
Sports Columnist

With the season finally in full swing, several teams in the NFL are probably already looking at their situations with wistful eyes, namely the previously surging Dolphins and Eagles, with Dan Marino and Rodney Peete down with serious injuries.

Miami isn't in quite as bad shape since Marino should be back in a few weeks and they have had an off week to prepare. The Eagles, on the other hand, are looking at a serious speed bump. In desperation, there has even been talk of signing Randall Cunningham to a contract for the rest of the season.

This is unfortunate for the NFL because these two teams seemed destined to become major powerhouses in their respective AFC and NFC Eastern divisions. You can be sure that Dallas, Washington, and Indianapolis are breathing easier.

This weekend has a few key matchups between AFC division leaders, and their results could prove extremely important come playoff time. Indianapolis at Buffalo, San Diego at Denver, and a classic on Monday night with Pittsburgh at Kansas City make up a blockbuster weekend. All these teams can take the opportunity this weekend to make a statement about who will be the team to beat (other than Pittsburgh, of course, which is the team to beat).

The Jets, New Orleans, and Atlanta will themselves be deadlocked in a grueling contest to establish who will be distinguished as the worst team in the NFL. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay has the weekend off. But then, they could barely compete in the Bud Bowl.

Minor cruel comment: Dallas is one lucky 23 team. The way Philly played defense last Monday they should have won the game hands down.

Major cruel comment: Minnesota stinks bad. That funky smell wafting off the river was no busted sewer main, it was the jet stream straight from the Twin Cities with a touch of rank left over from New York. The Giants?

Author's note: Due to three ridiculous games (one in overtime) decided by a total of 10 points, I was 85 instead of a stellar 112. For what it's worth, I wanted to point out that I got shafted.

Additional author's note: Any games decided by less than a touchdown which I call correctly take incredible skill. Any such games which I lose can be explained as a terrible case of bad luck.

The picks, week six

I know New England is the home team, and I know I'm going to get run out of town for this one but take the Baltimore Browns.

Atlanta is bad, very bad. Take Detroit in a romp.

Carolina and Minnesota both had disastrous games last week (as noted above). Being a Minnesota fan barely I will go with the Vikings' experience to triumph over the expansion Panthers in the Metrodome.

Da Bears are da Bears. Da Bears ain't dat good. The Packers are coming to Chicago from up in Green Bay and da Bears better look da heck out.

Oakland's season looks spectacular when you compare it with the Jets' season. Unfortunately for the Jets, Neil O'Donnell, their regular starting quarterback, is the starting quarterback again this week.

Miami has had a bit of a quarterback controversy, but it pales in comparison to Seattle's internal controversy over "How to win football games."

Indianapolis at Buffalo. Don't miss this one. Well, actually, never mind. I forgot the Bills aren't that good anymore.

Jacksonville over the Saints, just because if New Orleans won it would tarnish their perfect 05 record.

San Diego and Denver are going to have a good time getting to know each other real well this weekend. Take Elway.

San Francisco and St. Louis. I'm taking a chance with this one: 49ers.

Houston and Cincinnati. I flipped for it and the penny landed on its edge. Take Houston.

Monday Night Brawl for the Ages: Pittsburgh at K.C. on Monday Night. Wow. For obvious reasons, I am looking forward to this game. Both teams are gritty and powerful. Pittsburgh will be more powerful. Jerome Bettis, Kordell Stewart and Pegram will be way too much for the Chiefs. The Steelers are quietly assuming the position as AFC leader in preparation for The Show.

Last week's record: 85, season record: 2316 (yes that is over 500, thank you very much).