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In Surprise Move in NFL, 1996-97 Football Season Forfeited to Steelers

By Chris Brocoum
Sports Columnist

After having watched my team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, smash the capable Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night, I am making a bold prediction.

I don't mean to blow my own horn, but how can you argue with a team that despite having stars like Jerome Bettis and Kordell Stewart, ends up riding on the shoulders of Mike Tomzak?

He started the game with a perfect touchdown pass to Carter of the Chiefs? Somehow he recovered from the interception to throw for a decent 338 yards against a grueling K.C. defense. This team has potential, folks.

Believe it or not, there were some other key games aside from Pittsburgh. Buffalo managed to barely squeeze by the "everybody loves us" Colts. That is a big game for both teams since now there is a definite rivalry brewing in the AFC East.

Denver's victory over SanDiego means they now stand alone atop the AFC West.

In the NFC, everything is just a mess. Green Bay and Minnesota are deadlocked in the Central Division in a test of wills up in the cold territory. SanFrancisco seems to be sitting pretty leading the NFC West, but that picture might get a little ugly after they face Green Bay this coming Monday.

Curiosity question: Why the heck is it called the NFC West? Last time I checked Atlanta and Carolina were on the Atlantic coast.

Finally, for some odd reason, Washington is leading the East. Dallas must be steaming about that one. Talk about a reversal of fortune. Although for a team that screwed up with both Desmond Howard and that quarterback guy (I will mention no names to protect the embarrassed), I guess the least they could ask for is to win a couple games now and then.

Basically, my great football sense is telling me that this just might be the year the AFC dethrones the NFC. Well no maybe not (I was getting delusional for a second). But at least the NFC doesn't seem to be quite as dominating as usual.

The picks, week 7

Atlanta has been giving up twice as many points as they have been scoring. This stat leads to much blame, excuse-making, and bickering around the Atlanta locker room. But more importantly it leads to an endless string of losses. Take Houston.

Miami was looking good at the beginning of the year. Now they are just looking for Marino to return. Buffalo on the other hand has been winning despite atrocious play by Jim Kelly. If he ever gets it together, Buffalo is going to be very strong. Take Buffalo.

St. Louis at Carolina. Not much to say. Carolina.

Arizona is a not particularly good. Dallas is not particularly bad (despite how they have been looking so far). But because of aforementioned prejudices (Dallas over Pittsburgh; Super Bowl, last year), I feel the need to laugh in Barry Switzer's face and pick the two touchdown underdogs, Arizona, anyway.

The Jets continue to have a nagging problem with a quarterback named Neil O'Donnell. Until they rectify that situation expect the o-fer trend to continue. Take Jacksonville.

New England seems to have turned it around the past few games. But I will say again, Washington has been winning. I think some divine force has been following them around driving the old Bandwagon around again or something. Take Washington over the Patriots.

New Orleans disappointed me by breaking their winless streak, but I suspect they will quickly relapse against da Bears.

It has been noted numerous times in this column that Pittsburgh is beyond good. Cin-cinnati has yet to be noted (or even really mentioned for that matter). Steelers!

For a moment, I thought this was Minnesota at Green Bay. That would have been a game. Then I noticed that it was TAMPA Bay instead. This game is going to be a rout.

Philadelphia has been struggling recently after a fast start. New York has just been struggling. Take the Eagles.

The Raiders just ain't that good anymore even if they are back in Oakland. Take Detroit.

Baltimore is just a mess. The Browns just aren't coalescing as the Ravens. Too bad, because I think the Browns would have been good. Indianapolis is starting to wake up after a dreamlike start. Take the Colts in a close game.

Monday Night Brawlfor the Ages II: San Francisco at Green Bay. This game is big. I mean BIG. Because of space constraints, I can't address this sporting event in these pages. Just kidding - I like San Fran and all, but Green Bay is powerful. Green Bay is just Green Bay. Take the Pack in a thriller.

Last week: 84 (plus five dollars on Pittsburgh), season: 3120.