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Incumbent Dallas Trailing in the Polls As Season Concludes

By Chris Brocoum
sports columnist

For all those Denver fans out there, enjoy it while you can. The Broncos played excellently to beat the Raiders. Elway had one of his picture-perfect comeback performances with that pass late in the game. Pittsburgh doesn't appreciate comebacks like that. Come playoffs, the Broncos best look out.

In other news, Dallas lost soundly to Philadelphia. Let me repeat: Dallas lost again. I wonder how that Jerry Jones guy is feeling now. At least he doesn't have to worry quite so much about Washington. Actually, he better just start worrying about San Francisco coming up this week or else he might find himself atop a bonafide .500 team.

Pittsburgh is finally getting back on track - 426 worth of back on track. Pittsburgh formally apologized later that afternoon for the environmental disaster left over in Three Rivers Stadium after the game. Then a light rain washed the St. Louis remnants off the field.

Finally, I know I love to dwell on failure, but this week I have a positive comment for the Falcons. Atlanta actually won a game this week (hold the applause please). This means that Carolina must be just as bad as Atlanta. Wow - that's bad.

The games this week have important implications, but not much in the way of really good contests.

The picks, week 10

New England beat the Dolphins last weekend handily. Look for them to hand the Jets their league-leading ninth loss.

Arizona is coming into RFK Stadium, and they are going to find a pissed Redskins team. President Clinton has promised increased funding for the 'Skins' weight gain program will be a top priority of his new administration. A strict diet of McDonald's has been imposed. Arizona won't be able to see around Washington's line, let alone pressure Ferotte.

Atlanta is feeling proud of themselves for beating Carolina. That doesn't mean anything in St. Louis.

Buffalo and Philadelphia are two teams in a heated battle for control of their division. Buffalo's coming off a big win over Washington. Philadelphia is coming off a classic win over Dallas. Take Philly.

Green Bay at Kansas City looked like a good game on the schedule. I hope it looks that way on the field 'cause it sure doesn't look that way on paper. Packers.

Houston rolled over and died against Seattle. They would have to bury themselves, too, to lose to New Orleans.

Miami and Indianapolis are slowly moving away from the spotlight as they slowly get worse and worse. I think Marino is finally going to start playing like he is capable of. Dolphins over the Colts.

Tampa Bay has been very predictable this year with one anomaly: loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, win, loss, loss. The trend shall continue. Take the Raiders.

Pittsburgh literally tore up St. Louis last week, and a few weeks ago they somehow dropped a game to Cincinnati. Payback's a bummer, ain't it.

Dallas and San Francisco is sort of the game of the week. Except that this isn't looking like a possible playoff matchup at the moment. Take the Niners.

Ultimatum: I give Minnesota one last shot. If they don't beat the Seahawks, I will have no choice but to reap invective on them in next week's column.

Baltimore lost a close one to Cincy. Jacksonville had a week off. I'm going with the underdog Ravens.

Da Bears can think they're all dat, but they can't handle Elway. Elway's gonna be trowin' da bomb all over da Bears. Broncos.

The New York Giants won somehow last week. I refuse to recognize it as it was over Arizona. I do recognize that Carolina is going to win.

Monday Night Special: I'm not sure what to make of this game. Maybe I'll just skip it. Take Detroit with a majority 287 electoral votes.

Last week: 95. Season record: 6441 (author's note: This is a better record than half the guys in The Boston Globe).