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NFL Notes : The Bugs May Finally Be Out of Instant Replay

November 16, 1986|MIKE RABUN | United Press International

There hasn't been a really good instant replay controversy for a few weeks and those who support the concept are taking heart that things seem to be smoothing out.

It has apparently been a major help to have the umpire in constant communication with the replay booth.

On the assumption replays are around next year, there will likely be an attempt to make the replay official part of the regular officiating crew, traveling around the league throughout the year with the same group.

In addition, there may be a move afoot to begin selecting replay officials from the midst of the regular officiating crews in the NFL rather than rely on retired officials.

Once a rapport is built between the replay official and the field crew, league officials hope, there would be less chance for animosity building.

The Denver Broncos were brought back to earth by their loss to San Diego last week and coach Dan Reeves says his team may be a victim of an age-old enemy.

Distractions have abounded since Denver has become a threat to reach the Super bowl and Reeves feels his players may have started believing all the things they have read about themselves.

"This loss ought to bring us back to reality," Reeves said. "All those outside things that are distracting us have to cease."

The St. Louis Cardinals have been fairly slow out of the gate this season, thus their 2-8 record. St. Louis has been outscored in the first period, 58-6. to take it a quarter further, the Cardinals have been outscored in the first half, 134-51.

At least St. Louis field goal kicker John Lee has managed to overcome a hideous start. Lee missed four of his first six field goals, which was more than he missed all last year as a UCLA senior. But he has hit six of his last seven.

The game of the week has to be Kansas City's trip to Denver--a contest that is the biggest game the Chiefs have played in years. Kansas City's 7-3 record is the largest surprise to date in the NFL this year and a win over the Broncos would leave the two teams tied for the top spot in the AFC West.

"If we put the same type of game together that we have lately," said Kansas City coach John Mackovic, "then I like our chances. I think we have as good a chance to beat them now as we have at any time in four years."

After Kansas City's win over Seattle last week, eight-year veteran Bill Kenney summed up the victory.

"I haven't been 7-3 since . . . well, since . . . never," Kenney said.

The last two Monday night attractions have been rematches from last year's postseason games and both of them were won by the team that lost last season.

The Rams beat Chicago and Cleveland downed Miami with the New York Giants-San Francisco and New England-Miami rematches yet to come.

Detroit's string of correctly calling the pregame coin flip came to an end last Sunday after six straight guesses.

Tampa Bay goes to Green Bay this Sunday and the Buccaneers remember full well what happened the last time they made the trip.

A foot of snow fell on Lambeau Field during the game, played last Dec. 1, with a 35-mile-an-hour wind blowing. The Packers felt so at home they gained 512 yards. Tampa Bay gained 65.

The Buccaneers, by the way, did not have a roster change during the first six weeks of the season. Over the past four weeks, however, they have had 18 roster moves.

New England was a surprise entry in the Super Bowl last year and the Patriots were quickly forgotten this season when they started with a 3-3 record. But they are starting to look a little bit like their old selves.

The Patriots started at 2-3 last year and finished 11-5. New England has now won four in a row to get to 7-3 and based on current records the Patriots and Chiefs would play in the AFC Wild Card game.

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