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Spotlight / A Glance At This Week In The Nfl : Are You Experienced?

September 20, 1993|Tim Kawakami

To commemorate Sunday's matchup of rookie starting quarterbacks Rick Mirer of the Seattle Seahawks and Drew Bledsoe of the New England Patriots, here's a comparison of their combined number of games played entering the weekend with the starting quarterbacks in every other game.

314--John Elway, Denver (146) vs. Joe Montana, Kansas City (168)

249--Jim Everett, Rams (99) vs. Phil Simms, New York Giants (150)

196--Bernie Kosar, Cleveland (103) vs. Jeff Hostetler, Raiders (93)

162--Bobby Hebert, Atlanta (79) vs. Steve Young, San Francisco (83)

155--Warren Moon, Houston (128) vs. Stan Humphries, San Diego (27)

126--Rodney Peete, Detroit (87) vs. Wade Wilson, New Orleans (39)

101--Cary Conklin, Washington (2) vs. Randall Cunningham, Philadelphia (99)

102--Troy Aikman, Dallas (56) vs. Steve Beuerlein, Phoenix (46)

32--David Klingler, Cincinnati (6) vs. Neil O'Donnell, Pittsburgh (26)

4--Rick Mirer, Seattle (2) vs. Drew Bledsoe, New England (2)

AN EYE FOR A 'W'

Mirer's team won the game, 17-14, but he wasn't around to see it and he wasn't the one who carried the offense.

While Seahawk tailback Chris Warren was gaining a 174 yards in a team-record 36 carries, Mirer was knocked out of the game with blurred vision when he was hit in the face by Patriot defensive end Mike Pitts late in the third quarter.

Mirer, the second pick in this spring's NFL draft, came back in for one play, but then returned to the sidelines and Stan Gelbaugh played the rest of the way. Mirer completed 12 of 16 passes for 117 yards and his first NFL touchdown, and generally outplayed Bledsoe.

"It does make me feel good to beat them, because they were the only team to pass on me," said Mirer, whose injury did not appear to be serious. "It's not fair to call it that (a victory for him), because everyone out there played hard.

"I thought Drew played fine. I played all right, but the game is not just two guys."

Bledsoe, the top draft pick, consistently threw behind and above receivers and had two passes intercepted. He completed 20 of 44 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

A side note: Bledsoe and Mirer's coaches, Bill Parcells and Tom Flores are very experienced. They are two of the three active coaches (along with Miami's Don Shula) who have have two Super Bowl trophies, though both men won their championships with teams very different than the ones they are currently coaching.

"Some of these guys need to wake up a little bit and understand what it takes to win and lose," said Parcells. "We don't understand that yet completely."

GAME FOR HIS FATHER

A day after the death of his father, Detroit linebacker Pat Swilling received a warm welcome from an appreciative crowd of New Orleans Saints fans as he returned to play against his former team.

Travis Swilling died of a stroke and a heart attack on Saturday morning. He was 53.

"The game is what I do and how I make a living," Swilling said, his voice trembling. "My dad would have understood."

Swilling had only two tackles and pressured Saint quarterback Wade Wilson once. He was also called three times for being offside.

The Lions lost to New Orleans, 14-3.

Swilling admitted it was difficult for him to concentrate during the game, but he refused to use his father's death as an excuse for his performance.

"I think this is probably the strongest adversity I've ever had to overcome," Swilling said. "Through God's and my dad's tutelage, I'll overcome it."

TAKE THIS TO THE BANK

Beyond any doubt, with deep assurance, we can boldly go where hardly any other prognosticator will go and tell you who will win this year's Super Bowl:

Either the Saints, the Eagles or the Giants.

Why them?

Because the last four Super Bowl champions--the Cowboys, Redskins, Giants and 49ers--each had two things in common: They were NFC teams, and they all started 3-0 in their glory year.

Only three teams fit those terms: the Saints, Eagles and Giants. End of argument.

Add Giants: The last time they went 3-0, they took it all the way to 10-0 in 1990 and went on to--you guessed it--win the Super Bowl.

One more for Giants: The two times Giant Coach Dan Reeves started 3-0 when he coached the Broncos, his team went to the Super Bowl.

JERRY'S SKID

Folks, we have an early leader in the race to be the first NFL coach to get the axe, and his name is a familiar one: Falcon Coach Jerry Glanville.

The Falcons, after dumping loads of cash this off-season to revamp their defense to match the talent on offense, are 0-3 after losing to the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, 37-30, and the rumbling is getting very loud that Glanville, in fourth year with the Falcons, could be fired within the month.

"I never worry about job security," Glanville said. "I think I'm the seventh longest as a head coach in the NFL (counting his five years in Houston) and I haven't been around that long. If you worry about job security, there's something wrong with you."

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