ONCE AROUND THE LEAGUE
--ESPN's Joe Theismann, who knows a thing or two about the Washington quarterback scene, has stood alone in praise of backup quarterback Gus Frerotte, who made his first NFL start for the Redskins ahead of first-round pick Heath Shuler and veteran John Friesz.
Theismann says Frerotte, a seventh-round draft choice from Tulsa, already has better passing mechanics than 20 NFL starters.
"I think he's got a real chance to be something special," Theismann said on ESPN's Sunday morning pre-game show.
Go ahead and gloat, Joe.
Frerotte completed 17 of 32 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns (no interceptions, no sacks) in the Redskins' 41-27 victory over Indianapolis.
--Speaking of Washington insiders, former Redskin coach Joe Gibbs, now with NBC, thought it was a mistake for the Bears to start Erik Kramer at quarterback instead of Steve Walsh. Walsh had led Chicago to three victories in a row in place of Kramer, who had been out with a separated shoulder.
"It takes guts," Gibbs said of the move before the game. "This is not a safe way to go."
Right you were, Joe.
Bear Coach Dave Wannstedt started Kramer. Detroit defeated Chicago, 21-16. Kramer was intercepted three times.
--Odd statistic: Some teams can't wait for bye weeks. Not Seattle. With their loss to Kansas City, the Seahawks are 0-6 in games played following their bye week. Seattle has also lost 12 out of its last 13 games at Kansas City.
--It was bound to happen. Cincinnati defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson, the team's first-round pick, finally got his first career sack when he dropped Vinny Testaverde for a 12-yard loss in the first quarter.
--New York Giant quarterback Dave Brown threw two more interceptions, giving him nine in the last four games and 11 for the season. That's two more than salary-cap cut Phil Simms had all of last season.
SURE, BUT CAN HE KICK?
The most interesting broadcast booth exchange came to us from the Fox team of Joe Buck and Tim Green, who were overly impressed with Morten Andersen's leg strength after the New Orleans Saints' kicker connected on a routine field goal against the Rams.
Buck: "Does he have a leg? Does he have a leg?
Green: "He has a leg."
SAD STATE VS. GOLDEN STATE
One of the NFL's most enduring streaks was extended when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their 22nd game in a row to teams based in California.
Fittingly, it was the 49ers who tattooed loss No. 22 on the Buccaneers, 41-16. The 49ers are the winningest California team versus Tampa Bay in the span, owning a 9-0 record.
Ironically, the Buccaneers' last victory against Golden State was Oct. 26, 1980, when they defeated the 49ers at Candlestick Park, 24-23.
California breakdown vs. Tampa:
San Francisco: 9-0.
San Diego Chargers: 5-0.
Oakland Raiders: 1-0
Tampa Bay quarterbacks during the streak: Doug Williams, Jack Thompson, Steve DeBerg, Steve Young, Vinny Testaverde, Trent Dilfer, Craig Erickson.
Presidents since Buccaneers' last California victory: Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton.
TONIGHT'S GAME: Houston at Philadelphia
6 p.m., Channel 7
Since Warren Moon was allowed to go to the Minnesota Vikings, the Oilers have used two ineffective quarterbacks. Now it's going on three.
Cody Carlson inherited the starting job when Moon went to the Vikings, and Bucky Richardson entered the picture when Carlson got injured. Richardson was ineffective against Cleveland last week, so Billy Joe Tolliver took over. He threw a touchdown pass and prevented the Oilers from being shut out for the first time since 1976.
However, Carlson will start if he gets medical clearance before the game--but it seems likely Tolliver will start for the first time since last year with Atlanta.
"It's very disappointing," Oiler Coach Jack Pardee said. "This has been a season with a lot of change. We've been playing what would normally be our third or fourth quarterback all year long."
Offense has been the big problem for the Oilers, who scored their season high in points (21) in the opener.
The Oilers (1-5) run the same 4-6 defense that Buddy Ryan used. It's a blitz-oriented defense, and the Eagles (4-2) expect defensive coordinator Jeff Fisher to rush a lot of people in an attempt to hurry Randall Cunningham.
"As we speak, they're blitzing," joked Philadelphia Coach Rich Kotite last Wednesday.