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Shanahan Remembers 27-0, Makes Sure Raiders Do Too

Pro football: Bronco coach needles Oakland about last season's Monday night victory.

November 03, 1996|T.J. SIMERS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Week 10 and the questions:

1. Why do those guys dressed in orange think they are so intimidating, given this week's assignment against the Silver and Black?

2. Has Denver's Terrell Davis been more effective than Barry Sanders was in his first two years in the league? Than Eric Dickerson?

3. What's the most shocking development this season?

4. Why are the Seattle Seahawks worth keeping an eye on?

5. This week's upset special?

And the answers:

1. The Raiders are 32-13-1 on "Monday Night Football," but Denver Coach Mike Shanahan declined to be politically correct and praise this Monday's opponent: "What happened last [year]?" Shanahan said.

The Broncos thrashed the Raiders, 27-0, on Monday night a year ago.

Talk like that would make Shanahan a natural to coach the Raiders--oops, he has. The Raiders fired Shanahan after allowing him to coach 20 games (8-12 record).

Shanahan is 2-0 against his former team and free to talk trash. Asked if he believed there was another NFL team better than the Broncos, Shanahan said: "I don't think anybody's better than us. We can play with anybody. I said this before the year started. I really thought we could go and win every football game if we played to our capabilities."

2. Project a little. After eight games, Davis leads the NFL with 1,060 yards from scrimmage, and at that pace he will finish with 2,120. Throwing in his rookie season total of 1,484 yards, Davis would have 3,604 yards after two years--third most in league history--and two spots in front of Sanders (3,536 yards).

The only two running backs to be more productive in their first two years: Dickerson, of course, with 4,456 yards in 1983 and 1984, and how quickly everyone forgets--Billy Sims with 3,812 yards in 1980 and 1981.

3. Baltimore's Vinny Testaverde. The big stiff leads the AFC with a quarterback rating of 91.1--ahead of John Elway and Dan Marino. He beat the St. Louis Rams last week by changing the play, and instead of running a quarterback sneak, he threw for the end zone in overtime. Michael Jackson caught the 22-yarder for a touchdown with 10 seconds remaining in overtime--Elway-like heroics.

In the last five games, he has thrown 13 touchdown passes.

The reason for the change: Miracle-worker Ted Marchibroda, who turned around Jim Harbaugh's career in Indianapolis a year ago.

4. There is really no good reason to keep an eye on the Seahawks, but Seattle has won two of its last three games because Chris Warren is running the way everyone expected Chris Warren to run. He has gained 245 yards with a 5.4-yard average in his last three games after running for 232 yards and a 3.3-yard average in his first five.

5. Way out on a limb here--New Orleans--with Jim Everett at quarterback--knocks off the 49ers under new coach Rick Venturi. Yes, way out on a limb here.

THE TV GAMES

* CROSSROADS

Philadelphia (6-2) at Dallas (5-3), 10 a.m., Channel 11: So who chases the Redskins the rest of the way? The Eagles are 3-0 with itty-bitty Ty Detmer at quarterback, and the Cowboys are 3-0 since the return of wide receiver Michael Irvin.

--Say what: The Cowboys will try to win their fifth consecutive game for the first time since 1994.

--Player to watch: Philadelphia wide receiver Irving Fryar became the 15th player with 600 catches; he's only 397 behind Jerry Rice.

--Finally: The Cowboys knocked Rodney Peete out for the season because of a knee injury in a 23-19 victory earlier, and left Detmer woozy with a concussion.

* BANDAGES, PLEASE

San Diego (4-4) at Indianapolis (5-3), 10 a.m., Channel 4: This game should be featured on "ER." The Colts have been successful much of the season overcoming a rash of injuries. The Chargers, meanwhile, have been unable to cope with adversity.

--Say what: San Diego has won the last four regular-season meetings, but the Colts played without Marshall Faulk in San Diego last season and knocked the Chargers out of the playoffs with a 35-20 victory.

--Player to watch: Charger quarterback Sean Salisbury will start because of Stan Humphries' injured shoulder, giving the Colts an opportunity to improve their lowly interception totals (three).

--Finally: The Chargers' offense never had the opportunity to run a play from inside the Seattle 20-yard line last week.

* RALLY TIME

Kansas City (5-3) at Minnesota (5-3), 1 p.m., Channel 4: The Vikings have the dome advantage, but they also have an injury report filled with key performers, including quarterback Warren Moon (ankle) and running back Robert Smith (knee).

--Say what: The Vikings have lost three of four games after a 4-0 start; ditto for Kansas City.

--Player to watch: Quarterback Brad Johnson, who will start in place of Moon, has the best fourth-quarter rating among NFC quarterbacks, completing 26 of 39 for 261 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

--Finally: The Vikings opened up strong this season with Johnson filling in for Moon and have the defense to rough up Kansas City quarterback Steve Bono.

* SAINTS UPRISING?

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