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November 08, 1996|T.J. SIMERS | Times Staff Writer


Team: 1. Denver (8-1)

Opponent: Chicago

Comment: Defense wins titles. Tell that to guys defending Elway.


Team: 2. San Francisco (7-2)

Opponent: Dallas

Comment: Football players win football games. Look it up.


Team: 3. Green Bay (8-1)

Opponent: at Kansas City

Comment: "We've got guys with heart." Or, they'd be stiffs.


Team: 4. Pittsburgh (7-2)

Opponent: at Cincinnati

Comment: Ya gotta wanna win, and talk like that too.


Team: 5. Philadelphia (7-2)

Opponent: Buffalo

Comment: It's us against the world and we are not paranoid.


Team: 6. Dallas (5-4)

Opponent: at San Francisco

Comment: Backs against the wall make it tough to pass, kick ...


Team: 7. Washington (7-2)

Opponent: Arizona

Comment: A must game. As opposed to the 15 others?


Team: 8. Buffalo (6-3)

Opponent: at Philadelphia

Comment: You just got to make plays. Pregame speech must be thrilling.


Team: 9. Kansas City (6-3)

Opponent: Green Bay

Comment: Takes total team effort, unless you want to rely on Bono.


Team: 10. New England (6-3)

Opponent: at N.Y. Jets

Comment: It's a challenge, coping with Parcells.


Team: 11. Indianapolis (5-4)

Opponent: at Miami

Comment: Have to see film first. Wasn't paying attention.


Team: 12. Minnesota (5-4)

Opponent: at Seattle

Comment: Other teams paid to make plays too. More than we get.


Team: 13. Houston (5-4)

Opponent: at New Orleans

Comment: Give the other team credit. Then you won't rip us.


Team: 14. Carolina (5-4)

Opponent: N.Y. Giants

Comment: These guys busted their tails at minimum of $275,000.


Team: 15. San Diego (5-4)

Opponent: Detroit

Comment: Win one for the Gipper. Gifford? Kathy Lee's husband?


Team: 16. Miami (4-5)

Opponent: Indianapolis

Comment: Adversity builds character. Also gets you fired.


Team: 17. Detroit (4-5)

Opponent: at San Diego

Comment: This team showed a lot of character. But no coaching.


Team: 18. Oakland (4-5)

Opponent: at Tampa Bay

Comment: It all starts at the top. Thereby dooming the Raiders.


Team: 19. Cincinnati (3-6)

Opponent: Pittsburgh

Comment: Bengals giving 110%. Why didn't Shula think of that?


Team: 20. N.Y. Giants (4-5)

Opponent: at Carolina

Comment: If you can't make it in New York, move to New Jersey.


Team: 21. Seattle (4-5)

Opponent: Minnesota

Comment: Every game is big if you fear Kingdome falling on you.


Team: 22. Chicago (4-5)

Opponent: at Denver

Comment: People weren't giving 'em a chance. They were right.


Team: 23. Baltimore (3-6)

Opponent: at Jacksonville

Comment: They put their pants on one leg at a time. Even Vinny.


Team: 24. Jacksonville (3-6)

Opponent: Baltimore

Comment: Key is to hit ground running. Not land on facemask.


Team: 25. Arizona (3-6)

Opponent: at Washington

Comment: All you can do is your best. Leaves them two TDs shy.


Team: 26. New Orleans (2-7)

Opponent: Houston

Comment: It's not how you play the game ... "Whew," says Everett.


Team: 27. Tampa Bay (1-8)

Opponent: Oakland

Comment: Team with the best players wins. So Buccaneers lose.


Team: 28. N.Y. Jets (1-8)

Opponent: New England

Comment: No quit here. So Kotite will have to be fired.


Team: 29. Atlanta (1-8)

Opponent: at St. Louis

Comment: It just comes down to execution. Whose?


Team: 30. St. Louis (2-7)

Opponent: Atlanta

Comment: Winning isn't everything. So long as Georgia can shop.

* THE POLLS: Associated Press and USA Today/CNN--C10

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