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The Burning Questions on GAME DAY : Times NFL Writer T.J. Simers Tackles Key Issues of Week I

August 31, 1997|T.J. SIMERS

THE QUESTIONS:

* 1. What team has the best chance to start the season off smartly?

* 2. What team will be screaming, "Wait until next year" after the first few weeks?

* 3. Who is/was Bob Sapp?

* 4. What does Buffalo Coach Marv Levy have in common with "The Catcher in the Rye?"

* 5. You will never guess, but behind San Francisco, which team has the second-longest active NFL scoring streak?

AND THE ANSWERS:

* 1. San Francisco. If the 49ers are still one of the top three teams in the league, they go to Tampa and St. Louis to open the season and roll, return home to pound Atlanta and New Orleans and should be sitting 4-0 when they go to Carolina for a Monday night AFC West showdown game.

* 2. San Diego. The Chargers are still trying to learn a new offense, have a new defensive coordinator, have been hit with some injuries, have a shortage of talent as it is, and play the kind of schedule that leaves a team wondering who it ticked off in the league office.

The Chargers open in New England against a team they have lost to eight straight times, go to New Orleans for Mike Ditka's first home game, draw Carolina at home and then play three of their next four on the road against the Seahawks, Raiders and Chiefs. At best, the Chargers open 2-5.

* 3. Bob Sapp was the Bears' No. 2 draft pick, an offensive guard from Washington, and this day and age of the salary cap, high draft picks are locks to make the roster unless carted off to prison.

The Bears just plain cut Sapp because he was no good, something they probably should have noted when they scouted him.

* 4. "The Catcher in the Rye" was published in 1951, the year Levy began coaching at St. Louis Country Day School. Levy, 72, joins George Halas as the oldest coaches in NFL history.

* 5. New Orleans. San Francisco has scored in 306 consecutive games, the NFL's all-time mark, and the Saints have scored in 209, fifth best in NFL history.

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