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Sports Weekend | Week 13 Primer

Game of the Week

November 27, 1998|T.J. SIMERS

Buffalo (7-4) at New England (6-5). Patriots have option of playing Scott Zolak or Drew Bledsoe with a broken finger. They may be willing to let Bledsoe throw with his left hand. Doug Flutie, cut by

New England before he went to Canada and eventually Buffalo, returns to end the Patriots' playoff hopes.

Upset of the Week

Denver (11-0) at San Diego (5-6). As president of the Craig Whelihan Fan Club there comes a time when good sense is overruled by wishful thinking. Chargers remain No. 1 on defense. Broncos will probably gorge themselves on turkey knowing they play the lowly Chargers. Record: 3-9.

Potential Star of the Week

Jet running back Curtis Martin. Bill Parcells' team is tied for the AFC East lead, but it has all the tie-breakers in its favor. Vinny Testaverde is 7-1 as a starter, but to avoid an upset, Parcells will try to take the steam out of the Panthers by grinding it out with Martin. Jets are 5-1 when Martin hits the 100-yard mark.

Potential Stiff of the Week

Arizona quarterback Jake Plummer. Operating on the assumption that the Chiefs can't possibly lose

every game remaining, Plummer pays the price for coming up on the schedule at a time when Kansas City needs to spank someone. Chiefs are

15-2 versus NFC teams, including nine wins in a row.

THIS WEEK'S TREND

Buffalo quarterback Doug Flutie, cut by the Patriots, returns to Foxboro Stadium, where he was 10-0. Flutie was 5-0 with Boston College and 5-0 with the Patriots from 1988-1989.

NO DOUBT ABOUT IT

"If we had to go into the playoffs tomorrow, would we be the team to win the entire thing?" asked selfish wide receiver Jerry Rice. "I would hope so, but the way we're playing right now I don't think so."

Concur.

0AND FINALLY

Carolina defensive lineman Rick Terry, matched against his former employer, Bill Parcells, was asked to describe him: "Dictator," said Terry, released by Parcells.

"As for a coach, he's very good," Terry said. "But from a personal standpoint, he's not really a friendly guy. He's not going to be your buddy or anything like that. Basically, it's either his way or no way. I think I wasn't his kind of person, so he let me go."

ON TV

* Atlanta at St. Louis, 10 a.m., Ch. 11

Falcons can clinch a playoff berth with a victory.

The Line: No line

* Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m., Ch. 2

Can Doug Flutie continue to work his magic at Foxboro Stadium?

The Line: No line

* Washington at Oakland, 1:15 p.m., Ch. 11

Raiders have not lost a game against the NFC this season.

The Line: Raiders by 7.

* Denver at San Diego, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

When, I mean if, Broncos win, they clinch AFC West title.

The Line: Broncos by 13

THE REST

* Arizona at Kansas City, 10 a.m.

The Line: Cheifs by 3 1/2

* Carolina at New York Jets, 10 a.m.

The Line: Jets by 8 1/2

* Indianapolis at Baltimore, 10 a.m.

The Line: Ravens by 5 1/2

* Jacksonville at Cincinnati, 10 a.m.

The Line: Jaguars by 7

* Tampa Bay at Chicago, 10 a.m.

The Line: Buccaneers by 3

* Tennessee at Seattle, 1 p.m.

The Line: Seahawks by 2 1/2

* New Orleans at Miami, 1 p.m.

The Line: Dolphins by 8 1/2

* Philadelphia at Green Bay, 1:15 p.m.

The Line: Packers by 18

* N.Y. Giants at San Francisco, Mon., 5:15 p.m.

The Line: 49ers by 13

TV game comments from Times staff

SIMERS' RANKINGS / TOP 5

1. Denver--Some people are suggesting it might be better if the Broncos lose a game. That would be Tom Coughlin, Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells . . .

2. Minnesota--Super Bowl is in Miami; Vikings are in Minneapolis. Now you know why they are so motivated.

3. Atlanta--Falcons can't understand the furor. All they're asking is Chris Chandler be allowed to use a wheelchair.

4. San Francisco--There's no "i" in team, but there is in Rice.

5. Jacksonville--Can't beat the Broncos, can't beat the Steelers, still must play Vikings and Steelers again.

Bottom 5

26. Philadelphia--Eagles have been shut out three times. Only three times. That means they've scored in eight games.

27. Washington--The Redskins are accepting bids to buy the team. Minimum bid: $300 million per win.

28. Cincinnati--"I Still Know What You Did Last Summer": Nothing to improve your team.

29. St. Louis--Rams have lost eight of last nine home games. That wouldn't have happened in Anaheim.

30. Carolina--Panthers gave Washington their No. 1 pick. They should have given them the front office guys who made such a deal.

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