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SPORTS WEEKEND | AROUND THE NFC / WEST

Young Holds the Key as 49ers Look Ahead

September 18, 1998

If Steve Young, who has thrown for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in two straight games, avoids injury, the 49ers will roll through their next five opponents, who were 27-53 last season, to stand 7-0 headed into Green Bay on

Nov. 1.

New Orleans' Danny Wuerffel, who replaced Billy Joe Hobert (ruptured Achilles' tendon), has been sacked once every six times trying to throw the ball and will be lucky to still be standing by Nov. 1.

"I love him," Coach Mike Ditka said, and what choice does he have? "If I don't love him, who's going to love him?"

Chris Chandler has already defied the football gods by staying injury-free through two games in Atlanta. Panther quarterback Kerry Collins isn't hurt, but his team stinks. And Panther tight end Wesley Walls is griping. "I'm very frustrated and disappointed I'm not more of a factor in the game plan," said Walls, criticizing Collins. "I got a lot of single coverage. . . . I just didn't get the ball."

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