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The real goods?
Rams and Jaguars are tough -- but how tough are they?
Posted: Wednesday December 15, 1999 10:21 AM
By John Donovan, CNN/SI
How good, really, are the Jacksonville Jaguars and St. Louis Rams? How good, really, are the two teams regarded as maybe the best in their respective conferences?
How weak are their divisions, you ask?
Well, we'll tell you. In its never-ending quest to inform, the Glance has picked out these juicy nuggets:
- St. Louis is 8-0 against rivals in its division, the NFC West.
- Jacksonville is 6-1 against rivals in its division, the AFC Central. The Jags' only setback was a 20-19 loss to Tennessee in Week 3. It is Jacksonville's only loss of the season.
- Average division score for the Rams: 35-13.
- Average division score for the Jaguars: 22-10.
- Closest division game for the Rams: A 13-point win at Carolina.
- Closest division game for the Jaguars: Besides the loss, a 6-3 win over Baltimore. The Jaguars finish with three division games, at Cleveland, at Tennessee and home against Cincinnati.
- Number of teams already eliminated from the playoffs in the NFC West: Three (Atlanta, New Orleans and San Francisco).
- Number of teams already eliminated from the playoffs in the AFC Central: Three (Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh).
Weak schedules? Statistically speaking, for sure. Some of the weakest in NFL history, in fact.
But weak champs?
Well, we'll see if the battle-tested champs of the so-called "tough" divisions -- the AFC East and the NFC Central come to mind -- have enough left for the teams with the best records in their conferences.
On to the Glance, which this week asks the puzzling question: If you're New Orleans owner Tom Benson, do you fire Mike Ditka?
The answer: If you do, it's strictly an over-the-phone job.
| Marino and the 'Fins |
The Dolphins are sagging, Dan Marino's sagging with them and coach Jimmy Johnson has his hook ready. This could get ugly. Uglier, we mean.
| MVP! MVP! |
Can you believe Kurt Warner is the leading candidate? Did you even know who he was before the season's start?
| The Bucs |
After wins over Minnesota and Detroit, Tampa Bay's suddenly back on everyone's A-list. If defense does win championships, the Bucs have as good a shot as anyone.
| Yikes, the Vikes |
With Cris Carter out for the year, probably, and Randy Moss dropping off in production -- literally -- do the Vikings have a real shot at the Super Bowl?
| Flag -- Replay officials: |
Growing pains, maybe. But this new replay system seems to be causing as many problems as it's trying to solve.
| Flag -- Randy Moss: |
Last year's rookie phenom is turning into this year's head case. He can turn a game around single-handedly -- sometimes in either direction.
| Flag -- Chris Miller: |
We know these guys want to compete. But a concussion is serious stuff. Do an Ainge and go home to your family.
| Flattery -- Edgerrin James: |
All that talent, and rich as Jed Clampett to boot. Hey, buddy, can you swing a few dimes Ricky Williams' way?
| Flattery -- Tennessee Titans: |
The quietest double-digit winners in years. Going for No. 11 on Sunday.
| Why don't the Jacksonville Jaguars thrill us? |
| The Rams have one of the weakest schedules in NFL history ... but they're wiping out people, as they should. |
| Some QBs who may be on new teams next season: Trent Dilfer, Trent Green, Jeff Blake ... and Dan Marino. |
| Brett Favre out of the playoffs? We don't even want to think about it. |
| Green Bay at Minnesota (Monday, 9 p.m. ET). One team is all but toast after this one. |
| N.Y. Giants at St. Louis (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET). Giants are unbeaten in December under Fassel. They have to remain that way or the playoffs -- and Fassel's job -- are as good as gone. |
| New Orleans at Baltimore (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET). The Ravens are a long, long shot to make the playoffs. And we still can't get worked up over this one. |
| Let's put it this way: Do you have more faith in a team that beats up on Cincinnati and Cleveland, or one that scraps with Green Bay and Minnesota and Tampa Bay and this year's Detroit? Do you like a team that KOs New Orleans and this year's San Francisco, or one that battles with Buffalo and Miami and this year's Indianapolis? Are these questions slanted, or what? |
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