Coach of the Week. In its last two meetings with Philadelphia, Green Bay had been mauled by the Eagles' pass rush and had lost by a combined score of 51-3. In former coach Lindy Infante's system, the Packer quarterbacks dropped back five or seven steps and began to look for a receiver but most times found Philly defensive end Reggie White wrapped around them. New coach Mike Holmgren has quarterback Brett Favre throwing mostly off three-step drops, so his linemen don't have to hold their pass blocks as long.
"There's no doubt the play-calling gave the offensive linemen a chance." said Green Bay tackle Ken Ruettgers about the Packers' 27-24 upset of the Eagles on Sunday. Tackle Tootie Robbins held White sackless, and the Pack had 410 yards of offense—the first 400-yard day given up by the Eagles since Dec. l). 1990. And after Philadelphia's Hersehel Walker rumbled on his own 23 in the final minute, Chris Jacke kicked the game-winning field goal.
Seven days after the greatest linebacker of his era, Lawrence Taylor, likely ended his career with a torn Achilles tendon at (Hants Stadium, the greatest offensive tackle of his era, Anthony Munoz, probably ended his career at (Hants Stadium when he injured a knee in the Bengals' 17-14 loss to the Jets. Munoz was playing his first game since coming off injured reserve with a chronically sprained shoulder.
Sing Is a Song, Piano Man. It hadn't been a good week for Billy Joe Tolliver, who was the Falcons' quarterback in their 38-point loss to the 49ers on Monday. Nov. 9. He worried about his terminally ill mom most of the week and learned on Friday that his dad. Charles Lee (Snake) Tolliver, had been indicted in Denver for manufacturing and distributing methamphetamines. So when Atlanta coach Jerry Glanville yanked Tolliver on Sunday—alter he had thrown an interception that was returned for a game-tying touchdown by the Cardinals—Tolliver went ballistic. Cornerback Deion Sanders had to step between him and Glanville, or somebody would have gotten punched.
In the wake of his team's 20-17 victory, Glanville put on a smiley lace when he was asked about the incident. "You've got to love Billy Joel." Glanville said, using his nickname for Tolliver. "He's a competitor." But does Billy Joel have to love Jerry? Stay tuned. Tolliver, who completed 16 of 24 passes before being benched, is expected to start this Sunday against the Bills.
All in a day's work for Mike Ditka: His Bears gave new life to the career of often-benched Buccaneer quarterback Vinny Testaverde by yielding 20 points and what proved to be the winning touchdown pass before the first half ended: Chicago played 50 nannies before finally scoring a touchdown against the NFL's 16th-ranked defense: after he railed at kicker Kevin Butler late in the game, calling him "gutless, " "mentally weak" and the "worst kickoff man in the league, " Butler missed a 44-yard field goal with one second to go, and the Bears lost 20-17; and Big Mike argued with a fan while leaving the field at Tampa Stadium ("He called me a bad name, and I called him a bad name back," Ditka said).
Rambos. Entering Sunday's game at Texas Stadium, the Cowboys hadn't lost at home in 14 months, and the Rams hadn't won on the road in 14 months. So why was Dallas defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt fretting last Saturday night? "Jim Everett has completed about 70 percent of his passes in the last month, and Cleveland Gary's turned into a big-lime buck." Wannstedt said. All coachtalk, it seemed. But Gary went out the next day and outrushed Emmitt Smith, 110 yards to 80, and Everett, swing-passing the Cowboys to death, threw two touchdown passes to Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman's one, and Wannstedt's worst fears were realized: Rams 27, Cowboys 23.
The Rams were 16-point underdogs to the 49ers on Oct. 4 and lost in the last minute. They were 13½-point underdogs to Dallas. "The guy who's making those lines must be smoking dope." Everett said. "He's not watching game film."
A Denver bakery delivered a cake to Bronco owner Pat Bowlen's private box at Mile High Stadium on Sunday evening before his team faced the (Hants. "Denver 27, New York 13, "it read. The Broncos beat the Giants 27-13. But who would have predicted that rookie Tommy Maddox would come on after Denver quarterback John Elway had suffered a bruised right shoulder in the second quarter and protect a 14-3 lead by Coolly engineering three scoring drives? New York, which lost Jeff Hosteller I bruised ribs) in the midst of a fourth-quarter rally, answered with rookie Kent (iridium, an eighth-round pick out of Ohio State.
He Dreams of Genie. The Patriots, who trailed the Colts 7-0, 14-7, 21-14, 24-21, 31-21, 31-28 and 34-31, led only once—at the finish. The Pats won their first game of the year, 37-34 in overtime. Credit quarterback Scott Zolak, who was making his first start as a pro, and his lucky football. Before his senior year at Maryland in 1990, Zolak received an autographed football from fellow Monongahela. Pa., native Joe Montana ("See you in the NFL someday." wrote Joe), and Zolak has rubbed the ball for luck before all 13 games he has started since then.