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Ground Control
Peter King
September 23, 1996
The Broncos grind out a comeback, Are Switzer's days numbered?, 49ers venture into the Panthers' den
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September 23, 1996

Ground Control

The Broncos grind out a comeback, Are Switzer's days numbered?, 49ers venture into the Panthers' den

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Reeves would make sense, and not just because he's a former Cowboys player and assistant. He may need a gig if the Giants (0-3) continue to go down in flames. He's also a favorite of quarterback Troy Aikman, who thinks Reeves is the type of coach who would instill the discipline he believes the Cowboys have sorely missed under Switzer. But to fully suit Aikman, Reeves would have to leave the Ernie Zampese-run Dallas offense intact.

Stats of the Week

?Until Sunday's 25-24 loss to the Colts, the Cowboys (1-2) had never blown a lead as big as 18 points at home in their 36 years.

?The Seahawks (0-3) have allowed 522 rushing yards, while their own Chris Warren, the AFC's leading rusher over the past four seasons, has run for 91.

?Those Oakland fans really missed their Raiders. There were more than 16,000 unsold tickets for the Raiders' home opener at refurbished Oakland Coliseum on Sunday, a 17-3 win over the Jaguars.

Video Games

With first place in the NFC West on the line, the 49ers appear to be a little tight about walking into the Panthers' den in Charlotte this Sunday. After spending time with Carolina players in the video room for a feature on the Panthers' blitz-from-all-angles defense, a Fox crew tried to get San Francisco's take on why the scheme is so effective. The Niners wouldn't let quarterback Steve Young do similar on-camera analysis.

San Francisco has been busy answering questions about its own passing game. The NFL's strangest early-season stat: Despite scoring 61 points in their first two games, the 49ers have no passing touchdowns with Young, the most efficient passer of the '90s, at the helm. "This is a building period for us," says Bill Walsh, the Niners' offensive adviser. "We're doing everything we can to develop a running game, because great teams have to have running games to win in the playoffs. We're dominating on defense, and we're trying to control the game. There's no question the passing game will be there for us when we need it."

Dispatches

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, the chairman of the NFL broadcast committee, scoffed at Raiders owner Al Davis's recent prediction that rights fees will double when the league negotiates its next TV contract, in 1997. Fox, NBC, ESPN and TNT paid $4.4 billion for a four-year contract in 1994. "Consider the source," Bowlen said. "Al doesn't know what he's talking about." Bowlen added that he is opposed to a weekly Thursday-night game—there are only two such dates in '96—because he believes it would dilute the product....

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