1. Jerry Rice Welcome to the NFL, Steve Mariucci. An MRI confirmed the 49ers' worst fears when Rice wrenched his left knee against the Buccaneers: torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments. The 10-time All-Pro, who for the past decade has held the Niners together, is out for the year. San Francisco will be lost without him.
2. New York, New York Parcells for president. And Gotham will be pushing Jim Fassel as his running mate. The underdog Jets won by 38 in Parcells's debut, the underdog Giants by 14 in Fassel's.
3. TV talks CBS czar Mel Karmazin met recently with influential owners Bob Kraft and Jerry Jones, both members of the league's television committee. Kraft and Jones came away thinking CBS is serious about getting back into the NFL. Look for the next TV contract, which will begin in '98, to increase by at least 40% over the current $4.3 billion deal.
4. Bills To Pay Uh-oh, Buffalo. The Bills, having failed to sell out their home opener for the first time since 1985, announced a six-year, $28 million extension for defensive end Bruce Smith, then gave up 385 yards in a 34-13 bludgeoning by Minnesota.
5. Lawrence Phillips His totals in the Rams' 38-24 win over the Saints: 26 carries, 125 yards, three touchdowns...and four hugs from coach-father figure Dick Vermeil. "We've been through a lot together," Vermeil said. "Visits to jail, talks about the most amazing and personal subjects you can imagine. And you know what? There will be more days like this one."