SI Vault
Paul Zimmerman
September 15, 1997
Everyone in the NFC East is 1-1. The Vikings meet the Buccaneers for the undisputed lead in the NFC Central. The 49ers, just barely clinging to life and down to their third quarterback, are tied for the lead in the NFC West, which doesn't really have a team capable of leading anything. Things are getting weird, folks, and it isn't even autumn yet.
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September 15, 1997

Dr. Z's Forecast

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The Bills are on a roll, so they take the Chiefs apart in K.C., right? Uh-uh. Look for Kansas City to beat Buffalo for a reason I've never favored before but which seems a bit more meaningful this time. The noise, the crowd—that sea of red at Arrowhead seems to make the Bills goofy. Even in their four Super Bowl seasons they saved their worst games for Arrowhead: two trips, two big losses.

The 49ers will stay on top in the NFC West with a win over the Saints. The offense is a mess, but San Francisco can still play defense, and now New Orleans will test it with Heath Shuler and his 28.1 passer rating. A far-out prediction: San Francisco's defense will score more points than its offense, but it'll be close.

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