Most important, from the league's standpoint, no games on Sunday were decided by blown calls. Ownership appears to be rock-solid in its hard-line stance in negotiations with the regular officials. After the officials rejected the NFL's latest offer of a 150% raise over five years, the league yanked the offer off the table last weekend and replaced it with a 75% increase over seven years.
"This game's overofficiated anyway," says Bills owner Ralph Wilson. "You see as many flags at our games as they have at parades down Broadway. As far as I'm concerned, we can use the new guys all season."
My Two Cents
1. The NFL's top scorer this season will be Tennessee kicker Joe Nedney, who's on his sixth team at the ripe age of 28. He's the sure thing mat former Titan Al Del Greco once was—with a range eight yards longer.
2. Best rookie runner in 2001: Vikings back Michael Bennett, who will gain 1,400 yards. Best rookie defender: Rams tackle Damione Lewis, who will get 12 sacks. Best rookie, period: Bucs left tackle Kenyatta Walker, who will become running back Warrick Dunn's best friend. Quickly.