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THE WEEK THAT WAS
Peter King
September 25, 1989
OLD BIRDS NEVER DIE
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September 25, 1989

The Week That Was

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OLD BIRDS NEVER DIE

In the preseason, 32-year-old Roy Green and 33-year-old J.T. Smith, Green's receiving mate with the Cardinals, made a deal. "Let's make sure when we leave this game, it's because we want to, not because somebody tells us we're too old," said Green. Deal. Now it has been, heck, at least two weeks since anyone has told Smith and Green that they're over the hill. That's because of performances like Sunday's. In a 34-24 upset of the Seahawks in Seattle, Smith and Green, the oldest wide-receiver tandem in the NFL, combined for 270 receiving yards and four TDs.

After two games, no starting-receiver duo has as many yards as Smith's and Green's 425 (on 27 catches). "That's pretty good," said Smith on the flight home from Seattle. "Us old guys can't play no more. You know that." The league's second most productive pair, Washington's Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders (average age: 26 years, nine months), have 424 yards on 18 receptions. No. 3 is the Rams' Henry Ellard and Flipper Anderson (26 years, four months), who have 408 yards on 20 catches.

Smith was waived by the Chiefs before the '85 season but landed with the receiver-poor Cards. Now he's irreplaceable. So is Green, who moved from defensive back to wideout on a full-time basis in '82. Green thinks he has three good years of football left in him. "I feel great," he says. And it shows.

PATSIES, AGAIN

Ten minutes into New England's game against Miami, Patriots punter Jeff Feagles had thrown more passes (two) than New England's three backup quarterbacks—Doug Flutie, Marc Wilson and Steve Grogan—have thrown this season. Both of Feagles's passes came on fourth-and-16, both were incomplete, and both led to Dolphin points. Feagles attempted his second pass after a poor snap from center, but the first one was a prearranged fake punt that failed miserably. What's more, coach Raymond Berry called the play with the Pats on their own 20. Eleven minutes into the game Miami led 17-0.

DECADE OF THE BEAR
Chicago's 38-7 win over Minnesota extended one of the most amazing streaks in modern football history. The Bears haven't been out of first place in the NFC Central since the end of the '83 season. That's 81 weeks of regular-season football. Further, Chicago has been alone at the top for 71 of those weeks. "We talked all week that this should be the changing of the guard," said Viking quarterback Wade Wilson. Not yet.

STATS OF THE WEEK

•Washington has 332 rushing yards this season. Skins running back Gerald Riggs has 332 rushing yards this season.

•In 1937 the Lions had only 139 yards in penalties, a record that still stands. In their 41-10 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday, the Steelers had 144.

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