SI Vault
Peter King
December 11, 1989
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December 11, 1989

The Week That Was

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Philadelphia quarterback Randall Cunningham says he was especially motivated for Sunday's 24-17 win over the Giants, because New York's general manager, George Young, and coach, Bill Parcells, wouldn't call him a legend several weeks ago on a segment of This Is the NFL. Young said that Cunningham has "a great opportunity" to be a legendary quarterback, and Parcells said, "I'd like to have him on my team." Those were knocks?

More weirdness: Parcells banned TV cameras from practice on Friday because of the cameramen's preoccupation with shooting the feet of Lawrence Taylor, who had a hairline fracture in his ankle, and Phil Simms, who had a sprained ankle. Fittingly, Cunningham and feet played a huge part in the game. The score was tied 17-17 early in the fourth quarter when the Eagles faced fourth-and-33 at their own two, with a stiff wind at their backs. Coach Buddy Ryan told Cunningham—who averaged 45.2 yards a punt at UNLV—to stay in and do the booting. Cunningham launched a missile from his end zone that didn't come down for 65 yards. The ball bounced to the New York seven before Giants return man Dave Meggett picked it up. The punt traveled 91 yards in all, an Eagle record. "Randall's the best punter in football," said Ryan, who has allowed Cunningham to punt four times this year, despite the risk of injury. Said Eagle safety Andre Waters, "The gifts he's received from God are just unbelievable."

As were the gifts Philly received from the Giants. New York had five turnovers, four of which set up all the Eagles' points. A Simms fumble was returned for a touchdown, as was the first of his two interceptions. The Eagles' two scoring drives: seven plays, 12 yards; three plays, seven yards. Strange days, indeed.

Minnesota made Wade Wilson a million-dollar-a-year quarterback in the off-season. On Sunday night, in the season's 13th game—a critical 27-16 victory over the Bears—Wilson threw his fifth and sixth touchdowns of the year.

Bernie Kosar entered last season with a streak of 21 games in which he had thrown a touchdown pass. Since then he has failed to throw a TD pass in 10 of the 22 games he has played, including Sunday's 21-0 loss to the Bengals. In the third quarter, Kosar was uncharacteristically booed by the home crowd. He later left the game with a sore elbow.

The Dolphins led the Steelers 14-0 in the second quarter of their game two weeks ago. Over the next 73 minutes of play—38 against Pittsburgh and 35 on Sunday in Kansas City—Miami committed eight turnovers and was out-scored 50-0. The Dolphins lost to the Chiefs, 26-21.

Jim Hanifan brought three fake sticks of dynamite into the locker room before his first game as interim coach of the Falcons. "This is the way I want you guys to play today!" he said, waving the bundle at them. "Explosive!" Atlanta exploded for 10 points and 37 rushing yards.


?Do not adjust your TV: On Sunday, the Bears, who have a three-game losing streak, play the Lions, who have a two-game winning streak.

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