Bills at Giants. When Bill Polian became Buffalo general manager before the 1986 season, he knew he had to build a weatherproof team as well as a talented one. "When you play in this part of the country," he says, "you'd better be able to run the ball in November and December to survive the wind and cold." The AFC East-leading Bills (11-2) are still trying to find their polar legs. They're 4-6 at cold-weather sites in December and January since '86. During the same period, the 11-2 Giants, who have built their conservative, smash-mouth team to play well in the frigid Northeast, have gone 14-4 at cold-weather sites.
Oilers at Chiefs. When the wind comes whipping down the plain and into Arrowhead Stadium, you've got to like 9-4 Kansas City's chances to win its first AFC West title since 1971, with 260-pound Christian Okoye and 240-pound Barry Word leading a ground-oriented attack. Houston, on the other hand, gains an NFL-high 76.8% of its yards through the air and prefers the cozy setting of a domed field. To prevail over the Bengals and the Steelers in the AFC Central race, the 7-6 Oilers have to prove that they can win under adverse weather conditions.
Bengals at Raiders. Before these teams met in '89, Cincinnati coach Sam Wyche was so impressed with Bo Jackson that he said he felt like getting Bo's autograph. Wyche was even more impressed when Jackson had the longest run from scrimmage in Raider history-92 yards-while piling up 159 rushing yards in a 28-7 win over Cincy. Bo & Co., 8-4 entering Monday night's game at Detroit and trying to keep pace with K.C. in the AFC West, must be relishing the rematch. The 7-6 Bengals are allowing 4.7 yards per rush, the second-worst average in the NFL.