Blame the miserable weather for 15,062 no-shows at Ericsson
Stadium, where the Panthers hosted the Bucs; blame a matchup of
miserable teams for the smallest NFL crowd--26,310--ever in New
Orleans, where the Saints fell to the Rams; and blame a
combination of the two for the record 55,985 Jets ticket holders
who avoided New York's 12th loss of the fall, a 35-10 soaking by
Houston....A banner in the Superdome on Sunday read, FIRE
EVERYONE. KEEP LOSING. WE WANT PEYTON. But New Orleans native
and Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning, a junior who could
declare for the April draft, has reservations about playing in
his hometown, following in the footsteps of his father, former
Saints QB Archie Manning, and joining a 2-11 team that is headed
in the wrong direction....Chicago Bears quarterback Dave Krieg,
who earlier this season established career records in the
dubious categories of most fumbles and most times being sacked,
placed himself in better company during Sunday's 28-17 loss at
Green Bay. Krieg, 38, threw the 256th and 257th TD passes of his
career, moving him into fifth place on the alltime list. The
names ahead of him? Marino, Tarkenton, Unitas and Montana....
Since 1978, 14 teams have gone 8-0 at home; of those, 10
advanced to the conference title game. So far this year the
Broncos, the Packers, the Panthers and the Steelers are unbeaten
at home....Dallas kicker Chris Boniol works hard for his money.
Boniol, who earns a league minimum $196,000, has made 21
straight field goals, including seven in one game, and is 75 of
87 for his career....The 6-7 Raiders put forth their best effort
of the Mike White era against the Dolphins, intercepting Dan
Marino three times and limiting Miami's ground attack to 1.7
yards per carry in a 17-7 win. One question: Is it too late?...
Oakland's Tim Brown became the alltime NFL punt return leader
when he ran back his 293rd, against Miami. Brown has returned
two punts for TDs in nine seasons.