Make the Kansas City Chiefs the first team to spoil the fun for the NFL's Big Six.
Unless, of course, you want to add the Chiefs to the mix and make it the Big Seven.Entering Sunday's games, the San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Raiders were a combined 38-4. Moreover, those four losses had been internal - the Giants beat the Dolphins, the Dolphins beat the Bills, the Bills beat the Raiders and the Raiders beat the Bears.
Until the Chiefs beat the Raiders 9-7 Sunday in a game akin to the old days when Buck Buchanan battled Gene Upshaw and Art Shell.
It certainly wasn't an artistic classic, being played as it was in a 38-degree temperature with rain and sleet.
"It was everything you need for an old-fashioned game except the grass," said Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer, who had 38-year-old Mike Webster playing center in place of rookie Tim Grunhard, whose father died last week.
Moreover, if it did nothing else, it brought additional interest to the division races, putting the Chiefs (5-3) just a game behind the Raiders in the AFC West at the halfway mark.
While no team leads by less than three games in the NFC, all three AFC races are close. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are at 5-4 in the Central and Houston (4-5) is a game behind. Buffalo and Miami both are 7-1 atop the AFC East.
But that doesn't interest Chiefs' fans.
While 70,951 of the 77,937 who bought tickets to Sunday's game showed up, at least a third of them had cleared out by halftime, preferring taverns adjacent to the Truman Sports Complex for their viewing rather than the raw weather at Arrowhead.
In his first four games, the ones where the Steelers didn't score an offensive touchdown, Bubby Brister's quarterback rating was 41.1.
In the last five, four of them Pittsburgh wins, it's 129.0.
And his two touchdown passes in Sunday's 21-9 victory over Atlanta gave him 13 for this season, four more than he had last year.
When will they ever learn?
The 49ers' 24-20 victory over Green Bay gave them 16 straight wins and avenged their last loss, 21-17 to the Packers at Candlestick last year. That includes playoff games.
But it might not have happened if the Packers decided on a regular kickoff rather than a squib with 38 seconds left in the half. Green Bay led 10-0 at the time. The 49ers took over at their 41 and Montana had them in the end zone three plays and 27 seconds later.
Strangest dream . . .
Kansas City's Kevin Porter said he had a dream Saturday night that his teammate Deron Cherry, playing in his first game this year, would tackle Bo Jackson and force him to fumble. Porter also dreamed the fumble would occur on Cherry's first play.
So Cherry, out since last Dec. 17 because of a knee injury, entered the Chiefs-Raiders game late in the first quarter on the same series on which Jackson entered.
And Cherry, a four-time All-Pro, put his helmet on the ball and knocked it loose, much to the delight of the crowd that cheers Jackson for baseball's Kansas City Royals.
"You should have seen his face when it happened because we had just talked about it in the locker room," Cherry said of Porter.
Add Kevin Porter
Porter himself had a blocked punt, the fifth for the Chiefs this season. With Cherry's forced fumble, they created six of Kansas City's nine points.
But credit Albert Lewis, who has three of the blocked punts, for Porter's block.
Class of '79
Three quarterbacks drafted in 1979 remain active in the NFL.
Phil Simms, the Giants' first-rounder, played Monday night in Indianapolis. The other two had a day worthy of this season, the year of the old-timer. Joe Montana, San Francisco, third round, 25 of 40 for 411 yards.
Ho hum? How about Jeff Rutledge, Washington, drafted by the Rams in the fourth round? He simply entered the Redskins' game in Detroit in the third quarter after Stan Humphries threw three interceptions and was 30 of 42 for 363 yards as Washington rallied from a 35-14 deficit to win 41-38 in overtime.
Trios and pairs
A lot of Rutledge's yardage came from The Posse - Rickey Sanders, Art Monk and Gary Clark. The trio combined for 432 receiving yards.
Monk caught 13 passes for 168 yards and Sanders and Clark each had 132 - Sanders on 11 catches and Clark on eight as Washington got 675 yards in offense.
Then there was Randall Cunningham, who ran eight times for 124 yards in the Philadelphia Eagles' 48-20 rout of the Patriots. That gave Cunningham, who also threw four touchdown passes, the third-best single game total ever for a quarterback - behind the 129 by Jack Concannon of the '66 Eagles and the 127 by Bobby Douglass of the '72 Bears.
Heath Sherman also got 100 for the Eagles - 123 yards in 24 carres.
And with Dalton Hilliard injured, the Saints used both Craig Heyward and Rueben Mayes against the Bengals. Heyward ran for 122 yards on 19 carries after getting just 35 yards total in New Orleans' first seven games. Mayes had 30 carries for 115 yards.
Let's just play the front nine
If it's games were halted at halftime, Denver would be 8-0.
Unfortunately, they play 60 minutes. Including Sunday night's 27-22 loss to Minnesota, in which they blew a 16-0 lead, the Broncos have been outscored 135-59 after halftime.
On the other hand . . .
Not only can't Pittsburgh start seasons right (outscored 92-10 in two games last year; no offensive TDs in their first four this year), they can't start games right.
Last Monday night, the Los Angeles Rams' Gaston Green returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. The Steelers won 41-10.
On Sunday, Larry Griffin of Pittsburgh fumbled the opening kickoff at the 22, leading to an Atlanta field goal. The Steelers won 21-9.
Vinny Testaverde had thrown four interceptions on 162 passes entering Tampa Bay's 26-6 loss to the Bears on Sunday.
Then he threw four interceptions on six passes in part of a streak where he was 2 of 14 for 13 yards. He finished the day with five interceptions.
Carrier vs. Carrier
Testaverde (see above) completed five passes to Mark Carrier on Sunday. Three were to John Mark Carrier of Tampa Bay. Two were to Mark Anthony Carrier of Chicago.
The two Carriers, distant cousins, had never before met. Thank Vinny for the intro.
Defense, Florida style
Miami has won all six regular-season games it has played with the Cardinals, the most recent a 23-3 victory on Sunday. In the game, Kurt Wilson and E.J. Junior, two former Cardinals, had two of the Dolphins' four sacks.
Miami hasn't allowed a touchdown in 10 quarters.