An upsetting day

Somewhere, Pete Rozelle had to be smiling.

The former NFL commissioner was also its prime proponent of parity, seeing an NFL utopia in which the have-nots could knock off the haves on any particular Sunday.


Yesterday was such a long-shot day. To what degree? Well, all six division winners got knocked off.

But it wasn't just the final scores, it was the curious way those scores materialized.


For instance, Washington had won 11 straight, was playing at home against a team that had lost three of its past four and would lose its quarterback early in the third period. Easy win, right? Nope, Cowboys, 24-21.

The richly (especially Dan Marino) tanned Dolphins facing a snowstorm in Chicago? But it was the rugged Bears of Iron Mike Ditka who were defeated when a Dolphins receiver slipped . . . and still caught a long pass in overtime.

Speaking of overtime, New Orleans (9-2 like the Bears going in) had Atlanta pinned on its 2 in the extra session. Saints win? Not yesterday. Five plays later the Falcons had kicked a game-winning field goal.

The 10-1 Bills had a chance to win in the last minute against the 3-8 Patriots, who had only lost their last four in the closing minutes. But this time New England held on, 16-13.

In Pittsburgh, Houston's Warren Moon was expected to tear up a Steelers defense that had given up 726 passing yards the last two games. Five Moon interceptions later, it was 26-14 Steelers.

And in Seattle, 8-3 Denver was given two fumbles by Seahawks quarterback Dave Krieg, but still lost, 13-10.