Two-minute drill

September 21, 1999|By Ken Murray

Questions

Who says the price for quarterback Brad Johnson was too high? The Redskins gave three draft picks (first- and third-rounders this year, second-rounder in 2000) to the Vikings to get him, but look at what he's done. In two games against teams with playoff aspirations, he's generated an NFL-high 85 points and 899 yards in total offense -- without a star running back or wide receiver.

Does offensive coordinator Ray Sherman deserve blame for the Vikings' offensive malaise, or does it reach higher? Like coach Dennis Green, who took a quarterback of the future and a no-show defensive end in the first round of the draft?

With all their front office gaffes, what do the Bengals possibly have to sell to their long-suffering fans except the sparkle of a new stadium next season?

Answers

As long as the Patriots have elite quarterback Drew Bledsoe and a competent corps of receivers, they'll be competitive, even in the tenacious AFC East.

With quarterback Jeff Blake going down in Week 2, the lengthy holdout of first-round pick Akili Smith will sabotage any chance the Bengals had of making progress this season.

There is no doubt the Lions' Bobby Ross can coach, even if Barry Sanders fails to see it. Beating the Packers without Sanders or injured wide receiver Herman Moore was a masterstroke for Ross.

Issues

It is almost painful to watch the slow but steady decline of the 49ers' dynasty, especially the pummeling that quarterback Steve Young is forced to endure behind an overmatched offensive line. Were it not for Young and old warrior Jerry Rice, the 49ers already would have collapsed into mediocrity or worse.

Young absorbed five sacks and a withering pass rush from the Saints on Sunday, and willed the 49ers to a 28-21 victory. Without better protection, the 49ers will be hard-pressed to keep Young upright through 14 more games.

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