Features

Boom to doom

National

Issue: "Terror on trial," Oct. 18, 2003

Fortunes in the NFL seem to change as fast as the weather on the Great Plains. Maybe faster when you consider the Buffalo Bills. Once this season the Bills were proud owners of a 2-0 record and the pick of some to advance to the NFL's Promised Land. Then came two losses and nearly a third to Cincinnati. Someone should have checked the barometric pressure. The Bills overtime victory over Cincinnati in Week 5 pointed as much to the Bills injury problems as it did the league's penchant for devouring early title contenders.

Remember Oakland? Yes, the Raiders were part of last season's Super Bowl, but by their sluggish start, you might not know it. Or how about the New York Jets who went from boom to doom faster than you can say Chad Pennington.

With the NFL's much-ballyhooed parity, it shouldn't be at all surprising that five of the eight division leaders after five games had losing records in 2002. In fact, each of the NFC's four divisions was led by 2002 losers, including Dallas and Minnesota, who both lost 10 or more games last season.

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Still, some things remain constant. Arizona Cardinals fans have come to expect losses as often as hot days.

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