The quotations have a bit more bite to them now that there is more at stake in National Football League games.

Buffalo had a 24-21 lead over New England with 4:39 to play when Coach Chuck Knox of the Bills had punter Rusty Jackson take a voluntary safety by running out of his own end zone.

David Posey of the Patriots kicked a 21-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining for a 26-24 New England victory and said afterward, "The safety wasn't the smartest call I've ever seen. I thought it might have been a challenge to me."

Coach Dick Vermeil of the Philadelphia Eagles said after five turnovers, eight sacks of his quarterbacks and a 31-13 loss to Dallas, "Santa Claus came early for the Cowboys."

After Tim Mazzetti made good on his second field goal attempt, to beat the Redskins, Joe Theismann said, "From a football standpoint, there's no way they (the Atlanta Falcons) should still be in the Playoff picture."

Normally pleasant John Madden erupted when a fan heaved beer at him after his Oakland Raiders lost in Miami. "That blankety-blank," the coach said to a policeman. "Pick one of them out and bring him down here."

Defensive tackle John Matuszak said, "We're most disappointed, but only until Tuesday (when the Raiders resume practice). Then we'll come out and beat Minnesota on Sunday and go out in style."

Coach Madden made an allusion to Coach Red Miller of Denver referring to the Raiders as fat last week: "I've noticed some people are very good winners. I have more respect for Don Shula than anyone in pro football."

AL LoCasale, executive assistant to Al Davis, general managing partner of the Raiders, said he was going to protest to the Pro Football Writers Association because reporters waiting on the field to get to the teams' dressing rooms encroached on the area reserved for the Raiders and their coaches.

Dave Newhouse of the Oakland Tribune and other reporters from the Oakland area said that guard Gene Upshaw of the Raiders used abusive language to Newhouse on the club's charter plane on Friday about a Wednesday story he wrote analyzing their recent slump.

Sunday's Sacramento (Calif.) Bee quoted Davis as criticizing the Raiders publicly for the first time this season particularly quarterback Ken Stabler, who ran his interceptions to 30 in Miami. "Every season you hope the best player on your team plays up to 90 percent of his capabilities. If he plays up to 75 percent you can get by. But if he plays at 65 percent it could mean a difference in two games," the newspaper quoted Davis as saying.

Asked if he was displeased about Miller calling the Raiders fat, Davis said, "I'm glad Miller said that. That meant I didn't have to say it. For us, that was the only good thing to come out of that game," the story said.