With only one week remaining in the regular season, it's time for all-league honors.
Coach of the year: Any vote that doesn't go to Jim Mora of the New Orleans Saints should be thrown out.
Most outstanding player: San Francisco's Jerry Rice. Anytime a wide receiver can catch 20 touchdown passes in 11 games, from two quarterbacks, and at least one every week for a dozen games, he wins hands down. Mark Clayton's 18 touchdown receptions in 16 games were impressive; Rice matched that in 11 games. 49ers quarterback Joe Montana's injury took him out of the running.
Most valuable player: Yes, it's a copout to pick an MVP and an outstanding player, but where would the Denver Broncos be without John Elway? He's completed 56 percent of his passes with 19 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. Without Elway, the Broncos probably would be the Raiders.
Defensive player of the year: Philadelphia end Reggie White's 19 sacks in 11 games say it all.
Offensive rookie of the year: Miami's Troy Stradford. Bo Jackson got all the attention but Stradford is the first Dolphin in five years to rush for 100 yards three times in one season. He's rushed for 592 yards and caught 46 passes for 447 yards.
Defensive rookie of the year: Cornelius Bennett. Apologies to teammate and fellow linebacker Shane Conlan, who will lead the Bills in tackles. But Bennett's play, since joining the team on Halloween, has opened up things for Conlan and end Bruce Smith. In only seven full games, Bennett has 4 1/2 sacks and forced two fumbles.
All-Pro team: Backfield -- Montana (66 percent completion rate, 29 touchdowns, 13 interceptions), Rams' Charles White (1,279 yards rushing) and Colts' Eric Dickerson (1,092 yards). Apologies to Cowboys' Herschel Walker (more than 1,500 yards from scrimmage).
Wide receivers -- Rice and J.T. Smith of St. Louis (80 receptions, 1,015 yards and seven touchdowns). Apologies to Washington's Gary Clark and Philadelphia's Mike Quick. Tight end -- Giants' Mark Bavaro (49 receptions, 758 yards, seven touchdowns).
Offensive linemen -- Cincinnati's Anthony Munoz and Washington's Joe Jacoby at tackle, the Rams' Tom Newberry and Houston's Mike Munchak at guard, Indianapolis' Ray Donaldson at center.
Defensive linemen -- Ends White of Philadelphia and Smith of Buffalo and San Francisco nose tackle Michael Carter. Apologies to Minnesota's Chris Doleman, Washington's Charles Mann and Seattle's Jacob Green.
Linebackers -- Giants' Carl Banks, New Orleans' Pat Swilling, New England's Andre Tippett. Apologies to Seattle's Fredd Young and St. Louis' Freddie Joe Nunn.
Backs -- Washington's Barry Wilburn and Cleveland's Frank Minnifield at the corners, San Francisco's Ronnie Lott and Minnesota's Joey Browner at the safeties.
Special teams -- Place kicker, Indianapolis' Dean Biasucci (23 of 26 field goals); punter, San Diego's Ralf Mojsiejenko (42.7 yards per kick, 13 inside the 20); return man, St. Louis' Vai Sikahema (only NFL player in top five in punt and kick returns). 'What Should Boz Do?'
The city of Seattle has not taken kindly to Brian Bosworth's remarks to The Washington Post that he has "zero fun" playing in the Pacific Northwest, that he doesn't get along too well with most of his teammates and that his entire stay there has been a downer. One local television station devoted a six-hour poll last week to asking fans, "What should Boz do?" Of the more than 40,000 who responded, nearly 29 percent said The Boz should go home, while 26 percent said he should give it time. And the Seattle Times is conducting a reader poll of "What to give Boz for Christmas to lift his spirits . . . "
Unhappy Player Part II: Anthony Carter, the Minnesota Vikings' leading receiver this season, figures he should have more than 34 catches this season, even though his 24-yard-per-catch average leads the NFL. "Sometimes, I wonder why they don't just trade me," he told reporters in Minneapolis . . .
Of the 14 games this weekend, 10 have playoff significance. But one that doesn't also bears watching. A matchup of two 3-11 teams, Detroit at Atlanta, will help decide who gets the first pick in the NFL college draft. The winner (of the game) could be the loser by slipping to third while the loser will be the winner by doing no worse than tying Kansas City, the worst team in the AFC at 3-11. In case of a tie, the team with the weakest schedule gets the No. 1 pick. So far, that's Detroit. Quote of the Week
Lester Hayes, the veteran Raiders defensive back who may not be back with the team next year: "I think I have two or three good years left in my anatomy. I want to spend those final three with Bo (Thorpe) Jackson. If it's not meant to be, I will not only feel like Bernard King, I will be like Bernard King. I will be someplace else, being successful. By the year 2000, I'll be like J.R. Ewing. I'll have my own town: Judgeville, Texas."The Upset Pick
The UP has rebounded to play .500 for the last three weeks, but still stands at 5-12 for the season. Plenty of upsets to pick the final week, however. Pittsburgh over Cleveland, Buffalo over Philadelphia, Dallas over St. Louis and the Raiders over the slumping Bears.