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Cross Previews NFL's Week 5


The St. Louis Rams have turned it all around and are undefeated. Terrell Davis, suffering from a season-ending knee injury, will not be able to help the 0-4 defending champion Denver Broncos. And when will the San Francisco 49ers star quarterback Steve Young make his return? What turn of events will happen in Week 5 of the 1999-2000 NFL season.

To help you out CBS.com will be sitting down with CBS Sports announcers all season to give you their previews and opinions about current NFL news and each week's schedule.

CBS Sports' analyst Randy Cross is hear to kickoff the fifth week of the season.

CBS.com: Due to injuries, a lot of the NFL's premier players have been dropping like flies this season. Do you feel this will effect the fan's interest as the season rolls along?

Randy Cross: Well, as the season rolls along no. I think in the the short term people are going to say, wow no Terrell Davis... we have already lost Barry Sanders and Elway and the other people that have gone down. I think there is a pretty good laundry list of it. Well, I think in the long run no. Because if you are ignoring what is going on, I think you are missing a lot.

You're seeing great players like Kurt Warnerof St. Louis. An unbelievable story at quarterback and other players around the league. Stoney Case of the Baltimore Ravens. There are all kinds of guys that are trying to rear their heads above the pile. And you have got to pay attention in the NFL because... I think my colleague Jerry Glanville was quoted one time on the sideline talking to the referee that the NFL stood for, "Not For Long". Well guys don't stay around for long in the NFL. You have got to get used to them moving. And they are usually moving out.

CBS.com: Looking at the number of surprise teams that are either leading or close to their division lead, how many do you feel will still be at the top come the playoffs?

Randy Cross: I would be really surprised if you look at the standings after Week 4 and look at the standings after Week 12, if there is much of a similarity. New England has go a chance of being where they are at right now. I think some other teams do. Does St. Louis have a chance of being 12-1 or 10-3, or whatever it is going to be, 10-2. I don't know. It is really too early to say.

I think the solid teams - the solid organizations - that do their business and do their work year-in and year-out, and get there... will be back there. It is really the challenges to the St. Louis' and the people like that who haven't been there before to adust to the rarified air of actually being a decent team.

CBS.com: What key match-ups or games should we look out for in Week 5?

Randy Cross: Well, I think it would be easy to look at the marquis game, Miami and Indianapolis, and go nuts. The Dolphins and the Colts, as it already is, would be a great match-up. If it wasn't for Marino and Peyton Manning. What else could you ask for. The old guy and the young guy.


CBS
Randy Cross
And Marino might be making his last appearance against the Colts, in Indianapolis. There are so many stories there. Coming off a Monday night game, and the fact that Jimmy (Johnson) was kind of dogging Marino in the press. And how great Peyton Manning has played. I think that is a great match-up.

New England at Kansas City. Any time you are playing, or you bring a good team into Arrowhead Stadium it is tough. The crowd is crazy and the team plays completely different at home.

There are all kinds of games. I think I look at a list of our games here at CBS. Pittsburgh at Buffalo. How much can Kordell Stewart struggle? A lot of people in Pittsburgh say he can struggle a long time. This is not the week to get healthy against the Buffalo Bills. Because, as you saw Monday night they are playing some unbelievable defense.

CBS.com: A number of teams have been playing above their expectationsÂ… what players, if any, have surprised you this season?

Randy Cross: Where exactly would you like to start. There are quite a fw. You can say Errict Rhett in Baltimore. Running the ball the way he has. You can say Az-(zahir) Hakim in St. Louis. Last week four touchdowns, being the huge threat he has been. You can say Kurt Warner, the quarterback of the St. Louis Rams and the great season he has had.

You can really go down a pretty significant list. That is one of the great things I think about '99... that people have to start emphasizing and looking at, is a lot of our action and a lot of our stars, and a lot of our huge stats and great performances are coming from people that people kind of say are unkown types. Well, they are not going to be unkown long if they keep playing at this rate.

Produced by James Hutton and Larry Roth

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