- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2001

From combined dispatches
The Pittsburgh Steelers' most dominating performance over a division opponent since their last playoff season in 1997 gave them control of the AFC Central.
The next two weeks could very well determine how long they will stay in first place just until the division's true power takes over, or long enough that it might prove difficult to dislodge them.
The Steelers, enjoying their first 5-1 start in five years after beating Tennessee 34-7 Monday night, stay at home Sunday to play defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore (4-3) in a game that suddenly has become one of the division's biggest all season.
Then, the Steelers travel to Cleveland (4-2), which trails them by a game in the upside-down AFC Central. Not many predicted in August that a Browns-Steelers game in November might prove critical to deciding the champion of a division the Ravens and Titans (2-4) were expected to overpower again.
Now, the Titans might be another loss or two from falling out of the division race, and the Ravens have little margin for error with the Steelers winning much like Baltimore did a year ago with a controlling defense and the NFL's best running game.
OWNERS: NFL owners are expected to ratify a three-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement with the players union today, although they now want the players to help pay for the fast-growing cost of additional security.
The September 11 terrorist attacks forced the NFL to greatly increase security at all games, and commissioner Paul Tagliabue said yesterday that one of the several remaining unresolved issues with the CBA extension deals with paying for that security.
The NFL Management Council and the NFL Players Association agreed in June to the extension, which would assure the league of labor peace through the 2007 season. It would be the fourth extension of the original CBA reached in 1993, and it would give the NFL labor peace for 20 years since its last labor-related interruption, the 1987 strike.

TITANS: Tennessee might have to rest All-Pro running back Eddie George.
The 1995 Heisman Trophy winner has never missed a start, a streak that has reached 86 straight games. But he hyperextended his left knee, bruised his left thigh and re-sprained his right ankle Monday night in a 34-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Coach Jeff Fisher said that George, who was not available on the players' day off, is very sore, prompting the question of whether resting him Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) would allow him to heal.

COWBOYS: Emmitt Smith won't practice today because of his sprained right knee, but Dallas is optimistic the second-leading rusher in NFL history won't miss a game.
Coach Dave Campo said that MRI tests showed Smith has a "relatively mild" sprain of his medial collateral ligament.

PATRIOTS: Terry Glenn says he was fined $4,000 by New England for refusing to work out on a step exercise machine.
The wide receiver already is out nearly $9 million in bonuses and is playing for minimum salary because he left the team following a league suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.
Glenn said he was fined by coach Bill Belichick for refusing to get on the exercise machine Oct. 24 immediately after running. He said he was unable to use the machine because his leg hurt. He missed the last two games because of a sore hamstring.

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