Riggs Gains 158 Yards, Leads by 83

From Times Wire Services

If the Raiders' Marcus Allen is going to win the NFL rushing title, it won't be easy.

Gerald Riggs saw to that Sunday as he gained 158 yards in 39 carries in the Atlanta Falcons' 16-10 victory over the New Orleans Saints. That makes him the NFL's rushing leader with 1,719 yards, 83 more than Allen has going into tonight's game against the Rams at Anaheim Stadium.

"To get right to the point, I'll definitely be watching what Allen does," Riggs said. "I wish him the best of luck. You know, we played against each other in college."

Riggs played at Arizona State, Allen at USC.

Riggs also set an Atlanta club record for rushing yards in a season. The old mark of 1,567 was set by William Andrews in 1983.

Sunday's game may be the last for Saint Coach Wade Phillips, who has served as interim coach since his father, Bum Phillips, resigned in November.

In Phillips' first game as head coach, the Saints beat the Rams, 29-3. The Saints, who finished 5-11, lost the next three. Phillips has said he doesn't expect to be rehired.

The Falcons finished 4-12, and Henning's job also may be in jeopardy.

Sunday, Henning said: "We've just won a game and I've just told the players what I want them to do to get ready for next year. I have a short memory and we're 2 and 0 in the last two games."

A two-yard touchdown run by Riggs in the second quarter and three field goals by Mick Luckhurst provided the Falcons with all the points they needed Sunday.

The attendance was 37,717, the second-smallest home crowd in the history of the New Orleans franchise. The only smaller crowd was 30,396 for a game against Minnesota in 1980 when the Saints were 0-12 and en route to a 1-15 season.

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