Jerry Rice showed he's a receiver for all seasons.
He caught his 101st touchdown pass on a rainy Sunday at Candlestick Park to become the league's all-time leader. In the process, he helped the San Francisco 49ers to a 27-3 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
"I've been chasing this for a long, long time," Rice said. "It's a lot of pressure off me now. I can go next week and relax."
Rice, who tied Seattle's Steve Largent with his 100th scoring reception last week, caught a 12-yard pass from Steve Young for the record-setter with 8:56 remaining.
"I still admire Steve Largent," Rice said. "He played an important part in my football career--just watching him come up with catches--unbelievable catches."
Rice, though, set the record in his eighth season; it took Largent 14.
"He's probably the best receiver who's ever played the game, and he showed that ability today in making great catches in tough weather," Miami quarterback Dan Marino said of Rice.
After an intentional grounding penalty set the 49ers back, Rice ran a quick slant to beat the single coverage by J.B. Brown, coming open over the middle, where he gathered in Young's pass as the rain poured.
"I wanted to stay in the game and help the team to win. At the end, I got the chance," Rice said. "Steve put the ball right where I could catch it."
He was mobbed by teammates in the end zone and then ran off the field triumphantly, thrusting the ball into the air.
"It was unfortunate for me," Brown said, "but those things happen and you just have to go on."
Rice, the 49ers' all-time leading receiver, finished with seven receptions for 79 yards. He has 593 catches, ninth on the NFL list, and he surpassed 10,000 receiving yards, the ninth player to do so. He has 10,037.
"I was really happy it came when it did," Young said of Rice's score. "It put the game away."
Miami (8-5) conceded after Rice's touchdown, bringing on reserve quarterback Scott Mitchell for Marino.
"That's about as bad as it gets--we never challenged them," Miami Coach Don Shula said. "It would be pretty hard to feel good about anything that happened out there."
Marino completed 19 of 31 passes for 192 yards, but he couldn't get the Dolphins into the end zone despite playing against a secondary that was ranked last in the league.
"We still continue to stop ourselves with penalties and turnovers," Marino said. "We didn't really get anything going."
The Dolphins, losers of five of seven after a 6-0 start, lost a chance to gain ground in the AFC East since Buffalo lost for the second week in a row.
San Francisco (11-2), which clinched a playoff berth last week, won its fifth in a row as fullback Tom Rathman scored twice. Rathman's 27-yard touchdown catch and one-yard scoring run gave San Francisco a 13-0 halftime lead.
Rice barely missed breaking the record on the play before Rathman's touchdown run. On a first-and-goal from the three, Young rolled out and threw to Rice, but Brown pushed Rice out of bounds inches short of the goal line.