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PRO FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT

FLYING INTO THE WIND

It wasn’t quite like outrunning the wind, but it was close enough for Raiders’ fleet receiver Raghib Ismail.

Sprinting into a New Jersey wind that was gusting up to 40 miles per hour, Ismail was able to chase down a high toss from quarterback Jeff Hostetler, turning it into a 40-yard touchdown reception.

Ismail was open down the middle, so the only question was: Could Hostetler throw it that far into the gale?

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Yes, so far that Ismail needed the wind to slow it down for him.

“Into the wind, that definitely surprised me,” Ismail said. “There was a lot of juice on it, and the wind helped me get to it.”

Maybe, Ismail suggested, Hostetler was revved by his first game in front of a Giants crowd since he left the Giants three years ago.

“Jeff was pumped, man,” Ismail said.

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“Even in the pregame, when he was throwing, he was saying, ‘I want to win this game, I want this bad.’ ”

INJURY REPORT

Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman left his game against the 49ers with a bruised left knee and is scheduled to undergo X-rays today. . . . Oiler quarterback Chris Chandler suffered an injury to his right leg after suffering a third quarter sack, and did not return. X-rays on Sunday showed no ligament damage, but his status for upcoming games was not yet determined.

Denver quarterback John Elway suffered a concussion in the first half against Philadelphia and did not return. . . . Chicago safety Mark Carrier twisted his left knee. . . . Indianapolis quarterback Paul Justin sprained his right knee. . . . Dolphin guard Chris Gray sprained his left ankle. . . . Atlanta defensive back Anthony Phillips broke his left leg.

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CHEMISTRY LESSON

Rams’ safety Torin Dorn returned an interception for a touchdown in St. Louis’ first-ever game against the Carolina Panthers, and that wasn’t the exciting part.

Dorn, who is from Charlotte, and his wife, Rhonda, gave birth to his first son, Torin Dorn Jr., at 6 a.m. Sunday.

Dorn said he talked on a cellular phone with his wife throughout the night and got about an hour’s sleep.

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“But it was well worth it,” Dorn said. “Playing against Charlotte, I guess it’s some kind of chemistry.”

THE INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS BEING JACKIE SLATER

Rams offensive tackle Jackie Slater was carried off the field by teammates after the St. Louis beat Carolina, but not because he was injured.

After missing the first nine games because of an elbow injury, Slater, 41, was activated from injured reserve for the first time this season, and played in a game for the 20th season. Slater is third on the all-time games played list with 259 and is the only player to last 20 seasons with one team.

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“That kind of caught me off guard,” Slater said of the post-game celebration. “I know that somebody is going have a hernia because of that. I’ve got to be the heaviest guy ever carried off the field.”

A BROKEN RECORD: MARINO BREAKS RECORD, LOSES GAME

The numbers and the records keep piling up for Miami’s Dan Marino, but so do the key losses. Marino’s latest milestone came Sunday, when he passed Fran Tarkenton’s NFL career record for passing yardage.

Marino threw for 333 yards in the Dolphins’ loss to New England, passing Tarkenton’s mark of 47,003 career yards.

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“Breaking Fran’s record, one of the all-time great passers, is something special to me,” Marino said. “Unfortunately, the thing is, you want to win the games that you’re playing when you’re breaking records.”

Marino, who needed 38 yards to beat Tarkenton’s yardage mark, surpassed Tarkenton’s career record for completions earlier this season, but Miami lost that game, too. He needs three touchdown passes to top Tarkenton’s record of 342 in that category.

“For a guy who’s had a career like Dan, I’d love to have him enjoy his accomplishments,” Miami Coach Don Shula said. “He’s not enjoying them now, I can tell you that.”

QUOTEWORTHY

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Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, responding to questions about the perceived instability of the league due to franchise movement:

“After the AFL-NFL merger in 1966, which was the last great period of turmoil, it created a 26-team league in 25 cities, and we’re still in every one of those cities--except two [Baltimore and Los Angeles].”

San Diego Charger Coach Bobby Ross, after his team dropped to 4-6 with a 22-7 loss at home to the Kansas City Chiefs:

“It almost seems like some of the time we’re wanting the season to get over with.”

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Patriot Coach Bill Parcells on his team’s upset of Miami Dolphins:

“That was by far our best performance of the year.”

Chicago Bear cornerback James Burton, on being beaten on two Packer quarterback Brett Favre touchdown passes:

“He was just Favre. He made a lot of things happen, he made the plays.”

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

TOP PERFORMANCES

PASSING

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Player, Team Att. Cmp. Yds. TD WARREN MOON, Vikings 43 24 342 4 BRETT FAVRE, Packers 33 25 336 5 DAN MARINO, Dolphins 37 27 333 2 ERIK KRAMER, Bears 38 23 318 2 ELVIS GRBAC, 49ers 30 20 305 2 JEFF GEORGE, Falcons 34 17 279 0 JIM KELLY, Bills 36 22 272 2 SCOTT MITCHELL, Lions 34 21 260 1 RICK MIRER, Seahawks 31 18 244 2 JIM EVERETT, Saints 37 27 228 2

*--*

RECEIVING

*--*

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Player, Team Rec. Yds. TD JERRY RICE, 49ers 5 161 1 CRIS CARTER, Vikings 12 157 2 WILLIE GREEN, Panthers 6 157 1 ROBERT BROOKS, Packers 6 138 2 CURTIS CONWAY, Bears 6 126 2 BRETT PERRIMAN, Lions 10 125 0 VINCENT BRISBY, Patriots 6 118 1 JOEY GALLOWAY, Seahawks 5 114 2

*--*

RUSHING

*--*

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Player, Team Car. Yds. TD ERRICT RHETT, Buccaneers 25 144 0 CURTIS MARTIN, Patriots 30 142 2 CHRIS WARREN, Seahawks 27 121 1 GARRISON HEARST, Cardinals 18 103 0 EMMITT SMITH, Cowboys 18 100 1

*--*

--Compiled by Bob Cuomo and Tim Kawakami


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