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Pro Football Spotlight

HE JUST KEEPS CATCHING AND CATCHING AND . . .

Passing almost unnoticed in the euphoria of the San Francisco 49ers’ dismantling of the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park on Sunday was the fact that Jerry Rice made seven catches.

For Rice, it was no more than another day at the park, but it did make him only the second player in history to surpass the 900-mark in career receptions.

The seven catches brought Rice’s total to 905 and left him only 34 receptions shy of the NFL record of 934 held by Art Monk.

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AND ANOTHER MONK MARK IS IN JEOPARDY

When Keith Byars snared a pass from Dan Marino late in the first half of a Miami touchdown drive against the Indianapolis Colts, it kept alive a remarkable streak.

Byars, the only back in NFL history to catch a pass in 100 consecutive games, has the sixth-longest reception streak in league history at 124 games.

Monk has the league record of 180. The last time Byars failed to catch a pass was Oct. 25, 1987, against Dallas. He began the streak Nov. 1, 1987, against the St. Louis Cardinals and needs to catch passes in his next three games to tie Harold Carmichael for fifth place on the all-time list.

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EVEN NATE CAN BE DOWNRIGHT NASTY

The Dallas Cowboys might have lost only two games so far this season, but Nate Newton, looking ahead to the playoffs, sees a problem.

“We’ve got to find a killer instinct,” Newton said. “We’ve got to start nailing people to the ground. We’ve just got to start crushing people.”

PERHAPS IF SEAHAWKS HAD PLAYED BUCKEYES

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This line from the Associated Press account of the New York Jets’ 16-10 victory over Seattle at the Kingdome:

“The Seahawks came out of the game without any significant injuries.”

What, losing at home to a 2-9 team didn’t hurt even their pride?

Meanwhile, Joey Galloway, Seattle’s prize rookie from Ohio State, compared the Seahawks’ loss to the Buckeyes’ defeat against Michigan on Saturday that cost them a trip to the Rose Bowl.

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“They weren’t ready to play yesterday and we weren’t ready to play today,” Galloway said.

GO OUT AND WIN ONE FOR THE OCTOGENARIAN

What inspired the Jets to their victory?

According to some, it was the Thanksgiving Day speech delivered to the team by its 81-year-old owner, Leon Hess.

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“I have confidence in you, the coaches have confidence in you,” Hess told the players. “Let’s go out with dignity and show them we’re not a bunch of asses.”

That did the trick, said Boomer Esiason.

“After Leon was there, it certainly had a profound effect on us,” he said. “I know for me, for our owner to come out there on a freezing-cold day . . . I mean, he’s in his 80s, the team is 2-9, and for him to come out and try to do anything he can to instill confidence speaks volumes.”

AND DON’T BOTHER TO SEND GET WELL CARDS

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The Giants’ season has gone from bad to worse, so much so that after the latest loss, to Chicago Sunday, Rob Parker sees no hope for the patient.

The team has an inconsistent offense and terrible defense, he wrote, adding:

“That pitiful combination has turned Giants Stadium into the Mayo Clinic of the NFL. Routinely, sick teams come to East Rutherford and leave well. The Bears are proof positive, snapping a three-game losing streak.”

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

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TOP PERFORMANCES

PASSING

*--*

Player, Team Att. Cmp. Yds. TD DAVE KRIEG, Cardinals 43 27 413 4 KERRY COLLINS, Panthers 46 17 335 3 JOHN ELWAY, Broncos 42 27 332 2 T. DILFER, Buccaneers 49 28 324 0 CHRIS CHANDLER, Oilers 26 18 280 3 JEFF GEORGE, Falcons 34 15 280 3 ERIK KRAMER, Bears 38 25 268 1 BRETT FAVRE, Packers 24 16 267 3 DREW BLEDSOE, Patriots 45 21 263 3 DAN MARINO, Dolphins 36 23 254 4 NEIL O’DONNELL, Steelers 30 21 251 1 S. BEUERLEIN, Jaguars 34 18 245 1 STEVE YOUNG, 49ers 32 21 226 3

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*--*

RECEIVING

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Player, Team Rec. Yds. TD ANTHONY MILLER, Broncos 6 152 1 CHRIS SANDERS, Oilers 5 147 2 ROBERT BROOKS, Packers 6 144 2 MARK CARRIER, Panthers 6 132 2 JACKIE HARRIS, Buccaneers 10 122 0 ROB MOORE, Cardinals 8 121 1

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*--*

RUSHING

*--*

Player, Team Car. Yds. TD CURTIS MARTIN, Patriots 27 148 0 RICKY WATTERS, Eagles 25 124 1 ADRIAN MURRELL, Jets 24 116 1 TERRELL DAVIS, Broncos 19 110 1 BERNIE PARMALEE, Dolphins 20 102 0 MARSHALL FAULK, Colts 22 95 0

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--Compiled by Bob Cuomo and Grahame L. Jones


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