Rice Just Keeps Sailing Right Along
Jerry Rice grabbed a share of another receiving record Sunday.
Rice, running a trademark slant across the middle, caught a 10-yard pass from Steve Young during San Francisco’s opening series against the Indianapolis Colts. It was his 183rd straight game with at least one reception.
That tied Art Monk’s NFL record set from 1983-1995 while with Washington, the New York Jets and Philadelphia. He retired in 1995.
Rice has been held without a reception only twice during his career, both times during his rookie season in 1985-- by New Orleans and Washington.
Rice already holds league records for touchdowns (169), receptions (1,085) and receiving yards (16,918).
Ask Rice to list the five toughest cornerbacks he has faced and he says there is no contest. The five:
1. Darrell Green (Washington, 1983-present)--”He’s got great speed and hasn’t lost a step.”
2. Lester Hayes (Oakland/L.A. Raiders, 1977-86)--”I faced him early in my career. He was always on top of you.”
3. Issiac Holt (Minnesota/Dallas, 1985-92)--”He always played me tough in college, too. He studied me and read me as well as anyone.”
4. Deion Sanders (Atlanta/San Francisco/Dallas, 1989-present)--”He can run stride for stride with anyone.”
5. Rod Woodson (Pittsburgh/San Francisco/Baltimore, 1987-present)--”He has speed and he’s physical.”
FROM THE PENTHOUSE TO THE OUTHOUSE
Playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Dana Stubblefield and Rod Milstead used to laugh at teams that were habitual losers. Now they are part of one, the winless Washington Redskins, and after Sunday’s 41-7 loss to Minnesota, it is worse than they ever imagined.
“We’re so used to winning, so used to being on top,” Milstead said. “And this is the other side, the side that we always used to joke about. If we lost a game, we’d say ‘At least we’re not 0-and-such-and-such.’ It’s tough.”
With the Redskins at 0-7, fans have been laying it on thick to both Stubblefield and Milstead--for different reasons.
Stubblefield came in with much fanfare with a $36-million contract as the reigning NFL defensive player of the year and a savior for a team that has had trouble stopping the run. But opponents are rushing for 163 yards per game, and Stubblefield said he’s getting hate mail for the first time in his career.
“It is frustrating,” Stubblefield said. “It is hard coming in every day, the past six weeks. You haven’t won a game. You’ve got to go back in, playing against another powerhouse. Going there, playing on turf.”
The Redskins hoped Stubblefield would bring some winning leadership to a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 1992, but it hasn’t worked out as planned. While he angrily denied a published report that he gave the coaching staff tapes from the 49ers to show how he felt practice should be run, Stubblefield certainly has gained converts who feel that things perhaps should be done differently at Redskin Park.
“I like the way San Francisco practices,” running back Brian Mitchell volunteered last week without being asked. “Shorter practices with shoulder pads and shorts.”
Most to the point, Stubblefield feels the mental intensity of the 49ers’ practices pays off on game day.
“You’ve got to prepare yourself, make practice hard,” Stubblefield said. “Then the game becomes easy.”
Milstead takes a lot of heat because he’s a local guy who grew up in the Maryland suburbs in a family of rabid ‘Skins fans. He’s now moved back there, and he’s not getting much peace.
“My mom called me the other day and asked me what time I was picking her up,” Milstead said. “And I said, ‘Mom, what are you talking about?’ She said, ‘What time are you picking me up to take me over to Redskin Park so I can find out what’s going on?’ I guess she could tell by the sound of my voice that I wasn’t too pleased with that comment.”
AMERICA’S TEAM, BUT AMERICA IS FICKLE
The Dallas Cowboys are still America’s Team, though not as solidly as they once were, according to The Harris Poll.
Sixteen percent of adults who follow pro football selected the Cowboys as their favorite team, according to results of the poll released Thursday by the NFL.
That represented a decline from 19% last year and 21% in 1996.
Second to the Cowboys were the San Francisco 49ers at 9%, followed by the Green Bay Packers at 8% and the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos at 7%.
The poll, which surveyed 1,006 adults between Aug. 12-17, found that 55% said they follow pro football. That was up 4% from last year.
The poll had a 3% margin of error.
THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT SUNDAY’S GAMES
1. Gary Brown’s 108 yards rushing marked the first time a New York Giant running back went over 100 yards this season.
2. In the last two weeks, the Ravens have scored only on Matt Stover’s four field goals and a safety.
3. Art Modell-owned teams, either the Browns or Ravens, are 4-26 in Three Rivers Stadium.
4. The Falcons have 116 points in their last three games.
5. Randall Cunningham joined Fran Tarkenton (1972) and Rich Gannon (1991) as the only quarterbacks in Minnesota history to go two straight games without throwing an interception or getting sacked.
6. Miami has allowed 67 points in three road games and seven points in three home games.
7. Usually a good sign of an improving team, six of the Colts’ last seven games have been decided by seven or fewer points.
--Compiled by Houston Mitchell
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
Player, Team Att Cmp Yds TD STEVE YOUNG, 49ers 51 33 331 2 STEVE McNAIR, Oilers 21 16 277 1 BILLY JOE TOLLIVER, Saints 29 14 261 2 R. CUNNINGHAM, Vikings 34 22 259 2 DANNY KANELL, Giants 36 22 259 2 S. BEUERLEIN, Panthers 31 22 234 0 ERIK KRAMER, Bears 30 18 233 1 RODNEY PEETE, Eagles 39 22 232 0 PEYTON MANNING, Colts 30 18 231 3 DOUG FLUTIE, Bills 39 18 228 1 TRENT DILFER, Buccaneers 31 21 219 1 KORDELL STEWART, Steelers 27 12 196 1
Player, Team No Yds TD JAMAL ANDERSON, Falcons 25 132 1 COREY DILLON, Bengals 14 124 1 NATRONE MEANS, Chargers 21 112 1 GARY BROWN, Giants 24 108 1 ROBERT SMITH, Vikings 24 103 1
Player, Team No Yds TD KEITH POOLE, Saints 3 154 2 TONY MARTIN, Falcons 7 116 1 J.J. STOKES, 49ers 9 110 1 CRIS CARTER, Vikings 5 109 1
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