Day in review

October 06, 1997

Top performances

300-yard passers

Player, Team ..... C-A ... Yds. .. TD

Aikman, Dal. .... 34-52 .. 317 .... 1

100-yard rushers

Player, Team ..... No. ... Yds. .. TD

G. Brown, S.D. ... 36 .... 181 .... 1

Broussard, Sea. ... 6 .... 138 .... 2

Bettis, Pit. ..... 28 .... 137 .... 0

Dunn, T.B. ....... 16 .... 125 .... 1

George, Tenn. .... 26 .... 116 .... 0

Sanders, Det. .... 25 .... 107 .... 0

Watters, Phil. ... 31 .... 104 .... 2

100-yard receivers

Player, Team .... No. .... Yds. .. TD

Thigpen, Pit. .... 7 ..... 162 .... 0

Moore, Det. ...... 8 ..... 116 .... 0

Moore, Ariz. ..... 8 ..... 108 .... 0

Kaufman, Oak. .... 3 ..... 100 .... 1

They said it

"His eyes got big when the ball was coming. When I saw that, I put the jets on. This is one day when I can say I put it on Marcus Allen."

Anthony Harris, Dolphins linebacker, on his big play on fourth down in the final two minutes.

"Six months of working out, and finally it clicked. Every day you dream about it. Every time I went to the YMCA, I thought about it."

Gary Brown, Chargers running back, who rushed for 181 yards. He did not play in the NFL last year after being released by the Oilers in training camp.

Injury report

Ray Roberts, Lions T: Sprained a knee. Did not return.

Darnay Scott, Bengals WR: Bruised his hip. Did not return.

Dave Brown, Giants QB: Aggravated strained chest muscle. Did not return.

Tony Mandarich, Colts LT: Sprained his left ankle. Did not return.

Jim Harbaugh, Colts QB: Bruised his left hip. Did not play second half.

Steve Broussard, Seahawks RB: Knocked woozy. Did not return.

By the numbers

Milestones: With seven rushing attempts, the Chiefs' Marcus Allen increased his career total to 2,940 and moved past Tony Dorsett (2,936) into fourth place. Rookie running back Antowain Smith had a 56-yard touchdown run, making him the first Bills player since Cookie Gilchrist in 1964 to have rushes of more than 50 yards in back-to-back games. Chargers center Raleigh McKenzie made his 100th consecutive start.

Ups: The Dolphins did not turn the ball over, keeping their season total at three -- an NFL best. The Chargers, who went to Oakland with an AFC-high 15 giveaways, did not turn over the ball.

Downs: Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith gained 91 yards in 19 carries but failed to score for the seventh straight regular-season game. That's the longest touchdown drought of his eight-year career. Mark Brunell of the Jaguars, who threw for 306 yards in his first game, has thrown for 317 in his past two games combined.

Next week

Falcons (0-5) at Saints (2-4) and Bengals (1-4) at Oilers (1-4): It isn't too early to be thinking of Peyton Manning.

Cowboys (3-2) at Redskins (3-2): It's for NFC East supremacy, but the winner may be the only team in the division over .500.

Tonight's game

Time: 9 p.m., chs. 2, 7

Line: Broncos by 4 1/2

Vs. spread: Patriots 3-1; Broncos 4-1.

Last week: Patriots had a bye. Broncos beat Falcons, 29-21.

Worth watching: Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe ranks first in the NFL in passing; the Broncos' John Elway is third. The game also features two of the best running backs, Curtis Martin and Terrell Davis.

Outlook: This is a matchup worthy of an AFC championship game, which means the winner becomes the favorite to lose the Super Bowl. Both teams have overwhelming offenses and underrated defenses, but the Broncos have home-field advantage at Mile High Stadium and an eight-game winning streak vs. the Patriots.

Notable: Patriots K Adam Vinatieri has 34 points and has not missed an extra point or field goal this season.

Injuries:

PATRIOTS: Doubtful: DE Willie McGinest (knee). Questionable: CB Steve Israel (knee); RB David Meggett (hamstring).

BRONCOS: Doubtful: K Jason Elam (hip-groin). Questionable: RB Howard Griffith (knee).

Statistical comparison:

Off. Def.

NFL RANKINGS Total Rush Pass Total Rush Pass

New England .. 2 .. 7 .. 2 ... 3T .. 5 .. 6

Denver ....... 5 .. 1.. 18 .. 10 .. 21 .. 8

Yds. Yds.

PER GAME ........... Pts. .. Rush .. Pass ... TO ... Sacks

New England Off. .. 32.5 .. 126.5 .. 275.8 .. 1.6 .. 0.8

........... Def. .. 10.0 ... 83.8 .. 215.0 .. 2.6 .. 5.3

Denver .... Off. .. 31.2 .. 151.2 .. 219.0 .. 1.0 .. 2.0

........... Def. .. 14.4 .. 127.8 .. 199.2 .. 1.2 .. 3.4

Pub Date: 10/06/97

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