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Jets-Saints matchup features conference's top backs
Posted: Wednesday October 31, 2001 2:24 PM
By B. Duane Cross, CNNSI.com
The New York Jets and New Orleans Saints both are coming off important victories -- and looking to make it two in a row.
The Jets edged Carolina on the road 13-12 in a win without an offensive touchdown, but one that nonetheless lifted them to 4-3, a half-game behind AFC East-leading Miami (4-2). The Saints pushed NFC West archrival St. Louis from its perch Sunday as the NFL's lone unbeaten team by coming back from an 18-point deficit on the road to win 34-31.
This game features the NFL's conference-leading running backs. The Jets' Curtis Martin leads the league in rushing with 738 yards, 262 yards shy of joining Barry Sanders and Eric Dickerson as the only backs in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in each of their first seven seasons. The Saints' Ricky Williams leads the NFC with 557 yards rushing.
New Orleans head coach Jim Haslett will switch the team's training schedule in preparation for its first 2001 prime-time game. The players will be off during the day Friday and hold practice at the Superdome that night to simulate game conditions.
Welcome to Miami |
Carolina will make its first trip to Pro Player Stadium, where CB Doug Evans will try to extend his string of six consecutive games with an INT, two games behind Tom Morrow's NFL-record eight consecutive in 1962-63.
N.Y. Sack Exchange |
The Giants had five sacks -- 2 1/2 by Michael Strahan -- in their last game vs. Dallas. The G-Men have 23 sacks -- 12 1/2 by Strahan -- and are tied with the Rams and Packers for most in the NFC.
Return policy |
The past two Indianapolis-Buffalo meetings have featured three return TDs (two by the Colts). In their final meeting as AFC East foes, the Colts aim for their fourth consecutive win vs. Bills for first time since 1976-77.
Home Sweet Home |
Tennessee has won 16 of 18 regular-season games at Adelphia Coliseum. In his past three games vs. Jaguars, Titans QB Steve McNair has passed for 753 yards and seven 7 TDs (0 INTs) for 124.6 passer rating.
Point taken |
The past three Chiefs-Chargers meetings in San Diego have been decided by seven points or less (nine total points). Four of Kansas City's six losses (including each of the past three) have been by eight points or less.
Redskin on the run |
Washington RB Stephen Davis ranks second in the NFC with 524 yards rushing and is on pace for 1,198 yards. He can become the first Redskin ever with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
| Flattery: Touche |
Chargers QB Doug Flutie completed 21 of 33 passes for 254 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions and also ran 13 yards for the game-winning TD with 1:10 left in San Diego's 27-24 victory against the Bills.
| Flag: Batch of errors |
Detroit QB Charlie Batch fumbled twice and threw two interceptions as the Lions remained the NFL's only winless team with a 31-27 loss to the Bengals. Ty Detmer, where are you?
| Flattery: Bear market |
Bears CB Mike Brown intercepted a pass and returned it 33 yards for the winning TD in OT, giving Chicago a 37-31 victory against the 49ers. It was the 12th time a regular-season OT game was decided by an INT return.
| Flag: De-Horned |
St. Louis turned the ball over eight times, including four interceptions by Kurt Warner, in a 34-31 loss to New Orleans. And that revamped Rams defense? Saints WR Joe Horn had eight catches for 121 yards and two TDs.
| Flattery: Triumphant return |
Eric Metcalf returned an punt for the first time in 20 months and went 89 yards for a TD in Washington's 35-21 victory against the Giants. Metcalf's gem gave him the NFL record with 12 punt/kickoff returns for TD.
| Flag: Minnesota morass |
In a 41-14 loss to Tampa Bay, the Vikings finished with a season-low 192 yards of offense, while the Bucs gained a season-high 446. At halftime, Minnesota had zero first downs and only 44 yards.
CNNSI.com's James Quintong notes if you picked up LaDainian Tomlinson in your draft, you're definitely sitting pretty, despite his recent -- and not surprising -- downturn. If you went with Michael Bennett, you're still probably looking around for help. And so it goes with rookies, the most overrated crop of players in the fantasy football world. Check out this week's Fantasy File.
Check out Fantasy Central for more insight and analysis.
Users sounded off on what is the best NFL rivalry: |
Denver-Oakland: Hatred, susperstition, history. Al has been cursed since dishing Shanahan, but "Chuckie" is ready to topple the jinx.
Cleveland-Pittsburgh: I hate the Steelers so much, I even rooted for Dallas in the Super Bowl!
Nathan, Toledo, Ohio
N.Y. Giants-Philadelphia: It may not be a famous or historic rivalry like the Cowboys and Redskins, but lets face it, who cares about them?
Jeremy, Selinsgrove, Pa.
Buffalo-Miami: There's no love lost whenever it's time for Buffalo to "squish the fish."
Andy, Hanson, Mass.
Green Bay-Minnesota: My favorite teams are the Vikings, and whoever is playing the Packers.
Jeff, Minneapolis, Minn.
Dallas-Washington: No other rivalry can compete as far as the level of dislike between players. George Allen's obsession with Tom Landry and the Cowboys was legendary.
David, Port Lavaca, Texas
Atlanta-New Orleans: You gotta love 30-plus years of losers losing to losers!
Gordon, Carrboro, N.C.
Chicago-Green Bay: That Majkowski was way over the line.
Mark, Wheaton, Ill.
N.Y. Jets-Miami: Last season's comeback overtime win on Monday night and Dan Marino's fake spike are great moments to name a few.
Christopher, Greenlawn, N.Y.
Note: A red-letter day for Kofi, Ben, Cruz and Michael -- Jon Gruden was the first visiting head coach to win three consecutive games at Arrowhead after Oakland beat Kansas City in Week 1. Indy's Jim Mora became the second in Week 7. ... Guess that'll teach us to use the league's fact sheet.
| This week's topic: What is the best venue for experiencing an NFL game?|
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