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Jets still waiting for Martin to break out
Posted: Tuesday November 03, 1998 12:30 PM
The good news for the Jets is that they're in a four-way tie for first place in the AFC East. The bad news is that Curtis Martin, who cost the Jets $27.5 million and two high draft picks, has now gone 254 carries (back to Week 10 of last year) without a pickup of more than 20 yards.
All of the other 16 NFL tailbacks with 140 or more carries this season have at least one run of 30 yards or more. In Sunday's 20-17 win over the Chiefs, Martin rushed 30 times for only 42 yards.
Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Ray Sherman told me last week that quarterback Kordell Stewart is a victim of unrealistic expectations. Stewart had a good first year as a starter in '97, but after throwing three interceptions on Sunday, he now has the fourth-lowest passer rating in the NFL.
"Everyone thinks it's gonna be easy for Kordell," Sherman told me. "But it usually gets tougher the next time around. And it will be probably be tougher for him next year, too."
Making a name for himself
Even after going to the Pro Bowl last year and guiding his team to an upset of previously undefeated Minnesota on Sunday, Bucs quarterback Trent Dilfer is still searching for respect. In the locker room after Sunday's game, a reporter kept referring to Dilfer as "Troy."
The NFL's ironman, Oilers guard Bruce Matthews, has now started 171 consecutive games. In his 16-year career, Matthews has blocked for 13 quarterbacks and 24 different running backs, including Eddie George, who torched the Steelers for 153 yards on Sunday ...
The Ravens, who are 1-3 in their new $220 million stadium, have now given up a kickoff returned for a touchdown, a punt returned for a touchdown and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown ...
The Miami Dolphins have allowed 16 points in four games at home and 93 points in the same number of games on the road ...
And finally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had their team picture taken on Saturday, and it was a humbling experience for wideout Jacquez Green. The 5-foot-9-inch rookie took a lot of razzing from his teammates after he was told to sit on a phone book so he could be seen behind 6-foot-4 center Tony Mayberry.
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