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Denver O-line shows rookie RB Anderson the way
Latest: Monday September 11, 2000 10:08 PM
Mike Anderson ran for 131 yards and two TDs. AP
By B. Duane Cross, CNNSI.com
ATLANTA -- It must be the offensive line.
Two seasons ago, Terrell Davis ran roughshod through the league, piling up 2,008 yards. Last season, with Davis sidelined by a torn ACL, Olandis Gary ran for 1,159 yards.
With Davis nursing his sprained left ankle and Gary out for the season with a torn ACL, rookie Mike Anderson stepped into the Denver Broncos starting lineup Sunday. He responded with 131 yards and two touchdowns as the Broncos throttled the Atlanta Falcons 42-14.
Denver relies on the smallest offensive line in football. The Broncos' five starters average 6-foot-3 in height and 288 pounds. The largest starter -- in height and weight -- is 13-year veteran Tony Jones, the left tackle. The smallest starter -- in height and weight -- is fourth-year player Dan Neil.
Sure, the offensive system is a key component to any player's success, but the Denver O-line -- which paved the way for Anderson's sparkling debut -- deserves special recognition.
|Little Big Men|
| Denver Broncos offensive line |
|Player ||Pos. ||Ht. ||Wt. |
|Tony Jones ||LT ||6-5 ||291 |
|Matt Lepsis ||RT ||6-4 ||290 |
|Tom Nalen ||C ||6-3 ||286 |
|Dan Neil ||RG ||6-2 ||285 |
|Mark Schlereth ||LG ||6-3 ||287 |
| || |
Other stellar performers Sunday:
Jimmy Smith, Jacksonville Jaguars -- 291 yards, three TDs in a losing effort against the Baltimore Ravens.
Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings -- 168 yards in a defensive-minded victory against the Miami Dolphins.
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis Colts -- 141 yards in a stunning loss against the Oakland Raiders.
Mark Brunell, Jaguars -- 386 yards, three TDs while coming up short against the Ravens.
Peyton Manning, Colts -- 367 yards, three TDs in the Raiders' statement game.
Steve Beuerlein, Carolina Panthers -- 364 yards, three TDs in a 38-22 thumping of the once-defensive San Francisco 49ers, who have turned offensive in its recent free fall from glory.
The moral of the above statistics: Passing and receiving yardage are nice -- in Fantasy leagues, or in the final year of a contract.
A ground attack, the same thing Gen. George S. Patton built his reputation on, remains the most effective means to victory.
Sunday's top rushers:
Tiki Barber, New York Giants -- 11 carries, 96 yards as the G-Men thwarted the Philadelphia Eagles.
Edgerrin James, Colts -- 18 carries, 91 yards in the above-mentioned loss to the Raiders.
Eddie George, Tennessee Titans -- 21 carries, 80 yards in a thrilling 17-14 overtime victory against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Yes, James & Co. lost, but holding a 24-7 lead at halftime screams more about the Colts' defense than anything else. Then again, Indy did throw the ball 48 times -- 26 times more than Oakland! Moreso, the Raiders ran the ball 38 times to just 20 for the Colts. Note to Indy offensive coordinator Tom Moore: With a 24-7 lead -- and Ed James in the stable -- run the ball!
|Week 2 Leading Rushers|
|Player ||Team ||Vs. ||Rush ||Yards ||TD |
|Mike Anderson ||Denver ||Atlanta ||31 ||131 ||2 |
|Tiki Barber ||N.Y. Giants ||Philadelphia ||11 ||96 ||1 |
|Edgerrin James ||Indianapolis ||Oakland ||18 ||91 ||1 |
|Eddie George ||Tennessee ||Kansas City ||21 ||80 ||0 |
|Tim Biakabutuka ||Carolina ||San Francisco ||22 ||75 ||1 |
|Week 2 Leading Receivers|
|Player ||Team ||Vs. ||Rec. ||Yards ||TD |
|Jimmy Smith ||Jacksonville ||Baltimore ||15 ||291 ||3 |
|Cris Carter ||Minnesota ||Miami ||9 ||168 ||0 |
|Marvin Harrison ||Indianapolis ||Oakland ||10 ||141 ||1 |
|Tony Martin ||Miami ||Minnesota ||6 ||120 ||0 |
|Joe Horn ||New Orleans ||San Diego ||12 ||116 ||2 |
|Week 2 Leading Passers|
|Player ||Team ||Vs. ||Att.-Comp. ||Yards ||TD |
|Mark Brunell ||Jacksonville ||Baltimore ||28-50 ||386 ||3 |
|Kurt Warner ||St. Louis ||Seattle ||35-47 ||386 ||1 |
|Peyton Manning ||Indianapolis ||Oakland ||33-48 ||367 ||3 |
|Steve Beuerlein ||Carolina ||San Francisco ||24-32 ||364 ||3 |
|Daunte Culpepper ||Minnesota ||Miami ||23-37 ||355 ||1 |
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