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The NFL
Peter King
October 03, 1994
Overachievers
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October 03, 1994

The Nfl

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Year

Touchbacks Percentage

Where Average Kickoff Lands

Where, On Average, Receiving Team Starts Series

1993

.270

3.7-yard line

24.51-yard line

1994

.100

7.0-yard line

29.07-yard line

Overachievers

With one fourth of the season behind us, these truths are self-evident:

1. Stan Humphries is the NFL MVP.

His Chargers are a stunning surprise, the only 4-0 team in the league. On Sunday against the Raiders in Los Angeles, Humphries proved he is much more than simply the highest-rated quarterback in the AFC. In the fourth quarter Humphries's left knee got twisted like a pretzel by 315-pound Raider defensive tackle Chester McGlockton, and Humphries hobbled to the sideline. Figuring that Humphries was through for the day, coach Bobby Ross and his assistants began plotting San Diego's last drive of the game with backup quarterback Gale Gilbert. The Raiders led 24-23, and the Chargers had the ball, first down, on their own 20 with 7:01 left when Humphries stepped in between Gilbert and the coaches. "I'm going back in there," he said.

"No, you're not," Gilbert shot back, grabbing Humphries by the arm.

"No, I'm going. It's my game," Humphries said.

Gilbert quickly saw that he was going to lose this argument. "All right," he said. "Go get it done."

In the press box, offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen thought that Gilbert was in the game, and it took him three plays to notice Humphries's number 12 behind center. "In fact," Friedgen said later, "I was calling plays that Gale likes."

Humphries then led the Chargers on a 65-yard march that was capped by a field goal with seven seconds left, which gave them a 26-24 victory. Along the way he even threw a block on 290-pound L.A. tackle Nolan Harrison on a reverse. "I know we were wearing those old uniforms," Gilbert said later, "but Stan is the real throwback."

2. Dan Reeves is Coach of the Year.

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