REVERSAL OF FORTUNES
Through week 7 the name of Seahawks running back Chris Warren is nowhere to be found in the statistical ranking of top AFC rushers. Running behind a patchwork offensive line that has been revamped for the ninth straight season, Warren has rushed for only 250 yards as Seattle has gotten off to a 2-4 start. He is on pace to gain a total of 667 yards this year. Is this the same Chris Warren who rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of the past four seasons?
"It seems unrealistic," Warren says of his yardage. "It looks like a misprint in the paper."
Meanwhile, Steelers back Jerome Bettis, who became expendable after gaining only 637 yards with the Rams in '95, now runs behind a better offensive line and after six games has nearly matched last year's rushing total, with 633 yards.
Bettis understands Warren's plight and knows that a good line means everything to a running back. "Chris hasn't become a terrible back all of a sudden," says Bettis. Here's the statistical tale of two backs going in opposite directions.