SI Vault
Peter King
October 01, 2001
Doing Their PartInspired by fans near and far, the Giants responded with a win over the Chiefs
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October 01, 2001

The Nfl

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Run for the Record
Payton's Mark Safe Until 2002

Emmitt Smith, who moved into second place on the NFL's all-time rushing list during the Cowboys' 32-21 loss to the Chargers on Sunday, must average 103 yards over the final 14 games to surpass Walter Payton's record. Problem is, he has rushed for 103 yards or more only four times in his last 19 games (averaging 75 yards over that span), and he can't count on the passing game to loosen up defenses much, with rookie Quincy Carter and third-year man Anthony Wright at quarterback. So the quest for the record likely will go into Smith's 13th year, in 2002, when he'll be 33.

Smith wants this record badly, but on Sunday he gave a nod to the man he passed, Barry Sanders, who retired in 1999 at 31. "I'm a realist," Smith said. "Barry should have this record, and I believe if he came out today, he could have it."

My Two Cents
Best in the Business

1. The Broncos' Rod Smith is the best receiver in football, and teammate Mike Anderson is the second-best back (behind Marshall Faulk). Watch how selflessly the two perform and how they play every snap as if it's their last.

2. It's early, but Chargers quarterback Doug Flutie is setting the pace in the race for the league MVP.

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