Rise of the Redskins
Washington Goes Back to Davis
With mountainous young tackles Jon Jansen and Chris Samuels, a workhorse back in Stephen Davis and an inaccurate quarterback in Tony Banks, it's no wonder Redskins Nation was angry when Davis was getting only 15 carries a game during Washington's 0-5 start. Yes, that's partially the result of falling behind early, but the Redskins went to Davis only twice in the second half of an Oct. 7 loss to the Giants, and that game was tied entering the fourth quarter. "Everyone knew that to be successful, we had to give Stephen the ball more," said center Cory Raymer.
A month ago coach Marty Schottenheimer told offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye to start pounding the 6-foot, 232-pound Davis, and the results are showing. In the past three games, all wins, Davis has averaged 29 carries for 116 yards; on Sunday he had 142 yards in the Redskins' 27-14 victory over the Seahawks. Washington held the ball for more than 39 minutes, and Seattle had only 48 snaps. In one second-quarter stretch Davis carried the ball on eight consecutive plays. "We're going to feed him," said guard Ben Coleman, "until he can't eat anymore."
Comeback of the Year
Smith Could Get His Due—at Last
Since the start of the '96 season, the NFL player with the most receptions and receiving yards is:
a. Jerry Rice.
b. Isaac Bruce.
c. Tim Brown.
d. None of the above.
The answer is d. Jaguars wide-out Jimmy Smith has caught 500 passes for 7,258 yards, and with 522 receptions in his nine-year career, he has more catches than nine receivers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Despite those gaudy statistics, only twice has he been voted a Pro Bowl starter. This season he's fourth in the league in receptions, with 50, a stat that is all the more amazing when you consider that his career was in jeopardy during the off-season after he was hospitalized three times for a total of 35 days with abdominal problems.