- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
NO DOUBTING THIS THOMAS
Derrick Thomas, the Chiefs' promising young outside linebacker, was motivated in a couple of ways to have a big day against the Seahawks on Sunday. With one sack in his three previous games, Thomas wanted to refute a story in The Kansas City Star last week that he was in a slump. In addition, Sunday was Veterans Day, a special holiday for Thomas, whose father, an Air Force captain in Vietnam, was reported missing in action in 1972 and then was declared dead in '80. Before the game, four Air Force jets flew over Arrowhead Stadium during a brief ceremony. Thus fired up, Thomas went out and set the NFL record for sacks in a game, with seven, breaking Fred Dean's '83 mark by one.
Five of Thomas's sacks came in the final 17 minutes, with the game on the line. He was agonizingly close to an eighth sack on the game's last play, on which he grabbed Seattle quarterback Dave Krieg around the waist as time ran out. But his momentum carried him past Krieg, who slipped from Thomas's grasp and threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Paul Skansi to give Seattle a 17-16 victory. Amazingly, the Seahawk defense made few adjustments to thwart Thomas. On that last play, he was still being blocked by one man, tackle Andy Heck, whom Thomas repeatedly had beaten with his quickness. "I had Krieg," said Thomas of his just missing sack No. 8. "That's the one I'll remember the most."
MINING IRON IN NEW ORLEANS
Remember 259-pound running back Craig (Ironhead) Heyward? He carried the ball 357 times during his last year at Pitt but spent his first 2� seasons with the Saints on the bench or blocking for Rueben Mayes and Dalton Hilliard. Not until Hilliard went down with a knee injury on Oct. 21 did Heyward get to run the ball regularly.
"If I'm in the game long enough to know what's going on," says Heyward, "I'm going to be productive." After rushing for more than 100 yards in back-to-back games, including 155 yards in the Saints' 35-7 win over the Bucs on Sunday, here are Heyward's stats as a pro.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
What started as a silly war of words turned into an ugly feud when Falcon cornerback Deion Sanders ground his fist under the right eye of Bears corner Lemuel Stinson in the pileup after an onside kick near the end of Chicago's 30-24 victory. A quick recap. On the Wednesday before the game, Stinson, who leads the NFC with six interceptions, said "Deion is nobody" as a cornerback. On Thursday, Sanders's best friend on the Falcons, wideout Andre Rison, said that he would be in the Hall of Fame by Monday if Stinson covered him man-to-man. After practice on Thursday, Sanders telephoned Stinson in the Bears' locker room, and they exchanged more trash talk. Rison took the silliness a step further on Friday by saying that Chicago had "some of the sorriest wide receivers in the league."
In the game, Stinson had two interceptions, Sanders was not a factor, Rison had six catches for 47 yards, and one of the Bears' "sorry" wideouts, Wendell Davis, had five receptions for 105 yards. The Bears used zone pass coverage most of the game, with Vestee Jackson shadowing Rison a lot of the time. "They came, they saw, we kicked their ass," said Stinson, who was sporting a mouse under his eye after the game.