- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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The Sam Wyche traveling locker room circus came to Anaheim on Sunday. It's a pity the Bengals and the Rams had to spoil it with a terrific passing show. Boomer Esiason, who had said before the game that the clamor over a woman's place in the locker room had made it the toughest week of his pro career, came up very big, throwing for 471 yards—the 10th-highest total in league history—in lifting Cincinnati to a 34-31 overtime victory. Ram quarterback Jim Everett held up his end of the air show, passing for 372 yards. The combined stats for the two passers:
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
JOE MUST STAY! JOE MUST STAY!
The first touchdown of the season scored by the Steeler offense came on an eight-yard reception by rookie tight end Eric Green, who was a training-camp holdout and did not sign with the team until Sept. 10. "He's not going to help us this year," coach Chuck Noll said in August. "He's not going to know what to do." The TD pass, in the second quarter of the Steelers' 36-14 victory over the Chargers, came in spite of the offense's running the wrong play from the wrong formation.
In celebrating their four-touchdown day, the Pittsburgh players voted to give the game ball to beleaguered offensive coordinator Joe Walton, who emerged from the locker room with tears rolling down his cheeks. "I feel great," said Walton, who had been criticized by some players for introducing an offensive system that had too many variations on too many plays.
STATS OF THE WEEK
?Dolphin quarterback Dan Marino has 974 passing yards, the first time since his rookie season in 1983 that he hasn't had 1,000 after five games. Miami is 4-1, its best start since 1985, after a 20-16 victory over the Jets.
?For the first time since 1957, every NFL team won at least once in the first month of the season.
?Last spring, San Diego signed Plan B running back Ronnie Harmon to a three-year contract that will pay him $1,625 million. Harmon hasn't touched the ball in the last two games and was on the field for only four plays against the Steelers.