Martin passes Dickerson, Bettis on career list

Originally Published: January 2, 2005
Associated Press

New York Jets: Running back Curtis Martin had 153 yards on 28 carries Sunday, winning the NFL rushing title with 1,697 yards by 1 yard over Shaun Alexander of the Seahawks while moving into fourth place on the NFL career rushing list.

Martin passed Eric Dickerson and Jerome Bettis on the NFL career rushing list Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, moving to fourth all-time.

A 13-yard carry gave Martin 13,307 yards midway through the third quarter. He passed Dickerson during a 75-yard first half, then passed Bettis, who was inactive for the Steelers on Sunday.

Martin is well behind No. 3 on the career list, Barry Sanders with 15,269.

Both of the players Martin passed Sunday used to play for the Rams.

New York Giants: Tiki Barber won the NFL yards from scrimmage title and set the Giants' all-time rushing record in their 28-24 victory over Dallas.

Barber needed 52 all-purpose yards to beat Edgerrin James (2,031 yards) for the yards from scrimmage lead and 66 to move ahead of Rodney Hampton (6,897 yards) as the Giants' career leading rusher.

Barber moved ahead of James with a 5-yard run in the third quarter, and he surpassed Hampton with a 4-yard run at the end of the third quarter.

He finished with 116 yards total offense Sunday, giving Barber a league-high 2,096 this year: 1,518 rushing and 578 receiving.

His career rushing total now is 6,926 yards.

Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning finished off one of the greatest seasons for a quarterback, shattering the single-season passer rating record after setting the touchdown record the previous week.

Manning finished the season with a 121.1 rating, well ahead of the 112.8 set by San Francisco's Steve Young in 1994. Manning eclipsed one of the league's most coveted records last week against San Diego, throwing his 49th touchdown pass to move one past Dan Marino's 1984 record.

"I just don't think people understand what a feat that was," said Denver coach Mike Shanahan, who was the 49ers' offensive coordinator when Young set the record. "I was with Steve Young when he had a 112 and I just couldn't imagine anyone breaking that record."

Manning didn't get much of a chance to add to the touchdown record.

With the Colts already locked into the AFC's third playoff seed, he lasted one series against the Denver Broncos in Indianpolis' 33-14 loss, throwing two incompletions before being replaced by Jim Sorgi. Manning would have needed to go 0-for-20 with five interceptions to lose out on the rating record.

Though he finished the season with the fewest passes (497) in his seven-year career, Manning set career-highs with 4,551 yards and a 67.6 percent completion rate. He also threw 10 interceptions, tying a career low.

St. Louis Rams: Receiver Torry Holt became the first player in NFL history with five straight 1,300-yard seasons when he caught a 44-yard touchdown pass near the end of the first half against the Jets.

Holt entered the game needing exactly 44 yards to reach the milestone, and the reception from Marc Bulger was his first of the game. It also gave the Rams a 14-10 lead at the break.

Two days before the game, Holt joked that he needed ``just one deep ball'' to get to 1,300 yards.

Holt, who is in his sixth season, entered the game tied for second in the NFC with 87 catches and third with 1,256 yards.

Kansas City Chiefs: Tony Gonzalez broke Ben Coates' single-season NFL record for tight ends set in 1994, finishing with 102 catches. Coates' mark was 96.

"I am happy I got it, but at the same time it's hard to take satisfaction in getting it in a losing cause," Gonzalez said. "Maybe it is something I look back on in another week or so and I will be able to enjoy it then. But right now it is tough to swallow."

Gonzalez tied the record on an 11-yard pass from Trent Green early in the fourth quarter against the Chargers.

The drive ended when Green's pass intended for Gonzalez was intercepted by Adrian Dingle.

Minnesota Vikings: Strong safety Corey Chavous broke his left elbow in the regular-season finale against the Redskins.

Coach Mike Tice said Chavous' status is uncertain for next weekend's playoff game against Green Bay, but Chavous said he would not play. The seventh-year safety said he was injured on a running play and had to have his jersey cut off with scissors.

"It's basically messed up," Chavous said. "I'm just dreading telling my mom."

Chavous, one of the team's vocal locker room leaders, has 77 tackles and one interception this season.

Arizona Cardinals: Emmitt Smith waved and bowed to the crowd as he walked off the field for what might be the final time as an NFL player.

"I tell you, if this is my last year here, it's been a heck of a ride," he said. "If it's been my last year of playing football, period, it's been a heck of a ride."

Smith is a long shot to return to the Cardinals for a 16th NFL season, and he acknowledged that the career he was so reluctant to end might finally be over.

"I've done everything I could possibly do in the National Football League as far as individual performances can go," he said. "I've had so many tremendous experiences with players and coaches over 15 years. So if this is it, it's been a blessing."

The two-year contract Smith signed with Arizona -- after 13 seasons and three Super Bowl titles with Dallas -- has expired. He knows it's not just up to him whether he comes back next season. A team has to show interest.

"If there was ever an opportunity to have faith, it is now," he said, "because it's not in my hands any longer. I can make a decision based on whether or not I want to continue, but still somebody has to make a decision on whether or not they want me to continue."

Oakland Raiders: Jerry Porter wants to return to the club, and he wants the big money he thinks he's worth.

I'm definitely giving these guys the opportunity to keep me here," Porter said Sunday night following Oakland's season-ending 13-6 loss to the Jaguars.

"I'm going to leave my options open and see if the Raiders are serious about keeping me here. We'll take it from there. It's out of my hands now. I put my work out on the field."

When he brought up the possibility that he won't be back in Oakland, Porter hesitated, then said, "Then it's been a good ride," emotion in his voice and his eyes glassy.

Porter wanted to be showcased this season in his contract year, which eventually happened after the receiving corps was depleted by injury. But Porter said he was among the lowest-paid starting receivers in the league this season and has demonstrated his productivity potential.

The 26-year-old Porter led the Raiders (5-11) with 64 catches for 998 yards and nine touchdowns -- falling just short of his first 1,000-yard season. His receptions are a career high and he scored three touchdowns in a game twice.

Quarterback Kerry Collins called for the Raiders to re-sign Porter last Wednesday, saying it was one of the most important decisions the team had to make. By that night, the receiver's agent had an offer on the table, Porter said.

"We've been talking. I hope we can reach an agreement, because I like it here," Porter said. "I like the young guys I'm working with. ... I have to take it upon myself to be the leader of this entire group and get us all going in the right direction. But first it starts with my management and the Raiders management reaching an agreement."

Dallas Cowboys: Receiver Keyshawn Johnson broke his left ankle in the second quarter of the Cowboys' game with the Giants.

Johnson twisted the ankle catching an 18-yard pass from Vinny Testaverde. His cleats appeared to catch in the artificial surface at Giants Stadium. X-rays showed the ankle was fractured.

Johnson finished the season with 70 catches for 981 yards and six touchdowns.

Cowboys backup offensive lineman Tyson Walter also left the field for X-rays on his wrist.

Tennessee Titans: Quarterback Billy Volek separated his right shoulder when he was hit after a pass in the fourth quarter of a 24-19 victory over the Lions.

Volek said after the game he would need up to six weeks to recover from the shoulder separation. The Titans finished the season 5-11, last in the AFC South.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher said Volek might need surgery. The quarterback will have an MRI exam Monday.

Volek held his throwing arm after defensive tackle James Hall landed on him.

"I threw a comeback to [Derrick] Mason, and the next thing I know I have a sharp pain and I can't lift my arm," Volek said. "It popped back into place, though."

Seattle Seahawks: Receiver Koren Robinson was inactive against Atlanta after he violated an undisclosed team rule.

It's the fifth time in the last six games that Robinson has been out of action for disciplinary reasons. He missed Seattle's win over Miami on Nov. 21 for breaking a team rule, then was suspended four games for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

"I have confidence in him as a football player, and I have confidence in him as a player," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "But you need to be there for your teammates. Your teammates need to know they can count on you. He needs to learn that lesson."

Jerry Rice started for Robinson but didn't catch a pass. Robinson had worked out all week in practice as one of the team's starting receivers.

"Of course, he factored in the game plan," coach Mike Holmgren said. "We need him. I needed him to step up and be a force, like he can be, like he is capable of being in the playoffs."

However, Holmgren refused to say whether Robinson will play Saturday when St. Louis visits in the wild-card round. The coach planned to meet with the fourth-year pro Monday morning.

"We'll keep working through stuff," Holmgren said. "I talked to him today. He came to the game, and I sent him home."

On Atlanta's side, tight end Alge Crumpler (knee) and defensive tackle Ed Jasper (wrist) were inactive because of injuries. Each sat out last weekend's loss to New Orleans.

Denver Broncos: Defensive tackle Trevor Pryce played in his first game since the season opener, but had to leave early after slightly injuring his back.

Pryce, who had back surgery in September, had a tackle in the Broncos' 33-14 victory over Indianapolis, also Denver's playoff opponent next week.

Pryce said he only "tweaked" his back and thought he would be able to play next week.

"Every time I do something twice it's gotten better and better," he said. "The first time I ran, I got better then next day. The first time I pushed sleds, I got better. So, I'm hoping this is the first game and I'll get better next week."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE