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Pro Football : Spotting Up For The Three / A Glance At This Week In The Nfl

September 27, 1993|Tim Kawakami

Another week, another batch of games dominated by little guys who would probably rather be playing soccer.

National Football League? More like the National Field goal League.

Nine games were played Sunday, and in every game but the Rams' defeat of the Houston Oilers, the team whose kicker made the most field goals won the game. Every game but the Rams' and New England-New York had at least four field goals.

Nine games (eight, by the way, on artificial surface), 39 field goals. That's an average of over four field goals a game in a league that before Sunday already was on pace to break a season record for field goals.

Forget about fullbacks and first downs, touchdowns and third downs, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly. This year, everything's a prelude to the fabulous field goal.

Some of the highlights:

--In Minneapolis, no other Viking non-kicker put points on the board, but it didn't matter because Fuad Reveiz kicked his fifth three-pointer of the game, a 22-yarder, to lift Minnesota over the Green Bay Packers, 15-13, with six seconds to play. Earlier, Reveiz made a 51-yard attempt.

Green Bay's Chris Jacke chipped in two field goals of his own.

--In Detroit, the Lions' Jason Hanson made more news by his failure than his successes, which, again, were many. Hanson's missed 43-yard attempt in the third quarter of Detroit's 26-20 victory over the Cardinals was his first miss as a pro from inside 45 yards. He had been 30 for 30.

That didn't prevent him from making four field goals in the game, anyway, two more than Phoenix's Greg Davis, who stirred up a little drama of his own by making a 54-yarder at the end of the first half. That was the longest of his career and the longest in Cardinal history.

--In Orchard Park, N.Y., Buffalo's Steve Christie kicked a 59-yard field goal at the end of the first half, tying him for the third-longest field goal in NFL history.

It was the longest kick in Christie's four-year pro career and the longest since Miami's Pete Stoyanovich kicked a 59-yarder Nov. 12, 1991, against the New York Jets. Philadelphia's Tony Franklin also kicked a 59-yarder Nov. 12, 1979, against Dallas.

The field goal was the longest in Bills history, eclipsing a 54-yarder Christie kicked last year against Miami.

The longest field goal in NFL history was 63 yards by Tom Dempsey in 1970. Steve Cox and Morten Andersen have made 60-yarders.

Stoyanovich, though, kicked three field goals to Christie's two in the game, and Miami won, 22-13.

--At New Orleans, the Saints' Andersen was involved in the kicking craze, of course, beating the San Francisco 49ers on a 49-yard kick with five seconds remaining after Mike Cofer had tied it with a 30-yarder.

Andersen also had two other field goals in New Orleans' 16-13 victory.

All this took place, incidentally, with San Diego's John Carney, on a pace to make 69 field goals this year, resting his foot on a bye week.

CURIOUS, GEORGE?

If Jeff George, who held out of Indianapolis Colt training camp for 36 days for reasons that are still mostly unexplained, was wondering what the home crowd's response to his first appearance would be, he has to wait no more.

When he made his 1993 debut in the third quarter of Sunday's game at Indianapolis against the Cleveland Browns, he received a loud mixture of boos and a smattering of applause.

George entered the game when starter Jack Trudeau had to leave for a series after injuring a muscle in his leg. Trudeau returned after George handed off three consecutive times deep in Indianapolis territory and the Colts punted.

George, fourth on the franchise's all-time list for pass completions and fifth in passing yardage after three seasons, had been the club's emergency quarterback behind backup Don Majkowski and starter Jack Trudeau in his team's first two games, but moved up to No. 2 last week.

The Colts won, 23-10.

A BARRY LONG TIME

If it seems as if the Detroit Lions haven't had any other running back besides Barry Sanders these past few years, you're not far off. At least not any other running back who got the ball into the end zone.

Since a Garry James touchdown in 1988, Sanders had been the only Lion runner to rush for a touchdown. The only one in almost five years.

Sunday, that weird streak came to an end, when somebody named Derrick Moore put one in from one yard out in the second quarter.

When will the next non-Barry Detroit running back touchdown happen? Maybe we should check back with Detroit in about, say, 1998.

VIKING LEADER

They had a brand-new coordinator, but a quarterback who is used to beating the Green Bay Packers no matter who calls the plays. And Jim McMahon, the quarterback the Minnesota Vikings picked up in the off-season to teach them how to win, did not fail Sunday.

With Brian Billick only one week into his new job as offensive coordinator replacing Jack Burns, McMahon ad-libbed a 45-yard pass to Eric Guliford to set up the Vikings' game-winning field goal with six seconds left to play.

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