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SPORTS WEEKEND | Around the AFC / EAST

Faulk Knows It's Better to Receive

November 13, 1998

He's not the kind of guy you would want to spend any time with, but Indianapolis running back Marshall Faulk displays flashes of skill on the football field. Faulk has more 100-yard receiving games this season than Jerry Rice, Herman Moore, Tim Brown, Irving Fryar, Keyshawn Johnson, Tony Martin, Rob Moore, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Jake Reed, Andre Rison, Rod Smith and Yancey Thigpen. Faulk has two.

The Jets' revival has included a solid contribution from volatile linebacker Bryan Cox, who has been playing with a bad back that may shorten his career.

"I'm not having as many problems with my back as I had in Chicago, but it hasn't gotten any better," he said. "There were days in Chicago that I could hardly walk, but I was still able to put some heat on it and go to work and do what I was supposed to do as a player."

Cox has one bulging disk and a ruptured disk in his lower back, and has been advised by doctors to undergo surgery.

"Sometimes, when the vertebra pinches a nerve, then I get the numbness and sciatica all down my legs and my toes," Cox said.

WEST / It Appears Broncos Can Live With Elway's Pain

The best team in football will go as far as, ah, Bubby Brister will take them. John Elway could have retired after all.

The Broncos look unbeatable and Elway continues to be plagued by injuries, the latest the most painful, he said, in his 16 years in the NFL.

"I've never been so frustrated in my life," said Elway, now bothered by sore rib cartilage. "I've never had nagging injuries like this, never. If I can make it through a game without adding another injury, that would be an [accomplishment]."

Elway said painful breathing prevents him from even trying to shout out signals to his offensive teammates.

"I've tried to battle through pain, thinking over time it would take care of itself," Elway said. "I was able to run a little bit, but I never had to exert my voice, except on Friday [during practice]. But it just got worse."

The Broncos play in Arrowhead Stadium Monday night, which requires a shouting quarterback.

Former Chief defensive lineman Keith Traylor, playing for the Broncos now, says Kansas City is on the verge of crumbling.

"If we go in there and beat them, they're going to fold and it'll be the end of Marty [Schottenheimer]," predicted Traylor.

Don't hold anything back.

CENTRAL / Coslet's Decision Not as Easy as 1-2-3

Remember Jeff Blake? The Bengals seem to have forgotten that he's still on their roster. Although Blake ranks No. 2 on the depth chart at quarterback, when Coach Bruce Coslet elected to replace starter Neil O'Donnell, Paul Justin ran onto the field.

"The funniest thing was, everybody said, 'What are you doing in here?' " Justin said. "I told them that I just ran out here and nobody told me to come in."

Coslet said he'd just wanted a look at Justin. "No ulterior motive, no other reason," Coslet said. "He looked like a guy that hadn't played for a while."

Priest Holmes ran for 173 yards and the Ravens beat the Bengals. He ran for 29, 76, 41 and 10 yards the next four games and the Ravens lost. He went for 99 last week and the Ravens won. This week he runs into the Chargers' top-ranked run defense. Uh-oh.

Looking for a hot team? The Tennessee Oilers have scored 136 points the last four games--more than any other team in the league in that span.

The Jaguars claim their 37-24 loss to Denver turned their season around and has set them up for a mighty finish.

"We learned so much from that game," cornerback Aaron Beasley said. "The Broncos showed us what true champions play like. We know if we want to get to their level, we have to pick up our level of play."

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