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SIDELINES

Whatever You Do, Don't Call Him 'Lefty'

September 16, 2002

Shades of Tom Tupa in Week 1, Cincinnati quarterback Gus Frerotte showed he is not ambidextrous during Sunday's 20-7 loss to Cleveland.

Trailing 10-0, the Bengals were driving when Orpheus Roye broke through the line and bear-hugged Frerotte.

Frerotte throws with his right hand, but he flipped an embarrassing left-handed pass directly in to the arms of Cleveland's Kenard Lang. The 285-pound lineman headed down the sideline with a convoy of blockers, making it to the eight before Frerotte made a diving tackle from behind with 30 seconds left in the half.

"I saw the end zone and at first--I felt like Carl Lewis," Lang said. "Then I felt like the Pillsbury Dough Boy."

Lang wasn't upset that he got caught from behind by a quarterback.

"I couldn't say anything to him," Lang said. "He had already given me a present, so I just told him thank you."

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How bad was Sunday's 44-7 loss to New England for the Jets?

So strong was the Patriot defense, that it held New York to one first down until punter Matt Turk ran 14 yards on a fake punt late in the third quarter.

The 14 yards made Turk the Jets' leading rusher for the game. No one else on the team rushed for more than nine yards.

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For only the fifth time since the NFL began its blackout policy in 1973, home teams sold out all games in advance of the local TV blackout deadline, enabling the 16 games of Week 2 to be televised in the home-team market.

Blackouts have been lifted for all games on a single weekend as a result of all games selling out on Sept. 6-7, 1998; three times in 2000--Nov. 12-13, Nov. 19-20, and Dec. 10-11; and on November 22-26, 2001.

The NFL blackout policy states that games sold out 72 hours before kickoff will be televised in the home city.

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Sunday's key injuries: Larry Allen, the Cowboys' All-Pro lineman, sprained his left ankle during Dallas' 21-13 victory over Tennessee. Allen was hurt late in the second quarter. He tried to return but came out again.

* A week after losing Jevon Kearse with a broken foot, the Titans were briefly without quarterback Steve McNair, who had a concussion in the second quarter.

* The Dolphins were hit hard by injuries, losing linebacker Twan Russell and cornerback Patrick Surtain with sprained left knees in a 21-13 victory at Indianapolis.

* In the loss to the Saints, Packer running back Ahman Green left because of a right knee injury.

* Charger Pro Bowl defensive end, Marcellus Wiley, sprained an ankle after sacking Texan quarterback David Carr twice in San Diego's victory.

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After a six-year absence, Jimmy Johnson will return full-time to the "Fox NFL Sunday" pregame show next weekend. Johnson retired as coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 1993 and was a member of the show during its first two years, 1994-95. He later became coach of the Miami Dolphins.

Compiled by Houston Mitchell

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

*--* Bests of the Day PASSING Att Cmp Yds TD DREW BLEDSOE, Bills 49 35 463 3 RICH GANNON, Raiders 64 43 403 1 TRENT DILFER, Seahawks 47 29 352 1 MARK BRUNELL, Jaguars 36 25 320 2 RODNEY PEETE, Panthers 32 21 310 1 KERRY COLLINS, Giants 26 22 307 1 DAUNTE CULPEPPER, Vikings 45 25 281 3

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*--* RUSHING Att Yards Avg TD THOMAS JONES, Cardinals 24 173 7.2 1 EDGERRIN JAMES, Colts 30 138 4.6 0 RICKY WILLIAMS, Dolphins 24 132 5.5 0 DEUCE McALLISTER, Saints 21 123 5.9 2 FRED TAYLOR, Jaguars 20 114 5.7 1

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*--* RECEIVING No Yards Avg TD PEERLESS PRICE, Bills 13 185 14.2 2 DARRELL JACKSON, Seahawks 10 174 17.4 0 MARVIN HARRISON, Colts 11 144 13.1 1 JOE HORN, Saints 6 120 20.0 0 DERRICK MASON, Titans 7 118 16.9 0

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*--* DEFENSE Breakdown JULIUS PEPPERS, Panthers 3 sacks and a forced fumble BEN LEBER, Chargers 3 of the 9 sacks of David Carr BRIAN URLACHER, Bears 12 tackles and fumble recovery

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