American Football: Harrison sets record to upstage the greats

The three greatest wide receivers in the history of the game were on display together when the Oakland Raiders, featuring Jerry Rice and Tim Brown, visited Miami, the current home of Cris Carter. Much was made of the fact that they are the only men ever to catch 1,000 career passes, but all were upstaged by a man who may, one day, gain membership of their élite club.

Marvin Harrison of the Indianapolis Colts caught nine balls for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help his side to an important 28-23 win in Cleveland, taking the Colts a step further to qualification for next month's play-offs.

Harrison's haul means that he has now caught 127 passes this year, breaking the old single-season record of 123 set by Herman Moore of the Detroit Lions in 1995. One of the quietest men in the game, Harrison was probably more delighted that his efforts helped his team overcome an early 16-point deficit. A pair of touchdown runs from James Mungro sealed the deal, although the Browns almost stole it in the last few seconds, only to falter at the Indianapolis five-yard line.

Typically, the man of the moment was strictly business afterwards. "A lot of good things have been going my way this season,'' he said. "We still have two games left, and my focus is on the New York Giants next week.''

Given such single mindedness, Harrison could establish a target which may stand for many years to come.

In contrast, the three veterans in South Florida struggled to impose their class. Carter, the former Minnesota Viking lured of out retirement, enjoyed his first touchdown in Dolphin colours – a dazzling one-handed effort at the back of the end zone; but neither he, nor Oakland's Rice and Brown, were central figures.

That honour fell to the Miami defence, who held the prolific Raider quarterback, Rich Gannon, to a mere 218 passing yards, sacking him five times, three from Jason Taylor. Gannon was then intercepted in the closing stages to enable the Dolphins to hold on for a gritty 23-17 verdict.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Tamper Bay Buccaneers confirmed their post-season participation with victories over Washington and Detroit, respectfully. The Eagles are looking particularly impressive, winning their fourth game in a row after losing their brilliant young quarterback, Donovan McNabb, to a broken ankle.

In his absence, the unproven A J Feeley continues to show promise, throwing a pair of touchdown passes to Duce Staley and Antonio Freeman. However, the team's real strength remains a defensive unit which terrorises opponents, Carlos Emmons scoring with a 44-yard fumble recovery, Philadelphia prevailing 34-21.

Tampa Bay made hard work of it in Detroit, revitalised under the quarterback Mike McMahon, who threw one touchdown pass, then ran for another to tie the scores of 20-20 in the fourth quarter. A major upset loomed, only for Martin Gramatica to spare Buccaneer blushes with a late 38-yard field goal to win.

In a meeting of two teams already assured of post-season play, the Green Bay Packers maintained their hegemony over the San Francisco 49ers with a 20-14 triumph in California. Since 1995, the Packers have won nine of 10 meetings, and this one was never in doubt once Brett Favre threw a five-yard touchdown to Donald Driver for a 17-6 Green Bay lead late in the third quarter.

Pittsburgh and Baltimore both won to keep hopes alive, but San Diego's nosedive continued with a 20-13 reverse in Buffalo, while defeat in Chicago extinguished the prospects of the New York Jets.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power