Sunday, October 12, 2003

Frerotte's on fire, still heads to bench


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In three starts last season for the Bengals, Gus Frerotte completed 51.8 percent of his passes for one touchdown and five interceptions. His passer rating was 46.9.

In two starts and one relief appearance this season for the 5-0 Vikings, Frerotte has a 119.9 passer rating, a 59.4 completion percentage, seven touchdowns and two interceptions.

Still, Daunte Culpepper will start Oct. 19 when the Vikings resume play against Denver.

"This is Daunte's team," said Frerotte, who displayed the same team-oriented attitude during the darkest days of 2002.

RUSH TO VICTORY: The five teams that lead the league in rushing - the Ravens, Panthers, Broncos, Vikings and Chiefs - are a combined 20-3 (.870).

ON THE PROWL: Stephen Davis has rushed for 111, 142, 153 and 159 yards in his first four games for the 4-0 Panthers, who play today at Indianapolis.

"Stephen Davis is the best thing that's ever happened to us," safety Mike Minter said.

MONDAY NIGHT REVIEW: The Colts made NFL history in becoming the first team to rally from three touchdowns down inside of four minutes. They defeated Tampa Bay 38-35 in overtime.

In the Indianapolis TV market, 386,880 households were tuned to the game at 8:30 p.m. That number fell to 286,000 two hours later. But when the Colts rallied from a 35-14 disadvantage, the numbers climbed to 340,080.

HOMECOMING: Chicago's Kordell Stewart is the third consecutive quarterback with New Orleans ties to face the Saints.

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning bombed his hometown team for a club-record six touchdown passes in a 55-21 rout Sept. 28. Former Saints quarterback Jake Delhomme guided Carolina to a 19-13 victory over New Orleans last weekend. This week, Stewart returns to his hometown, where he'll get his first chance to play in the Superdome.

HELLO: Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio told Mark Brunell in a phone call Tuesday he'll be the backup when his elbow is healed. Byron Leftwich won the quarterback job with a 336-yard performance against the winless Chargers.

Leftwich has 567 passing yards in his first two starts and needs 138 against Miami to surpass Dan Marino's figure of 704 in his first three rookie starts.

THIN AIR: Broncos kicker Jason Elam joined the top 20 scorers in NFL history last Sunday. Later this season, he is likely to become the first NFL player to score 100 points in 11 consecutive seasons.

NUMEROLOGY: Since 1990 when the NFL went to a 12-team playoff format, 19 teams started the season 5-0 or better. Of those 19, only one did not make the playoffs: the 1993 Saints, who started with five consecutive victories and then went 3-8 for an 8-8 record. Of those 18, eight reached the Super Bowl, and five won it.

DOT, DOT, DOT: Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander averaged 202 yards rushing and four touchdowns in his past two home games on ESPN. Seattle plays the 49ers tonight on ESPN. ... The Eagles have a six-game winning streak over the Cowboys, in which they've outscored Dallas by an average of 34-10. ... Steve Spurrier is 10-11 as Redskins coach, but he's just 1-7 against the Eagles (0-3), Giants (0-3) and Cowboys (1-1). That makes him 9-4 against the rest of the league.

AFC NORTH: Baltimore's Jamal Lewis is on a pace to rush for 2,444 yards, which would shatter Eric Dickerson's record of 2,105 for a season.

The Raiders are 4-0 in Cleveland. Today is the first visit by an Oakland team since they broke the hearts of the Kardiac Kids team in 1980 and beat the Browns in a wild-card game 14-12 on a Mike Davis interception of Brian Sipe in the end zone. That play is known as "The Pass" in Browns lore, long before "The Drive" and "The Fumble" against Denver in 1986 and '87.

The Steelers' losses to Tennessee (30-13) and Cleveland (33-13) represent the largest margin of defeat in consecutive home games, 37 points, since their 2-11-1 1968 team lost to the New York Giants 34-20 and Baltimore 41-7, a margin of 48 points.

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Compiled from notes submitted by NFL beat writers.




BASEBALL PLAYOFFS
ALCS Game 3: New York 4, Boston 3
NLCS Game 4: Cubs 8, Marlins 3
Popeye takes on Pedro
Cubs, Marlins break NLCS homer record
Playoff notebook

BENGALS / NFL
Palmer's time remains a mystery
Frerotte's on fire, still heads to bench
Curnutte's NFL power rankings

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
UAB 31, UC 14
No. 23 Wisconsin 17, No. 3 Ohio St. 10
Buckeyes fans watch winning streak end
Miami 59, Buffalo 3
QB is making mark in MAC
No. 1 Oklahoma 65, No. 11 Texas 13
No. 2 Miami 22, No. 5 Florida St. 14
Notre Dame 20, No. 15 Pittsburgh 14
Northwestern 37, Indiana 31 (OT)
Roundup of other Top 25 games
Scores, how Top 25 fared
Small colleges: Mt. St. Joe thumps Manchester 28-6
Quarterback corner
ACC expansion: Boston College targeted again
Clarett's attorney: Court should protect tailback

SPORTS IN THE TRISTATE
Daugherty: As good as it gets
The readers speak
Powerful Denison's deep with Cincinnati players
Enquirer Page Two power rankings

PREP SPORTS
Athletes at the mercy of injuries
Pupils await Shields' next move
Covington Catholic 34, South Oldham 12
2nd-round 64 sends Hillsboro's Balser to Div. II title
NewCath captures district championship
Ursuline's Rentschler repeats as champ
Saturday's results

BASKETBALL
Former locals ready to start NBA careers
New looks await as practices open

HOCKEY
Blue Jackets surprise woeful Rangers 5-0

SOCCER
Americans finish on high note

GOLF
Appleby atop Vegas by one

MOTOR SPORTS
Stewart chases down win
Biffle sets mark with Busch win
Tracy remains on pole for Mexico Grand Prix
IRL's finale may be its best

ON THE AIR
Sports on TV, radio

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