The Colts’ Frank Gore, the Old Cane still running strong at 33, last week became only the fifth player to have at least 12,500 career rushing yards and 400 catches. The company he keeps? Four Hall of Famers in Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin and LaDainian Tomlinson.
That got me to researching a quick appreciation of the impact former Miami Hurricanes enjoy in the NFL’s record book. Here are products of UM who rank in the all-time top 25 in notable categories. All are retired unless a current team is noted:
▪ Rushing: Gore is ninth in yards (12,632) and 24th in TDs (74), and Edgerrin James is 12th in yards (12,246) and 19th in TDs (80). Also, Ottis Anderson is 18th in TDs (81) and Clinton Portis is 23rd (75).
▪ Passing: Vinny Testaverde is 10th in yards (46,233) and 14th in touchdowns (275), and Jim Kelly is 24th in yards (35,467) and 26th in TDs (237).
▪ Receiving: Reggie Wayne is eighth in yards (14,345) and 23rd in TDs (82). Newly retired Andre Johnson is 10th in yards (14,185), and Michael Irvin is 25th (11,904).
▪ Returns: The Ravens’ Devin Hester is third in punt-return yards (3,604) and first in PR touchdowns (14). He is 12th in kick-return yards (7,154) and tied for eighth in KR scores (five).
▪ Other: Ed Reed is seventh in interceptions (64), Ted Hendricks is tied for first in safeties (four) and Jeff Feagles is first in punting yards (71,211).
Of the ex-Canes mentioned here, Kelly, Irvin and Hendricks already are in the Hall of Fame. Reed certainly will be. Gore might get there. Wayne should. Johnson has a solid shot and James a fair one. Wouldn’t totally discount Hester, either, although specialists have it tougher.
THIS AND THAT
▪ Patriots are increasingly clear Super Bowl favorites at 2-1 odds, via Bovada. Cowboys and Seahawks are next at 8-1; nobody else better than 16-1. Miami is still 5-1 against to make playoffs. And Tom Brady is an 8-5 MVP favorite over Matt Ryan’s 3-1.
▪ Cowboys’ Dak Prescott as Rookie of the Year? Start here: First rookie QB in Super Bowl Era to be 7-1 and have six games with a 100-plus passer rating. Teammate Ezekiel Elliott as Rookie of the Year? Start here: With 109 yards Sunday he’d join Eric Dickerson and Adrian Peterson as only backs with 1,000 yards in first nine career games.
▪ Special: Dolphins are only team this season with a return TD via both kickoff (Kenyan Drake, 96 yards) and punt (Jakeem Grant, 74). And both are rookies.
▪ Close: NFL is on record pace for most games within one score in fourth quarter and most decided by eight points or fewer.
▪ Patriots have not thrown an interception in 249 passes this season over eight games. Record for most passes with no INTs to start a season is 251 (2008 Redskins).
▪ Canton-bound Drew Brees last week had his 30th career game with 300-plus yards, three-plus TDs and zero interceptions.
▪ Ex-Dolphin Mike Wallace of Ravens last week became first player to have a 95-yard TD catch with two different teams; also did it with Steelers in 2011.
▪ Falcon Matt Ryan (3,133) broke Peyton Manning’s record for most passes completed in one’s first nine seasons, while teammate Julio Jones (465) broke Anquan Boldin’s mark for most catches in one’s first 75 games.