Dec. 3: A day for offense
Every 50 years on December 3rd, the NFL has a huge explosion of offense.
Proof of this claim can be found in the fact that on Dec. 3, 1950, Hall of Fame end Tom Fears had a game to remember as he hauled in 18 RECEPTIONS in the Los Angeles Rams’ 51-14 thrashing of the Green Bay Packers in the season finale. He accomplished this feat on the same day that he was celebrating his 28th birthday. That record stood as one of the longest-lasting marks in the record book until 2000 when Terrell Owens, then of the San Francisco 49ers, caught 20 passes in a game.
On Dec. 3, 2000, a half-century to the day from Fears’ record-setting game, FOUR DIFFERENT RUNNING BACKS RUSHED FOR 200 YARDS. That had never happened before and it has not happened since.
Mike Anderson led all rushers in Week 14 when he rushed for a then-rookie record 251 yards on 37 carries and scored 4 TDs as the Denver Broncos beat the New Orleans Saints 38-23 for the team’s fifth straight win. His jersey from this day ended up in Canton.
Second in line that week was the player who had held the rookie record until Anderson broke it. Corey Dillon had his third career 200-yard effort and second of the season as he mustered 216 yards in the Bengals’ 24-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Incidentally, Dillon’s two prior 200-yard games were both records. His first career 200-yarder set the rookie record (246). Then, on Oct. 22, 2000, he set the all-time NFL single game record of 278 yards on Oct. 22, 2000 (also since broken).
Warrick Dunn of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers also reached 200 yards this day, marking the only 200-yard game of his NFL career. He had 210 yards on 22 carries and a pair of touchdowns as the Bucs downed the Dallas Cowboys, 27-7. It was the first time in franchise history that the Bucs beat the Cowboys.
The fourth runner to reach 200 yards on this day was 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist Curtis Martin who carried the ball 30 times for a then franchise-record 203 yards and 1 TD to lead the New York Jets to a 27-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
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