The best and worst from yesterday's games:


Whitehead Needs To Pay Attention

Apparently, Saints defensive end Willie Whitehead missed the news that the NFL is cracking down on players who celebrate big plays with a throat-slashing gesture.

Whitehead made the gesture after sacking Rams quarterback Kurt Warner in the first quarter yesterday. Whitehead was not penalized by field officials, but the gesture was replayed on TV several times, and he faces a fine from the league.

On Tuesday, the NFL threatened fines and penalties for a gesture it said depicted "an unacceptable act of violence."

Injury Report

Buccaneers quarterback Trent Dilfer broke his right collarbone on the second play of the second half when he was sacked by Seahawks defensive end Phillip Daniels. He was replaced by rookie Shaun King, who led Tampa Bay to a 16-3 victory.

Vikings Honor Marshall

The Vikings retired Jim Marshall's No. 70 jersey

in a pregame ceremony.

Marshall, a defensive end for the Vikings from 1961 to '79, holds NFL records for consecutive games played (282) and opponents' fumbles recovered (29). He played in four Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls.

"He symbolized what the Vikings were," former coach Bud Grant said. "He was our captain. He was our leader. He was our soul. He was everybody's friend. The tougher the game, the worse the weather, the more he liked it."

Marshall credited Fred Zamberletti, the Vikings' trainer since 1961, for helping him become one of the NFL's most durable players.

"He kept me healthy for 19 seasons," Marshall said.

Odds and Ends

Rams kickoff returner Tony Horne broke free for a 64-yarder to open the game against the Saints and followed with returns of 42 and 41 yards. Those two set up a pair of early touchdowns for St. Louis in a 43-12 victory. ... With a victory over the Steelers, the Bengals put off setting an NFL record for most losses by any team in one decade. With 106 setbacks in the 1990s, they remained one loss shy of the mark. Although Cincinnati has won only three of its last 23 games, it has beaten the Steelers three times in the last two seasons.



Defensive statistics recorded by the Cardinals' Simeon Rice on one play in the third quarter of yesterday's victory over the Giants. He sacked Jake Plummer, forced a fumble and recovered it.


Turnovers by the Giants in the last three games, all losses. Yesterday against the Cardinals, quarterback Kerry Collins threw three interceptions and lost a fumble.


Points allowed by the Bills in their five home victories this season. Buffalo's only loss at Ralph Wilson Stadium is a

20-14 decision to Oakland.


The Titans' scoring margin over opponents in the first quarter this season. Yesterday, Tennessee scored on the opening possession in a 33-21 victory over the Browns.