- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 2, 2008

CHOOSE YOUR POISON

A quarter of the way through the season, Jason Campbell has the NFL‘s fourth-best passer rating (102.2), Clinton Portis ranks fifth in rushing yards (369) and Santana Moss is second in receiving yards (421). If they can keep it up, it would be no small feat.

After all, only a dozen teams since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger have had such a trio - players who finished in the top five in the league in those three categories. For the record, all 12 of the teams made the playoffs, 11 won their division, eight reached the conference title game, seven got to the Super Bowl and five carted home the Lombardi Trophy. (Not to get anyone’s hopes up or anything.)

Surprisingly, the 49ers’ famed triumvirate of Joe Montana, Roger Craig and Jerry Rice didn’t make the list. Neither did the Bills’ Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed - or the Steelers’ Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris and (choose one) Lynn Swann/John Stallworth.

Also missing out, by the narrowest of margins, was the 1983 Redskins threesome of Joe Theismann, John Riggins and Charlie Brown. Theismann (97.0) was the second-rated passer that year and Riggins (1,347 yards) the No. 5 rusher, but Brown finished sixth in receiving yards (1,225, 2 yards behind the Cardinals’ Roy Green).



The select group Campbell, Portis and Moss are trying to join:

Year Team (W-L) Quarterback (NFL rank)Running back (NFL rank)Receiver (NFL rank)

2001 Rams (14-2)** Kurt Warner 101.4 (1)Marshall Faulk 1,382 (5)Torry Holt 1,363 (5)

2000 Vikings (11-5) Daunte Culpepper 98.0 (4)Robert Smith 1,521 (2)Randy Moss 1,437 (5)

1999 Colts (13-3) Peyton Manning 90.7 (4)Edgerrin James 1,553 (1)Marvin Harrison 1,663 (1)

1998 Broncos (14-2)* John Elway 93.0 (5)Terrell Davis 2,008 (1)Rod Smith 1,222 (4)

1995 Cowboys (12-4)* Troy Aikman 93.6 (3)Emmitt Smith 1,773 (1)Michael Irvin 1,603 (4)

1993 Cowboys (12-4)* Aikman 99.0 (2)Smith 1,486 (1)Irvin 1,330 (2)

1992 Cowboys (13-3)* Aikman 89.5 (3)Smith 1,713 (1)Irvin 1,396 (2)

1991 Redskins (14-2)* Mark Rypien 97.9 (2)Earnest Byner 1,048 (5)Gary Clark 1,340 (2)

1988 Rams (10-6) Jim Everett 89.2 (4)Greg Bell 1,212 (4)Henry Ellard 1,414 (1)

1976 Colts (11-3) Bert Jones 102.5 (2)Lydell Mitchell 1,200 (4)Roger Carr 1,112 (1)

1973 Rams (12-2) John Hadl 88.8 (3)Larry McCutcheon 1,097 (4)Harold Jackson 873 (3)

1971 Dolphins (10-3-1)**Bob Griese 90.9 (2)Larry Csonka 1,051 (3)Paul Warfield 996 (2)

*Won Super Bowl. **Lost Super Bowl.

- Dan Daly

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