Only one player in NFL history, Lance Alworth, comes within 10 yards of Rice's career average of 84 receiving yards per game. With a record 215 yards in Super Bowl XXIII, Rice was the game's MVP.
"Receivers get beat up. They miss time. Not Rice," says New York Giant director of pro personnel Tim Rooney. "He's played every game with every game a big game because everybody gets up to play him and the 49ers. And his performance never drops off. "
In one out of every eight games in his seven-year career, Rice has outscored the opposing team by himself. And 19 of his 93 touchdown receptions have been game-winners.
No player has caught 500 passes at a younger age than Rice, who got number 500 at 29 years, 49 days last Dec. 1.
In the past five years Rice has caught 75 TD passes, 30 more than runner-up Mark Clayton of Miami. "People don't realize he's prolonged my career," quarterback Joe Montana says. "I'm grateful for that."
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH
WALTER IOOSS JR.
PETER READ MILLER