NFL news of November 13, 2002

The challenge in the salary cap era of the NFL is finding a way to be offensively and defensively balanced. Recent Super Bowl champions Baltimore and St. Louis are examples of teams that scrapped that goal and just loaded up on one side of the ball.

The San Francisco 49ers (7-2), however, are putting together a team with better-than-average symmetry that is quietly tied for the second-best record in the NFL. You probably know about quarterback Jeff Garcia and wide receiver Terrell Owens, Pro Bowl players both. But the likes of defensive tackle Bryant Young, linebacker Julian Peterson and cornerbacks Jason Webster and Ahmed Plummer did their thing Sunday in a 17-13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 49ers held the Chiefs, ranked third in the league in total offense before Sunday, to 256 yards, 113 below their average. Chiefs running back Priest Holmes, before Sunday the league’s leading rusher, ran for 51 yards.

— Ken Sugiura, Atlanta Journal-Constitution “NFL Report: Niners Adept at Balancing Act”

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