HALFWAY HOME: NFC MIDSEASON PROJECTIONS
November 5, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
ARIZONA: WR LARRY FITZGERALD leads the team with 470 receiving yards and aims for his seventh career 1,000-yard season, the most in franchise history. Fitzgerald reached 800 career receptions in Week 8, becoming the youngest player in NFL history (30 years, 57 days) to accomplish the feat…Rookie RB ANDRE ELLINGTON has 43 carries for 333 yards, averaging 7.7 yards per carry. The franchise record for the highest rushing average in a season (minimum 100 carries) is 5.9 yards per carry set by John David Crow in 1960…QB CARSON PALMER has passed for 1,913 yards and is attempting to become the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 4,000 yards with three different teams. He previously recorded 4,000-yard seasons with Cincinnati (2006 and 2007) and Oakland (2012).
ATLANTA: QB MATT RYAN is on pace to pass his own single-season club passing records for completions (450), attempts (664) and yards (4,884). Last season, Ryan set the team marks with 422 completions, 615 attempts and 4,719 yards. Ryan is on target for 30 touchdown passes, which would mark his fourth consecutive season with at least 28 touchdown passes…TE TONY GONZALEZ joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice(274) as the only players in NFL history to record a catch in at least 200 consecutive games. Gonzalez’s current streak is now at 203 games in a row. With 44 receptions, Gonzalez needs six catches to extend his NFL-record streak to 16 consecutive seasons with 50+ receptions. Gonzalez and Rice (17) are the only two players in league history to have 15 50-catch seasons.
CAROLINA: QB CAM NEWTON, who played in his 40th career game in Week 9, is the first player in NFL history with at least 50 passing (53) and 25 rushing (26) touchdowns in his first 40 games. Newton’s 79 total touchdowns are the fourth-most by a player in his first 40 games…WR STEVE SMITH, who reached 800 career receptions this season, joined Tim Brown as the only players in league history with at least 800 catches (808) and receiving (66), rushing (two), punt-return (four) and kickoff-return (two) touchdowns…LB LUKE KUECHLY, the 2012 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, leads the NFL with 228 tackles since entering the league in 2012…DE CHARLES JOHNSON ties for second in the NFC with seven sacks and can become the first player in franchise history to record at least nine sacks in four consecutive years.
CHICAGO: WR BRANDON MARSHALL is second in the NFC with 53 receptions and is on pace for 106 catches, which would be the second-most in franchise history behind Marshall’s 118 in 2012. He has six receiving touchdowns and looks to challenge the team record of 13 held by Ken Kavanaugh (1947) and Dick Gordon (1970). Marshall (1,294) and WR ALSHON JEFFERY (1,242) are on target to become the first set of Bears to each record at least 1,200 receiving yards in the same season…RB MATT FORTÉ has rushed for 658 yards and caught 40 passes for 316 yards. Forté, who needs 26 yards to become the first Bear with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first six seasons, looks to join Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton as the only players in club history with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in a season.
DALLAS: QB TONY ROMO is on target for his fifth 4,000-yard season (4,538). Romo currently owns the only four 4,000-yard passing seasons in franchise history, including a team-record 4,903 yards last season. Romo has a 100.0 passer rating and can become the first Cowboy with two seasons with a 100+ rating. Romo and Pro Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach are the only two in team history with one such season…WR DEZ BRYANT has eight receiving touchdowns and can challenge the team record of 15 set by Terrell Owens in 2007. TE JASON WITTEN, the franchise leader with 851 receptions, needs 547 yards to join Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin as the only Cowboys with 10,000 receiving yards…LB SEAN LEE can be the first Cowboy to lead the NFL in interceptions since Everson Walls in 1985.
DETROIT: WR CALVIN JOHNSON is on pace for his third consecutive 1,600-yard season (1,642) and would be the first player in NFL history to accomplish the feat. Johnson is the only player in league annals with back-to-back 1,600-yard seasons (2011-12). Johnson has five 200-yard receiving games in his career, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth for the most all-time…QB MATTHEW STAFFORD is on track for 5,234 passing yards, which would be the third-most in a single season in NFL history. Stafford, who had 5,038 yards in 2011, can join Drew Brees (three) as the only players to pass for at least 5,000 yards in multiple seasons…RB REGGIE BUSH is on pace to become the first player in franchise history with at least 1,000 rushing yards (1,110) and 700 receiving yards (717) in the same season.
GREEN BAY: QB AARON RODGERS leads the NFC with a 108.0 passer rating and can become the first player in NFL history to post a 100+ passer rating in five consecutive seasons. Rodgers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young are the only players to record a 100+ rating in four seasons in a row…Rookie RB EDDIE LACY has rushed for 545 yards since October 1, the most in the NFL during that span. Lacy, who has 596 rushing yards in seven games, is on pace to surpass John Brockington’s franchise rookie record of 1,105 rushing yards set in 1971…WR JORDY NELSON has 716 receiving yards and looks to challenge the single-season team record of 1,497 yards set by Robert Brooks in 1995. Nelson has seven touchdowns and can become the first Packer with multiple 14+ TD-catch seasons.
MINNESOTA: RB ADRIAN PETERSON, the 2012 AP Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, is on pace for 1,422 rush yards and 14 touchdowns. He can join LaDainian Tomlinsonas the only players in NFL history to rush for at least 900 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of their first seven seasons. Peterson has 12 career touchdown runs of at least 60 yards, including two in 2013, the most in NFL history…Rookie KR CORDARRELLE PATTERSON leads the NFL with a 36.7 KR average, which would be the third-highest single-season mark in NFL history and the second-best by a rookie. Patterson has already returned two kickoffs for a touchdown, including a 109-yarder in Week 8, the longest kick return in NFL history and tied for the longest play all-time. No Viking has ever led the NFL in KR average.
NEW ORLEANS: QB DREW BREES is on pace for 5,344 passing yards, which would be the second-most in a season in NFL history behind the record (5,476) he set in 2011. It would mark Brees’ fourth career 5,000-yard season. Entering 2013, there have been six 5,000-yard passing seasons and Brees has three of them…TE JIMMY GRAHAM leads the NFL with 10 receiving touchdowns and is on target for 20, which would be the most by a tight end in NFL history. That total would also be the third-most in a season by any player, trailing only Randy Moss (23 in 2007) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (22 in 1987). Graham has 746 receiving yards and is on pace to set the record for the position with 1,492 yards. Graham (1,310) and Rob Gronkowski (1,327) are the only TEs in NFL history with 1,300 yards in a season.
NEW YORK: QB ELI MANNING is on pace for 4,334 passing yards, which would be the second-most in a single season in team history (Manning, 4,933 in 2011). It would also mark Manning’s fourth career 4,000-yard season. There have been five such seasons in franchise history and Manning owns three of them…WRs VICTOR CRUZ (1,354) and HAKEEM NICKS (1,042) are on pace to each record 1,000 yards in the same season for the second time (2011). Cruz and Nicks are the only duo in club annals to accomplish the feat. Cruz has 47 catches for 677 yards and four touchdowns. He is attempting to register his third consecutive season with at least 80 catches, 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. Cruz owns the only two such seasons in franchise history.
PHILADELPHIA: QB NICK FOLES tied the NFL single-game record with seven touchdown passes in Week 9. He completed 22 of 28 passes (78.6 percent) for 406 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions for a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark. Foles is the first player in NFL history to record a 158.3 passer rating and throw seven touchdowns in the same game. He also joined Peyton Manning and Pro Football Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle as the only players to throw seven touchdowns without an interception in a game…RB LE SEAN MC COY leads the NFL in rushing with 777 yards and can be the first Eagle to win the rushing title since Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren in 1949…WR DE SEAN JACKSON leads the NFC with 823 receiving yards and is on pace for a team-record 1,463 yards.
ST. LOUIS: DE ROBERT QUINN leads the NFC with 10 sacks and is on pace to surpass the single-season franchise record (17) set by Kevin Carter in 1999. DE CHRIS LONG has 5.5 sacks and aims for his third consecutive 10-sack season. Quinn and Long, who each had 10+ sacks last season, can become the first duo in club history to each record at least 10 sacks in back-to-back seasons…Rookie RB ZAC STACY has rushed for 471 yards in five starts (94.2 yards per game), including 100-yard performances in Weeks 8 and 9. Over the past 20 years, Stacy and Steven Jackson (2004) are the only rookies in franchise history with consecutive 100-yard rushing games. Stacy can become the first Rams rookie to rush for at least 1,000 yards since 1993 when Jerome Bettis rushed for 1,429 yards for the Los Angeles Rams.
SAN FRANCISCO: RB FRANK GORE has rushed for 618 yards and seven touchdowns. He is on pace for his franchise-record seventh 1,000-yard season and is poised to set the club single-season record for rushing touchdowns (10) with 14…TE VERNON DAVIS (1,110) and WR ANQUAN BOLDIN (1,102) are each on pace to reach 1,100 receiving yards. Davis and Boldin would be the first set of teammates in franchise history to each record 1,100 receiving yards in the same season. Davis is on target to set team records for most receiving yards (1,110) and touchdowns (15) by a tight end…QB COLIN KAEPERNICK has passed for 1,584 yards and rushed for 294 yards. He is on pace to join Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young as the only 49ers with at least 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in the same season.
SEATTLE: The Seahawks are 8-1 for the first time in franchise history…QB RUSSELL WILSON has won 19 of his first 25 career NFL starts and has posted a 99.3 passer rating. He is a perfect 12-0 at home – with a 114.5 passer rating – and can become the first quarterback to post a 16-0 home record as a starter in his first two NFL seasons to begin a career…RB MARSHAWN LYNCH is second in the league with 726 rushing yards and aims to be the first Seahawk to lead the NFL in rushing since 2005 when Shaun Alexander rushed for 1,880 yards and was named the AP Most Valuable Player…CB RICHARD SHERMAN and S EARL THOMAS are tied for the NFL lead with four interceptions. The last time a Seahawk led the NFL in interceptions was 1993, when Eugene Robinson tied for the top spot in the NFL with nine INTs.
TAMPA BAY: LB LAVONTE DAVID leads the team with 70 tackles and five sacks and is tied for second on the club with one interception. David, who led the Buccaneers with 139 tackles as a rookie in 2012, is on track to become the first player in club history with at least 100 tackles, 10 sacks and two interceptions in a season…WR VINCENT JACKSON has a team-high 634 receiving yards and is on pace to become the first player in franchise history with consecutive 1,200-yard seasons. Jackson recorded 1,384 receiving yards last year, his first season with Tampa Bay…RB DOUG MARTIN has rushed for 456 yards in six games. Martin, who had 1,454 rushing yards as a rookie in 2012, can be the third player in franchise history with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons joining James Wilder (1984-85) and Errict Rhett (1994-95).
WASHINGTON: QB ROBERT GRIFFIN III, the 2012 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, is the only player in the NFL with a 90+ passer rating (92.7) and at least 1,000 rushing yards (1,072) since the start of 2012. He is on pace for 4,338 passing yards this year, which would be the most in franchise history…RB ALFRED MORRIS, who rushed for a team-record 1,613 yards as a rookie in 2012, is on pace for 1,372 yards and seeks to become the first player in club annals with 3,000 rushing yards over a two-year span…WR PIERRE GARçON has 54 catches and is on target to pass Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Monk’s team record of 106 receptions set in 1984…LB RYAN KERRIGAN is on pace for 13 sacks and would join Dexter Manley, Charles Mann and Ken Harvey as the only Redskins with 13+ sacks in a season.