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NFL ENTERS FINAL QUARTER AS TEAMS MAKE PUSH FOR PLAYOFFS

December 4, 2013
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



The NFL season enters the home stretch with 29 teams still in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII. The final quarter of the season kicks off this week with playoff berths on the line. 

 

“The games in December are the most important regular-season games by far,” says NFL Network analyst and former NFL head coach STEVE MARIUCCI. “It’s extremely important to win in December and to make a run at the playoffs and show improvement. You want your team to peak in December. It’s important to stay healthy and keep your players fresh. You remember what happens in December.”

 

Over the past five seasons (since 2008), the New England Patriots own the best record in the month, which also includes regular-season games played in January. 

 

“Every game counts this time of year,” says Philadelphia Eagles linebacker TRENT COLE, who has four sacks in his past two games. “It’s very critical. We’re going to take every game one by one and see where we are at the end of the season. When December 29th comes, we’ll see where we are at.”

 

TEAM

WINS

LOSSES

PCT.

New England Patriots

22

3

.880

San Diego Chargers

19

6

.760

Indianapolis Colts

18

7

.720

Atlanta Falcons

16

8

.667

Green Bay Packers

16

8

.667

Pittsburgh Steelers

16

8

.667

 

“There’s a month of football left,” says Arizona Cardinals quarterback CARSON PALMER. “There’s a lot of football left to be played and a lot of crazy things happen this time of year. We just have to keep our heads down, continue to work and take it one game at a time. That’s all you can worry about right now.”

 

With four games remaining, 20 teams are either in or within one game of a playoff spot. Five more teams are within two games of a postseason berth.

 

“We just need to keep winning games” says Dallas Cowboys quarterback TONY ROMO. “More than anything, you’ve got to keep stacking wins together and then see where you’re at in the end.”

 

Some of the top performers in December/January since 2008

 

PLAYER

PASS YARDS

 

PLAYER

RUSH YARDS

 

PLAYER

REC YARDS

Drew Brees

7,206

 

Adrian Peterson

2,200

 

Calvin Johnson

2,416

Philip Rivers

6,300

 

Chris Johnson

1,989

 

Andre Johnson

2,254

Aaron Rodgers

6,041

 

Ray Rice

1,948

 

Brandon Marshall

1,950

Eli Manning

6,000

 

Jamaal Charles

1,878

 

Roddy White

1,940

Tom Brady

5,816

 

Steven Jackson

1,811

 

Wes Welker

1,872

 

PLAYER

OVERALL TDs

 

PLAYER

SACKS

 

PLAYER

INTS

Marshawn Lynch

19

 

Jared Allen

24.0

 

Ed Reed

11

Adrian Peterson

18

 

Tamba Hali

21.5

 

Tarell Brown

8

Darren Sproles

17

 

DeMarcus Ware

21.0

 

Michael Griffin

8

Marques Colston

16

 

Julius Peppers

19.5

 

Reggie Nelson

8

Chris Johnson

16

 

Three tied

16.5

 

Many tied

7


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