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NFL: WHAT TO LOOK FOR

October 31, 2012
Richmond High School



STILL IN THE MIX: History shows that a losing record at this point in the season does not negate a team’s chances of making the playoffs. Since 2000, 29 teams have reached the halfway point of their season with a .500 or below winning percentage and proceeded to the playoffs, including at least one in each season.

 

Of those 29 clubs, five have advanced to the Conference Championship Game, including the 2001 New England Patriots, who won Super Bowl XXXVI. 

 

The five teams since 2000 to start .500 or worse halfway through the season and advance to the Conference Championship Game:

 

SEASON

TEAM

RECORD

ADVANCED TO:

2001

New England

4-4

Won Super Bowl XXXVI

2002

Tennessee

4-4

Championship Game

2002

Oakland 

4-4

Lost Super Bowl XXXVII

2007

San Diego

4-4

Championship Game

2009

New York Jets

4-4

Championship Game

 

-- NFL --

 

SUNDAY ENDS: On Sunday Night Football, two prolific tight ends will face off as TONY GONZALEZ and the undefeated Atlanta Falcons (7-0) play host to JASON WITTEN and the Dallas Cowboys (3-4). Gonzalez and Witten rank among the top three tight ends in all-time receptions and receiving yards:

 

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

RECEPTIONS

RECEIVING YARDS

Tony Gonzalez

Kansas City, Atlanta

1,195

13,797

Shannon Sharpe*

Denver, Baltimore

815

10,060

Jason Witten

Dallas

747

8,396

* Pro Football Hall of Famer

 

 

 

         

 

Gonzalez has 46 receptions this season and 1,195 for his career, second all-time behind Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (1,549). He is the only player in NFL history with 14 consecutive 50-reception seasons and has 99 career touchdown catches. The following are the milestones that Gonzalez can reach on Sunday night against Dallas:

 

  • With four catches, Gonzalez (14) will join Rice (17) as the only players in NFL history with 15 50-reception seasons.

 

  • With five receptions, Gonzalez (1,195) will join Rice as the only players with 1,200 career receptions.

 

  • With a touchdown catch, Gonzalez (99) can become the first tight end and the eighth player in league history to amass 100 touchdown receptions.

 

Last Sunday, Witten (18) became only the third player in NFL history to record two games with at least 15 receptions (BRANDON MARSHALL and WES WELKER). His 18 receptions are tied for the third-most by any player in a single game and the most by a tight end in a single game in NFL history.

 

Witten has 51 receptions in 2012, marking his ninth consecutive 50-catch season, the second-most by a tight end behind Gonzalez. With four receptions on Sunday night, Witten (747) can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL IRVIN (750) for the most receptions in franchise history.

 

-- NFL --

 

MANNING WAY: Last week, Denver quarterback PEYTON MANNING completed 22 of 30 passes (73.3 percent) for 305 yards and three touchdowns in the Broncos’ 34-14 win over New Orleans. It marked Manning's fourth consecutive game with at least 300 yards and three touchdowns, the second-longest such streak in one season in NFL history.

 

Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback STEVE YOUNG opened the 1998 season with five consecutive games of at least 300 yards passing and three touchdowns. If Manning passes for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday against Cincinnati, he will tie Young for the longest such streak in a season in NFL history.

 

A look at Young’s and Manning’s streaks with at least 300 yards passing and three touchdowns in consecutive games:

 

STEVE YOUNG’S STREAK

 

PEYTON MANNING’S STREAK

DATE

OPPONENT

PASS YARDS

TDs

 

DATE

OPPONENT

PASS YARDS

TDs

9/6/1998

vs. NY Jets

363

3

 

9/30/2012

vs. Oakland

338

3

9/14/1998

at Washington

303

3

 

10/7/2012

at New England

337

3

9/27/1998

vs. Atlanta

387

3

 

10/15/2012

at San Diego

309

3

10/4/1998

at Buffalo

329

3

 

10/28/2012

vs. New Orleans

305

3

10/11/1998

at New Orleans

309

3

 

11/4/2012

at Cincinnati

???

???

 

-- NFL --

 

10,000 CLUB: Detroit quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD (9,948) needs 52 passing yards on Sunday at Jacksonville to reach 10,000 career passing yards. Stafford will play in his 37th career game Sunday and can become the second-fastest player to reach 10,000 career passing yards (KURT WARNER, 36).

 

The fewest games to reach 10,000 career passing yards in NFL history:

 

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

GAMES

Kurt Warner

St. Louis

36

Marc Bulger

St. Louis

38

Dan Marino

Miami

38

Peyton Manning

Indianapolis

39

 

 

 

Matthew Stafford

Detroit

36*

                               * Needs 52 pass yards

 

-- NFL --

 

ROOKIE SHOWDOWN: In Week 9, Miami rookie quarterback RYAN TANNEHILL will lead the Dolphins (4-3) to Indianapolis to face 2012 NFL Draft No. 1 overall selection ANDREW LUCK and the Colts (4-3). The matchup will mark the first time since the merger that two rookie quarterbacks, each with at least three wins, faced each other in a game.

 

The Dolphins have won three consecutive games, while the Colts have won back-to-back games and three out of their past four games. Luck has the highest winning percentage (.571) through Week 8 in NFL history by a rookie quarterback who was the No. 1 overall pick. Tannehill passed for 431 yards in Week 4 at Arizona, the second-most by a rookie quarterback in NFL history (CAM NEWTON, 432 in 2011).

 

-- NFL --

 

ZERO TO 60: Pittsburgh head coach MIKE TOMLIN has a 59-28 (.678) record in six seasons. With a win on Sunday at the New York Giants, Tomlin (88) can tie CHUCK KNOX (88) for the fourth-fewest games to reach 60 career victories among coaches who began their career since 1970.

 

GEORGE SEIFERT (75) reached 60 wins in the fewest games in NFL history.

 

The coaches who began their career since 1970 to win 60 games in the fewest games 

 

COACH

TEAM(S)^

NO. OF GAMES

George Seifert

San Francisco

75

Joe Gibbs

Washington

84

Mike Ditka

Chicago

85

Chuck Knox

LA Rams, Buffalo

88

Bill Cowher

Pittsburgh

90

Andy Reid

Philadelphia

90

 

 

 

Mike Tomlin

Pittsburgh

87*

* 59 career victories

^ Through first 60 wins

 

 

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