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AFC Notes

December 5, 2012
Richmond High School



Four weeks remain in the NFL regular season and wins are increasingly tough to come by, with every game of vital importance in the race to the playoffs.

 

“We’ve got the last quarter of the season coming up,” says Denver head coach JOHN FOX, whose club clinched the AFC West title last week with a 31-23 win over Tampa Bay. “We always say, ‘people remember what you do in December,’ so that’s what we have ahead of us. I think everybody’s going to be fighting for home-field advantage, for a first round bye. All those things are things people are competing for at this point.”

 

Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK understands what’s required down the stretch.  Since 2007, New England has posted a 19-1 (.950) record in the final four games of a season, the highest winning percentage in the NFL. Belichick and the Patriots will host the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football (ESPN, 8:30 PM ET) in Week 14.

 

“We all know that the fewer games there are, the more important they become,” says Belichick. “With each game, we play one less and each one becomes bigger. There aren’t many left.”

 

The best records in the final four games of a season since 2007:

 

TEAM

W-L RECORD

WIN PCT.

New England Patriots

19-1

.950

San Diego Chargers

18-2

.900

Indianapolis Colts

15-5

.750

Philadelphia Eagles

15-5

.750

Baltimore Ravens

14-6

.700

 

Houston wide receiver ANDRE JOHNSON certainly has a sense of urgency as the final quarter of the season approaches. The Texans (11-1), who have the best record in the AFC, aim to clinch the AFC South title and secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC postseason.

 

“We’re learning as we go through this experience, but we know every game gets bigger and we have a chance to fight to be at the top of the AFC,” says Johnson. “We know how big that could be for us if we’re able to get that accomplished. Every game gets bigger and is going to continue to get bigger.”

 

The Indianapolis Colts (8-4), who have won six of their past seven games, are in a position to make a postseason run. The Colts, who are 5-1 at home this season, host Tennessee in Week 14 (CBS, 1:00 PM ET). Indianapolis has been led by rookie ANDREW LUCK, who has the most wins by a rookie quarterback drafted number one overall in the Super Bowl era.

 

“This is a team that won two games last season,” says NBC Sports analyst and former Indianapolis head coach TONY DUNGY. “They are going to be in the playoffs this year because of Andrew Luck. They believe in this guy. This is what they did not have last year, faith that they could win these games.”

 

The best division records in December since 2002:

 

TEAM

W-L RECORD

WIN PCT.

New England Patriots

17-4

.810

Indianapolis Colts

18-5

.783

Philadelphia Eagles

16-5

.762

Green Bay Packers

14-5

.737

Pittsburgh Steelers

14-5

.737


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