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AFC-NFC News and Notes

Posted Oct 23, 2013

AFC-NFC News and Notes



AFC News and Notes

NFL RECEIVING TANDEMS MAKING IMPACT 


Receiving tandems around the league are proving difficult to defend.

 

“We always talk about two guys are better than one, and it gives the quarterback more options on who he should throw to,” says NFL Network analyst LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON. “Most of the time, defenses are going to have one really good corner. Well, if you have two good receivers then that’s another corner that you have to have to be able to match up with that team.”

 

Former NFL receiver ISAAC BRUCE certainly believes that having multiple accomplished receivers is extremely beneficial to an offense. In 2000, Bruce and TORRY HOLT combined for 3,106 receiving yards for the St. Louis Rams, the second-most combined receiving yardage total ever by teammates with 1,000 yards each in a season.

 

“Offenses definitely are more productive with multiple options in the passing game,” says Bruce. “Opposing defenses can’t roll coverage or double and that creates man-to-man opportunities for the receiver, which opens up the offense”

 

Entering Week 8, six receiving duos are on pace for each player to reach 1,000 yards, which would tie for the third-most in NFL history (seven in 1999 and 2009).

 

The most combined receiving yards totals by teammates with 1,000 yards each in a season in NFL history:

 

RECEIVING DUO

TEAM

YEAR

YARDS

Herman Moore/Brett Perriman

Detroit Lions

1995

3,174

Isaac Bruce/Torry Holt

St. Louis Rams

2000

3,106

Bill Groman/Charley Hennigan

Houston Oilers

1961

2,921

Ed McCaffrey/Rod Smith

Denver Broncos

2000

2,919

Rob Gronkowski/Wes Welker

New England Patriots

2011

2,896

 

On pace to become the sixth trio to record 1,000 receiving yards each in NFL history, Denver Broncos wide receivers ERIC DECKER, DEMARYIUS THOMAS and WES WELKER force the defense to make difficult decisions. 

 

“You take your pick, they all play like No. 1 receivers,” says Broncos All-Pro cornerback CHAMP BAILEY. “I don't care where they play, or where they line up, that corner is going to have his hands full.”

 

The teams with three players with 1,000 receiving yards in a season in NFL history:

 

TEAM

YEAR

RECEIVERS

Arizona Cardinals

2008

Anquan Boldin, Steve Breaston, Larry Fitzgerald

Indianapolis Colts

2004

Marvin Harrison, Brandon Stokley, Reggie Wayne

Atlanta Falcons

1995

Bert Emanuel, Terance Mathis, Eric Metcalf

Washington Redskins

1989

Gary Clark, Art Monk, Ricky Sanders

San Diego Chargers

1980

John Jefferson, Charlie Joiner, Kellen Winslow

 


NFC News and Notes


DIVISION GAMES TAKE ON ADDED IMPORTANCE

 

With only 16 games per team, every game is critical. But those six games on the schedule against your division seem to have even more significance.

 

“Division games are so important,” says NBC Sports analyst and former head coach TONY DUNGY. “That’s where you’ve got to win if you’re going to win your division.”

 

Since the current eight-division format was instituted in 2002, the 11 Super Bowl champions have posted a combined divisional record of 45-21 (.682) in their title seasons. All 11 clubs posted a .500 or better record in division games during their championship years.

 

“Division games take on more importance,” says Denver Broncos quarterback PEYTON MANNING. “You do more from a preparation standpoint because it’s a division game. Having a good week of practice is really where it starts.” 

 

In Week 8, there are five division games, including three in primetime.

 

DIVISION

GAME

DATE

TIME

NETWORK

NFC South

Carolina at Tampa Bay

Thursday, October 24

8:25 PM ET

NFLN

AFC East

Miami at New England

Sunday, October 27

1:00 PM ET

CBS

NFC East

New York Giants at Philadelphia

Sunday, October 27

1:00 PM ET

FOX

NFC North

Green Bay at Minnesota

Sunday, October 27

8:30 PM ET

NBC

NFC West

Seattle at St. Louis

Monday, October 28

8:40 PM ET

ESPN


“If you can win your division games, it counts more than a game,” says Green Bay Packers wide receiver JORDY NELSON. “Winning your division games is huge when it comes to winning your division.”

 

The Packers, who have won 13 of their past 14 NFC North contests, have been one of the most successful teams in division play.

 

The teams with the best division records over the past five seasons (since 2008):

 

TEAM

DIVISION RECORD

PCT.

OVERALL RECORD

PCT.

New England Patriots       

26-7-0

.788

65-22-0

.747

Green Bay Packers

24-7-0 

.774    

57-29-0 

.663

Baltimore Ravens         

22-10-0 

.688    

57-30-0

.655

San Francisco 49ers

22-10-1

.682

50-36-1

.580

Indianapolis Colts

21-10-0

.677

54-33-0

.621

 

“Division games are important,” says Green Bay head coach MIKE MC CARTHY. “We spend extra time on our division opponents in the offseason, which I’m sure every NFL club does. Your path to success depends on your ability to win games in the division.”

 

The teams with the most division titles since realignment in 2002:

 

TEAM

DIVISION TITLES

PLAYOFF BERTHS

New England

9

9

Indianapolis

7

10

Green Bay

6

8

Philadelphia

5

7

Pittsburgh

5

7

Seattle

5

7

San Diego

5

5


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