AFC News and Notes
HALFWAY HOME: AFC MIDSEASON PROJECTIONS
BALTIMORE: QB JOE FLACCO aims to become the first quarterback to start a postseason game in each of his first six seasons in the Super Bowl era. Flacco, who has 2,167 passing yards, is on pace (4,334) to join VINNY TESTAVERDE (4,177 in 1996) as the only players in Ravens history to pass for 4,000 yards in a season…WR TORREY SMITH, who has a team-high 707 receiving yards, is on target (1,414) for the most receiving yards in a single-season in franchise history (MICHAEL JACKSON, 1,201 in 1996)…On defense, LB TERRELL SUGGS (nine) needs 6.5 sacks to surpass PETER BOULWARE (15 in 2001) for the most sacks in a season in club annals.
BUFFALO: Running backs FRED JACKSON (502) and C.J. SPILLER (478) can challenge to become the NFL’s first running back duo to register 1,000 rushing yards apiece in a season since the Panthers’ tandem of JONATHAN STEWART (1,133) and DE ANGELO WILLIAMS (1,117) in 2009. Jackson needs 498 rushing yards to register his second career season with 1,000 rushing yards (1,062 in 2009). Spiller aims to become the first Bills running back with consecutive 1,000 yards seasons since MARSHAWN LYNCH (2007-2008)…WR STEVIE JOHNSON, who has a team-high 423 receiving yards this season, can become the first Bills wide receiver to post four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons…DE MARIO WILLIAMS (11 sacks) can challenge Pro Football Hall of Famer BRUCE SMITH (19 in 1990) for the Bills’ single-season sack record.
CINCINNATI: Third-year QB ANDY DALTON is 25-16 (.610) as a starter, the highest winning percentage by a Bengals quarterback in franchise history (minimum 20 starts). Dalton has passed for 2,587 yards this season and is on pace (4,599) to surpass CARSON PALMER (4,131 in 2007) for the most passing yards in a season in Bengals history...Through Week 9, WR A.J. GREEN leads the NFL with 862 receiving yards and is on track (1,532) for the most receiving yards in a season in club annals (CHAD JOHNSON, 1,440). Green, who is in his third season, has totaled 3,269 receiving yards and can challenge to join RANDY MOSS (4,163) as the only players in NFL history to reach 4,000 receiving yards in the first three seasons of a career.
CLEVELAND: Through Week 9, tight end JORDAN CAMERON leads NFL tight ends in receptions (50) and ranks second among tight ends in receiving yards (600). Cameron can challenge Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end OZZIE NEWSOME (89 in 1983 and 1984) and KELLEN WINSLOW (89 in 2006) for the most receptions by a Browns player in a season. Cameron is also on pace (1,067) to join Winslow and Newsome as the only tight ends in Browns history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season…Second-year WR JOSH GORDON has a team-best 626 receiving yards and can challenge for the most receiving yards in a single-season in franchise history (BRAYLON EDWARDS, 1,289 in 2007).
DENVER: The Broncos (343) have the most points ever by a team through eight games and are on target (686) for the most points in a season in NFL history (New England, 589 in 2007)…Four-time MVP QB PEYTON MANNING has an NFL-best in passing yards (2,919) and touchdowns (29) this season. Manning is on pace for the most passing yards (5,838) and touchdown passes (58) in a single season in NFL history. Manning currently has the second-most career passing yards (62,406) and touchdowns passes (465) in NFL history, trailing only BRETT FAVRE (71,838 passing yards; 508 TD passes)…Newcomer WR WES WELKER (50; 100) is on pace to become the first player in NFL history with six 100-catch seasons. Welker (nine) needs six touchdown catches for the most touchdown receptions in a season in club history (ANTHONY MILLER, 14).
HOUSTON: Veteran WR ANDRE JOHNSON (three) is on pace (813; 1,626) to join Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (four) as the only players in NFL history with four 1,500-yard seasons…First-year quarterback CASE KEENUM hopes to continue his development as an NFL quarterback. In his first two career starts, Keenum has passed for 621 yards with four touchdowns versus zero interceptions and a 118 passer rating…RB ARIAN FOSTER, who has 542 rushing yards, is on pace (1,084) for his fourth consecutive season with 1,000 rushing yards. Since 2010, Foster averages an NFL-best 121.3 scrimmage yards per game…On defense, Houston allows an NFL-low 273.5 yards per game through Week 9.
INDIANAPOLIS: The No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, QB ANDREW LUCK has totaled 6,219 career passing yards and is on pace (8,064) for the most passing yards in the first two seasons of a career in NFL history (CAM NEWTON, 7,920). Luck (10) has the most game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in the first two seasons of career since 1970…Second-year WR T.Y. HILTON leads the team with 533 receiving yards and is on target (1,066) to register 1,000 receiving yards in a season for the first time in his career…All-Star LB ROBERT MATHIS leads the NFL with 11.5 sacks and can challenge the league’s single-season sack record (MICHAEL STRAHAN, 22.5 in 2001).
JACKSONVILLE: QB CHAD HENNE has passed for 1,450 yards in seven games and is on target (3,107) for his second career 3,000-yard season (3,301 in 2010). Henne would become the first Jaguar to throw for 3,000 passing yards since 2009 (DAVID GARRARD, 3,597)…Third-year WR CECIL SHORTS has a team-best 565 receiving yards and can become the first Jaguars player to reach the 1,000-yard mark since 2005 (JIMMY SMITH, 1,023)…LB PAUL POSLUSZNY has a team-best 80 tackles and is on pace (160) to register 100 tackles for the sixth consecutive season.
KANSAS CITY: The Chiefs are 9-0 for the second time in franchise history (2003)…The team record for victories in a season is 13 (1995, 1997, 2003)…Chiefs newcomer ALEX SMITH has 1,919 passing yards and can challenge to become the first Chiefs quarterback with 3,500 passing yards in a season since TRENT GREEN in 2005 (4,014)…RB JAMAAL CHARLES has rushed for 725 yards and is on target (1,288) to surpass 1,200 rushing yards for the third time in his career (1,467 in 2010; 1,509 in 2012)…On defense, LBs TAMBA HALI (nine) and JUSTIN HOUSTON (11) aim to become the first NFL duo to each register at least 15 sacks since Pro Football Hall of Famer CHRIS DOLEMAN (21) and KEITH MILLARD (18) did it with Minnesota in 1989.
MIAMI: Selected eighth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, QB RYAN TANNEHILL has 1,977 passing yards and is on target (3,954) to join Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO as the only quarterbacks in Dolphins history to pass for at least 3,900 yards in a season…In his first season with Miami, WR MIKE WALLACE leads the team with 480 receiving yards and aims to record his third season with 1,000 receiving yards (1,257 in 2010; 1,193 in 2011)…DE CAMERON WAKE (5.5) seeks double-digit sacks for the third time in his career (14 in 2010;15 in 2012).
NEW ENGLAND: Two-time MVP QB TOM BRADY has 2,256 passing yards and is on target (4,011) to join PEYTON MANNING (12), DREW BREES (seven), BRETT FAVRE (six) and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (six) as the only players to have at least six seasons with 4,000 passing yards. Brady, who has a 143-41 (.777) career record, needs four wins to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (147-93, .613) for the fourth-most wins among starting quarterbacks in NFL history…DE CHANDLER JONES has 8.5 sacks in nine games this season and is on pace (15) to join Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker ANDRE TIPPETT (18.5 in 1984; 16.5 in 1985) as the only Patriots to record at least 15 sacks in a season.
NEW YORK JETS: Rookie QB GENO SMITH (1,997; 3,550) is on target for the fifth-most passing yards in a season in Jets annals. The West Virginia product needs 448 passing yards for the most passing yards by a rookie in franchise history (MARK SANCHEZ, 2,444 in 2009)…On defense, DE MUHAMMAD WILKERSON has a career-best eight sacks and is on pace for the third-most sacks by a Jet since sacks became an official statistic in 1982, trailing only MARK GASTINEAU (22 in 1984; 19 in 1983). LB DAVID HARRIS (68) aims to lead the team in tackles for the fifth consecutive season.
OAKLAND: Third-year QB TERRELLE PRYOR has 485 rushing yards through seven games and can challenge MICHAEL VICK (1,039 in 2006) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single-season. Pryor, who has two 100-yard rushing games this season needs one such game to tie Vick’s record (2004 and 2006) for the most 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback in a season in league history…WR DENARIUS MOORE (513; 1,026) is on track to become the first Raider to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season since RANDY MOSS in 2005 (1,005)…On special teams, K SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI (44) needs nine field goals of 50 yards to surpass JASON HANSON (52) for the most career field goals of 50 yards in NFL history.
PITTSBURGH: QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER is on target (2,330; 4,660) to break his own single-season club record of 4,328 passing yards in 2009. Roethlisberger (203) needs 10 touchdown passes to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer TERRY BRADSHAW (212) for the most career touchdown passes in Steelers history…WR ANTONIO BROWN has 61 receptions for 701 yards and is on pace (122 receptions; 1,402 yards) for the most catches and receiving yards in a season by a Steeler…LB LA MARR WOODLEY (five) is on target (10) to become the first Steeler to register four seasons with 10 sacks in franchise history (11.5 in 2008; 13.5 in 2009; 10 in 2010).
SAN DIEGO: QB PHILIP RIVERS has 2,473 passing yards and is on pace (4,946) to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN FOUTS (4,802 in 1981) for the most passing yards in a season in franchise history. Rivers currently has the second-most career passing yards (30,364) and touchdown passes (206) in Chargers annals, trailing only Fouts (43,040 yards, 254 TDs)…Rivers’ top target in the passing game, All-Star TE ANTONIO GATES (8,871), needs 333 receiving yards to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer CHARLIE JOINER (9,203) for the second-most career receiving yards in club history…Rookie WR KEENAN ALLEN leads NFL rookies with 527 receiving yards and can challenge for the most receiving yards by a Chargers rookie (JOHN JEFFERSON, 1,001 in 1978).
TENNESSEE: RB CHRIS JOHNSON (516; 1,032) is on track for his sixth straight season with 1,000 rushing yards. Johnson can surpass EDDIE GEORGE (five) for the most consecutive seasons with 1,000 rushing yards in franchise history. Since entering the NFL in 2008, Johnson has an AFC-best 7,404 rushing yards…Second-year WR KENDALL WRIGHT leads the club with 502 receiving yards. Wright is on target (1,004) to become the first Titans player to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season since 2011 (NATE WASHINGTON, 1,023)...On defense, DT JURRELL CASEY leads the team with six sacks. Casey aims to join RAY CHILDRESS (13 in 1992) as the second defensive tackle in Oilers/Titans history to reach double-digit sacks.
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NFC News and Notes
HALFWAY HOME: NFC MIDSEASON PROJECTIONS
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 Tomlinson as 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.