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NFL SEASON ENTERS SECOND QUARTER

Posted Oct 1, 2013

NFL SEASON ENTERS SECOND QUARTER



NFL SEASON ENTERS SECOND QUARTER

 

The first quarter of the NFL season is over and more than half of the league’s teams (17) are currently either in first place or within a game of the top spot in the division. But there’s a lot of season left to be played.

 

“We’re a quarter into the season,” says head coach JOHN FOX of the 4-0 Denver Broncos. “We are not anywhere near done with our body of work. I’m pleased with where we are. You can’t be better than 4-0 after four games. We’ll just try to continue to prepare and do the things necessary to get ready for each week.”

 

There are five 4-0 teams – Denver, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans and Seattle – tied for the most in a season in NFL history (1968, 2003, 2009).

 

But all 32 teams know there’s room for improvement. And, while not every club has gotten off to a hot start, nothing is a given in the NFL.

 

Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was adopted, 100 teams (36.2 percent of the 276 playoff clubs) have advanced to the postseason after starting the season 2-2 or worse. There were six such teams – Denver, Green Bay, Indianapolis, New England, Seattle and Washington – last season, including four division winners (Broncos, Packers, Patriots and Redskins).

 

That’s the unpredictability of the NFL. So entering Week 5, while it certainly helps to be near the top of the standings, don’t count anyone out. Some of the key games this weekend:

 

BUFFALO BILLS (2-2) at CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-2) (Thursday, NFLN, 8:25 PM ET)                

 

The Bills evened their record at 2-2 with a 23-20 win over Baltimore. Rookie quarterback EJ MANUEL threw for 167 yards and a touchdown as he became the first rookie QB to defeat the defending Super Bowl champions in September.

 

“It was a huge win for our team,” says Manuel, who, along with rookie head coach DOUG MARRONE, became the first rookie quarterback and head coach tandem to defeat the defending Super Bowl champions in a decade. “We’re 2-2 now and moving forward to a quick turnaround with Cleveland coming up on Thursday.”

 

The Browns have won two in a row, including last week’s 17-6 win over Cincinnati. Cleveland tight end JORDAN CAMERON had 10 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals and his five touchdown receptions are tied for the most ever by an AFC tight end in September.

 

“We’re playing really well,” says Browns rookie linebacker BARKEVIOUS MINGO, who has a sack in each of his first three NFL games. “We have to keep it up and grow and learn. We’ll get back out there Thursday.”

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-0) at CHICAGO BEARS (3-1) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)                

 

The Saints are 4-0 for the first time since 2009, when New Orleans started 13-0 and won Super Bowl XLIV.

 

Last week, in the team’s 38-17 win over Miami, quarterback DREW BREES completed 30 of 39 passes (76.9 percent) for 413 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 144.5 passer rating. Brees tied two of his own NFL records with his ninth consecutive 300-yard passing game and his 10th game in a row with 25 completions.

 

“He’s playing at a really sharp level,” says Saints head coach SEAN PAYTON about Brees. “He did a good job with his progressions and protected the football. He’s been outstanding.”

 

New Orleans tight end JIMMY GRAHAM ties for the NFL lead with six receiving touchdowns – the most ever by a tight end in September – and his 458 receiving yards rank second in the league.

 

The Bears are tied for first in the NFC North and will look to rebound from last week’s loss at Detroit.

 

Chicago has 10 interception-return touchdowns since the start of the 2012 season, the most in the league. The Bears have scored three defensive touchdowns so far this season: 44-yard interception-return by cornerback TIM JENNINGS, 42-yard fumble-return by defensive end JULIUS PEPPERS and 38-yard interception-return by safety MAJOR WRIGHT.

 

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (4-0) at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-1) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)                

 

The Seahawks are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history after overcoming a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to pull out a 23-20 overtime win at Houston. The Colts improved to 3-1 with a 37-3 win in Jacksonville and have won its past two games by a combined score of 64-10

 

Taking center stage in this week’s showdown will be each team’s second-year starting quarterback.

 

Seattle’s RUSSELL WILSON, who was drafted in the third round (No. 75 overall) in 2012, has won 15 of his first 20 starts. He has passed for 3,905 yards with 32 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 99.1 passer rating in his career.

 

“He’s done some pretty extraordinary things,” says Seahawks head coach PETE CARROLL about his young QB. “He can do special things. There are just not very many kids that are as well-prepared to take on the workload and the stress of this and all the pressure that comes with it.”

 

The Colts’ ANDREW LUCK, who was the No. 1 overall selection in 2012, is 14-6 as a starter and is tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY for the most wins in his first 20 starts by a QB selected No. 1 overall since the 1970 merger.

 

“He’s such a mature kid and he understands the game,” says Indianapolis head coach CHUCK PAGANO about Luck. “He prepares so well, and his focus is unbelievable. We know the physical talent is there. He’s extremely intelligent. The great thing about Andrew is that he’s unflappable. He’s gotten better and he’s his own critic.”

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (4-0) at TENNESSEE TITANS (3-1) (Sunday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)                

 

The NFL’s top two teams in turnover differential will meet at LP Field. Kansas City ( 9) has forced an AFC-best 12 takeaways and Tennessee ( 9) is the only team in the league without a turnover.

 

The Chiefs, who knocked off the New York Giants 31-7 last week, are 4-0, the second team in NFL history to win its first four games after finishing the previous season with at least 14 losses (1980 Detroit).

 

“Awesome,” is how Kansas City quarterback ALEX SMITH responded when asked about the team’s start. “It’s great. The entire focus was getting the first win. It’s a week-to-week thing. You can’t start looking down the line.”

 

The Titans have won two in a row, including last week’s 38-13 home victory over the New York Jets. Tennessee forced four turnovers in Week 4’s win, including two interceptions by cornerback ALTERRAUN VERNER and a forced fumble recovered in the end zone by defensive tackle KARL KLUG for a touchdown.

 

“The work still isn’t done,” says Verner. “That’s just the first quarter of the season. We have a lot more football to play.”

 

DENVER BRONCOS (4-0) at DALLAS COWBOYS (2-2) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)                

 

The Broncos are 4-0 and have scored an NFL-best 179 points, the second most through the first four games in league history (183 points, 1966 Dallas). Denver has won 15 consecutive regular-season games and each by at least seven points, the second-longest streak in NFL history (16 games, 1941-42 Chicago).

 

Quarterback PEYTON MANNING has 16 touchdown passes, the most ever through four games, and he has tied MILT PLUM’s NFL record of 16 TD passes to start a season (1960) before throwing an interception.

 

“We have a tough road game next week,” says Manning. “Every week you have to prepare hard and grind to get ready for the next opponent.”

 

The Cowboys enter Week 5 leading the NFC East. Quarterback TONY ROMO connected with wide receiver DEZ BRYANT for two touchdowns last week. Since the start of 2012, Bryant leads the NFL with 16 receiving TDs.

 

“We want to be a contender,” says Dallas linebacker SEAN LEE, who had a 52-yard interception-return touchdown last week. “We want to be a team that can win week in and week out.”

 

****************************************************************************************************************************************** 

NFL SUPPORTS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH WITH “A CRUCIAL CATCH” CAMPAIGN

 

The NFL and NFL Players will support October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with their fifth-annual national screening initiative and fundraising campaign. In collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the initiative, called “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives,” reminds women 40 and older about the importance of having an annual mammogram. 

 

Throughout the month, NFL Breast Cancer Awareness games will feature footballs with pink ribbon decals, on-field pink ribbon stencils and many pink items, including cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, pins, helmet decals, eye shield decals, captains’ patches, sideline towels and quarterback towels.

 

To mark its fifth anniversary, this year’s campaign will highlight inspiring stories of individuals impacted by the “A Crucial Catch” campaign. All stories will be available on www.nfl.com/pink.

 

******************************************************************************************************************************************


2013 NFL STANDINGS

 

American Football Conference

East Division

Team

   W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

New England Patriots

4

0

0

1.000

89

57

2-0-0

2-0-0

2-0-0

2-0-0

Won 4

Miami Dolphins

3

1

0

.750

91

91

1-0-0

2-1-0

2-0-0

0-0-0

Lost 1

New York Jets

2

2

0

.500

68

88

2-0-0

0-2-0

1-2-0

1-1-0

Lost 1

Buffalo Bills

2

2

0

.500

88

93

2-1-0

0-1-0

1-2-0

0-2-0

Won 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Baltimore Ravens

2

2

0

.500

91

87

2-0-0

0-2-0

2-2-0

1-0-0

Lost 1

Cleveland Browns

2

2

0

.500

64

70

1-1-0

1-1-0

1-2-0

1-1-0

Won 2

Cincinnati Bengals

2

2

0

.500

81

81

2-0-0

0-2-0

1-1-0

1-1-0

Lost 1

Pittsburgh Steelers

0

4

0

.000

69

110

0-2-0

0-2-0

0-2-0

0-1-0

Lost 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Indianapolis Colts

3

1

0

.750

105

51

1-1-0

2-0-0

2-1-0

1-0-0

Won 2

Tennessee Titans

3

1

0

.750

98

69

2-0-0

1-1-0

3-1-0

0-1-0

Won 2

Houston Texans

2

2

0

.500

90

105

1-1-0

1-1-0

2-1-0

1-0-0

Lost 2

Jacksonville Jaguars

0

4

0

.000

31

129

0-2-0

0-2-0

0-3-0

0-1-0

Lost 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Denver Broncos

4

0

0

1.000

179

91

3-0-0

1-0-0

2-0-0

1-0-0

Won 4

Kansas City Chiefs

4

0

0

1.000

102

41

2-0-0

2-0-0

1-0-0

0-0-0

Won 4

San Diego Chargers

2

2

0

.500

108

102

1-1-0

1-1-0

0-2-0

0-0-0

Won 1

Oakland Raiders

1

3

0

.250

71

91

1-1-0

0-2-0

1-2-0

0-1-0

Lost 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Football Conference

East Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Dallas Cowboys

2

2

0

.500

104

85

2-0-0

0-2-0

2-0-0

1-0-0

Lost 1

Philadelphia Eagles

1

3

0

.250

99

138

0-2-0

1-1-0

1-0-0

1-0-0

Lost 3

Washington Redskins

1

3

0

.250

91

112

0-2-0

1-1-0

0-3-0

0-1-0

Won 1

New York Giants

0

4

0

.000

61

146

0-1-0

0-3-0

0-2-0

0-1-0

Lost 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Detroit Lions

3

1

0

.750

122

101

2-0-0

1-1-0

3-1-0

2-0-0

Won 2

Chicago Bears

3

1

0

.750

127

114

2-0-0

1-1-0

1-1-0

1-1-0

Lost 1

Green Bay Packers

1

2

0

.333

96

88

1-0-0

0-2-0

1-1-0

0-0-0

Lost 1

Minnesota Vikings

1

3

0

.250

115

123

1-1-0

0-2-0

0-2-0

0-2-0

Won 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

New Orleans Saints

4

0

0

1.000

108

55

3-0-0

1-0-0

3-0-0

2-0-0

Won 4

Carolina Panthers

1

2

0

.333

68

36

1-1-0

0-1-0

1-1-0

0-0-0

Won 1

Atlanta Falcons

1

3

0

.250

94

104

1-1-0

0-2-0

1-1-0

0-1-0

Lost 2

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

0

4

0

.000

44

70

0-2-0

0-2-0

0-2-0

0-1-0

Lost 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Seattle Seahawks

4

0

0

1.000

109

47

2-0-0

2-0-0

2-0-0

1-0-0

Won 4

San Francisco 49ers

2

2

0

.500

79

95

1-1-0

1-1-0

2-1-0

1-1-0

Won 1

Arizona Cardinals

2

2

0

.500

69

89

1-0-0

1-2-0

2-2-0

0-1-0

Won 1

St. Louis Rams

1

3

0

.250

69

121

1-1-0

0-2-0

1-3-0

1-1-0

Lost 3

 


LAST WEEK’S RESULTS SEPTEMBER 26, 29-30

 

Thursday, September 26

Sunday, September 29 (cont’d)

San Francisco 35, ST. LOUIS 11

BUFFALO 23, Baltimore 20

 

TENNESSEE 38, NY Jets 13

Sunday, September 29

SAN DIEGO 30, Dallas 21

DETROIT 40, Chicago 32

DENVER 52, Philadelphia 20

Seattle 23, HOUSTON 20 (OT)

Washington 24, OAKLAND 14

CLEVELAND 17, Cincinnati 6

New England 30, ATLANTA 23

Indianapolis 37, JACKSONVILLE 3

 

KANSAS CITY 31, NY Giants 7

MINNESOTA 34, Pittsburgh 27 (London)

Monday, September 30

Arizona 13, TAMPA BAY 10

NEW ORLEANS 38, Miami 17

 

2013 WEEK 5 SCHEDULE (OCTOBER 3, 6-7)

(All times local)

Byes: Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

 

Thursday, October 3

Sunday, October 6 cont’d

Buffalo at Cleveland 8:25 PM (NFLN)

Jacksonville at St. Louis 12:00 PM

 

Kansas City at Tennessee 12:00 PM

Sunday, October 6

Carolina at Arizona 1:05 PM

New Orleans at Chicago 12:00 PM

Denver at Dallas 3:25 PM

New England at Cincinnati 1:00 PM

Houston at San Francisco 5:30 (NBC)

Detroit at Green Bay 12:00 PM

San Diego at Oakland 8:35 (NFLN)

Seattle at Indianapolis 1:00 PM

 

Baltimore at Miami 1:00 PM

Monday, October 7

Philadelphia at NY Giants 1:00 PM

NY Jets at Atlanta 8:40 PM (ESPN)

 

 


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