AFC/NFC News and Notes

AFC/NFC News and Notes

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AFC/NFC NOTES

AFC'S BEST RECORD UP FOR GRABS IN WEEK 7

In a rematch of last season's AFC Divisional Playoffs, the Baltimore Ravens (5-1) travel to face the Houston Texans (5-1) at Reliant Stadium on Sunday (CBS, 1:00 PM ET) with the AFC's best record on the line.

"You look at both of these teams' records and they both only have one loss," says NFL Network analyst HEATH EVANS. "It's still early in the season, but home-field advantage for the postseason can weigh heavily on these games."

Ravens head coach JOHN HARBAUGH, who can record his 50th career regular season win (49-21, .700) on Sunday, says regardless of the stakes, the focus is to take one game at a time.

"We're going to go play a game," says Harbaugh. "It's going to count at the end, and it's going to matter on our record and it's going to matter on their record when it all comes down at the end. You add them up as you go."

Through Week 6, the Ravens and Texans have identical records, but the two teams are similar in other key statistical categories. Here are a few notable statistical comparisons between the two clubs:

SOLID QB PLAY: Quarterbacks JOE FLACCOof Baltimore and MATT SCHAUB of Houston sit atop their club record books in career passing yards and touchdowns and most importantly share a common thread related to winning. Flacco and Schaub rank second and fourth respectively among starting quarterbacks with the highest winning percentage since 2011 (minimum 10 starts).

The highest winning percentage among starting quarterbacks since 2011 (minimum 10 starts):

PLAYER

TEAM

RECORD

WIN PCT.

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers

17-4

.810

Joe Flacco

Baltimore Ravens

17-5

.773

Alex Smith

San Francisco 49ers

17-5

.773

Matt Schaub

Houston Texans

12-4

.750

Jay Cutler

Chicago Bears

11-4

.733

-- AFC --

PRODUCTION OUT OF THE BACKFIELD: All-Star running backs ARIAN FOSTER of the Texans and RAY RICE of the Ravens are complete backs that make an impact in the rushing and passing game. Since 2010, Foster (134.1) and Rice (120.0) rank first and second in the NFL for the most scrimmage yards per game.

Most scrimmage yards per game in the NFL since 2010:

PLAYER

TEAM

SCRIMMAGE YARDS PER GAME

Arian Foster

Houston Texans

134.1

Ray Rice

Baltimore Ravens

120.0

Maurice Jones-Drew

Jacksonville Jaguars

117.6

Jamaal Charles

Kansas City Chiefs

114.3

Darren McFadden

Oakland Raiders

113.7

-- AFC --

GAME-CHANGERS ON "D": The Ravens and Texans defenses set the tone by limiting opponents in points, pressuring the passer and takeaways. Since 2011, the two clubs rank in the top five in fewest points allowed per game, sacks and best turnover ratio among AFC teams.

The fewest points per game allowed among AFC teams since 2011:

TEAM

FEWEST POINTS PER GAME ALLOWED

Pittsburgh Steelers

16.3

Baltimore Ravens

17.5

Houston Texans

17.9

Miami Dolphins

19.6

Cleveland Browns

21.4

The most sacks among AFC teams since 2011:

TEAM

MOST SACKS

Cincinnati Bengals

65

Houston Texans

61

Miami Dolphins

59

Denver Broncos

59

Baltimore Ravens

58

The best turnover ratio among AFC teams since 2011:

TEAM

BEST TURNOVER RATIO

New England Patriots

27

Houston Texans

* 12*

Baltimore Ravens

* 9*

Jacksonville Jaguars

3

Cleveland Browns

2

#

DOWN TO THE WIRE: FANTASTIC FINISHES HIGHLIGHT NFL SEASON

24 GAMES IN WHICH WINNING POINTS SCORED IN FINAL TWO MINUTES OR OT,

*MOST THROUGH WEEK 6 IN ANY SEASON SINCE MERGER


The first six weeks of the NFL season have been filled with exciting games and last-second heroics. Game-winning scores that turn a defeat into a victory highlight the unpredictability of the National Football League.

"A lot of real close, competitive games come down to the last possession, the last play or one key play right at the end of the game," says New England Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK. "The league is very competitive all the way across the board."

This season, there have been 24 games in which the winning points were scored in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime.

That is the most through Week 6 in any season since the 1970 merger.

WEEK

GAME

GW SCORE

WEEK

GAME

GW SCORE

1

VIKINGS 26, Jaguars 23

FG, 11:06 OT

3

Jaguars 22, COLTS 17

TD, 0:45 4th

1

LIONS 27, Rams 23

TD, 0:10 4th

4

CARDINALS 24, Dolphins 21

FG, 8:29 OT

1

Eagles 17, BROWNS 16

TD, 1:18 4th

4

Redskins 24, BUCCANEERS 22

FG, 0:03 4th

2

COLTS 23, Vikings 20

FG, 0:08 4th

4

FALCONS 30, Panthers 28

FG, 0:05 4th

2

GIANTS 41, Buccaneers 34

TD, 0:31 4th

4

EAGLES 19, Giants 17

FG, 1:49 4th

2

EAGLES 24, Ravens 23

TD, 1:55 4th

5

STEELERS 16, Eagles 14

FG, 0:00 4th

3

Jets 23, DOLPHINS 20

FG, 6:04 OT

5

COLTS 30, Packers 27

TD, 0:35 4th

3

Chiefs 27, SAINTS 24

FG, 6:27 OT

6

Lions 26, EAGLES 23

FG, 11:00 OT

3

TITANS 44, Lions 41

FG, 10:36 OT

6

Bills 19, CARDINALS 16

FG, 11:10 OT

3

RAIDERS 34, Steelers 31

FG, 0:00 4th

6

TITANS 26, Steelers 23

FG, 0:00 4th

3

RAVENS 31, Patriots 30

FG, 0:00 4th

6

FALCONS 23, Raiders 20

FG, 0:01 4th

3

SEAHAWKS 14, Packers 12

TD, 0:00 4th

6

SEAHAWKS 24, Patriots 23

TD, 1:18 4th

Of those 24 games, seven have been decided in overtime and 10 have seen the winning points scored in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter.

"The game's played for 60 minutes and you have to be able to play all 60," says Detroit Lions head coach JIM SCHWARTZ. "The attitude is to just play your best for four quarters. This is the NFL. You're never going to have every single play go right for you."

The Atlanta Falcons, who have the NFL's best record at 6-0, have won two games this season with game-winning scores in the final five seconds of regulation (Weeks 4 and 6). Quarterback MATT RYAN has led Atlanta to 19 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime, the most by a quarterback in his first five seasons in the Super Bowl era.

"You've got to have a sense of calm," says Ryan. "Obviously you don't want to be in those situations and you want to play better in the first three or four quarters, but that's the nature of the NFL. There are going to be a lot of games that will come down to what you do on the last drive. We've been in those situations many times before. So everybody is comfortable, confident and, in a certain way, settled. We know what we need to do and we just go out there and try and do it. Having the experience that we've had in the past helps us in those situations."

In each of the first six weeks, there have been at least two games in which the winning points were scored in the final two minutes or overtime. There were seven such games in Week 3 and five more in Week 6. In fact, Week 3 was only the second week in NFL history (Week 6, 1995) in which seven games had the winning points scored in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime.

"That's a typical NFL finish," said Jacksonville head coach MIKE MULARKEY after the Jaguars scored on an 80-yard touchdown pass with 45 seconds remaining to defeat Indianapolis in Week 3. "Great throw, great catch, great call by (offensive coordinator) BOB BRATKOWSKI."

Jacksonville's victory – highlighted by BLAINE GABBERT's 80-yard touchdown to CECIL SHORTS in the final minute of play – is one of eight this season in which the winning points were scored via touchdown in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter. And five of those eight game-winning touchdowns came in the final 45 seconds of regulation.

WEEK

GAME

GAME-WINNING TOUCHDOWN

1

LIONS 27, Rams 23

Kevin Smith, 5-yard pass from Matthew Stafford, 0:10 4th

1

Eagles 17, BROWNS 16

Clay Harbor, 4-yard pass from Michael Vick, 1:18 4th

2

GIANTS 41, Buccaneers 34

Andre Brown, 2-yard run, 0:31 4th

2

EAGLES 24, Ravens 23

Michael Vick, 1-yard run, 1:55 4th

3

SEAHAWKS 14, Packers 12

Golden Tate, 24-yard pass from Russell Wilson, 0:00 4th

3

Jaguars 22, COLTS 17

Cecil Shorts, 80-yard pass from Blaine Gabbert, 0:45 4th

5

COLTS 30, Packers 27

Reggie Wayne, 4-yard pass from Andrew Luck, 0:35 4th

6

SEAHAWKS 24, Patriots 23

Sidney Rice, 46-yard pass from Russell Wilson, 1:18 4th

Rookie quarterback RUSSELL WILSON of the Seattle Seahawks has thrown two of those touchdown passes and is the first rookie to throw two game-winning TD passes in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime since at least 1970.

"The biggest thing is staying in the now and just playing one play at a time," says Wilson. "Just trust your offensive scheme and make the plays when you get the opportunity. The key is to continue to stay focused on what we can control."

Six weeks into the season, the NFL has shown that anything is possible.

"The league's really wacky this year," says Bills safety JAIRUS BYRD, whose interception set up the game-winning field goal in Buffalo's 19-16 overtime win at Arizona last week. "Anything can happen."

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