NFL: What to Look For

In a season filled with close finishes, 11 games have been decided in overtime in 2010.

2010_nfl_aroundtheleague.jpg


WORKING OVERTIME : In a season filled with close finishes, 11 games have been decided in overtime in 2010. Of those 11, both teams had at least one possession in 10 of those contents (90.9 percent). If that percentage holds, it would be the highest of any season since 1994, when the NFL moved the kickoff spot back five yards from the 35- to the 30-yard line.

Since 1994, the highest percentage of overtime games in a season in which both teams had at least one possession is 71.4, which occurred twice (1995, 15 of 21; 1996, 10 of 14).

-- NFL --

SECOND-HALF SURGES : Since 2000, 27 teams have reached the halfway point of the season with a .500 or below winning percentage and made the playoffs, including at least one in every season.

In each of the past four seasons, at least three teams started 4-4 or worse and rebounded to make the playoffs, the longest such streak in NFL history.

The teams since 2006 that started the season at .500 or below through eight games and earned a playoff berth :

YEAR

TEAM

RECORD

(8 GAMES)

FINAL

RECORD

PLAYOFF RESULTS

2006

Dallas

4-4

9-7

Advanced to Wild Card

2006

N.Y. Jets

4-4

10-6

Advanced to Wild Card

2006

Philadelphia

4-4

10-6

Advanced to Divisional

2007

San Diego

4-4

11-5

Advanced to AFC Championship

2007

Seattle

4-4

10-6

Advanced to Divisional

2007

Tampa Bay

4-4

9-7

Advanced to Wild Card

2008

Indianapolis

4-4

12-4

Advanced to Wild Card

2008

Miami

4-4

11-5

Advanced to Wild Card

2008

Minnesota

4-4

10-6

Advanced to Wild Card

2008

San Diego

3-5

8-8

Advanced to Divisional

2009

Green Bay

4-4

11-5

Advanced to Wild Card

2009

N.Y. Jets

4-4

9-7

Advanced to AFC Championship

2009

Baltimore

4-4

9-7

Advanced to Divisional

-- NFL --

GIVE ME FIVE : Tennessee running back CHRIS JOHNSON, who has 3,955 rushing yards on 787 attempts (5.0 average) in his NFL career, will play in his 40th game on Sunday when the Titans visit Miami.

If Johnson rushes for at least 45 yards against the Dolphins while maintaining his 5.0 yards-per-carry career average, he would become the fourth player in NFL history to rush for 4,000 yards and average 5.0 yards per carry or better in his first 40 games.

Players with 4,000 rushing yards and a 5.0 yards-per-attempt average in their first 40 games :

PLAYER

ATT.

YARDS

AVG.

Jim Brown

821

4,230

5.15

Adrian Peterson

806

4,100

5.09

Clinton Portis

807

4,044

5.01

*Chris Johnson

787

3,955

5.03

  • Through 39 games

QUICK VICK : Philadelphia quarterback MICHAEL VICK needs 25 rushing yards against Washington on Monday night to surpass Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback STEVE YOUNG (4,239) for the second-most rushing yards by a quarterback in NFL history.

Vick currently ranks third with 4,215 career rushing yards, trailing only Young and RANDALL CUNNINGHAM (4,928).

The quarterbacks with the most rushing yards in NFL history :

PLAYER

TEAMS

YARDS

Randall Cunningham

Philadelphia, Minnesota, Dallas, Baltimore

4,928

Steve Young

Tampa Bay, San Francisco

4,239

*Michael Vick

Atlanta, Philadelphia

4,215

Fran Tarkenton

Minnesota, N.Y. Giants

3,674

Steve McNair

Hou./Ten. Oilers/Titans, Baltimore

3,590

  • Active

-- NFL --

RECEIVING LEADERS MEET : Sunday's Bengals-Colts game will feature three of the top five receiving yardage leaders of the past 10 years (2001-present). Cincinnati wide receiver TERRELL OWENS leads all NFL players with 10,963 receiving yards during that span, while CHAD OCHOCINCO (10,425) and Indianapolis wide receiver REGGIE WAYNE (10,117) rank fourth and fifth, respectively.

The players with the most receiving yards since 2001 :

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

YARDS

*Terrell Owens

San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo, Cincinnati

10,963

Torry Holt

St. Louis, Jacksonville

10,959

Randy Moss*

Minnesota, Oakland, New England, Tennessee

10,615

*Chad Ochocinco

Cincinnati

10,425

*Reggie Wayne

Indianapolis

10,117

  • Active

-- NFL --

REED AND REACT : Baltimore Ravens safety ED REED averages 26.9 yards per return on his 49 career interceptions (1,319 yards). With an interception against Atlanta on Thursday night, Reed would become the fourth player in NFL history with 50 INTs to average at least 20.0 yards per interception return.

Reed, who has three interceptions in his past two games, would join Pro Football Hall of Famer ROD WOODSON (20.9) DEION SANDERS (25.1) and DARREN SHARPER (22.4) as the only players to accomplish the feat.

The players with 50 career interceptions and a 20.0 return average in NFL history :

PLAYER

INTs

YARDS

AVG.

Deion Sanders

53

1,331

25.1

Darren Sharper*

63

1,412

22.4

Rod Woodson

71

1,483

20.9

*Ed Reed

49

1,319

26.9

  • Active

Reed also needs 13 interception-return yards to surpass Sanders for the third-most in NFL annals :

PLAYER

INT RETURN YARDS

Rod Woodson

1,483

Darren Sharper*

1,412

Deion Sanders

1,331

*Ed Reed

1,319

Emlen Tunnell

1,282

  • Active

BRAD TO THE BONE : St. Louis rookie quarterback SAM BRADFORD, the top choice in the 2010 NFL Draft, has completed 171 of 292 passes for 1,674 yards with 11 touchdowns for the Rams, who are currently tied for first in the NFC West.

Midway through his first professional season, Bradford is on pace to set NFL rookie records for passing attempts (584 projected) and completions (342) and projects to finish among the all-time top five in passing yards (3,348) and passing touchdowns (22) among rookie QBs.

The all-time NFL rookie passing leaders in attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns :

ATTEMPTS

COMPLETIONS

YEAR

ATT.

YEAR

COMP.

Peyton Manning, Ind.

1998

575

Peyton Manning, Ind.

1998

326

Chris Weinke, Car.

2001

540

Chris Weinke, Car.

2001

293

Rick Mirer, Sea.

1993

486

Rick Mirer, Sea.

1993

274

David Carr, Hou.

2002

444

Matt Ryan, Atl.

2008

265

Jim Zorn, Sea.

1976

439

Joe Flacco, Bal.

2008

257

Sam Bradford, St.L.

2010

*584

Sam Bradford, St.L.

2010

*342

YARDS

TOUCHDOWNS

YEAR

YARDS

YEAR

TDs

Peyton Manning, Ind.

1998

3,739

Peyton Manning, Ind.

1998

26

Matt Ryan, Atl.

2008

3,440

Charlie Conerly, NYG

1948

22

Joe Flacco, Bal.

2008

2,971

Dan Marino, Mia.

1983

20

Chris Weinke, Car.

2001

2,931

Jim Plunkett, NE

1971

19

Rick Mirer, Sea.

1993

2,833

Fran Tarkenton, Min.

1961

18

Joe Namath, NYJ

1965

18

Sam Bradford, St.L.

2010

*3,348

Sam Bradford, St.L.

2010

*22

  • Projected

-- NFL --

SUH-PENDOUS : Detroit Lions rookie defensive tackle NDAMUKONG SUH, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, has 6.5 sacks, tops among rookies and the most by any defensive tackle this season.

Through eight games, Suh is on pace for 13 sacks, which would surpass DANA STUBBLEFIELD's record for sacks by a rookie defensive tackle (10.5 in 1993) since the sack became an official statistic in 1982. Suh is also within striking distance of the rookie sack record, regardless of position. JEVON KEARSE (14.5 sacks in 1999) is the current record holder.

The highest sack totals by rookies (since 1982) :

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR

SACKS

Jevon Kearse

Tennessee

1999

14.5

Dwight Freeney

Indianapolis

2002

13.0

Leslie O'Neal

San Diego

1986

12.5

Simeon Rice

Arizona

1996

12.5

Multiple players tied

12.0

Ndamukong Suh

Detroit

2010

*13.0

  • Projected

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