NFL: What to Look For

There are 23 teams still in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLV in North Texas.

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UNPREDICTABLE NFL : There are 23 teams still in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLV in North Texas.

In a pivotal matchup in the AFC South this Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars can clinch the division crown with a win over the Indianapolis Colts. If the Jaguars win, 2010 will mark the eighth consecutive season that at least one team has gone from last place to first place in its division from one year to the next, the longest such streak in NFL history . Of the 32 teams to go from "worst-to-first" in NFL annals, 15 of them have done so in the past 10 years (2000-09), including the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints last season.

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COACHING WINS : New England's BILL BELICHICK has a 174-99 (.637) record as a head coach. With 174 wins, Belichick is tied with MIKE HOLMGREN for 10th all-time. With a win this Sunday when the Patriots host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, Belichick can move into sole possession of tenth place in career victories by a head coach .

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SAM I AM : St. Louis Rams rookie quarterback SAM BRADFORD has 2,884 passing yards this season. With 116 yards this Sunday against Kansas City, Bradford can become just the third rookie quarterback in NFL history to pass for 3,000 yards.

The rookie quarterbacks to pass for 3,000 yards :

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR

PASSING YARDS

Peyton Manning

Indianapolis Colts

1998

3,739

Matt Ryan

Atlanta Falcons

2008

3,440

       

Sam Bradford

St. Louis Rams

2010

*2,884

  • Through Week 14

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NINE IS FINE : New York Jets running back LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON leads the team with 49 receptions this season.

With one reception this Sunday against Pittsburgh, Tomlinson would become the third running back in NFL history to record at least 50 receptions in nine seasons .

The running backs with the most 50 catch seasons in their careers :

PLAYER

SEASONS

Larry Centers

10

Marshall Faulk

9

LaDainian Tomlinson

*8

Tiki Barber

8

Keith Byars

7

John L. Williams

7

*49 receptions through Week 14

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PASSING FRENZY : Following are some passing milestones that can be reached in Week 15:

Indianapolis Colts quarterback PEYTON MANNING has thrown for at least 300 yards in 63 games in his career, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO for the most in league annals. With 300 yards Sunday against Jacksonville, Manning can become the all-time leader in 300-yard passing games.

PLAYER

YEARS

300-YARD PASSING GAMES

Dan Marino

1983-1999

63

Peyton Manning

1998-2010

*63

Brett Favre

1991-2010

62*

*Active

New Orleans Saints quarterback DREW BREES has 3,855 passing yards this season. With 145 passing yards on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, Brees would join Manning (1999-2004; 2006-2010) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least five consecutive 4,000 yard passing seasons . Manning (4,028) reached 4,000 yards in Week 14 against Tennessee.

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TREMENDOUS TIGHT ENDS : New England's ROB GRONKOWSKI has seven touchdown receptions, the most among rookie tight ends and tied for most among all rookies (Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver MIKE WILLIAMS). With a touchdown catch this Sunday night, Gronkowski can move into sole possession of third place for the most touchdown receptions by a rookie tight end in NFL history .

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR

TOUCHDOWN RECEPTIONS

Mike Ditka

Chicago Bears

1961

12

Junior Miller

Atlanta Falcons

1980

9

John Mackey

Baltimore Colts

1963

7

Raymond Chester

Oakland Raiders

1970

7

Eric Green

Pittsburgh Steelers

1990

7

       

Rob Gronkowski

New England Patriots

2010

*7

*Through Week 14

Through the first 14 weeks of the season, 13 tight ends have totaled at least 500 receiving yards, the most at this point of the season in NFL history.

In addition to the 13 tight ends who have already eclipsed the 500-yard mark, there are several others within striking distance, including Miami's ANTHONY FASANO (467), Indianapolis' JACOB TAMME (452) and Kansas City rookie TONY MOEAKI (451).

The seasons with the most tight ends with at least 500 receiving yards in NFL history :

YEAR

NO. OF TEs WITH 500 REC. YARDS

2009

20

2008

15

2005

14

1984

14

2010

*13

2007

13

1979

13

*Through Week 14

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