NFL: What to Look For

Since the current playoff format was instituted in 1990, 15 clubs with a .500 or worse record after nine games have made the playoffs.

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HOPE IS ALIVE: Since the current playoff format was instituted in 1990, 15 clubs with a .500 or worse record after nine games have made the playoffs.

Last season, the New York Jets had a 4-5 record through nine games before advancing to the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.

A look at the 15 clubs to qualify for the playoffs since 1990 after having a sub-.500 record through nine games :

YEAR

TEAM

RECORD AFTER NINE GAMES

FINAL RECORD

ADVANCED TO

1990

Houston

4-5

9-7

Wild Card

1990

New Orleans

4-5

8-8

Wild Card

1992

San Diego

4-5

11-5

Divisional

1994

Detroit

4-5

9-7

Wild Card

1994

New England

3-6

10-6

Wild Card

1995

Detroit

3-6

10-6

Wild Card

1995

San Diego

4-5

9-7

Wild Card

1996

Jacksonville

3-6

9-7

AFC Championship

1997

Detroit

4-5

9-7

Wild Card

2001

TampaBay

4-5

9-7

Wild Card

2002

Cleveland

4-5

9-7

Wild Card

2002

NY Jets

4-5

9-7

Divisional

2003

Green Bay

4-5

10-6

Divisional

2008

San Diego

4-5

8-8

Divisional

2009

NY Jets

4-5

9-7

AFC Championship

-- NFL --

DIVISION RACES : For the first time since realignment in 2002, every division leader has no more than a one-game lead and five divisions have two teams tied for first place. The 13 2010 division leaders are a combined 78-39 (.667) through Week 10, 17 wins better than their records from a year ago at this time (61-56, .521).

Seven of the eight divisions feature at least one team with a share of first place that did not win the division in 2009 , and Week 11 features intriguing division games with playoff implications. Two NFC East rivals meet with first place on the line when the Philadelphia Eagles (6-3) host the New York Giants (6-3) on Sunday Night Football. Other key division games include the Minnesota Vikings (3-6) welcoming the Green Bay Packers (6-3) in an NFC North showdown and the AFC West's Denver Broncos (3-6) visiting the San Diego Chargers (4-5) on Monday Night Football.

-- NFL --

BEAR DOWN : The Chicago Bears are currently 6-3, tied atop the NFC North with the Green Bay Packers. The franchise holds a 699-510-42 all-time regular season record.

With a win over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football, Chicago would become the first franchise to reach 700 regular-season wins.

The NFL franchises with the most regular-season wins :

TEAM

REGULAR SEASON RECORD

Chicago Bears

699-510-42

Green Bay Packers

660-521-36

New York Giants

632-521-33

Washington Redskins

545-511-27

Pittsburgh Steelers

535-498-20

-- NFL --

FAMILIAR FOES : The Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots will meet at Gillette Stadium this Sunday. The teams are meeting for the eighth season in a row (2003-2010), the longest streak among non-division opponents since realignment in 2002. Including the postseason, the past five meetings have been decided by seven points or fewer. The Colts earned a last-minute 35-34 victory in Week 10 of last season.

Colts quarterback PEYTON MANNING has thrown for at least 300 yards in four of the team's five road games this season. He now has 32 road games in which he has passed for at least 300 yards, an NFL record.

PLAYER

300-YARD PASSING GAMES ON ROAD

*Peyton Manning

32

Brett Favre*

29

Dan Marino

27

Joe Montana

25

Kurt Warner

25

*Active

Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY has won 24 consecutive games at Gillette Stadium. With a win this week, he can tie BRETT FAVRE (25) for the most consecutive regular-season home wins as a starting quarterback.

The most consecutive regular-season home games won as a starting quarterback :

QUARTERBACK

TEAM

YEARS

WIN STREAK

Brett Favre

Green Bay

1995-98

25

Tom Brady

New England

2006-present

*24

John Elway

Denver

1996-98

22

Bob Griese

Miami

1971-74

20

Randall Cunningham

Philadelphia

1990-94

20

  • Active

-- NFL --

RIVERS FOR 3,000 : Through nine games, San Diego Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS leads the NFL with 2,944 passing yards. He is averaging 327.1 passing yards per game.

With 308 passing yards against the Denver Broncos, Rivers would have the most passing yards through the first 10 games of a season in NFL annals. New Orleans Saints quarterback DREW BREES currently holds the record with 3,251 passing yards through 10 games in 2008.

The players with the most passing yards through the first 10 games of a season in NFL history :

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR

PASSING YARDS

Drew Brees

New Orleans

2008

3,251

Rich Gannon

Oakland

2002

3,195

Peyton Manning

Indianapolis

2009

3,171

Kurt Warner

Arizona

2008

3,155

Warren Moon

Houston

1990

3,152

Philip Rivers

San Diego

2010

*2,944

  • Through nine games

-- NFL --

TOSS TO MOSS : Tennessee Titans wide receiver RANDY MOSS has 949 receptions for 14,804 yards and 153 touchdowns in 195 career games.

With one reception this weekend when the Titans host the Washington Redskins, Moss can become the ninth player in NFL history with 950 receptions. In his 196th game, Moss would be the fourth-fastest player to accomplish the feat.

The players to record 950 receptions in the fewest number of games :

PLAYER

GAMES TO 950 REC.

Marvin Harrison

158

Jerry Rice

174

Terrell Owens*

189

Tony Gonzalez*

198

Isaac Bruce

201

*Randy Moss

*???*

  • Active; **Moss will play his 196th game Sunday.

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