WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 8

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 8

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SO CLOSE:Close games have been a staple of the 2012 season as 62 games have been decided by eight points or fewer and 57 games by seven points or fewer, both of which are the most through the first seven weeks of a season in NFL history. Those totals are already tied for the third-most and fourth-most, respectively, through the first eight weeks of any year.

Through Week 7, 30 games in 2012 have been determined by three points or fewer.

The most games decided by eight points, seven points or three points or fewer in a season's first eight weeks:

MOST GAMES DECIDED BY

EIGHT POINTS OR FEWER

* *

MOST GAMES DECIDED BY

SEVEN POINTS OR FEWER

* *

MOST GAMES DECIDED BY

THREE POINTS OR FEWER

SEASON

THROUGH WEEK 8

* *

SEASON

THROUGH WEEK 8

* *

SEASON

THROUGH WEEK 8

1999

66

1999

62

1999

42

2010

65

1983

60

2010

33

2012

*62


2011

58


2006

33

1983

62

2012

*57

1988

32

2011

61

1987

57

1983

32

2002

61

*Through Week 7

*Through Week 7

2012

*30

*Through Week 7

-- NFL --

ABOVE AVERAGE:Quarterbacks have been historically efficient in 2012, combining for a league-wide passer rating of 86.4 and a completion percentage of 61.9. Both are on pace to be the highest of any season in NFL history and would surpass records set in 2011 (84.3 passer rating) and 2007 (61.2 completion percentage), respectively.

Three active quarterbacks rank among the top five all-time in career passing yards per game with averages above 250. The top two – New Orleans' DREW BREES(267.7 yards per game) and PEYTON MANNING(264.7 yards per game) – will compete on *Sunday Night Football *this weekend.

The quarterbacks with the most career passing yards per game (minimum 100 games):

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

PASS YD. PER GAME

*Drew Brees

San Diego, New Orleans

267.7

*Peyton Manning

Indianapolis, Denver

264.7

Kurt Warner

St. Louis, Arizona

260.8

Dan Marino

Miami

253.6

*Tom Brady

New England

250.5

*Active

-- NFL --

NICE BREES:New Orleans quarterback DREW BREESowns 299 career touchdown passes and has passed for at least one touchdown in 49 consecutive games, the longest such streak all-time.

With at least one touchdown on Sunday Night Football, Brees will record his 300th career touchdown pass in his 161st game, tying New England's TOM BRADY(161) for the third-fewest games to reach the mark in league annals.

The players to reach 300 passing touchdowns in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

YEARS

GAMES TO 300 TD PASSES

Peyton Manning

Indianapolis

1998-2007

157

Dan Marino

Miami

1983-1994

157

Tom Brady

New England

2000-2011

161

Brett Favre

Green Bay

1991-2002

167

Fran Tarkenton

Minnesota, NY Giants

1961-1976

217

John Elway

Denver

1983-1998

234

*Drew Brees

San Diego, New Orleans

2001-2012

160

*299 career passing TDs




If Brees passes for at least 300 yards at Denver on Sunday night, he will tie Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO(63) for the second-most 300-yard passing games in league annals. Broncos quarterback PEYTON MANNING(67) holds the all-time record.

The players with the most 300-yard passing games in NFL history:

PLAYER

300-YARD GAMES

*Peyton Manning

67

Dan Marino

63

*Drew Brees

62

Brett Favre

62

Kurt Warner

52

  • Active

-- NFL --

OCTOBER-BEST:Three active quarterbacks – the New York Giants' ELI MANNING(26-5, .839), New England's TOM BRADY(33-11, .750) and Pittsburgh's BEN ROETHLISBERGER (24-8, .750) – look to improve their top-level October*winning percentages *among starting quarterbacks (minimum 20 starts) in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).

Manning, who ranks first overall among the group, and the Giants head to NFC East rival Dallas, where he has won the past two October meetings between the clubs.

Brady's and Roethlisberger's .750 October winning percentages are currently tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer SONNY JURGENSEN for the fourth-highest mark.

Against St. Louis this Sunday, Brady and the Patriots seek their second win at London's historic Wembley Stadium, which will host its sixth regular-season International Series game in as many seasons. New England claimed a 35-7 victory over Tampa Bay in the International Series' third installment (October 25, 2009).

Roethlisberger and the Steelers host Washington, which he is 2-0 against during his career.

The starting quarterbacks (minimum 20 starts) with the best October winning percentages in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

W-L-T

WIN PCT.

*Eli Manning

NY Giants

26-5-0

.839

Kordell Stewart

Pittsburgh, Chicago

16-4-0

.800

Daryle Lamonica

Buffalo, Oakland

18-5-3

.771

*Tom Brady

New England

33-11-0

.750

*Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh

24-8-0

.750

Sonny Jurgensen

Philadelphia, Washington

21-7-3

.750

*Active

*Note: Prior to 1972, tie games were not included in winning percentage.

-- NFL --

HEY TONY:Atlanta tight end TONY GONZALEZin 2012*leads all NFL tight ends with 43 receptions, and his 430 receiving yards rank first in the NFC and second in the league among the position group (ROB GRONKOWSKI*, 434 yards). Gonzalez is on pace (114 receptions) to break his own record for the most receptions by a tight end in a single season (102 in 2004). 

The 16-year veteran has recorded four receiving touchdowns in 2012, tied for the second-most in the NFC, to increase his record among tight ends to 99. With one touchdown catch at Philadelphia this Sunday, Gonzalez will become the first tight end and the eighth player in league history to amass 100 touchdown receptions. 

If Gonzalez (1,192 receptions) records eight receptions in Week 8, he will join Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE(1,549) as the only players with 1,200 career receptions.

Gonzalez's notable all-time NFL receiving totals:

RECEIVING CATEGORY

TOTAL

ALL-TIME RANK AMONG TEs

Career Receiving TDs

99

1st

Career Receptions

1,192

1st

Career Receiving Yards

13,768

1st

Single-Season Receptions (2004)

102

1st

Single-Season Receptions (2012)

*114

*1st

*Projected

-- NFL --

WHAT'S THE RUSH:Tennessee running back CHRIS JOHNSONrushed for a season-high 195 yards on 18 carries (10.8 avg.) with two touchdowns in Week 7. It marked the 27th 110 yard rushing game of his career.

With at least 110 rushing yards against Indianapolis on Sunday, Johnson will tie Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN(28) for the second-most 110 yard rushing games in a player's first five years.

The players with the most 110 yard rushing games in their first five seasons:

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

YEARS

110 YD RUSH GAMES

Eric Dickerson^

L.A. Rams, Indianapolis

1983-1987

35

Jim Brown^

Cleveland

1957-1961

28

*Chris Johnson

Tennessee

2008-present

27

Walter Payton^

Chicago

1975-1979

27

Emmitt Smith ^

Dallas

1990-1994

26

*Active

^Pro Football Hall of Famer

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