Archives for category: Chicago

9 weeks down.

8 to go.

Week 9 is in the books.

With the season at the halfway point, 19 teams are at the .500 mark or better. For those teams that are struggling, there’s still time. As for San Francisco and Cleveland, who have yet to win a game, they need to run the table to have any chance of a playoff spot.

We’re now into week 10. There’s a lot of football left and no playoff spots have been decided.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff and Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz each threw four touchdown passes in their teams’ victories today. Goff, who was selected No. 1 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, threw four touchdown passes in the Rams’ 51-17 win at the New York Giants. Wentz, who was selected No. 2 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, threw four touchdown passes in the Eagles’ 51-23 win against Denver. Sunday marks the first time in NFL history in which quarterbacks selected No. 1 and 2 overall in the same NFL Draft each threw four touchdown passes on the same day.

•Philadelphia defeated Denver 51-23 to improve to 8-1. It marks the fifth time in franchise history the Eagles have started a season 8-1 or better (1949, 1960, 1980 and 2004) and the team advanced to the NFL Championship/Super Bowl in each of the previous four instances. In the Super Bowl era, 91 teams have previously started 8-1 or better through the first nine games and 88 made the playoffs (96.7 percent). Of those 91 teams, 40 reached the Super Bowl (44 percent) and 22 won the Super Bowl (24.2 percent).

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw four touchdown passes in today’s win and leads the league with 23 touchdown passes. Wentz’s 23 touchdown passes are the most by an Eagles quarterback through the team’s first nine games of a season, passing the mark set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin (20) in 1960.

•New Oleans defeated Tampa Bay 30-10 to improve to 6-2. The Saints, who have won six consecutive games after starting 0-2, are the third team in the Super Bowl era to win its next six games immediately following an 0-2 start. The other two teams to accomplish the feat – 1993 Dallas Cowboys and 2007 New York Giants – both won the Super Bowl in that season.

Saints quarterback DREW BREES completed 22 of 27 passes (81.5 percent) for 263 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 131.9 passer rating. Brees has 225 career passing touchdowns at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the most in NFL history by a quarterback at a single stadium.

•The Los Angeles Rams defeated the New York Giants 51-17 in the Meadowland and recorded the team’s third victory of at least 30 points this season. The Rams are the 11th team in the Super Bowl era to post at least three wins with a margin of victory of 30+ points in the team’s first eight games of a season. Of the previous 10 teams in the Super Bowl era to accomplish the feat, seven advanced to the Super Bowl (70 percent).

•Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes and added a rushing touchdown in the Cowboys’ 28-17 win over Kansas City. Prescott has 39 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in his career and joined Cam Newton as the only players in NFL history to have at least 35 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in their first two seasons.

Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill had a 56-yard touchdown reception against Dallas, his ninth career touchdown of at least 50 yards. Hill, who was playing in his 25th career game, trails only Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (10) for the most 50+ yard touchdowns in a player’s first 25 games to begin a career.

•Indianapolis wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had five catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns in the Colts’ 20-14 win at Houston. Hilton has 10 career games with at least 150 receiving yards, tied with Julio Jones for the fourth-most 150-yard receiving games in a player’s first six seasons. The only players with more such games in their first six seasons are Pro Football Hall of Famers Lance Alworth (13) and Jerry Rice (13) and Randy Moss (12).

•Tennessee safety Kevin Byard had two interceptions in the Titans’ 23-20 win over Baltimore in Nashville. Byard, who had three interceptions in the team’s last game (Week 7 at Cleveland), has recorded five interceptions in his past two games, tied for the most by an NFL player in consecutive games since the 1970 merger. The other four players to accomplish the feat since 1970 are Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Haynes (1976), Willie Buchanon (1978), Albert Lewis (1985) and De Angelo Hall (2010).

THE WEEK THAT WAS WEEK NINE: SURGING SAINTS: New Orleans defeated Tampa Bay 30-10 last week to improve to 6-2.

The Saints, who have won six consecutive games after starting 0-2, are the third team in the Super Bowl era to win its next six games immediately following an 0-2 start. The other two teams to accomplish the feat – 1993 Dallas Cowboys and 2007 New York Giants – both won the Super Bowl in that season.

New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES completed 22 of 27 passes (81.5 percent) for 263 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 131.9 passer rating in the Saints’ win. Brees has 225 career passing touchdowns at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the most in NFL history by a quarterback at a single stadium.

The quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes at a single stadium in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (STADIUM – TD PASSES)
Drew Brees – New Orleans (Mercedes Benz Superdome – 225)
Tom Brady – New England (Gillette Stadium – 221)
Brett Favre – Green Bay and Minnesota (Lambeau Field – 214)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

YOUTH MOVEMENT: Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz passed for four touchdowns in the Eagles’ 51-23 win against Denver in Week 9. Wentz, who leads the NFL with 23 touchdown passes, has the most passing touchdowns by an Eagles quarterback through the team’s first nine games of a season, passing the mark set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin (20) in 1960.

Wentz, who is 24 years old, has the fourth-most touchdown passes in his team’s first nine games of a season by a quarterback at the age of 25 or younger.

The quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes in their team’s first nine games of a season at the age of 25 or younger:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; AGE – TD PASSES IN 1ST 9 GAMES OF SEASON)
Dan Marino – Miami (1984; 23 – 27)^
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis (2014; 25 – 26)
Bobby Layne – Detroit (1951; 24 – 24)^
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia (2017; 24 – 23)
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (2007; 25 – 22)

^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Wentz is the only quarterback in NFL history at the age of 25 or younger with at least 20 touchdown passes (23) and five or fewer interceptions (five) in his team’s first nine games of a season.

STAFFORD REACHES 200: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 26 of 33 passes (78.8 percent) for 361 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 132.4 passer rating in the Lions’ 30-17 win at Green Bay on Monday Night Football.

Stafford, who is 29 years old, passed for his 200th and 201st career touchdowns on Monday night and became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to reach 200 career touchdown passes before his 30th birthday.

The quarterbacks in NFL history to reach 200 career passing touchdowns before the age of 30:

PLAYER, TEAM (AGE AT TIME OF 200TH TD PASS)
Dan Marino, Miami (28 years, 2 days)^
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (28 years, 242 days)
Brett Favre, Green Bay (29 years, 36 days)^
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (29 years, 272 days)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

AGELESS WONDER: Arizona running back Adrian Peterson had a career-high 37 carries for 159 yards in the Cardinals’ 20-10 win at San Francisco in Week 9.

Peterson, who has 19 career games with at least 150 rushing yards, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric ickerson (18) and Emmitt Smith (18) for the fourth-most games with at least 150 rushing yards in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Barry Sanders (25), Jim Brown (22) and Walter Payton (20) have more such games in their careers.

The players with the most career games with at least 150 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); GAMES WITH 150+ RUSHING YARDS
Barry Sanders – Detroit; 25^
Jim Brown – Cleveland; 22^
Walter Payton – Chicago; 20^
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota and Arizona; 19
Eric Dickerson – Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis; 18^
Emmitt Smith – Dallas; 18^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Peterson, who is 32 years old, is the third-oldest player in NFL history with at least 150 rushing yards in a game, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers John Riggins (35 years old, 165 rushing yards) and JOHN HENRY JOHNSON (34 years old, 200 rushing yards).

The oldest players with at least 150 rushing yards in a game in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (DATE; AGE – RUSHING YARDS)
John Riggins – Washington (October 14, 1984; 35 – 165)^
John Henry Johnson – Pittsburgh (October 10, 1964; 34 – 200)^
Adrian Peterson – Arizona (November 5, 2017; 32 – 159)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

MATTY ICE AT 150: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 313 yards with two touchdowns in the Falcons’ Week 9 loss at Carolina.

Ryan, who played his 150th career game on Sunday, has 39,858 career passing yards, the most by a player in NFL history in his first 150 games.

The quarterbacks with the most passing yards in their first 150 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); PASSING YARDS
Matt Ryan – Atlanta; 39,858
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans; 39,297
Dan Marino – Miami; 39,285^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis; 39,164
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay; 38,212*
*Through 148 career games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Ryan’s 3,465 career completions are the second most in NFL history by a player in his first 150 career games, trailing only Drew Brees (3,494).

The quarterbacks with the most completions in their first 150 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); COMPLETIONS
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans; 3,494
Matt Ryan – Atlanta; 3,465
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis; 3,269
Carson Palmer – Cincinnati, Oakland an, Arizona; 3,196
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay; 3,162*
*Through 148 career games

CLIMBING THE LEADERBOARDS: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning passed for 220 yards with two touchdowns in the team’s Week 9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Manning, who has 50,034 career passing yards in 14 seasons with the Giants, became the seventh quarterback in NFL history with at least 50,000 passing yards.

The quarterbacks with at least 50,000 passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); CAREER PASSING YARDS
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver; 71,940
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota; 71,838^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans; 68,325
Tom Brady – New England; 64,123
Dan Marino – Miami; 61,361^
John Elway – Denver; 51,475^
Eli Manning – New York Giants; 50,034
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had five catches for 70 yards in the Cardinals’ 20-10 victory at San Francisco last week.

Fitzgerald, who has 14,953 career receiving yards in 14 seasons with the Cardinals, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown (14,934) for the sixth-most receiving yards in NFL history.

The players with the most career receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); CAREER RECEIVING YARDS
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle; 22,895^
Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati; 15,934
Randy Moss – Minnesota, Oakland, New England, Tennessee and San Francisco; 15,292
Isaac Bruce – Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and San Francisco; 15,208
Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and Atlanta; 15,127
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona; 14,953
Tim Brown – Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay; 14,934^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri converted both of his field-goal attempts, including a 53-yarder and both extra-point attempts in the Colts’ 20-14 win at Houston in Week 9.

Vinatieri, who has 2,442 career points, surpassed GARY ANDERSON (2,434) for the second-most points scored in NFL history.

The players with the most points scored in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); CAREER POINTS
Morten Andersen – New Orleans, Atlanta, New York Giants, Kansas City and Minnesota; 2,544^
Adam Vinatieri – New England and Indianapolis; 2,442
Gary Anderson – Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Minnesota and Tennessee; 2,434
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

RISING ROOKIES: Through the first nine weeks of the season, rookies have accumulated 12,146 yards from scrimmage, the second-highest total by rookies through Week 9 since 1970.

The seasons with the most yards from scrimmage by rookies through Week 9 since 1970 (excluding 1987 season):

SEASON – MOST SCRIMMAGE YARDS BY ROOKIES THROUGH WEEK 9*
2014 – 12,504
2017 – 12,146
2013 – 11,105
1983 – 10,829
2012 – 10,321
*Excludes 1987 season

The rookies with the most scrimmage yards in 2017:

PLAYER, TEAM (SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Kareem Hunt, Kansas City (1,131)
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville (732)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (652)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (589)
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati (488)

Rookies have also totaled 91 touchdowns through Week 9, the second-most through the first nine weeks of a season since 1970.

The seasons with the most touchdowns by rookies through Week 9 since 1970 (excluding 1987 season):

SEASON – MOST TOUCHDOWNS BY ROOKIES THROUGH WEEK 9*
2014 – 96
2017 – 91
1983 – 88
2013 – 85
1971 – 75
*Excludes 1987 season

The rookies with the most touchdowns in 2017:

PLAYER, TEAM (TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS)
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville (7)
Kareem Hunt, Kansas City (6)
Corey Clement, Philadelphia (5)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (5)
Evan Engram, New York Giants (4)
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh (4)

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 10: TOP BILLING: New England head coach Bill Belichick has 269 career wins, including the postseason, in his 23-year head coaching career with the Browns and Patriots.

With a victory on Sunday night at Denver, Belichick would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Tom Landry (270) for the third-most total wins by a head coach in NFL history.

The head coaches with the most total wins (including the postseason) in NFL history:

COACH – TEAM(S)(WINS-LOSSES-TIES, WIN PCT.)
Don Shula – Baltimore Colts and Miami (347-173-6, .666)^
George Halas – Chicago (324-151-31, .682)^
Tom Landry – Dallas (270-178-6, .603)^
Bill Belichick – Cleveland and New England (269-127-0, .679)
Curly Lambeau – Green Bay, Chicago Cardinals and Washington (229-134-22, .631)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

COMPLETE PLAYERS: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (3,984) and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (3,972) enter Week 10 ranked ninth and 10th, respectively, on the NFL’s all-time completions list.

This week, Rivers and Roethlisberger can become the eighth and ninth players in NFL history to record at least 4,000 career completions. Rivers and the Chargers are at Jacksonville, while Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh travels to Indianapolis to face the Colts.

The players with at least 4,000 career completions in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); CAREER COMPLETIONS
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota; 6,300^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver; 6,125
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans; 6,033*
Tom Brady – New England; 5,450*
Dan Marino – Miami; 4,967^
Eli Manning – New York Giants; 4,259*
John Elway, – Denver; 4,123^
Philip Rivers – San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers; 3,984*
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh; 3,972*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active

STELLAR STREAK: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who became the seventh player in NFL history with 50,000 career passing yards (50,034) in Week 9, has started 207 consecutive games.

With a start on Sunday at San Francisco, Manning would tie his brother, Peyton (208), for the second-longest streak of consecutive starts in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (297) has started more
consecutive games.

The players with the most consecutive starts in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SEASONS; CONSECUTIVE GAMES STARTED)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (1992-2010; 297)^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (1998-2010; 208)
Eli Manning – New York Giants (2004-present; 207)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak

DAK ATTACK: Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott passed for two touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 28-17 victory against Kansas City in Week 9. Prescott, who is in his second NFL season, has five career games with multiple touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown.

This Sunday at Atlanta, Prescott can tie Cam Newton (six) for the most games with multiple touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown in a player’s first two career seasons.

The players with the most games with multiple touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown in their first two seasons:

PLAYER, TEAM (YEARS; GAMES WITH 2+ TD PASSES AND RUSH TD)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011-12; 6)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (2016-17; 5)*
Steve Grogan, New England (1975-76; 5)
*In second season

AWESOME ADRIAN: Arizona running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 159 yards on a career-high 37 carries in the Cardinals’ 20-10 victory at San Francisco in Week 9. The performance marked Peterson’s 19th career game with at least 150 rushing yards.

On Thursday night against Seattle, Peterson can join Pro Football Hall of Famers Barry Sanders (25), Jim Brown (22) and Walter Payton (20) as the only players in NFL history with 20 career games with at least 150 rushing yards.

The players with the most career games with at least 150 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); GAMES WITH 150+ RUSHING YARDS

Barry Sanders – Detroit; 25^
Jim Brown – Cleveland; 22^
Walter Payton – Chicago; 20^
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota and Arizona; 19
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

DYNAMIC DUO: Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell (979 scrimmage yards) and wide receiver Antonio Brown (835) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the NFL in scrimmage yards.

If Bell and Brown each reach 1,000 scrimmage yards on Sunday at Indianapolis, it would mark the seventh time in NFL history that a pair of teammates had at least 1,000 scrimmage yards each in their team’s first nine games of a season.

Bell and Brown, who also accomplished the feat in 2014, would join Indianapolis’ Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison (1999 and 2000) as the only pairs of teammates in NFL history to each record at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in their team’s first nine games of a season multiple times.

The pairs of teammates in NFL history with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards each in the first nine games of a season:

TEAM – SEASON (PLAYER – SCRIMMAGE YARDS; PLAYER – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Atlanta – 2015 (Devonta Freeman – 1,141; Julio Jones – 1,029)
Pittsburgh – 2014 (Le’Veon Bell – 1,144; Antonio Brown – 1,009)
St. Louis – 2000 (Marshall Faulk – 1,326; Isaac Bruce – 1,019)^
Indianapolis – 2000 (Edgerrin James – 1,294; Marvin Harrison – 1,004)
Indianapolis – 1999 (Edgerrin James – 1,221; Marvin Harrison – 1,000)^
Dallas – 1995 (Emmitt Smith – 1,361; Michael Irvin – 1,023)^
Pittsburgh – 2017 (Le’Veon Bell – 979; Antonio Brown – 835)*
^Irvin, Smtih and Harrison are Pro Football Hall of Famers
*Through eight games

CATCHING CHRISTIAN: Carolina rookie running back Christian McCafferyY ranks third in the NFL and leads all running backs with 54 catches.

With eight catches on Monday against Miami, McCaffrey would surpass Reggie Bush (61 in 2006) for the most receptions by a rookie running back in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The rookie running backs with the most receptions in their team’s first 10 games
of a season:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, RECEPTIONS IN TEAM’S 1ST 10 GAMES)
Reggie Bush – New Orleans (2006, 61)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2017, 54)*
Earl Cooper, San Francisco (1980, 53)
*Through nine games

EVERY DAY EVERSON: Minnesota defensive end Everson Griffen ranks third in the
NFL with 10 sacks and has recorded a sack in all eight of Minnesota’s games this
season.

With a sack on Sunday at Washington, Griffen would become the first player to record a sack in each of his team’s first nine games to start a season since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. Indianapolis’ Dwight Freeney (2009) and ROBERT MATHIS (2005) are the only other players to each record a sack in their team’s first eight games of a season.

The players to record a sack in each of their team’s first eight games of a season since 1982:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; SACK IN EACH GAME TO START A SEASON)
Everson Griffen – Minnesota (2017 – 8)*
Dwight Freeney – Indianapolis (2009 – 8)
Robert Mathis – Indianapolis (2005 – 8)
*Active streak

TERRIFIC TITAN: Tennessee safety Kevin Byard, who had three interceptions in Week 7, had two interceptions in the Titans’ 23-20 victory over Baltimore in Week 9.

With an interception on Sunday against Cincinnati, Byard, who has five interceptions in the Titans’ past two games (Tennessee had a bye in Week 8), will join Jarius Byrd (2009), Albert Lewis (1985) and Pro Football Hall of Famers Kenny Easley (1984) and Mike Haynes (1976) as the only players in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) with six interceptions over a three-game span in a single season.

With two interceptions on Sunday, Byard would become the first player in the Super Bowl era with seven interceptions over a three-game span in a single season.

The players with the most interceptions over a three-game span in a single season in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON; WEEKS; INTERCEPTIONS IN 3-GAME SPAN
Jairus Byrd, Buffalo (2009; 6-8; 6)
Albert Lewis, Kansas City (1985; 14-16; 6)
Kenny Easley, Seattle (1984; 9-11; 6)^
Mike Haynes, New England (1976; 9-11; 6)^
Mike Haynes, New England (1976; 10-12; 6)^
Kevin Byard, Tennessee (2017; 7, 9; 5)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*In two games

The second half of the NFL season is here and the race to the playoffs is in full swing.

Thirteen teams have won at least five games, led by the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles. This is the fifth time in franchise history the Eagles have started a season 8-1 or better (1949, 1960, 1980 and 2004) and the team advanced to the NFL Championship/Super Bowl in each of the previous four instances. In the Super Bowl era, 91 teams have previously started 8-1 or better through the first nine games and 88 advanced to the playoffs (96.7 percent). Of those 91 teams, 40 reached the Super Bowl (44 percent) and 22 won the Super Bowl (24.2 percent).

The Eagles (seven) and New Orleans Saints (six) currently have the longest active winning streaks in the league. New Orleans, which started the season 0-2, is the third team in the Super Bowl era to win its next six games immediately following an 0-2 start. The other two teams to accomplish the feat – 1993 Dallas Cowboys and 2007 New York Giants – both won the Super Bowl in that season.

As the season moves into the second half, it’s all still to be decided, with plenty of football left to play. So don’t count anyone out. Since 2000, 44 teams have reached the halfway point of their season with a .500 or below winning percentage and advanced to the playoffs, including at least one in each season. Last year, there were four such teams: Detroit (4-4), Green Bay (4-4), Miami (4-4) and Pittsburgh (4-4).

Of those 44 clubs, seven have advanced to the Conference Championship Game, including both the Packers and Steelers last season. The 2001 New England Patriots reached the midway point with a 4-4 record and went on to win Super Bowl XXXVI.

Byes this week? Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland and Philadelphia. Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, New England and Pittsburgh come back from their week-long vacations and join in the week 10 action.

Last week? UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH! 5-8 for the week (which is a lot better than going 0-13). For the year, 72-55. Still pretty good. There’s still a lot of football left on the docket between now and Super Bowl LII (52 for those that like Roman numerals). Week 10 got underway in the desert as Seattle defeated Arizona 22-16 last Thursday and concludes in the Tar Heel State on Monday evening as Miami travels to Charlotte to face off against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN. Here are Sunday and Monday’s picks for week 10.

Dallas (5-3) at ATLANTA (4-4), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. Dak Prescott vs. Matt Ryan. A pair of young guns take the field in the Big Peach as the defending NFC champs host the Dallas Cowboys in a late afternoon NFC contest. The contest will have drama on the field and off.

How, you ask?

To bring you up to speed (ICYMI)… The Second United States Circuit Court of Appeals dened Ezekiel Elliot’s request for an emergency injuction that would have allowed him to play, which means his six-game suspension is back on. A series of injunctions and restraining orders have allowed the 22-year old Elliott to play to this point but a three-judge panel decided another injunction wasn’t in the cards for the Cowboys running back. The NFL Players’ Association requested an expedited appeal and the court responded later Thursday by scheduling a hearing for December 1, meaning Elliott is guaranteed to miss at least the next four games.

The NFLPA has argued a suspension would irreparably harm Elliott’s career. The NFL, however, said roughly 100 players have been suspended for approximately 500 games over the past season and a half, therefore “Elliott’s claim of irreparable injury is indistinguishable from those that could be made by 100 other players.”

Elliott is second in the NFL with 783 rushing yards and tied for the league lead with seven rushing scores. If his six-game suspension is upheld at the December 1 hearing, he would be eligible to return the field on Christmas Eve afternoon when the Cowboys, currently 5-3, face the Seahawks at home. The games that Elliott would miss are at Atlanta Sunday, home against Philadelphia on the 19th, home against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving Day, home against Washington on November 30th, at the Giants on December 10th and at Oakland on December 17.

The six-game suspension stems from a domestic violence allegation by Elliott’s former girlfriend in July of 2016. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell initially decided there was enough “persuasive evidence supporting” Tiffany Thompson’s allegations of domestic abuse. The union immediately appealed Goodell’s decision and Elliott has been able to play while the case works its way through the legal system and led to hard feelings between Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Goodell.

That was the legal stuff.

Now back to the two teams.

Dallas earned a 28-17 victory over Kansas City last Sunday in Jerry World (AT&T Stadium). Prescott threw for 249 yards and a pair of touchdown passes – both to wide receiver Cole Beasley – and added a rushing TD. Prescott joined Cam Newton as the only players in NFL history to have at least 35 touchdown passes (39) and 10 rushing touchdowns (10) in their first two seasons. Dallas led 14-10 at the intermission before the Chiefs took their only lead of the contest in the third quarter when Alex Smith and TE Travis Kelce connected on a 2-yard TD pass to open the scoring in the third quarter. Dallas then took the lead for keeps when RB Ezekiel Elliott scored from 2 yards out and Beasley caught his second TD pass, good from seven yards, to seal Kansas City’s fate. Dallas outrushed Kansas City 131-68 and went 7 of 12 on third down conversions and ruled the clock, as they held the ball for 31:17, while the Chiefs, who went 4 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:43.

Atlanta let a 10-0 first quarter lead get away from them as Carolina would take over and take the lead for keeps, taking a 20-17 win over the defending NFC champions in Charlotte last Sunday afternoon. Ryan passed for 313 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s loss in Charlotte and played in his 150th game, has 39,858 career passing yards, the most in NFL history by a player in his first 150 games. Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who caught one of the two Ryan tosses (WR Mohammed Sanu caught the other), leads the NFC with 658 receiving yards. In his career, Jones is averaging 95 receiving yards per game (8,268 yards in 87 games), the highest mark in NFL history (minimum 50 games). Carolina outrushed Atlanta 201-53, while Cam Newton threw for 137 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest. Atlanta was 4 of 12 on third down (0 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:08, while the Panthers kept the ball for 32:52, while going 4 of 13 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Dallas leads the series 14-10 and the Cowboys have outscored Atlanta 590-469. However…. Atlanta has won the last two meetings, including coming away 39-28 winners in the Lone Star State in 2015, while Dallas’ last win over Atlanta came in 2009 in Irving by a final of 37-21.

The oddsmakers like the Falcons as 3 point favorites in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Is this one “DRILL WORTHY?” We think so. (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

Both clubs were playoff teams last year. Both are looking to go back. Atlanta’s still king of the NFC until they’re knocked off and the king’s not going anywhere. Atlanta “RISES UP” and covers the 3 in the Big Peach.

Cleveland (0-8) at Detroit (4-4), 1 p,m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. One team’s looking to win their first game. The other team’s looking to return to the playoffs. Detroit hosts the winless Cleveland Browns in the Motor City at Ford Field.

Cleveland returns from their bye week after the Browns dropped a 33-16 decision to Minnesota at London’s Twickenham Stadium in Week 8. Although they trailed 13-12 at the break across the pond, Cleveland found themselves outscored 21-3 in the final 30 minutes of play. While Cleveland did outrush Minnesota 115-88, Vikings QB Case Keenum, who took over for Sam Bradford (knee), threw for 288 yards and a pair of TDs, while rookie QB DeShone Kizer threw for 179 yards with three sacks. Minnesota went 6 of 16  on third downs and held on to the ball for 37:52, while the struggling Browns were 4 of 13 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 22:08.

Detroit led from start to finish at Green Bay and came away 30-17 winners at Lambeau Field last Monday night. The Lions led 14-3 at the break and never looked back, although the Packers outrushed Detroit 78-64 in the Monday night contest. Matthew Stafford threw for 361 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Marvin Jones on both tosses, while Brett Hundley, who is under center while Aaron Rodgers recovers from a broken collarbone, threw for 245 yards. Detroit on third down tries went 8 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 36:55, while the Packers were 2 of 9 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:05.

Including games that were played in old Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Tiger Stadium and the Silverdome, the Lions lead the series 15-4, they have outscored the Browns 479-336 and Detroit has won the last three contests, taking a 31-17 win in Cleveland in 2013, while the Browns’ last win over the Lions came in 2001 along the shores of Lake Erie by a final of 24-14. Detroit’s favored by 10 1/2 and the over/under is 43 1/2. Cleveland will make it interesting and make it close but Detroit takes this one in the Motor City and could very well cover the 9 1/2.

New York Jets (4-5) at Tampa Bay (2-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of struggling teams square off in the Sunshine State as the New York Jets make their way to Raymond James Stadium for a meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

GangGreen returns to action in the Sunshine State after they took Buffalo to task, getting revenge on their AFC East rivals by taking a 34-21 loss to the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium last Thursday night. The Jets led 10-7 at the intermission on the Jersey Shores before pulling away in the final 30 minutes of action. Tyrod Taylor ran for one TD and threw for another, tallying 285 yards in the air but was sacked seven times. The Bills, who were outrushed by the Jets 194-63, went 6 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:30, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!, led by Josh McCown’s 140 yards (with a TD pass and a rushing TD), went 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 33:30.

Tampa Bay lost at New Orleans 30-10 last week in the Big Easy. The Buccaneers trailed 16-3 at the break and the Saints took control of the second half, where things got somewhat chippy when Saints DB Marshon Lattimore and Tampa Bay RB Mike Evans were involved in a scuffle on the Bucs’ sideline in the third quarter. Evans would eventually be suspended for one game for his actions on the field.

New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 151-87 and Drew Brees threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs, while knocking Jameis Winston (67 yards) out of the contest with a shoulder injury. Winston is out for the contest and Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center for the Buccaneers. New Orleans was 7 of 13 on third down conversions in the Big Easy and kept the ball for 32:18, while Tampa Bay, who was 27:42 in time of possession, went 4 of 13 on third downs.

Including games that were played at Shea Stadium and old Tampa Stadium, GangGreen leads the series 10-1, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! have outscored Tampa Bay 291-162 and GangGreen has won the last eight meetings, taking an 18-17 win in the Meadowlands in 2013, while Tampa Bay’s lone win in the series came all the way back in 1984, when the Buccaneers wore the creamsicle uniforms and came away 41-21 in the old Sombrero. The Jets are favored by 2 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under is 43 1/2. You might want to take a pass on this game (unless you’re a fan of one of these teams) and watch that “Bar Rescue” marathon on Spike (there’s nothing cooler than seeing Jon Tepper blow his stack!). Jets cover the 2 1/2 and win in the Sunshine State.

Pittsburgh (6-2) at Indianapolis (3-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. Brissett vs. Roethlisberger. A pair of AFC QBs meet in the Hoosier State as the Colts host the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium.

After falling to Jacksonville at home, the Steelers have won three consecutive games and are tied with New England for the best record in the AFC at 6-2. Pittsburgh had a bye last week and defeated Detroit 20-15 in Week 8. The Lions led at the half 12-10 before Pittsburgh went to work and tamed the Lions in the second half. Pittsburgh outrushed Detroit 75-71 and Ben Roethilsberger threw for 317 yards and a TD pass to rookie WR Ju Ju Smith-Schuster. Smith-Schuster leads all NFL rookies with 424 receiving yards, while his teammate, WR Antonio Brown leads the NFL with 57 catches and 835 receiving yards and is on pace to record his fifth consecutive season with at least 100 catches and 1,000 receiving yards. Pittsburgh was 7 of 14 on third down tries in the Sunday night contest in the Motor City and kept the ball for 28:23, while the Lions were 2 of 12 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and held the pigskin for 31:37.

The Steelers lead the series 17-6 (which includes games that were played in Baltimore and at Three Rivers Stadium), they have outscored the Colts 584-393 and have won the last four meetings, including a 28-7 win in the Hoosier State last year (Indy’s last win came in 2008 in the Steel City by a final of 24-20.

The two clubs met in the Hoosier State in week 12 in a Thanksgiving night affair and the Steelers took a 21-7 lead at the half and never looked back, shutting out the Colts (who probably overate their Thanksgiving meal) in the final 30 minutes of play. LeVeon Bell ran for 120 yards and a TD, as the Steelers outrushed 148-91 and Roethlisberger threw for 221 yards and three TD strikes to WR Antonio Brown. The Steelers were 7 of 11 on third down tries at Lucas Oil Stadium and kept the ball for 28:15, while the Colts, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:45, went 8 of 15 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh covered the 3-point spread in the Thanksgiving night contest like gravy on dressing with their 21-point win but neither club covered the 53 1/2 over/under, as they combined for only 35 points. Pittsburgh’s favored again, this time by 10 and the over/under’s 45. The 44 1/2? Makes sense. The 10 point spread? Not so much. The Colts have struggled this year but they’re not 10 point bad. Pittsburgh wins in the Hoosier State but doesn’t cover the 10.

Los Angeles Chargers (3-5) at Jacksonville (5-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The Los Angeles Chargers make the 2,421-mile trip down I-10 to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Sunshine State.

The Bolts come back to action from their bye after their 21-13 loss to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxboro the weekend before. The defending Super Bowl champs led the Bolts 15-7 at the break and the two clubs played even football the rest of the contest. Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski connected for a 2-yard TD pass as the second quarter was getting underway, while Philip Rivers (212 yards) and WR Travis Benjamin connected on a 24-yard TD strike with 8:30 left in regulation. Los Angeles managed to outrush New England 157-97 (Los Angeles’ Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 132 yards and a TD), while Brady threw for 333 yards for the Pats. New England on third down was 9 of 19 on third down tries and kept the ball for 36:59, while the Chargers were 23:01 in time of possession, going 3 of 10 on third down (both teams were successful in their only fourth down tries).

Jacksonville pounced on Cincinnati last Sunday at EverBank Field, coming away 23-7 winners over the Bengals in the Sunshine STate. Jacksonville led 13-7 at the half in the Sunshine State, then shut out the Bengals in the second half. After Cincy”S A.J. Green and Jacksonville’s Jalen Ramsey were tossed out for fighting, the Jaguars put a final nail in the Bengals’ coffin when Jayden Mickens returned a punt 63 yards for a TD. Jacksonville, who went 12 of 18 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth) held the Bengals were held to 29 yards rushing, while the Jaguars tallied 149 and Blake Bortles threw for 259 yards with a TD and had no interceptions or sacks, while Andy Dalton threw for 136. The Bengals on third down were a somewhat dismal 1 of 8 and kept the ball for 19:46, while Jacksonville ruled the clock and kept the ball for 40:14.

Including contests that were played in San Diego, the Chargers lead the series 7-2, the Bolts have outscored Jacksonville 274-158 and the Chargers have won the last six contests in the series, including coming away 38-14 winners last year at Qualcomm, while Jacksonville’s last win came in the Sunshine State by a final of 24-17 in 2007.

The 2016 contest took place on the West Coast in week two and the Chargers led 35-0 after 45 minutes of action (San Diego led 21-0 at the intermission) before the Jaguars would score their only points in the final period. Rivers threw for 220 yards and four TDs, two of them to WR Travis Benjamin, while the Chargers outrushed Jacksonville 150-69 (San Diego’s Melvin Gordon ran for 102 of those yards with a TD), while Blake Bortles (329 yards) was sacked twice and picked off twice. throwing a pair of TDs in the contest. The Chargers were 7 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 34:52, while Jacksonville held the pigskin for 25:08, going 2 of 11 on third down tries, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Chargers’ 24-point win allowed them to cover the 3-point spread and both teams took care of the 47 over/under, scoring 52 points. The boys and girls in vegas like the Jaguars as 4 1/2 point favorites in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 40 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Jacksonville has already surpassed their win total from last year and the Jaguars are making noise in the AFC South, while the Chargers are coming back to life in the AFC West. Jacksonville covers the 4 1/2 in north Florida and wins at home.

Minnesota (6-2) at Washington (4-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. The first-place Minnesota Vikings travel to Landover for a Sunday afternoon contest with the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

The Vikings, who had a bye last week, defeated Cleveland 33-16 at London’s Twickenham Stadium in Week 8. Running back Jerick McKinnon had 122 scrimmage yards (72 receiving, 50 rushing) and a touchdown against the Browns. Minnesota led 13-12 at the break across the pond before they outscored the winless Browns 21-3 in the final 30 minutes of play. While Cleveland did outrush Minnesota 115-88, Vikings QB Case Keenum, who took over for Sam Bradford (knee), threw for 288 yards and a pair of TDs. Minnesota went 6 of 16  on third downs and held on to the ball for 37:52, while the struggling Browns were 4 of 13 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 22:08.

Washington held off Seattle to come away 17-14 winners in the Pacific Northwest last week. Washington led 7-2 at the half, thanks to a 1-yard run by RB Rob Kelly after the Seahawks sacked QB Kirk Cousins (247 yards, 6 sacks) for a safety to open the scoring. Washington then held off Seattle in the final 30 minutes of action and stopped a Seattle rally in the final seconds when Wilson’s pass to TE Jimmy Graham fell incomplete. Seattle, who outrushed Washington 148-51, went 5 of 14 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 32:19, while the Redskins kept the ball for 27:41, going 4 of 13 on third down tries.

The series is even at 10-10 (which includes games played at RFK Stadium, Metropolitan Stadium and the Metrodome) and the Vikings have outscored Washington 500-451. Their last meeting took place last year in Landover and the ‘Skins escaped wtih a 26-20 win (Minnesota’s last win over Washington came in 2014 in the Twin Cities, when the Vikings came away 29-26 winners).

They met in week 10 at FedEx Field and the Redskins trailed 20-14 at the half before Washington scored the final 14 points of the contest unchallenged, using four Dustin Hopkins field goals to seal the deal. Washington outrushed Minnesota 128-47, while Cousins threw for 262 yards for Washington, while Bradford threw for 307 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs). The Redskins went 6 of 12 on third down conversions in the home win, keeping the ball for 29:56, while the Vikings ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 30:04, going 5 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Washington was favored by 2 and covered the spread, winning by 6 and both clubs covered the 41 1/2 with 46 points. Minnesota’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. While this one’s not “Drill Worthy,” it’s worth your time to watch. Redskins fans were singing “Hail To The Redskins” last week after their win on the West Coast. They’ll be singing “Hail to the Redskins” this week too. Washington covers the 1 1/2 and wins in Landover.

Green Bay (4-4) at Chicago (3-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Windy City as Green Bay makes its way to Soldier Field for a Sunday afternoon contest with Chicago.

Green Bay trailed from start to finish and wound up on the short end of a 30-17 loss to Detroit at Lambeau Field last Monday night. The Packers trailed 14-3 at the break in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst and could never get on track, although the Packers outrushed Detroit 78-64 in the Monday night contest. Matthew Stafford threw for 361 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Marvin Jones on both tosses, while Brett Hundley, who is under center while Aaron Rodgers recovers from a broken collarbone, threw for 245 yards. Detroit on third down tries went 8 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 36:55, while the Packers were 2 of 9 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:05.

Da Bears gave New Orleans a scare, coming up short in the Big Easy as they fell to the Saints 20-12. (Chicago had a bye last week) The Saints led 14-3 at the intermission before Da Bears managed to outscore the Saints 9-6 in the last 30 minutes of play. New Orleans found themselves outrushed by Chicago 157-101 and Chicago’s Jordan Howard ran for 102 yards to lead all rushers. Brees threw for 299 yards, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 164 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The series? Tied 93-93-6 (which includes contests that were played at Wrigley Field and in Milwaukee) and Da Bears, who were known as the Staleys prior to 1922, have outscored Green Bay 3,300-3,284. Green Bay has taken wins in six of the last eight meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Chicago’s last win over the Packers came in 2015 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as Da Bears suprised Green Bay 17-13.)

Meeting number one… week 7 at Lambeau. Rodgers (326 yards, 3 TDS) and WR Devonte Adams connected on a pair of TDs in the 26-10 win in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. Green Bay led 6-3 at the intermission and never looked back, as they outrushed Chicago 103-69 in the first meeting. The Packers were 9 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 39:36, while Da Bears were 2 of 8 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 20:24.

Round two… the Windy City and Soldier Field… week 15. Temperature at gametime? A balmy 11 degrees with a -4 wind chill (compared to 47 degrees in Green Bay in the first meeting and that contest had a 42 wind chill). Green Bay led 27-10 at the end of three quarters before Chicago roared back in the final period to tie things up. Green Bay took it upon themselves in the frosty Chicago air in the final 79 seconds of the contest after Conner Barth tied things up with a 22-yard field goal, using all the 79 seconds they had left with a 5-play, 59-yard drive that ended with Matt Crosby connecting on a 32-yard field goal as time expired to win 30-27. Green Bay outrushed Chicago 226-95 (Green Bay’s Ty Montgomery led all rushers with 162 yards and a TD), while Rodgers threw for 252 yards, despite being sacked four times (Chicago’s Matt Barkley threw for 362 yards with a pair of TDs but was the victim of three interceptions). The Packers on third down? 3 of 10 (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down), while Da Bears were 3 of 8. As far as the clock was concerned? Green Bay ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:47 (including the game-winning drive), while Chicago kept the ball for 27:13.

In the week 7 contest, played on a Thursday night, while the Packers covered the 8 1/2 point spread winning by 16, neither club covered the 45 1/2 over/under, tallying only 36 points. Green Bay was favored by 6 1/2 in the week 15 contest at Soldier Field but came away 3-point winners but both teams covered the over/under (which was 42) as they combined for 57 points. Chicago’s favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 37 1/2. It’s almost safe to say that both teams are in survival mode to an extent and both are better than their records show. Green Bay wins in the Windy City and covers the 3.

New Orleans (6-2) at Buffalo (5-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. It’s gumbo vs. chicken wings as the New Orleans Saints travel to upstate New York to face off against the Buffalo Bills.

New Orleans, who defeated Tampa Bay 30-10 last week, has won six consecutive games and are the third team in the Super Bowl era to win its next six games immediately following an 0-2 start. Leading 16-3 at the break, the Saints took control of the second half, where things got somewhat chippy when Saints DB Marshon Lattimore and Tampa Bay RB Mike Evans were involved in a scuffle on the Bucs’ sideline in the third quarter. Evans would eventually be suspended for one game for his actions on the field.

New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 151-87 and Drew Brees threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs, while knocking Jameis Winston (67 yards) out of the contest with a shoulder injury. New Orleans was 7 of 13 on third down conversions in the Big Easy and kept the ball for 32:18, while Tampa Bay, who was 27:42 in time of possession, went 4 of 13 on third downs.

Buffalo was taken to task last Thursday night in East Rutherford, as the Jets got their revenge on their AFC East rivals by taking a 34-21 loss to the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium last Thursday night. The Jets led 10-7 at the intermission on the Jersey Shores before pulling away in the final 30 minutes of action. Tyrod Taylor ran for one TD and threw for another, tallying 285 yards in the air but was sacked seven times. The Bills, who were outrushed by the Jets 194-63, went 6 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:30, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!, led by Josh McCown’s 140 yards (with a TD pass and a rushing TD), went 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 33:30.

New Orleans holds a 6-4 lead in the series, the Saints have outscored the Bills 236-183 and have won the last four meetings in the series, including taking a 35-17 win in the Big Easy in 2013 (Buffalo’s last win over the Saints came in 1998 in the Big Easy by a final of 45-33).

New Orleans is favored by 3 on the road and the over/under’s 47 1/2. The Saints are trying to unseat Atlanta as king of the NFC South mountain, while the Bills have been giving the NFC South problems this year. Wings beats gumbo. Bills circle the wagons and cover the 2 1/2 in upstate New York.

Cincinnati (3-5) at Tennessee (5-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Andy Dalton vs. Marcus Mariota. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in the Music City as the Tennessee Titans host the Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium.

The Bengals were suprised by Jacksonville last Sunday, losing to the Jaguars 23-7 at EverBank Field. Cincinnati trailed 13-7 at the half in the Sunshine State, then found themselves shut out in the second half but it was non-football action that was the star of the show as Cincy”S A.J. Green and Jacksonville’s Jalen Ramsey were tossed out for fighting. Jacksonville then got its composure back and iced the game away when Jayden Mickens returned a punt 63 yards for a TD. The Bengals were held to 29 yards rushing, while the Jaguars tallied 149 and Blake Bortles threw for 259 yards with a TD and had no interceptions or sacks, while Dalton threw for 136. The Bengals on third down were a somewhat dismal 1 of 8 and kept the ball for 19:46, while Jacksonville ruled the clock and kept the ball for 40:14, going 12 of 18 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Tennessee held off Baltimore 23-20 at Nissan Stadium last Sunday afternoon. The Titans led 16-6 at the half before the Ravens made it a closer contest than Titan fans would have wanted when Joe Flacco (261 yards, two sacks, two interceptions) threw a pair of fourth quarter TD passes, one to RB Javarious Allen and the other to WR Mike Wallace with 46 seconds left to play. Baltimore then tried the onside kick and the Titans recovered the ball and ran out the clock. Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier rushing-wise and the Ravens barely outrushed Tennessee 73-71, while Mariota threw for 218 yards with a pair of TDs. Baltimore went 6 of 16 on third down tries but struck paydirt on fourth down, as they went 3 of 4 and the Ravens ruled the clock and held the ball for 32:22, while the Titans were 3 of 11 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:38.

Tennessee leads the series 39-33-1, including contests that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers but the Bengals have outscored Tennessee 1,693-1,687 and Cincinnati has won the last two meetings, including coming away 33-7 winners along the shores of the Ohio River in 2014, while Tennessee’s last win in the series came in 2008, with the Titans taking down the Bengals 24-7 in Cincinnati. Tennessee’s favored by 4 1/2 in the Music City and the over/under’s 40 1/2. The Titans are trying to keep Jacksonville at bay in the AFC South, while the Bengals are looking up at Pittsburgh and Baltimore in the AFC North. Cincy bounces back from the drubbing in Jacksonville and makes sour music for the Titans in the Music City, covering the 4 1/2.

Houston (3-5) at Los Angeles Rams (6-2), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. The struggling Texans make their way westward to face off against the Los Angeles Rams, who are in the top spot in the NFC West.

Houston gave Indianapolis a scare before losing to the Colts 20-14 at Houston last week. On the final play of the game, which started at the Indianapolis seven-yard line, Colts linebacker Jabaal Sheard sacked Texans QB Tom Savage and forced a fumble – which was recovered by linebacker Barkevious Mingo – to seal the victory. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had five catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns in the win at Houston. Indy led 10-7 at the break in the Lone Star State and then held off the late Texans rally to seal the win. Houston did manage to outrush the Colts 94-92 and Jacoby Brissett, who took over for Andrew Luck (shoulder), threw for 308 yards and a pair of TDs, while Savage threw for 219 yards and a TD and was sacked twice, with the second coming at the end of the contest. Both teams were 4 of 19 on third down conversions, the Texans were 0 pf 1 on fourth down and the Colts ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:59 to Houston’s 29:01.

The Rams broke a 7-7 first quarter tie with the New York Giants in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon and proceeded to outscore the Giants 44-10 in the last three quarters, taking a 51-17 win in the process. Taking a 27-10 with them to the half, the Rams stepped on the gas in the second half and never looked back. Todd Gurley ran for a couple of TDs at Met Life Stadium, while Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 311 yards, while the Giants’ Eli Manning threw for 220 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of sacks. The Rams outrushed New York 162-111 and went 6 of 12 on third down conversions (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:30, while the Giants, who held the ball for 29:30, went 8 of 16 on third downs.

The Rams lead the series 2-1 (which includes one contest when the Rams were in St. Louis) and they have outscored the Texans 84-56. Los Angeles won the last meeting, which took place in the Lone Star State, as they came away 38-13 winners in 2013, while Houston’s lone win over the Rams came in 2009 in St. Louis by a final of 16-13. The oddsmakers in Vegas like the Rams as 12 point favorites and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Houston keeps this one closer than 12 but the Rams prevail in Tinsletown and takes the win on the West Coast.

New York Giants (1-7) at San Francisco (0-9), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. It’s a battle of last-place teams in wine country as the New York Giants and San Francisco meet in Santa Clara at Levis’ Stadium.

The Giants and Eli Manning saw the Los Angeles Rams break a 7-7 first quarter tie in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon and then proceed to lose 51-17 in the process. New York trailed 27-10 at the half, then watched the Rams step on the gas in the second half and never looked back. Todd Gurley ran for a couple of TDs at Met Life Stadium, while Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 311 yards, while Manning threw for 220 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of sacks. The Rams outrushed New York 162-111 and went 6 of 12 on third down conversions (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:30, while the Giants, who held the ball for 29:30, went 8 of 16 on third downs.

The winless 49ers trailed Arizona 14-3 at the half against NFC West foe Arizona and dropped a 20-10 decision to the Cardinals in Santa Clara in a contest that got chippy when Arizona’s Frostee Rucker and San Francisco’s Carlos Hyde were both ejected from the contest for fighting in the fourth quarter. Arizona outrushed San Francisco 167-63, with Cardinals RB Adrian Peterson leading all rushers with 159 yards, while Drew Stanton threw for 201 yards and a pair of TDs and San Francisco’s C.J. Bethard threw for 294 yards with a rushing TD but was sacked five times in the 10-point loss. San Francisco went 6 of 17 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:38, while the Cardinals, who ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 36:22, went 7 of 16 on third down tries.

The Giants lead the series 16-15, including contests that took place at Yankee Stadium, Keezar Stadium, the Yale Bowl and Candlestick Park, Big Blue has outscored San Francisco 619-606. New York won the last meeting with San Francisco, coming away 30-27 winners in the Meadowlands in 2015, while the 49ers’ last win also came in the Meadowlands, as they would win 16-10 in 2014. New York’s favored by 2 1/2 in wine country and the over/under’s 42. Take a pass on this one and beg your wife, girlfriend or significant other to take you on that early Christmas shopping. Your heart will thank you, the economy will thank you and so will your sanity. San Francisco breaks their losing streak at home and covers the 1 1/2.

New England (6-2) at Denver (3-5), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. The defending Super Bowl champs return to the Mile High City as Tom Brady and the Pats take on the struggling Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, closing out Sunday action in week 10.

New England and Brady return to action from their bye after they downed the Los Angeles Chargers 21-13 in Foxboro the weekend before. The defending Super Bowl champs led the Bolts 15-7 at the break and the two clubs played even football the rest of the contest. Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski connected for a 2-yard TD pass as the second quarter was getting underway, while Philip Rivers (212 yards) and WR Travis Benjamin connected on a 24-yard TD strike with 8:30 left in regulation. Los Angeles managed to outrush New England 157-97 (Los Angeles’ Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 132 yards and a TD), while Brady threw for 333 yards for the Pats. New England on third down was 9 of 19 on third down tries and kept the ball for 36:59, while the Chargers were 23:01 in time of possession, going 3 of 10 on third down (both teams were successful in their only fourth down tries).

Denver spun its wheels in Philadelphia last Sunday and took a 51-23 loss out of the City of Brotherly Love last Sunday. The Broncos could never get on track last week, trailing 31-9 at the half and used Brock Osweiler under center for the slumping Trevor Siemian. Eagles QB Carson Wentz threw for 199 yards and four TDS, while Osweiler threw for 208 yards with a TD to WR  Demaryius Thomas, while he was sacked three times and picked off twice. Philly easily outrushed Denver 197-35, with newly accquired RB Jay Ajayi leading all rushers with 77 yards and a TD. Denver went 3 of 13 on third down conversions at Lincoln Financial Field (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:06, while the Eagles, who kept the ball for 29:54, was 5 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

Denver leads the series 26-21 (including games played in Boston when the Pats called Fenway Park home) and they have outscored New England 1,077-1,023. New England won the last meeting with the Broncos, taking a 16-3 win in the Mile High City last year (Denver’s last regular season win over the Pats came a year earlier, also in Denver, when the Broncos, led by Peyton Manning, beat Brady and the Pats 30-24 in overtime.

The last meeting was played in week 15 in somewhat chilly conditions at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, with a game-time temperature of 18 (wind chill? 7). New England used three Steven Gostkowski field goals and a 1-yard run by LeGarrett Blount, while holding the Broncos to a Brad McMannus first quarter field goal to take the 13-point road win. New England outrushed Denver 136-58 and Brady threw for 188 yards, while Siemian threw for 282 yards but was sacked four times (Brady was sacked twice). New England went 5 of 17 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:36, while the Broncos were 2 of 12 and held the ball for 26:24 (both teams were 0 of 1 on fourth down).

In the week 15 contest in the Rockies, the Pats covered the 3-point spread, winning by 13 but neither club covered the 44 over/under, scoring only 19 points. New England is favored by 7 1/2 on the road and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Denver’s trying to restore some order and get themselves back in the playoff hunt, even if it means being a wild card team, while the Pats are trying to stay on top of the NFL mountain. New England won’t cover the 7 1/2 but they take the win on the road.

Miami (4-4) at Carolina (6-3), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 10 closes out in the Tar Heel State as Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers entertain the Miami Dolphins at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Miami trailed Oakland 13-9 at the half last Sunday night in Miami, then rallied to keep things close before falling to the Raiders 27-20 at Hard Rock Stadium in the Sunshine State. There were two bright spots for the Dolphins. First, they outrushed Oakland 86-84 in front of the home crowd; second, Jay Cutler threw for 311 yards with three TDs and no interceptions (Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 300 yards). Miami went 5 of 12 on third down Sunday night (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:04, while the Raiders were 30:56 in time of possession, while going 8 of 15 on third downs.

Carolina erased a 10-0 first quarter deficit against Atlanta and took the lead for keeps, taking a 20-17 win over the defending NFC champions in Charlotte last Sunday afternoon. Carolina outrushed Atlanta 201-53, while Cam Newton threw for 137 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest. Atlanta, led by Matt Ryan with 313 yards and a pair of TDs, was 4 of 12 on third down (0 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:08, while the Panthers kept the ball for 32:52, while going 4 of 13 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Miami leads the series 4-1, the Dolphins have outscored the Panthers 103-76 and Miami won the first four meetings in the series, with their last win coming in 2009 in Charlotte by a final of 24-17, while Carolina’s lone win in the series came in 2013 in Miami by a final of 20-16.

The Dolphins on Monday nights are 41-41, while the Panthers are 9-6 under the prime time lights. Carolina’s favored by 9 and the over/under is 38 1/2. While it’s not one of the better Monday night matchups, it’s worth your time, so you might want to tape “Scorpion” this week. Miami pulls the upset in Charlotte and they’ll be finer in Carolina, taking the road win.

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They’ve kissed and made up.

And they put a ring on it. (Sorry, Beyonce fans!)

A long, dirty phase in Chicago Cubs history has come to an end.

For those of you that have been living under a rock, there was a young man named Steve Bartman, who attended Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series against the-then Florida Marlins. For years, Bartman was the most-hated person in the Windy City since Al Capone and made the mistake of reaching for a foul ball along the left field line, deflecting the ball that Moises Alou would have caught for the second out of the eighth inning. Had Alou caught the ball, the Cubs would have been in the World Series for the first time since 1945. As fate would have it, the Cubs gave up eight runs in that frame and lost the contest 8-3, giving the Marlins a trip to the World Series, where they went on to beat the New York Yankees.

Bartman became a scapegoat and was considered persona non grata in the Windy City and also became the targer of jokes, SNL skits and death threats. He went into hiding, almost into his own Witness Protection Program, as it were and never talked about the incident.

With the Cubs winning their first World Series since Taft was in the Oval Office last year, the team decided that enough was enough. They needed this to come to an end, not just for the team but for the city of Chicago. Bartman had been punished enough. (As for the baseball that he touched? It was on display at Harry Caray’s Restaurant in downtown Chicago until it was destroyed).

The Cubs decided that Bartman deserved a ring, the same one that the players got last April, the one with the 108 diamonds, representing each year they didn’t win the Fall Classic.

The Cubs issued the following statement regarding the ring:

“On behalf of the entire Chicago Cubs organization, we are honored to present a 2016 World Series championship ring to Mr. Steve Bartman,” the statement said. “We hope this provides closure on an unfortunate chapter of the story that has perpetuated throughout our quest to win a long-awaited World Series. While no gesture can fully lift the public burden he has endured for more than a decade, we felt it was important Steve knows he has been and continues to be fully embraced by this organization. After all he has sacrificed, we are proud to recognize Steve Bartman with this gift today.”

Bartman, through his attorney issued his own statement:

“Although I do not consider myself worthy of such an honor, I am deeply moved and sincerely grateful to receive an official Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Championship ring. I am fully aware of the historical significance and appreciate the symbolism the ring represents on multiple levels.

“My family and I will cherish it for generations. Most meaningful is the genuine outreach from the Ricketts family, on behalf of the Cubs organization and fans, signifying to me that I am welcomed back into the Cubs family and have their support going forward. I am relieved and hopeful that the saga of the 2003 foul ball incident surrounding my family and me is finally over.

“I humbly receive the ring not only as a symbol of one of the most historic achievements in sports, but as an important reminder for how we should treat each other in today’s society,” Bartman said in his statement. “My hope is that we all can learn from my experience to view sports as entertainment and prevent harsh scapegoating, and to challenge the media and opportunistic profiteers to conduct business ethically by respecting personal privacy rights and not exploit any individual to advance their own self-interest or economic gain.

“Moreover, I am hopeful this ring gesture will be the start of an important healing and reconciliation process for all involved,” he said. “To that end, I request the media please respect my privacy, and the privacy of my family. I will not participate in interviews or further public statements at this time.”

Bartman also thanked the Ricketts family, Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and the entire organization for the gift and “for providing the City of Chicago and Cubs fans everywhere an unforgettable World Championship in 2016.”

Added Bartman: “I am happy to be reunited with the Cubs family and positively moving forward with my life.”

The Windy City has survived a fire that was at first started by a cow kicking over a lantern, a depression, Al Capone, winters that would have easily frozen Hell over 10 times and political corruption so bad Shakespeare would have been jealous. It celebrated when they won the World Series last October. They finally exhaled when they got their rings. Bartman and the Cubs have kissed and made up. They’re not quite Facebook friends yet but the wounds have finally healed.

A city that languished as to if they would ever win another World Series has forgiven a man that caused their fan base so much grief. The Cubs have moved on to become World Champs. Bartman has stepped out of the shadows and once again made himself visible, if only for a few minutes. They kissed. They made up.

They put a ring on it.

(photo credit the Chicago Sun-Times, the Associated Press and MLB)

Four weeks down… 13 to go.

Welcome to the quarter pole in the 2016 NFL season.

The first quarter of the NFL season is over and more than half of the league’s teams (18) have a .500 or better record. But there’s a lot of season left to be played.

“We had a pretty good first quarter,” Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones told WSB-TV and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the team’s 3-1 start to the season. “There’s still a lot of improvement we have to do, but it comes with practice. Repetition is the key. We’ve got to keep practicing, getting better and playing for each other.”

There are three unbeaten teams remaining – Denver (4-0), Minnesota (4-0) and Philadelphia (3-0). Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was adopted, 64 of the previous 77 teams (83.1 percent) to start 4-0 have made the playoffs.

But all 32 teams know there’s room for improvement. And while not every club has gotten off to a great start, nothing is a given in the NFL.

Since 1990, 117 teams (37.5 percent of the 312 playoff clubs) have advanced to the postseason after starting the season 2-2 or worse. There were six such teams – Houston (1-3), Kansas City (1-3), Minnesota (2-2), Pittsburgh (2-2), Seattle (2-2) and Washington (2-2) – last season, including three division winners (Houston, Minnesota and Washington).

“I feel a lot better,” says Buffalo head coach Rex Ryan about the Bills evening their record at 2-2 after an 0-2 start. “We know we have a good football team and we’ve just got to stick together. That’s exactly what we’ve done and how we’ve dug ourselves out of this 0-2 hole.”

That’s all part of the unpredictability of the NFL. So entering Week 5, while it certainly helps to be near the top of the standings, don’t count anyone out. As the saying goes, “on any given day…”

Following are highlights from the first quarter of the 2016 NFL season:

NFL MILESTONES
•CLOSE GAMES: Through Week 4, 47 games have been decided by eight points or fewer, tied for the most in a season’s first four weeks in NFL history (2004).

Most games decided by eight points or fewer through Week 4:

SEASON- GAMES DECIDED BY EIGHT POINTS OR FEWER THROUGH WEEK 4
2016 – 47
2004 – 47
2007 – 45
2011 – 45
2013 – 45

COMEBACKS: Through Week 4, five games have been won by teams which trailed by 10 or more points in the fourth quarter, the fourth-most in NFL history.

Most games won after trailing by 10 or more points in the fourth quarter through Week 4:

SEASON – GAMES WON AFTER TRAILING BY 10+ POINTS IN 4TH QUARTER THROUGH WEEK 4
1999 – 7
2011 – 7
1989 – 6
2016 – 5

TEAMS
•UNDEFEATED: Three NFL teams are left standing unbeaten – Denver (4-0), Minnesota (4-0) and Philadelphia (3-0) – are undefeated through Week 4. Philadelphia had a bye last week and squares off against the Lions in Detroit, while the defending Super Bowl champs host Atlanta in the Mile High City and Minneosta has a date with the Houston Texans in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Since 1990, 64 of 77 teams (83.1 percent) that started the season 4-0 have qualified for the playoffs.

•FLYING FALCONS: In Week 4, the Atlanta Falcons defeated Carolina 48-33 to improve to 3-1 and take first place in the NFC South. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan (503 passing yards) and wide receiver Julio Jones (300 receiving yards) each set single-game franchise records against NFC South foe Carolina last week at home. The Falcons became the first team in NFL history to have a 500-yard passer and 300-yard receiver in the same game.

•MONSTROUS MINNESOTA: The Minnesota Vikings had eight sacks in the team’s 22-10 victory at Carolina in Week 3. The eight sacks are tied for the third-most in a road game in team history and the most in a road game by the Vikings since December 28, 2003 at Arizona.

•In Week 1, the Kansas City Chiefs extended their regular-season winning streak to 11 games with a 33-27 overtime victory over San Diego at Arrowhead. The Chiefs overcame a 21-point deficit and are the first team in NFL history to extend a winning streak of at least 10 games with a 21+ point comeback victory.

PLAYERS

•CLIMBING THE CHARTS:

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has 62,172 career passing yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (61,361) for the third-most all-time.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has 45,373 career passing yards and surpassed Drew Bledsoe (44,611) to move into 10th place in NFL history.

Indianapolis running back Frank Gore has 12,293 career rushing yards and passed Marcus Allen (12,243), Edgerrin James (12,246) and Marshall Faulk (12,279) to move into 10th place in NFL history.

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has three touchdown catches this season, bringing his career total to 101. He surpassed Don Huston (99), Steve Largent (100) and Tim Brown (100) for eighth place all-time.

Baltimore wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. has 14,213 career receiving yards and moved into ninth place in NFL history.

Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski has 53 career 50+ yard field goals and passed Jason Hanson (52) for the most in NFL history.

•Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 309 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in the Seahawks’ 27-17 win at the New York Jets in Week 4. Wilson has 25 career games with multiple touchdown passes and no interceptions, the most by a player in NFL history in his first five seasons to begin a career.

•Washington tight end Jordan Reed had nine catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns in the Redskins’ 31-20 win over Cleveland in Week 4 in Landover. Reed has 207 career catches and reached 200 receptions in his 38th game. He is the fastest tight end in NFL history to reach 200 career catches, passing Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow (39 games).

•RISING ROOKIES:

Dallas rookie quarterback Dak Prescott completed 23 of 32 passes (71.9 percent) for 245 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the Cowboys’ 24-17 win at San Francisco in Week 4. Prescott has no interceptions in his first 131 attempts, the most pass attempts by a rookie without an interception to begin a career. Prescott’s 131 pass attempts are also the most by a player who did not throw an interception in his first four career games.

Philadelphia rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, who had a bye in Week 4, has not thrown an interception in his first 102 pass attempts during the first three games of his career. Wentz, who has passed for 769 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions this season, is the only rookie in NFL history with a touchdown pass and no interceptions in each of his first three games in a season.

Houston rookie wide receiver Will Fuller had a five-yard touchdown reception and a 67-yard punt-return TD in the Texans’ 27-20 win over Tennessee in Week 4. Fuller is the fourth rookie in the past 15 years to record both a touchdown catch and a punt-return TD in the same game, the only rookie in NFL history to have 300 or more receiving yards (323) and a punt-return touchdown in his team’s first four games of a season and the only rookie in NFL history to have 300 or more receiving yards (323) and a punt-return touchdown in his team’s first four games of a season.

STILL IN THE MIX: Since the current playoff format (12 teams) was instituted in 1990, 27 teams have rebounded from a losing record after four weeks to qualify for the postseason. Four of those clubs advanced to their Conference Championship Games, including the 2001 New England Patriots (1-3) en route to a Super Bowl XXXVI victory.

Since 1990, the teams that started 1-3 or worse and made the playoffs:
YEAR – TEAM (RECORD, ADVANCED TO:)
1990 – New Orleans (1-3, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
1990 – Philadelphia (1-3, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
1991 – New York Jets (1-3, AFC Wild Card Playoffs)
1992 – San Diego (0-4, AFC Divisional Playoffs)
1993 – Green Bay (1-3, NFC Divisional Playoffs)
1993 – Houston Oilers (1-3, AFC Divisional Playoffs)
1995 – Detroit (1-3, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
1995 – Philadelphia (1-3, NFC Divisional Playoffs)
1996 – Dallas (1-3, NFC Divisional Playoffs)
1996 – Jacksonville (1-3, AFC Championship Game)
1997 – New York Giants (1-3, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
1998 – Buffalo (1-3, AFC Wild Card Playoffs)
2000 – New Orleans (1-3, NFC Divisional Playoffs)
2001 – New England (1-3, Won Super Bowl XXXVI)
2002 – Atlanta (1-3, NFC Divisional Playoffs)
2002 – Tennessee (1-3, AFC Championship Game)
2002 – New York Jets (1-3, AFC Divisional Playoffs)
2002 – Pittsburgh (1-3, AFC Divisional Playoffs)
2004 – Green Bay (1-3, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
2005 – Chicago (1-3, NFC Divisional Playoffs)
2007 – San Diego (1-3, AFC Championship Game)
2008 – Minnesota (1-3, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
2011 – Denver (1-3, AFC Divisional Playoffs)
2013 – Carolina (1-3, NFC Divisional Playoffs)
2013 – Philadelphia (1-3, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
2015 – Houston (1-3, Wild Card Playoffs)
2015 – Kansas City (1-3, AFC Divisional Playoffs)

MARVELOUS MANNING: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who looks to earn his 100th regular-season win on Sunday, has 298 touchdown passes in his 13-year career.

With two touchdown passes on Sunday night at Green Bay, Manning will become the eighth quarterback in NFL history with 300 touchdown passes.

The quarterbacks with 300 career touchdown passes:

PLAYER – CAREER TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Peyton Manning – 539
Brett Favre – 508
Drew Brees – 438
Tom Brady – 428
Dan Marino – 420
Fran Tarkenton – 342
John Elway – 300
Eli Manning – 298

FANTASTIC FRANK: Indianapolis running back Frank Gore has 12,293 rushing yards in his 12-year career.

With 20 rushing yards on Sunday against Chicago, Gore will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (12,312) for the ninth-most rushing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most career rushing yards in NFL history:
PLAYER – CAREER RUSHING YARDS
Emmitt Smith – 18,355
Walter Payton – 16,726
Barry Sanders – 15,269
Curtis Martin – 14,101
LaDainian Tomlinson – 13,684
Jerome Bettis – 13,662
Eric Dickerson – 13,259
Tony Dorsett – 12,739
Jim Brown – 12,312
Frank Gore – 12,293*
*Active

DAZZLING DAK: Dallas rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has completed 89 of 131 pass attempts (67.9 percent) for 1,012 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in four starts this season. Prescott’s 131 pass attempts without an interception are the most pass attempts by a rookie without an interception to begin a career.

Philadelphia rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has completed 102 passes without an interception in three career games, second only to Prescott (131) for the most pass attempts by a rookie without an interception to begin a career.

Prescott, with 32 pass attempts and no interceptions on Sunday against Cincinnati, will surpass Tom Brady (162) for the most pass attempts without an interception to start a career. He is currently tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon (131).

The players with the most pass attempts without an interception to start a career:

PLAYER – PASS ATTEMPTS WITHOUT INTERCEPTION TO START CAREER
Tom Brady – 162
Warren Moon – 131
Dak Prescott – 131*
*Active streak

FAST STARTER: Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian has led the Broncos to a 4-0 start. Siemian, who made his first career start in Week 1, has passed for 824 yards with six touchdowns for a 99.6 passer rating this season.

With a win on Sunday against Atlanta, the Broncos would become the fourth team in the Super Bowl era to start 5-0 with a quarterback who had never previously started a game entering the season.

The teams to start a season 5-0 with a quarterback who never previously started a game (since 1966):
TEAM – YEAR (STARTING QUARTERBACK, RECORD THROUGH 5 GAMES)
Los Angeles Rams – 1985 (Dieter Brock, 5-0)
St. Louis Rams – 1999 (Kurt Warner, 5-0)
Minnesota Vikings – 2000 (Daunte Culpepper, 5-0)
Denver Broncos – 2016 (Trevor Siemian, 4-0)*
*Through 4 games

Week 5 began on Thursday night with a divisional contest as the Arizona Cardinals visited and took down the San Francisco 49ers 33-21 and concludes with a pair of primetime matches as the Green Bay Packers host the New York Giants on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. on NBC and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit the Carolina Panthers on Monday night at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Byes this week: Jacksonville (recovering from jet lag), Kansas City, New Orleans and Seattle. As for last week? 11-5, which means for the season, we’re 42-22, which is not bad. It could be better but it’s not bad. With that, here are the picks for Sunday and Monday’s NFL Week 5 contests.

ATLANTA (3-1) at Denver (4-0), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of first-place teams meet in the Mile High City as Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons travel westward to face off against the defending Super Bowl champs.

Both teams come into the week five contest at Sports Authority Field at Mile High with victories under their respective belts.

Atlanta once again beat Cam Newton and Carolina in the Georgia Dome, this time manhandling the defending NFC Champs 48-33. Atlanta led 17-10 at the break and then the two teams slugged it out in the final 30 minutes of action. Ryan threw for 503 yards and four TDs, including one to All-Pro wR Julio Jones (300 yards on 12 catches), while Newton threw for 165 yards and a TD before being taken out of the contest with a concussion. Atlanta outrushed their NFC South rivals 90-49 and forced two Carolina turnovers, turning one of them into a TD to ice the contest away. Atlanta was 8 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 33:49, while Carolina was 7 of 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth), keeping the ball for 26:11.

Denver broke a 7-7 first quarter tie at Tampa Bay last Sunday and came away 27-7 winners in the Sunshine State. Denver led 17-7 at the break and then went on to shutout the Buccaneers 10-0 in the final 30 minutes of play, which included for the second Sunday in a row a weather delay in Tampa. Denver outrushed Tampa Bay 89-72 and sacked Jameis Winston five times, picking him off twice. The defending Super Bowl champs were 3 of 13 on third down tries, while keeping the ball for 31:24. As for Tampa Bay, they were 5 of 16 and 0 of 1, holding on to the ball for 28:36.

Denver leads the series 8-5 and have outscored Atlanta 362-312. Atlanta won the last meeting in 2012 by a final of 27-21 in the Big Peach, while Denver last beat Atlanta 24-20 in 2008, also in the Big Peach. The Broncos are favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Both teams are in first place in their respective divisons, both teams took big wins last week and this one could be one of the best games to watch this week. In fact, we’re going to go ahead and make this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

When play started, there were three teams that were unbeaten. At the end of the day, there’ll be two. Atlanta pulls the upset out west and cover the 3 1/2.

New England (3-1) at Cleveland (0-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. Tom Brady makes his return to the NFL as the New England Patriots travel to the shores of Lake Erie for a meeting with the struggling Browns. This was to be known as the “Suspension Bowl” as Brady would come back from his suspension for “Deflategate,” while Gordon was coming off his 4-game suspension for substance abuse. Brady is back. Gordon decided that rehab would be the best course for him, so he’s done for the year.

New England fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last Sunday in Foxboro, losing to Buffalo 16-0 at Gillette Stadium. Le Sean McCoy scored the game’s only TD in the contest early and the Pats could never really recover, trailing 13-0 at the intermisson. Buffalo outrushed New England 134-90 and backup QB Jacoby Brissett (205 yards) was sacked three times, while Bills signal caller Tyrod Taylor (246 yards, TD) was sacked twice. The Brady-less Pats were a dismal 1 of 12 on third down (2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:49, while the Bills held on to the ball for 36:11, going 7 of 15 on third down.

Cleveland let a 20-17 lead against Washington leave their grasp as the Redskins bounced back in the fourth quarter to fall 31-20 in Landover. The Browns led with 9:25 left in the third on a 45-yard field goal by Chris Parkey before Washington stormed back to retake the lead for keeps. Chris Thompson and Matt Jones gave Washington the lead for good with their TDs in the fourth quarter as the Browns fell to their fourth loss in as many tries. Cleveland outrushed Washington 163-145 in the contest at Landover (Jones led all rushers with 117, while Cleveland’s Isaiah Crowell ran for 112), while Cody Keesler threw for 223 yards and a TD, while Kirk Cousins had 183 yards with three TDs and three sacks. Washington on third down? 4 of 8 and the Redskins kept the ball for 31:03, while the Browns kept the pigskin for 28:57, going 8 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Suprisingly, the Browns hold a 12-10 lead in the series and have outscored the Pats 415-379. They last met in 2013 in Foxboro and the Pats came away with a 27-26 win, while Cleveland’s last win came in 2010 along the shores of Lake Erie, taking a 34-14 win in the process.

New England’s favored by 10 1/2 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. While the Browns are bad, they’re not 10 1/2 bad. Cleveland will make things close but Brady makes his return to the gridiron a good one. New England’s taking this one but they won’t cover the 10 1/2.

Tennessee (1-3) at Miami (1-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of struggling clubs meet in the Sunshine State as Tennessee travels to South Beach for a meeting with the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Tennessee made things a little close for their fan base in Nashville last Sunday as they rallied to tie Houston 20-20 with 56 seconds left in the third before the Texans’ Will Fuller broke Titans hearts with a 67-yard punt return to beat Tennessee 27-20 in the Lone Star State. Tennessee did manage to outrush Houston 124-115 and Marcus Mariota threw for 202 yards with a sack and an interception (DeMarco Murray led all rushers with 95 yards and a pair of TDs), while Brock Osweiler threw for 254 yards with a pair of TDs. Both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down tries and on third down, the Titans were 7 of 15, while Houston was 5 of 12 and the clock favored Tennessee at 31:42 to Houston’28:18.

Miami led briefly at Cincinnati last Thursday night on a 74-yard TD pass from Ryan Tannehill to WR Kenny Stills with 9:04 left in the first quarter before the Bengals’ Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green connected on a 7-yard TD pass of their own to drop Miami 22-7. Miami trailed led 16-7 at the intermission and the Dolphins offense never got on track as Mike Nugent would close out the scoring in the contest with four field goals to seal Miami’s fate. Cincy outrushed Miami 77-62 and Dalton outpaced Tannehill in passing 296-189, while the Bengal defense sacked Tannehill five times and forced a pair of turnovers. Cincinnati was somewhat dismal on third down tries, going 3 of 15 (they did find perfection in their only fourth down conversion) and ruled the clock, as they held the ball for 38:02, while the Dolphins held on to the pigskin for 21:58, while going 2 of 11 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Miami leads the series 19-15 and have outscored Tennessee 650-635 (which includes contests that took place in the old Orange Bowl and games that took place in Houston when the team was known as the Oilers). Miami won the last meeting between the two clubs in the Music City last year, taking a 38-10 win at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee’s last win in the series? 2012, when the Titans won in the Sunshine State by a 37-3 final.

In the week six contest, Miami led 17-3 at the half and held Tennessee and Mariota (219 yards) in check in the final 30 minutes of play. Tennessee was held to 63 yards on the ground, while Miami ran for 180 (RB Lance Miller ran for 113 of those yards). Tannehill threw for 266 yards and a pair of TDs in the road win, while Mariota was sacked five times and picked off twice. Miami, in taking advantage of four Tennessee turnovers, was 5 of 9 on third down tries and held the ball for 31:53, while the Titans kept it for 28:07, going 2 of 10 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Miami’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. This one could be affected by the weather and could be closer than the 3 1/2. Tennesee will make this interesting but Miami comes away with the win.

Houston (3-1) at Minnesota (4-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. Houston travels to the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a meeting with the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings in a battle of contending teams.

Houston broke a 20-20 tie in with 56 seconds left in the third thanks to a Will Fuller 65-yard punt return to beat Tennessee 27-20 in the Lone Star State. The Texans led 20-17 at the break before Ron Succop kicked a 26-yard field Goal with 7:04 left in the third. Although Tennessee did manage to outrush Houston 124-115, Brock Osweiler threw for 254 yards and a pair of TDs, while Marcus Mariota threw for 202 yards with a sack and an interception (DeMarco Murray led all rushers with 95 yards and a pair of TDs). Both clubs failed in their only fourth down conversion try at NRG Stadium and Houston was 5 of 12 on third down, while the former Houston team went 7 of 15. Time was on the side of the Titans’ who held the ball for  31:42 to Houston’s 28:18.

Minnesota took Eli Manning and the Giants to the woodshed Monday night at US Bank Stadium, coming away 24-10 winners in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Vikings led 14-3 at the break in the great indoors and never looked back, holding the Giants to 78 yards on the ground (Minnesota tallied 104 yards of rushing). The Purple Gang forced a pair of turnovers in the primetime contest, while Sam Bradford barely outpaced Manning 262-261 but Bradford threw a TD pass to TE Kyle Rudolph in the contest. Minnesota went 8 of 16 on third down tries and held the ball for 35:32, while the Giants were 2 of 12 (0 of 2 on fourth), holding the ball for 24:28.

They’ve only met three times and the Vikings are 3-0 in the meetings, with Minnesota’s last win coming in 2012 in Houston by a final of 23-6. Minnesota has also outscored the Texans 85-55 in the series. Minnesota’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 39 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Houston’s good but the Vikings are a little better and they’ll stay unbeaten, even though they may not cover the 6.

New York Jets (1-3) at Pittsburgh (3-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTv 708. A pair of AFC teams going in opposite directions meet in the Steel City as Pittsburgh hosts the New York Jets.

Seattle QB Russell Wilson (309 yards) threw three TDs as the Seahawks took GangGreen 27-17 at Met Life Stadium. Seattle led 14-10 at the break and never looked back, holding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! to 58 yards rushing (Seattle ran for 66) and sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick (261 yards, 3 interceptions) four times. GangGreen was 7 of 15 on third down tries, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:15, while Seattle held the pigskin for 30:45 and went 3 of 10 on third down conversions.

The Steelers bounced back from their loss to cross-state rival Philadelphia and took Kansas City 43-13. Pittsburgh scored the first 36 points of the Sunday night contest at Heinz Field unchallenged and were never challenged by Alex Smith (287 yards, 2 TDs, 4 sacks, interception) and the Chiefs. Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell did his best Jerome Bettis impression, rushing for 144 of Pittsburgh’s 149 yards, while the Steel Curtain held Kansas City to 87. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger bounced back from his bad performance in Philly and threw for 300 yards and five TDs with no interceptions, although the Chiefs’ defense made things somewhat hard for him, sacking him twice. Pittsburgh went 6 of 11 on third down tries last Sunday night and held on to the ball for 29:24, while Kansas City ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:36 and went 8 of 17 and 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

Pittsburgh leads the series 17-5 with GangGreen and the Steelers have outscored the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 489-273 (which includes contests that were played in New York City when GangGreen played their home games at Shea Stadium). Both clubs took their last wins in the series along the Jersey shore; New York came away 20-13 winners in 2014, while the Steelers’ last win came in 2013 by a final of 19-6. Pittsburgh’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! are bad right now but they’re not 7 points bad. Still, they’re on the road and they’re in Pittsburgh. Steelers may not cover the 7 but they do win at Heinz.

Washington (2-2) at Baltimore (3-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. They sit 38 miles apart from each other and for only the sixth time, Washington and Baltimore meet as the Redskins travel to Charm City for a meeting with the Baltimore Ravens.

The defending NFC East champs trailed Cleveland 20-17 in Landover and rallied with a pair of fourth quarter TDs by Chris Thomspson and Matt Jones scored a pair of TDs to take the 31-20 win over the winless Browns. Cleveland led by three with 9:25 left in the third on a 45-yard field goal by Chris Parkey before Washington stormed back to retake the lead for keeps. The Browns outrushed Washington 163-145 in the contest at Landover (Jones led all rushers with 117, while Cleveland’s Isaiah Crowell ran for 112), while Cody Keesler threw for 223 yards and a TD, while Kirk Cousins had 183 yards with three TDs and three sacks. The Redskins on third down were 4 of 8 and the Redskins kept the ball for 31:03, while the Browns kept the pigskin for 28:57, going 8 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Ravens allowed a 27-21 lead against Oakland get away from them and came away on the short end of a 28-27 loss to the Silver and Black last Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Charm City. Baltimore, who trailed 14-6 at the break, outscored Oakland in the second half 21-14 and led late in the game when David Carr (199 yards, 4 TDs) and Michael Crabtree connected on their third TD of the afternoon, a 23-yard strike that gave the Raiders the lead for keeps. Baltimore then saw a late rally fizzle when Joe Flacco (298 yards, TD) threw four consecutive incomplete passes to end any chance of a comeback.

Ravens RB Terrance West led all rushers with 113 yards and a TD, while his team tallied 130, outpacing Oakland, who had 62. Baltimore was 5 of 17 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down conversions in Charm City, while they kept the ball for 34:44. The Raiders, who held the pigskin for 25:16, went 3 of 12 on third down conversions.

Baltimore leads the series 3-2 and have outscored Washington 92-78. Washington came away 31-28 overtime winners in Landover in 2012 in the last meeting, while the Ravens’ last win  came in 2008 in Charm City by a final of 24-10.

Baltimore’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Baltimore makes this one close but they’ll fall short. Redskins fans will once again sing “Hail To The Redskins” instead of “Hell! It’s the Redskins” this week. Washington covers the 4 and wins in Charm City.

Philadelphia (3-0) at Detroit (1-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. The unbeaten Eagles come back to action from their vacation to travel to the Motor City for a meeting with the Lions at Ford Field.

Philly comes back from their bye week after taking Ben Roethlisberger (257 yards, interception) and the Steelers to the woodshed two Sundays ago 34-3. The Eagles led 13-3 at the half and shut out the Steelers in the second half, scoring their final 21 points unchallenged. Philadelphia held the Steeler ground game in check in the City of Brotherly Love, holding them to a season-low 29 yards (they ran for 125) and Wentz threw for 301 yards and a pair of TDs without an interception (connecting with WR Darrell Sproles on one toss), while sacking Roethlisberger four times at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles went 4 of 10 on third down and kept the ball for 34:56, while the Steelers were 4 of 11 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, holding on to the pigskin for 25:04.

Detroit came away on the short end of a 17-14 loss to Chicago last Sunday at Solider Field. Chicago led 7-3 at the break but Detroit managed to outscore Da Bears in the second half 11-10 to make things closer than Bears fans wanted. Chicago Rookie RB Jordan Howard ran for 111 of Chicago’s 114 yards, while the Lions tallied 66 and Brian Hoyer threw for 302 yards and a pair of TDs, while Matthew Stafford threw for 213 and was picked off twice. Chicago on third down was 5 of 13 (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 33:14, while the Lions were 4 of 12 on third down, keeping the ball for 26:46.

Including contests that took place in Portsmouth when the Lions were known as the Spartans, the Eagles lead the series   15-14-2 and have outscored the Lions 631-622. The Lions were 45-14 winners on Thanksgiving Day last year in the Motor City, while Philly’s last win over Detroit came in 2013 in the City of Brotherly Love by a final of 34-20.

In the week 12 Turkey Day contest, Detroit led 24-7 at the break and it would not be a good day for the Eagles, as they held to 68 yards rushing, Mark Sanchez was sacked six times and Stafford and Megatron (aka Calvin Johnson) connected for three TDs in front of the home crowd at Ford Field. Stafford threw for 337 yards, while Johnson caught eight passes for 93 yards. Detroit was 5 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 37:11, while the Eagles were on third down 6 of 14, keeping the ball for 22:49.

Philly’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 46. It’s possible that the over/under could be reached by halftime, given that both QBs are pretty good. That’s where things come to an end. Eagles fly off with the win in the Motor City and covers the 3.

Chicago (1-3) at Indianapolis (1-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of 1-3 teams meet in the Hoosier State as the Colts and Andrew Luck host Da Bears.

Chicago took Detroit to task in the Windy City last Sunday, coming away 17-14 winners at Solider Field. Although they led 7-3 at the break, Detroit managed to outscore Da Bears in the second half 11-10 to make things closer than Bears fans wanted. Rookie RB Jordan Howard ran for 111 of Chicago’s 114 yards, while the Lions tallied 66 and Brian Hoyer threw for 302 yards and a pair of TDs, while Matthew Stafford threw for 213 and was picked off twice. Chicago on third down was 5 of 13 (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 33:14, while the Lions were 4 of 12 on third down, keeping the ball for 26:46.

Indianapolis returns to the United States after their trip across the Big Pond, coming out on the short end of a 30-27 loss to Jacksonville in London at Wembley Stadium Sunday morning. The Colts trailed 17-6 at the half but did manage to rule the second half, outscoring the Jaguars 21-13 in the final 30 minutes of action. Jacksonville did outrush Indy 136-94 but Luck outpassed Blake Bortles 234-207, with each man throwing a pair of TDs (Luck was sacked six times in the loss). Indy on third down was 9 of 17 and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:39, while the Jaguars were 3 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions, keeping the ball for 27:21.

Including contests that took place in Baltimore and at Wrigley Field, the Colts lead the series 22-19 and have outscored Da Bears 869-849. Chicago won the last two meetings in the series, including a 41-21 win in the Windy City in 2012, while the Colts’ last win came in 2004 (also in the Windy City) by a 41-10 tally.

Indy’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 47 1/2 and those numbers sound right. We’d understand if you took a pass on this one and watched that “Mythbusters” marathon on Science Channel but if you’re a fan of either of these teams, by all means watch. Indy gets to reject your reality and substitute its own and takes the win back home again in Indiana, covering the 4 1/2.

Cincinnati (2-2) at Dallas (3-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. Cincinnati, trying to right itself, travels to the Lone Star State for a late afternoon contest in Arlington as the Cowboys host the Bengals in JerryWorld (aka AT&T Stadium).

Cincinnati trailed briefly against Miami on a 74-yard TD pass from Ryan Tannehill to WR Kenny Stills with 9:04 left in the first quarter before Dalton and WR A.J. Green connected on a 7-yard TD pass of their own to come away 22-7 winners last Thursday night. The Bengals led 16-7 at the intermission and never looked back as Mike Nugent would close out the scoring in the contest with four field goals to seal Miami’s fate. Cincy outrushed Miami 77-62 and Dalton outpaced Tannehill in passing 296-189, while the Bengal defense sacked Tannehill five times and forced a pair of turnovers. Cincinnati was somewhat dismal on third down tries, going 3 of 15 (they did find perfection in their only fourth down conversion) and ruled the clock, as they held the ball for 38:02, while the Dolphins held on to the pigskin for 21:58, while going 2 of 11 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Dallas erased a 14-14 tie at the intermission and came away 24-17 winners at Levi’s Stadium. Cowboys rookie RB Ezekiel Elliot (TD) ran for 138 of his team’s 194 yards, while San Francisco tallied 106, while 49ers QB Blaine Gabbard threw for 196 yards with a TD, sack and an interception. For Dallas, rookie QB Dak Prescott threw for 245 yards and a pair of TDs on the West Coast. San Francisco was 8 of 14 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions and kept the ball for 23:33, while Dallas ruled the clock, holding the ball for 36:27 and going 6 of 14 on third down tries.

Dallas holds a 7-4 lead in the series, has outscored the Bengals 283-258 and won the last two meetings, including a 20-19 win in Cincy in 2012. The Bengals’ last win? 2004 in Cincy, coming away 26-3 winners. Dallas is favored by 1 and the over/under is 45 1/2. Both teams can be either really good or really bad. Which team will show up is the bigger question. The Dallas team that took San Francisco to task will be the one that shows up this week. Cowboys cover the 1 and win at home.

Buffalo (2-2) at Los Angeles (3-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. It’s Buffalo wings vs. California spring rolls as the Bills take their wagons to Hollywood for a late afternoon date with the rams.

Buffalo knocked New England from the ranks of the unbeaten last Sunday in Foxboro, shutting out the Pats 16-0 at Gillette Stadium. Le Sean McCoy scored the game’s only TD in the contest early and the Pats could never really recover, trailing 13-0 at the intermisson. Buffalo outrushed New England 134-90 and backup QB Jacoby Brissett (205 yards) was sacked three times, while Bills signal caller Tyrod Taylor (246 yards, TD) was sacked twice. Buffalo played keep-away with the ball, holding it for 38:11 and going 7 of 15 on third down tries, while the Brady-less Pats were a dismal 1 of 12 on third down (2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:49.

Arizona led Los Angeles 13-10 at the end of 45 minutes of play before the Rams rallied to take the lead with a 4 yard TD pass from Case Keenum to WR Brian Quick with 2:36 left in regulation, giving the Rams a 17-13 win in Glendale. Arizona and Los Angeles were tied 10-10 at the half before the Desert Angry Birds took the lead on a 21 yard fieid goal by Chandler Catanzaro as the third quarter came to an end. Arizona held Los Angeles to 41 yards on the ground, while rushing for 119 and Keenum threw for 266 yards an a pair of TDs in the desert. Los Angeles forced five turnovers, held the ball for 27:51, going 6 of 14 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, while Arizona was 6 of 13 third down-wise, keeping the ball for 32:09.

Buffalo leads the series 6-5, which includes contests that were played in Los Angeles and St. Louis and the Bills have outscored the Rams 262-220. Each team’s last wins in the series came in the other team’s ballparks; The Rams took a 15-12 win along the shores of Lake Erie in 2012, while Buffalo’s last win came in 2008 by final of 31-14 in St. Louis.

The Rams are favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 39 1/2. While both teams are pretty decent, it’s still early and there’s a lot of football left on the docket. Los Angeles has three of their wins coming by 6 points or less and that could be the case this week. Bills make it interesting but Rams fans will love LA. Los Angeles covers the 2 1/2 and wins in Tinseltown.

San Diego (1-3) at Oakland (3-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. They’re separated by 491 miles up I-5 and are six hours away from each other. They once shared the same city in Southern California and they get to square off against each other Sunday afternoon as the Chargers and Raiders meet in a huge AFC West showdown.

Once again, San Diego blew another lead and this time, it was at the hands of one of their former players. Leading New Orleans 24-14 at the half, the Chargers allowed the Saints to first chip away at the lead and then see that lead eventually leave as they would lose to Drew Brees and the Saints 35-34 last Sunday at Qualcomm.

Neither club did much to write about rushing-wise and neither club broke the 100-yard barrier but New Orleans did outrush San Diego 83-38 and Brees threw for 207 yards and a interception, while Rivers threw for 321 yards in a losing cause (both men threw a pair of TDs passes). San Diego on third down tries went 6 of 13 (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:21, while the Saints hung on to the pigskin for 32:39 and was 11 of 18 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Oakland trailed 27-21 lead at Baltimore and came away 28-27 winners against the Ravens last Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Charm City. Oakland led 14-6 at the break, found themselves being outscored by the Ravens the second half 21-14 and led late in the game when David Carr (199 yards, 4 TDs) and Michael Crabtree connected on their third TD of the afternoon, a 23-yard strike that gave the Raiders the lead for keeps. Baltimore then saw a late rally fizzle when Joe Flacco (298 yards, TD) threw four consecutive incomplete passes to end any chance of a comeback.

Baltimore outrushed Oakland 130-62, with Ravens RB Terrance West leading all rushers with 113 yards and a TD. Baltimore was 5 of 17 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down conversions in Charm City, while they kept the ball for 34:44. Oakland, who held the pigskin for 25:16, went 3 of 12 on third down conversions.

Including contests that took place when BOTH teams were in Los Angeles, the Silver and Black lead the series 60-50-2, have outscored the Bolts 2,468-2,415 and swept last year’s meetings (San Diego swept the year before).

First round… week seven down the coast at Qualcomm. Oakland led 30-6 at the half and then held off the Chargers in the second half, coming away 37-29 winners. Oakland outrushed San Diego in the first meeting 130-90 and while both Carr (289 yards) and Rivers (336 yards) each threw three TD passes, both men were sacked once and Rivers threw a pair of interceptions downstate. The Chargers, despite losing by 8, was 8 of 16 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 29:11, while the Raiders ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:49, going 5 of 12 third down-wise.

That was round one.

Second round… week 16 in Oakland on Christmas Eve. Oakland trailed 17-10 at the half and rallied to tie things up, outscoring San Diego 10-3 in the final 30 minutes of regulation and then taking the win in overtime 23-20 as K Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 31-yard field goal in the extra period. Oakland again outrushed San Diego 106-72 and as was the case in the first meeting, both Carr (204 yards, 3 sacks) and Rivers (277 yards) each had at least one TD pass in the contest and each team turned the ball over once. Neither club did much in the third down catagory (San Diego was 5 of 16, 0 of 1 on fourth down; Oakland was 4 of 15) and San Diego ruled the clock in the second contest, keeping the ball for 35:04 to Oakland’s 33:21.

Oakland’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 50. Those numbers make a lot of sense. Both teams have been playing decent football but not great football and both teams are trying to keep pace with the defending Super Bowl champs in the AFC West. This one could go to overtime, given the histories of the two teams. Oakland will make this one interesting but San Diego stays classy and takes the win on the road, even though they may not cover the 3 1/2.

New York Giants (2-2) at Green Bay (2-1), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. Eli Manning. Aaron Rodgers. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet at Lambeau on Sunday night as the Packers host the New York Giants.

Manning and the Giants were taken to the woodshed Monday night at US Bank Stadium, coming away 24-10 losers to the Vikings in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. New York trailed 14-3 at the break in the great indoors and could never get on track and were held to 78 yards on the ground (Minnesota tallied 104 yards of rushing). The Purple Gang forced a pair of turnovers in the primetime contest, while Sam Bradford barely outpaced Manning 262-261 but Bradford threw a TD pass to TE Kyle Rudolph in the contest. Minnesota went 8 of 16 on third down tries and held the ball for 35:32, while the Giants were 2 of 12 (0 of 2 on fourth), holding the ball for 24:28.

Green Bay comes back from their bye week after getting some revenge on Detroit two Sundays ago, taking a 34-27 win over the Lions and Matthew Stafford at Lambeau. Green Bay led 31-10 at the half and then held off a late Lions’ second half rally to take the win in the land of Bratwrust, beer and cheese. Eddie Lacy ran for 103 of the Packers’ 123 yards on the ground, while the Lions tallied 50 and Rodgers threw for 205 yards and four TDs, with Stafford tossing three TDs and 385 yards in the air.

Including contests played at Yankee Stadium, Milwaukee County Stadium and the Yale Bowl, while Green Bay leads the series 27-23-2. the Giants have outscored Green Bay by a slim 924-923 and won the last two meetings, including a 27-13 win in the Meadowlands in 2012, while the Pack came away 38-35 winners in 2011, also in the Meadowlands. Green Bay’s favored by 7 1/2 and the over/under is 48. Both numbers sound reasonable. The Pack came into the week with a win before their bye week and they’ll start their second half of the schedule with the win. Green Bay may not cover the 7 1/2 but they do win at home.

Tampa Bay (1-3) at Carolina (1-3), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The final game of week five features a pair of NFC South rivals squaring off in the Tar Heel State. It would have featured a pair of Heisman Trophy winners but now it’ll be Jameis Winston having the stage to himself as the defending NFC champs without Cam Newton host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium.

Newton and Carolina were manhandled by Atlanta in the Georgia Dome last Sunday, this time falling to the Falcons 48-33. Atlanta, who led througout the entire contest, led 17-10 at the break and then the two teams slugged it out in the final 30 minutes of action. Matt Ryan burned Carolina for 503 yards and four TDs, including one to All-Pro wR Julio Jones (300 yards on 12 catches), while Newton (concussion) threw for 165 yards and a TD before being taken out of the contest. Atlanta outrushed Carolina 90-49 and the Panthers turned the ball over twice, allowing Atlanta to turn one of them into a TD to ice the contest away. Atlanta was 8 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 33:49, while Carolina was 7 of 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth), keeping the ball for 26:11.

Tampa Bay let a 7-7 tie against Denver get away from them, falling to the defending Super Bowl champs 27-7 in the Sunshine State. For the second week in a row, the Bucs trailed at the half, as Denver led 17-7 at the break and then went on to shutout the Buccaneers 10-0 in the final 30 minutes of play and for the second week in a row, Mother Nature got into the act, stopping play because of lightning in the area. Denver outrushed Tampa Bay 89-72 and sacked Winston five times, picking him off twice. The defending Super Bowl champs were 3 of 13 on third down tries, while keeping the ball for 31:24. As for Tampa Bay, they were 5 of 16 and 0 of 1, holding on to the ball for 28:36.

Carolina leads Tampa Bay 20-11 in the series, have outscored the Bucs 695-538 and won the last six contests in the series, including a sweep in the series last year (Tampa Bay’s last win in the series came in 2012, when they swept the series, taking wins in the Sunshine and Tar Heel States).

The first meeting took place in Tampa in week four and it was the first time that the two Heisman winners met. Both Newton (124 yards) and Winston (287 yards) threw a pair of TDs and each was sacked twice but Winston was picked off four times as Carolina took a 37-23 win at Raymond James Stadium. Carolina led 17-10 at the intermission and then proceeded to pull away from Tampa Bay, outscoring the Bucs 20-14 in the final 30 minutes of action. Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin ran for 106 (TD) of his team’s 141 yards, outpacing Carolina, who had 133. Although Tampa Bay turned the ball over five times, they kept it for 32:08, going 8 of 16 and 2 of 2 on third and fourth downs, while Carolina was 3 of 11 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:52.

Second meeting? Charlotte… Bank of America Stadium… week 17. While the Bucs were out of the playoff picture, Carolina was preparing to take home-field advantage for the post-season and made that fact known, taking a 24-3 lead at the half and coming away 38-10 winners. Carolina outrushed Tampa Bay in the second contest 111-77 and while Winston threw for 325 yards, he was sacked twice and picked off twice, while Newton was sacked four times but still managed to throw for 293 yards and threw for a pair of TDs and ran for two more. In the second meeting, both teams did quite well on third down tries in the Tar Heel State (Carolina was 7 of 10, Tampa Bay 8 of 16, 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Panthers ruled the clock in the second contest, keeping the ball for 31:50 to Tampa Bay’s 28:10.

On Monday night… Carolina is 8-5 and won their only MNF contest last year, while the Bucs are 10-9 under the lights and will play their first Monday game since 2013, where they were 1-0 in their only contest. Carolina’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. It’s a pair of 1-3 teams in the NFC South basement and we wouldn’t blame you at all if you watched Scorpion this week instead of this game. Even without Cam, Carolina’s finer on Monday night and takes this one and could even cover the 4 1/2.

2016 NFL DRAFT NOTES

— 81st NFL DRAFT —

AUDITORIUM THEATRE OF ROOSEVELT UNIVERSITY, CHICAGO (APRIL 28-30, 2016) (All times Eastern)

Rounds: Date (Selection Time)

Found 1: Thursday, April 28 at 8 p.m. (10 minutes)

Round 2 Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m. (7 minutes)

Round 3 (5 Minutes)

Rounds 4 through 6 Saturday, April 30 at Noon (5 minutes)

Round 7 (4 Minutes)

Note: All compensatory picks are four minutes

WINDY CITY: Twenty-five prospects and 12 college head coaches will be in attendance at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago for the 2016 NFL Draft.

That includes a record-tying five players from Ohio State: CB Eli Apple, DE Joey Bosa, T Taylor Decker, RB Ezekiel Elliott and LB Darron Lee. Ohio State’s five players equals the record set by Alabama in 2012.

The players confirmed to attend this year’s NFL Draft:

1) Eli Apple (CB-Ohio State)
2) Joey Bosa (DE-Ohio State)
3) Vernon Butler (DT-Louisiana Tech)
4) Corey Coleman (WR-Baylor)
5) Jack Conklin (T-Michigan State)
6) Taylor Decker (T-Ohio State)
7) Josh Doctson (WR-Texas Christian)
8) Kevin Dodd (DE-Clemson)
9) Ezekiel Elliott (RB-Ohio State)
10) Jared Goff (QB-California)
11) Vernon Hargreaves (CB-Florida)
12) Myles Jack (LB-UCLA)
13) Chris Jones (DT-Mississippi State)
14) Shaq Lawson (DE-Clemson)
15) Darron Lee (LB-Ohio State)
16) Keanu Neal (S-Florida)
17) Robert Nkemdiche (DT-Mississippi)
18) Reggie Ragland (LB-Alabama)
19) Jalen Ramsey (CB-Florida State)
20) Jarren Reed (DT-Alabama)
21) A’Shawn Robinson (DT-Alabama)
22) Ronnie Stanley (T-Notre Dame)
23) Laquan Treadwell (WR-Mississippi)
24) Laremy Tunsil (T-Mississippi)
25) Carson Wentz (QB-North Dakota State)

The college head coaches confirmed to attend this year’s NFL Draft:

1) Art Briles – Baylor
2) Mark Dantonio – Michigan State
3) Sonny Dykes – California
4) Jimbo Fisher – Florida State
5) Hugh Freeze – Mississippi
6) Brian Kelly – Notre Dame
7) Chris Klieman – North Dakota State
8) Urban Meyer – Ohio State
9) Jim Mora – UCLA
10) Gary Patterson – Texas Christian
11) Nick Saban – Alabama
12) Dabo Swinney – Clemson

TOP TRADES: The 2016 NFL Draft marks the fourth time in the common draft era (since 1967) that the top two picks were traded. In the three previous instances – 1997, 1975 and 1967 – the third overall pick was also dealt.

The Los Angeles Rams traded for the first overall pick in this year’s draft, while the Philadelphia Eagles moved into the second spot.

The drafts in which the top three picks were traded:

YEAR, PICK NO. (TEAM THAT ACQUIRED PICK – PLAYER SELECTED)
1997, 1 (St. Louis Rams – T Orlando Pace)
2 (Oakland – DT Darrell Russell)
3 (Seattle – CB Shawn Springs)

1975, 1 (Atlanta – QB Steve Bartkowski)
2 (Dallas  – DT Randy White)
3 (Baltimore Colts – G Ken Huff)

1967, 1 (Baltimore Colts – DE Bubba Smith)
2 (Minnesota  – RB Clint Jones)
3 (San Francisco – QB Steve Spurrier)

ROLL TIDE: If Alabama has a player selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Crimson Tide will surpass Pittsburgh (1983-1989), Ohio State (1991-1997) and Florida (1997-2003) for the third-longest consecutive streak of players drafted in the first round since the advent of the common draft in 1967. They currently have seven consecutive drafts with at least one first round pick.

Miami (1995-2008) holds the longest streak with 14 consecutive drafts having at least one player selected in the first round.

LONGEST STREAK OF CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH A FIRST ROUND PICK (SINCE 1967)

YEARS: SCHOOL (CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH A FIRST ROUND PICK
1995-2008: Miami (14)
1983-1991: Florida (9)
2009-2015: Alabama (7)*
1997-2003: Florida (7)
1991-1997: Ohio State (7)
1983-1989: Pittsburgh (7)
*Active streak

BUCKEYE BRILLIANCE: Five Ohio State players can hear their name called in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft – CB Eli Apple, DE Joey Bosa, T Taylor Decker, RB Ezekiel Elliott and LB Darron Lee.

If all five players are chosen in the first round, they would tie Southern California (1968), Miami (2002) and Ohio State (2006) for the second-most first-round picks since 1967. Miami (2004) is the only school with six first-round selections in one draft.

THE SCHOOLS WITH THE MOST FIRST-ROUND PICKS IN ONE DRAFT (SINCE 1967)

YEAR – SCHOOL (FIRST ROUND PICKS)
2004 – Miami (6)
2006 – Ohio State (5)
2002 – Miami (5)
1968 – Southern California (5)

SMALL SCHOOL SUCCESS: Not all top picks come from the big schools. Smaller schools have found success as well. North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz can become the fifth quarterback from a non-FBS school to be drafted in the first round since 1979,
when Division I-A was formed.

Wentz would join Joe Flacco (2008), Steve McNair (1995), Ken O’Brien (1983),
and Phil Simms (1979).

QUARTERBACKS FROM NON-FBS SCHOOLS SELECTED IN THE FIRST ROUND (Since 1979)

YEAR – PLAYER (SCHOOL, NUMBER CHOSEN; TEAM)
1979 – Phil Simms (Morehead State, 7; New York Giants)
1983 – Ken O’Brien (California-Davis, 24; New York Jets)
1995 – Steve McNair (Alcorn State, 3; Houston Oilers)
2008 – Joe Flacco (Delaware, 18; Baltimore)

TOP TWO QBs: California QB JARED GOFF and North Dakota State QB CARSON WENTZ may
hear their names called with the first two picks of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Since the beginning of the common draft in 1967, quarterbacks have been taken
with the first two picks of the same draft six times. Last year, JAMEIS WINSTON
and MARCUS MARIOTA were selected with the top two picks. It would mark the
second time that quarterbacks have been selected with the top two picks in
consecutive drafts (1998 and 1999).

QUARTERBACKS – NO. 1 & 2 OVERALL SELECTIONS IN THE SAME DRAFT (SINCE 1967)

YEAR
NO. 1 PICK (COLLEGE), TEAM
NO. 2 PICK (COLLEGE), TEAM

1971
Jim Plunkett (Stanford), New England
Archie Manning (Mississippi), New Orleans

1993
Drew Bledsoe (Washington State), New England
Rick Mirer (Notre Dame), Seattle

1998
Peyton Manning (Tennessee), Indianapolis
Ryan Leaf (Washington State), San Diego

1999
Tim Couch (Kentucky), Cleveland
Donovan McNabb (Syracuse), Philadelphia

2012
Andrew Luck (Stanford), Indianapolis
Robert Griffin III (Baylor), Washington

2015
Jameis Winston (Florida State), Tampa Bay
Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Tennessee

FIRST ROUND REBELS: Mississippi T Laremy Tunsil, WR Laquan Treadwell and DT Robert Nkemdiche all hope to hear their name called in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. It would mark the first time in school history that three players were selected in the first round.

The last time Ole Miss had multiple players selected in the first round was 2009, when T Michael Oher (23rd overall, Baltimore) and DT Peria Jerry (24th overall, Atlanta) were both chosen.

TERRIFIC TECH: Louisiana Tech DT Vernon Butler can become the first defensive player in school history to be drafted in the first round.

Butler hopes to join Pro Terry Bradshaw (1970), Roger Carr (1974), Willie Roaf (1993) and Troy Edwards (1999), as the only Louisiana Tech players to be selected in the first round since 1967.

LOUISIANA TECH PLAYERS SELECTED IN THE FIRST ROUND (Since 1967)

YEAR – PLAYER (POSITION-NUMBER CHOSEN; TEAM)
1970 – Terry Bradshaw (QB-1;Pittsbrugh)*
1974 – Roger Carr (WR-24; Baltimore Colts)
1993 – Willie Roaf (T-8; New Orleans)*
1999 – Troy Edwards (WR-13; Pittsburgh)
*Pro Football Hall of Famer

HISTORIC HORNED FROG: Texas Christian WR JOSH DOCTSON can become the first wide
receiver in school history to be drafted in the first round since the beginning
of the common draft in 1967.

Doctson would join CB Jason Verrett (2014), DE Jerry Hughes (2010), RB La Dainain Tomlinson (2001) and RB Norm Bulach (1970) as the only Texas Christian players selected in the first round since 1967.

TEXAS CHRISTIAN PLAYERS SELECTED IN THE FIRST ROUND (Since 1967)

YEAR – PLAYER (POSITION-NUMBER CHOSEN; TEAM)
1970 – Norm Bulaich (RB-18; Baltimore Colts)
2001 – LaDainian Tomlinson (RB-5; an Diego)
2010 – Jerry Hughes (DE-31; Indianapolis)
2014 – Jason Verrett (CB-25; San Diego)
MR. IRRELEVANT: The first shall be last. The Denver Broncos will have the honor of selecting this year’s “Mr. Irrelevant” – a tongue-in-cheek title bestowed annually upon the last player chosen in the NFL Draft – with the 253rd pick.

2016 marks the 41st year of the Mr. Irrelevant tradition.

Established in 1976 by Paul Salta, a former NFL player and Southern California businessman, Irrelevant Week is a weeklong celebration held annually in Newport Beach, California, which celebrates the efforts of Mr. Irrelevant and raises funds for charity. Special Olympics Southern California was named as the 2015 charitable recipient. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities.

In 2014, Irrelevant Week, Incorporated expanded its efforts by becoming The Foundation For The Undefeated
(www.theundefeated.org), a nonprofit dedicated to championing stories of perseverance in sports to inspire greatness in others. The Irrelevant Week tradition will continue as the cornerstone within the broader mission and reach of The Foundation for the Undefeated.

Several notable “Mr. Irrelevants” (active players in italics):

MR. IRRELEVANT, YEAR DRAFTED/TEAM
NOTES

TE Gerald Christian, Arizona (2015 Arizona)
40th Mr. Irrelevant. First Cardinals Mr. Irrelevant since Tevita Ofahengaue in 2001.

S Lonnie Ballentine, Houston (2014 Houston)
39th Mr. Irrelevant. Second Texans Mr. Irrelevant in the past four years, following Cheta Ozougwu in 2011.

K Ryan Succop, Kansas City (2009 Kansas City)
Set Chiefs rookie record with 25 field goals made in 2009.

WR Ryan Hoag (2003 Oakland)
Signed with Jaguars after spending time with Giants, Redskins and Vikings. Appeared on ABC’s “The Bachelorette” in 2008.

S Mike Green (2000 Chicago)
Started 48 games for Bears, Seahawks and Redskins in eight NFL seasons.

FB Jim Finn (1999 Chicago)
Played six NFL seasons for Colts and Giants totaling 45 career starts.

LB Marty Moore (1994 New England)
Played eight NFL seasons and became first “Mr. Irrelevant” to appear in the Super Bowl (XXXI with Patriots).

C Matt Elliott (1992 Washington)
Started 14 games on inaugural Carolina Panthers team. Made 32 career starts.

QB Bill Kenney (1978 Miami)*
Made the Pro Bowl in 1984 with the Chiefs and later became a Missouri State Senator.

WR Kelvin Kirk (1976 Pittsburgh)
First annual “Mr. Irrelevant.” Played seven years in the CFL and later worked for the Ottawa Citizen.
*Kenney was named as a replacement for Lee Washburn who could not attend training camp due to a back injury.

FIRST-ROUND TRADES SINCE 2000

(Yearly totals can include future selections traded in previous years.)

DRAFT – ROUND 1 TRADES
2000 – 16
2001 – 15
2002 – 14
2003 – 18
2004 – 17
2005 – 9
2006 – 11
2007 – 10
2008 – 17
2009 – 13
2010 – 15
2011 – 8
2012 – 19
2013 – 12
2014 – 11
2015 – 6

CONSECUTIVE TOP 10 CHOICES FROM SAME COLLEGE
1937: Nebraska – HB Lloyd Cardwell (7) and E Les McDonald (8)
1943: Minnesota – HB Bill Daley (7) and T Dick Wildung (8)
1946: Notre Dame – QB Johnny Lujack (4) and T George Connor (5)
1948: Alabama – HB Lowell Tew (4) and C Vaughn Mancha (5)
1949: Notre Dame – QB Frank Tripucka (9) and G Bill Fischer (10)
1949: Southern Methodist – RB Doak Walker (3) and HB Paul Page (4)
1959: Ohio State – HB Don Clark (7) and C Dan James (8)
1967: Michigan State – DT Bubba Smith (1) and RB Clint Jones (2)
1977: Southern California – T Marvin Powell (4) and DT Gary Jeter (5)
1978: Notre Dame – TE Ken MacAfee (7) and DT Ross Browner (8)
1981: UCLA – RB Freeman McNeil (3) and DB Kenny Easley (4)
1984: Nebraska – WR Irving Fryar (1) and T Dean Steinkuhler (2)
1990: Southern California – LB Junior Seau (5) and DB Mark Carrier (6)
1991: Nebraska – DB Bruce Pickens (3) and LB Mike Croel (4)
1991: Tennessee – T Charles McRae (7) and T Antone Davis (8)
1992: Stanford – T Bob Whitfield (8) and RB Tommy Vardell (9)
1993: Alabama – DE John Copeland (5) and DE Eric Curry (6)
1996: Illinois – LB Kevin Hardy (2) and DE Simeon Rice (3)
2000: Penn State – DE Courtney Brown (1) and LB LaVar Arrington (2)
2002: Texas – T Mike Williams (4) and DB Quentin Jammer (5)
2004: Miami – S Sean Taylor (5) and TE Kellen Winslow (6)
2010: Oklahoma – DT Gerald McCoy (3) and T Trent Williams (4)
2013: Alabama – DB Dee Milliner (9) and G Chance Warmack (10)
2014: Texas A&M – T Jake Matthews (6) and WR Mike Evans (7)

OFFENSIVE/DEFENSIVE PLAYERS SELECTED IN FIRST ROUND SINCE 1990

YEAR – OFFENSE/DEFENSE, FIRST OFFENSIVE PICK/FIRST DEFENSIVE PICK
1990 – 11/14, Jeff George-QB (1)/Cortez Kennedy-DT (3)
1991 – 13/14, Charles McRae-T (7)/Russell Maryland-DT (1)
1992 – 13/15, Desmond Howard-WR (4)/Steve Emtman-DE (1)
1993 – 15/14, Drew Bledsoe-QB (1)/Marvin Jones-LB (4)
1994 – 13/16, Marshall Faulk-RB (2)/Dan Wilkinson-DT (1)
1995 – 18/14, Ki-Jana Carter-RB (1)/ Kevin Carter-DE (6)
1996 – 17/13, Keyshawn Johnson-WR (1)/Kevin Hardy-LB (2)
1997 – 14/16, Orlando Pace-T (1)/Darrell Russell-DE (2)
1998 – 14/16, Peyton Manning-QB (1)/Andre Wadsworth-DE (3)
1999 – 16/15, Tim Couch-QB (1)/Champ Bailey-CB (7)
2000 – 17/14, Chris Samuel-T (3)/Courtney Brown-DE  (1)
2001 – 15/16, Michael Vick-QB (1)/Gerard Warren-DT (3)
2002 – 16/16.David Carr-QB (1)/Julius Peppers-DE (2)
2003 – 14/18, Carson Palmer-QB (1)/Dewayne Robertson-DT (4)
2004 – 19/13, Eli Manning-QB (1)/Sean Taylor-S (5)
2005 – 16/16, Alex Smith-QB (1)/Adam Jones-CB (6)
2006 – 19/13, Reggie Bush-RB (2)/Mario Williams-DE (1)
2007 – 15/17, JaMarcus Russell-QB (1)/Gaines Adams-DE (4)
2008 – 16/15, Jake Long-T (1)/Chris Long-DE (2)
2009 – 19/13, Matthew Stafford-QB (1)/Tyson Jackson-DE (3)
2010 – 14/18, Sam Bradford-QB (1)/Ndamukong Suh-DT (2)
2011 – 16/16, Cam Newton-QB (1)/Von Miller-LB (2)
2012 – 15/17, Andrew Luck-QB (1)/Morris Claiborne-CB (6)
2013 – 14/18, Eric Fisher-T (1)/Dion Jordan-DE (3)
2014 – 14/18, Greg Robinson-T (2)/Jadeveon Clowney-DE (1)
2015 – 17/15, Jameis Winston-QB (1)/Dante Fowler-DE (3)

“MOSTS”

Number of times QB and RB from same college have been chosen in top 10: 10
1942 (QB Frank Albert, RB Pete Kmetovic-Stanford), 1943 (QB Jack Jenkins, RB Bob Steuber-Missouri), 1944 (QB Angelo Bertelli, RB Creighton Miller-Notre Dame), 1946 (QB Frank Dancewicz, QB Johnny Lujack, RB Emil Sitko-Notre Dame), 1947 (QB Ernie Case, RB Cal Rossi-UCLA), 1948 (QB Harry Gilmer, RB Lowell Tew-Alabama), 1983 (QB Todd Blackledge, RB Curt Warner-Penn State), 1993 (QB Rick Mirer, RB Jerome Bettis-Notre Dame), 1995 (QB Kerry Collins, RB Ki-Jana Carter-Penn State), 2006 (QB Matt Leinart, RB Reggie Bush-Southern California).

Most offensive linemen taken in first round:  10

1968 – T Ron Yary, C Robert Johnson, T Russ Washington, T Mike Taylor, C Forrest Blue, G Maurice Moorman, G George Daney, T John Williams, G Bill Lueck, T Doug Crusan.

Colleges with most No. 1 overall draft choices:

Auburn (5)
2011: Cam Newton, QB (Carolina)
1988: Aundray Bruce, LB (Atlanta)
1986: Bo Jackson, RB (Tampa Bay)
1965: Tucker Frederickson, RB (New York Giants)
1961: Ken Rice, G (Buffalo)

Notre Dame (5)
1973: Walt Patulski, DE (Buffalo)
1957: Paul Hornung, HB (Green Bay)
1950: Leon Hart, E (Detroit)
1946: Frank Dancewicz, QB (Boston Yanks)
1944: Angelo Bertelli, QB (Boston Yanks)

Southern California (5)
2003: Carson Palmer, QB (Cincinnati)
1996: Keyshawn Johnson, WR (New York Jets)
1977: Ricky Bell, RB (Tampa Bay)
1969: O.J. Simpson, RB (Buffalo)
1968: Ron Yary, T (Minnesota)

Most first-round selections from one college in single year: 6

2004 – Miami (Sean Taylor, Kellen Winslow, Jonathan Vilma, D.J. Williams, Vernon Carey, Vince Wilfork).

College with most players taken in single draft: Texas, 17 in 1984.

Consecutive first-round choices from same college that played same position:

1991: Tennessee Ts Charles McRae (#7-Tampa Bay) and Antone Davis (#8-Philadelphia).
1993: Alabama DEs John Copeland (#5-Cincinnati) and Eric Curry (#6-Tampa Bay).
1997: Miami DEs Kenard Lang (#17-Washington) and Kenny Holmes (#18-Tennessee).

Number of Pro Football Hall of Famers chosen No. 1 overall:  14

1942 – “Bullet” Bill Dudley/Pittsburgh
1945 – Charley Trippi/Chicago Cardinals
1949 – Chuck Bednarik/Philadelphia
1957 – Paul Hornung/Green Bay
1963 – Buck Buchanan/Kansas City (AFL)
1968 – Ron Yary/Minnesota
1969 – O.J. Simpson/Buffalo
1970 – Terry Bradshaw/Pittsburgh
1976 – Lee Roy Selmon/Tampa Bay
1978 – Earl Campbell/Houston;
1983 – John Elway/Baltimore Colts
1985 – Bruce Smith/Buffalo
1989 – Troy Aikman/Dallas
1997 – Orlando Pace/St. Louis Rams

Pro Football Hall of Famers chosen consecutively in first round by same team in one draft:

1965: Dick Butkus (#3-Illinois/LB) and Gale Sayers (#4-Kansas/RB) by Chicago.

Number of times in past 10 years that two players with same surname were drafted consecutively:  5

2006: Round 1 – G Davin Joseph (Tampa Bay/#23) and DB Johnathan Joseph (Cincinatti/#24)
2006: Round 4 – LB Leon Williams (Cleveland/#110) and WR Demetrius Williams (Baltimore/#111)
2008: Round 1 – T Jake Long (Miami/#1) and DE Chris Long (St. Louis/#2)
2014: Round 7 – LB Randell Johnson (Buffalo/#221) and RB Storm Johnson (Jacksonville/#222)
2015: Round 2 – WR Devin Smith (N.Y. Jets/#37) and DE Preston Smith (Washington/#38)

DRAFT TIMES

NOTE:  The first combined (AFL-NFL) draft in 1967 consisted of 17 rounds. In 1977, the draft was reduced to 12 rounds.  There were eight rounds in 1993 and seven since 1994.

Longest first round since 1967: 2007 (6 hours, 8 minutes)

Shortest first round since 1967: 1972 (2 hours)

Longest seven-round draft: 2007 (18 hours, 5 minutes)

Shortest seven-round draft: 2015 (13 hours, 45 minutes)

Most rounds on draft day: 30 (1943-1959 drafts)

COLLEGES WITH THREE PLAYERS DRAFTED IN FIRST ROUND

Number of times since 2000 college has had at least 3 players chosen in first round: 26

2000
Florida State (3) – Peter Warrick/Cincinnati; Corey Simon/Philadelphia; Sebastian Janikowski/Oakland.

2001
Miami (4) – Dan Morgan/Carolina; Damione Lewis/St. Louis; Santana Moss/New York Jets; Reggie Wayne/Indianapolis.              Michigan (3) – David Terrell/Chicago; Steve Hutchinson/Seattle; Jeff Backus/Detroit.

2002
Miami (5) – Bryant McKinnie/Minnesota; Jeremy Shockey/New York Giants; Phillip Buchanon/Oakland; Ed Reed/Baltimore; Mike Rumph/San Francisco.
Tennessee (3) – John Henderson/Jacksonville; Donte’ Stallworth/New Orleans; Albert Haynesworth/Tennessee.

2003
Miami (4) – Andre Johnson/Houston; Jerome McDougle/Philadelphia; Willis McGahee/Buffalo; William Joseph/New York Giants
Penn State (4) – Jimmy Kennedy/St. Louis; Michael Haynes/Chicago; Bryant Johnson/Arizona; Larry Johnson/Kansas City

2004
Miami (6) – Sean Taylor/Washington; Kellen Winslow/Cleveland; Jonathan Vilma/New York Jets; D.J. Williams/Denver; Vernon Carey/Miami; Vince Wilfork/New England.
Ohio State (3) – Will Smith/New Orleans, Chris Gamble/Carolina, Mike Jenkins/Atlanta

2005
Auburn (4) – Ronnie Brown/Miami; Jason Campbell/Washington; Carlos Rogers/Washington; Carnell Williams/Tampa Bay

2006
Ohio State (5) – A.J. Hawk/Green Bay; Donte Whitner/Buffalo; Bobby Carpenter/Dallas; Santonio Holmes/Pittsburgh; Nick Mangold/New York Jets
Florida State (4) – Ernie Sims/Detroit; Kamerion Wimbley/Cleveland; Brodrick Bunkley/Philadelphia; Antonio Cromartie/San Diego

North Carolina State (3) – Mario Williams/Houston; Manny Lawson/San Francisco; John McCargo/Buffalo

2007
Louisiana State (4) – JaMarcus Russell/Oakland; LaRon Landry/Washington; Dwayne Bowe/Kansas City; Craig Davis/San Diego
Miami (3) – Brandon Meriweather/New England; Jon Beason/Carolina; Greg Olsen/Chicago.

2008
Southern California (4) – Sedrick Ellis/New Orleans; Keith Rivers/Cincinnati; Sam Baker/Atlanta; Lawrence Jackson/Seattle.

2009
Southern California (3) – Mark Sanchez/New York Jets; Brian Cushing/Houston; Clay Matthews/Green Bay

2010
Oklahoma (4) – Sam Bradford/St. Louis; Gerald McCoy/Tampa Bay; Trent Williams/Washington; Jermaine Gresham/Cincinnati
Florida (3) – Joe Haden/Cleveland; Maurkice Pouncey/Pittsburgh; Tim Tebow/Denver

2011:
Alabama (4) – Marcell Dareus/Buffalo; Julio Jones/Atlanta; James Carpenter/Seattle; Mark Ingram/New Orleans

2012
Alabama (4) – Trent Richardson/Cleveland; Mark Barron/Tampa Bay; Dre Kirkpatrick/Cincinnati; Dont’a Hightower/New England

2013
Alabama (3) – Dee Milliner/New York Jets; Chance Warmack/Tennessee; D.J. Fluker/San Diego
Florida State (3) – E.J. Manuel/Buffalo; Bjoern Werner/Indianapolis; Xavier Rhodes/Minnesota

2014
Louisville (3) – Calvin Pryor/New York Jets; Marcus Smith/Philadelphia; Teddy Bridgewater/Minnesota
Texas A&M (3) – Jake Matthews/Atlanta; Mike Evans/Tampa Bay; Johnny Manziel/Cleveland

2015
Washington (3) – Danny Shelton/Cleveland; Marcus Peters/Kansas City; Shaq Thompson/Carolina

CALIFORNIA/FLORIDA

Number of times at least 3 players who played college football in California have been selected in top 10:  9

1942
Pete Kmetovic: Stanford – Philadelphia (#3)
Bob Robertson: Southern California – Brooklyn (#7)
Frankie Albert: Stanford – Chicago Bears (#10)

1947
Cal Rossi: UCLA – Washington (#4)
Ernie Case: UCLA – Green Bay (#6)
Herman Wedemeyer: St. Mary’s (California) – Los Angeles (#9)

1953
Johnny Olszewski: California – Chicago Cardinals (#4)
Billy Anderson:  Compton Junior College – Chicago Bears (#6)
Al Carmichael: Southern California – Green Bay (#7)
Donn Moomaw: UCLA – Los Angeles (#9)

1968
Ron Yary: Southern California – Minnesota (#1)
Haven Moses: San Diego State – Buffalo (#9)
Mike Taylor: Southern Californa – Pittsburgh (#10)

1972
Sherman White: California – Cincinnati (#2)
Gregory Sampson: Stanford – Houston (#6)
Willie Buchanon: San Diego State – Green Bay (#7)
Jeff Siemon: Stanford – Minnesota (#10)

1977
Ricky Bell: Southern California – Tampa Bay (#1)
Marvin Powell: Southern California – New York Jets (#4)
Gary Jeter: Southern California – New York Giants (#5)

1981
Freeman McNeil: UCLA – New York Jets (#3)
Kenny Easley: UCLA – Seattle (#4)
Rich Campbell – California – Green Bay (#6)
Ronnie Lott: Southern California – San Francisco (#8)

1982
Chip Banks: Southern California – Cleveland (#3)
Darrin Nelson: Stanford – Minnesota (#7)
Marcus Allen: Southern California – Oakland (#10)

1994
Marshall Faulk: San Diego State – Indianapolis (#2)
Willie McGinest: Southern California – New England (#4)
Trent Dilfer: Fresno State – Tampa Bay (#6)
Jamir Miller: UCLA – Arizona (#10)

Number of times three players who played college football in Florida have been selected in top 10:  5

1987
Vinny Testaverde, Miami; Tampa Bay (#1)
Alonzo Highsmith, Miami; Houston (#3)
Jerome Brown, Miami; Philadelphia (#9)

1997
Peter Boulware, Florida State; Baltimore (#4)
Walter Jones, Florida State; Seattle (#6)
Ike Hilliard, Florida; New York Giants (#7)

1998
Andre Wadsworth, Florida State; Arizona (#3)
Fred Taylor, Florida; Jacksonville (#9)
Duane Starks, Miami; Baltimore (#10)

2000

Peter Warrick, Florida State; Cincinnati (#4)
Corey Simon, Florida State; Philadelphia (#6)
Travis Taylor, Florida; Baltimore (#10)

2015
Jameis Winston, Florida State; Tampa Bay (#1)
Dante Fowler, Florida; Jacksonville (#3)
Ereck Flowers, Miami; New York Giants (#9)

FIRST ROUND BY POSITION

Most first-round selections by position (one year):

Quarterback (6-1983):
John Elway/Baltimore, Todd Blackledge/Kansas City, Jim Kelly/Buffalo, Tony Eason/New England, Ken O’Brien/New York Jets, Dan Marino/Miami

Halfback/Running Back (9-1938, 1941):
(Last time) 1941 – Tom Harmon/Chicago Bears, John Kimbrough/Chicago Cardinals, Norm Standlee/Chicago Bears, John Thomason/Detroit, George Franck/New York, George Paskavan/Green Bay, Dean McAdams/Brooklyn, Don Scott/Chicago Bears, Forrest Evashevski/Washington

Wide Receiver (7-2004):
Larry Fitzgerald/Arizona, Roy Williams/Detroit, Reggie Williams/Jacksonville, Lee Evans/Buffalo, Michael Clayton/Tampa Bay, Michael Jenkins/Atlanta, Rashaun Woods/San Francisco.

Tight End (3-1970, 2002):
(Last time) 2002 – Jeremy Shockey/New York Giants; Daniel Graham/New England; Jerramy Stevens/Seattle

Center (2-1949, 1950, 1968, 2009):
(Last time) 2009 – Alex Mack/Cleveland, Eric Wood/Buffalo

Guard (4-1982):
Mike Munchak/Houston, Sean Farrell/Tampa Bay, Ron Hallestrom/Green Bay, Roy Foster/Miami

Tackle (8-2008):
Jake Long/Miami, Ryan Clady/Denver, Chris Williams/Chicago, Branden Albert/Kansas City, Gosder Cherilus/Detroit, Jeff Otah/Carolina, Sam Baker/Atlanta, Duane Brown/Houston

Defensive Back (9-2014):
Justin Gilbert/Cleveland, Kyle Fuller/Chicago, Calvin Pryor/New York Jets, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix/Green Bay, Darqueze Dennard/Cincinnati, Jason Verrett/San Diego, Deone Bucannon/Arizona, Jimmie Ward/San Francisco, Bradley Roby/Denver

Linebacker (7-1990):
Keith McCants/Tampa Bay, Junior Seau/San Diego, Chris Singleton/New England, James Francis/Cincinnati, Percy Snow/Kansas City, Lamar Lathon/Houston, Tony Bennett/Green Bay

Defensive End (6-1992, 2011):
(Last time) 2011 – J.J. Watt/Houston, Robert Quinn/St. Louis, Corey Liuget/San Diego, Adrian Clayborn/Tampa Bay, Cameron Jordan/New Orleans, Cameron Heyward/Pittsburgh

Defensive Tackle (6-1977, 2001, 2003):
(Last time) 2003 – Dewayne Robertson/New York Jets, Johnathan Sullivan/New Orleans, Kevin Williams/Minnesota, Jimmy Kennedy/St. Louis, Ty Warren/New England, William Joseph/New York Giants

Nose Tackle (1-1986, 1988, 2012):
(Last time) 2012 – Dontari Poe/Kansas City

Kicker/Punter (1-1966, 1973, 1978, 1979, 2000):
(Last time) 2000 – K Sebastian Janikowski/Oakland

MOST PLAYERS DRAFTED FROM SINGLE SCHOOL SINCE 1970

Year: College – Players
1970: Grambling, Southern California – 9
1971: Ohio State – 13
1972: Michigan – 10
1973: Oklahoma – 11
1974: UCLA – 12
1975: Southern California – 14
1976: Nebraska, Ohio State – 11
1977: Southern California – 14
1978: Florida – 10
1979: Notre Dame, Oklahoma – 10
1980: Nebraska, Southern California – 10
1981: Pittsburgh – 12
1982: Texas – 12
1983: Southern California – 11
1984: Texas – 17
1985: Wisconsin – 11
1986: Illinois, Southern California – 9
1987: Penn State – 13
1988: Oklahoma – 13
1989: Auburn – 10
1990: Southern California – 10
1991: Miami – 11
1992: Washington – 11
1993: Notre Dame, Miami – 9
1994: Notre Dame – 10
1995: Colorado, Florida State – 10
1996: Penn State – 10
1997: Arizona State, Miami, Nebraska – 8
1998: Washington – 10
1999: Florida, Ohio State – 8
2000: Tennessee – 9
2001: Florida State – 9
2002: Miami – 11
2003: Florida, Miami, Tennessee – 8
2004: Ohio State – 14
2005: Oklahoma – 11
2006: Southern California – 11
2007: Florida – 9
2008: Southern California – 10
2009: Southern California – 11
2010: Florida – 9
2011: North Carolina, Southern California – 9
2012: Alabama – 8
2013: Florida State – 11
2014: Louisiana State – 9
2015: Florida State – 11

UNDERCLASSMEN AND THE DRAFT

NOTE: Since 1990, 16 of the Number 1 overall picks have been underclassmen (Jeff George – 1990, Steve Emtman – 1992, Drew Bledsoe – 1993, Dan Wilkinson – 1994, Ki-Jana Carter – 1995, Orlando Pace – 1997, Tim Couch – 1999, Michael Vick – 2001, Mario Williams – 2006, JaMarcus Russell – 2007, Matthew Stafford – 2009, Sam Bradford – 2010, Cam Newton – 2011, Andrew Luck – 2012, Jadeveon Clowney – 2014, Jameis Winston – 2015).

Year (Entered, Drafted; Top-10 Picks)
2015 (74, 60; 7)
2014 (98, 61; 6)
2013 (73, 52; 3)
2012 (65, 44; 8)
2011 (56, 43, 8)
2010 (53, 46; 5)
2009 (46, 41; 5)
2008 (53, 39; 4)
2007 (40, 29; 5)
2006 (52, 33; 6)
2005 (51, 37; 4)
2004 (43, 35; 5)
2003 (47, 32; 5)
2002 (38, 26; 2)
2001 (35, 27; 5)
2000 (26, 20; 4)
1999 (31, 22; 5)
1998 (32, 19; 3)
1997 (34, 25; 6)
1996 (24, 16; 4)
1995 (33, 22; 2)
1994 (31, 25; 6)
1993 (34, 24; 5)
1992 (30, 21; 5)
1991 (23, 19; 1)
1990 (28, 18; 5)

COLLEGES WITH MOST FIRST-ROUND PICKS (Since first common draft in 1967)

College – Total
Southern California – 68
Miami – 58
Ohio State – 56
Florida – 46
Texas A&M 45
Alabama – 42
Florida State – 42
Notre Dame – 39
Tennessee – 39
Michigan – 34
Penn State – 33
Texas – 33
Oklahoma – 32
Nebraska – 28
Louisiana State – 26
Georgia – 25
Michigan State – 24
UCLA – 24
Arizona State – 23
California – 23
Clemson – 23
Pittsburgh –  23

COLLEGES WITH MOST FIRST-ROUND PICKS BY YEAR (Since 1967)

1967-Michigan State/4
1968-Southern California/5
1969-Notre Dame, Ohio State, Southern California/3
1970-Oklahoma/3
1971-Ohio State/4
1972-Nebraska, Notre Dame/3
1973-Purdue, Southern California/3
1974-Ohio State/3
1975-Ohio State/3
1976-Colorado, Oklahoma/3
1977-Southern California/3
1978-Notre Dame/3
1979-Multiple with 2
1980-Southern California, Texas/3
1981-Southern California, Pittsburgh/3
1982-Southern California/3
1983-Pittsburgh, Southern California/3
1984-Maryland, Nebraska, Oklahoma/2
1985-Wisconsin/3
1986-Iowa/3
1987-Miami/3
1988-Arizona State, Miami, Oklahoma/2
1989-Florida/3
1990-Multiple with 2
1991-Tennessee/3
1992-Multiple with 2
1993-Notre Dame/4
1994-Notre Dame, Texas A&M/3
1995- Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State/3
1996-Ohio State/3
1997-Florida State/4
1998-North Carolina, Tennessee/3
1999-Ohio State/3
2000-Florida State/3
2001-Miami/4
2002-Miami/5
2003-Miami/4, Penn State/4
2004-Miami/6
2005-Auburn/4
2006-Ohio State/5
2007-Louisiana State/4
2008-Southern California/4
2009-Southern California/3
2010-Oklahoma/4
2011-Alabama/4
2012-Alabama/4
2013-Alabama, Florida State/3
2014-Louisville, Texas A&M/3
2015-Washington/3

 

 

 

As fans nationwide celebrate the 80th NFL Draft, April 30 to May 2, the NFL will bring unprecedented free fan experiences, flag football competitions, musical entertainment, autograph sessions and more to the host city of Chicago, in an annoncement made by the National Football League last week.

The Draft will take place at Chicago’s historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and for the first time, will expand outside to adjacent parks. Congress Plaza will host Selection Square, home of the 32 team Draft tables, Grant Park will be transformed into Draft Town presented by Oikos Triple Zero, a free, three-day outdoor interactive fan football festival spanning the size of 15 football fields.

Round 1 festivities, slated for 6 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, April 30, will include incoming prospects walking the red carpet on Michigan Avenue before heading into the theatre for the start of the Draft (8 p.m. Eastern). Thirty-two former players from the NFL Legends community, one representing each team, will be on hand for Round 2 presented by Bud Light and Round 3 to announce selections on Friday, May 1 beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern.

On Saturday, May 2 beginning at Noon Eastern, Rounds 4-7 will mark another Draft innovation. The event will take place outside at Selection Square and in locations across the country. Teams will announce their Draft selections at their facilities and other locations in their city. Fans in Chicago will have the opportunity to take photos onstage at the Auditorium Theatre.

No tickets are required for Draft Town presented by Oikos Triple Zero. A limited number of tickets are available for both the Auditorium Theatre and Selection Square. Detailed information regarding how fans can obtain tickets will be released Monday.
The 2015 NFL Draft will be televised nationally by NFL Network and ESPN.

The following outlines opportunities for fans to take part in the NFL Draft celebrations throughout Chicago. Fans should visit nfl.com/DraftTown, follow @NFL on Twitter and use #NFLDraft for the most up-to-date information. Fans in Chicago are encouraged to share their experience using #DraftTown.

Selection Square: Selection Square will serve as the epicenter of the Draft. Located across Michigan Avenue from the Auditorium Theatre, Selection Square will feature all 32 team tables where representatives from each NFL team will make their Draft selections throughout the three days.

Selection Square is free and will include a reserved seating section, and NFL Network produced live programming all three days of the Draft. Upon selection, Draft picks in attendance will be featured outside in Selection Square for interviews in front of the crowd.

Draft Town Presented by Oikos Triple Zero: Draft Town presented by Oikos Triple Zero is the free, expansive interactive Draft celebration in Grant Park open all three days of the Draft. Full of music, food and more, the 900,000-square foot celebration is the size of more than 15 football fields. No tickets are required.

Draft Town will feature interactive elements, flag football competitions, concessions, player appearances/autograph signings, an NFL Draft Shop, the NFL PLAY 60 Field presented by Danimals, where youth football clinics will take place, visits from Draft prospects and more.

The three-day event will culminate on Saturday night with a concert to close out Draft Town festivities. An assortment of Draft Town fan experiences are detailed below.

· Sweetness Simulator – This wind tunnel skydive simulator floats fans into the air where they can strike an iconic football pose in the heart of the windy city.

· Run Like the Wind – Fans will have the opportunity to test their speed by running alongside a 40-yard long LED screen featuring NFL stars running the 40-yard dash.

· AFC & NFC Row/Team Houses – All 32 NFL clubs have a home at Draft Town at their Team House. Divided into AFC Row and NFC Row, these ultimate fan caves provide a place for fans to gather and engage with unique club content and memorabilia.
· NFL PLAY 60 Zone Presented by Danimals – An interactive area for kids and families to play together. It includes an obstacle course, mobile app gaming, green screen photo opportunity, the NFL PLAY 60 Bus and more.

· NFL PLAY 60 Field Presented by Danimals – The NFL and USA Football will host youth football clinics on the NFL Play 60 Field. Local coaches and NFL Legends will come together to teach youth about the importance of getting active and playing for 60 minutes a day.

· Super Bowl Museum (Pro Football Hall of Fame display area) – This exhibit features historical Bears memorabilia, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Super Bowl rings and the AFC and NFC Conference Championship trophies.

· Draft Tavern Presented by Bud Light – The hottest place to drink the coldest beer and support your team during the NFL Draft.

Grant Park’s famous Buckingham Fountain will be lit up in the colors of the team that is on the clock during the Draft’s first two nights.

Draft Town hours of operation are: Thursday, April 30: 4-10 p.m.; Friday, May 1: 4-10 p.m. and Saturday, May 2: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

For more information on Draft Town attractions, events and prohibited items, visit NFL.com/DraftTown.
Additional Information: The NFL Draft was held in Chicago in 1938, 1942-44, 1951 and 1962-64. The 125-year-old Auditorium Theatre opened in 1889 and has hosted operas, concerts, musicals and ballets. Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt  speeches at the theatre, which has also hosted shows by performers such as Ray Charles, The Doors, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder. The theatre also hosted Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera.

NFL On Location, the NFL’s official source for event experiences and hospitality, will be offering a host of Draft packages.

The National Football League announced that fans interested in attending the 2015 NFL Draft, April 30-May 2, may register at NFL.com/DraftTown for a chance to win two free tickets, with registration starting at Noon Eastern Tuesday and running until Sunday, April 5 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. Winners will be randomly selected.

A limited number of tickets are available for both the Auditorium Theatre and Selection Square areas for Thursday (Round 1) and Friday (Rounds 2-3). On Saturday (Rounds 4-7), a limited number of tickets are available for Selection Square as the Auditorium Theatre will be open to the public for tours and photo opportunities. Seating is free in both the Auditorium Theatre and Selection Square but limited.

As previously announced, Draft Town presented by Oikos Triple Zero is the free, expansive interactive Draft celebration in Grant Park open all three days of the Draft. Full of music, food and more, the 900,000-square foot celebration is the size of more than 15 football fields. No tickets are required.

Important Dates for Fan Ticket Distribution (All times are Eastern):

· March 24-April 5: Fans can register for the chance to win two tickets to the Draft at NFL.com/DraftTown. Fans will receive their unique Fan Mobile Pass QR code via email after entering the contest.

· April 6: Fans selected as winners will receive an e-mail on or around April 6 containing the date (one of three days), venue (either Auditorium Theatre or Selection Square) and instructions for confirming attendance. E-mail notifications will be distributed to fans who did not win at a later date.

· April 8: Deadline for selected fans to confirm attendance. Upon submitting acceptance information, fans will automatically receive a final confirmation e-mail which will include check-in details for the specified Draft day.
· April 30-May 2: The winning fan will need to present a government issued photo ID (driver’s license or state ID or student ID) and their unique Fan Mobile Pass QR code at Draft Town to check-in and receive wristbands, while their guest will need to present a government issued photo ID (if over 18 years of age) on the selected day during designated hours. Wristbands are required to secure tickets for entry into the Draft. Fans will receive instructions detailing the time and location to exchange wristbands for tickets and access to venue.

Round 1 festivities, slated for 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, will include incoming prospects walking the red carpet on Michigan Avenue before heading into the theatre for the start of the Draft at 8 p.m.. Thirty-two former players from the NFL Legends community, one representing each team, will be on hand for Round 2 presented by Bud Light and Round 3 to announce selections on Friday, May 1 beginning at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, May 2 beginning at Noon, Rounds 4-7 will mark another Draft innovation. The event will take place outside at Selection Square and in locations across the country. Teams will announce their Draft selections at their facilities and other locations in their city. Fans in Chicago will have the opportunity to take photos onstage at the Auditorium Theatre.
The 2015 NFL Draft will be televised nationally by NFL Network and ESPN and can be heard nationwide on SiriusXM NFL Radio. For more details on the chance to win Draft tickets, visit NFL.com/DraftTown. Fans should follow @NFL on Twitter and use #NFLDraft for the most up-to-date information. Fans in Chicago are encouraged to share their experience using #DraftTown.

Selection Square

Selection Square will serve as the epicenter of the Draft. Located across Michigan Avenue from the Auditorium Theatre, Selection Square will feature all 32 team tables where representatives from each NFL team will make their Draft selections throughout the three days.

Selection Square is free and will include a reserved seating section and NFL Network produced live programming all three days of the Draft. Upon selection, Draft picks in attendance will be featured outside in Selection Square for interviews in front of the crowd.

Draft Town Presented by Oikos Triple Zero

As previously announced, Draft Town presented by Oikos Triple Zero is the free, expansive interactive Draft celebration in Grant Park open all three days of the Draft. Full of music, food and more, the 900,000-square foot celebration is the size of more than 15 football fields. No tickets are required.

Draft Town will feature interactive elements, flag football competitions, concessions, player appearances/autograph signings, an NFL Draft Shop, the NFL PLAY 60 Field presented by Danimals, where youth football clinics will take place, visits from Draft prospects and more.

The three-day event will culminate on Saturday night with a concert to close out Draft Town festivities. An assortment of Draft Town fan experiences are detailed below.

· Sweetness Simulator – Fans get the chance to soar just like Chicago Bears legendary running back Walter Payton, also known as “Sweetness.” This wind tunnel skydive simulator floats fans into the air where they can strike an iconic football pose in the heart of the windy city.

· Run Like the Wind – Fans will have the opportunity to test their speed by running alongside a 40-yard long LED screen featuring NFL stars running the 40-yard dash.

· AFC & NFC Row/Team Houses – All 32 NFL clubs have a home at Draft Town at their Team House. Divided into AFC Row and NFC Row, these ultimate fan caves provide a place for fans to gather and engage with unique club content and memorabilia.

· NFL PLAY 60 Zone Presented by Danimals – An interactive area for kids and families to play together. It includes an obstacle course, mobile app gaming, green screen photo opportunity, the NFL PLAY 60 Bus and more.

· NFL PLAY 60 Field Presented by Danimals – The NFL and USA Football will host youth football clinics on the NFL Play 60 Field. Local coaches and NFL Legends will come together to teach youth about the importance of getting active and playing for 60 minutes a day.

· Super Bowl Museum (Pro Football Hall of Fame display area) – This exhibit features historical Bears memorabilia, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Super Bowl rings and the AFC and NFC Conference Championship Trophies.

· Draft Tavern Presented by Bud Light – The hottest place to drink the coldest beer and support your team during the NFL Draft.

Grant Park’s famous Buckingham Fountain will be lit up in the colors of the team that is on the clock during the Draft’s first two nights.

Draft Town hours of operation are: Thursday, April 30: 4-10 p.m.; Friday, May 1: 4-10 p.m. and Saturday, May 2: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

For more information on Draft Town attractions, events and prohibited items, visit NFL.com/DraftTown.
Additional Information: The NFL Draft was held in Chicago in 1938, 1942-44, 1951 and 1962-64. The 125-year-old Auditorium Theatre opened in 1889 and has hosted operas, concerts, musicals and ballets. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William McKinley gave speeches at the theatre, which has also hosted shows by performers such as Ray Charles, The Doors, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder. The theatre also hosted Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera.
NFL On Location, the NFL’s official source for event experiences and hospitality, will be offering a host of Draft packages.