Archives for posts with tag: San Diego Chagers

Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information

Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Sam Rosen, David Diehl, Holly Sonders (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 146 (Tampa Bay), 84 (Atlanta). XM: 387 (Tampa Bay), 227 (Atlanta).

Buffalo at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots, Dana Jacobson (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 126 (Buffalo), 134 (Baltimore). XM: 384 (Buffalo), 232 (Baltimore).

Chicago at Houston, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Peter Schrager (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 135 (Chicago), 83 (Houston). XM: 382 (Chicago), 226 (Houston).

Green Bay at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver (Field reporter). Westwood One: John Sadak, Jason Taylor. SIRIUS: 93 (Green Bay), 119 (Jacksonville). XM: 380 (Green Bay), 230 (Jacksonville).

San Diego at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon. SIRIUS: 138 (San Diego), 113 (Kansas City). XM: 386 (San Diego), 225 (Kansas City).

Oakland at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 137 (Oakland), 82 (New Orleans). XM: 388 (Oakland), 82 (New Orleans).

Cincinnati at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV xxx: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 81 (Cincinnati), 133 (New York Jets). XM: 381 (Cincinnati), 229 (New York Jets).

Cleveland at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 112 (Cleveland), 132 (Philadelphia). XM: 385 (Cleveland), 231 (Philadelphia).

Minnesota at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713: Dick Stockton, Chris Spielman, Krista Pink (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 136 (Minnesota), 121 (Tennessee). XM: 226 (Minnesota), 228 (Tennessee).

Miami at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Lee, Mike Holmgren. SIRIUS: 81 (Miami), 113 (Seattle). XM: 381 (Miami), 225 (Seattle).

New York Giants at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 93 (New York Giants), 82 (Dallas). XM: 380 (New York Giants), 82 (Dallas).

Detroit at Indianapolis, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 135 (Detroit), 83 (Indianapolis). XM: 382 (Detroit), 226 (Indianapolis).

New England at Arizona, 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton. SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (New England), 81 (Arizona). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 226 (New England), 225 (Arizona).

Pittsburgh at Washington, 7:10 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Boomer Esiason, Ross Tucker (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 132 (Pittsburgh), 81 (Washington). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 226 (Pittsburgh), 225 (Washignton).

Los Angeles at San Francisco, 10:20 p.m. on ESPN: Chris Berman, Steve Young, Lindsay Czarniak (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Scott Kaplan (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Los Angeles), 137 (San Francisco). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 228 (Los Angeles), 227 (San Francisco).

Referees for Sunday and Monday’s Games
Tampa Bay at ATLANTA – Jeff Triplette
Buffalo at Baltimore – Brad Allen
Chicago at Houston – Pete Morelli
Green Bay at Jacksonville – Terry McAulay
San Diego at Kansas City – Jerome Boger
Oakland at New Orleans – John Parry
Cincinnati at New York Jets – Clete Blakeman
Cleveland at Philadelphia – Walt Anderson
Minnesota at Tennessee – Walt Coleman
Miami at Seattle – John Hussey
New York Giants at Dallas – Ronald Torbert
Detroit at Indianapolis – Ed Hochuli
New England at Arizona – Tony Corrente
Pittsburgh at Washington on Monday – Craig Wrolstad
Los Angeles at San Francisco on Monday – Bill Vinovich

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.

Tampa Bay
OUT: LB Devante Bond (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: S Ryan Smith (Hand), TE Lucas Locker (Back)

ATLANTA
OUT: S Keanu Neal (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: S Dashon Goldson (Hamstring), RB Terron Ward (Ankle)

Buffalo at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

Buffalo
OUT: S Colt Anderson (Foot), CB Kevon Seymour (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: QB Cardale Jones (Shoulder), RB Jonathan Williams (Ribs), G Ryan Groy (Ribs)

Baltimore
OUT: RB Kenneth Dixon (Knee), LB Elvis Dumervil (Foot), CB Courtney Powers (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Dennis Pitta (Finger), G John Urschel (Shoulder), TE Maxx Williams (Knee), CB Shareece Wright (Foot)

Chicago at Houston, 1 p.m.

Chicago
QUESTIONABLE: S Deon Bush (Hamstring), CB Bryce Callahan (Groin), CB Kyle Fuller (Knee), RB Paula Lasike (Wrist), T Kyle Long (Shoulder), WR Deonte Thompson (Knee), DE Cornelius Washington (Ankle), WR Kevin White (Hamstring)

Houston
OUT: T Duane Brown (Knee)

Minnesota at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Minnesota
OUT: C Nicholas Easton (Ankle), TE MyCole Pruitt (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Jerick McKinnon (Foot), WR Charles Johnson (Quadicep)

Tennessee
OUT: WR Kendall wright (Hamstring)

Green Bay at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Green Bay
OUT: CB Joshua Hawkins (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Justin Perillo (Knee), WR Jeff Janis (Hand)
DOUBTFUL: S Ayorunmi Banjo (Hamstring), WR Trevor Davis (Shoulder), LB Jayrone Elliott (Hamstring)

Jacksonville
QUESTIONALBE: DE Jared Odrick (Jaw), RB Christopher Ivory (Calf)

San Diego at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

San Diego – Chargers did not report any injuries at press time

Kansas City
DOUBTFUL: RB Jamaal Charles (Knee)

Oakland at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

Oakland
OUT: T Austin Howard (Ankle)

New Orleans
OUT: LB Dannell Ellerbe (Quadricep)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Chris Manhertz (Head), T Terron Armstead (Knee), WR Michael Thomas (Ankle)

Cincinnati at New York Jets, 1 p.m.

Cincinnati
OUT: TE Tyler Eifert (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL: CB Darqueze Dennard (Ankle)

New York Jets
Game Status
OUT: CB Darryl Roberts (Foot), QB Bryce Petty (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Bruce Carter (Shoulder), LB David Harris (Shoulder)
DOUBTFUL: LB Jordan Jenkins (Calf)

Cleveland at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Cleveland
OUT: CB Marcus Burley (Groin)

Philadelphia
OUT: WR Bryce Treggs (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Vincent Curry (Knee)

Miami at Seattle, 4:05 p.m.

Miami
OUT: C James Pouncey (Hip)
QUESTIONABLE: wR DeVante Parker (Hamstring), DE Terrance Fede (Knee), DT Earl Mitchell (Calf), T Laremy Tunstil (Knee), LB
Jelani Jenkins (Knee), RB Isaiah Pead (Hamstring)

Seattle
OUT: TE Nicholas Vannett (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: G Germain Ifedi (Ankle), TE Jimmy Graham (Knee)

New York Giants at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

New York Giants
OUT: DT Robert Thomas (Illness)

Dallas
OUT: LB Mark Nzeocha (Achilles), QB Tony Romo (Back), DE Charles Tapper (Back)
QUESTIONABLE: G Ronald Leary (Groin)
Detroit at Indianapolis, 4:25 p.m.

Detroit
QUESTIONABLE: TE Eric Ebron (Ankle), C Graham Glasgow (Toe), T Corey Robinson (Ankle), WR Golden Tate (Ankle)

Indianapolis
OUT: CB Darius Butler (Ankle), CB Vontae Davis (Ankle), S Clayton Gethers (Foot), DT Henry Anderson (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: T Joseph Haeg (Ankle), G Jack Mewhort (Knee), LB Snorsio Moore (Hamstring)

New England at Arizona, 8:30 p.m.

New England
QUESTIONABLE: WR Chris Hogan (Shoulder), G Jonathan Cooper (Foot), DE Trey Flowers (Shoulder), TE Rob Gronkowski (Hamstring), G Shaquille Mason (Hand), LB Shea McClellin (Shoulder), WR Malcom Mitchell (Elbow), T Nathaniel Solder (Hamstring)

Arizona
OUT: LB Kareem Martin (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Justin Bethel (Foot), LB Lamar Louis (Knee), RB Stepfan Taylor (Knee)

Pittsburgh at Washingotn, 7:10 p.m. on Monday

Pittsburgh
OUT: CB Senquez Golson (Foot), RB Roosevelt Nix (Back), C Cody Wallace (Knee), WR Markus Wheaton (Shoulder)

Washington
QUESTIONABLE: DE Kendall Reyes (Groin), G Spencer Long (Ankle), RB Matt Jones (Shoulder), DT Kedric Golston (Back), WR
Joshua Doctson (Achilles)

Los Angeles at San Francisco, 10:20 p.m. on Monday

Los Angeles
OUT: WR Pharoh Cooper (Shoulder), CB Edwin Gaines (Thigh), WR Nelson Spruce (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Bryce Hager (Concussion), T Robert Havenstein (Foot)

San Francisco
QUESTIONABLE: T Anthony Davis (Not Injury Related). DT Arik Armstead (Shoulder), LB Nick Bellore (Knee), DT Quinton Dial (Knee), DT Glenn Dorsey (Knee), CB Keith Reaser (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL: CB Christopher Davis (Hamstring)

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home teams in CAPS)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite             Spread    Underdog                  O/U
ATLANTA              –  2 1/2  Tampa Bay                 48
Minnesota            –  2 1/2  Tennessee                 40
PHILADELPHIA         –  3      Cleveland                 41
Cincinnati           –  2      NEW YORK JETS             42
NEW ORLEANS          –  2      Oakland                   52
KANSAS CITY          –  6 1/2  San Diego                 44
BALTIMORE            –  3      Buffalo                   44 1/2
HOUSTON              –  5      Chicago                   43 1/2
Green Bay            –  5      JACKSONVILLE              48
SEATTLE              – 10      Miami                     44
DALLAS               –  1      New York Giants           46 1/2
INDIANAPOLIS         –  3      Detroit                   51
ARIZONA              –  7      New England               44

Monday’s Games
Favorite             Spread    Underdog                  O/U
Pittsburgh           –  3      WASHINGTON                50
Los Angeles          –  2 1/2  SAN FRANCISCO             42 1/2

Sunday and Monday Weather
Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (Game indoors)
Buffalo at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (Mostly sunny and 81 degrees)
Chicago at Houston, 1 p.m. (Game indoors; if roof is open, partly cloudy and 86 degrees)
Green Bay at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (Mostly cloudy and 91 degrees)
San Diego at Kansas City, 1 p.m. (Sunny and 74 degrees)
Oakland at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (Game indoors)
Cincinnati at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (Mostly Sunny and 82 degrees)
Cleveland at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (Partly Cloudy and 83 degrees)
Minnesota at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (Sunny and 79 degrees)
Miami at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. (Mostly Cloudy and 62 degrees)
New England at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. (Game indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 85 degrees)
Detroit at Indianapolis, 4:25 p.m. (Game indoors; if roof is open, partly cloudy and 75 degrees)
New England at Arizona, 8:30 p.m. (Game indoors; if roof is open, partly cloudy and 100 degrees)
Pittsburgh at Washington, 7:10 p.m. on Monday (Sunny and 76 degrees)
Los Angeles at San Francisco, 10:20 p.m. on Monday (Sunny and 62 degrees)

Broadcast, injury report and officials information courtesy the National Football League; odds courtesy Don Best, Weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.

After weeks of OTA’s, pre-season games, sweating in a hot sun, sleeping in college dorms, two-a-days, fighting teammates, the bugs and the heat… it’s finally time for football.

The National Football League got underway last Thursday evening in the Mile High City as the defending Super Bowl champions got their rings as they faced off against the team they beat for the Lombardi Trophy in Santa Clara last January, the Carolina Panthers.

Peyton’s gone, in case you’ve forgotten. He’s ridden off into the sunset and there was some talk as to who would replace him. In the end, the football gods decided that it would be …

As for the team that Denver beat to get to Santa Clara? New England? They’ll be without the services of Tom Brady for four games for his role in Deflategate a few years ago. Brady will be back in week five, when they take on the Cleveland Browns, who will also be without the services of Josh Gordon (failed drug test). That contest in Foxboro is already being billed as the “Suspension Bowl.”

But enough about that.

One game’s already in the books as Denver escaped with a one-point win aginst Cam Newton and the Panthers in a Super Bowl 50 rematch. The Super Bowl 50 champions Denver Broncos have the top mark in the NFL. winning 23 of its past 25 home openers. It’s when things start to count.

Some clubs have excelled in openers. Here is a sampling of notable active NFL Kickoff streaks:

AFC East champion New England, who travels to Arizona on Sunday Night Football, have a 16-4 record on the road against NFC teams over the past 10 seasons. The Patriots have the fifth-most Kickoff Weekend wins among AFC teams (31).

AFC South champion Houston, who opens the season hosting Chicago, have won five of their past six home openers.

NFC West champion Arizona, who hosts New England on Kickoff Weekend, have the third-longest current winning streak among NFC teams in home openers (six).

NFC East champion Washington and the San Francsico 49ers start the season at home against Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, respectively, during a Monday Night Football doubleheader. Washington has 48 wins in home openers – the fifth-most amongst NFC teams – while San Francisco has won 14 of its past 20 home openers.

Green Bay, traveling to Jacksonville on Kickoff Weekend, hold the record for the most wins in road openers (54) and the second-best winning percentage in openers on the road (.581, 54-39-2).

Pittsburgh, who travels to Washington on Monday night of Kickoff Weekend, have the most wins (41) among AFC teams on Kickoff Weekend.

Atlanta, who will host Tampa Bay to open the 2016 campaign, has won eight consecutive home openers, the longest active streak in the NFL.

The Seattle Seahawks, who host Miami on Kickoff Weekend in the land of grunge, salmon and Starbucks, have won seven
consecutive home openers, the second-longest streak in the league

The New York Jets host Cincinnati on Kickoff Weekend having won five consecutive home openers, the longest active streak among AFC teams

The Chicago Bears (65-27-4), who host Philadelphia in Week 2 on Monday Night Football, have a .707 winning percentage in home openers, the second-best mark in the NFL

The Dallas Cowboys, without Tony Romo (back) begin the year by hosting the New York Giants with a 38-17-1 (.691) record in openers at home, the fourth-best winning percentage in NFL history.

HEAD COACHES: New England’s Bill Belichick is 14-7 (.667) on Kickoff Weekend and his 14 wins are the most among active head coaches…Belichick and Los Angeles’ Jeff Fisher (12-8; .600) are the only active head coaches who have won at least 10 Kickoff Weekend games and own an opening weekend winning percentage above .500… Denver’s Gary Kubiak (6-3) and Buffalo’s Rex Ryan (6-1) have each won five consecutive games on Kickoff Weekend, the longest current streak among active head coaches New York Jets’ Todd Bowles (1-0) of the Jets, Cleveland’s Hue Jackson (1-0) and Atlanta’s Dan Quinn (1-0) are the only active head coaches with perfect records on Kickoff Weekend.

As for new men roaming the sideline, there will be five – Miami’s Adam Gase, Tampa Bay’s Dirk Koetter, the New York Giants’ Ben McAdoo, Philadelphia’s Doug Pederson and Tennessee’s Mike Mularkey – make their Kickoff Weekend debuts in 2016.

The 2016 regular-season schedule – spanning 17 weeks and 256 games – kicked off Thursday evening in Denver and conclude on Sunday, January 1 with 16 division games. The Denver-Carolina contest marked the first time that a Super Bowl rematch took place on Kickoff Weekend since 1970, when the Chiefs and Vikings met.

Week 1 is a FOX national weekend with the key doubleheader game on Sunday, September 11 at 4:25 p.m. featuring the New York Giants at the Dallas Cowboys in a clash between NFC East rivals. Among the highlights in the 1 p.m. ET window on Kickoff Weekend is the New York Jets at home on September 11 hosting the Cincinnati Bengals on CBS.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets underway on September 11 when the Arizona Cardinals host the New England Patriots at 8:30 p.m. at University of Phoenix Stadium. Both clubs advanced to the Conference Championship Game last season.

Monday night fans? You haven’t been left out. There are going to be two MNF games in the first week.

Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, September 12 with an ESPN Monday Night Football doubleheader. The Washington Redskins will host the Pittsburgh Steelers at 7:10 p.m. in the first game followed by the return of the Los Angeles Rams, who visit the San Francisco 49ers in the nightcap at 10:20 p.m.

As for Monday night, ESPN will be the place to be for football and they will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs. ESPN will also broadcast the Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 29 at 8 p.m. which will be played at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium.

A select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests have already been announced, including the Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (12:30 p.m., CBS) on Thanksgiving Day and the Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks (4:25 p.m. CBS) in Week 11 (Sunday, November 20). Other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.

Other highlights of the 2016 schedule include:

In Week 2, the Rams will return home to Los Angeles when they host the Seattle Seahawks at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday afternoon (4:05 p.m., FOX). That night in primetime (8:30 p.m., NBC), the Minnesota Vikings will open their new home – U.S. Bank Stadium – when they host the rival Green Bay Packers.

On Monday night, September 26, the New Orleans Saints will host the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The game will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the reopening of the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina when the Saints defeated the Falcons 23-3 on Monday night, September 25, 2006.

Thanksgiving will feature a tripleheader on Thursday, November 24. The first game will send the Minnesota Vikings to Detroit to face the Lions at 12:30 p.m. on CBS. The late afternoon game will feature the Washington Redskins visiting the Dallas Cowboys at 4:30 p.m. on FOX in an NFC East matchup and the holiday concludes with the Indianapolis Colts hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers on NBC at 8:30 p.m.

In Week 16, the majority of games will be played on Saturday, December 24 due to the Christmas holiday, highlighted by a primetime matchup on NFL Network between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans at 8:25 p.m. There will be two games played on Christmas – the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Baltimore Ravens on NFL Network at 4:30 p.m. followed by the Denver Broncos visiting the Kansas City Chiefs on NBC at 8:30 p.m.

Get that passport ready! The NFL will continue its International Series of regular-season games with three games being played in London and the league’s return to Mexico City. On Sunday, October 2, the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Indianapolis Colts at London’s Wembley Stadium at 9:30 a.m. on CBS (Be sure to set the DVR in case you have an early church service!). In the first-ever NFL game at Twickenham Stadium, the Los Angeles Rams will host the New YorkGiants on Sunday, October 23 at 9:30 a.m. on NFL Network. The following week, the Cincinnati Bengals will host the Washington Redskins at Wembley at 9:30 a.m. on FOX and the ). The NFL will return to Mexico City on Monday, November 21 (8:30 p.m. ESPN) when the Oakland Raiders host the Houston Texans in the first-ever Monday Night Football game to be played outside the United States.

This season, the NFL will use a “Tri-Cast” distribution model of broadcast (CBS/NBC), cable (NFL Network) and digital  (Twitter) for 10 Thursday Night Football games. CBS and NBC will each broadcast five Thursday Night Football games which will be simulcast on NFL Network and streamed to a global audience across devices for free on Twitter. CBS will start in Week 2 Thursday, September 15) with the Buffalo Bills hosting the New York Jets at 8:30 p.m. and NBC’s package begins in Week 11 (Thursday, November 17) with the New Orleans Saints travel to the Tar Heel State for a meeting with the Carolina Panthers at  8:25 p.m. Additionally, NFL Network will also exclusively televise an eight-game schedule comprised of four Thursday Night Football games, two late-season Saturday contests, a Sunday morning London matchup and a Christmas Day game.

The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 4 and end in Week 13.

“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 10-15 and 17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-9, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-15, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights.

A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to January 1. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17 but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into prime time.

The playoffs will include four division winners and two wild cards from each conference. The playoffs begin with Wild Card Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, January 7-8. The two division winners with the best records in each conference will earn first round byes.

Wild Card Weekend winners join the top two division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 14-15. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 22. The winners meet two weeks later on Sunday, February 5 in Super Bowl LI at Houston’s NRG Stadium (FOX).

The Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 29 at 8 p.m. on ESPN at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium. The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets. All postseason games are televised nationally.

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, January 1. For the seventh consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications. Additionally, over the final three weeks there are 33 division games, tied for the most in NFL history.

What to look for as far as teams are concerned in 2016?

The New York Giants need three victories to become the third team in NFL history with 700 total victories. The Giants (697-591-33) would join Chicago (758-573-42) and Green Bay (752-568-37) as the only teams to accomplish the feat. Their stadium mates, the New York Jets, need one victory to reach 400 total victories. The Jets’ all-time record is 399-470-8. The Houston Texans need one victory to reach 100 total victories. Houston’s all-time record is 99-129.

As far as players go…

Drew Brees, QB-New Orleans, needs 459 passing yards to surpass Dan Marino (61,361) for the third-most all-time. In 15 seasons, Brees has 60,903 passing yards.

Brees can extend his NFL record streak of consecutive seasons with at least 30 touchdown passes. Brees has passed for at least 30 touchdowns in each of the past eight seasons.

Brees can become the first player to lead the league in passing yards seven times in his career. Sonny Jurgensen (5) and Dan Marino (5) are tied for the second-most such seasons in NFL history. Brees has led the NFL in passing yards six times.

Brees needs two 400-yard passing games to surpass Peyton Manning (14) for the most all-time. In 15 seasons, Brees has 13 400-yard passing games.

Brees can extend his NFL record of 300-yard passing games. In 15 seasons, Brees has 96 300-yard passing games. Brees has led the league in touchdown passes four times in his career and can become the only player to lead the league in touchdown passes five times.

Brees has led the league in completions four times and can join Dan Marino (6) and Sammy Baugh (5) as the only players to lead the league in completions at least five times.

Brees has led the league in pass attempts three times in his career and can join Dan Marino (5) Sammy Baugh (4), Johnny Unitas (4) and George Blanda (4) as the only players to lead the league in attempts at least four times.

TOM BRADY, QB-New England, needs seven wins to surpass Peyton Manning (200) and Brett Favre (199) for the most overall (regular season and postseason) wins by a quarterback in NFL history. In 16 seasons, Brady has 194 overall wins.

Brady needs 3,334 passing yards to surpass Dan Marino (61,361) for the third-most all-time. In 16 seasons, Brady has 58,028 passing yards. Brady has led the league in touchdown passes four times in his career and can become the only player to lead the league in touchdown passes five times.

ELI MANNING, QB-New York Giants, needs six touchdown passes to become the eighth player in NFL history to reach 300 career touchdown passes. In 12 seasons, Manning has 294 touchdown passes.

PHILIP RIVERS, QB-San Diego, has led the league in average yards per pass three times in his career and can join Steve Young (5) and Sid Luckman (7) as the only players in NFL history to do so in at least four seasons.

Rivers needs seven 400-yard passing games to surpass Peyton Manning (14) for the most all-time. In 12 seasons, Rivers has eight 400-yard passing games (see Brees, Palmer and Roethlisberger note).

Rivers needs 19 touchdown passes to become the eighth player in NFL history to reach 300 career touchdown passes. In 12 seasons, Rivers has 281 touchdown passes.

CARSON PALMER, QB-Arizona, needs seven 400-yard passing games to surpass Peyton Manning (14) for the most all-time. In 13 seasons, Palmer has eight 400-yard passing games.

Palmer needs 41 touchdown passes to become the eighth player in NFL history to reach 300 career touchdown passes. In 13 seasons, Palmer has 259 touchdown passes.

BEN ROETHLISBERGER, QB-Pittsburgh, needs seven 400-yard passing games to surpass Peyton Manning (14) for the most all-time. In 12 seasons, Roethlisberger has eight 400-yard passing games

Roethlisberger needs 28 touchdown passes to become the eighth player in NFL history to reach 300 career touchdown passes. In 12 seasons, Roethlisberger has 272 touchdown passes.

AARON RODGERS, QB-Green Bay, needs 43 touchdown passes to become the eighth player in NFL history to reach 300 career touchdown passes. In 11 seasons, Rodgers has 257 touchdown passes.

ADRIAN PETERSON, RB-Minnesota, needs 10 rushing touchdowns to join LaDainian Tomlinson (9) as the only players in NFL history to rush for 10 touchdowns in at least nine different seasons. Peterson is currently tied with Emmitt Smith (8).

Peterson has six 200-yard rushing games, tied with O.J. Simpson (6) for the most all-time. Peterson needs one 200-yard rushing game to move into sole possession of first place in NFL history.

Peterson needs three rushing touchdowns to become the ninth player in NFL history with 100 rushing touchdowns. In nine seasons, Peterson has 97 rushing touchdowns.

Peterson needs 2,010 rushing yards to surpass LaDainian Tomlinson (13,684) for the fifth-most all-time. In nine seasons, Peterson has 11,675 rushing yards.

Peterson has led the league in rushing yards three times in his career and can become the sixth player to lead the league in rushing yards four times.

FRANK GORE, RB-Indianapolis, needs 1,000 rushing yards to join Curtis Martin (10), Barry Sanders (10), Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith (11) as the only players in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in at least nine different seasons. In 11 seasons, Gore has rushed for 1,000 yards eight times.

LARRY FITZGERALD, WR-Arizona, needs 85 receptions to surpass Jason Witten (1,020), Isaac Bruce (1,024), Andre Johnson (1,053), Reggie Wayne (1,070), Terrell Owens (1,078), Tim Brown (1,094), Cris Carter (1,101) and Marvin Harrison (1,102) for the third-most all-time. In 12 seasons, Fitzgerald has 1,018 receptions.

Fitzgerald needs two touchdown receptions to become the 10th player in NFL history with 100 touchdown catches. In 12 seasons, Fitzgerald has 98 touchdown receptions.

BRANDON MARSHALL, WR-New York Jets, can extend his NFL record of seasons with 100 receptions to seven. Andre Johnson and Wes Welker are the only other players with at least five 100-reception seasons.

ANTONIO GATES, TE-San Diego, needs eight touchdown receptions to surpass Tony Gonzalez (111) for the most career touchdown receptions by a tight end. In 13 seasons, Gates has 104 touchdown receptions.

ROB GRONKOWSKI, TE-New England, has three seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards and can join Tony Gonzalez (4) and Jason Witten (4) as the only tight ends with at least four seasons with 1,000 receiving yards.

Gronkowski can extend his NFL record of five seasons with at least 10 touchdown receptions by a tight end.

JASON WITTEN, TE-Dallas, needs 83 receptions to surpass Isaac Bruce (1,024), Andre Johnson (1,053), Reggie Wayne (1,070), Terrell Owens (1,078), Tim Brown (1,094), Cris Carter (1,101) and Marvin Harrison (1,102) for the third-most all-time. In 13
seasons, Witten has 1,020 receptions.

JULIUS PEPPERS, LB-Green Bay, needs 14 sacks to become the fourth player with 150 sacks since the sack became an official statistic in 1982. In 14 seasons, Peppers has 136 sacks.

DE MARCUS WARE, LB-Denver, has led the league in sacks twice in his career and can become the first player to lead the league three times since the sack became an official statistic in 1982.

Ware needs 7.5 sacks to surpass Jared Allen (136), Julius Peppers (136), Richard Dent (137.5), John Randle (137.5), Jason Taylor (139.5) and Michael Strahan (141.5) for the fifth-most sacks since the sack became an official statistic in 1982. In 11 seasons, Ware has 134.5 sacks.

J.J. WATT, LB-Houston, can increase his NFL record total of 20-sack seasons. In five seasons, Watt has two seasons with 20 sacks.

Watt has led the league in sacks twice in his career and can become the first player to lead the league three times since the sack became an official statistic in 1982.

AQIB TALIB, CB-Denver, needs two interception-return touchdowns to become the fourth player with 10 all-time. In eight seasons, Talib has eight interception-return touchdowns.

ADAM VINATIERI, K-Indianapolis, needs 36 field goals to surpass Gary Anderson (538) for the second-most all-time. In 20 seasons, Vinatieri has 503 field goals.

Vinatieri needs 44 field goal attempts to surpass George Blanda (641) for the third-most attempted field goals all-time. In 20 seasons, Vinatieri has 598 field goal attempts.

Vinatieri needs 182 points to surpass Gary Anderson (2,434) for the second-most points scored all-time. In 20 seasons, Vinatieri has 2,253 points (742-pat, 503-fg, 1 2-pt).

STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI, K-New England, has led the league in scoring five times in his career and can surpass Don Hutson (5) and Gino Cappelletti (5) as the only player to lead the league in points scored at least six times.

Gostkowski has led the league in scoring for four consecutive seasons (2012-15) and can join Don Hutson (5) as the only players to lead the league in scoring for five consecutive seasons.

Gostkowski has led the league in field goals three times in his career and can join Lou Groza (5), Ward Cuff (4), Jack Manders (4) and Mark Moseley (4) as the only players to lead the league in field goals at least four times.

SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI, K-Oakland, has 52 50-yard field goals, tied with Jason Hanson (52) for the most all-time. Janikowski needs one 50-yard field goal to move into sole possession of first place in NFL history.

As for the coaches? There are some milestones that four current coaches will want to reach in 2016…

BILL BELICHICK, New England, needs four victories to join Don Shula (347), George Halas (324) and Tom Landry (270) as the only coaches to reach 250 career wins. In 21 seasons, Belichick has 246 career victories.

MIKE TOMLIN, Pittsburgh, needs two victories to reach 100 career victories. In nine seasons, Tomlin has 98 career victories.

SEAN PAYTON, New Orleans, needs seven victories to reach 100 career victories. In 10 seasons, Payton has 93 career victories.

JOHN HARBAUGH, Baltimore, needs 13 victories to reach 100 career victories. In eight seasons, Harbaugh has 87 career victories.

Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule, and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, teams that are victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game:

Of the 554 teams which won openers…288 went to the playoffs (173 won division titles).
Of the 555 teams which lost openers…134 went to the playoffs (77 won division titles).

Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season opening games due to the fact the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999 to 2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.

In 2015, seven of the 12 playoff teams – Arizona, Carolina, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Kansas City and New England – were victorious on Kickoff Weekend.

SCORING REACHED RECORD HIGHS IN 2015: A total of 11,680 points were scored in 2015, the second-highest total all-time (11,985 in 2013). And there were 1,318 total touchdowns scored, the second-most ever (1,338 in 2013).

YEAR – TOTAL POINTS SCORED
2013 – 11,985
2015 – 11,680
2012 – 11,651
2014 – 11,565
2011 – 11,356
2010 – 12,283

YEAR – TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS
2013 – 1,338
2015 – 1,318
2012 – 1,297
2014 – 1,293
2002 – 1,270
2010 – 1,270

Nine teams scored at least 400 points in 2015 – Carolina (500), Arizona (489), New England (465), Pittsburgh (423), Seattle (423), New York Giants (420), Cincinnati (419), New Orleans (408) and Kansas City (405) – tying the 2009, 2012 and 2014 seasons for the second-most all-time. Those nine teams combined for a .667 winning percentage and seven of those clubs qualified for the playoffs.

Led by the NFC South champion Carolina Panthers, who finished 15-1 and scored an NFL-high 500 points on their way to an appearance in Super Bowl 50, many of the NFL’s top-scoring offenses translated those points into wins.

“To see how explosive we are and the points we’ve scored is special,” says Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. “You don’t know if you are going to be a high-scoring team when you start but that had a lot to do with our success. When teams have been together a while, it allows them to have continuity to develop offenses and have it morph into fitting around each other’s skill sets, then good things happen.”

The teams that scored at least 400 points in 2015:

TEAM (POINTS) W-L-T , PCT.
Carolina (500) 15-1, .938*
Arizona (489) 13-3, 813*
New England (485) 12-4, .750*
Pittsburgh (423) 10-6, .625*
Seattle (423) 10-6, .625*
New York Giants (420) 6-10, .375
Cincinnati (419) 12-4*
New Orleans (408); 7-9, .438
Kansas City (405); 11-5, .688*
*Playoff team

BEST KICKOFF WEEKEND PERFORMANCES, PAST 10 YEARS

MOST YARDS RUSHING (YARDS on Carries; Longest, TD)
Arian Foster, Houston vs. Indianapolis, 9/12/10 (231 yards on 33 carries; longest – 42, 3 TDS)
Michael Turner, Atlanta vs. Detroit, 9/7/08 (220 yards on 22 carries; longest 66t, 2 TDS)
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia vs. Washington, 9/9/13 (184 yards on 31 carries; longest – 34t, TD)
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota vs. Cleveland, 9/13/09 (180 yards on 25 carries; longest – 64t, 3 TD)
Chris Brown, Tennessee vs. Jacksonville, 9/9/07 (175 yards on 19 carries; longest – 42)
C.J. Spiller, Buffalo vs. New York Jets, 9/9/12 (169 yards on 14 carries; longeest – 56t, TD)
Carlos Hyde, San Francisco vs. Minnesota, 9/14/15 (168 yards on 26; longest – 18, 2 TD)
Darren McFadden, Oakland vs. Denver, 9/12/11 (150 yards on 22 carries; longest – 47)
Mike Bell, New Orleans vs. Detroit, 9/13/09 (143 yards on 28 carries; longest – 22)
Matt Forté, Chicago vs. Green Bay, 9/13/15 (141 yards on 24 carries; longest – 23, TD)

MOST YARDS PASSING (Yards, Completions-Attempts, TDs, Interceptions)
Tom Brady, New England vs. Miami, 9/12/11 (517 yards, 32 of 48; 4 TDS, INT)
Peyton Manning, Denver vs. Baltimore, 9/5/13 (462 yards, 27 of 42, 7 TDS)
Eli Manning, New York Giants vs. Dallas, 9/8/13 (450 yards, 27 of 42, 4 TDS, 3 INT)
Matt Ryan, Atlanta vs. New Orleans, 9/7/14 (448 yards, 31 of 43, 3 TDS)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Houston, 9/12/10 (433 yards, 40 of 57, 3 TDS)
Cam Newton, Carolina vs. Arizona, 9/11/11 (422 yards, 24 of 37, 2 TDS, INT)
Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Green Bay, 9/8/11 (419 yards, 32 of 49, 3 TDS)
Chad Henne, Miami vs. New England, 9/12/11 (416 yards, 30 of 49, 2 TDS, INT)
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco vs. Green Bay, 9/8/13 (412 yards, 27 of 39, 3 TDS)
Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. Detroit, 9/13/15 (403 yards, 34 of 41, 2 TDS, 2 INT)

MOST YARDS RECEIVING (YARDS, CATCHES, LONGEST, TDS)
Anquan Boldin, San Francisco vs. Green Bay, 9/8/13 (208 yards on 13 catches, longest – 43, TD)
Randy Moss, New England vs. New York Jets, 9/9/07 (183 yards on 9 catches, longest – 51t, TD)
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Arizona, 9/11/11 (178 yards on 8 catches, longest – 77t, 2 TDS)
Keenan Allen, San Diego vs. Detroit, 9/13/15 (166 yards on 15 catches, longest – 21)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit vs. New York Giants, 9/8/14 (164 yards on 7 catches, longest – 67t, 2 TDS)
Austin Collie, Indianapolis vs. Houston, 9/12/10 (163 yards on 11 catches, longest – 73t, TD)
A.J. Green, Cincinnati vs. Chicago, 9/8/13 (162 yards on 9 catches, longest – 45t, 2 TDS)
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville, 9/13/09 (162 yards on 10 catches, longest – 39, TD)
Antwaan Randle El, Washington vs. Miami, 9/9/07 (162 yards on 5 catches, longest – 54)
Demaryius Thomas, Denver vs. Baltimore, 9/5/13 (161 yards on 5 catches, longest – 78t, 2 TDS)

Please return your trays to the upright position… there will be a lot of travel for all 32 teams in the 2016 campaign and the majority of that will be in the skies of the United States. With three trips to London and a trip to Mexico, NFL teams will be able to get some of those frequent flier miles in. Here’s a look at the total miles that all 32 teams will travel and the notes on travel for the 2016 season.

TOTAL MILES TRAVELED & NOTES ON 2016 TRAVEL (2016 regular season)

1. Los Angeles – 35,952
2. Oakland – 31,622
3. Seattle – 27,766
4. San Francisco – 25,668
5. Miami – 25,548
6. Jacksonville – 23,676
7. San Diego – 23,410
8. Arizona – 21,288
9. Carolina – 19,476
10. New England – 19,336
11. Tampa Bay – 19,288
12. Indianapolis – 18,960
13. Dallas – 18,406
14. Buffalo – 18,370
15. Atlanta – 18,352
16. Denver – 16,874
17. Cincinnati – 16,868
18. New Orleans – 16,460
19. Washington – 16,382
20. New York Jets – 16,158
21. Houston – 15,318
22. New York Giants – 15,196
23. Kansas City – 13,440
24. Minnesota – 11,652
25. Philadelphia – 11,202
26. Tennessee – 10,614
27. Detroit – 9,518
28. Green Bay – 9,050
29. Chicago – 8,766
30. Baltimore – 7,084
31. Cleveland – 6,074
32. Pittsburgh – 5,142

•The total distance traveled by all teams during the regular season will be 552,916 miles.
•The teams of the NFC West (100,674) have the highest combined mileage total of all divisions.
•The remaining division totals ranking from highest to lowest are the AFC West (85,346), AFC East (79,412), NFC South (73,576), AFC South (68,568), NFC East (61,186), NFC North (38,986) and AFC North (35,168).
•Five teams – Los Angeles (35,952), Oakland (31,622), Seattle (27,766), San Francisco (25,668) and Miami (25,548) – will “travel around the world” at least once. A trip around the globe is 25,000 miles.

Eight teams (Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Los Angeles, Washington, Cincinnati, Oakland and Houston) will play contests outside of the United States this year. Get those passports ready.

NFL RATCHETS UP THE EXCITEMENT…HOPE IS ALIVE: The 2015 season was full of excitement but that should be no surprise. Unpredictability is the norm in today’s NFL.

Many close games and great comeback victories…new teams making the playoffs and winning divisions…records falling…and so much more.

“What people love about the NFL,” New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees told the Times-Picayune and the Mobile Register, “is that every game, every week, no matter who is playing, anything
can happen. So many games come down to that last possession.”

The NFL is never short on surprises and the 2015 season was no different.

The 2015 season featured many exciting games with close finishes, as nearly 55 percent were decided by one score – 140 of 256 games were decided by eight or fewer points, the most of any season since the NFL adopted the two-point conversion in 1994.

Comeback victories were also a trend. In 2015, there were 67 games in which the winning team trailed at some point in the fourth quarter, tied for the third-most such games in a single season in NFL history.

The 2016 season promises more of the same. Every team enters the new year with hope.

Four teams that missed the postseason in 2014 – Kansas City (11-5), Minnesota (10-5), Houston (9-7) and Washington (9-7) – advanced to the 2015 playoffs. Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

The Redskins rebounded to win the NFC East division title after finishing in last place in 2014, which marked the 12th time in the past 13 seasons that one or more teams went from last or tied for last place to a division championship the following year.

The teams since 1990 to make the playoffs a season after failing to qualify:

SEASON – PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON’S PLAYOFFS
1990 – 7 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
1991 – 5 (Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York Jets)
1992 – 6 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco)
1993 – 5 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)
1994 – 5 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New England, San Diego)
1995 – 4 (Atlanta, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia)
1996 – 5 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)
1997 – 5 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)
1998 – 5 (Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)
1999 – 7 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2000 – 6 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)
2001 – 6 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)
2002 – 5 (Atlanta, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)
2003 – 8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)
2004 – 5 (Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego)
2005 – 7 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
2006 – 7 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2007 – 6 (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2008 – 7 (Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
2009 – 6 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)
2010 – 5 (Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)
2011 – 6 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)
2012 – 4 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington)
2013 – 5 (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2014 – 5 (Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh)
2015 – 4 (Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota, Washington)

BEST OPENING MONTH RECORDS, PAST 10 YEARS

Getting off to a strong start is important. Over the past 10 years, nine teams have a winning percentage of at least .600 through the season’s first month. Those nine clubs have combined for 58 playoff berths and 12 Super Bowl appearances – including four Super Bowl championships – during that span.

The nine teams with a .600+ winning percentage in the opening month over the past 10 seasons (2006-15):

TEAM (Record, Pct.)
New England (24-9-0, .727)
Denver (23-11-0. .676)
Dallas (22-11-0. .667)
Baltimore (22-12-0, .647)
Green Bay (22-12-0, .647)
Arizona (21-13-0, .618)
Cincinnati (20-13-0, .606)
Indianapolis (20-13-0, .606)
Seattle (20-13-0, .606)

DIVISION TITLES? UP FOR GRABS: Unpredictable NFL? It sure seems that way! In the 14 seasons since realignment in 2002, 28 different teams have won division titles.

“It’s great to win the division,” said Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, who helped lead the Texans to the AFC South title last season. He told the Housotn Chronicle, KPRC-TV and KHOU-TV, “It’s great for our team, great for our fans, it’s great for our city. This is what we expect. We expect to win the division, we expect to be in the playoffs.”

Last year, Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer guided the Vikings to their first division title since 2009.

“I’m proud of this football team,” Zimmer told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “We started out two years ago trying to build something special. I told them it’s not a surprise that we are where we’re at and now we’ve made the playoffs.”

The teams that have won their divisions in the 14 seasons since realignment in 2002:

TEAM – DIVISION TITLES/PLAYOFF BERTHS
New England – 12/12
Indianapolis – 9/12
Green Bay – 8/11
Seattle – 7/10
Pittsburgh – 6/9
Denver – 6/8
Philadelphia – 6/8
Carolina – 5/6
San Diego – 5/6
Baltimore – 4/8
Cincinnati – 4/7
Atlanta – 3/6
New York Giants – 3/6
New Orleans – 3/5
Dallas – 3/5
Minnesota – 3/5
Arizona – 3/4
San Francisco – 3/4
Chicago – 3/3
Houston – 3/3
Tampa Bay – 3/3
Kansas City – 2/3
Tennessee – 2/4
Washington – 2/4
New York Jets – 1/5
Los Angeles – 1/2
Miami – 1/1
Oakland – 1/1

2016 NFL STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Team (Opponents’ 2015 Pct. & Record; Games vs. teams .500 or better-Games vs. 2015 playoff teams)
Atlanta (.555; 142-114; 7-7)
San Francisco (.555; 142-114; 9-6)
Los Angeles (.551; 141-115; 9-6)
New Orleans (.547; 140-116; 8-6)
Seattle (.543; 139-117; 8-5)
Tampa Bay (.543; 139-117; 8-6)
Arizona (.531; 136-120; 9-6)
New York Jets (.531; 136-120; 10-7)
New England (.523; 134-122; 10-6)
Buffalo (.520; 133-123; 8-6)
Miami (.516; 132-124; 10-6)
Carolina (.512; 131-125; 8-6)
San Diego (.508; 130-126; 8-6)
Denver (.504; 129-127; 8-6)
Oakland (.500; 128-128; 9-6)
Kansas City (.496; 127-129; 8-5)
Washington (.492; 126-130; 6-6)
Minnesota (.488; 125-131; 7-6)
Baltimore (.484; 124-132; 8-6)
Houston (.484; 124-132; 8-6)
Cleveland (.480; 123-133; 8-6)
Indianapolis (.477; 122-134; 8-7)
Jacksonville (.473; 121-135; 9-6)
Pittsburgh (.473; 121-135; 8-5)
Tennessee (.473; 121-135; 8-6)
Philadelphia (.469; 120-136; 8-7)
Cincinnati (.465; 119-137; 8-6)
Dallas (.465: 119-137; 6-6)
Detroit (.465; 119-137; 7-6)
Chicago (.461; 118-138; 7-6)
New York Giants (.461; 118-138; 6-6)
Green Bay (.457; 117-139; 7-5)

WINNING IS A HABIT: Thirty-nine of the 50 Super Bowl champions (78 percent) finished the preseason with a winning percentage of at least .500. Last year, the Denver Broncos finished the preseason 3-1 en route to winning Super Bowl 50.

Since 2000, the 16 Super Bowl champions have combined for a 41-23 (.641) preseason record during their championship seasons.

FROM WORST TO FIRST: Competitive balance, one of the hallmarks of the NFL, gives fans hope entering each season. So yes, there is hope if your team faltered last year.

For the 12th time in the past 13 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. In fact, of the 43 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 20 of them have done so in the past 13 years (2003-15), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

After finishing in last place in the division in 2014, the Washington Redskins won their final four games to close the 2015 campaign and claim the NFC East crown. After starting the season 2-4, the Redskins qualified for postseason play for the first time since 2012.

“I’m very satisfied to see how the tables turned,” Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins told WUSA TV and USA Today about the team’s turnaround last season. “Now we look forward and say: ‘Where can we go from here?’ and ‘How high can we take it?’”

The teams to go from “worst-to-first” in their division since 2003:

SEASON – TEAM (RECORD, PRIOR SEASON RECORD)
2003 – Carolina (11-5, 7-9)
2003 – Kansas City (13-3, 8-8)*
2004 – Atlanta (11-5, 5-11)
2004 – San Diego (12-4, 4-12)*
2005 – Chicago (11-5, 5-11)
2005 – New York Giants (11-5, 6-10)*
2005 – Tampa Bay (11-5, 5-11)
2006 – Baltimore (13-3, 6-10)*
2006 – New Orleans (10-6, 3-13)
2006 – Philadelphia (10-6, 6-10)
2007 – Tampa Bay (9-7, 4-12)
2008 – Miami (11-5, 5-11)
2009 – New Orleans (13-3, 8-8)**
2010 – Kansas City (10-6, 4-12)
2011 – Denver (8-8, 4-12)
2011 – Houston (10-6, 6-10)*
2012 – Washington (10-6, 5-11)
2013 – Carolina (12-4, 7-9)*
2013 – Philadelphia (10-6, 4-12)
2015 – Washington (9-7, 4-12)
* Tied for last place
** Won Super Bowl

KICKOFF WEEKEND RECORDS OF NFL HEAD COACHES

COACH, TEAM (W-L, Pct)
Todd Bowles, New York Jets (1-0, 1.000)
Jack Del Rio, Oakland (5-5, .500)
Hue Jackson, Cleveland (1-0, 1.000)
John Fox, Chicago (7-7, .500)
Dan Quinn, Atlanta (1-0, 1.000)
Bill O’Brien, Houston (1-1, .500)
Rex Ryan, Buffalo (6-1 .857)
Mike Zimmer, Minnesota (1-1, .500)
Bruce Arians, Arizona (2-1, .667)
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati (6-7, .462)
Bill Belichick, New England (14-7, .667)
Jim Caldwell, Detroit (2-3, .400)
Chip Kelly, San Francisco (2-1, .667)
Ron Rivera, Carolina (2-3, .400)
Gary Kubiak, Denver (6-3, .667)
Mike McCoy, San Diego (1-2, .333)
John Harbaugh, Baltimore (5-3, .625)
Mike Mularkey, Tennessee (1-2, .333)
Pete Carroll, Seattle (6-4, .600)
Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis (1-3, .250)
Jeff Fisher, Los Angeles (12-8, .600)
Gus Bradley, Jacksonville (0-3, .000)
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay (6-4, .600)
Jay Gruden, Washington (0-2, .000)
Jason Garrett, Dallas (3-2, .600)
Adam Gase, Miami (0-0, .000)
Sean Payton, New Orleans (5-4, .556)
Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay (0-0, .000)
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh (5-4, .556)
Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (0-0, .000)
Andy Reid, Kansas City, (9-8, .529)
Doug Pederson, Philadelphia (0-0, .000)

THE NFL IS SO UNPREDICTABLE THAT IN 2015…

Nothing exhibits the unpredictability of the NFL more than close games:

Games continued to be this close. If you like your football close, then 2015 was the season for you. In 2015, 131 of 256 games (51.2 percent) were decided by seven points or fewer, the most of any season in NFL history.

SEASON – MOST GAMES DECIDED BY SEVEN OR FEWER POINTS
2015 – 131
2002 – 126
2011 – 125
2003 – 124
2013 – 123

Last season, 140 of 256 games (54.7 percent) were decided by eight points or fewer, the most since the NFL adopted the two-point conversion in 1994.

GAMES DECIDED BY ONE SCORE IN 2015

POINTS – GAMES (Pct.)
8 or Fewer – 140 of 256 (54.7 pct.)
7 or Fewer – 131 of 255 (51.2 pct.)
3 or Fewer – 59 of 256 (23 pct.)

Sixty-eight percent of games (174 of 256) in 2015 were within one score in the fourth quarter. The 174 such games are tied for the third-most of any season in NFL history.

SEASON – MOST GAMES WITHIN ONE SCORE IN FOURTH QUARTER
2002 – 177
2004 – 175
2015 – 174
2013 – 174
2007 – 173

BEST NFL RECORDS, PAST 10 YEARS: Over the past 10 years, four NFL teams – New England (124-36, .775), Green Bay (104-55-1, .653), Indianapolis (104-56, .650) and Pittsburgh (100-60, .625) – have posted a winning percentage of .600 or better. Those four clubs have combined for 31 playoff berths, eight Super Bowl appearances and four Super Bowl championships during that span.

The New England Patriots, under the guidance of head coach Bill Belichick, have the best regular-season record over the past 10 years, qualifying for the postseason nine times and winning Super Bowl XLIX.

“At the end of the day, they find ways to win,” says Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan about the Patriots. “That’s what championship teams do.”

The teams with the best regular-season records over the past 10 seasons (2006-15):

TEAM: W-L-T (Pct.; PLAYOFF BERTHS, SUPER BOWL BERTHS, SUPER BOWL WINS)
New England: 124-36 (.775; 9 Playoff Berths, 3 Super Bowl Berths, 1 Super Bowl win)
Green Bay: 104-55-1 (.653; 8 Playoff Berths, 1 Super Bowl Berth, 1 Super Bowl win)
Indianapolis: 104-56 (.650; 8 Playoff Berths, 2 Super Bowl Berths, 1 Super Bowl win)
Pittsburgh: 100-60 (.625; 6 Playoff Berths, 2 Super Bowl Berths, 1 Super Bowl win)

NEW NFL RULES FOR 2016: Player safety will be the order of the day in 2016. Rule changes are made each season to improve the game and make it safer. Recent rules changes and points of emphasis focused on player safety have resulted in defenders adjusting their target zone and using the proper tackling technique.

In 2015, there were 10 players fined for hits on defenseless players, compared to 40 for the same offense in 2012.

FINES FOR HITS ON DEFENSELESS PLAYERS

SEASON – FINES
2012 – 40
2013 – 25
2014 – 11
2015 – 10

With player health and safety remaining a priority, here are the 2016 rules changes and points of emphasis:

CHOP BLOCK: All chop blocks are now illegal. A chop block is a two-man high-low block in which a defensive player is engaged above the waist by one offensive player and blocked at the thigh or below by a second offensive player. A chop block is a foul whether it occurs on a running play, a pass play or a kicking play.

If it is clear that the defensive player is initiating the contact above the waist, or that the offensive player is trying to slip or escape, then the block is legal.

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT FOULS: A player that is penalized twice in the same game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls will be automatically disqualified.

These types of fouls include:
1. Throwing a punch or kick without making contact
2. Use of abusive or threatening language toward an opponent
3. Any act that constitutes taunting

HORSE COLLAR: The horse collar rule has been expanded for this season. Prior to this change, it was illegal to grab the inside collar of the back or the side of the shoulder pad or jersey and pull the runner toward the ground. Now it will also be illegal to grab the back or side of the jersey at the name plate or above and pull the runner toward the ground. The runner does not have to be pulled all the way to the ground. If his knees are buckled by the action, it is a foul.

This rule does not apply to the quarterback in the pocket or a runner in the tackle box but once the runner leaves the tackle box or the quarterback leaves the pocket the rule is back in effect.

TOUCHBACKS: For the 2016 season, after a touchback resulting from a kickoff or safety kick, the ball will be placed at the receiving team’s 25-yard line.

There will also be points of emphasis on several existing rules this season (although the rules themselves have not changed):

2015 saw an increase in both fouls and fines for low hits on passers. The quarterback in the pocket in a passing posture is protected from forcible contact to the knee area or below. Low hits on passers will result in a  15-yard penalty for roughing the passer as well as potential discipline. Once the quarterback tucks the ball and takes a running posture or moves outside the pocket and throws on the run, he no longer receives protection from hits to the knee area or below.

Rules regarding sliding runners will be emphasized in 2016. A runner gains maximum protection when he slides feet first and before defensive contact is imminent. A runner that slides in this manner is treated like a player on the ground and may not be unnecessarily contacted to any part of his body. If a runner begins his slide after defensive contact is imminent then he loses protection from hits to the body, but the defender must still avoid forcible contact to the head or neck area. If a runner slides sideways or dives head first, he receives no special protection and may be hit anywhere until he is on the ground.

The rule regarding crown of the helmet hits on runners has been clarified for 2016. A defender may not lower his head and make forcible contact with the crown of his helmet to any part of a runner’s body. This rule applies outside the tackle box and a foul will be called regardless of the path the defender takes toward the runner.

Pre-snap movement on the offensive line will be a point of emphasis for the upcoming season as game officials will pay particular attention to movement of the football prior to the snap. Adjusting the football as the center gets into his stance is legal, but once the line is set, any abrupt or significant movement of the ball will result in a five-yard penalty for a false start. In addition, any quick or abrupt movement that is not part of the snap will also result in a false start. However, if the movement is smooth and deliberate, it will be deemed legal. Game officials will work with centers and long snappers during training camp and before each game to establish acceptable standards.

The last point of emphasis will involve blindside blocks on kickoff and punt returns. Any time a blocker is moving in the direction of his own end line, he cannot block his opponent in the head or neck area. These blocks are dangerous and will lead to a 15-yard penalty and potential discipline.

A brief overview of NFL rule changes focused on protecting player health and safety since 1982:

1982 – Hip pads must be covered by the outer uniform.

It is illegal for any player to use the crown or top of his helmet against a passer, a receiver in the act of catching a pass or a runner who is in the grasp of a tackler.

1983 – All mandatory player equipment must be designed and made by a professional manufacturer and cannot be altered, except by direction of the team physician.

A player who uses a helmet he is not wearing as a weapon shall be ejected.

The chop block rule applies to blocks at “thigh or lower.”

1985 – During the last two minutes of a half, the play ends when a quarterback kneels or simulates kneeling on the ground.

The ball is dead when any runner slides to the ground feet first, thereby declaring himself down.

1986 – Blocking below the waist on punts is prohibited during the entire down. The “lure” technique is prohibited. When a tackle shows pass set, a teammate lined up outside him cannot chop a defender who is lined up over the tackle, even if the tackle and defender are not engaged (a “lure”).

1987 – An offensive lineman may not clip a defender who, at the snap, is aligned on the line of scrimmage opposite another offensive lineman who is more than one position away, when the defender is responding to the flow of the ball away from the blocker. Example: A tackle cannot clip the nose tackle on a sweep to the opposite side.

It is illegal for the kicking team to block below the waist after a free kick or punt has been made. (Low blocks by the receiving team became illegal in 1979).

Both teams are prohibited from blocking below the waist after a change of possession.

1989 – A defender (approaching from any direction) who has an unrestricted path to the quarterback is prohibited from flagrantly hitting him in the area of the knee(s).

1990 – A player who butts, spears or rams an opponent may be disqualified if the action is flagrant or vicious.

1991 – Officials will whistle the play dead whenever a defensive lineman clearly penetrates beyond the neutral zone before the ball is snapped and continues unabated toward the quarterback.

1992 – For the first time, the chop block is illegal on some running plays: It is illegal on a running play for an offensive player who is lined up in the backfield at the snap to deliberately block a defensive player in the thigh or lower (chop) if the defensive player is engaged by an offensive player who was on the line of scrimmage at the snap. This action is prohibited whether on or behind the line of scrimmage in an area that extends laterally to the position originally occupied by the tight end on either side.

When a defensive player runs forward and leaps in an attempt to block an extra point or field goal, it is a foul only if the leaping player lands on other players.

1993 – It is not intentional grounding when a passer, while out of the pocket and facing an imminent loss of yardage, throws a pass that lands beyond the line of scrimmage, even if no offensive player has a realistic chance to catch the ball (including if the ball lands out of bounds over the sideline or end line).

1994 – Defensive players are prohibited from blocking low during a punt, field goal or extra point attempt (kick), except those defensive players at the snap that are lined up on or inside the normal tight end position. Previously, all players on the defensive team could block low during the field goal or extra point attempt.

1995 – Protection for defenseless players is clarified and expanded. Since 1982, a defensive player was prohibited from using the crown or top of his helmet against a passer, a receiver in the act of catching a pass, or a runner who is in the grasp of a tackler.

The clarification provided that:

Defenseless players included a kickoff or punt returner attempting to field a kick in the air and a player on the ground at the end of a play.

Defensive players are prohibited from lowering their heads to make forcible contact with the facemask or with the “hairline” or forehead part of the helmet, against an opponent, instead of only with the top/crown.

Defensive players are prohibited from forcibly hitting the defenseless player’s head, neck or face with the helmet or facemask.

Defensive players are prohibited from launching into a defenseless player in a way that causes the defensive player’s helmet or facemask to forcibly strike the defenseless player’s head, neck or face, even if the initial contact of the defender’s helmet or facemask is lower than the defenseless player’s neck.

When tackling a passer during or just after throwing a pass, a defensive player is prohibited from unnecessarily and violently throwing him down and landing on top of him with all or most of the defender’s weight.

1996 – On running plays, a chop block is prohibited by an offensive player who is aligned more than one position away from the engaged defender when the block occurs away from the flow of the play.

A defender cannot be chopped even after he has disengaged from an offensive opponent, if he is still confronting the offensive player.

Prohibition of the “lure” technique is applicable all along the offensive line, instead of only to a player outside a tackle.

1998 – All face shields must be transparent.

1999 – Blocking from behind, at or below the knees in the clipping zone is prohibited.

After a blocking attempt in close line play, a blocker is prohibited from rolling up on the back of a defender’s legs (Unnecessary Roughness).

2002 – The chop block technique is illegal on all kicking plays.

It is illegal to hit a quarterback helmet-to-helmet any time after a change of possession.

2005  – It is illegal to grab the inside collar of the shoulder pads to tackle a runner (“horse-collar tackle”).

Unnecessarily running, diving into or throwing the body against a player who should not have reasonably anticipated such contact by an opponent is unnecessary roughness. Previously, the rule only protected a player who is out of the play.

A kicker/punter must not be unnecessarily contacted by the receiving team through the end of the play or until he assumes a distinctly defensive position. An opponent may not unnecessarily initiate helmet-to-helmet contact to the kicker/punter during the kick or during the return.

An offensive player who is aligned in the tackle box at the snap and moves to a position outside the box is prohibited from initiating contact on the side or below the waist of an opponent if the blocker is moving toward his own end line and approaches the opponent from behind or from the side (“peel back block”). The near shoulder of the blocker must be in front of his opponent’s body.

2006 – Low hits on the quarterback are prohibited when a rushing defender has an opportunity to avoid such contact.

Blocks in the back above the waist by the kicking team while the ball is in flight during a scrimmage kick are illegal.

The definition of a “horse collar tackle” is expanded to include grabbing theinside collar of the jersey.

During a field-goal attempt or a try, a defensive player who is within one yard of the line of scrimmage at the snap must have his helmet outside the snapper’s shoulder pad.

Personal or unsportsmanlike conduct fouls that occur during halftime or during intermission between the fourth period and an overtime period will be penalized on the ensuing kickoff.

During a free kick, at least four kicking team players must be on each side of the kicker when the ball is kicked.

2007 – A block below the waist against an eligible receiver while the quarterback is in the pocket is a 15-yard penalty instead of a 5-yard penalty (an illegal cut block).

2009 – Teams are not permitted to intentionally form a wedge of more than two players on a kickoff return in an attempt to block for the runner.

The “bunch” formation on kickoffs is eliminated. The kickoff team must have at least three players outside each hash mark, one of whom must be outside the yard-line number.

It is an illegal “blindside” block if the blocker is moving toward his own endline and approaches the opponent from behind or from the side and the initial force of the contact by the blocker’s helmet, forearm or shoulder is to the head or neck area of an opponent.

It is an illegal hit on a defenseless receiver if the initial force of the contact by the defender’s helmet, forearm or shoulder is to the head or neck area of the receiver.

The rule regarding low hits on passers is clarified:

A defender cannot initiate a roll or lunge and forcibly hit the passer in theknee area or below, even if he is being contacted by another player.

It is not a foul if the defender swipes, wraps or grabs a passer in the knee area or below in an attempt to tackle him.

2010 – During a field-goal attempt, punt, or try-kick, a defensive team player, who is within one yard of the line of scrimmage at the snap, must have his entire body outside the snapper’s shoulder pads.

After a half has expired, dead ball personal fouls by either team will be enforced on the succeeding kickoff.

A player who has just completed a catch is protected from blows to the head or neck by an opponent who launches.

All “defenseless players” are protected from blows to the head delivered by an opponent’s helmet, forearm or shoulder.

Kickers and punters during the kick and return and quarterbacks after a change of possession, are protected from blows to the head delivered by an opponent’s helmet, forearm or shoulder, instead of just helmet-to-helmet contact.

The ball is declared dead at the spot if a runner’s helmet comes completely off.

2011 – The restraining line for the kicking team is moved from the 30- to the 35-yard line in an effort to increase touchbacks.

All kicking team players other than the kicker must be lined up no more than five yards behind their restraining line, eliminating the 15-20 yard running “head start” that had become customary for many players.

The list of “defenseless players” is expanded to include a kicker/punter during the kick or during the return, a quarterback at any time after a change of possession, and a player who receives a “blindside” block when the blocker is moving toward his own endline and approaches the opponent from behind or from the side. Previously, these players were protected against blows to the head but not against blows delivered by an opponent with the top/crown or forehead/”hairline” parts of the helmet against other parts of the body.

A receiver who has completed a catch is a “defenseless player” until he has had time to protect himself or has clearly become a runner. A receiver/runner is no longer defenseless if he is able to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent. Previously, the receiver who had completed a catch was protected against an opponent who launched and delivered a blow to the receiver’s head.

2012 – The list of “defenseless players” is expanded to include defensive players on crackback blocks, making it illegal to hit them in the head or neck area.

2013 – Players are required to wear protective knee and thigh pads.

It is illegal for a runner or tackler to initiate forcible contact by delivering a blow with the top or crown of his helmet against an opponent when both players are clearly outside the tackle box.

“Peel back” blocks below the waist are illegal inside the tackle box.

The list of “defenseless players” is expanded to include long snappers on field goals and PATs.

The “bunch” formation is eliminated on field goals and PATs. No more than six defenders may be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper at the snap for these plays.

2014 – Clipping and unnecessary roughness penalties are expanded to prohibit blockers from rolling up on the side of a defender’s leg.

2015 – Rules prohibiting illegal “peel back” blocks are extended to cover all offensive players.

Offensive backs are prohibited from chopping a defensive player engaged above the waist by another offensive player outside the tackle box.

Defenseless player protections are expanded to cover the intended receiver of a pass in the immediate continuing action following an interception.

When a team presents a punt, field-goal or try kick formation, defenders are prohibited from pushing teammates on the line of scrimmage.

2016 – All chop blocks are prohibited.

The horse collar tackle rule is expanded to include when a defender grabs the jersey at the name plate or above and pulls a runner toward the ground.

In an effort to increase touchbacks, the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a kickoff is moved from the 20- to the 25-yard line.

So the 2016 season got underway last Thursday night with Carolina and Denver getting underway as the last two teams to take the field in the 2015 campaign squared off. It’s a long season and you can’t win the Super Bowl on the first day. 31 other teams are trying to get a Lombardi Trophy of their own, Denver’s trying to keep theirs.

It’s alsk 9/11 weekend as the NFL honors those that died that Tuesday morning in New York City, Washington and the farm field in Pennsylvania.

The National Football League and its clubs will commemorate the 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001 during its games on Sunday. The NFL will feature special tributes to honor those who lost their lives and share an inspirational message of hope, unity and community service and engagement.

Prior to each game this Sunday, fans across the country will see video messages from President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush. Each club will have special guests on field for pregame activities and the playing of the National Anthem.

Among the special guests that clubs are hosting are first responders, community volunteers, hometown heroes and members of the military. In Philadelphia for the 1 p.m. Browns-Eagles game, Vice President Joe Biden will join 120 first responders in holding the American flag during the anthem. President Bush will be in Dallas for the Giants-Cowboys 4:25 p.m. game and will toss the coin accompanied on the field by First Lady Laura Bush and two NYPD officers who responded to the attacks at Ground Zero 15 years ago.

All team coaching staffs will be supplied with 9/11 lapel pins and a special 9/11 decal will be placed on players’ helmets.

The NFL will synch the pregame salutes during the Sunday afternoon CBS and FOX telecasts, followed by the Sunday night game on NBC. The pregame events that will be televised nationally also will be shown on the videoboards in each of the stadiums hosting games that day.

All games in each of the broadcast windows (1 p.m., 4:05/4:25 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., all times are Eastern) will feature the special presidential video message after the coin toss and prior to the playing of the National Anthem.
•1 p.m.: video message featuring President Barack Obama
•4:05 p.m.: video message featuring President Barack Obama
•4:25 p.m.: video message featuring President George W. Bush
•8:30 p.m.: video message featuring both Presidents Obama and Bush

NFL Films taped the presidential messages last month with President Obama at the White House and President Bush at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

NFL Network previously announced special programming from NFL Films that will aired Friday night on the events of September 11, 2001.

The one-hour show, narrated by actress Mary McDonald-Lewis, tells the story of how the events impacted the entire NFL and specifically the New York Giants, New York Jets and Washington Redskins, from the decision to cancel the games the following week to personal stories of those directly impacted by the day’s events.

Among the areas covered in September 11th:
•The NFL’s decision to cancel games following the attacks
•Former New England Patriots offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi’s connection to the New York City Fire Department
•The story of Giants’ fan Tony Sichenzio who attended the Giants’ game in Denver on September 10 and was not at his office on the 104th floor of One World Trade Center on September 11, 2001

As for last season, we were 167-89.

The preseason is over. It all starts for real. They’re playing for keeps. Each team will play 16 games and have a bye week to rest up. Who will step up? Who will be the king of the NFL mountain? As ESPN’s Chris Berman says, “that’s why they play the games.”

Having said that, here are the picks for Sunday and Monday’s games in week one.

Tampa Bay (6-10) at ATLANTA (8-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of southern rivals open the 2016 campaign in the Big Peach as Tampa Bay makes the 457-mile, seven-hour drive up I-75 to face off against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Dirk Koetter begins as he makes his debut as Tampa Bay head coach, taking over for Lovie Smith. Bucs QB Jameis Winston passed for 4,042 yards in 2015 and was 3rd rookie in NFL history with 4,000+ pass yards. Winston 1 of 3 rookies in NFL history with 3,500+ pass yards (4,042), 20+ pass TDs (22) & 5+ rush TDs (6), meanwhile RB Doug Martin ranked 2nd in NFL with 1,402 rush yards & was 4th in NFL with 1,673 scrimmage yards and has 455 scrimmage yards (91 per game) & 4 TDs in 5 career games vs. the Falcons.

Atlanta started the 2015 campaign strong but struggled toward the end and missed the post-season for the second straight season. Matt Ryan had 4,591 passing yards last season, his 5th consecutive 4,000-yard season. Ryan passed for 21 TDs in 2015, his 7th consecutive 20+ TD season, while becoming the franchise leader in career pass yards (32,757), completions (2,915), TD passes (202), rating (90.9) & 300-yard pass games (35). Also on offense, RB Devonta Freemanled NFL RBs with 14 TDs (11 rush, 3 receieving) last season, ranking him 5th in NFL with 1,634 scrimmage yards (1,056 rush, 578 rec.) in 2015… Ryan’s favorite target WR Julio Jones, was tied for NFL lead with 136 catches last year, which tied him for 2nd most in season in NFL history. Jones became 3rd player in NFL history with 125+ receptions (136) and 1,700+ rec. yards (1,871) in season (Marvin Harrison, 2002 & Antonio Brown 2015)… The Falcons did make some improvemnents on defense as DE Dwight Freeney will make his Atlanta debut after playing for Arizona last year. Freeney lead the Cardinals with eight sacks, ranking him 4th in the NFL since 2002 with 119.5 sacks.

Tampa Bay leads the series 23-22, have outscored the Falcons 952-902 and swept the series with the Falcons in the 2015 campaign. (Atlanta’s last win over Tampa Bay came in the 2014 season, when they swept the series with the Bucs, taking wins in the Big Peach and the Sunshine State.)

First meeting… week eight in the Big Peach. Tampa Bay led 13-3 at the half against the Falcons, only to see the host team rally to tie things up in the second half before Connor Barth connected on a 31-yard field goal in overtime to take a 23-20 win in the Georgia Dome. Atlanta managed to outpace Tampa Bay 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of regulation before the Bucs scored first i the overtime, holding off the Falcons in their attempt in the extra period to either tie things up or win it at home. Tampa Bay outrushed at Atlanta 117-101 but Ryan (2 TDs) outpassed Winston (TD, 2 sacks) 397-177. Turnovers were a problem for Atlanta in the first meeting, as they would turn the pigskin over four times (three fumbles and a Ryan interception).

Both teams did reasonably well on third down tries (Atlanta was 6 of 12, while Tampa Bay was 6 of 13) and the home team did okay on fourth down tries, going 2 of 3, while Tampa Bay had only one fourth down try without success. Time was on the side of the Falcons, who held the ball for 39:05 to Tampa Bay’s 30:11.

Meeting number two took place in the Sunshine State in week 13 and again the Bucs stopped Atlanta, taking a 23-19 win. Atlanta led 9-7 at the intermission at Raymond James Stadium before they were outscored in the second half 16-10. Atlanta was held to 64 yards rushing and Ryan was sacked three times, while throwing for 269 yards and a TD (Winston threw for 277 in the contest). As was the case in the first meeting in the Peach State, both teams were somewhat successful on third down conversions (Atlanta was 8 of 16, Tampa Bay 6 of 11) but neither club had a fourth down try in the rematch. Tampa Bay won the battle of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:15, while the Falcons kept the pigskin for 28:45. Atlanta’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Tampa Bay would like to make it three wins in a row against Atlanta, while the Falcons would like to have some revenge in their nest. Bucs make it closer than the 3 but Atlanta “RISES UP” to the occasion and takes the win at home.

Buffalo (8-8) at Baltimore (5-11), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV705. It’s wings vs. crabcakes as Rex Ryan and the Bills travel to Charm City to face off against the Ravens.

For Buffalo, it’ll be Tyrod Taylor under center. Taylor, in a twist of irony, was drafted by Baltimore in 6th round (No. 180 overall) of 2011 Draft. He spent 1st 4 years of his careeer (2011-15) with Ravens (14 games, 0 starts) and was 1
of 3 QBs in NFL last season with 3,000+ pass (3,035) & 500+ rush (568) yards. Buffalo led NFL in rushing (152.0 yards per game) in 2015 and RB Le Sean MCCoy is the only NFL player with 7,000+ rush (7,050) & 2,000+ rec. (2,266) yards since
2010. Has 209 rushes for 10+ yards since 2010, most in NFL. RB-PR Reggie Bush is only active NFL player with 5,000+ rush (5,493), 3,000+ receptions (3,508) and 500+ PR (781) yards…WR SAMMY WATKINS had career-high 1,047 rec. yards & 9 TDs in 2015.
Averaged 17.5 yards per catch last year, 2nd best mark in NFL by WR with 1,000+ yards…

Meanwhile, current Ravens QB Joe Flacco has guided Baltimore to playoffs in 6 of 8 seasons as starter, while RB Justin Forsett has 2,323 scrimmage yards (1,907 rush, 416 recieving) over past 2 seasons (1,161.5 yards per season) Flacco’s favorite target in the air, WR Steve Smith, Sr. has 13,932 career recieving yards and needs 73 to pass Hall of Famer James Lofton for 10th in NFL history. Smith and Hall of Famer Tim Brown are only 2 in NFL history with 900+ catches and TD via run, catch, punt return and kick return.

Once again, defense was the word of the day for the Ravens as LB Terell Suggs is franchise leader with 106.5 career sacks, LB Elvis Dumveril has 32.5 sacks in 3 seasons with Baltimore and LB C.J. Mosley has recorded 100+ tackles in each of 1st 2 career seasons. S Eric Weddle makes his Ravens debut this Sunday. Weddel was selected to 3 Pro Bowls with San Diego.

While the series is even at 3-3, the Ravens have outscored the Bills 120-102. Baltimore’s last win in the series came in Charm City in 2010 in overtime by a final of 37-34, while the Bills won in 2013 along the shores of Lake Ontario by a final of 23-20. Baltimore’s favored by 3 and the over/under is 44 1/2. The 44 1/2? Makes sense. The 3? Sounds a little on the high side, considering that both offenses can do damage when they’re on task. Ravens cover the 3 at home in Charm City and takes the win.

Chicago (6-10) at Houston (9-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Cutler vs. Watt. A pair of marquee stars meet in the Lone Star State as Chicago looks to improve their position in the NFC North agianst the Houston Texans.

Chicago’s Jay Cutler had 3,659 pass yards with 21 TDs andcareer-high 92.3 passer rating last year. Cutler was the team’s franchise leader in rating (85.5), completions (1,939), completion percentage (61.9) and pass yards (22,384).

The Texans Won the AFC South last year, their 3rd division title in team history and QB Brock Osweiler makes his Houston.
debut. He started 7 games with Denver in 2015, replacing Peyton Manning and made 1st career start at Chicago (11/22/15), completing 20 of 27 (74.1 pct.) for 250 yards with 2 TDs and 0 INTs for 127.1 rating in 17-15 win. Meanwhile, Texans fans got some really good news as DE J.J. Watt (disc surgery) will take the field Sunday in the Lone Star State. Watt was named NFL Defensive Player of Year in 2015, winning the award in 3 of past 4 seasons (2012, 2014, 2015). Since entering the NFL in 2011, Watt has 74.5 sacks, most in NFL and is the only player in NFL history with 2 seasons with 20+ sacks (2012, 2014).

Houston and Da Bears have met three times in regular season action and have won all three meetings, while outscoring Chicago 68-35, with the Texans coming away 13-6 winners in the Windy City in 2012. Houston’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under is 44. Da Bears have been known to struggle on offense at times and the Texans hope to take advantage. While it’ll be closer than the 6 1/2, Houston wins at home.

Green Bay (10-6) at Jacksonville (6-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of teams with opposite records from 2015 meet on Florida’s east coast as the Packers make their way to the Sunshine State for a date with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Mike McCarthy has led team to playoffs in 8 of his 10 seasons as head coach, while QB Aaron Rodgers has 104.1 career rating, highest in NFL history. In 2015, passed for 3,821 yards & 31 TDs, his 4th time in 5 seasons with 3,000+ yards & 30+ TDs… Rodgers will have WR Jordy Nelson back to throw to in the 2016 campaign. Nelson had career-high 98 catches and 1,519 recieving yards in 2014. Nelson also had 13 recieving TDs that season… LB Clay Matthews was 2nd on club with 6.5 sacks in 2015.

A much-improved Jaguars club will have Blake Bortles as their starting QB. Bortles passed for franchise-record 4,428 yards & 35 TDs in 2015, making him the youngest QB in NFL history with 4,400+ pass yards, 35+ pass TDs & 300+ rush yards (310) in season and had 39 completions of 25+ yards last year, tied for most in NFL with Rodgers.

Green Bay holds a 3-2 lead in the series and have outscored Jacksonville 117-98 in those meetings. Green Bay’s last win in the series came at Lambeau in 2012 with the Packers coming away 24-15 winners, while Jacksonville’s last win in the series came in the Sunshine State by a final of 20-16 in 2008. The Packers may be on the road but the oddsmakers in Vegas like them as 5 1/2 point favorites with a 48 over/under. Jacksonville’ll put up a fight but the Packers cover the 5 1/2 in the Sunshine State, taking the win.

San Diego (4-12) at Kansas City (11-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC West rivals open up their 2016 campaigns n the Show-Me State as the Chargers, who struggled throughout the 2015 season, meet the Andy Reid-led Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers ranked 2nd in NFL in 2015 with 4,792 pass yards and since 2008, has 34,759 pass yards, 2nd most in NFL. Has 5,157 career pass yards vs. KC, his most vs. any opponent. Rivers’ favorite target, TE Antonio Gates, ranks 2nd in NFL history among TEs with 104 recieving TDs and is 3rd among NFL TEs with 844 catches and 10,644 recieving yards. Gates also
21 games with 2+ recieving TDs, most by TE in NFL history. Rivers and Gates have  combined for 77 TDs, most by QB-TE duo in NFL history On defense, LB Manti Te’O led club with career-high 82 tackles last year…

After struggling to start the 2015 campaign, the Chiefs have won 10 consecutive regular-season games, with QB Alex Smith passing for career-high 3,486 yards last year & had 20 pass TDs with 95.4 rating.

Including contests that were played when the Chiefs were in Dallas and known as the Texans and the Chargers played their home games in Los Angeles, Kansas City leads the series 56-54-1, have outscored the Bolts 2,396-2,229 and won the last four meetings, including sweeps in 2014 and 2015. (San Diego’s last win over the Chiefs came in 2013, when they swept the series in that season, taking a 27-24 overtime win at Qualcomm that season.)

Meeting number one… Qualcomm in week 11. Kansas City led 9-3 at the half and never looked back, taking a 33-3 win on the Left Coast. The Chiefs went on to shutout San Diego in the second half 24-0, holding San Diego to 52 yards on the ground and sacking Rivers three times, picking him off once (The Chiefs rushed for 153 yards in the blowout win, Alex Smith threw for 253 yards). While the game was somewhat of a dud, third down tries in the first meeting were nothing to write home about (Kansas City was 5 of 12, San Diego was 4 of 13) but the Chiefs did find success on fourth down, making their only try in the game, while the Chargers were 0 of 1. Time was on the side of the Chiefs in the first contest, as they kept the ball for 33:28, while San Diego held on to the pigskin for 26:32.

Contest number two… Arrowhead in week 14. The Chiefs were looking to claim a playoff spot that week, while the Chargers were trying to keep them out of the post-season party. After a scoreless first quarter, Kansas City took a 10-0 lead with them to the intermission, then held on for dear life to come away 10-3 winners. Once again, the Bolts were outrushed by the Chiefs, this time by a 150-44 margin and Rivers found himself being sacked five times, even though he did outpace Alex Smith in passing yards 263-191.

Kansas City did a little better on third down conversions in the second meeting, going 6 of 11, while the Chargers were 6 of 18 (3 of 3 on fourth down). This time, San Diego won the battle of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:08 to Kansas City’s 28:52.

Kansas City’s favored by 7 with a 44 1/2 over/under. Given the histories between these two clubs, the 44 1/2 makes sense but the 7 in this case is on the high side. Chiefs stay up to date in Kansas City in the opener and wins at home, even though the Chargers will make it closer than the 7.

Oakland (7-9) at New Orleans (6-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. The Silver and Black make their way eastward to the Big Easy for a meeting in the great indoors, taking on Drew Brees and the Saints.

QB Derek Carr passed for career-highs in yards (3,987), TDs (32) and  rating (91.1) last season for the Silver and Black, making him the only QB in franchise history with 3,500+ pass yards and 30+ pass TDs in season and had 6 300-yard games in 2015… WR Amari Cooper led all rookies in 2015 with 72 catches & 1,070 rec. yards, both franchise rookie records, tallying five 100-yard games, most by NFL rookie last season. Had 6 rec. TDs, tying him for most by rookie. Meanwhile, WR Michael Crabtree led the Raiders last year with 85 catches (922 yards) and 9 recieving TDs, both tied for his career high. The Raider defense was a little better last year, as DE Khalil Mack was ranked 2nd in NFL last season with career-high 15 sacks & 23 tackles for loss. Mack will get some help this year LB Bruce Irvin joins Oakland after four seasons with Seattle.

For the Saints, Brees had league-leading 4,870 pass yards last year, his NFL-record 10th consecutive 4,000-yard season. Brees has 60,903 career pass yards & became 4th player in NFL history with 60,000+ yards and needs 459 pass yards to surpass Hall of Famer Dan Marino (61,361) for 3rd most all-time. RB Mark Ingram has 2 consecutive season with 1,100+ scrimmage yards, scoring 5+ rush TDs in 4 of past 5 seasons.

The Saints lead the series 6-5-1, have outscored the Silver and Black 283-251 and have won the last three contests, including a 38-17 win in Oakland in 2012, while Oakland’s last win in the series came in 2000 in the Big Easy by a final of 31-22. New Orleans’ favored by a single point and the over/under is 51. Saints cover the 1 and win in the Big Easy.

Cincinnati (12-4) at New York Jets (10-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A team that made the playoffs last season travels to the Meadowlands as the Bengals take on a J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! team that almost made the post-season party last year.

For the Bengals, it’s always the bridesmaid but not quite the bride. They did win the AFC North in 2015 and have made playoffs in 5 consecutive seasons and tied a team record with 12 wins last year. That’s the good news. The bad news? They’ve been bounced out of the first round of the playoffs the last four years, something Cincy fans will hope their team will correct. QB Andy Dalton has 50-26-1 (.656) record, highest win pecentange by Bengals QB (minimum of 20 starts).

GangGreen eventually did get their QB situation taken care of and Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center for now. Fitzpatrick set franchise record with 31 pass TDs last season. Had career-high 3,905 pass yards, 2nd most by NYJ QB in season (Hall of Famer Joe Namath) and RB Matt Forte will make his Jets debut in the Meadowlands. Since entering the NFL in 2008, Forte has 12,718 scrimmage yards (8,602 rush, 4,116 recieving), most in NFL…Last year, WR Brandon Marshall set franchise records in catches (109) and recieving yards (1,502) and tied team mark in rec. TD (14). Is only player in NFL history with 6 100-catch seasons. WR Eric Decker had 80 catches for 1,027 yards and 12 TDs in 2015. In 2 career meetings, has 13 catches for 212 yards (106 per game) and 4 TDs (2 in each game). Marshall and Decker each had recieving TD in same game 9 times in 2015, most ever by teammates in season… On the defensive side of the ball, DE Muhammad Wilkerson had career-high 12 sacks last year and had 6 sacks in past 4 contests at home, while tallying a sack and interception INT in last game against the Bengals. CB Darrelle Revis was only player in NFL last season with 5+ interceptions (5) and 4+ fumble recoveries (4).

While GangGreen leads the series 15-8 and have outscored the Bengals 569-507, Cincy did win the last meeting in the Queen City by a final of 49-9 in 2013. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! last win? 2010 in the Meadowlands by a 26-10 score. Cincy’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. This could be closer than 2 1/2 but Cincy prevails on the Jersey Shore Sunday.

Cleveland (3-13) at Philadelphia (7-9), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. It’s new signal callers and coaches in the City of Brotherly Love as Cleveland travels to Philadelphia for an afternoon contest with the Eagles.

As far as the men calling the plays… Hue Jackson will lead the Browns, while Doug Pederson, who took over for Chip Kelly late last season, will be the man to lead Philly.

Both clubs will have new signal callers as well. For the Browns, it’s Robert Griffin III, taking over for Johnny Manziel. Griffin will make his Cleveland debut and has five starts against the Eagles, while with Washington, coming into the contest with a 98.3 passer rating. In the November 18th meeting while with the Redskins, he completed 14 of 15 (93.3 pct.) for 200 yards with 4 TDs without an interception for 158.3 rating and also rushed for 84 yards…

As far as the Eagles are concerned… Sam Bradford? Out. Shipped off to Minnesota. In? QB Carson Wentz. who lead North Dakota State to consecutive NCAA Divison 1 FCS national titles in 2014 and 2015.

Cleveland leads the series 31-16-1 and they may have outscored the Eagles 1,201-901 but… Philly has taken away wins in the last four contests, including a 17-16 win along the shores of Lake Erie in 2012. Cleveland’s last win in the series came all the way back in 1994, when they left old Veterans Stadium with a 26-7 win. The Eagles (or egguhls as they say in Philly) are favored by 4 and the over/under’s 41. Both teams have new coaches, both teams have new quarterbacks and that makes this one interesting but not “Drill Worthy.” Eagles cover the 4 and soar to the win at home in the Keystone State.

Minnesota (11-5) at Tennessee (3-13), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. The defending NFC North champs travel to the Music City to take on Tenneseee in the Volunteer State.

The Vikings won NFC North last season, 1st division title since 2009 with Teddy Bridgewater under center. This time, it’s Shawn Hill taking over for Bridgewater (knee) with Sam Bradford coming from Philadelphia as a backup. Bradford passed for a career-high 3,725 yards with 19 TDs last year with the Eagles and set single-season Eagles records for completions (346) & completion pct. (65.03) RB Adrian Peterson was back to his old form, leading the NFL in rushing (1,485 yards) and tied for NFL lead with 11 rush TDs last year. Peterson is 1 of 3 in NFL history (Hall of Famers Marion Motley and Curtis Martin) to lead NFL in rushing at 30+ years old.

The Titans can now take the interim title off Mike Mularkey’s name. Tennesee named him the 18th head coach in team history in January. QB Marcus Mariota had 4 games with 3+ TD passes in 2015, tying Peyton Manning for most by rookie and became only rookie in NFL history to have 2 games with 4+ pass TDs and no interceptions. RB De Marco Murray left Philadelphia and makes his Titans debut. Since 2013, when he was with Dallas, Murray leads all active players with 28 rush TDs and is 2nd with 3,668 rush yards. Murry will get some help in the backfield as the Titans picked up RB Derrick Henry from Alabama. Henry was selected as the 45th overall pick in the April draft after winning the Heisman Trophy with the Crimson Tide.

Mariota will have another target to throw to in the form of WR Andre Johnson, who joins Tenneseee and is the active leader in catches (1,053) and reciveing yards (14,100), averaging 76.2 reciveing yards per game, 4th best mark in NFL history (minimum of 100 games). On the defensive side of the pigskin, LB Brian Orakpo has 47 career sacks and needs 3 to reach 50.

Including contests that took place when the Titans were in Houston and known as the Oilers, the Purple Gang leads the series 8-4 and have outscored the Titans 320-188. Minnesota’s last win in the series came in 2012 in the Twin Cities in the great indoors of the Metrodome by a final of 30-7, while Tennessee took a 30-17 win over the Vikings in the Music City in 2008.  Minneosta’s favored by 2 with a 41 over/under. The Vikings look to repeat as NFC North champs, the Titans look to stay out of the AFC South cellar. Vikings cover the 2 and win in the Music City.

Miami (6-10) at Seattle (10-6), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. A pair of opposites meet in the Pacific Northwest as Miami travels to Seattle for a late afternoon (Eastern time) affair with the Seahawks.

For Miami, it will be their first game with Adam Gase as head coach and QB Ryan Tannehill aims for 3rd straight 4,000-yard pass season. Tannehill and Hall of Famer Dan Marino are only QBs in franchise history with 4,000-yard pass season. After departing Houston, RB Arian Foster makes his Miami debut and is Is only NFL player since 2010 with 6,000+ rush yards (6,215), 50+ rush TDs (51) & 2,000+ recieving yards (2,175).

For the fourth season in a row, the Seahawks have made it to the playoffs and have won 10+ games in each of past 4 seasons. QB Russell Wilson led NFL with 110.1 rating last season. In 2015, became 1st QB in NFL history with 4,000+ pass yards (4,024), 30+ pass TDs (34) & 500+ rush yards (553) in season. Wilson will not have Marshawn Lynch in the backfield but will have RB Thomas Rawls in his place. Rawls led team with 830 rush yards & 4 TDs last season. Rawls has also rushed for 756 yards (108 per game) & 4 TDs in 7 career starts. Seahawks are 6-1 when Rawls starts.

Miami leads the series 8-3, has outscored Seattle 237-187 but Miami took wins in the last two meetings, including a 24-21 win in the Sunshine State in 2012. Seattle’s last win in the series came in 2004 in the land of grunge, salmon and Starbucks, coming away 24-17 winners at the Kingdome. For the Seahawks, they are favored by a whopping 10 1/2 points, the largest spread this season to date and the over/under is 44. The ‘fins make this one somewhat interesting and if you’re a fan of either team, by all means, watch this one; otherwise, you’re better off watching that “Law And Order:SVU” marathon on USA Network Sunday (Benson slapping the cuffs on someone is downright sexy!). Seattle may not cover the 10 1/2 but they take the win in the land of grunge, salmon and Starbucks.

New York Giants (6-10) at Dallas (4-12), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. It’s another NFC East rivalry as the Giants and Cowboys meet in JerryWorld (AT&T Stadium). While Eli will be there, the Cowboys will be without Tony Romo (back).

Ben McAdoo takes over for Tom Coughlin, making his debut as Giants head coach and QB Eli Manning is becoming the NFL’s answer to Cal Ripken, making his 183 consecutive start, longest active streak in NFL. In 2015, Manning passed for 4,000+ (4,432) yards for franchise-record 5th time. Threw 35 TDs last season, 2nd most in season in franchise history (Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle, who had 36 in 1963). Manning has 100+ rating in 3 of past 6 games vs. Dallas. WR Odell Beckham, Jr. had 96 receptions last year, 2nd most in season in franchise history. Beckham 2,755 career recieveing yards (1,305 in 2014 & 1,450 in 2015), most by player in 1st 2 seasons in NFL history

For Dallas, it’s QB Dak Prescott, not Romo, that will be under center for a while. Prescott was selected in 4th Round (Number 135 overall) by Dallas in 2016 NFL Draft and is all-time leading passer in Mississippi State history with 9,376 yards & 70 TDs. He’ll have two major targets to throw the pigskin to this season. Since 2012, WR Dez Bryant ranks 2nd with 44 recieving TD and Bryant has 1,200+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4 seasons. TE Jason Witten (1,020) is 1 of 2 TEs in NFL history with 1,000+ catches. Ranks 2nd in NFL history among TEs with 11,215 recieving yards and LB Sean Lee led team with 128 tackles last season and has 12 interceptions since entering NFL in 2010, the most by LB, while K Dand Bailey has highest FG pct. (90.6) in franchise history (minimum of 100 FG made).

The series? Dallas leads it 62-43-2 and the Cowboys have outscored the G-Men 2,423-2,089. The two teams split last year’s meetings, with each taking wins in front of the home crowds.

Game one… JerryWorld (aka AT&T Stadium) in week one. The Giants let a 26-20 lead get away from them as Tony Romo and TE Jason Witten connect on an 11-yard TD pass with seven seconds left to take a 27-26 win in Arlington. Dallas trailed 13-6 at the break before rallying in the final 30 minutes of action. Neither club managed to break the 100-yard barrier but New York did manage to outrush Dallas 99-80, while Romo outpaced Eli Manning in passing yardage 356-189. While Romo did throw a pair of interceptions, he did manage to toss three TD passes, including the game-winner to Witten, who had 60 yards on eight catches.

Third down tries in the first meeting? Dallas went 6 of 11, while the Giants were 6 of 14 and the Cowboys ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:10, while the Giants held on the pigskin for 22:50.

That was the first meeting.

Meeting nubmer two… the Meadowlands in week seven. Another close game but with a much different outcome. This time, it was Dallas letting a 13-10 halftime lead get away from them as New York outscored Dallas in the final half for a 27-20 win at Met Life Stadium. New York managed to outscore Dallas in the second half 17-7 to take the win over the NFC East rivals. The rushing game came to life in the second meeting, as Dallas did manage to outrush the Giants 233-132 (Darren McFadden led all rushers with 152 yards and a TD) but this time, it was Matt Cassel, not Romo under center (broken collarbone). Cassel was no Romo, throwing for 227 yards and was picked off three times, while Manning threw for 170 in the rematch. Third down tries in game two… Dallas? 6 for 11 (0 of 1 on fourth down). New York? 3 for 11. Dallas did manage to rule the clock in the second meeting, holding the ball for 38:04 to New York’s 21:56. The Giants are favored by 1 and the over/under comes in at 46. As bad as both teams were last year, both numbers make a lot of sense. Dallas will have to live without Romo for a while but they’ll cover the 1 and win at home in JerryWorld.

Detroit (7-9) at Indianapolis (8-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. A couple of teams that play their games in the great indoors and barely missed the postseason party meet in the Hoosier State in a late Sunday afternoon contest with two teams with automotive histories.

For the Lions, it’s going to be life without Megatron (Calvin Johnson). Meanwhile, QB Matthew Stafford passed for 4,262 yards in 2015, his 5th consecutive 4,000-yard season. Stafford has 23,174 pass yards since 2011, 3rd most in NFL. Since 2011, he averages 289.7 pass yards per game, 2nd among NFC QBs (Drew Brees). WR Anquan Boldin will pick up where Johnson left off with 1,009 career catches, 1 of 13 in NFL history with 1,000+ catches and WR Golden Tate has 189 catches in past 2
seasons, 5th most in NFL. Has 4 TDs in past 4 games…DT Haloti Ngata had interception last meeting vs. Indianpolis, when he was part of the Baltimore Ravens on October 5th of 2014.

Meanwhile… Colts QB Andrew Luck passed for 391 yards & 4 TDs – including game0-winning TD with no time remaining – in only start vs. Detroit. Luck, in taking over for Peyton Manning, has 14,838 career pass yards and needs 162 to reach 15,000. Can reach mark in 56th career game and would be tied for 2nd fastest in NFL history. RB Frank Gore leads active players with 12,040 rush yards. Gore has a rushing TD in all 5 career games vs. Detroit and in 5 career meetings, has 590 rush yards (118 per game) Since 2014, WR T.Y. Hilton is averaging 16.4 yards per catch, best mark in NFL (minimum 100 catches). Has recorded 1,000+ recieving yards & 5+ TDs in 3 consecutive seasons. Hilton had 6 catches for 100 yards in only meeting… K Adam Vinatieri ranks 3rd in NFL history in FGs (503) and points (2,253).

The Colts lead the series 21-18-2 (which includes contests that took place in Baltimore, Tiger Stadium and the Silverdome), have outscored the Lions 895-811 and won the last four meetings, including a 35-33 win in the Motor City in 2012. Detorit’s last win over Indy came in 1997 in Detroit at the old Silverdome by a final of 32-10. Indy’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under is 50 1/2. Two teams hoping to get back to the post-season party in 2016 after decent but not great records last year. Again, this one’s interesting but not in the “DRILL WORTHY” mode. However, Indy races to take the win in the Hoosier State.

New England (12-4) at Arizona (13-3), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. It’s the “Bradyless Bowl” as Bill Bellichick and the New England Patriots travel westward to face off against the Arizona Cardinals in the first Sunday night contest of the 2016 campaign.

New England is the only team in NFL history to win 12 division titles in 13 seasons and the Pats have won 12+ games in 6 consecutive seasons, 2nd team to accomplish feat (Indianapolis from 2003-09). In case you’ve been given a concussion, Brady is out, serving a four-game suspension for his part in “Deflategate” and QB Jimmy Garoppolo will be under center, making his first NFC start. He will have some of Brady’s weapons to use in RB Le Garrette Blount, who rushed for 120 yards and a pair of TDs in his lone game against Arizona, when he did it on October 31st of 2010 as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, Brady’s favorite target, TE Rob Gronkowski led team with 11 TD catches in 2015 and is only TE in NFL history with 5 career 10+ TD seasons and since entering NFL in 2010, has 65 recieving TDs, most in NFL.

The Desert Angry Birds in setting a franchise record with 13 wins, won NFC West and advanced to NFC Champ Game last season before losing to Carolina in Charlotte. Arizona scored team-record 489 points (30.6 avg.) and led NFL in total offense (408.3 yards per game) in 2015. QB Carson Palmer set franchise record with 35 pass TDs, 4,671 pass yards & 104.6 rating in 2015. Palmer is only QB in team history with 2 4,000-yard seasons. Had 100+ passer rating in 11 games last year, most in NFL, while WR Larry Fitzgerald had team-record 109 catches in 2015, his 3rd 100-catch season. The All-Pro reciever had 1,215 recieving yards, his club-record 7th 1,000-yard season and  S Tyrann Mathieu tied for team lead with 5 INTs in 2015.

The Desert Angry Birds lead the series 7-6, which includes contests that took place when the Cardinals were in St. Louis and the Pats played their home games at Fenway Park. However…. the Patriots have outscored Arizona 256-242 in the 13 meetings. Arizona came away 20-18 winners in Foxboro in their last meeting in 2012, while the Pats’s last win in the series came in Foxboro in 2008 by a 47-7 final.

Since these two teams almost made it to the promised land last year and there’s no Brady, this one being the first Sunday night game is “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 58 last June and dates a 43-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?”

As for the oddsmakers in Vegas, they see the Desert Angry Birds as 6 point favorites and the over/under’s 47. Even without Brady, New England will play enspired football. It’ll be closer than the 6 but the Pats come away with the win.

Pittsburgh (10-6) at Washington (9-7), 7:10 p.m. on ESPN. It’s the first of two Monday night contests as Pittsburgh and Ben Rothelisberger take the show from the Steel City to the nation’s capital, taking on the defending NFC East champs in Landover.

The Steelers have 41 wins on Kickoff Weekend, most by AFC team, with Roethlisberger leading the NFL with 328.2 pass yards per game in 2015 (3,938 yards in 12 games), 3rd-highest single-season avg. in NFL history. Has won 9 of past 11 starts on MNF. Is 3-0 in career as starter vs. Washinhton. Last year, WR Antonio Brown had career-best 136 catches, tied for 2nd most in season in NFL history. Brown was 2nd in NFL with franchise-record 1,834 recieving yards and had 265 catches in past 2 seasons, most ever in any 2-year span and 110+ catches in 3 consecutive seasons. Since 2013, he leads NFL with 375 catches and 5,031 recieving yards On defense, LB James Harrison had 1.5 sacks in last game at Washington…

In all the craziness of the NFC East, Washington won NFC East in 2015 and the Redskins have 48 wins in home openers, 5th most in NFC. QB Kirk Cousins made Washington fans forget about RGII, setting a club record last year with 4,166 pass yards. Was 1st QB in team history to pass for 4,000+ yards and 25+ TDs (29) in season, while tallying a career-high 101.6 rating in 2015.

Washington leads the series 42-32-3 and have outscored the Steelers 1,431-1,221, including games that were played when the Redskins were in Boston and the Steelers merged with the Eagles during the Second World War. As far as MNF games are concerned, the Steelers are 43-24 and won their only Monday night meeting last year, while the Redskins are 28-38 with a loss to Dallas under their belts in 2015.

Pittsburgh’s favored by 3 with a 50 over/under in the first Monday night contest. Two years ago, Washington fans were saying “Hell, it’s the Redskins!” This week, they’ll be saying “Hail to the Redskins!” Washington may not cover the 3 but they take the win at home in Landover.

Los Angeles (7-9) at San Francisco (5-11), 10:20 p.m. on ESPN. The second of two Monday night games take place in Napa wine country as a pair of NFC West foes take their place in the spotlight in Santa Clara. For the 49ers, it’s a chance to find their way back to the post-season, while for the Rams, it’s a return to the West Coast for the first time since the 1990s.

I Love LA! For the first time since the Clinton adminstration, there is football in Los Angeles as the franchise returns to Tinseltown for 1st time since 1994. Rams QB Case Keenum has won three of his past four starts under center and RB Todd Gurley took home 2015 AP Offensive Rookie of Year honors. Gurley led NFL rookies with 1,106 rush yards and 10 rush TDs, joining Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (1983) as only Rams rookies with 1,000+ rush yards & 10+ rush TDs. Gurley was also the first Rams rookie RB with 1,000+ rush yards since Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis did it in 1993. In addition to Gurley, K Greg Zuerlein has 2 career 60+ yard FGs & is 1 of 2 players in NFL history (Sebastian Janikowski) with multiple career 60+ yard FGs.

Chip Kelly is back on the West Coast, after his stint in the City of Brotherly Love, making his debut as San Francisco head coach. Complied 26-21 record as head coach of Eagles (2013-15) and led Philadelphia to 2013 NFC East Division title. It’ll be Blaine Gabbert, not Colin Kaepernick under center for the 49ers. Gabbert has a has 85+ passer rating in 5 of past 7 and passed for 354 yards and TD for 86.7 passer rating in last start vs. the Rams.

The 49ers lead the series 65-64-3 (which includes contests that took place in Cleveland when the Rams played along the shores of Lake Erie and the 49ers played their home games at Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park) and have outscored Los Angeles 2,923-2,816. They met twice last year and spilt both contests, with each team taking wins at home.

First meeting… week eight and it was “Meet Me In St. Louis” as the Rams held San Francisco to a pair of Pat Dawson field goals in the first half, taking a 27-6 victory over the 49ers. Taking a 20-6 lead with them to the intermission, the Rams outscored San Francisco 7-0 in the second half (the two clubs went scoreless in the third quarter). San Francisco found themselves held to 38 yards rushing in the first meeting and Kaepernick was sacked three times, while rookie RB Gurley running amok, rushing for 133 yards and a TD. Third down tries in the first contest were not anything to talk about in the first meeting, with the Rams going 1 of 12. The 49ers weren’t that much better, going 3 of 17 (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held the ball for 28:02, while the victorious Rams held on to the pigskin for 31:58.

Round two… the season finale for both teams in Santa Clara. St. Louis let a 16-10 halftime lead at Levis Stadium get away from them as the 49ers would go on to outpace St. Louis, scoring their last nine points in the contest to take a 19-16 overtime win. Gabbert and Anquian Bolden connected for the contest’s first TD early in the second quarter to give the 49ers a short-lived 7-3 lead. The Rams would answer with a 4-yard TD romp from RB Tre Mason and a 44-yard field goal by  Zuerlein with four seconds left before halftime.

San Francisco would then respond with a pair of Dawson field goals to tie things up and then it was Dawson that would send the home crowd assembled at Levis’ Stadium happy with a 23-yard field goal for the win. Both teams managed to rush for over 100 yards in the second meeting and St. Louis outrushed San Francisco 133-108 and Gabbert threw for 354 yards, outpacing Rams signal caller Case Keenum, who threw for 231. There was a great deal of improvement on third down tries in the second contest but neither team reached the 50 percent threshold, San Francisco going 8 of 18 and the Rams going 3 of 13 (both teams were 0 of 1 on fourth down). Despite the overtime loss, the Rams did manage to rule the clock, keeping the ball for 38:30 to San Francsico’s 33:03.

As far as Monday nights are concerned… the Rams are 26-31 and this will be their first MNF contest since 2014, where they were 0-1. San Francisco? 47-25 under the lights and won their only Monday night meeting last year. San Francisco’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 43. It’s California dreaming for one team. The Rams will make this one closer than the 2 1/2 but San Francisco wins this one in Wine Country to close out the week.

Webster’s defines the word milestone as a significant or important event, e.g. in the history of a country or in somebody’s life.

While some teams struggled in the 2015 campaign, others improved their standing from last season and put themselves position for a playoff spot. All 32 teams made milestones and there were some key players that accomplished that feat as well. All 32 teams had events that were not only important to them, they were important to their fans.

A sampling of NFL records set and milestones reached in 2015:

THE TEAMS

ARIZONA CARDINALS (13-3)
•Had 13 wins in 2015, the most in a single season in franchise history.
•Led the NFL in total offense, averaging 408.3 yards per game.
•Defeated San Francisco 47-7 in Week 3 and became the first team since the 1945 Green Bay Packers to have two interception-return touchdowns, a safety and score at least 40 points in a game.
•In Week 2 at Chicago, rookie RB David Johnson became the first player in franchise history to have a kickoff-return touchdown and a rushing touchdown in the same game since Pro Football Hall of Famer Ollie Matson on December 13, 1958.
•QB Carson Palmer set a franchise record for most touchdown passes in a single season (35).
•RB Chris Johnson became the first Cardinal with four 100-yard rushing games in a season since 1985 (Stump Mitchell, four).

ATLANTA FALCONS (8-8)
•Became the first team in NFL history to start 5-0 with four of those wins coming when trailing at some point in the fourth quarter.
•WR Julio Jones tied for the league lead with 136 receptions, the most receptions in a single season in franchise history.
•In Week 3, became the third team in NFL history to have both a rusher with at least 100 yards with three touchdowns (Devonta Freeman, 141 yards and three touchdowns) and a receiver with at least 150 yards with two touchdowns (Jones, 164 yards and two touchdowns) in the same game.
•Freeman became the first player in franchise history to have seven rushing touchdowns in the team’s first four games to begin a season.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-11)
•WR Kamar Aiken had at least five receptions in nine consecutive games (Weeks 8-17), surpassing Derrick Mason (eight games in 2007) for the longest such streak in franchise history.

BUFFALO BILLS (8-8)
•Earned 400th total victory in Week 1, a 27-14 win at home against Indianapolis. Buffalo’s all-time record is 407-466-8.
•Led the NFL in rushing (152.0 yards per game).
•Defeated the Miami Dolphins 33-17 in Week 9 and became the first team to have two 100-yard rushers – RBs Le Sean McCoy (112 rushing yards) and Karlos Williams (110) – and a 150-yard receiver – WR Sammy Watkins (168 receiving yards) – in the same game in NFL history.
•QB Tyrod Taylor rushed for 568 yards, the most by a quarterback in a single season in franchise history.

CAROLINA PANTHERS (15-1)
•Finished 15-1, the best record in the NFL in 2015 and the most wins in franchise history.
•Became the fourth team in the Super Bowl era to start a season 14-0, joining the 1972 Miami Dolphins, 2007 New England Patriots and 2009 Indianapolis Colts.
•Led the NFL in turnover margin (+20).
•CB Josh Norman became the first player in franchise history to have two interception-return touchdowns in the team’s first four games to begin a season.
•QB Cam Newton tied the franchise single-game record with five touchdown passes (Steve Beurlein, January 2, 2000) in Weeks 11 (vs. Washington), 13 (at New Orleans) and 15 (at New York Giants).

CHICAGO BEARS (6-10)
•In Week 10 at St. Louis, QB Jay Cutler became the first quarterback in franchise history to throw two touchdown passes of at least 80 yards in the same game (87 and 83 yards).

CINCINNATI BENGALS (12-4)
•Earned a playoff berth for the fifth consecutive season, the longest streak in franchise history.
•Overcame a 24-7 fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Seattle in overtime in Week 5, only the third time in NFL history that a team erased a fourth-quarter deficit of 17+ points to defeat a team which played in the Super Bowl the previous season.
•WR A.J. Green had 227 receiving yards in Week 3 at Baltimore, the second-highest single-game total in franchise history (Chad Johnson, 260 yards on November 12, 2006 vs. San Diego).
•DE Carlos Dunlap led the team with 13.5 sacks, bringing his career total to 49 and surpassing Eddie Edwards (47.5) for the most in franchise history.

CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-13)
•QB Josh McCown threw for 457 yards in Week 5 at Baltimore, the most passing yards in a game in franchise history.
•McCown became the first quarterback in franchise history with three consecutive 300-yard passing games (Weeks 3-5).

DALLAS COWBOYS (4-12)
•QB Tony Romo and WR Dez Bryant have combined for 50 career touchdowns, the most by a QB-WR tandem in franchise history, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin (49).

DENVER BRONCOS (12-4)
•Led the NFL in sacks (52), total defense (283.1 yards per game) and pass defense (199.6 yards per game).
•Have won 15 consecutive divisional road games, the most consecutive road wins against divisional opponents in NFL history.
•Defeated Baltimore 19-13 in Week 1 and improved their record to 42-13-1 (.764) in home openers, the top mark in the NFL.
•Head coach Gary Kubiak (12 wins) tied Red Miller (1977) for the most wins in their first season as head coach in franchise history.
•Kubiak led the Broncos to a 7-0 start in his first season with the team, becoming the fourth head coach to lead his team to a 7-0 record in his first season with a new team since 1970.

DETROIT LIONS (7-9)
•RB Theo Riddick had 80 receptions, the most by a running back in a single season in franchise history.
•K Matt Prater converted a 59-yard field goal in Week 17 at Chicago, the longest in franchise history.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (10-6)
•Earned the 750th total victory in franchise history in 2015. The Packers are 751-567-37 and joined the Chicago Bears (758-573-42) as the only teams in NFL history to reach 750 total wins.

HOUSTON TEXANS (9-7)
•WR De Andre Hopkins set a franchise record with 11 touchdown receptions.
•Hopkins joined Andre Johnson as the only players in franchise history with at least 100 catches (111) and 1,400 receiving yards (1,521) in a season.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (8-8)
•Defeated Houston 27-20 in Week 5, their 16th consecutive divisional win dating back to December 30, 2012, surpassing the 1972-73 Miami Dolphins (15) for the longest streak since 1970.
•K Adam Vinatieri (1,095 points) surpassed Mike Vanderjagt (995) as the Colts’ all-time scoring leader.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (5-11)
•QB Blake Bortles set single-season franchise records in passing yards (4,428) and touchdown passes (35).
•WR Allen Robinson tied for the league lead with 14 touchdown catches, the most in a single season in franchise history.
•WR Allen Hurns caught a touchdown in seven consecutive games (Weeks 3-10), the longest streak in franchise history.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-5)
•Finished with an 11-5 record and became the first team in NFL history to win 11 games in a season in which it had a five-game losing streak.
•Won 10 consecutive games from Weeks 7-17, the longest winning streak in franchise history.
•In Week 8 vs. Detroit, four different Kansas City players rushed for a touchdown – QB Alex Smith, RBs Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West and WR De’Anthony Thomas – marking the first time since October 2, 1960, when the team was known as the Dallas Texans, that four different players rushed for at least one touchdown in the same game for the franchise.
•TE Travis Kelce had six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ 27-20 win at Houston in Week 1 and joined Tony Gonzalez as the only tight ends in franchise history with at least 100 receiving yards and two touchdown catches in a game. He is the only Kansas City tight end to accomplish the feat in a season opener.
•Became the first team in NFL history to have a 90+ yard interception return-touchdown (CB Marcus Peters, 93 yards) and a 70+ yard fumble-return touchdown (S Tyvon Branch, 73 yards) in the same game in Week 15 at Baltimore.

MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-10)
•WR Jarvis Landry set a single-season franchise record with 110 receptions (O.J. McDuffie, 90 in 1998).
•QB Ryan Tannehill (15,460) joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Bob Griese as the only players in franchise history with 15,000 career passing yards.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (10-6)
•WR Stefon Diggs had 52 receptions, the third most by a rookie in franchise history (Randy Moss, 69 in 1998 and Percy Harvin, 60 in 2009).
•Diggs became the first rookie in franchise history to lead the team in receptions.
•S Harrison Smith set a franchise record for interception-return touchdowns in a career (four).
•LB Eric Kendricks led the Vikings with 105 tackles and became the second rookie in franchise history to lead the team in tackles (Rip Hawskins, 1961).
•K Blair Walsh tied a franchise record with his fourth career season with at least 100 points (135).

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-6)
•Won 12 games and became the fifth team in NFL history and first since the 1983-1998 San Francisco 49ers (16) with at least 15 consecutive winning seasons.
•Became the second team in NFL history with 13 consecutive 10-win seasons (1983-1998 San Francisco 49ers, 16).
•Became the second team in NFL history with at least 12 regular-season wins in six consecutive seasons (Indianapolis Colts, seven from 2003-2009).
•Clinched a first-round bye for the sixth consecutive season, the longest streak of any NFL team since the current playoff format began in 1990.
•Scored points in 38 consecutive quarters from Weeks 1-11, surpassing the 1999-2000 St. Louis Rams (31) and 2005 Indianapolis Colts (31) for the longest such streak in NFL history.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-9)
•Led the NFL in passing offense (310.6 yards per game).
•WR Marques Colston has 28 career 100-yard receiving games, tied with Joe Horn for the most such games in franchise history.

NEW YORK GIANTS (6-10)
•QB Eli Manning passed for 4,436 yards, the second-most in a single season in franchise history behind his 2011 season (4,933).
•Manning threw 35 touchdown passes, the second-most in a single season in franchise history (Y.A. Tittle, 36 in 1963).
•WR Odell Beckham, JR. had 96 receptions, the second-most in a single season in franchise history (Steve Smith, 107 in 2009).

NEW YORK JETS (10-6)
•QB Ryan Fitzpatrick set a single-season franchise record with 31 touchdown passes.
•WR Brandon Marshall set single-season franchise records with 109 receptions and 1,502 receiving yards.
•Marshall became the first Jet with four consecutive 100-yard receiving games in a season since Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Maynard in 1968.
•Marshall and WR Eric Decker each had a touchdown reception in the same game nine times, the most by teammates in the same season in NFL history.

OAKLAND RAIDERS (7-9)
•DE Khalil Mack had five sacks in Week 14 at Denver and tied Howie Long (October 2, 1983) for the most sacks in a game in franchise history.
•WR Amari Cooper set franchise rookie records for most receiving yards (1,070) and receptions (72).

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (7-9)
•QB Sam Bradford had five 300-yard games in 2015, tied with Donovan McNabb (2004) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen (1961) for the most in a single season in franchise history.
•WR Jordan Matthews set a franchise record for most receptions (152) in a player’s first two seasons and ranks second in receiving yards (1,896) and touchdowns (16).

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (10-6)
•Became the only NFL franchise to have three head coaches with at least 90 career regular-season wins – Mike Tomlin (92), Pro Football Hall of Famer Chuck Noll (193) and Bill Cowher (149).
•QB Ben Roethlisberger (113) surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw (107) for the most regular-season wins by a quarterback in franchise history.
•In Week 9 against Oakland, became the first team in NFL history to have one player with at least 300 scrimmage yards (WR Antonio Brown, 306) and another player with at least 200 scrimmage yards (RB De Angelo Williams, 225) in the same game.
•Brown tied for the league lead with 136 receptions and finished second in the league with 1,834 receiving yards, both the highest marks in a single season in franchise history.
•Brown set single-game franchise records for catches (17) and receiving yards (284) in Week 9.

ST. LOUIS RAMS (7-9)
•Rookie RB Todd Gurley had 1,106 rushing yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson (1,808 yards in 1983) and Jerome Bettis (1,429 in 1993) as the only Rams rookies with at least 1,000 rushing yards.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-12)
•QB Philip Rivers (281 touchdown passes) surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Fouts (254) for the most touchdown passes in franchise history.
•In Week 6 at Green Bay, Rivers set single-game team records for completions (43), attempts (65) and passing yards (503).
•Rivers and TE Antonio Gates have combined for 77 career touchdowns, the most by a QB-TE duo all-time.
•WR Keenan Allen had 15 receptions on Kickoff Weekend, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow (15 receptions on October 7, 1984 at Green Bay) for the franchise’s single-game reception record.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (5-11)
•WR Torrey Smith had three touchdowns receptions of 70+ yards, the first player in franchise history to accomplish the feat in a single season since JOHN TAYLOR (1989).
•LB Ahmad Brooks has 45.5 sacks as a member of the 49ers, the second-most in franchise history by a linebacker since 1982 (Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Haley, 66.5).

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (10-6)
•Led the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 277 points (17.3 per game).
•Head coach Pete Carroll recorded his 100th career victory in Week 15 with a 30-13 win over Cleveland. Including the playoffs, Carroll has a 101-72 career record.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-10)
•QB Jameis Winston set franchise records for most passing yards (4,042) and touchdown passes (22) by a rookie.
•In Week 11 at Philadelphia, became the first team in NFL history to have a quarterback with at least five touchdown passes (Winston, five) and a running back with at least 200 rushing yards (Doug Martin, 235) in a road game.

TENNESSEE TITANS (3-13)
•TE Delanie Walker set franchise records for most catches (94) and receiving yards (1,088) by a tight end in a single season.
Walker is the first tight end in franchise history to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (9-7)
•Overcame a 24-point deficit in Week 7 to defeat Tampa Bay 31-30, the largest deficit overcome in a victory in franchise history.
•QB Kirk Cousins set a franchise record with 4,166 passing yards and became the first quarterback in team history to pass for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns (29) in a season.
•Cousins joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen (14 games in 1967) as the only players in franchise history to throw a touchdown pass in every game of a season.
•Cousins completed 20 of 25 passes (80 percent) for 324 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 158.3 passer rating – the highest attainable mark – in Week 10 and became the first Redskins quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards and post a rating of at least 150 in a game since Pro Football Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh in 1948 (October 31).

Teams not only had milestones in 2015. Some of its stars made milestones of their own. Here’s a look at the players

THE PLAYERS

ACCOMPLISHMENT(S)

KEENAN ALLEN – WR, San Diego Chargers
•Had 15 catches in Week 1 against Detroit, the most by a player on Kickoff Weekend since the 1970 merger.
•Had 62 receptions in San Diego’s first seven games, the most of any NFL player through his team’s first seven games to begin a season in NFL history.

TAVON AUSTIN – WR/PR, St. Louis Rams
•In Week 1 against Seattle, became the fifth player in the past 20 years to score a touchdown on a punt return (75 yards) and a rush (16 yards) in the same game.

DOUG BALDWIN – WR, Seattle Seahawks
•Became the third player in NFL history to catch at least two touchdown passes in four consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter (1995) and Calvin Johnson (2011).
•Had 10 touchdown receptions in Weeks 12-15, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1987) for the most TD catches in a four-game span in a single season in NFL history.

ODELL BECKHAM, JR. – WR, New York Giants
•Has 2,755 career receiving yards (1,450 in 2015) and surpassed Randy Moss for the most receiving yards in a player’s first two seasons in NFL history.
•Has nine career games with at least 140 receiving yards, the most ever by a player in his first two NFL seasons.

TRAVIS BENJAMIN – WR, Cleveland Browns
•Became the first NFL player with four 50+ yard touchdowns in the first two games of a season since Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown in 1963.

•Had three catches for 115 yards with two touchdowns (60 and 50 yards) and added a 78-yard punt-return touchdown in Week 2 against Tennesee and joined Tavon Austin (November 13, 2013) as the only players in NFL history with a 75+ yard punt-return touchdown and two 50+ yard touchdown catches in the same game.

ANQUAN BOLDIN – WR, San Francisco 49ers
•Reached 1,000 career receptions (1,009) and became the 13th player in NFL history to accomplish the feat. Boldin, who accomplished the feat in his 185th career game in Week 15 against Cincinnati, surpassed Reggie Wayne (195) for the fifth-fewest games in NFL history to reach the milestone.

BLAKE BORTLES – QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
•Threw 35 touchdown passes and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino and Matthew Stafford as the only players in NFL history with at least 35 touchdown passes in a season at age 23 or younger.

SAM BRADFORD – QB, Philadelphia Eagles
•Became the first quarterback in NFL history to start and win a regular-season overtime game on his birthday in Philadelphia’s 33-27 victory over Dallas in Week 9.

TOM BRADY – QB, New England Patriots
•Has 428 career touchdown passes and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (420) for the third-most touchdown passes in NFL history (tied with Drew Brees, 428).
•Became the fifth quarterback in NFL history to reach 55,000 career passing yards (58,026).
•Led the NFL with 36 touchdown passes and joined Peyton Manning (four) as the only players in NFL history with at least 35 touchdown passes in four different seasons.
•Has thrown at least 25 touchdowns passes in 11 different seasons and tied Brett Farve for the second-most such seasons in NFL history (Manning, 16).

DREW BREES – QB, New Orleans Saints
•Has 60,903 career passing yards and joined Peyton Manning (71,940), Brett Farve (71,838) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (61,361) as the only players in NFL history with at least 60,000 career passing yards.
•Led the league with 4,870 passing yards and became the first player to lead the league in passing yards six times.
•Has seven career 4,500-yard passing seasons, the most in NFL history and recorded his NFL-record sixth consecutive season with at least 4,500 yards.
•Passed for 400+ yards twice in 2015, bringing his career total to 13 such performances. He is tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Marino for the second-most such games in NFL history and one shy of the NFL record held by Manning (14).
•Passed for 323 yards in Week 17 at Atlanta, his 96th career 300-yard passing game, the most in NFL history.

TEDDY BRIDGEWATER – QB, Minnesota Vikings
•In Week 15 against Chicago, became the second quarterback in NFL history to complete at least 85 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions and rush for a touchdown in a single game.

ANTONIO BROWN – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
•Tied for the league lead with 136 receptions and has 265 total receptions over the past two seasons, surpassing Marvin Harrison (252 in 2001-02) for the most catches in any two-season span in NFL history.
•Joined Wes Welker (2007-09) as the only players in NFL history with three consecutive 110-catch seasons (129 in 2014; 110 in 2013).
•Had four 185-yard receiving games in 2015, the most in a single season in NFL history.
•Became the only player in NFL history with at least 100 receptions and a punt return-touchdown in multiple seasons and has done so in each of the past three seasons (2013-15).
•Reached 400 career receptions in Week 2 against San Francisco in his 72nd career game, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow as the third-fastest player in NFL history to reach the milestone. Only Anquan Boldin (67) and Larry Fitzgerald (71) reached 400 catches in fewer games.

DEZ BRYANT – WR, Dallas Cowboys
•Has a touchdown catch in 14 consecutive interconference games, the longest such streak in the NFL since the 1970 merger.

MARTAVIS BRYANT – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
•Had an 88-yard touchdown reception in Week 6 against Arizona and became the second player in NFL history with an 88+ yard touchdown catch in each of his first two career seasons (94 yards on December 7, 2014.)

AMARI COOPER – WR, Oakland Raiders
•Joined De Sean Jackson (2008) as the only NFL rookies in the past 30 years with two 100-yard receiving games in their team’s first three games.
•Had three 100-yard receiving games in Oakland’s first six games and became the first rookie with three 100-yard receiving games in his team’s first six games since Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka in 1961.

MASON CROSBY – K, Green Bay Packers
•Converted all five of his field goal attempts (42, 47, 40, 42 and 52 yards) in the Packers’ 30-13 victory at Minnesota in Week 11 and became the first player in NFL history to convert at least five field goals without a miss with each attempt coming from at least 40 yards.

ANDY DALTON – QB, Cincinnati Bengals
•Passed for 3,250 yards and joined Peyton Manning and Cam Newton as the only players in NFL history with at least 3,000 passing yards in each of his first five NFL seasons.

•Earned his 24th career road victory in a 37-3 victory at Cleveland in Week 13 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (23), Ben Roethlisberger (23) and Matt Ryan (23) for the most road wins by a starting quarterback in his first five seasons during the Super Bowl era (since 1966).

LARRY FITZGERALD – WR, Arizona Cardinals
•Fitzgerald (1,018) became the eleventh player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions and is the youngest player all-time to reach the milestone (32 years, 97 days).
•Surpassed 13,000 career receiving yards in Week 11 against Cincinnati and became the third-youngest player in NFL history to reach the mark (32 years, 76 days old), trailing only Randy Moss (31 years, 298 days old) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (32 years, 59 days).

RYAN FITZPATRICK – QB, New York Jets
•Surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer SID LUCKMAN (Columbia, 137) for the most passing touchdowns all-time by an Ivy League quarterback (Harvard, 154).

MATT FORTÉ – RB, Chicago Bears
•Reached 8,000 career rushing yards (8,602) and 3,500 receiving yards (4,116) in his 111th game, the second-fastest player in NFL history to reach those marks (Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk, 107 games).

DEVONTA FREEMAN – RB, Atlanta Falcons
•Became the only player since at least the 1970 merger to rush for at least three touchdowns in each of his first two career starts.
•Became the first player to rush for at least seven TDs in his team’s first four games to start a season since La Dainian Tomlinson (eight) in 2005.
•Became the fourth player at age 23 or younger to rush for at least 600 yards (621) and nine touchdowns in his team’s first seven games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1958 and 1959), Eric Dickerson (1983) and Emmitt Smith (1992).

ANTONIO GATES – TE, San Diego Chargers
•Has 104 career touchdown receptions and joined Tony Gonzalez (111) as the only tight ends in league annals with 100 receiving touchdowns.
•Has 21 career games with at least two touchdown catches, the most ever by a tight end.

WILLIAM GAY – CB, Pittsburgh Steelers
•Returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown in Week 14 against Cincinnati and scored a touchdown on five consecutive interceptions, surpassing TEDY BRUSCHI (four), CHARLES TILLMAN (four), and CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN (four) for the longest such streak in NFL history.

STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI – K, New England Patriots
•Led the NFL in scoring for the fifth time in his career with 151 points and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Hutson (five) and Gino Cappelletti (five) as the only players to lead the league in points scored at least five times.

A.J. GREEN – WR, Cincinnati Bengals
•Had 1,297 receiving yards, his fifth consecutive season with at least 1,000 receiving yards, and joined RANDY MOSS (six) as the only players in NFL history with at least five 1,000-yard receiving seasons to begin a career.

•In Week 3 against Baltimore, had 10 catches for 227 yards and two touchdowns, including the seven-yard game-winning score with 2:10 remaining in the fourth quarter and became the second player in NFL history with 10+ catches, 225+ receiving yards and two touchdowns, including a game-winning TD in the fourth quarter or overtime in the same game (Miles Austin on October 11, 2009 vs. Kansas City).

ROB GRONKOWSKI – TE, New England Patriots
•Reached 60 career touchdown receptions in his 71st career game in Week 7 against the New York Jets, the third-fastest player to reach the milestone and the fastest tight end to do so.

TODD GURLEY – RB, St. Louis Rams
•Led all rookies with 1,106 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.
•Had five games with at least 125 rushing yards, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (seven in 1983) for the most such games by a rookie in NFL history.
•Had 566 rushing yards in his first four starts, the most through four starts by any NFL player that began his career in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).

PERCY HARVIN – WR, Buffalo Bills
•Had a 51-yard touchdown catch in Week 1 against Indianapolis and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer OLLIE MATSON as the only players in NFL history with at least four career 50-yard touchdown catches and three 100-yard kickoff-return touchdowns.

MATT HASSELBECK – QB, Indianapolis Colts
•Joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon (four) and Brett Farve (four) as the only quarterbacks to win four consecutive starts after their 40th birthday in the Super Bowl era.

DE ANDRE HOPKINS – WR, Houston Texans
•In Weeks 4-6 (at Atlanta, vs. Indianapolis and at Jacksonville), Hopkins became the first player in NFL history with at least nine catches and 145 receiving yards in three consecutive games.

CHRIS IVORY – RB, New York Jets
•Became only the fourth undrafted player in NFL history to gain at least 140 rushing yards in two consecutive games in Weeks 4 (at Miami) and 6 (Washington).

DE SEAN JACKSON – WR, Washington Redskins
•Has 20 career touchdowns of at least 60 yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth for the fourth-most in NFL history.

SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI – K, Oakland Raiders
•Tied Jason Hanson (52) for the most 50-yard field goals in NFL history.

CALVIN JOHNSON – WR, Detroit Lions
•Surpassed 11,000 career receiving yards (11,619) in his 127th game in Week 8 against Kansas City, the fewest needed to reach the milestone in NFL history.

DAVID JOHNSON – RB/KR, Arizona Cardinals
•Became the first player in NFL history with a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and kickoff-return touchdown in his first two games to begin a career.
•First rookie since Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (1965) to have multiple rushing touchdowns (three), multiple receiving touchdowns (two) and a kickoff-return touchdown in his team’s first five games of a season.
•Joined Sayers as the only rookies in NFL history with at least four rushing touchdowns (eight), four receiving touchdowns (four) and a kick-return touchdown in a season.

JULIO JONES – WR, Atlanta Falcons
•Led the league in receiving yards (1,871), the second-most yards in a single season in NFL history (Calvin Johnson, 1,964 in 2012).
•Became the third player in NFL history with at least 125 receptions (136) and 1,700 receiving yards (1,871) in a season (Marvin Harrison, 2002 and Antonio Brown, 2015)
•Became the first player in NFL history to record at least 135 receiving yards in each of his team’s first three games.

JARVIS LANDRY – WR, Miami Dolphins
•Has 194 career receptions, the most by any player in his first two seasons in NFL history.

JEREMY LANGFORD – RB, Chicago Bears
•In Week 10 at St. Louis, became the third rookie in NFL history with at least 70 rushing yards (73), a touchdown run, 100 receiving yards (109) and a touchdown catch in the same game.

TYLER LOCKETT – WR/PR/KR, Seattle Seahawks
•Joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (1965) as the only rookies in NFL history to have at least five touchdown receptions (six), a kickoff-return touchdown and a punt-return touchdown.
•Had a 57-yard punt-return touchdown in Week 1 against St. Louis and became the first rookie to score a touchdown on his first career return on Kickoff Weekend since 2005 (San Francisco’s Otis Amey).
•Became the second rookie in NFL history (Tony Green, 1978) to have both a punt-return touchdown and a kickoff-return touchdown in his team’s first three games to start a season.

ANDREW LUCK – QB, Indianapolis Colts
•Reached 100 career touchdown passes in his 55th career game in Week 9 vs. Denver, the fourth-fewest games to reach the mark in NFL history.

KHALIL MACK – DE, Oakland Raiders
•Posted nine sacks in Weeks 12-14 (at Tennessee, vs. Kansas City, at Denver), tied for the third-most sacks through any three-game span in a single season since the statistic became official in 1982.

ELI MANNING – QB, New York Giants
•Passed for 4,436 yards in 2015 and moved into 11th place on the all-time passing yards list (44,191).

PEYTON MANNING – QB, Denver Broncos
•Has 71,940 career passing yards and surpassed Brett Farve (71,838) for the most in NFL history.
•Earned his 186th regular season victory in Week 8 against Green Bay and tied Favre for the most of any starting quarterback in NFL history.
•Has 6,125 career completions and joined Favre (6,300) as the only players to reach 6,000 career completions.

MARCUS MARIOTA – QB, Tennessee Titans
•Had four games with at least three touchdown passes, tying PEYTON MANNING (1998) for the most ever by a rookie.
•Became the first rookie in NFL history to have two games with four touchdown passes and no interceptions (Weeks 1 and 9) (at Tampa Bay, at New Orleans).
•Scored touchdowns of at least 40 yards via passing (long of 61 yards), rushing (long of 87 yards) and receiving (long of 41 yards), the first player to accomplish the feat in a single season since Pro Football Hall of Fame running back WALTER PAYTON in 1983.
•Had six touchdown passes in his first two games, the most by any NFL player in his first two career games.
•Completed 13 of 16 passes (81.3 percent) for 209 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 158.3 passer rating in Week 1 and became first rookie in NFL history to post a 158.3 passer rating on Kickoff Weekend (minimum 14 attempts), which is the highest attainable rating.

BRANDON MARSHALL – WR, New York Jets
•Had 109 receptions and became the first player in NFL history with six 100-catch seasons.
•Had 1,502 receiving yards and became the first player in NFL history with a 1,000-yard receiving season with four different teams (Denver, Miami, Chicago and the Jets).

LAMAR MILLER – RB, Miami Dolphins
•Had a 54-yard touchdown reception and an 85-yard TD run – both in the second quarter – in Week 7 against Houston. Miller joins Chris Johnson (September 20, 2009) as the only players in NFL history with an 85+ yard touchdown run and 50+ yard TD catch in a single game. Miller is the only player to accomplish the feat in a single quarter.

CAM NEWTON – QB, Carolina Panthers
•Has 117 passing touchdowns and 43 rushing touchdowns in his career and is the only player in NFL history with at least 100 passing touchdowns and 25 rushing touchdowns in his first five seasons.
•Had 35 touchdown passes and 10 rushing touchdowns and is the only player in NFL history with at least 30 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season.
•Had 3,837 passing yards and 636 rushing yards and became the only player in NFL history to have five different seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards.
•Recorded a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown in the same game 31 times in his career, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young for the most in NFL history.
•In Week 15 at the New York Giants, became the first player in NFL history with at least 300 passing yards (340), 100 rushing yards (100) and five touchdown passes in a single game.

JOSH NORMAN – CB, Carolina Panthers
•Became the first cornerback with two interception-return touchdowns in his team’s first four games to begin a season since Charles Woodson in 2008.

BROCK OSWEILER – QB, Denver Broncos
•Became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to make his first career start and win on his birthday in Denver’s 17-15 win at Chicago in Week 11.

JULIUS PEPPERS – LB, Green Bay Packers
•Has 136 career sacks and surpassed John Abraham (133.5) and DE MARCUS WARE (134.5) to tie for the ninth-most sacks (Jared Allen) since the stat became official in 1982.

ADRIAN PETERSON – RB, Minnesota Vikings
•Led the NFL with 1,485 rushing yards and became the third player in NFL history to lead the league in rushing after his 30th birthday.
•Tied for the league lead with 11 rushing touchdowns and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith (eight) and La Dainian Tomlinson (nine) as the only players in NFL history to rush for 10 touchdowns in at least eight different seasons.
•Scored his 100th career touchdown in Week 14 at Arizona in his 117th career game and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN and Smith and Tomlinson as the only players in NFL history with at least 10,000 rushing yards and 100 total touchdowns in the first 117 games to begin a career.
•Rushed for at least 125 yards five times in 2015 and has 30 career games with at least 125 rushing yards, the sixth most in NFL history.
•Has 18 career games with at least 150 rushing yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and Emmitt Smith for the fourth-most in NFL history.
•Rushed for 203 yards in Week 10 at Oakland, his sixth career 200-yard rushing game, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson for the most 200-yard rushing games in NFL history.

THOMAS RAWLS – RB, Seattle Seahawks
•Had 712 rushing yards in his first six starts, the most rushing yards by an undrafted player in his first six career starts since the 1970 merger.
•In Week 11 against San Francisco, became the first rookie with at least 250 scrimmage yards (255), a rushing touchdown and a touchdown catch in the same game in NFL history.

PHILIP RIVERS – QB, San Diego Chargers
•Reached 40,000 career passing yards in his 159th career game in Week 12 at Jacksonville, the fourth-fastest in NFL history.

AARON RODGERS – QB, Green Bay Packers
•Reached 30,000 career passing yards in Week 6 against San Diego in 3,652 attempts, the fewest needed to reach 30,000 passing yards in NFL history. Rodgers reached the mark in his 116th career game, the fourth-fewest games of any player to reach the milestone.

BEN ROETHLISBERGER – QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
•Reached 40,000 career passing yards in Week 8 in his 163rd game and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon (165 games) for the fifth fewest games to reach the milestone.
•Passed for 379 yards in Week 10 against Cleveland, the most ever by a quarterback who did not start the game.
•Completed 40 passes in Week 15 against Denver and became the first player in NFL history with two career games with at least 40 completions (40 on October 26, 2014).

MATT RYAN – QB, Atlanta Falcons
•Surpassed 30,000 career passing yards in his 117th career game, the fifth-fastest in NFL history.

ALEX SMITH – QB, Kansas City Chiefs
•Did not throw an interception in 312 pass attempts, the second-longest streak in NFL history (Tom Brady, 358 attempts).

STEVE SMITH, SR. – WR, Baltimore Ravens
•Had 13 receptions for 186 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3 against Cincinnati at 36 years old, joining Tony Gonzalez (36) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown (36) as the only players to have 13 or more receptions after turning 36 years old. His 186 receiving yards are the second-most in a game by a player at age 36 or older, trailing only Terrell Owens (36), who had a 222-yard receiving performance for Cincinnati in 2010.

DARREN SPROLES – RB/PR, Philadelphia Eagles
•Had a punt-return touchdown (89 yards) and a rushing touchdown (one yard) in Week 3 against the New York Jets, his second career performance with a punt-return touchdown and a rushing touchdown (November 10, 2014). He is the fourth player in NFL history to record multiple games with both a punt-return touchdown and a rushing touchdown, joining Ockie Anderson, Curly Oden and Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers.
•Is the only player in NFL history with at least 25 receiving touchdowns (28), 15 rushing touchdowns (20) and five punt-return touchdowns (seven).

MATTHEW STAFFORD – QB, Detroit Lions
•Reached 25,000 caree​r passing yards (25,976) in his 90th game in Week 14 at St. Louis, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (92) for the fewest games to reach the milestone.

RYAN TANNEHILL – QB, Miami Dolphins
•Completed 25 consecutive pass attempts over a two-game span in Weeks 6 and 7 (at Tennessee, vs. Houston), the most consecutive completions in NFL history.

TYROD TAYLOR – QB, Buffalo Bills
•In Week 5 at Tennessee, became the fifth player in NFL history – and only the second in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) – with 100+ passing yards (109), 70+ rushing yards (76) and a reception in the same game.

J.J. WATT – DE, Houston Texans
•Led the NFL with 17.5 sacks and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White as the only players with at least 15 sacks in three of their first five seasons since the statistic became official in 1982.
•Has 21 career multi-sack games, the second-most of any player in his first five seasons. Only White (24) had more multi-sack games in his first five seasons since the statistic became official in 1982.
•Surpassed 70 career sacks in Week 12 against New Orleans in his 75th game, the second-fewest games of any NFL player since the statistic became official in 1982, trailing only White (57 games).

KARLOS WILLIAMS – RB, Buffalo Bills
•Joined Robert Edwards (six in 1998) as the only players to score a touchdown in each of his first six career games.

RUSSELL WILSON – QB, Seattle Seahawks
•Became the first quarterback in NFL history with 4,000 passing yards (4,024), 30 touchdown passes (34) and 500 rushing yards (553) in a season.
•Threw 24 touchdown passes and one interception in Weeks 11-17 (vs. San Francisco, vs. Pittsburgh, at Minnesota, at Baltimore) and became the only player in NFL history to pass for at least 24 touchdowns and have one or zero interceptions in a seven-game span within a season.
•Has 24 games with multiple touchdown passes and no interceptions, the most such performances by any player in his first four seasons since the 1970 merger.
•In Weeks 11-15, became the first player in NFL history to pass for at least three touchdowns and no interceptions in five consecutive games.
•Has seven career games with a passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown and no interceptions. Only Cam Newton (12) has more such games in a player’s first four seasons to begin a career.

JAMEIS WINSTON – QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
•Passed for 4,042 yards, the third-most passing yards by a rookie in NFL history.
•Threw 22 touchdown passes, tied with Charkue Conerly for the fourth-most by a rookie in NFL history.
•Had five touchdown passes and no interceptions in Week 11 at Philadelphia and joined Ray Buivid (December 5, 1937) as the only rookie quarterbacks in NFL history to accomplish the feat.

JASON WITTEN – TE, Dallas Cowboys
•Has 1,020 career receptions and joined Tony Gonzalez (1,325) as the only tight ends in NFL history with 1,000 career catches.
•Surpassed 1,000 career receptions in Week 13 at Washington at 33 years, 215 days old, the youngest tight end in NFL history to reach 1,000 career receptions.

CHARLES WOODSON – S, Oakland Raiders
•Had five interceptions in 2015 and has 65 career interceptions, tied with Ken Riley for fifth on the all-time list.
•Has recorded an interception in 18 consecutive seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Darrell Green (19 seasons) as the only players to accomplish the feat.
•Recorded two interceptions in Week 5 against, the only player in NFL history with two interceptions in a game at age 39 or older. Woodson is one of three players in NFL history with an interception at age 39 or older, joining Green and Clay Matthews, JR.

ADAM VINATIERI – K, Indianapolis Colts
•Is the first player in NFL history to score at least 1,000 points with two different teams (1,095 points with Indianapolis; 1,158 with New England).
•Has made 503 career field goals and surpassed Jason Hanson (495) for the third-most in NFL history.
•Vinatieri also joined Morten Andersen (565) and Gary Anderson (538) as the only players to make 500 career made field goals in a career.

GREG ZUERLEIN – K, St. Louis Rams
•Converted a 61-yard field goal in Week 9 at Minnesota and joined Sebastian Janikowski as the only players in NFL history with two career 60-yard field goals.
 

 

Thursday

Favorite         Spread   Underdog            O/U
NEW ENGLAND      + 3      Pittsburgh          49

Sunday

Favorite         Spread   Underdog            O/U
Green Bay        + 5 1/2  CHICAGO             50 1/2
HOUSTON          + 1 1/2  Kansas City         42 1/2
NEW YORK JETS    + 3      Cleveland           41
Indianapolis     + 2 1/2  BUFFALO             47
Miami            + 2 1/2  WASHINGTON          44 1/2
Carolina         + 4      JACKSONVILLE        42 1/2
Seattle          + 3 1/2  ST. LOUIS           43
ARIZONA          + 3      New Orleans         47
SAN DIEGO        + 2 1/2  Detroit             46
TAMPA BAY        + 3      Tennessee           42
Cincinnati       + 3      OAKLAND             44
DENVER           + 4      Baltimore           52 1/2
DALLAS           + 5 1/2  New York Giants     50

Monday

Favorite         Spread   Underdog            O/U
Philadelphia     PK       ATLANTA             53 1/2
SAN FRANCISCO    + 2 1/2  Minnesota           41

(Home teams in CAPS, odds courtesy Don Best Odds Service)

Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information

Atlanta at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 705: Thom Brennaman, David Diehl, Laura Okmin (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 134 (Atlanta), 84 (Carolina). XM: 234 (Carolina).

Minnesota at Chicago, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Stacey Dales (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 112 (Minnesota), 135 (Chicago). XM: 229 (Chicago).

Houston at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 711: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein (Field reporter). Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Rod Woodson. SIRIUS: 137 (Houston), 146 (Cleveland). XM: 230 (Cleveland).

Seattle at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 708: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 139 (Seattle), 127 (Kansas City). XM: 229 (Kansas City).

Cincinnati at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Evan Washburn (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 132 (Cincinnnati), 85 (New Orleans). XM: 85 (New Orleans).

Tampa Bay at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Dick Stockton, Kirk Morrison, Kristina Pink (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 136 (Tampa Bay), 92 (Washington.). XM: 226 (Washington.).

Denver at St. Louis, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 93 (Denver), 138 (St. Louis.). XM: 232 (St. Louis.).

San Francisco at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 125 (San Francisco), 133 (New York Giants). XM: 227 (New York Giants).

Oakland at San Diego, 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots, Scott Kaplan (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 140 (Oakland), 92 (San Diego). XM: 226 (San Diego).

Philadelphia at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 707: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 132 (Philadelphia), 85 (Green Bay). XM: 85 (Green Bay).

Detroit at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale (Field reporter). Westwood One: Dave Sims, Mark Malone. SIRIUS: 135 (Detroit), 93 (Arizona). XM: 225 (Arizona).

New England at Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Tony Boselli (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood 1), 93 (New England), 92 (Indianapolis). XM: 88 (WestWood 1), 225 (New England), 226 (Indianapolis).

Pittsburgh at Tennessee, 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Steve Tasker (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood 1), 93 (Pittsburgh), 92 (Tennessee). XM: 88 (WestWood 1), 225 (Pittsburgh), 226 (Tennessee).

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

Atlanta at Carolina

Atlanta
OUT: T Jonathan Scott (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Harry Douglas (foot), WR Devin Hester (ankle), CB Josh Wilson (ankle)
PROBABLE: G Justin Blalock (foot), DE Jonathan Massaquoi (foot)

Carolina
OUT: DT Star Lotulelei (ankle)
DOUBTFUL: G Amini Silatolu (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Bene’ Benwikere (ankle), DE Charles Johnson (not injury related), TE Brandon Williams (foot)
PROBABLE: T Nate Chandler (toe), WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring), S Roman Harper (not injury related), DT Kawann Short (ankle), RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle), G Trai Turner (ankle), CB Melvin White (knee), RB DeAngelo Williams (foot)

Cincinnati at New Orleans

Cincinnati
OUT: RB Giovani Bernard (hip), LB Vontaze Burfict (knee)
DOUBTFUL: T Andre Smith (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring), CB Terence Newman (knee)
PROBABLE: TE Jermaine Gresham (thigh), CB Leon Hall (concussion), S Taylor Mays (foot), RB Cedric Peerman (knee), G Mike Pollak (knee)

New Orleans
OUT: RB Edwin Baker (concussion), RB Khiry Robinson (forearm), RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Keenan Lewis (knee), LB Curtis Lofton (knee), WR Robert Meachem (ankle)
PROBABLE: LB David Hawthorne (hand), RB Mark Ingram (shoulder), P Thomas Morstead (illness), T Zach Strief (chest)

Denver at St. Louis

Denver
OUT: RB Ronnie Hillman (foot)
DOUBTFUL: TE Virgil Green (knee)
PROBABLE: RB Montee Ball (groin), S Quinton Carter (knee), T Ryan Clady (groin), T Paul Cornick (shoulder), G Orlando Franklin (knee), LB Nate Irving (knee), LB Steven Johnson (ankle), RB Juwan Thompson (knee)

St. Louis
OUT: CB Marcus Roberson (ankle)
DOUBTFUL: LB Daren Bates (groin), CB Lamarcus Joyner (groin), WR Damian Williams
QUESTIONABLE: DT Alex Carrington (quadricep)
PROBABLE: DE William Hayes (fibula), LB Will Herring (foot), LB James Laurinaitis (foot)

Detroit at Arizona

Detroit
OUT: DT Nick Fairley (knee), G Larry Warford (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Reggie Bush (ankle)
PROBABLE: TE Eric Ebron (hamstring), TE Joseph Fauria (ankle), S James Ihedigbo (back), WR Calvin Johnson (ankle), LS Don Muhlbach (ankle), TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot), DE Devin Taylor (knee), T LaAdrian Waddle (knee)

Arizona
OUT: DT Ed Stinson (toe)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Desmond Bishop (hamstring)
PROBABLE: LB Lorenzo Alexander (knee), S Deone Bucannon (quadricep), RB Andre Ellington (foot, hip), RB Stepfan Taylor (calf), DT Dan Williams (elbow)

Houston at Cleveland

Houston
OUT: CB Kareem Jackson (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Arian Foster (groin)
PROBABLE: LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (concussion, knee), CB Darryl Morris (ankle), LB Brooks Reed (groin), LB John Simon (ankle), LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee), LB Justin Tuggle (shoulder)

Cleveland
OUT: S Johnson Bademosi (concussion), TE Jordan Cameron (concussion), DE Phillip Taylor (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: S Tashaun Gipson (concussion)
PROBABLE: DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), WR Andrew Hawkins (thigh, knee), C Nick McDonald (calf), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), DE Billy Winn (toe)

Minnesota at Chicago

Minnesota
QUESTIONABLE: DE Scott Crichton (hip), T Mike Harris (ankle)
PROBABLEL TE Chase Ford (foot), RB Jerick McKinnon (back), TE Kyle Rudolph (abdomen, groin)

Chicago
OUT: T Eben Britton (illness), DE Trevor Scott (knee), LB Darryl Sharpton (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL: T Jordan Mills (ribs)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Josh Morgan (shoulder)
PROBABLE: TE Martellus Bennett (ribs), CB Tim Jennings (knee), WR Brandon Marshall (ankle), CB Terrance Mitchell (illness), DE Cornelius Washington (illness)

Oakland at San Diego

Oakland
OUT: TE David Ausberry (foot), S Jonathan Dowling (back), G Gabe Jackson (knee), CB Carlos Rogers (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB T.J. Carrie (ankle), DE Justin Tuck (neck)
PROBABLE: G Khalif Barnes (quadricep), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB D.J. Hayden (groin), RB Jamize Olawale (shoulder, hamstring), T Menelik Watson (concussion)

San Diego
OUT: CB Jason Verrett (shoulder)
DOUBTFUL: DT Sean Lissemore (quadricep)
QUESTIONABLE: S Jahleel Addae (concussion)
PROBABLE: LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring), RB Ryan Mathews (knee), G Rich Ohrnberger (back), LB Manti Te’o (foot)

Philadelphia at Green Bay

Philadelphia
OUT: QB Nick Foles (collarbone)
PROBABLE: TE Brent Celek (ankle), CB Bradley Fletcher (shoulder), LB Mychal Kendricks (calf), WR Jeff Maehl (foot)

Green Bay
OUT: TE Brandon Bostick (hip), LB Jay Elliott (hamstring)
PROBABLE: G T.J. Lang (ankle), G Josh Sitton (toe)

San Francisco at New York Giants

San Francisco
OUT: S Jimmie Ward (foot), DT Ian Williams (fibula)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Tramaine Brock (hamstring), WR Bruce Ellington (ankle), LB Dan Skuta (ankle)
PROBABLE: LB Chris Borland (shoulder), RB Frank Gore (hip), DE Ray McDonald (knee), S Eric Reid (ankle), DE Justin Smith (not injury related)

New York Giants
OUT: RB Peyton Hillis (concussion), DT Cullen Jenkins (calf), LB Jacquian Williams (concussion)
PROBABLE: S Nat Berhe (ankle), TE Daniel Fells (neck), RB Rashad Jennings (knee), DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder)

Seattle at Kansas City

Seattle
OUT: LB Bobby Wagner (toe)
DOUBTFUL: CB Marcus Burley (hamstring), G James Carpenter (ankle), LB Brock Coyle (glute)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Jeremy Lane (groin), RB Marshawn Lynch (calf), TE Luke Willson (ankle)
PROBABLE: DE Michael Bennett (not injury related), S Kam Chancellor (groin), TE Cooper Helfet (knee), LB Malcolm Smith (groin)

Kansas City
OUT: WR Donnie Avery (groin), CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring), WR A.J. Jenkins (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Anthony Fasano (knee), CB Phillip Gaines (ankle, quadricep), CB Christopher Owens (knee)
PROBABLE: RB Jamaal Charles (shoulder, elbow), LB Tamba Hali (knee), TE Travis Kelce (ribs), LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee), LB Joshua Mauga (groin), G Mike McGlynn (knee), CB Sean Smith (groin)

Tampa Bay at Washington

Tampa Bay
OUT: RB Doug Martin (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Michael Johnson (hand), TE Luke Stocker (hip), CB Alterraun Verner (hamstring)
PROBABLE: T Anthony Collins (foot), T Demar Dotson (neck), QB Josh McCown (back), DT Gerald McCoy (groin)

Washington
QUESTIONABLE: TE Logan Paulsen (foot, hamstring)
PROBABLE: S Ryan Clark (shoulder), QB Robert Griffin (ankle), LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), RB Silas Redd (back), LB Keenan Robinson (shoulder)

New England at Indianapolis (Sunday night)

New England
OUT: DE Chandler Jones (hip)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Dominique Easley (knee), S Nate Ebner (finger), T Cameron Fleming (finger), G Ryan Wendell (knee)
PROBABLE: QB Tom Brady (ankle), WR Matt Slater (shoulder)

Indianapolis
OUT: DT Arthur Jones (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: T Gosder Cherilus (groin)
PROBABLE: LB Victor Butler (hamstring), LB Josh McNary (ankle), LB Henoc Muamba (toe), LB Erik Walden (quadricep), WR Reggie Wayne (not injury related)

Pittsburgh at Tennessee (Monday)

Pittsburgh
OUT: DT Steve McLendon (shoulder), S Troy Polamalu (knee), LB Ryan Shazier (ankle), CB Ivan Taylor (forearm), S Shamarko Thomas (hamstring)
PROBABLE: CB Cortez Allen (thumb), DE Brett Keisel (not injury related), LB Arthur Moats (not injury related), S Ross Ventrone (hamstring)

Tennessee
QUESTIONABLE: DT Sammie Lee Hill (hamstring), RB Dexter McCluster (knee), TE Delanie Walker (concussion), RB Leon Washington (hamstring), CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (back)

Sunday and Monday Odds

Sunday’s Game
Favorite            Spread     Underdog        O/U
CAROLINA            + 1 1/2    Atlanta         46
cHICAGO             + 3 1/2    Minnesota       47
CLEVELAND           + 3        Houston         42
KANSAS CITY         + 1        Seattle         48
NEW ORLEANS         + 7        Cincinnati      50 1/2
WASHINGTON          + 7        Tampa Bay       46
Denver              + 9 1/2    ST. LOUIS       55
San Francisco       + 4        NEW YORK GIANTS 48 1/2
SAN DIEGO           +10        Oakland         44 1/2
GREEN BAY           + 4 1/2    Philadelphia    57
ARIZONA             + 2 1/2    Detroit         41 1/2
INDIANAPOLIS        + 3        New England     58

Monday’s Game
Favorite            Spread     Underdog        O/U
Pittsburgh          + 5 1/2    TENNESSEE       47

Sunday and Monday Weather
Atlanta at Carolina (Mostly cloudy and 49 degrees)
Minnesota at Chicago (Partly cloudy and 35 degress)
Houston at Cleveland (Cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain and 38 degrees)
Seattle at Kansas City (Cloudy and 26 degrees)
Cincinnati at New Orleans (Game indoors)
Tampa Bay at Washington (Cloudy and 46 degrees)
Denver at St. Louis (Game indoors)
San Francisco at New York Giants (Mostly cloudy and 47 degrees)
Oakland at San Diego (Sunny and 72 degrees)
Philadelphia at Green Bay (Partly cloudy and 30 degrees)
Detroit at Arizona (Game indoors)
New England at Indianapolis (Game indoors; if roof open, 90 percent chance of snow and 32 degrees)
Pittsburgh at Tennessee, (Monday)(Mostly cloudy and 28 degrees)

Broadcast information and injury report courtesy the National Football League, Odds courtesy Don Best and USA Today, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel

The games across the Atlantic are over and done with. Some teams are fighting for playoff spots, while others are looking to survive the rest of the year. The NFL has entered the second half of the season and the excitement is building as playoff races tighten.

Week 11 got underway Thursday night when Miami rallied to beat Buffalo and the action continues with an exciting schedule of Sunday games including for the first time in NFL history this late in a season, four games between teams with winning percentages of .667 or better:

Seattle Seahawks (6-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-3), 1 p.m. on FOX
Philadelphia Eagles (7-2) at Green Bay Packers (6-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Detroit Lions (7-2) at Arizona Cardinals (8-1), 4:25 p.m. of FOX
New England Patriots (7-2) at Indianapolis Colts (6-3), 8:30 p.m. on NBC

The Sunday slate includes an afternoon matchup between two of the top teams in the NFC, as Arizona hosts Detroit. This season marks the first time the Cardinals have owned the best record in the NFL after nine games since 1966, when they started 7-1-1. The Lions, meanwhile, are 7-2 and off to their best start since 1993.

“We don’t give out any awards after nine games of the season,” says Detroit head coach Jim Caldwell, whose 7-2 start is the best of any head coach in his first season with the franchise since 1931 (Potsy Clark, 8-1). “We haven’t done anything yet. We’ve been playing tough but it’s a long season. It’s a journey and we’re still on that journey.”

Entering Week 11, there are 21 teams either in or within one-and-a-half games of a playoff spot.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIR: In the third and final installment of the league’s 2014 International Series at London’s Wembley Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-17 behind running back De Marco Murray’s 100 rushing yards. Murray, who has nine 100-yard rushing games in 2014, is the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 100 yards in nine of his team’s first 10 games in a season.

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant also became the first player with at least 150 receiving yards (158) and two touchdowns in the 11-game history of the NFL International Series in London.

The 11 regular-season games played at Wembley Stadium:
DATE (WEEK) – FINAL SCORE (ATTENDANCE)
November 9, 2014 (10) – Dallas 31, Jacksonville 17 (83,603)
October 26, 2014 (8) – Detroit 22, Atlanta 21 (83,532)
September 28, 2014 (4) – Miami 38, Oakland 14 (83,436)
October 27, 2013 (8) – San Francisco 42, Jacksonville 10 (83,559)
September 29, 2013 (4) – Minnesota 34, Pittsburgh 27 (83,518)
October 28, 2012 (8) – New England 45, St. Louis 8 (84,004)
October 23, 2011 (7) – Chicago 24, Tampa Bay 18 (76,981)
October 31, 2010 (8) – San Francisco 24, Denver 6 (83,941)
October 25, 2009 (7) – New England 35, Tampa Bay 7 (84,254)
October 26, 2008 (8) – New Orleans 37, San Diego 32 (83,226)
October 28, 2007 (8) – New York Giants 13, Miami 10 (81,176)

HOPE IS ALIVE: Since the current playoff format was instituted in 1990, 20 clubs with a losing record after nine games have made the playoffs.

Most recently in 2013, Philadelphia (4-5) and San Diego (4-5) both had losing records through nine games before advancing to the postseason.

The 20 clubs to qualify for the playoffs since 1990 with a losing record through nine games:

YEAR – TEAM (RECORD AFTER NINE GAMES, FINAL RECORD; ADVANCED TO)
1990 – Houston Oilers (4-5, 9-7; Wild Card)
1990 – New Orleans (4-5, 8-8; Wild Card)
1992 – San Diego (4-5, 11-5; Divisional)
1994 – Detroit (4-5, 9-7; Wild Card)
1994 – New England (3-6, 10-6;  Wild Card)
1995 – Detroit (3-6, 10-6; Wild Card)
1995 – San Diego (4-5, 9-7; Wild Card)
1996 – Jacksonville (3-6, 9-7; AFC Championship)
1997 – Detroit (4-5, 9-7; Wild Card)
2001 – Tampa Bay (4-5, 9-7; Wild Card)
2002 – Cleveland (4-5, 9-7; Wild Card)
2002 – New York Jets (4-5, 9-7; Divisional)
2003 – Green Bay (4-5, 10-6; Divisional)
2008 – San Diego (4-5, 8-8; Divisional)
2009 – New York Jets (4-5, 9-7; AFC Championship)
2011 – Denver (4-5, 8-8; Divisional)
2012 – Cincinnati (4-5 10-6; Wild Card)
2012 – Washington (3-6, 10-6; Wild Card)
2013 – Philadelphia (4-5, 10-6; Wild Card)
2013 – San Diego (4-5, 9-7; Divisional)

SUNDAY FUNDAY: This Sunday will feature four games between teams with winning percentages of .667 or better, the first time this has happened this late in a season in NFL history.

The four matchups between teams with .667 or better winning percentages:

NETWORK and TIME (Eastern) – Game (RESULT)
FOX at 1 p.m. – Seattle (6-3) at Kansas City (6-3) (???)
FOX at 4:25 p.m. – Philadelphia (7-2) at Green Bay (6-3) (???)
FOX at 4:25 p.m. – Detroit (7-2) at Arizona (8-1) (???)
NBC at 8:30 p.m. – New England (7-2) at Indianapolis (6-3) (???)

TOM TERRIFIC: New England quarterback Tom Brady has passed for 300 yards in 62 career games, tied with Brett Farve for the fourth-most such games in NFL history.

With at least 300 yards on Sunday Night Football against Indianapolis, Brady can tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (63) for the third-most such games all-time.

The most career 300-yard passing games in NFL history:

PLAYER-CAREER 300-YARD PASSING GAMES
Peyton Manning-89*
Drew Brees-83*
Dan Marino-63
Tom Brady-62*
Brett Favre-62
* Active

TURNAROUND TEAMS: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a game-winning 11-yard touchdown pass to running back Theo Riddick with 29 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of the Lions’ 20-16 win against Miami. The Lions (7-2; 7-9 in 2013) join the Cleveland Browns (6-3; 4-12 in 2013), Houston Texans (4-5; 2-14 in 2013) and Washington Redskins (3-6; 3-13 in 2013) as the teams to have already matched or surpassed their win totals from last season.

Detroit has also scored the game-winning points inside of the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter to win in regulation in each of its past three games, becoming the first team to do so since the 1994 New York Giants.

The teams that have matched or exceeded their 2013 win totals:
TEAM (2013 RECORD, 2014 RECORD)
Cleveland (4-12, 6-3)
Detroit (7-9, 7-2)
Houston (2-14, 4-5)
Washington (3-13, 3-6)

CATCHING ON: Denver wide receiver Demaryius Thomas extended his streak of 100+ yard receiving games to six last week with 11 receptions for 108 yards in the Broncos’ 41-17 win over Oakland.

With at least 100 receiving yards on Sunday at St. Louis, Thomas can tie Charley Hennigan and Pro Football Hall of Famer Michale Irvin (seven) for the second-longest streak of 100-yard receiving games in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive 100-yard receiving games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM – YEAR(S) (CONSECUTIVE 100-YARD RECEIVING GAMES)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit – 2012 (8)
Michael Irvin, Dallas – 1995 (7)
Charley Hennigan, Houston – 1961 (7)
Demaryius Thomas, Denver – 2014 (6)*
Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh – 2010-11 (6)
Isaac Bruce, St. Louis – 1995 (6)
Pat Studstill, Detroit – 1966 (6)
Bill Groman, Houston – 1961 (6)
Raymond Berry, Baltimore – 1960 (6)
* Active streak

YOUNG STEELER: Pittsburgh rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant (Round 4, No. 118 overall) made his NFL debut in Week 7 in the Steelers’ 30-23 win over Houston. Bryant has six touchdown receptions this season – including at least one TD catch in each of his first four career games – the most ever by an NFL player in his first four games.

With a touchdown catch at Tennessee on Monday Night Football, Bryant can tie Billy Howton and Charlie Brown (five) for the most consecutive games with a touchdown reception to start a career in NFL history.

The players with the longest streaks of consecutive games with a touchdown catch to start a career in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM – YEAR(S) (CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH TD CATCH TO START CAREER)
Billy Howton, Green Bay – 1952 (5)
Charlie Brown, Washington – 1982 (5)
Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh – 2014 (4)*
Steve Lach, Chicago Cardinals – 1942 (4)
Donte’ Stallworth, New Orleans – 2002 (4)
* Active streak

100 POINTS: Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri ranks second in the NFL this season with 92 points and is tied with JASON ELAM (16) for the most seasons with at least 100 points scored in NFL history.

With at least eight points against New England on Sunday Night Football, Vinatieri can become the only player in NFL history to score 100 points in 17 different seasons.

The most seasons with 100 or more points scored in NFL history:

PLAYER – MOST SEASONS WITH 100+ POINTS
Adam Vinatieri – 16*
Jason Elam – 16
Gary Anderson – 14
Morten Andersen – 14

* Active

As far as picks go for last week… 10-2 was not bad, which means that for the season, 90-49. There’s still a lot of football left on the docket and no one’s exactly run off with their division titles.

Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville and New York Jets have byes this week and return to action next week. Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New Englandm San Diego and Washington return to action this week. Here are week 11’s Sunday and Monday’s games.

Atlanta (3-6) at Carolina (3-5-1), 1 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 705) Bank of America Stadium. A pair of NFC South rivals meet in the Tar Heel State as Atlanta makes the 246-mile, 4 hour drive up I-85 to take on a struggling Carolina Panthers club.

Atlanta snapped their six-game losing streak in Tampa as they erased a 17-16 deficit to take a 27-17 win over the Bucs. In sweeping the season series with Tampa, they outrushed the Bucs 110-92 and sacked QB Jake McCown four times and picked him off twice, the second coming late in the game as Tampa Bay was rallying to pull closer. Atlanta played turnover-free football while forcing three Tampa Bay miscues in the win to complete the sweep and was 50 perent on third down tries at 6-12, while Tampa Bay was 12-17 and 0-1 on fourth down tries. Supringly, it was Tampa Bay that ruled the clock in the Sunshine State, keeping the ball for 30:12, while Atlanta held it for 29:48.

The Panthers’ woes continued in Philadelphia last Monday night and they fell behind the Eagles quickly and were never able to recover, losing 45-21. The closest Cam Newton’s club would come to Philly would be 10-7 early in the first quarter before chaos ensued. Philadelphia, who led 31-7 at halftime, scored 35 points unchalleged by the Panthers to seal their fate. Even though they held Philadelphia to 37 yards on the ground (Carolina rushed for 102), Newton was sacked nine times and picked off three, including a 34 yard interception return by CB Brandon Fletcher. Carolina was 10-20 on third down tries (0-1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 38:05, while the Eagles, who had Mark Sanchez under center in place of Nick Foles (collarbone) was 5-15 and 0-1 on third and fourth down tries, holding the ball for 21:55.

“There is still time but the time frame is becoming shorter each week we do not take advantage of our opportunities,” says head coach Ron Rivera. “The Philadelphia game was disappointing andwe are going to have to improve in a number of areas if we hope to finish the season on a strong note.”

The Falcons lead the series 23-15 and have outscored the Panthers 811-728. Carolina has won the last three meetings and swept the series last year, winning in the Big Peach and the Tar Heel State. (Atlanta’s last win in the series came in 2012, when they won in Atlanta by a final of 30-28.)

In the week nine meeting in Charlotte, Atlanta trailed 14-10 at the half before the wheels came off the Falcons’ bus as Carolina came away with a 34-10 win. The Panthers would score their final 20 points of the contest unchallenged as they would hold the Falcons to 78 yards rushing (Carolina ran for 131) and picked off Ryan three times, while Newton threw a pair of interceptions himself.

Carolina was 8-14 on third down tries (1-1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:25, while the Falcons were 4-10 and held the ball for 23:35 in the first meeting, which the Panthers won by 24 (they were favored by 7 1/2 and the over/under was 48 1/2, Both clubs missed the over/under, scoring 44 points).

The two teams closed the season out in Atlanta and the result was the same as Carolina came away with a 21-20 win. The Panthers erased a 17-14 deficit at the half and held off a late Atlanta rally. Atlanta again was held under 100 yards rushing in the loss at home (76) and Ryan was sacked nine times, despite throwing for 280 yards and a pair of TDs, while Newton threw a pair of TDs and suffered only one sack. The two clubs struggled on third down tries in the second contest, with Carolina going 7-15 and Atlanta 7-16 (the Falcons were 1-1 on fourth down) and the clock favored Atlanta at 34:26 to Carolina’s 25:34.
In the second contest, the Panthers won by 1 (they were favored by 6) and once again, both teams did not reach the over/under (this time, it was 46), combing for 41.

Carolina’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 46. Carolina and the Panthers are looking to right their ship, Falcons are looking to remain unbeaten in the goofy NFC South. 3-0 becomes 4-0 this week in the Tar Heel State. Falcons make it two in a row and take Carolina and Newton to the woodshed, covering the 1 1/2.

Minnesota (4-5) at Chicago (3-6), 1 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 706) Soldier Field. A pair of NFC North rivals struggling to keep their heads above water in the division meet in the Windy City as a rested Minnesota team travels to Chicago to take on a Bears’ club trying to find its way back at Soldier Field.

The Vikings come off the bye week after their 29-26 win over Washington two weeks ago in the Twin Cities. Minnesota trailed 20-14 after three quarters of play before RB Matt Asiata scored on a 1-yard run with 3:27 left to play and then held off a late Redskins drive that would have given them the lead back. Although they were outrushed 122-100, the Purple Gang did manage to sack Robert Griffin III five times to preserve the win. Minnesota, with Teddy Bridgewater at the helm, went 8-15 on third down conversions (0-1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 30:26, while the Redskins were 6-13 and 0-1 on third and fourth downs, with Washington holding the ball for 29:34.

Chicago suffered through a 55-14 loss in Green Bay that saw them trail 42-0 at halftime. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers picked Chicago’s secondary apart, throwing six TDs with no sacks or interceptions, while Jay Cutler struggled and was sacked three times while being picked off twice and Da Bears rushed for a somewhat dismal 55 yards in the blow-out loss at Lambeau, while Green Bay ran for 132. Da Bears were also dismal on third down tries, going 3-12 (0-4 on fourth) and held the ball for 30:19, while the Packers in the completion of the series sweep with Chicago was 6-13 and 2-2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 29:41.

Minnesota leads the series 54-49-2 and the Purple Gang has outscored Da Bears 2,206-2,057. Minnesota and Chicago split the season series last year and both teams won in their home stadiums.

In week two, the two NFC North foes met in the Windy City and Chicago survived, taking a 31-30 win at Soldier Field. Chicago led 24-21 at the half before the Vikings went on to outscore Chicago 9-7 in the second half. Adrian Peterson outpaced Matt Forte in rushing by a 100-90 yard margin (Chicago outrushed Minnesota 129-123) and Cutler threw three TDs inspite of a pair of interceptions, while Christian Ponder threw a TD and a pick. Da Bears were 7-12 on third down tries, holding the ball for 30:34, while Minnesota was 7-16 (2-2 on fourth down tries) and kept the ball for 29:26.

That was game one.

Game two was in the Great Indoors of the Metrodome in week 13, which was going to draw its final breath and it was a game for the ages as Brad Walsh kicked a 34-yard field goal with 1:43 left in overtime to give the Vikes a 23-20 win. Walsh sent the contest into the extra period with a 30-yarder with 20 seconds left in regulation. Minneosta trailed 20-10 after 45 minutes of play before rallying to tie the contest and then rallied to score the last 13 points of the game unchallenged. Once again, it was Peterson and Forte as the rushing stars (Peterson 211, Forte 120) as both teams breached the 100 yard rushing barrier (Minnesota wound up with 246, Chicago with 135). That was the good news.

The bad?

Ponder was sacked three times and would eventually be replaced by Matt Cassell, while Jake McCown, who was in for Cutler, was sacked four times, despite throwing a pair of TDs. Cassell threw for 243 yards and a TD for the winning Vikings, who were 4-17 on third down tries (3-3 on fourth down). The Vikings held the ball for 39:09, including the overtime, while Chicago kept it for 34:08 and went 2-11 on third down.

Chicago in the week two contest, was favored by 5 1/2 (Da Bears won by 1) and the 42 over/under was passed with ease, as both clubs combined for 61 points. Minnesota won by 3 in week 13 in the Twin Cities, covering the 1 point spread but both clubs barely missed the 49 over/under by 6. The Purple Gang’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 47. Both teams are struggling. Minnesota’s bad… Chicago’s been worse, which means that you might want to avoid this one like the plague (or your cousin Edna’s corn pudding… that stuff’ll kill Bin Laden!) and watch that “Family Guy” marathon on Comedy Central. Vikings are the lesser evil and they’ll add to the woes of Da Bears, covering the 3 1/2 and taking the win in the Windy City.

Houston (4-5) at Cleveland (6-3), 1 p.m. (CBS and DirecTV 711) FirstEnergy Stadium. A pair of AFC teams that improved on their 2013 records meet along the shores of Lake Erie Sunday afternoon. Houston travels to northern Ohio to take on Cleveland in an AFC meeting.

The Texans come off a bye week after their 31-21 loss at home to Philadelphia. In that contest, Houston trailed 17-14 at the half before Philly pulled away, despite knocking Nick Foles (collarbone) out of the contest. LeSean McCoy ran for 117 of the Eagles’ 190 yards, while the Texans ran for 118 and Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked four times in the loss. Houston was 5-13 on third down conversions and 0-1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 27:47, while the Eagles on third and fourth down went 9-16 and 2-2 respectively, holding the ball for 32:13.

Cleveland allowed a first quarter field goal by Cincinnati K Mike Nugent and then procceded to shut out the Bengals at home, taking their instate rivals to task and coming out on top by a final of 24-3. The Browns outrushed the Bengals 170-86 and sacked QB Andy Dalton twice while picking him off three times. Third down tries in the Thursday night affair in Cincy were nothing to write home about (Cleveland was 7-16, the Bengals were 3-17 and 1-1 on fourth down) and the clock was the ally of Cleveland, who held the ball for 35:49 to Cincy’s 24:11.

Houston leads the series 4-3, have outscored Cleveland 127-123 and has won the last three meetings in the series, including a 30-12 win in Houston in 2011. Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2007 along the shores of Lake Erie by a 27-17 final. The Browns are favored by 3 and the over/under comes in at 42. Both teams are a lot better than what they were in 2013 and both are looking to make it into the post-season party. Cleveland makes it interesting but Houston takes the win on the road and covers the 3.

Seattle (6-3) at Kansas City (6-3), 1 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 708) Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs will host the Seahawks in a battle of second-place teams that have hit their respective strides. Seattle posted a franchise-record 350 rushing yards in a 38-17 victory against the Giants, the Seahawks’ third consecutive win. Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch led the way with 140 rushing yards and a career-high four TDs.

“That’s what we’re capable of every week and it finally clicked,” Seattle guard J.R. Sweezy told KIRO-TV and KING-TV. “We were finally all on the same page and we finally played our style of football. You could feel it. We just had an attitude of getting after them and we did. Our tempo was up and it really showed.”

The defending Super Bowl champions erased a 17-14 deficit at the intermission against the Giants in the Pacific Northwest and proceeded to shutout Eli Manning and New York 24-0 in the last 30 minutes of play to take the 38-17 win. The Seahawks rushed for 350 yards in the contest (RB Marshawn Lynch had 140 and four TDs, while QB Russell Wilson chipped in with 107), while holding Big Blue to 54 rushing yards. Both teams did manage to reach the 50 percent plateau on third down conversions (New York was 6-12 and 0-1 on fourth down, while the Seahawks in the land of grunge, salmon and Starbucks went 7-12 on third down and was perfect in their only fourth down try). The clock was the ally of Seattle, who kept the ball for 33:12 to New York’s 26:48.

Kansas City has rebounded from an 0-2 start to win six of its past seven games, including a 17-13 come-from-behind victory at Buffalo after erasing a 13-3 fourth-quarter deficit last week.

“There’s a certain toughness that it takes to not only play in the NFL, but come back from a deficit like that and our guys showed that today,” says Kansas City head coach Andy Reid. “They showed real grit there that second half.”

The Chiefs rallied from a 13-3 third quarter deficit by taking a 17-13 win over Buffalo in Orchard Park last Sunday. RB Jamaal Charles and QB Alex Smith accounted for the two TDs in the fourth quarter, with Smtih, despite being sacked six times, scoring on an 8-yard run in the fourth that gave them the lead for keeps. Kansas City outrushed Buffalo 127-111 in the win, while going 3-13 and 1-1 on third and fourth down tries and kept the ball for 29:18, while the Bills went 7-16 on third down and 0-1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 30:42.

Kansas City leads the series with the defending Super Bowl champs 32-18 and have outscored the Seahawks 1,185-957. The two teams were divisional rivals in the AFC West until Seattle moved over to the NFC West. Kansas City won the last two meetings, including a 42-24 win in 2012 in the land of grunge, salmon and Starbucks. Seattle’s last win in the series? 2002, also in Seattle by a final of 39-32. Seattle finds themselves as the underdog in the great Midwest by a point and the over/under’s 42. Both of those numbers make a lot of sense and both teams were in the playoffs last year. That was last year. This is 2014. Kansas City’s going to make it intersting but Seattle comes away with the win in the Midwest, covering the 1.

Cincinnati (5-3-1) at New Orleans (4-5), 1 p.m. (CBS and DirecTV 712) Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Andy Dalton vs. Drew Brees. A pair of QBs coming off losses in their home stadiums last week meet in the Big Easy this week

Cincinnati trailed Cleveland 7-3 after one quarter of play at home last Thursday night before the wheels came off the Bengals bus, allowing the Browns to 17 points unchallenged in their 24-3 loss. Cleveland outrushed the Bengals 170-86 in the contest and Dalton was sacked twice and picked off three times in the 21 point loss. Cincy on third down tries were 3-17 (1-1 on fourth) and held on to the ball for 24:11, while the Browns were 7-16 and kept the pigskin for 35:49.

The Saints let a 24-21 lead get away from them in regulation and could have the game won were it not for a Jimmy Graham offensive pass interference penalty at the end of the contest and a Brees fumble in over time and fell to the 49ers 27-24 in the Big Easy. Graham did manage to catch a pair of Brees’ TD passes in the loss to San Francisco. San Francisco managed to rally late in the contest thanks to a 45-yard field goal by K Phil Graham with 45 seconds left in regulation and then a 35 yarder in the overtime that gave them the win. Mark Ingram ran for 120 of the Saints’ 136 (the 49ers had 144) and Brees outpaced Colin Kaepernick 292-210 with three TDs. New Orleans, who turned the ball over three times (including Brees’ fumble that gave San Francisco new life in overtime), went 8-18 on third down tries (2-2 on fourth downs) and held the ball for 36 minutes, while the 49ers were 6-15 and 1-1 on third and fourth down, holding the ball for 33:46 (including the overtime).

The series between the two teams is tied at 6-6 and Cincy has outscored New Orleans 251-224. The last time they met was in 2010 in Cincy and the Saints came away with a 34-30, while the Bengals won in the Big Easy in 2006 by a final of 31-16. The Saints are favored by 7 and the over/under’s 50 1/2. It’s possible that the over/under could be reached by halftime. The 7? A bit on the high side. After all, both teams are in first place in their respective divisions. Is it possible that New Orleans could lose two in a row at home? If the Bengals have their way, the answer’s yes. Cincy may not cover the 7 but they take the win in the Big Easy.

Tampa Bay (1-8) at Washington (3-6), 1 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 710) FedEx Field. A pair of struggling NFC teams meet in Landover as both look to break losing streaks.

Tampa Bay led Atlanta briefly at 17-16 early in the fourth quarter when TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught a 1-yard TD pass from Josh McGown with 14:18 left to play. What Seferian-Jenkins did afterward drew the ire and wrath of not only the fans in attendance but the ire and wrath of his head coach Lovie Smith.

Seferian-Jenkins then decided to celebrate the score by using the ball as a prop. That drew Tampa Bay a 15-yard penalty and forced them to kick off from the 20. That was all that Matt Ryan and the Falcons would need to take the lead back for keeps as he and WR Roddy White connected on a 5-yard TD pass with 9:18 left to play. Atlanta then went for two and was successful when WR Harry Douglas caught the conversion pass to make it a 7 point game. After K Matt Bryant nailed his fourth field goal try, Tampa Bay marched down the field one last time but came up short when McCown’s pass was intercepted to end the threat. The Bucs were held to 92 yards rushing (Atlanta tallied 110), McCown found himself being sacked four times and was picked off twice and Tampa Bay turned the ball over three times in the loss at home. On third down tries, Tampa Bay was 12-17 and 0-1 on fourth down (Atlanta was 6-12) and they ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:12 to Atlanta’s 29:48.

The Redskins come back to action from their bye week after their 29-26 loss to Minnesota two weeks ago in the Twin Cities. In the 3-point loss to the Vikings, Washington led 20-14 after three quarters of play before losing the lead thanks to a pair of TDs by RB Matt Asiata in the second half, with the second one giving Minnesota the lead for keeps with 3:27 left to play. Washington got the ball back late in the game and threatened but could not breach their side of the 50 in the closing minutes of the contest. The good news… Washington did outrush Minnesota 122-100. The bad news… Robert Griffin III was sacked five times in the game and threw an interception. Minnesota in the win went 8-15 on third down (0-1 on fourth), while Washington was 6-13 and 0-1 on third and fourth down tries. Time was on the side of Minnesota, who held the ball for 30:26 to Washington’s 29:34.

The Washington-Tampa Bay series is tied at 9-9 and Tampa Bay has outscored Washington by a 344-327 margin. Both teams had their last wins in the series in the other team’s ballpark (Washington’s last win came in Tampa Bay in 2012 by a final of 24-22, while Tampa Bay’s last win came in Landover in 2010 by a 17-16 count). Washington’s favored by 7 and the over/under is 45. These are not exactly great teams to watch (unless you’re a fan of either club), which means you’re much better off watching that “Good Eats” marathon on the Cooking Channel. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! Washington adds to the Bucs’ misery and covers the 7 with the win.

Denver (7-2) at St. Louis (3-6), 1 p.m. (CBS and DirecTV 713) Edward Jones Dome. Denver travels to the Midwest to take on the Rams in the great indoors of the Edward James Dome.

Denver manhandled Oakland last Sunday afternoon on the West Coast, sending the Raiders to their ninth loss in a row 41-17. While they rushed for 118 yards, the Broncos held Oakland to 30 in the lopsided victory and Peyton Manning threw for 340 yards and five TDs, despite throwing a pair of interceptions. Tied at 3-3 after one quarter, Denver would go on to outscore Oakland 38-10 in the final 45 minutes of play and Julius Thomas and Manning hooked up for a pair of TD passes in the win. Denver with the win was 7-15 on third downs and perfect in their only fourth down try, keeping the ball for 32:22, while the winless Raiders on third down were 5-18 and held the ball for 27:38.

St. Louis fell to 3-6 after they blew a 14-10 lead at the half against Arizona and fell to the Cardinals 31-14. Although they managed to take Carson Palmer out of the contest with a knee injury and outrush the Desert Angry Birds 70-28, Rams QB Austin Davis would find himself being sacked six times and picked off twice in the 17-point loss in the desert. Third down tries? St. Louis was a somewhat dismal 1-10 (1-2 on fourth down) and possessed the ball for 26:40, while Arizona, who outscored St. Louis in the second half 21-0, went 6-15 and held the ball for 33:20.

Including contests when the Rams were in Los Angeles, St. Louis lead sthe series 7-5, have outscored Denver 271-260 and have won the last two contests with the Broncos, including a 36-33 win in Denver in 2010. Denver’s last win over the Rams came in 2002 by a final of 23-16. Denver’s favored by 9 1/2 and the over/under is at 51. The Rams are a lot better than 3-6 but they’re in a somewhat tough NFC West and need wins to pass Arizona, Seattle and San Francisco. They won’t get one this week against the Peytonicus and Denver. Broncos may not cover the 9 1/2 but they take the win on the road.

San Francisco (5-4) at New York Giants (3-6), 1 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 709) MetLife Stadium. A pair of future Hall of Fame signal callers meet in the Jersey Meadowlands as the Giants return home to face the San Francisco 49ers.

San Francisco and Colin Kaepernick managed to outrush New Orleans 144-136 (the Saints’ Mark Ingram led all rushers with 120 yards but needed a pair of Phil Dawson field goals to tie the contest after they trailed 24-21 late in the game. The football gods shined again on the 49ers in regulation when a TD pass to Jimmy Graham from Drew Brees was waived off after an offensive pass interference penalty that would have ended the game with the home team winning and then again in overtime when the 49ers defense forced a Brees fumble in their second possession of the ball in overtime. San Francisco, who could not make a first down in their first try in the extra period, wasted very little time in their second try with the ball as Dawson nailed a 35 yard field goal for the win on the road. The 49ers were 6-15 on third down conversions, while New Orlens was 8-18. Both clubs were successful on fourth down tries, with San Francisco going 1-1 and New Orleans 2-2 and the clock was the ally of New Orleans at 36 minutes, while the Niners kept the ball for 33:46, including the overtime.

New York and Eli Manning let a 17-14 lead slip out of their hands in the Pacific Northwest last Sunday, falling to Seattle 38-17. The defending Super Bowl champs easily outrushed the Giants 350-54 (with Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch accounting for 140 yards and four TDs and QB Russell Wilson adding 107) and forced a pair of New York turnovers in the contest. New York was 6-12 and 0-1 on third and fourth down tries, keeping the ball for 26:48, while Seattle on third and fourth down went 7-12 and 1-1, holding the ball for 33:12.

The Giants lead the series 15-14 and have outscored San Francisco 579-563. Big Blue’s last win in the series would come in 2012 by a 26-3 final in San Francisco. San Francisco’s last win? In San Francisco at old Candlestick Park in 2011 by a final of 27-20. The 49ers are favored by 4 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Both teams have been known to be great one minute and really bad the next and both Jim Harbaugh and Tom Coughlin know they’re on the hot seat in their respective cities. The Giants have lost four in a row and San Francisco wants to make it five. Five it is. 49ers cover the 4 and win on the road in the Jersey Meadowlands.

Oakland (0-9) at San Diego (5-4), 4:05 p.m. (CBS and DirecTV 714) Qualcomm Stadium. They met five weeks ago in Oakland and now the stage has moved south along I-5 as the Raiders make the 491-mile, 7-hour trip south to take on the Chargers.

The winless Raiders were held in check by Peyton Manning and the Broncos last Sunday in Oakland, falling to Denver 41-17. Oakland turned the ball over three times, was held to 30 yards rushing (Denver ran for 118) and were outscored in the final three quarters of play 38-14 after the two teams were tied 3-3 after the first quarter of action and the Silver and Black also allowed Manning to throw for 340 yards and five TDs, two of them to WR Julian Thomas in the loss. Oakland was 5-18 on third down tries at O.Co Coliseum and held the ball for 27:38, while Denver was 7-15 and 1-1 on third and fourth downs and kept the ball for 32:22.

San Diego had a bye last Sunday after their 37-0 thumping at the hands of Miami in the Sunshine State. Miami outrushed the Bolts 132-50 and Philip Rivers was picked off three times and sacked three times at Sun Life Stadium, while being outpassed by Ryan Tannehill 288-138. San Diego in the shutout loss went 3-11 on third down tries, 0-1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 23:53. Miami held the ball for 36:07 and went 8-14 and 0-1 on third and fourth down conversions.

They met in week six in Oakland and it was the Chargers coming out on top by a final of 31-28. The Bolts and Raiders entered the first half tied at 14-14 and then outscored the Raiders 17-14 in the second half. San Diego outrushed the Silver and Black 116-114, with the Chargers’ Branden Oliver leading all rushers with 101 and a TD (Oliver’s TD was the game winner with 1:56 left to play) in the first meeting and Rivers outpassed Carr 313-282 (Rivers had three TD passes). Both teams did well on third down tries in the first contest (San Diego was 8-14 and 0-1 on fourth down, Oakland was 8-13) and the clock was the ally of San Diego, who kept the ball for 37:02 to Oakland’s 22:58.

San Diego covered the 7 point spread, winning by 7 and both teams easily passed the 43 over/under, combining for 59 points. This time, the Chargers are favored by 10 and the over/under stands at 44 1/2. If you’re a Raiders’ fan, you might want to watch that “Good Eats” marathon on Food Network instead of this one. Chargers may not cover the 10 but they’ll send Oakland to their 10th loss in a row at home at Qualcomm.

Detroit (7-2) at Arizona (8-1), 4:25 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 715) University of Phoenix Stadium. Two of the NFC’s top teams will meet as Arizona hosts Detroit on Sunday afternoon. The Lions have scored the game-winning points inside the 2 minute mark of the fourth quarter to win in regulation in each of their past three games, becoming the first team to do so since the 1994 New York Giants.

“I just think that you can sense that they have a lot of poise,” Caldwell told the Detroit Free Press. “They don’t mind a little pressure, they know how to hang in and come from behind. Sixty minutes, whatever it takes, they’re willing to give it.”

Arizona is 8-1 for the first time since 1948 and the third time in franchise history (1925, 1948 and 2014). The Cardinals sealed a 31-14 victory against the Rams with two fourth-quarter defensive touchdowns by cornerbacks Patrick Peterson (30-yard interception return) and Antonio Cromartie (14-yard fumble return). Arizona trailed St. Louis 14-10 at the half in Glendale and then went on to shut out the Rams in the second half 21-0, scoring those final points in the fourth quarter to take a 31-14 win. Although they were outrushed by St. Louis 70-28 and QB Carson Palmer would leave the contest with a knee injury (Palmer will miss the rest of the 2014 season), the Desert Angry Birds did manage to sack Austin Davis six times and pick him off twice to take the win. Not only did both teams fail to breach the 100-yard rushing barrier, neither team did anything to write home or Tweet about on third down tries (St. Louis was 1-10, 1-2 on fourth down; Arizona was 6-15) and time was on the side of Arizona, who held the ball for 33:20 to St. Louis’ 26:40.

“We got into the zone, got the momentum on our side and left it all on the field,” says Arizona defensive end Calais Campbell, who posted two sacks against St. Louis.

Detroit managed to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat last Sunday in the Motor City as Matthew Stafford and RB Theo Riddick connected on an 11 yard TD pass with 29 seconds left to take a 20-16 win at Ford Field. The contest also marked the return of WR Calvin Johnson (aka Megatron), who caught 15 passes for 113 yards and a TD. Detroit led 10-3 at halftime before losing the lead and trailed 13-10 after three quarters. The Lions, still in first place in the NFC North, outrushed Miami 63-50 and sacked Ryan Tannehill three times in the contest, while Stafford was sacked three times also. Detroit went 3-12 on third down conversions at the contest at Ford Field (they were 2-3 on fourth down) and held the ball for 31:34. Miami held the ball for 28:26 and the Dolphins on third down tries were 5-14 in the four-point loss.

The Lions lead the series 31-26-5, which includes contests when the Lions were known as the Portsmouth Spartans and the Cardinals played their home games in Chicago and St. Louis before moving westward. Detroit leads Arizona in points 1,124-1,006. However… the Desert Angry Birds have won the last five meetings with the Lions, including a 25-21 win last year in the desert (Detroit’s last win over Arizona came all the way back in 2005 in the Motor City by a final of 29-21.

In the week two contest, the Cards trailed 14-10 at half and 21-16 after three quarters before K Jay Feely connected on a 43 yard field goal to open the fourth quarter and then took the lead for keeps on a 1 yard run by RB Rashard Mendenhal with 1:59 left to play. Neither team managed to breach the 100-yard barrier (Arizona had 87, Detroit had 49) and Stafford outpaced Palmer 278-248 in the contest. Third down tries? Not much to roar or tweet about in the contest in the desert (Detroit was 3-11 and 0-1 on fourth down, while the Desert Angry Birds were 1-11) and the clock favored Arizona, who held the ball for 31:19, while the Liones kept it for 28:41. Arizona covered the 1 1/2 point spread (Detroit was the favorite) and both clubs narrowly missed the 48 over/under, coming in at 46 points.

Arizona’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Both teams are a lot better than their 2013 records and there’s a chance that these teams could meet in the post-season. Detroit will make it a lot closer than the 2 1/2 but the Desert Angry Birds prevail at home.

Philadelphia (7-2) at Green Bay (6-3), 4:25 p.m. (FOX and DirecTV 707) Lambeau Field. A pair of contending teams coming off huge wins at home last week meet in the Dairy State as the Eagles travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers at Lambeau.

Philadelphia showed Carolina they would be a force to be dealt with Monday night in the city of Brotherly Love, taking a 31-7 lead with them to the locker room and taking a 45-21 win in prime time. Even though they were held to only 37 yards on the ground, Philly did manage to make life miserable for Cam Newton and the Panthers, sacking him nine times and picking him off three, with one being returned for a TD by CB Bradley Fletcher for 34 yards. Mark Sanchez, filling in for Nick Foles, threw for 332 yards and a pair of TDs without being intercepted in the contest that saw his team lead from start to finish. Philly was 5-15 on third down tries (0-1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 21:55, while Carolina held it for 38:05 and went 10-20 and 0-1 on third and fourt down conversions.

“It was just a great night,” says Sanchez, who became the first quarterback in Eagles history to pass for 300 yards with a rating of 100 or better in first start with the team. “It was so fun to get back out on the field. It’s good to get back in an environment like this in front of this crowd and in front of all of those players that work so hard during the week.”

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes, all in the first half, during the Packers’ 55-14 win against the Bears, tying the NFL record for the most TD passes in a half (Daryle Lamonica, October 19, 1969 vs. Buffalo).

“We did a lot of good things on offense,” Rodgers told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “We got into a rhythm early. That’s the way you want to play moving into the second half of the season.”

Green Bay added to Chicago’s woes last week at Lambeau last Sunday night, taking Da Bears to Da Woodshed enroute to a 55-14 win. The Pack led 42-0 at the half and were never threatened in the NFC North contest in the land of bratwurst, cheese and beer and forced three Chicago turnovers (2 Jay Cutler interceptions), while sacking him three times. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers had no problems with Chicago’s secondary, throwing six TD passes with no sacks or interceptions and Green Bay outrushed Chicago 132-55 in the win that allowed the Packers to sweep the series. Green Bay on third down tries were 6-13 (2-2 on fourth tries and needed to keep the ball for only 29:41, while Da Bears were 3-12 on third down and 0-4 on fourth down and actually won the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 30:19.

The Packers hold a 24-14 lead in the series and have outscore the Eagle 750-626. However… the Eagles won the last meeting between the two clubs last year in the land of bratwurst, cheese and beer in week 10 by a final of 27-13.

In that contest, the Eagles led 10-3 at half and then proceeded to run away from the Packers, outscoring them 17-10 in the second half. LeShaun McCoy ran for 155 of Philly’s 204 (Green Bay was held to 99) and Foles threw three TDs without being intercepted, while Scott Tolzein was picked off twice, filling in for Aaron Rodgers (collerbone). Third down tries? Not much to write home about. Philly was 4-11, Green Bay was 7-16, 1-2 on fourth down. Time was on the side of the Pack at 34:24, while the Eagles held the ball for 25:36.

Green Bay was a 1 1/2 point favorite and the over/under was 47. While both clubs missed the over/under by scoring only 40 points, the Eagles covered the spread, winning by 14. In the late afternoon affair at Lambeau, the Packers are favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 57. Given what both teams did last week (they combined to score 100 points), it is possible that the over/under could be reached by halftime. The 4 1/2 sounds a bit high, given that these are two pretty good offenses and this could be a closer contest. Packers do come away with the win at home, even though they might not cover the 4 1/2.

New England (7-2) at Indianapolis (6-3), 8:30 p.m. (NBC) Lucas Oil Stadium. Sunday’s exciting schedule finishes with a primetime battle of first-place AFC teams, as the Colts host the Patriots. Following a 2-2 start, New England has won five games in a row and outscored its opponents by an average of 18.6 points per game during those contests.

“Hopefully we can keep making improvements and we’re a lot better five weeks from now, also,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald.

Quarterback Andrew Luck, who leads the NFL with 3,085 passing yards, has led the Colts to six wins in their past seven games.

“He’s playing outstanding,” says Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano of Luck, whose active streak of seven consecutive 300-yard passing games is tied for the third-longest in NFL history. “We just need to keep him playing the way he’s playing.” Both teams are coming off byes last week and both teams won their games prior to the bye week.

The Pats erased a 7-3 first quarter deficit against Peyton Manning and the Colts in Foxboro, coming away with a 43-21 win. New England went on to outscore the Broncos in the final 45 minutes of play 40-14 for the lopsided win. Although Manning did outpass Brady 438-333, the Pats did manage to pick twice, while Brady threw four TD passes, including a pass to TE Ron Gronkowski and WR Julian Edleman chipped with two, including a 84 yard punt return that all but put the nail in Denver’s coffin. Neither club managed to break the 100-yard rushing barrier (New England did manage to outrush the Broncos 66-43) in the late afternoon in western Massachusetts. The Pats were 6-16 on third down conversions at Gillette Stadium (1-1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:27, while Denver kept the pigskin for 30:33 and went 3-11 and 0-4 on third and fourth downs.

New England leads the series 45-28 (including contests played when the Pats were in Boston and played their home games at Fenway Park and the Colts were in Baltimore) and have outscored the Colts 1,759-1,382. New England’s last regular season win over the Colts came in 2012, when they took a 59-24 win in Foxboro (the two met in the 2013 post-season, also in Foxboro and the Pats came out on top 43-22). Indy’s last win over Brady and the Pats? 2009 in Indy at Lucas Oil by a 35-34 final.

In that playoff contest, New England led 21-12 at the half and then held off the Colts in the secon half, outscoring them in the final 30 minutes of play 22-10. Pats RB LeGarrette Blount ran for 166 of their 234 yards in the contest, while holding Indy to 69 yards rushing and sacked Luck (331 yards)three times and picked him off four times (Brady threw for 198 in the win). New England was 11-18 on third down tries (0-1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 35 minutes, while the Colts held it for 25 minutes and went 6-15 and 1-1 on third and fourth down conversions. The Pats covered the 7 1/2 point spread, winning by 21 and both teams easily covered the 53 1/2 over/under by scoring 65 points combined.

Since it’s Luck vs. Brady, it’s more than likely that this one is “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!), 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 56 and dates a 41-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?”

Indy’s favored by 3 and the over/under is 58. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Brady vs. Luck. Two future Hall of Fame QBs in the great indoors of Lucas Oil. Colts make it interesting but New England comes out on the road in Indiana and covers the 3 with the win.

Pittsburgh (6-4) at Tennessee (2-7), 8:30 p.m. Monday (ESPN) LP Field. Week 11’s action concludes with an AFC tilt featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football. The Steelers’ offense averaged 41.3 points per game during a three-game winning streak before a 20-13 loss to the Jets last week. But Pittsburgh remains only a half game back of first-place Cleveland.

“Everyone’s right there together,” says defensive end Brett Keisel of the AFC North, which is the first division in which every team is at least two games above .500 at any point in the season since the 1935 NFL Western Division. “We need to assert ourselves.”

The Steelers come into the MNF contest with a 20-17 loss at the hands of the New York Jets in the Meadowlands. Pittsburgh trailed 17-3 at half before they made the contest with GangGreen closer, thanks to a 27-yard field goal by K Sean Suisham and an 80-yard TD pass from Ben Roethlisberger to WR Martavis Bryant with 1:16 left to play. Roethlisberger’s streak of multi-TD games came to a halt at the hands of the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! and the Steelers were held to 36 yards on the ground (New York ran for 150) but did manage to sack Michael Vick four times. Pittsburgh on third down tries did reasonably well, going 6-11 (0-1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:27, while GangGreen was 6-15 on third down, while keeping the ball for 30:33.

Tennessee will be looking for continued progress from rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger (Round 6, No. 178 overall), who has passed for 478 yards and three touchdowns in two games since being named the starter in Week 8.

“He did some good things today and made some good throws,” Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt told The Tennessean about Mettenberger’s performance at Baltimore. “I think he did a nice job in operating today in this environment, which is not easy.” Baltimore erased a 7-7 tie at the half with the Titans and outscored Tennessee 14-0 in the second half enroute to the 21-7 loss. The Titans were held to 67 yards rushing and Mettenberger was sacked six times, while the Ravens’ Justin Forsett ran for 112 of his team’s 151 yards in the 14-point win in Charm City. Tennessee was 4-12 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 29:13, while the Ravens were 4-13 and 1-1 on third and fourth down tries, keeping the ball for 30:47.

The Steelers lead the series with Tennessee 41-31 (including contests when the Titans played their home games in Houston and were known as the Oilers) and have outscored Tennessee 1,479-1,253. Tennessee won last year’s contest in the Steel City by a 16-9 final in week one. The Texans led by a baseball-like 7-2 score at the half before the Steelers rallied late in the contest to make things interesting when WR Jerricho Cotchery connected on a 4 yard TD pass from Roethlisberger with 1:23 left to play. Tennessee’s scoring came thanks to a 3-yard run by Jake Battle and three Ron Bironas field goals (his longest was 44 yards). The Titans outrushed the Steelers 112-32 in the win in Pittsburgh and sacked Roethlisberger five times in the win, while forcing a pair of turnovers.

Tennessee on third down? 6-15 and 1-1 on fourth down. Pittsburgh? 4-13 and 1-1 on fourth down. Clock? It favored Tennessee, who held the ball for 34:01 to Pittsburgh’s 25:59.

The Titans covered the 7 point spread (Pittsburgh was favored by 7) in the week one contest but neither club came anywhere near the 42 over/under, scoring only 23 points. The Titans on Monday night are 11-9 but have not played on MNF since 2009, when they lost their only appearance in prime time, while the Steelers are now 21-20 after their win over Houston in week seven. Pittsburgh’s favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under is 47. Both numbers make a lot of sense. While this one might not be a great game to watch, it might be a pretty good one, which means you might want to tape “Scorpion,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Castle.” Steelers cover the 5 1/2 in Music City and come away with the win.

Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information

Atlanta at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Thom Brennaman, David Diehl, Laura Okmin (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 126 (Atlanta), 136 (Tampa Bay). XM: 230 (Tampa Bay).

Tennessee at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 127 (Tennessee), 134 (Baltimore). XM: 231 (Baltimore).

Kansas City at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots. Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Rod Woodson. SIRIUS: 138 (Kansas City), 93 (Buffalo). XM: 226 (Buffalo).

Miami at Detroit, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 92 (Miami), 135 (Detroit). XM: 229 (Detroit).

San Francisco at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 85 (San Francisco), 139 (New Orleans). XM: 85 (San Francisco), 228 (New Orleans).

Pittsburgh at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Otis Livingston (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 112 (Pittsburgh), 133 (New York Jets). XM: 227 (New York Jets).

Dallas vs. Jacksonville 1 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. London on FOX and DirecTV 709: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 137 (Dallas), 84 (Jacksonville). XM: 225 (Jacksonville).

Denver at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Evan Washburn (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 92 (Denver), 139 (Oakland). XM: 228 (Oakland).

St. Louis at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 138 (St. Louis), 93 (Arizona). XM: 226 (Arizona).

New York Giants at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Charissa Thompson (Field reporter). Westwood One: Dave Sims, Mark Malone. SIRIUS: 133 (New York Giants), 85 (Seattle). XM: 85 (Seattle).

Chicago at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Hub Arkush (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 84 (WestWood 1), 93 (Chicago), 92 (Green Bay). XM: 227 (WestWood 1), 225 (Chicago), 226 (Green Bay).

Carolina at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. Monday night on ESPN: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, Ross Tucker (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 93 (Carolina), 92 (Philadelphia). XM: 88 (WestWood 1), 225 (Carolina), 226 (Philadelphia).

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

Atlanta at Tampa Bay

Atlanta
OUT: T Jonathan Scott (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Harry Douglas (foot), DE Jonathan Massaquoi (foot), RB Antone Smith (neck)
PROBABLE: DE Jonathan Babineaux (foot)

Tampa Bay
OUT: G Kadeem Edwards (foot)
DOUBTFUL: T Anthony Collins (foot), RB Doug Martin (ankle), CB Alterraun Verner (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Lavonte David (knee), WR Vincent Jackson (knee), DE Michael Johnson (hand), LB Brandon Magee (knee), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (thumb), RB Charles Sims (ankle), DT Akeem Spence (hamstring), TE Luke Stocker (hip)
Dallas vs. Jacksonville in London

Dallas
OUT: DE Tyrone Crawford (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Nick Hayden (shoulder), LB Rolando McClain (knee, groin)
PROBABLE: LB Bruce Carter (finger), S Barry Church (shoulder), DE Jack Crawford (calf), T Doug Free (foot), TE James Hanna (hamstring), LB Anthony Hitchens (chest), G Ronald Leary (groin), T Jermey Parnell (chest), QB Tony Romo (back), DE Anthony Spencer (knee, foot)

Jacksonville
OUT: DE Andre Branch (groin), LB Jeremiah George (ankle), G Brandon Linder (shoulder)
PROBABLE: QB Blake Bortles (left wrist), DE Chris Clemons (knee), S Josh Evans (shoulder), WR Marqise Lee (ankle), S Sherrod Martin (shoulder), WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring), RB Jordan Todman (quadricep), LB Dekoda Watson (hamstring)

Denver at Oakland

Denver
OUT: LB Nate Irving (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Montee Ball (groin), T Paul Cornick (shoulder), TE Virgil Green (calf)
PROBABLE: S Quinton Carter (hamstring), LB Steven Johnson (ankle), K Brandon McManus (right groin), RB Juwan Thompson (knee), WR Wes Welker (back)

Oakland
OUT: TE David Ausberry (foot), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), G Gabe Jackson (knee), CB Carlos Rogers (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB T.J. Carrie (ankle)
PROBABLE: WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), RB Jamize Olawale (shoulder), WR Kenbrell Thompkins (not injury related), DE Justin Tuck (knee)

Kansas City at Buffalo

Kansas City
OUT: WR Donnie Avery (groin), CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring), LB Jerry Franklin (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Phillip Gaines (ankle, quadricep), LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee), CB Christopher Owens (knee)
PROBABLE: S Eric Berry (ankle), RB Cyrus Gray (hand), LB Tamba Hali (knee), WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring), TE Travis Kelce (ribs), CB Sean Smith (groin)

Buffalo
QUESTIONABLE: CB Ron Brooks (groin), RB Fred Jackson (groin), WR Sammy Watkins (groin)
PROBABLE: WR Marcus Easley (knee), WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring), LB Ty Powell (ankle), G Cyril Richardson (not injury related), WR Robert Woods (back)

Miami at Detroit

Miami
DOUBTFUL: G Daryn Colledge (back)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Lamar Miller (shoulder), LB Koa Misi (ankle), DT Earl Mitchell (abdomen), LB Kelvin Sheppard (hip, groin), S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring)
PROBABLE: TE Charles Clay (knee), DT Anthony Johnson (back), LB Chris McCain (foot), C Mike Pouncey (hip), LB Jordan Tripp (ankle)

Detroit
OUT: DT Nick Fairley (knee)
DOUBTFUL: TE Eric Ebron (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Joseph Fauria (ankle), TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot)
PROBABLE: DE Ezekiel Ansah (toe), RB Reggie Bush (ankle), WR Calvin Johnson (ankle), DE George Johnson (hamstring), T LaAdrian Waddle (concussion)

New York Giants at Seattle

New York Giants
DOUBTFUL: RB Rashad Jennings (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Zackary Bowman (abdomen), DT Cullen Jenkins (calf), DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee)
PROBABLE: WR Preston Parker (ankle), G Weston Richburg (ankle), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring), G Adam Snyder (knee), P Steve Weatherford (left ankle, back)

Seattle
OUT: TE Zach Miller (ankle), LB Bobby Wagner (toe)
DOUBTFUL: G James Carpenter (ankle), S Kam Chancellor (groin), G Stephen Schilling (knee), LB Malcolm Smith (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Marcus Burley (hamstring), CB Byron Maxwell (calf)
PROBABLE: WR Doug Baldwin (groin), DE Michael Bennett (toe), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), S Jeron Johnson (concussion), RB Marshawn Lynch (calf), T Russell Okung (calf), DE O’Brien Schofield (head), C Max Unger (not injury related)

Pittsburgh at New York Jets

Pittsburgh
OUT: S Troy Polamalu (knee), LB Ryan Shazier (ankle), CB Ivan Taylor (forearm), S Shamarko Thomas (hamstring), S Ross Ventrone (hamstring)
PROBABLE: DE Cameron Heyward (not injury related), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring), DE Brett Keisel (not injury related), TE Heath Miller (not injury related), S Michael Mitchell (not injury related), C Maurkice Pouncey (not injury related), LB Jason Worilds (abdomen)

New York Jets
OUT: CB Darrin Walls (calf)
PROBABLE: T Oday Aboushi (shoulder), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), G Willie Colon (knee), T Breno Giacomini (illness), LB David Harris (shoulder), WR Percy Harvin (heel), RB Chris Johnson (ankle), WR Jeremy Kerley (not injury related), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), LB Trevor Reilly (knee), DT Sheldon Richardson (illness), WR Greg Salas (wrist), QB Geno Smith (right shoulder), QB Michael Vick (foot), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (illness)

San Francisco at New Orleans

San Francisco
QUESTIONABLE: CB Tramaine Brock (toe), DT Quinton Dial (eye), WR Brandon Lloyd (hamstring), LB Dan Skuta (ankle), LB Patrick Willis (toe)
PROBABLE: RB Frank Gore (hip), DE Justin Smith (not injury related), DT Ian Williams (shin)

New Orleans
OUT: LB David Hawthorne (hand), RB Khiry Robinson (forearm), RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: C Jonathan Goodwin (knee, ankle), RB Mark Ingram (shoulder), WR Robert Meachem (ankle), T Zach Strief (chest)
PROBABLE: TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder), WR Kenny Stills (thigh)

St. Louis at Arizona
DOUBTFUL: LB Daren Bates (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: S Cody Davis (concussion), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), CB Marcus Roberson (ankle)
PROBABLE: LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (toe), CB E.J. Gaines (knee), TE Cory Harkey (knee), DE William Hayes (fibula), S Rodney McLeod (knee)

Arizona
OUT: LB Desmond Bishop (hamstring), RB Stepfan Taylor (calf)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Ed Stinson (groin)
PROBABLE: LB Lorenzo Alexander (knee), LB Marcus Benard (illness), RB Andre Ellington (foot), LB Larry Foote (back), T Bobby Massie (ankle, knee)

Tennessee at Baltimore

Tennessee
QUESTIONABLE: DT Sammie Lee Hill (hamstring), WR Nate Washington (shoulder)
PROBABLE: CB Coty Sensabaugh (knee)

Baltimore
OUT: WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), T Jah Reid (hand), CB Jimmy Smith (foot)
PROBABLE: TE Owen Daniels (not injury related), LB Daryl Smith (not injury related), WR Steve Smith (not injury related), G Marshal Yanda (knee), C Jeremy Zuttah (ankle)

Chicago at Green Bay

Chicago
OUT: T Eben Britton (illness), LB Darryl Sharpton (hamstring), G Matt Slauson (chest)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Martellus Bennett (ribs)
PROBABLE: LB Jon Bostic (back), LB Lance Briggs (ribs), CB Kyle Fuller (hip, hand), S Danny McCray (knee), T Jordan Mills (foot)

Green Bay
OUT: WR Kevin Dorsey (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: G T.J. Lang (ankle), G Josh Sitton (toe)
PROBABLE: S Morgan Burnett (calf), DE Datone Jones (ankle), QB Aaron Rodgers (hamstring), CB Sam Shields (knee)

Carolina at Philadelphia (Monday)

Carolina
OUT: CB Bene’ Benwikere (ankle), G Trai Turner (ankle)
PROBABLE: WR Corey Brown (concussion), DT Dwan Edwards (knee), DT Kawann Short (ankle)

Philadelphia
OUT: QB Nick Foles (collarbone)
PROBABLE: S Nate Allen (hamstring), CB Nolan Carroll (groin), C Jason Kelce (hernia), LB Mychal Kendricks (calf), WR Jeff Maehl (foot), G Evan Mathis (knee), WR Brad Smith (groin)

Sunday’s Odds
Favorite            Spread      Underdog        O/U
Atlanta             +  1 1/2    TAMPA BAY       46
BALTIMORE           +  9 1/2    Tennessee       43 1/2
Kansas City         +  2        BUFFALO         41
Miami               +  3        DETROIT         43
NEW ORLEANS         +  5        San Francisco   49
Pittsburgh          +  5        NEW YORK JETS   46
Dallas              +  7        JACKSONVILLE    45 ***
Denver              + 11 1/2    OAKLAND         49
ARIZONA             +  7        St. Louis       43
SEATTLE             +  9 1/2    New York Giants 44 1/2
GREEN BAY           +  7        Chicago         53 1/2

Monday’s Odds
Favorite            Spread      Underdog        O/U
PHILADELPHIA        +  6        Carolina        48

Sunday and Monday Weather
Atlanta at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (Partly cloudy and 70 degrees)
Tennessee at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (Partly cloudy and 55 degrees)
Kansas City at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (Mostly cloudy with a 10 percent chance of rain and 42 degrees)
Miami at Detroit, 1 p.m. (Game indoors)
San Francisco at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (Game indoors)
Pittsburgh at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (Partly cloudy and 55 degrees)
Dallas vs. Jacksonville 1 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. London) (Game indoors; if roof is open, clear and 49 degrees)
Denver at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. (Sunny and 70 degrees) O.co Coliseum
St. Louis at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. (Game indoors)
New York Giants at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. (Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain and 55 degrees)
Chicago at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m. (Cloudy and 35 degrees)
Carolina at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. Monday (Clear and 44 degrees)

*** Jacksonville is the designated home team

Broadcast information and injury report courtesy the National Football League; odds courtesy Don Best and USA Today; weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.