December 16, 2018

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WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 2

 

NO NEED TO PANIC: Since realignment in 2002, 116 of the 192 playoff teams (60.4 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2, including eight teams last season and six division champions – Jacksonville (AFC South), the Los Angeles Rams (NFC West), Minnesota (NFC North), New England (AFC East), New Orleans (NFC South) and Philadelphia (NFC East).

Last season, the New Orleans Saints began the season 0-2 and advanced to the playoffs after becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to win eight consecutive games following an 0-2 start.

A look at how playoff clubs in 2016 and 2017 began their seasons:

                                                  2016                                                                                                                 2017

Team After 2 games Playoff Result Team After 2 games Playoff Result
Atlanta 1-1 Advanced to Super Bowl LI Atlanta 2-0 Advanced to Divisional
Dallas 1-1 Advanced to Divisional Buffalo 1-1 Advanced to Wild Card
Detroit 1-1 Advanced to Wild Card Carolina 2-0 Advanced to Wild Card
Green Bay 1-1 Advanced to NFC Champ Jacksonville 1-1 Advanced to AFC Champ
Houston 2-0 Advanced to Divisional Kansas City 2-0 Advanced to Wild Card
Kansas City 1-1 Advanced to Divisional Los Angeles Rams 1-1 Advanced to Wild Card
Miami 0-2 Advanced to Wild Card Minnesota 1-1 Advanced to NFC Champ
New England 2-0 Won Super Bowl LI New England 1-1 Advanced to Super Bowl LII
New York Giants 2-0 Advanced to Wild Card New Orleans 0-2 Advanced to Divisional
Pittsburgh 2-0 Advanced to AFC Champ Philadelphia 1-1 Won Super Bowl LII
Oakland 1-1 Advanced to Wild Card Pittsburgh 2-0 Advanced to Divisional
Seattle 1-1 Advanced to Divisional Tennessee 1-1 Advanced to Divisional


— NFL —

MOVING UP THE RANKS: Pittsburgh quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER has 51,400 career passing yards in his 15-year NFL career.

With 76 passing yards on Sunday against Kansas City (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Roethlisberger will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY (51,475) for the seventh-most passing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) PASSING YARDS
Peyton Manning Indianapolis, Denver 71,940
Brett Favre^ Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota 71,838
Drew Brees San Diego, New Orleans 70,884*
Tom Brady New England 66,436*
Dan Marino^ Miami 61,361
Eli Manning New York Giants 51,906*
John Elway^ Denver 51,475
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh 51,400*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

— NFL —

PROLIFIC PASSERS: Three quarterbacks – New Orleans’ DREW BREES (439 passing yards), Los Angeles Chargers’ PHILIP RIVERS (424) and Tampa Bay’s RYAN FITZPATRICK (417) – each threw for at least 400 yards on Kickoff Weekend.

With 400 passing yard performances in Week 2, Brees, Rivers and Fitzpatrick can join TOM BRADY (2011) and CAM NEWTON (2011) as the only quarterbacks to throw for at least 400 yards in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history.

The players to throw for at least 400 yards in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER SEASON TEAM GAME 1 PASSING YARDS GAME 2 PASSING YARDS
Tom Brady 2011 New England 517 423
Cam Newton 2011 Carolina 422 432
Drew Brees 2018 New Orleans 439 ???
Philip Rivers 2018 Los Angeles Chargers 424 ???
Ryan Fitzpatrick 2018 Tampa Bay 417 ???

Two quarterbacks – Fitzpatrick and Kansas City’s PATRICK MAHOMES – each threw four touchdown passes in Week 1.

With four touchdown passes in Week 2, Fitzpatrick and Mahomes would join DREW BLEDSOE (1997) as the only quarterbacks to throw for at least four touchdowns in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history.

The players to throw for at least four touchdowns in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER SEASON TEAM GAME 1 PASSING TDS GAME 2 PASSING TDS
Drew Bledsoe 1997 New England 4 4
Ryan Fitzpatrick 2018 Tampa Bay 4 ???
Patrick Mahomes 2018 Kansas City 4 ???

— NFL —

BURSTING ONTO THE SCENE: New York Giants rookie running back SAQUON BARKLEY rushed for 106 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown, in his NFL debut last week.

With another 100-yard performance in Week 2 against the Cowboys (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Barkley can become the first rookie since 2005 (CADILLAC WILLIAMS) with at least 100 rushing yards in each of his team’s first two games of the season.

The rookies with at least 100 rushing yards in each of his team’s first two games of the season since 1970:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON
Cadillac Williams Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2005
Edgerrin James Indianapolis Colts 1999
Marshall Faulk^ Indianapolis Colts 1994
Billy Sims Detroit Lions 1980
Ottis Anderson St. Louis Cardinals 1979
William Andrews Atlanta Falcons 1979
Earl Campbell^ Houston Oilers 1978
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

— NFL —

LIKE MIKE: New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS recorded a career-high 16 receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, the most by a player on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history.

With 11 receptions on Sunday against Cleveland (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Thomas can surpass ANDRE RISON (26) for the most receptions by a player in his team’s first two games to start a season in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in his team’s first two games of the season in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RECEPTIONS IN TEAM’S 1ST 2 GAMES
Andre Rison Atlanta 1994 26
Rod Smith Denver 2001 23
Julian Edelman New England 2015 22
Julio Jones Atlanta 2015 22
Michael Thomas New Orleans 2018 16*
*Through Week 1

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