NFL Week 6: Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Continue To Shock

TURNAROUND TEAMSHope springs eternal in the NFL.  Through the first five weeks of the 2010 season, seven of the eight divisions have at least one new team either in first place or tied for the top spot.  If that holds, it will be the most new division winners in a single season.

Two teams that started 0-5 or worse in 2009, Kansas City and Tampa Bay, are sitting at or near the top of their respective divisions with 3-1 records.  If the Chiefs and Buccaneers both win this Sunday, this season would be the first in NFL history featuring two teams with 4-1 records that started 0-5 or worse the previous year

Four teams since 1990 have rebounded from an 0-5 or worse start to a 4-1 or better record the following season.  All four finished10-6 or better and advanced to the playoffs:


Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-5 in 1996 5-0 in 1997 10-6
Atlanta Falcons 0-5 in 1997 4-1 in 1998 14-2
Washington Redskins 0-7 in 1998 4-1 in 1999 10-6
Cincinnati Bengals 0-8 in 2008 4-1 in 2009 10-6
Kansas City Chiefs 0-5 in 2009 3-1 in 2010* ??
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-7 in 2009 3-1 in 2010* ??
* Through four games      


Two teams – St. Louis and Tampa Bay – have already matched or exceeded their 2009 win totals and three more clubs – Detroit, Kansas City and Washington – can do so this weekend:


St. Louis 1-15 2-3 vs. San Diego
Tampa Bay 3-13 3-1 vs. New Orleans
Detroit 2-14 1-4 at N.Y. Giants
Kansas City 4-12 3-1 at Houston
Washington 4-12 3-2 vs. Indianapolis


— NFL —


CLIMBING BACKTeams off to a slow start are justified in believing that they can turn it around.

Since the current playoff system (12 teams) was instituted in 1990, 11 teams have rebounded from being at least three games under .500 after the season’s first five weeks or later to qualify for the postseason.  That includes five 1-4 teams that ultimately won their division.

Since 1990, teams that were three or more games below .500 after Week 5 or later and made the playoffs:

1990 New Orleans Saints 2-5 Wild Card Finished second in NFC West
1992 San Diego Chargers 1-4 Divisional Won AFC West
1993 Houston Oilers 1-4 Divisional Won AFC Central
1994 New England Patriots 3-6 Wild Card Finished 10-6 (tied for best in division)
1995 Detroit Lions 2-5, 3-6 Wild Card Finished 10-6
1995 San Diego Chargers 4-7 Wild Card Finished 9-7
1996 Jacksonville Jaguars 3-6, 4-7 Championship Game Won two playoff games
2002 Tennessee Titans 1-4 Championship Game Won AFC South
2002 New York Jets 1-4, 2-5 Divisional Won AFC East
2004 Green Bay Packers 1-4 Wild Card Won NFC North
2008 San Diego Chargers 4-7, 4-8, 5-8 Divisional Won AFC West


WHO’S ON (IN?) FIRST?:  Through Week 5, 13 NFL teams have at least a share of first place in their respective divisions – the most in NFL history at this point in the season.

The current crop of 13 includes all four AFC South teams – Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee – clustered at 3-2.  The four-way tie is almost certain to be broken this week as the Jaguars host the Titans on Monday Night Football.

— NFL —

Several players and teams will put impressive streaks on the line in Week 6.  Here’s a look at some of the most notable

GREAT GATESSan Diego tight end ANTONIO GATES leads the NFL with seven touchdown receptions this season and has caught at least one TD in each of his past nine regular-season games, the longest streak in NFL history by a tight end. 

If Gates extends his streak to 10 games this Sunday at St. Louis, he would be the sixth player in NFL annals to accomplish the feat.  Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver JERRY RICE (13 consecutive games) holds the all-time record.

Players with the most consecutive games with a touchdown reception:

Jerry Rice San Francisco 1986-87 13  
Elroy (Crazylegs) Hirsch L.A. Rams 1950-51 11  
Buddy Dial Pittsburgh 1959-60 11  
Carl Pickens Cincinnati 1994-95 10  
Randy Moss Minnesota 2003-04 10  
Antonio Gates San Diego 2009-10 9*  
* Active Streak        


— NFL —

HANDLE WITH CARE:  With only one turnover through their first five games, the New York Jets can become the first team in history to commit one or fewer turnovers in the first six games of a season.  New York hasn’t turned the ball over since Week 1, a streak of four consecutive turnover-free games.

The Jets are only the fourth team since 1933 with one or fewer turnovers in the first five games of a season.  The other three clubs to accomplish the feat were the 1960 Cleveland Browns (one), 1998 Cincinnati Bengals (one) and 2008 Washington Redskins (one).

Teams to commit the fewest turnovers through a season’s first five games since 1933:

1960 Cleveland Browns 1 3 turnovers
1998 Cincinnati Bengals 1 1 turnover
2008 Washington Redskins 1 3 turnovers
2010 New York Jets 1 ???


— NFL —

ROLLING HILLISCleveland running back PEYTON HILLIS has scored a touchdown in each of the Browns’ first five games since being acquired via trade this offseason. 

Hillis is one of five players to score a touchdown in five consecutive games to start a season after joining a new team since 1970 (rookies and veterans).  With a touchdown this weekend at Pittsburgh, Hillis can tie former New England running back ROBERT EDWARDS for the longest such streak since the AFL-NFL merger.

The five players to score a touchdown in each of their new teams’ first five games to begin a season (since 1970):

Robert Edwards New England 1998 6
Peyton Hillis Cleveland 2010 5*
Gary Anderson Tampa Bay 1990 5
Charlie Brown Washington 1982 5
Joe Cribbs Buffalo 1980 5
*Active Streak      

NO PLACE LIKE HOMENew England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY has won 22 consecutive games as a starter in the regular season at Gillette Stadium.  With a win against Baltimore, Brady can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY for the second-most consecutive regular-season home wins as a starting quarterback.

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

Brett Favre Green Bay 1995-98 25
Tom Brady  New England  2006-present  22*
John Elway Denver 1996-98 22
Bob Griese Miami 1971-74 20
Randall Cunningham Philadelphia 1990-94 20
* Active streak      


— NFL —

DRIVE FOR FIVEDenver quarterback KYLE ORTON has passed for at least 300 yards in four consecutive games, tying BRIAN GRIESE’s franchise record.  With another 300-yard performance in Week 6 against the New York Jets, Orton would tie for the fourth-longest streak in history.

The NFL quarterbacks with the most consecutive 300-yard passing games:

Steve Young San Francisco 1998 6  
Kurt Warner St. Louis 2000 6  
Rich Gannon Oakland 2002 6  
Joe Montana San Francisco 1982 5  
Kerry Collins N.Y. Giants 2001-02 5  
Drew Brees New Orleans 2006 5  
Kurt Warner Arizona 2008 5  
Tom Brady New England 2009 5  
Peyton Manning Indianapolis 2009 5  
Kyle Orton Denver 2010 4*  
* Active streak         


— NFL —

BLINK 182:   Pittsburgh wide receiver HINES WARD has caught a pass in 182 consecutive games dating back to 1998 – the fifth-longest streak in NFL history.  With a reception against Cleveland this weekend, Ward would tie ART MONK (183 games) for the fourth-longest such streak.

The players with the most consecutive games with a reception:

Jerry Rice San Francisco, Oakland 1985-2004 274  
Marvin Harrison Indianapolis 1996-2008 190  
Terrell Owens San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas,Buffalo 1996-2009 185  
Art Monk Washington, N.Y. Jets, Philadelphia 1983-1995 183  
Hines Ward Pittsburgh 1998-2010 182*  
* Active streak