What To Look For – Week 2

nfl-logoNO NEED TO PANIC: At the end of Week 2, no more than 11 teams will be able to claim a perfect 2-0 record, leaving at least 21 clubs at 1-1 or 0-2.

Since realignment in 2002, 48 of the 84 playoff teams (57.1 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2. Four of the past eight Super Bowl champions began their seasons with a 1-1 or 0-2 record.

A look at how playoff clubs in 2007 and 2008 began their seasons:

  2007       2008  
Team After 2 games Playoff Result   Team After 2 games Playoff Result
Dallas Feb-00 Advanced to Divisional   Arizona Feb-00 Advanced to Super Bowl XLIII
Green Bay Feb-00 Advanced to Conf. Champ.   Atlanta 1-Jan Advanced to Wild Card
Indianapolis Feb-00 Advanced to Divisional   Baltimore Feb-00 Advanced to Conf. Champ.
Jacksonville 1-Jan Advanced to Divisional   Carolina Feb-00 Advanced to Divisional
New England Feb-00 Advanced to Super Bowl XLII   Indianapolis 1-Jan Advanced to Wild Card
N.Y. Giants 0-2 Won Super Bowl XLII   Miami 0-2 Advanced to Wild Card
Pittsburgh Feb-00 Advanced to Wild Card   Minnesota 0-2 Advanced to Wild Card
Seattle 1-Jan Advanced to Divisional   N.Y. Giants Feb-00 Advanced to Divisional
San Diego 1-Jan Advanced to Conf. Champ.   Philadelphia 1-Jan Advanced to Conf. Champ.
Tampa Bay 1-Jan Advanced to Wild Card   Pittsburgh Feb-00 Won Super Bowl XLIII
Tennessee 1-Jan Advanced to Wild Card   San Diego 0-2 Advanced to Divisional
Washington Feb-00 Advanced to Wild Card   Tennessee Feb-00 Advanced to Divisional

A VERY BRADY WIN STREAK: With a victory on Sunday over the New York Jets, New England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY will match Chicago’s JIM MC MAHON for the longest streak of consecutive regular-season wins by a quarterback with 22.

Brady also had a separate streak of 18 consecutive regular-season wins that spanned from 2003 into the 2004 season, which is the third-longest in NFL annals.

Brady’s current win streak began with a 23-16 win over Houston on 12/17/06.

The longest regular-season winning streaks by NFL quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era (since 1966):

Jim McMahon, Chicago 22 1984-87
Tom Brady, New England 21* 2006-present
Tom Brady, New England 18 2003-04
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh 15 2004-05
Many Tied 14  

TOMLIN’S TEAMS START FAST: With a win over the Bears in Week 2, MIKE TOMLIN of the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) can become the third head coach of the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to lead his team to 2-0 starts in the first three years of his head-coaching career.

Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach GEORGE ALLEN led the Los Angeles Rams to 2-0 starts in all five of his seasons with the club (1966-1970). When Allen took over in 1971 as head coach in Washington, he also led the Redskins to 2-0 starts in ’71 and ’72, giving him an NFL-record seven consecutive 2-0 starts to begin his career. BUM PHILLIPS (1975-77) also led the Houston Oilers to three straight 2-0 starts in his first stint as an NFL head coach.

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MANNING MOVES UP: With a victory Monday night over the Miami Dolphins, PEYTON MANNING of the Indianapolis Colts will match JOHNNY UNITAS for fifth place on the NFL’s all-time list for wins by a quarterback.

Manning, who earned his 118th career win on Kickoff Weekend, has already matched Unitas’ franchise record in the category. One of Unitas’ 119 career wins came as a member of the San Diego Chargers during his final season.

The most wins by a starting quarterback in NFL history:

Brett Favre ** 170
John Elway * 148
Dan Marino * 147
Fran Tarkenton * 125
Johnny Unitas * 119
Peyton Manning ** 118

* In Pro Football Hall of Fame; ** Active

200 AND COUNTING: New England’s TOM BRADY (199) and Philadelphia’s DONOVAN MC NABB (196) are both approaching 200 career touchdown passes. If both players reach 200 on Sunday, it will be the first time in NFL history that two players achieve the benchmark on the same weekend.

With one more touchdown, Brady will reach 200 touchdown passes in his 115th career game, placing him fourth on the list for the fewest games played to reach the milestone.

The quarterbacks who reached 200 touchdown passes in the fewest games:

Dan Marino 89
Peyton Manning 106
Brett Favre 107
Johnny Unitas 121
Jim Kelly 132
Tom Brady 114 *

* 199 career TD passes

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FABULOUS AT 50: Since joining the New Orleans Saints in 2006, quarterback DREW BREES has passed for 14,268 yards (291.2 per game) in his first 49 games with the club. Brees’ total already ranks as the most passing yards of any player in his first 50 games with a new team (rookies and veterans) in NFL history.

Brees can extend his record when he plays in his 50th game with New Orleans when the Saints visit the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.

The quarterbacks with the most passing yards in their first 50 games with a new team:

Drew Brees, New Orleans 14,268 *
Kurt Warner, St. Louis 13,864
Marc Bulger, St. Louis 13,551
Dan Marino, Miami 13,514
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis 12,939

* Through 49 games

BREAKING IN NEW DIGS: Nineteen teams have opened new NFL stadiums since 1992. In the first regular-season game at each of those facilities, the home team has an 11-8 record (.579).

The Dallas Cowboys will play their first regular-season home game at Cowboys Stadium in primetime this Sunday night against the divisional rival New York Giants.

Here’s a look at the regular-season openers at each of the NFL’s 19 newly-constructed stadiums since 1992:

Dallas Cowboys Stadium 9/20/2009 N.Y. Giants  ??
Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium  9/7/2008 Chicago  L 29-13
Arizona University of Phoenix Stadium  9/10/2006 San Francisco  W 34-27
Philadelphia Lincoln Financial Field  9/8/2003 Tampa Bay L 17-0
Detroit Ford Field  9/22/2002 Green Bay L 37-31
Seattle Qwest Field  9/15/2002 Arizona L 24-13
New England Gillette Stadium  9/9/2002 Pittsburgh W 30-14
Houston Reliant Stadium  9/8/2002 Dallas W 19-10
Pittsburgh Heinz Field  10/7/2001 Cincinnati W 16-7
Denver INVESCO Field at Mile High  9/10/2001 N.Y. Giants W 31-20
Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium  9/10/2000 Cleveland L 24-7
Cleveland Cleveland Browns Stadium  9/12/1999 Pittsburgh L 43-0
Tennessee LP Field  9/12/1999 Cincinnati W 36-35
Tampa Bay Raymond James Stadium  9/20/1998 Chicago W 27-15
Baltimore M&T Bank Stadium  9/6/1998 Pittsburgh L 20-13
Washington FedExField  9/14/1997 Arizona W 19-13 (OT)
Carolina Bank of America Stadium  9/1/1996 Atlanta W 29-6
St. Louis Edward Jones Dome  11/12/1995 Carolina  W 28-17
Jacksonville Jacksonville Municipal Stadium 9/3/1995 Houston Oilers L 10-3
Atlanta Georgia Dome 9/6/1992 N.Y. Jets W 20-17