History In The Making: Week 11 In The NFL

HOPE IS ALIVE:  Since the current playoff format was instituted in 1990, 15 clubs with a .500 or worse record after nine games have made the playoffs. 

Last season, the New York Jets had a 4-5 record through nine games before advancing to the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.

A look at the 15 clubs to qualify for the playoffs since 1990 after having a sub-.500 record through nine games:

1990 Houston 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 NY Jets 4-5 9-7   Divisional
2003 Green Bay 4-5 10-6   Divisional
2008 San Diego 4-5 8-8   Divisional
2009 NY Jets 4-5 9-7   AFC Championship

DIVISION RACESFor the first time since realignment in 2002, every division leader has no more than a one-game lead and five divisions have two teams tied for first place.  The 13 2010 division leaders are a combined 78-39 (.667) through Week 10, 17 wins better than their records from a year ago at this time (61-56, .521).   

Seven of the eight divisions feature at least one team with a share of first place that did not win the division in 2009, and Week 11 features intriguing division games with playoff implications.  Two NFC East rivals meet with first place on the line when the Philadelphia Eagles (6-3) host the New York Giants (6-3) on Sunday Night Football.  Other key division games include the Minnesota Vikings (3-6) welcoming the Green Bay Packers (6-3) in an NFC North showdown and the AFC West’s Denver Broncos (3-6) visiting the San Diego Chargers (4-5) on Monday Night Football.

BEAR DOWNThe Chicago Bears are currently 6-3, tied atop the NFC North with the Green Bay Packers.  The franchise holds a 699-510-42 all-time regular season record. 

With a win over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football, Chicago would become the first franchise to reach 700 regular-season wins. 

The NFL franchises with the most regular-season wins:

Chicago Bears 699-510-42
Green Bay Packers 660-521-36
New York Giants 632-521-33
Washington Redskins 545-511-27
Pittsburgh Steelers 535-498-20


FAMILIAR FOES: The Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots will meet at Gillette Stadium this Sunday.  The teams are meeting for the eighth season in a row (2003-2010), the longest streak among non-division opponents since realignment in 2002.  Including the postseason, the past five meetings have been decided by seven points or fewer.  The Colts earned a last-minute 35-34 victory in Week 10 of last season.

Colts quarterback PEYTON MANNING has thrown for at least 300 yards in four of the team’s five road games this season.  He now has 32 road games in which he has passed for at least 300 yards, an NFL record. 

Peyton Manning* 32
Brett Favre* 29
Dan Marino 27
Joe Montana 25
Kurt Warner 25


Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY has won 24 consecutive games at Gillette Stadium.  With a win this week, he can tie BRETT FAVRE (25) for the 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 24*
John Elway Denver 1996-98 22
Bob Griese Miami 1971-74 20
Randall Cunningham Philadelphia 1990-94 20
* Active    

RIVERS FOR 3,000Through nine games, San Diego Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS leads the NFL with 2,944 passing yards.  He is averaging 327.1 passing yards per game. 

With 308 passing yards against the Denver Broncos, Rivers would have the most passing yards through the first 10 games of a season in NFL annals.  New Orleans Saints quarterback DREW BREES currently holds the record with 3,251 passing yards through 10 games in 2008. 

The players with the most passing yards through the first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

Drew Brees New Orleans 2008 3,251
Rich Gannon Oakland 2002 3,195
Peyton Manning Indianapolis 2009 3,171
Kurt Warner Arizona 2008 3,155
Warren Moon Houston 1990 3,152
Philip Rivers San Diego 2010 2,944*
* Through nine games    

TOSS TO MOSSTennessee Titans wide receiver RANDY MOSS has 949 receptions for 14,804 yards and 153 touchdowns in 195 career games.

With one reception this weekend when the Titans host the Washington Redskins, Moss can become the ninth player in NFL history with 950 receptions.  In his 196th game, Moss would be the fourth-fastest player to accomplish the feat.