September 10, 2014


No Need To Panic: At the end of Week 2, no more than 13 teams will be able to claim a perfect 2-0 record, leaving at least 19 clubs at 1-1 or 0-2.

Since realignment in 2002, 86 of the 144 playoff teams (59.7 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2, including five of the eight division champions in 2013 – Carolina (NFC South), Cincinnati (AFC North), Green Bay (NFC North), Indianapolis (AFC South) and Philadelphia (NFC East).

A look at how playoff clubs in 2012 and 2013 began their seasons:

                                       2012                                                                                      2013

 

Team

After 2 games

Playoff Result

 

Team

After 2 games

Playoff Result

Atlanta

2-0

Advanced to Conf. Champ.

 

Carolina

0-2

Advanced to Divisional

Baltimore

1-1

Won Super Bowl XLVII

 

Cincinnati

1-1

Advanced to Wild Card

Cincinnati

1-1

Advanced to Wild Card

 

Denver

2-0

Advanced to Super Bowl XLVIII

Denver

1-1

Advanced to Divisional

 

Green Bay

1-1

Advanced to Wild Card

Green Bay

1-1

Advanced to Divisional

 

Indianapolis

1-1

Advanced to Divisional

Houston

2-0

Advanced to Divisional

 

Kansas City

2-0

Advanced to Wild Card

Indianapolis

1-1

Advanced to Wild Card

 

New England

2-0

Advanced to Conf. Champ.

Minnesota

1-1

Advanced to Wild Card

 

New Orleans

2-0

Advanced to Divisional

New England

1-1

Advanced to Conf. Champ.

 

Philadelphia

1-1

Advanced to Wild Card

San Francisco

2-0

Advanced to Super Bowl XLVII

 

San Diego

1-1

Advanced to Divisional

Seattle

1-1

Advanced to Divisional

 

San Francisco

1-1

Advanced to Conf. Champ.

Washington

1-1

Advanced to Wild Card

 

Seattle

2-0

Won Super Bowl XLVIII

 

Comebacks GaloreKickoff Weekend delivered many games with teams demonstrating impressive turnarounds. Four teams – Atlanta, Arizona, Miami and Philadelphia – overcame deficits of 10+ points to win. The last time there were more than four teams with comeback victories of 10+ points in Week 1 was 2002 (five).

The four teams that overcame deficits of 10+ points to win:

 

WINNING TEAM

OPPONENT

DEFICIT OVERCOME

GAME RESULT

Atlanta

New Orleans

13-0; 20-7

W 37-34 (OT)

Arizona

San Diego

17-6

W 18-17

Miami

New England

17-7; 20-10

W 33-20

Philadelphia

Jacksonville

17-0

W 34-17

 

Interconference Action:  With the NFL’s late-season schedule packed with division games, the September slate features many exciting interconference matchups, including a Week 2 battle between quarterbacks Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles in primetime on Monday night (ESPN, 8:30 PM ET). Luck (Round 1, No. 1 overall) and Foles (Round 3, No. 88 overall) were both selected in the 2012 NFL Draft and led their teams to division titles last season.

Of the 32 games scheduled for Weeks 2 and 3, 12 will be interconference games, including eight this weekend.

The teams with the top five interconference records since realignment in 2002:

TEAM

RECORD

WIN PCT.

NEXT INTERCONFERENCE GAME

New England Patriots

39-9-0

.813

Week 2 at Minnesota

Pittsburgh Steelers

33-14-1

.698

Week 3 at Carolina

Indianapolis Colts

32-16-0

.667

Week 2 vs. Philadelphia

Tennessee Titans

30-18-0

.625

Week 2 vs. Dallas

Atlanta Falcons

29-18-1

.615

Week 2 at Cincinnati

 



September 10, 2014


From NFL Media Services ...

 

Belichick Moving Up:  On Sunday, the New England Patriots travel to Minnesota for an interconference matchup with the Vikings (CBS, 1:00 PM ET).

With a win on Sunday at Minnesota, Bill Belichick can become the sixth head coach in NFL history to reach 200 career regular-season victories.

The most career regular-season wins all-time among NFL head coaches:

HEAD COACH

TEAM(S)

W-L-T

WIN PCT.

Don Shula

Colts, Dolphins

328-156-6

.677

George Halas

Bears

318-148-31

.682

Tom Landry

Cowboys

250-162-6

.607

Curly Lambeau

Packers, Cardinals, Redskins

226-132-22

.631

Marty Schottenheimer

Browns, Chiefs, Redskins, Chargers

200-126-1

.613

Bill Belichick

Browns, Patriots

199-106-0

.652



Steelers-Ravens Thursday Night Preview

By Cold Hard Football Facts
September 10, 2014


Following an exciting opening weekend, Week 2 begins on Thursday night (CBS/NFLN, 8:25 PM ET) with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) traveling to take on the Baltimore Ravens (0-1).

The matchup marks the first of seven early-season Thursday Night Football broadcasts aired on CBS and simulcast on NFL Network.

Last week, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisbergerset a team Kickoff Weekend record with 365 passing yards and improved his career record against the Browns to 18-1 (.947), the best mark of any quarterback against one team since at least 1970 (minimum 15 starts).

When the Steelers travel to Baltimore this week, Roethlisberger looks to extend his recent success on Thursdays. Since 2009, Roethlisberger ranks first in the league with 1,784 passing yards on Thursdays. Steelers tight end Heath Miller has been a reliable target for Roethlisberger on Thursdays, tallying the most receptions (34) and the seventh-most receiving yards (360) in the NFL over the past five seasons on Thursdays.

“It’s great to start this season off 1-0, and particularly 1-0 in the AFC North,” says Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. “We have a short week as we push on to Baltimore. We’re going to work hard in preparation for Thursday.”

Meanwhile in Baltimore, wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. had an 80-yard touchdown reception, tying for the longest of his 14-year career, in his Ravens’ debut. Smith totaled seven receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown against Cincinnati.

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco has compiled a 3-0 home record as a starter on Thursday night. Since Flacco entered the league in 2008, the Ravens are 39-10 at M&T Bank Stadium, the second-best home record (New England, 42-6) in the NFL during that span.

The past five meetings and 10 of the past 12 regular-season games between the two AFC North division rivals have been decided by three points or fewer. In their last matchup (November 28, 2013), also aThursday Night Football pairing, Flacco connected with wide receiver Torrey Smith for six receptions, 93 yards and a touchdown in a 22-20 Ravens victory.

The career Thursday numbers for each team’s starting quarterback:

 

JOE FLACCO

 

BEN ROETHLISBERGER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECORD

YARDS

TD PASSES

RATING

 

RECORD

YARDS

TD PASSES

RATING

3-2

1,345

8

86.4

 

6-3

2,513

12

101.8

 

 

WEEK 2 - THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2014

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1-0) AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (0-1)

SERIES

 

STEELERS

RAVENS

THURS. RECORD

10-13

3-4

SERIES LEADER

20-16

 

STREAKS

2 of past 3

 

COACHES VS. OPP.

Tomlin: 9-7

Harbaugh: 6-8

LAST WEEK

W 30-27 vs. Browns

L 23-16 vs. Bengals

LAST GAME

11/28/13: Steelers 20 at Ravens 22. Baltimore WR Torrey Smith has 6 catches for 93 yards & TD. Ravens K Justin Tucker converts all 5 FG attempts.

LAST GAME AT SITE

11/28/13

BROADCAST

CBS/NFLN (8:25 PM ET): Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Boomer Esiason, Ross Tucker (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 92 (Pit.), 93 (Bal.). XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Pit.), 225 (Bal.). 

STATS

PASSING

Roethlisberger: 23-34-365 (3L)-1-1-100.7

Flacco: 35-62-345 (3C)-1-1-71.0

RUSHING

Bell: 21-109 (2C)-5.2-1 (T2C)

Forsett: 11-70-6.4-1 (T2C)

RECEIVING

Wheaton: 6-97-16.2-0

Pitta (TE): 10 (T1L)-83-8.3-0

OFFENSE

490.0 (1C)

420.0 (2C)

TAKE/GIVE

-1

-2

DEFENSE

389.0

380.0

SACKS

3 tied: 1

---

INTs

---

---

PUNTING

Wing: 43.7

Koch: 42.3

KICKING

Suisham: 12 (3/3 PAT; 3/3 FG)

Tucker: 4 (1/1 PAT; 1/2 FG)

NOTES

STEELERSLast week, QB Ben Roethlisberger had 278 pass yards in 1st half, most of any player in 1st half of Week 1 game since 2008. Improved career record to 18-1 (.947) vs. Browns, best mark of any QB vs. 1 team since 1970 (min. 15 starts). Posted 29th career 300-yard passing game vs. Cle. (365), most in club history. Has 96-47 (.671) regular-season record as a starter, 3rd-best win pct. among active NFL QBs (min. 10 starts)…RB Le’veon Bell led NFL with 197 scrim. yards (109 rush, 88 rec.) on KO Weekend. Has rush TD in 5 of past 6. Aims for 4th in row with 90+ rush yards…In past 5, WR Antonio Brown has 30 catches for 512 yards (17.1 avg.) & 3 TDs, including 5 catches for team-high 116 yards (23.2 avg.) last week. WR Markus Wheaton had 6 catches vs. Cle., matching previous career total, for 97 yards (16.2 avg.). TE Heath Miller has TD catch in 2 of past 3 vs. Bal… Rookie LB Ryan Shazier (No. 15 overall) became first rookie LB to start for Steelers on KO Weekend since 2001 (Kendrell Bell). LB Jason Worilds has 5 sacks in past 5…

 

RAVENS: QB Joe Flacco is 11-1 (.917) at home in September & 24-13 (.649) all-time vs. AFC North. Has won 4 of past 6 vs. Pit., passing for 1,342 yards with 7 TDs vs. 1 INT for 88.6 rating in those games…RB Justin Forsett had 84 scrimmage yards in Ravens debut (70 rush, 14 rec.) & scored rush TD…WR Steve Smith Srhad 7 catches for 118 yards (16.9 avg.), including 80-yard TD catch (tied for career long). TE Dennis Pitta led team with career-high 10 catches for 83 yards last week…LB Terrell Suggs (94.5) is Raven’s all-time sack leader. Has 4.5 sacks in past 4 at home vs. Pit. Since 2013, LB Daryl Smith is 1 of 4 players in NFL with 5+ sacks & 3+ INTs…Since 2012, KR Jacoby Jones has 4 kick-return TDs (3 KR, 1 PR), tied for most in NFL.



September 09, 2014


Ray Lewis during ESPN's Monday Night Countdown on Ray Rice:

"There is no comparison. This is nothing about me personally. Me speaking with the owner of the Ravens today, Steve Bisciotti, just moments ago and listening to what Steve was saying the reason Ray Rice will never play for the Ravens again because when he saw this video himself he put his daughter ... he put anybody that’s connected to him that’s a female ... he put them in that position.

 

MAKE IT STOP! 

Ray, we knew this happened when the initial video of Rice dragging her limp body out of the elevator hit the Internet!

It's as if Lewis, the Ravens and the NFL knew there would be more backlash as a result of a new video and extracted themselves from further "distraction".

Lewis continues ... 

"And when you do that, you have to take a step back when you’re an owner, when you’re anybody who walks in the room and sees that type of evidence that you haven’t heard before or haven’t seen before and one thing Steve made very clear, there’s no comparison of me and Ray Rice. It’s night and day of anything we’ve ever been through. That’s why both situations were totally different."

I'm beginning to think these people live in a vaccuum of delusion and grandeur where they believe everything they say is gospel. 

Here's more from the Gospel of Raymond:

"Friends, sometimes friends tell you what you want to hear, best friends tell you what you need to hear. I told him, 'I will be there to talk to him. I really want to sit down and know what's going on in his heart and what's next for Ray Rice.' I'm not talking about football. I'm talking about as a man. Where is your focus right now?'

"Me and him have been going back and forth via text. I wanted to let him know I'm still encouraged. A lot of fire and darkness are coming at you, but you have to stand still in the midst of this storm. How do you find your way out of this? You humble yourself. You figure out ways to get yourself out of this and you seek counsel. That's why I'm going home to definitely meet with him to be the same mentor I was the first time he walked through the door."



September 08, 2014


When human beings dressed as stuffed animal franchise legends is the high point of a victimizing 34-6 shellacking at home, you've got problems.



MNF & Early Week 2 NFL Trends

By Cold Hard Football Facts
September 08, 2014


Vegas has spoken ... (11:18 pm Sunday evening)

Notable Monday Night Football Trends:

Week One Monday Night Football underdogs are 17-7 ATS (since 1996)

Giants on road under Tom Coughlin: 54-33 ATS (62%)

Arizona one of only 6 teams last year to cover 10+ games against the spread

Next Week’s Early Spreads:

Baltimore -3 hosting Pittsburgh
Seattle -6 at San Diego
Green Bay -8 hosting Jets
San Fran -7 hosting Chicago
Indy -2.5 hosting Philadelphia

 



September 07, 2014


The Buccanneers have yet to be penalized for too many men on the field. 



Week 1 NFL Wardrobes

By Patrick Imig
September 07, 2014


Mike Ditka can get away with wearing red shoes and khakis. He looks thrilled to be standing there doesn't he?

And then there's Ben Roethlisberger, who dresses like Don Johnson with a t shirt and jacket circa Miami Vice, even in 2014 (via Andrew Siciliano)

Rex Ryan does him one better and wears just a plain white T. 

Last and certainly not least, Faux John Madden on Twitter brings us Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez ...



September 07, 2014


Courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info, Frank Gore will join some serious company with 33 yards rushing today or over the course of the 2014 season. 

With the exception of Fred Taylor and Tiki Barber, every running back on the list is in the Hall of Fame. 



Update On Tom Brady's Calf

By Patrick Imig
September 05, 2014


Tom Brady is fine, people. So is his calf. Nothing to see here. 

 






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