NFL

Week 17 pregame notes for every game

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Each week STATS INC. will arm you with the main talking points for each NFL game, including the top storylines around the league.

Sunday - Early games

Rams (2-13) at Falcons (10-5)
  • The Rams lost, 17-16, at home to the 49ers last Sunday after holding a 16-3 lead with under five minutes left in the contest. St. Louis has led after three quarters just three times in 2008, but has lost each of those games (vs. Bills, Seahawks, 49ers).
  • St. Louis has dropped nine straight games overall and dating to Week 14 in 2007, the Rams have lost 14 straight times when failing to score at least 17 points.
  • The Falcons beat the Vikings, 24-17, in Minnesota last weekend and clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2004. Atlanta can still win the NFC South with a win over the Rams coupled with a Panthers loss in New Orleans this weekend.
  • Atlanta lost these teams' latest meeting (28-16 in St. Louis last season) and is just 1-8 against the Rams since the beginning of the 1999 campaign.
  • The Rams franchise has never lost 14 games in a season and with a win against the Falcons, will finish 3-13 for the second consecutive campaign.
  • Atlanta is looking to finish the season 7-1 at home this weekend — the only time in franchise history that the Falcons went undefeated at home was in 1998. If they beat the Rams in Week 17, it will be the fourth time they've gone 7-1.
  • Steven Jackson recorded his third 100-yard game of the season last weekend and with 119 yards on the ground against the Falcons, will post his fourth straight 1,000-yard campaign.
  • Michael Turner scored from one yard out against the Vikes and now has 16 touchdowns (all rushing) in 2008 (currently tied with Jamal Anderson in 1998 for the franchise-high) and his 16 rush TDs this season are a new Falcon record.
  • Patriots (10-5) at Bills (7-8)
  • The Patriots took a 47-7 win over the Cardinals in the snow at Gillette Stadium last Sunday and at 10-5, still find themselves in the playoff hunt. New England will win the AFC East for the sixth straight season with a win over the Bills and a Jets victory over the Dolphins this weekend.
  • New England has now won three straight games by a combined score of 120-54. The Patriots have scored 40 or more points a league-high four times this season (also ties a franchise-high done in 2007).
  • The Bills went to Denver last weekend, and for the time being, put the Broncos' playoff hopes on hold with a 30-23 victory at Invesco Field. Buffalo's win snapped a 3-game losing streak and gave the team a chance to finish without a losing record for the first time since going 9-7 in 2004.
  • Including a 20-10 win in Week 10, the Patriots have defeated the Bills 10 straight times and haven't lost to Buffalo since a 31-0 setback in Week 1 of the 2003 campaign.
  • Trent Edwards played in his first game since Week 13 last Sunday and won for the second time in his last three starts overall. Edwards posted a 104.3 rating against Denver and has now recorded five 100+ rating games in his career (5-0 in those contests).
  • Buffalo allowed 532 net yards to the Broncos in Week 16 — tied for the fifth most in Bills franchise history. The last time Buffalo allowed 500+ yards in a game and won was in 1992 against the 49ers.
  • With its 514-yard performance in Week 16 against the Cardinals, New England is now averaging 411.7 net yards per game over the last 10 contests — most of any team in football since Week 7.
  • Matt Cassel has passed for 302.5 yards per game and has 14 touchdowns in his last six contests — both numbers are best among all NFL QBs since Week 11.
  • Bears (9-6) at Texans (7-8)
  • The Bears stayed alive in the hunt for the NFC North title as well as a wild-card berth with a 20-17 overtime victory against the Packers on Monday night. Chicago will win the division with a win or a tie vs. the Texans coupled with a Minnesota loss to the Giants in Week 17. A Bears wild-card berth would require losses or ties by both the Cowboys and Buccaneers.
  • Chicago is 2-1 this season and 5-2 since the beginning of 2007 vs. AFC teams — Houston beat the Bears, 24-5, in these two teams' only meeting all-time (12/19/04).
  • The Texans went to Oakland and lost, 27-16, to the Raiders last weekend and had their franchise-high tying 4-game win streak snapped in the process. Houston has won three straight home games vs. the NFC by an average of over 11 points per contest.
  • The Texans have won their last two season finales — both of which were held in Reliant Stadium. If they can beat the Bears, they will finish 8-8 for the second consecutive season.
  • Matt Forte had 73 yards on 23 carries on Monday and reached paydirt for the second consecutive game as well. Forte has 12 total TDs on the season (8 rush, 4 rec) — most of any Bear player since Curtis Conway had 12 in 1995.
  • Steve Slaton had 66 yards on 18 carries last weekend and with 1,190 rush yards on the season, is now the Texans' all-time single-season rusher (passed Domanick Williams who had 1,188 yards on the ground in 2004).
  • The Texans are averaging 6.6 yards on first down this season — best in the league.
  • Chicago has won three straight games and is looking for its first 4-game win streak since December of 2006. Since 2005, the Bears are 12-6 in regular-season December/January games — best in the NFC and tied for third-best in the league.
  • Chiefs (2-13) at Bengals (3-11-1)
  • The Chiefs lost a 38-31 shootout with the Dolphins last Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium and have now dropped three straight and 10 of their last 11 games overall. Kansas City finished with a record of 1-7 at home this season — its worst in franchise history.
  • Kansas City and Cincinnati have alternated wins and losses in each of their last nine meetings with the Chiefs winning the latest contest, 27-20, in 2007. KC is 5-5 all-time in Cincinnati, but hasn't won a game there since 1984 (0-2 since).
  • The Bengals went to Cleveland last weekend and beat the Browns, 14-0, for their second straight win overall. Cincinnati hasn't posted a 3+ game win streak since a 4-gamer in 2006 and is now 3-3-1 in the last seven games after beginning the campaign with eight straight losses.
  • Cincinnati's last shutout also came in Cleveland (a 30-0 win in 2006) and the Bengals are now 24-0-1 the last 25 times they've allowed 13 or fewer points in a game (last loss vs. Jax in 2000).
  • Leon Hall picked off three Ken Dorsey passes last weekend, including one that he took back 50 yards for his first career touchdown. Entering Week 16, Hall had just five interceptions total in his first 30 NFL contests.
  • The Bengals failed to record a rushing touchdown for the 10th time in 2008 and have just five total on the season — currently tied for second-fewest in franchise history (3 rush TDs in 1993 and 5 rush TDs in 1994).
  • Tony Gonzalez had seven catches for 64 yards in Week 16 and has now gone over the 1,000-yard plateau for the second straight and fourth time in his career. Gonzalez also caught a touchdown pass for the third straight game and has nine on the season — most of any tight end in football.
  • Larry Johnson had 108 yards on the ground against the Dolphins last Sunday — his third 100-yard game of the season. LJ is now 144 yards shy of recording his third career 1,000-yard campaign (1,750 in 2005 and 1,789 in 2006).
  • Lions (0-15) at Packers (5-10)
  • The Lions lost, 42-7, to the Saints at Ford Field last Sunday — their 16th straight and 21st loss in their last 22 games dating to last season. Detroit finished with an 0-8 record at home for the first time ever and went winless at home for just the second time in franchise history (0-7 in 1942).
  • Detroit is the first team in NFL history to go 0-15 and if the Lions don't beat or tie the Packers Sunday, will become just the sixth team since 1932 to go through an entire season by losing every game.
  • The Packers dropped a 20-17 overtime decision to the Bears on Monday night and have now lost five straight and seven of their last eight games overall. The last time Green Bay had a 5+ game losing streak was when it lost seven straight from 12/19/90-9/8/91).
  • Including a 48-25 victory earlier this season, Green Bay has beaten Detroit six straight times overall. The last time the Packers lost to the Lions at home was in 1991 (17-0 record since 1992 — including postseason).
  • Ryan Grant had 25 carries (61 yards) on Monday vs. the Bears and is just seven carries shy of becoming the fifth Packer player all-time with 300+ rushes in a single season. Grant had a season-low tying 20 yards (15 carries) in these teams' first game of 2008.
  • Kevin Smith recorded his second career 100-yard game last weekend and is now just 116 yards shy of becoming the first Lions back to hit the 1,000-yard plateau since Kevin Jones had 1,133 rush yards in 2004. If Smith gets to 1,000 yards, he will become just the fourth different Detroit player to do so in the last 25 seasons (Barry Sanders, James Stewart, Kevin Jones).
  • With 1,229 yards on the season, Calvin Johnson has 40% of Detroit's 3,074 receiving yards this season — the third highest percentage of any player in football when it comes to his teams' percentage of receiving yards in 2008.
  • Green Bay's average margin of victory this season is 18.4 points — highest in the league.
  • Titans (13-2) at Colts (11-4)
  • The Titans beat the Steelers, 31-14, at home last weekend, wrapping up the AFC's top seed for the 2008 postseason. Tennessee last had the AFC's best record in 2000 and with a win over the Colts in Week 17 will set a franchise-high for wins in a season (14).
  • Including a 31-21 victory earlier this season, the Titans have won three of the last four meetings with the Colts. The AFC's top seeded team has made it to the Super Bowl just one time in the last four seasons (2007 Patriots).
  • Indianapolis scored 17 fourth-quarter points against the Jaguars last Thursday and came back to win the game, 31-24. The victory assured the Colts of their seventh consecutive postseason appearance and gave Tony Dungy his 10th straight trip to the playoffs (3 with the Buccaneers) — the longest streak of any head coach in NFL history (Tom Landry-9).
  • The Colts have won eight straight games since beginning the season with a 3-4 record. Indy averaged just 17 points per game in its first two contests at Lucas Oil Stadium (both losses), but since, the Colts are putting up 29.6 ppg at home (5-0 record).
  • Both Chris Johnson and LenDale White rushed for touchdowns last weekend and now have all 24 of Tennessee's TDs on the ground in 2008. The Titans need two more rushing touchdowns in Week 17 to tie the franchise record for most in a single season (Oilers had 26 in 1988).
  • Tennessee is leading the league in scoring defense this season (14.1 ppg allowed) and if the Titans can hold the Colts to 16 points or fewer in this game, will post the second-best mark in franchise history (11.9 ppg allowed in 2000).
  • Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes against the Jags in Week 16 and with 26 on the season has extended his own NFL record of 25+ TD seasons to 11 straight.
  • The Colts had their fifth game without a turnover this season last weekend and dating to the beginning of 2004, have now won 20 straight games when having zero giveaways. Indianapolis has a +9 turnover ratio during its 8-game win streak.
  • Giants (12-3) at Vikings (9-6)
  • The Giants beat the Panthers, 34-28, in overtime last Sunday and have now clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs for the first time since 2000. The NFC's No. 1 seed has gone on to the Super Bowl in three of the previous four campaigns (the Giants made it last season as the No. 5 seed).
  • New York rushed for 301 yards in Week 16 and has now won 21 straight games when topping 200 yards on the ground. The last time a Giants squad lost when rushing for 200+ yards was in 1995 vs. the Cowboys.
  • Minnesota dropped a 24-17 decision to the Falcons last weekend and had its 4-game win streak snapped. The Vikes will still win the NFC North with either a win over the Giants or a Bears loss to the Texans in Week 17 and owns the tie-breaker over Chicago if the two teams finish with the same record in 2008.
  • Overall, the Vikings have beaten the Giants twice in a row but both those contests were played at the Meadowlands. Minnesota has not beaten New York at home since 2001 and has lost three straight to the G-Men in the Metrodome.
  • Adrian Peterson had 76 yards on the ground last Sunday and is now just 43 yards shy of becoming the first Vikings back with 1,700 rushing yards. Peterson also put the ball on the ground twice in Week 16 and has eight total fumbles in 2008 — most of any non-quarterback in the league.
  • Derrick Ward had a career-high 215 rushing yards last weekend and is now just 52 yards shy of joining Brandon Jacobs as a 1,000-yard rusher in 2008. The last pair teammates to each post 1,000 rush yards in the same season were Warrick Dunn (1,140) and Michael Vick (1,039) in 2006.
  • New York is averaging 27.2 points per game in 2008 — second highest in the league. The Giants have averaged 27+ points per game just two previous times in franchise history (32.0 in 1962 and 28.4 in 1963).
  • The Vikings lead the league in rush defense this season (73.0 ypg allowed) — Minnesota's defense has led the NFL in that category each of the previous two campaigns (61.6 in 2006 and 74.1 in 2007).
  • Panthers (11-4) at Saints (8-7)
  • The Panthers blew a shot at the NFC's No. 1 seed when they lost, 34-28, in overtime to the Giants in Week 16. Carolina will win the NFC North and a first-round bye with either a win or a tie against the Saints or a Falcon loss/tie to the Rams in Week 17.
  • Including a 30-7 win over the Saints earlier this season, Carolina is 9-3 vs. New Orleans in the two squads' last 12 games overall and hasn't lost a game to the Saints in Louisiana since 2001 (won six straight).
  • The Saints beat the Lions, 42-7, in Detroit last weekend and are now 4-2 in their last six games overall. The last time that New Orleans won its last two games in any season was 2004 when ending the campaign with four straight victories.
  • New Orleans has now scored a league-high 432 points in 2008 — the last team to lead the league in scoring and not make the postseason was the 1986 Dolphins.
  • Drew Brees passed for 351 yards against Detroit in Week 16 and is now 401 yards shy of tying Dan Marino's single-season passing yard mark of 5,084 in 1984. Currently sitting at No. 11 on the all-time list, Brees needs just 148 yards through the air against the Panthers to move up to No. 2 (Kurt Warner is second with 4,830 pass yards in 2001).
  • DeAngelo Williams recorded his second 4-touchdown game of the season last Sunday and now has a league-high 20 total TDs (18 rush, 2 rec) in 2008. Williams has reached paydirt 16 times in his last eight games after scoring just four times in his first seven contests of the season.
  • Despite being just 1-2 in their last three road contests, the Panthers are averaging 30.3 points per game away from home since Thanksgiving Weekend — highest of any NFC team.
  • New Orleans was 11-for-12 on third-down conversions last weekend. The 91.7% success rate was the best of any team in any game since the 1991 season.
  • Browns (4-11) at Steelers (11-4)
  • The Browns were shut out, 14-0, at home by the Bengals last weekend and now dropped five straight and seven of their last eight games overall. Cleveland has failed to score more than 10 points in any of its last five contests and has been outscored by a combined 98-31 during its current losing skid.
  • A year after going 10-6 and nearly making the playoffs, the Browns are just 4-11 in 2008. The 6-win drop-off from 2007 is currently tied with New England and Jacksonville for highest among all AFC teams and second highest in the NFL (Green Bay has 8 wins fewer than it had in 2007).
  • Pittsburgh missed a chance to claim the AFC's best record with a 31-14 loss to the Titans in Tennessee last Sunday. The loss snapped the Steelers' 5-game win streak and marked the most points scored on them since New England pinned a 34-13 defeat on Pittsburgh in Week 14 of 2007.
  • The Steelers have defeated the Browns 10 straight times overall. The last time Cleveland beat Pittsburgh was 33-13 on 10/5/03 when Tim Couch and Tommy Maddux were the starting QBs in the game.
  • Hines Ward recorded his fourth 100-yard performance in his last seven contests and needs just 27 yards against the Browns to post his fifth career 1,000-yard season, but first since the 2004 campaign.
  • Jamal Lewis gathered 76 yards on 16 carries in Week 16 and is now 92 yards shy of recording his third straight and seventh 1,000-yard season since joining the league in 2000. Lewis is averaging just 47.6 rush yards per game against the Steelers in nine games since the beginning of 2004.
  • Bruce Gradkowski could make his first start since December of 2006 for the Browns this weekend. Gradkowski was 3-8 as Jon Gruden's starting QB at Tampa Bay in 2006 (0-6 on the road) and lost his only lifetime appearance against the Steelers that season, 20-3.
  • Pittsburgh is allowing just 166.1 pass yards per game this season (leads NFL) — it's currently the lowest mark posted by a Steeler defense since 1990 (156.3).
  • Raiders (4-11) at Buccaneers (9-6)
  • The Raiders beat the Texans, 27-16, in their final home game of the season last weekend and snapped their 3-game losing streak in the process. Oakland is 2-5 on the road this season and has dropped four straight and eight of its last nine contests in the Eastern Time Zone.
  • Oakland has won five of six regular-season games all-time vs. the Bucs. The only loss came in the two squads' lone meeting in Tampa on 11/10/96 (20-17).
  • Tampa Bay blew a chance to control its own postseason destiny when it lost, 41-24, to the Chargers in Week 16. There are several ways that the Bucs can still make the playoffs, but all scenarios include either a loss or tie by the Cowboys vs. the Eagles this weekend.
  • With their 41-24 loss to the Chargers, the Buccaneers have now dropped three straight games overall and are just 2-5 vs. the AFC since the beginning of last season (1-2 in 2008).
  • Tampa Bay entered the fourth quarter with a 24-20 lead last Sunday. The setback marked the first time this season and just the second time since the beginning of 2005 that the Bucs have lost a game when leading after three quarters (also 10/28/07 vs. Jaguars).
  • Antonio Bryant had 127 receiving yards in Week 16 and has now strung together a career-high tying three straight 100+ yard games in a row. Bryant needs just 29 yards against Oakland to become the fourth receiver in Buccaneer history to post 1,200+ receiving yards in a single season (Mark Carrier-1,422 in 1989, Joey Galloway-1,287 in 2005 and Keyshawn Johnson-1,266 in 2001).
  • Johnnie Lee Higgins scored two touchdowns last weekend for Oakland (1 rec, 1 PR) and has six total TDs on the season — most of any Raider on the team. Higgins has now posted three punt-return touchdowns in 2008 (Raider's single-season record).
  • Opponents have completed a league-low 249 passes against the Raiders' defense this season.
  • Sunday — Late games

    Seahawks (4-11) at Cardinals (8-7)
  • The Seahawks put a damper on the Jets' playoff hopes with a 13-3 victory over New York in Mike Holmgren's last home game as head coach. Seattle has now strung together two straight victories for the first time this season and with a win over the Cardinals in Week 17, will post a 4-2 record vs. divisional foes in 2008 (1-9 vs. all others).
  • Seneca Wallace completed 18-of-25 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown last weekend and with a 104.5 rating, has now posted four 100+ rating games in his career (3-1 record). Wallace is 3-4 as the Seahawks' starting QB in 2008 and 5-6 in 11 career starts overall.
  • Arizona was blown out, 47-7, by the Patriots in snowy Foxboro last Sunday and has now dropped two straight and four of its last five games overall.
  • The Cardinals have defeated the Seahawks three of the last four times the two teams have met including each of the last two games in Arizona. Kurt Warner threw for 395 yards in Week 11 against the Seahawks — a 26-20 Cardinal victory.
  • Maurice Morris ran for 116 yards on 29 carries against the Jets in Week 16 and now has five career 100+ yard rushing games. Seattle is 4-1 in those contests.
  • Anquan Boldin's status for this contest is doubtful after he missed last week's game against the Patriots with a shoulder injury suffered the previous week against the Vikings. Larry Fitzgerald (1,301 yards) and Boldin (1,038 yards) have combined for 2,339 receiving yards in 2008 — best of any duo in football.
  • Seattle's defense has allowed 253.5 passing yards per game thus far in 2008 — worst in the league. Opponents have passed for over 300 yards six times against the Seahawks this season.
  • No matter what happens in this game, the Cardinals will host a playoff game for the first time since the 1947 NFL Championship Game (a 28-21 victory by the Chicago Cardinals over the Eagles) next weekend. Arizona hasn't beaten a team with a winning record since defeating Dallas, 30-24, in Week 6 (four straight losses since).
  • Cowboys (9-6) at Eagles (8-6-1)
  • Despite losing 33-24 to the Ravens in their last regular-season game at Texas Stadium, the Cowboys still control their own destiny when it comes to making the 2008 playoffs. With a win against the Eagles, Dallas will secure a postseason berth for the third season in a row.
  • Dallas hasn't scored more than 14 points in any of its last four road games and, in fact, is just 1-4 away from home since Week 6. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles, 41-37, in the two teams' first meeting of 2008 (Week 2).
  • Philadelphia had an opportunity to control its own destiny, but dropped a 10-3 decision to the Redskins at FedEx Field last weekend. If they can beat the Cowboys, the Eagles now need a Tampa Bay loss coupled with either a Bear or Viking loss to get into the playoffs.
  • Since 1988 and including the 2008 Bengals, just four of 11 teams that have tied a game in the regular season, have made the playoffs (1989 Browns, 1997 Giants, 2002 Steelers and 2002 Falcons).
  • Terrell Owens (949 yards) and Jason Witten (902 yards) are 51 and 98 receiving yards respectively from recording 1,000-yard campaigns. The Cowboys have had two 1,000-yard receivers each of the previous two seasons (Owens and Glenn in 2006, Owens and Witten in 2007).
  • Including 115 yards vs. the Ravens, Tashard Choice has had over 100 scrimmage yards in each of his last three games and his total of 424 scrimmage yards is second-best in football since Week 14 (Antonio Bryant-435).
  • Donovan McNabb went without a touchdown pass for just the 28th time in 127 career regular-season starts last Sunday — the Eagles are now 10-18 in those contests.
  • Philadelphia has won its eight games in 2008 by an average of 18.0 points per game — the second largest average margin of victory in the league this season (GB-18.4).
  • Redskins (8-7) at 49ers (6-9)
  • The Redskins beat the Eagles, 10-3, in Week 16 and snapped their 3-game losing streak in the process. That said, Washington has now gone four straight and six of seven games without scoring more than 13 points.
  • Washington's win last weekend was its first when scoring 10 points or fewer since beating Chicago, 9-7, in Week 1 of 2005. The ¿Skins had dropped 10 straight contests when failing to put more than 10 points on the scoreboard prior to Week 16's victory.
  • San Francisco came back from a 16-3 deficit to the Rams last Sunday, scored 14 points in the last 4+ minutes and beat St. Louis, 17-16, at the Edward Jones Dome. The 49ers have now won three of four after beginning the 2008 campaign by going 3-8 in their first 11 games.
  • The Redskins have won three of the last four meetings between these teams, the latest being a 52-17 Washington victory in October of 2005. The 52 points put on the board by the ¿Skins in that contest was their fourth-highest total in franchise history.
  • Clinton Portis rushed for 70 yards against the Eagles last weekend and now has 1,407 yards on the ground in 2008. Portis has three seasons with 1,500+ yards in his career and his total of 9,122 rush yards since 2002 are second-most in football (Tomlinson-10,428).
  • Portis' fellow former Miami Hurricane, Frank Gore is expected to play against the Redskins despite an ankle injury that has kept him sidelined the last two weeks. Gore is currently just 22 rush yards shy of his third straight 1,000-yard campaign.
  • San Francisco hasn't scored a rushing touchdown since way back in Week 11 vs. the Rams and its 143 straight runs without reaching paydirt is currently the longest active streak in football.
  • Shaun Suisham has made just 71.4% (25-of-35) field goals this season — the lowest percentage of any regular kicker in football. Suisham has missed 10 field goals in 2008 after missing just nine total in his previous NFL seasons.
  • Dolphins (10-5) at Jets (9-6)
  • The Dolphins took one more step towards their first postseason appearance since 2001 with a 38-31 win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium last weekend. Miami need only win this game to claim its first AFC East title since 2000.
  • Once in control of its own destiny, New York lost, 13-3, in Seattle last Sunday and now needs a win plus some help if hoping to make the playoffs for the fifth time since 2001. The Jets will win the AFC East with a victory over the Dolphins coupled with a Patriots loss to the Bills and they will be the AFC's other wild-card team with a win coupled with a Ravens loss to the Jags on Sunday.
  • Chad Pennigton recorded his 11th career game-winning drive last weekend and second as a Dolphin (also vs. Oakland in Week 11). In these two teams' first meeting of the season in Week 1 (a 20-14 Jets' win), Pennington threw 43 passes vs. his former team — tied for the second-most pass attempts in his career.
  • Brett Favre posted a 125.9 rating (2 TD, 0 INT) against the Dolphins in winning his first start as the Jets quarterback in Week 1. New York is 5-0 this season when Favre records a rating of 100 or higher.
  • Thomas Jones had 101 yards on the ground vs. the Dolphins in his first game of 2008 — his first of five 100-yard rushing games of the season. Jones is just 11 yards shy of becoming the third Jet back all-time to rush for 1,300+ yards in a single season (Curtis Martin in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004 and Freeman McNeil in 1985).
  • The Jets have forced 29 turnovers this season and their 106 points scored off those takeaways is currently fourth highest in the league. New York scored just 42 points off turnovers in 2007 — second fewest in football.
  • Miami has eight different players with 200+ yards receiving in 2008 — most of any AFC team and tied for second-most in the league.
  • Regardless of what happens in this game, Miami is already the first team in NFL history to go from a 1-15 record one season to winning 10 games in the next. None of the previous seven teams that went 1-15 made the playoffs the following season.
  • Jaguars (5-10) at Ravens (10-5)
  • The Jaguars dropped a 31-24 decision to the Colts last Sunday and have now lost 10+ games for the first time since going 5-11 in 2003.
  • Jacksonville has lost five of its last six games overall and is now 0-26 all-time when allowing 30 or more points.
  • The Ravens went to Dallas and beat the Cowboys, 33-24, last Saturday. Baltimore controls its own destiny and will make the playoffs for the second time in three seasons with a win over Jacksonville in Week 17 (and play whichever team wins the AFC East in the first round of the 2008 postseason).
  • Baltimore and Jacksonville last met in 2005 (a 30-3 Jags' victory in Florida) — the Ravens have beaten the Jaguars four straight times at home with none of those contests decided by more than a touchdown.
  • The Ravens have won their final home game five straight times and are 4-0 in their season finale the four times that they've made the playoffs all-time (2000, 2001, 2003, 2006).
  • Le'Ron McClain ran for a career-high 139 yards against the Cowboys and his 82-yard touchdown was the longest run by a visiting player in Texas Stadium's 37-year history. McClain's TD scamper also tied the longest run in Ravens history (Jamal Lewis had an 82-yard touchdown run against Cleveland in 2003).
  • David Garrard set career highs for completions (28) as well as passing yards (329) last Thursday vs. the Colts. It was just his second career 300-yard game (also vs. Minnesota in Week 12) and the Jags are 0-2 in those contests.
  • Baltimore rushed for 265 yards as a team last Sunday — its sixteenth 200+ yard rushing day in franchise history. The Ravens are now 14-1-1 all-time when topping the 200-yard mark on the ground.
  • Sunday night

    Broncos (8-7) at Chargers (7-8)
  • The Broncos were beaten at home, 30-23, by the Bills last Sunday, setting up this showdown for the AFC West title. Including two straight losses, Denver is just 4-6 in its last 10 games after starting the season 4-1.
  • This season marks the fifth straight time that either Denver (2005) or San Diego (2004, 2006, 2007) will win the AFC West. The Broncos won the first meeting of 2008 by the score of 39-38 and snapped their 4-game losing streak to the Chargers.
  • San Diego went to Tampa and beat the Buccaneers, 41-24, last weekend. The victory was the Chargers' third straight overall and they have now won 13-straight games in the month of December (dating to 2006).
  • Just eight previous teams have finished a season 8-8 and gone on to the playoffs — 1985 Browns, 1990 Saints, 1991 Jets, 1999 Cowboys, 1999 Lions, 2004 Vikings, 2004 Rams and 2006 Giants. Of the eight, only the 2004 Vikings and 2004 Rams actually won a postseason game.
  • Jay Cutler recorded his seventh 300-yard game of the season last Sunday and passed Jake Plummer as the Broncos' all-time single-season passing leader with 4,210 yards in 2008. With 24 TD in 2008, Cutler needs three touchdown passes against San Diego to tie both John Elway (1997) and Plummer (2004) for the all-time single-season TD record for Denver quarterbacks.
  • Philip Rivers had his first career 4-touchdown game for the Chargers last weekend and now has a league-leading total of 32 TD passes in 2008. Rivers needs one TD pass against the Broncos to tie Dan Fouts (1981) for the all-time Chargers' single-season record of 33.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson had 90 yards on the ground against the Bucs in Week 16 and now has 1,014 rush yards on the season — LT has gone over the 1,000-yard mark in each of his first eight NFL seasons.
  • Brandon Marshall had a franchise-record 18 catches (166 yards) in these teams first meeting of the season and needs just two receptions in this game to record 100+ for the second straight season. The only Bronco receiver all-time to record back-to-back 100-reception seasons was Rod Smith in 2000 (100) and 2001 (113).
  • Tagged: Falcons, Bills, Bears, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Broncos, Lions, Packers, Titans, Colts, Chiefs, Raiders, Rams, Dolphins, Vikings, Patriots, Saints, Giants, Jets, Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Redskins, Panthers, Jaguars, Ravens, Cardinals, Steelers, Chargers, Texans, Patrick Kerney, Pat Williams, Antoine Winfield, Mike Sellers, Dennis Northcutt, Shaun O'Hara, Jason Elam, Brian Griese, Jason Hanson, Brett Favre, Dorsey Levens, Ahman Green, Derrick Mason, Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzalez, Shane Lechler, Charles Woodson, Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger, Olindo Mare, Tom Brady, Drew Bledsoe, Ricky Williams, Kevin Mawae, James Farrior, John Abraham, Shaun Ellis, Donovan McNabb, Brian Dawkins, Thomas Jones, Adrian Wilson, Joey Porter, Hines Ward, LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees, Walter Jones, Steve Hutchinson, Jeff Feagles, Derrick Brooks, Stephen Davis, Chris Samuels, Steve Smith Sr., Clinton Portis, Albert Haynesworth, Julius Peppers, Chris Hope, John Carney, Adrian Peterson, Shaun Hill, James Harrison, Anquan Boldin, Lance Briggs, Carson Palmer, Andre Johnson, Jordan Gross, Kevin Williams, Troy Polamalu, Dallas Clark, Nnamdi Asomugha, Chris Johnson, Asante Samuel, Antonio Gates, Tony Romo, Kris Dielman, Clifton Smith, Chris Snee, Larry Fitzgerald, J.P. Losman, Chris Cooley, Eli Manning, Josh Scobee, Michael Turner, Wes Welker, Jason Peters, Aaron Rodgers, Jason Campbell, Roddy White, Michael Roos, Nick Collins, Justin Miller, Frank Gore, Justin Tuck, Ronnie Brown, Braylon Edwards, Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kyle Orton, Ryan Grant, Mario Williams, Jay Cutler, Maurice Jones-Drew, Cortland Finnegan, Stephen Gostkowski, Brandon Marshall, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Calvin Johnson, Patrick Willis, Marshawn Lynch, Jon Beason, Joe Flacco, Tashard Choice

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