CoopFrom the NFL and NFL.com, here are the news and notes on both conferences, with mid season projections. First up is the AFC and the NFC follows after the 'Jump.'
AFC NEWS ‘N’ NOTES
HALFWAY HOME: AFC MIDSEASON PROJECTIONS
BALTIMORE: Second-year QB JOE FLACCO is on pace to record 4,088 passing yards and is within reach of surpassing VINNY TESTAVERDE (4,177 in 1996) for the most passing yards in a single-season in franchise history in a season. The strong-armed QB has 12 touchdowns passes and is on target for 24, which would be second-most in club annals (Testaverde, 33, 1996)…RB RAY RICE leads the team with 573 rushing yards, already a career high, and is on pace for a career-high 1,146. Rice would become the Ravens first 1,000-yard rusher since WILLIS MC GAHEE in 2007 (1,207). Rice (436) needs seven yards to set a Ravens RB record for most receiving yards in a season (JAMAL LEWIS, 442 in 2002).
BUFFALO: Major offseason acquisition WR TERRELL OWENS (974) needs 26 receptions to become the sixth player in NFL history with 1,000 receptions…Running back FRED JACKSON leads team with 445 rushing yards and is on pace to record a career-high 890…Rookie S JAIRUS BYRD is tied for first in the NFL with seven interceptions. The University of Oregon product is on track to tie NIGHT TRAIN LANE (14 in 1952) for the most interceptions in NFL history. Byrd needs four interceptions to pass BILLY ATKINS (10 in 1961) and TOM JANIK (10 in 1967) for the most interceptions in Bills’ history.
CINCINNATI: RB CEDRIC BENSON has solidified the first-place Bengals’ rushing attack. Benson ranks second in the NFL with 837 rushing yards, and is on target (1,674) to surpass RUDI JOHNSON (1,458, 2005) for the most rushing yards in a season in franchise history…WR CHAD OCHOCINCO is on pace (1,278) to record his seventh 1,000-yard season and needs 456 receiving yards to become the first Bengal to reach 10,000 career…CBs LEON HALL (4) and JOHNATHAN JOSEPH (4) are the only duo in the AFC with at least four interceptions each and can challenge DELTHA O’NEAL’s single-season franchise record (10, 2005).
CLEVELAND: Veteran RB JAMAL LEWIS leads the team with 349 rushing yards in six games and aims to reach 800+ yards for the ninth time in his career…Rookie WR MOHAMED MASSAQUOI leads the team in receptions (19) and receiving yards (328) through Week 9. The University of Georgia product can become the fourth rookie in franchise history to lead the team in both receptions and receiving yards…On defense, LB KAMERION WIMBLEY has five sacks in seven games and can challenge his career-high of 11 in 2006. Wimbley is on pace (10.5) to become the first Browns player to record double-digit sacks in multiple seasons since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.
DENVER: Rookie head coach JOSH MC DANIELS has Broncos fans excited about an efficient offense and a swarming defense. Denver currently is in first place in the AFC West and aims for its first playoff appearance since 2005…WR BRANDON MARSHALL has welcomed QB KYLE ORTON to Bronco country. Marshall has 44 receptions and may join HERMAN MOORE (3), JERRY RICE (3) and MARVIN HARRISON (4) as the only players with 100 receptions in three consecutive seasons in NFL history…LB-DE ELVIS DUMERVIL is tied for an NFL-best 10.5 sacks and is on pace (21) to register the most sacks in franchise history (SIMON FLETCHER, 16 in 1992).
HOUSTON: QB MATT SCHAUB leads the NFL with 2,653 passing yards and is on pace (4,716) to set a franchise record and become the first 4,000-yard passer in Texans history. Schaub’s 17 touchdown passes this season are already a franchise record…Pro Bowl WR ANDRE JOHNSON leads the NFL in receiving yards (800) and ranks sixth in the league in catches (54). Johnson is on pace (1,422) to reach the 1,400-yard mark for the second consecutive season and can become the first player since JERRY RICE (1993-1995) to lead the league in receiving yards in back-to-back seasons.
INDIANAPOLIS: PEYTON MANNING and the 8-0 Colts take aim at an eighth consecutive playoff berth…Manning has 2,545 passing yards and is on pace (5,090) to surpass DAN MARINO (5,084 in 1984) for most passing yards in NFL history…WR REGGIE WAYNE is on track to record a career-high in receptions (59; 118) and can challenge his career high in receiving yards (1,510 in 2007)…TE DALLAS CLARK, who ranks second in the NFL with 60 receptions, is on track (120) to surpass single-season tight-end records for receptions and receiving yards (TONY GONZALEZ, 102, 2004; KELLEN WINSLOW, 1,290, 1980).
JACKSONVILLE: DAVID GARRARD, the Jaguars’ offensive leader, is on track (3,734 – second most in team history) to surpass his career-high of 3,620 passing yards in 2008 and become the team’s first quarterback to pass for over 3,500 yards in consecutive seasons…RB MAURICE JONES-DREW is in his first season as the Jaguars’ featured running back. The fourth-year veteran is on target (737; 1,474) to reach 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. Jones-Drew, who leads the NFL with 11 rushing touchdowns, needs four to surpass FRED TAYLOR (14 in 1998) for the franchise single-season mark.
KANSAS CITY: QB MATT CASSEL has 10 touchdowns passes in seven starts this season. Cassel can become the first Kansas City quarterback since TRENT GREEN in 2004 to throw 20-plus touchdowns passes in a season. Third-year WR DWAYNE BOWE leads the Chiefs in receptions (27), receiving yards (375) and touchdown receptions (4). Bowe is on pace (803) to gain over 800 receiving yards for the third consecutive season and is on target for a career-high eight touchdown receptions.
MIAMI: RBs RONNIE BROWN and RICKY WILLIAMS are a formidable duo in South Florida. Brown, who earned his first Pro Bowl trip last year is on track (566; 1,132) to top his career-best of 1,008 rushing yards in 2006. The versatile back has seven rushing touchdowns and aims to become first Dolphins running back with double-digit rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons since 1996-1997 (ABDUL-KARIM AL-JABBAR). Williams, who is in his ninth NFL season, is averaging 5.4 yards per rush and is on target (456; 912) to rush for over 900 yards for the first time since 2003 (1,372)…LB JASON TAYLOR has returned to Miami and is on pace (5.5; 11) to register his seventh season with 10-plus sacks.
NEW ENGLAND: BILL BELICHICK’s squad has started the season with at least six wins in their first eight games for the third time in four years…QB TOM BRADY is on pace (2,364; 4,728) for his third career 4,000-yard season… WR RANDY MOSS, who has recorded 1,000 receiving yards in a season nine times in his 11-year NFL career is on pace (712; 1,424) to join JERRY RICE (14) as the only players in NFL history with 10 seasons with 1,000 receiving yards. WR WES WELKER is on pace (55; 128) to post the second-most receptions in NFL history, trailing only MARVIN HARRISON (143 in 2002).
NEW YORK: Rookie QB MARK SANCHEZ is on pace (1,443; 2,886) to surpass JOE NAMATH (2,220 in 1965) for the most passing yards by a rookie in franchise history…All-Star RB THOMAS JONES ranks fourth in the AFC with 704 rushing yards and is on track (1,408) to post his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard season. Jones can become the first Jets RB since CURTIS MARTIN in 2004 to reach 1,400 yards…CB DARRELLE REVIS has been an impact player for rookie head coach REX RYAN’s defense. Revis leads the team with 10 interceptions since entering the league in 2007.
OAKLAND: QB JA MARCUS RUSSELL, the former No. 1 overall pick, is in his second season as the starting QB for the Raiders. Russell has continued to develop chemistry with rookie wide receivers DARRIUS HEYWARD-BEY and LOUIS MURPHY…On the ground, Oakland has taken a running back by committee approach with MICHAEL BUSH, JUSTIN FARGAS and 2008 first-rounder DARREN MC FADDEN…Newcomer DL RICHARD SEYMOUR is tied for the team lead with four sacks and is on pace to tie his career-best of eight (2003 and 2008)…Pro Bowl P SHANE LECHLER ranks first in the NFL with a 52.3 yards per punt average and is on target to break SAMMY BAUGH’s single-season NFL record (51.4 in 1940).
PITTSBURGH: The Super Bowl XLIII champions are tied for first place in the AFC North and are off to a 6-2 start for the third consecutive season…QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER (2,295) is on pace to post a franchise record 4,590 passing yards (TERRY BRADSHAW, 3,724 in 1979). The sixth-year quarterback has 14 touchdown passes and can challenge his franchise record of 32 in 2007…WR HINES WARD (646) is on target to register 1,292 receiving yards, the second-highest of his 12-year career (1,329 in 2002) and his sixth 1,000-yard season…On defense, 2008 AP Defensive Player of the Year LB JAMES HARRISON has eight sacks and is on track to tie his franchise record of 16 in 2008.
SAN DIEGO: QB PHILIP RIVERS and the Chargers are in contention for San Diego’s fourth consecutive AFC West title. In his fourth season as a starter, Rivers is on pace (2, 245; 4,490) to surpass his career-high of 4,009 passing yards in 2008. He can join DAN FOUTS (1979-1981) as the second quarterback in Chargers history with 4,000 passing yards in consecutive seasons…Rivers’ top two receiving threats -- TE ANTONIO GATES and WR VINCENT JACKSON -- are tied with 42 receptions apiece and can challenge RB LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON’s franchise record of 100 receptions in 2003. Jackson, who ranks third in the NFL with 722 receiving yards is on track (1,444) to join LANCE ALWORTH as the second player in Chargers’ history to top the 1,400-yard mark.
TENNESSEE: QB VINCE YOUNG has the Titans on a two-game winning streak and aims to improve upon his 20-11 (.645) record as a starter…The NFL’s leading rusher through Week 9 resides in Tennessee. RB CHRIS JOHNSON has an NFL-best 959 rushing yards and is on pace (1,918) to challenge RB EARL CAMPBELL (1,934 in 1980) for the most rushing yards in a season in franchise history…On the defensive side, All-Star CB CORTLAND FINNEGAN leads the team with three interceptions and is on target to surpass his career-high of five in 2008.
NFC NEWS ‘N’ NOTES
HALFWAY HOME: NFC MIDSEASON PROJECTIONS
ARIZONA: The defending NFC Champions are 5-3 at the midpoint with a two-game lead in the NFC West. The Cardinals, who won the division last year, are looking to win back-to-back division titles for the first time since 1974-75… QB KURT WARNER is on pace for 4,350 passing yards and can become the first player in franchise history to post consecutive 4,000-yard seasons. Warner has 16 touchdown passes and is on track to surpass the team record of 30 which he set last season…WR LARRY FITZGERALD is on pace for 112 receptions and can surpass the club mark of 103 which he set in 2005. Fitzgerald (112), RB TIM HIGHTOWER (80), WR ANQUAN BOLDIN (75) & WR STEVE BREASTON (75) can become the first quartet in NFL history to each record at least 75 receptions in one season. Last year, Fitzgerald (96), Boldin (89) and Breaston (77) became just the fifth trio in league annals to accomplish the feat.
ATLANTA: QB MATT RYAN is on pace for 3,568 passing yards and can join PEYTON MANNING as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to pass for at least 3,000 yards in their first two seasons. Ryan, who led the Falcons to 11 wins and a playoff berth last year as a rookie, aims to become the first quarterback to start every game (16-game season) and lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first two years…RB MICHAEL TURNER leads the NFC with 10 rushing touchdowns and is on track to surpass the team record of 17 which he set last season. Turner, who rushed for 1,699 yards last year, has 720 rushing yards and aims to become the first Falcon with back-to-back 1,500-yard seasons…WR RODDY WHITE has 570 receiving yards and looks to record his third consecutive 1,200-yard season. White is the only player in team history with two 1,200-yard seasons in a row.
CAROLINA: RB DE ANGELO WILLIAMS is third in the NFC with 768 rushing yards and is on pace for 1,536, which would surpass his team record of 1,515. Williams has rushed for seven touchdowns and is on track for 14, which would rank second in club annals. He set a club record with 18 rushing TDs last season…QB JAKE DELHOMME has 18,706 passing yards as a Panther and needs 1,294 to become the first player in franchise history to reach 20,000 yards…WR STEVE SMITH has 478 receiving yards and aims for his team-record fifth consecutive 1,000-yard season…DE JULIUS PEPPERS ranks third in the NFC with seven sacks and looks to challenge the club mark of 15 set in 1998 by KEVIN GREENE. Peppers had a career-high 14.5 sacks last year and aims for his sixth career 10-sack season.
CHICAGO: QB JAY CUTLER has passed for 2,046 yards and 14 touchdowns passes in his first year with Chicago. He is on pace to become the first Bear to pass for at least 4,000 yards in a season and can become the first player in club annals to throw 30 touchdown passes. Cutler has two 300-yard games and looks to challenge the team record of four set by BILL WADE in 1962…TE GREG OLSEN has six receiving touchdowns and is on track for the most by a Chicago tight end since Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (12) in 1961. WR DEVIN HESTER is on pace for 82 catches and 1,096 yards and can become the first Bear since 2002 (MARTY BOOKER) with at least 80 catches and 1,000 yards…DEs ALEX BROWN (4.5) and ADEWALE OGUNLEYE (4.5) aim to become the first set of Bears teammates since 1993 to each record at least 10 sacks (RICHARD DENT and TRACE ARMSTRONG).
DALLAS: QB TONY ROMO is on pace for 4,430 passing yards and can surpass the club mark of 4,211 which he set in 2007. He is the only player in franchise history to throw for 4,000 yards in a season…TE JASON WITTEN leads the team with 44 receptions and aims for his second career 90-catch season. Witten, who had 96 receptions in 2007, can become the first player in team history with two 90-catch seasons. WR MILES AUSTIN has 612 receiving yards and looks to become the fourth player in club annals with 1,200 yards in a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers MICHAEL IRVIN and BOB HAYES and former Cowboy TERRELL OWENS. Austin ties for the NFL lead with seven receiving touchdowns and looks to challenge Owens’ club mark of 15 set in 2007…LB DE MARCUS WARE leads the team with five sacks and is on pace for his fourth consecutive 10-sack season.
DETROIT: Rookie QB MATTHEW STAFFORD, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, has passed for 1,265 yards in six games. Stafford looks to become only the third rookie quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 3,000 yards, joining PEYTON MANNING and MATT RYAN…RB KEVIN SMITH has 460 rushing yards and is looking for his first career 1,000-yard season. Last year, Smith rushed for 976 yards as a rookie…WR CALVIN JOHNSON has 352 receiving yards in six games. Johnson, who had 1,331 yards last year, aims to become the first Lions wide receiver with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons since JOHNNIE MORTON in 1998-99…K JASON HANSON, the team’s all-time leading scorer, has 1,792 career points and needs eight to become the seventh player in NFL history to score 1,800.
GREEN BAY: QB AARON RODGERS is on pace for 4,510 yards, which would be the most in team history. Rodgers, who had 4,038 yards last year, can become the first Packer to pass for 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons as the club’s starter. He is third in the NFC with a 103.3 passer rating, which would be the second-highest mark in club annals behind Pro Football Hall of Famer BART STARR (105.0, 1966)…WR DONALD DRIVER, the team’s all-time receptions leader (614), has 37 catches and needs 13 to become the first Packer to record at least 50 receptions in eight seasons. RB RYAN GRANT is on pace for 1,242 rushing yards, which would be his second consecutive 1,200-yard season. He would join Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM TAYLOR (1961-62) and AHMAN GREEN (2001-03) as the only Packers to accomplish the feat…CB CHARLES WOODSON has four interceptions and looks to challenge the team record of 10 set by IRV COMP in 1943.
MINNESOTA: RB ADRIAN PETERSON is tied for the NFC lead with 784 yards. He has led the NFC in rushing in each of his first two seasons and can join Pro Football Hall of Famer EARL CAMPBELL as the only players in NFL history to lead their conference in rushing yards in each of their first three seasons. Peterson has nine rushing touchdowns and is on pace to break the club record of 13 set by CHUCK FOREMAN in 1975 and 1976…QB BRETT FAVRE is second in the NFL with a 106.0 passer rating. That would tie RANDALL CUNNINGHAM (1998) for the second-best mark in team history behind DAUNTE CULPEPPER’s 110.9 in 2004…WR SIDNEY RICE has 585 receiving yards and looks to become the fifth player in franchise history with 1,200 yards in a season…DE JARED ALLEN ties for the NFL lead with 10.5 sacks and looks to challenge the NFL record of 22.5 set by MICHAEL STRAHAN in 2001.
NEW ORLEANS: At 8-0, the team is off to its best start in franchise history. New Orleans leads the NFL with 303 points and is on pace for an NFL-record 606. The Saints have scored 39 touchdowns and are on track for a league-record 78. QB DREW BREES leads the NFL with a 106.1 passer rating, which would be the highest in team history. He leads the NFC with 2,336 passing yards and looks to become the first player in league annals with two 5,000-yard seasons…For the first time in team history, the Saints can have a running back rush for at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns (RB PIERRE THOMAS: 455 rushing yards, five touchdowns) and a receiver record at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns (WR MARQUES COLSTON: 596 receiving yards, six touchdowns) in the same season…S DARREN SHARPER has 11 career interception-return touchdowns – including three this season – and can tie Pro Football Hall of Famer ROD WOODSON for the most in NFL history with 12.
NEW YORK: QB ELI MANNING is on pace for 3,680 passing yards and 26 touchdowns. He would become the first quarterback in team annals with at least 3,000 yards and 20 TD passes in five consecutive seasons…WR STEVE SMITH leads the NFL with 61 receptions and is on pace for a team-record 108 catches. He can become the first Giant since TOD GODWIN in 1935 to lead the NFL in receptions. Smith’s 719 yards lead the NFC and he would be the first player in franchise history to lead the conference in receiving yards…RBs BRANDON JACOBS (617 yards) and AHMAD BRADSHAW (515) look to become the fifth pair of running back teammates in NFL history to each rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. This would mark the second consecutive year the Giants accomplished the feat as Jacobs (1,089) and DERRICK WARD (1,025) had 1,000 yards in 2008.
PHILADELPHIA: QB DONOVAN MC NABB has passed for 1,235 yards in six games and aims for his seventh career 3,000-yard season, which would be the most by an Eagle. McNabb has 10 touchdown passes and is on pace for his fifth 20-TD season, which would be the most in team history…WR-PR DE SEAN JACKSON has scored six touchdowns and all six have gone for at least 50 yards. Jackson has tied TIMMY BROWN (1962) for the most 50-yard touchdowns in a season in club annals and he is two shy of the single-season NFL record of eight, set by Pro Football Hall of Famer ELROY (CRAZYLEGS) HIRSCH (1951) and DEVIN HESTER (2007)…DE TRENT COLE has a team-high 7.5 sacks and is on pace for a career-best 15. Cole can become the fifth Philadelphia player with 15 sacks in a season.
ST. LOUIS: RB STEVEN JACKSON ties for the NFC lead with 784 rushing yards and can become the first Ram to lead the conference in rushing since CHARLES WHITE in 1987. Jackson is on pace for his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard season and would pass Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON (four seasons, 1983-86) for the longest streak in team history. Jackson is on track for a career-high 1,568 rushing yards which would be the highest total by a Rams running back since 1986 when Dickerson had 1,821 yards…DE LEONARD LITTLE leads the team with five sacks and is on target for his fifth 10-sack season. Little is tied with KEVIN GREENE for the most 10-sack seasons in franchise history with four.
SAN FRANCISCO: RB FRANK GORE leads the team with 447 rushing yards and is attempting to become the first player in team history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons. Gore has five rushing touchdowns and is on track to tie the club record of 10…TE VERNON DAVIS ties for the NFL lead with seven receiving touchdowns and is on pace for a career-high 14. Only JERRY RICE and TERRELL OWENS have recorded at least 14 receiving touchdowns in a season as a 49er. Davis, who ranks second in the NFC among tight ends with 42 catches for 477 yards, is on pace to set team records for a tight end in both receptions (84) and yards (954)…LB PATRICK WILLIS leads the team with two interceptions and ties for second with 2.5 sacks. He looks to become the first 49er to lead the team in both categories.
SEATTLE: QB MATT HASSELBECK has passed for 1,307 yards in six games this season and 23,495 yards in his career as a Seahawk. He needs 1,505 yards to become the second player in franchise history with 25,000 and needs 2,637 yards to tie DAVE KRIEG (26,132) for the most in team annals. Hasselbeck is on pace for his club-record sixth 3,000-yard passing season…WR NATE BURLESON leads the team with 45 catches and 562 yards. He aims to challenge BOBBY ENGRAM’s club mark of 94 receptions and looks to become the fifth Seahawk with at least 1,100 receiving yards in a season…LB DAVID HAWTHORNE has three interceptions and needs one to tie the club record for a linebacker. EDDIE MC MILLAN (1977) and LOFA TATUPU (2007) each had four interceptions in a season.
TAMPA BAY: TE KELLEN WINSLOW has a team-best five receiving touchdowns and is on track to tie JOEY GALLOWAY’s club record of 10 set in 2005. Winslow also leads Tampa Bay with 35 catches and 352 yards. He is on pace for 70 receptions, which would be the most by a tight end in franchise history, surpassing JACKIE HARRIS’ 62 catches in 1995. Winslow can also become the third Buccaneers tight end with at least 700 receiving yards…CB AQIB TALIB has five interceptions and is on pace to tie RONDE BARBER’s club mark of 10 set in 2001…KR CLIFTON SMITH is averaging 30.6 yards per return (19 returns, 582 yards), which would be the highest such mark in club history (28.6, MARK JONES, 2007).
WASHINGTON: QB JASON CAMPBELL, who passed for a career-high 3,245 yards last year, has 1,677 yards and is on pace for his second consecutive 3,000-yard season. Campbell would join Pro Football Hall of Famer SONNY JURGENSEN (1966-67), JOE THEISMANN (1983-84) and MARK RYPIEN (1991-92) as the only quarterbacks in team history with back-to-back 3,000 yard seasons…RB CLINTON PORTIS has rushed for 494 yards and aims for his fifth 1,000-yard season as a Redskin. Portis is tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN RIGGINS for the most 1,000-yard rushing seasons in club history with four…DE ANDRE CARTER (6.5) and rookie LB BRIAN ORAKPO (5.5) are on target to become the first set of Redskins to each post at least 10 sacks in a season since 2000 (MARCO COLEMAN and Pro Football Hall of Famer BRUCE SMITH).