Close games have been a staple of the 2012 season as 62 games have been decided by eight points or fewer and 57 games by seven points or fewer, both of which are the most through the first seven weeks of a season in NFL history. Those totals are already tied for the third-most and fourth-most, respectively, through the first eight weeks of any year.
Through Week 7, 30 games in 2012 have been determined by three points or fewer.
Peter Schrager breaks down the top storylines for Week 8
Quarterbacks have been historically efficient in 2012, combining for a league-wide passer rating of 86.4 and a completion percentage of 61.9. Both are on pace to be the highest of any season in NFL history and would surpass records set in 2011 (84.3 passer rating) and 2007 (61.2 completion percentage), respectively.
Three active quarterbacks rank among the top five all-time in career passing yards per game with averages above 250. The top two -- New Orleans' DREW BREES (267.7 yards per game) and PEYTON MANNING (264.7 yards per game) -- will compete on Sunday Night Football this weekend.
The quarterbacks with the most career passing yards per game (minimum 100 games):
|Player||Team(s)||Pass Yd. Per Game|
|*Active Source: NFL|
|Drew Brees*||San Diego, New Orleans||267.7|
|Peyton Manning*||Indianapolis, Denver||264.7|
|Kurt Warner||St. Louis, NY Giants, Arizona||260.8|
|Tom Brady*||New England||250.5|
New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES owns 299 career touchdown passes and has passed for at least one touchdown in 49 consecutive games, the longest such streak all-time.
With at least one touchdown on Sunday Night Football, Brees will record his 300th career touchdown pass in his 161st game, tying New England's TOM BRADY (161) for the third-fewest games to reach the mark in league annals.
The players to reach 300 passing touchdowns in the fewest games in NFL history:
|Player||Team(s)||Years||Games to 300 TD Passes|
|*299 career passing TDs Source: NFL|
|Tom Brady||New England||2000-2011||161|
|Brett Favre||Green Bay||1991-2002||167|
|Fran Tarkenton||Minnesota, NY Giants||1961-1976||217|
|Drew Brees*||San Diego, New Orleans||2001-2012||160|
If Brees passes for at least 300 yards at Denver on Sunday night, he will tie Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (63) for the second-most 300-yard passing games in league annals. Broncos quarterback PEYTON MANNING (67) holds the all-time record.
The players with the most 300-yard passing games in NFL history:
|* Active Source: NFL|
Three active quarterbacks -- the New York Giants' ELI MANNING (26-5, .839), New England's TOM BRADY (33-11, .750) and Pittsburgh's BEN ROETHLISBERGER (24-8, .750) -- look to improve their top-level October winning percentages among starting quarterbacks (minimum 20 starts) in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).
Manning, who ranks first overall among the group, and the Giants head to NFC East rival Dallas, where he has won the past two October meetings between the clubs.
Brady's and Roethlisberger's .750 October winning percentages are currently tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer SONNY JURGENSEN for the fourth-highest mark.
Against St. Louis this Sunday, Brady and the Patriots seek their second win at London's historic Wembley Stadium, which will host its sixth regular-season International Series game in as many seasons. New England claimed a 35-7 victory over Tampa Bay in the International Series' third installment (October 25, 2009).
Roethlisberger and the Steelers host Washington, which he is 2-0 against during his career.
Atlanta tight end TONY GONZALEZ in 2012 leads all NFL tight ends with 43 receptions, and his 430 receiving yards rank first in the NFC and second in the league among the position group (ROB GRONKOWSKI, 434 yards). Gonzalez is on pace (114 receptions) to break his own record for the most receptions by a tight end in a single season (102 in 2004).
The 16-year veteran has recorded four receiving touchdowns in 2012, tied for the second-most in the NFC, to increase his record among tight ends to 99. With one touchdown catch at Philadelphia this Sunday, Gonzalez will become the first tight end and the eighth player in league history to amass 100 touchdown receptions.
If Gonzalez (1,192 receptions) records eight receptions in Week 8, he will join Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (1,549) as the only players with 1,200 career receptions.
What's The Rush
Tennessee running back CHRIS JOHNSON rushed for a season-high 195 yards on 18 carries (10.8 avg.) with two touchdowns in Week 7. It marked the 27th 110+ yard rushing game of his career.
With at least 110 rushing yards against Indianapolis on Sunday, Johnson will tie Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN (28) for the second-most 110+ yard rushing games in a player's first five years.
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