NFL NFC West Battle Highlights Week 10

The San Francisco 49ers (8-0) -- the NFL's last remaining undefeated team -- host a divisional contest with key playoff implications against the Seattle Seahawks (7-2) on Monday Night Football.

[ Related: Best Week 9 Performances ]

49ers Remain Unbeaten, Seahawks Up Next

For the first time in NFL history, the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (8-0) are the NFL's last remaining undefeated team at least eight games into a season. San Francisco, which finished last season 4-12 and selected DL NICK BOSA with the second-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is off to its best start since opening 10-0 in 1990.

This week, the 49ers host a divisional contest with key playoff implications against the Seattle Seahawks (7-2) on Monday Night Football.

The Seahawks-49ers matchup is the first meeting between division rivals that have combined for two or fewer losses in Week 10 or later since November 17, 2013, when Denver (8-1) hosted Kansas City (9-0) in an AFC West showdown.

San Francisco is the second team in NFL history to finish with a winning percentage of .250 or below and rebound to win its first eight games of the following season. In 2013, the Kansas City Chiefs opened 9-0 after going 2-14 (.125) in the 2012 season.

Last week in the Seahawks' 40-34 overtime victory against Tampa Bay, Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON notched his 90th win as a starter, including the postseason. On Monday night, he can surpass BEN ROEHTLISBERGER (90) for second-most quarterback wins over his first eight seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only TOM BRADY (100) had more.

Including the 49ers' berth in Super Bowl XLVII after the 2012 season, the NFC West has produced four of the last seven NFC Super Bowl representatives. Seattle and San Francisco accounted for three of those appearances, while the Los Angeles Rams were the latest division entry in Super Bowl LIII last season. Since the beginning of that 2012 season, no other division has a better overall winning percentage.

Seven-Win Super Teams

Entering Week 10, five NFL teams -- the Green Bay Packers (7-2), New England Patriots (8-1), New Orleans Saints (7-1), San Francisco 49ers (8-0) and Seattle Seahawks (7-2) -- have at least seven wins, the most through the first nine weeks since the 1990 season (five teams). In total, 10 teams have at least six victories, the most through the first nine weeks of a season since 1986 (11 teams).

Playoff Hopes

Through the first nine weeks of the 2019 season, four teams -- the Buffalo Bills (6-2), Green Bay Packers (7-2), Minnesota Vikings (6-3) and San Francisco 49ers (8-0) -- are in playoff position after missing the postseason a year ago. From 1990-2018 -- a streak of 29 consecutive years -- at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. In 2018, seven of the 12 playoff teams missed the postseason the year before.

Division Winning Rebounds

The NFL in 2002 expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions. Since that time, at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 15 of the past 16 years. Heading into Week 10, two teams -- GREEN BAY in the NFC North and SAN FRANCISCO in the NFC West -- lead their respective divisions after missing the postseason in 2018.

NFL Teams to win their divisions a season after missing the playoffs over the last 16 seasons:

Season Teams
Source: NFL *Worst to first
2018Baltimore, Chicago*, Dallas, Houston*
2017Jacksonville*, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia*
2016Atlanta, Dallas*
2015Houston, Minnesota, Washington*
2014Dallas, Pittsburgh
2013Carolina*, Philadelphia*
2012Washington*
2011Denver*, Houston*, New York Giants, San Francisco
2010Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City*, Pittsburgh, Seattle
2009Cincinnati, Dallas, New England, New Orleans*
2008Arizona, Carolina, Miami*, Minnesota
2007Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay*
2006Baltimore*, New Orleans*, Philadelphia*, San Diego Chargers
2005Chicago*, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Tampa Bay*
2004Atlanta*, Pittsburgh, San Diego*
2003Baltimore, Carolina*, Kansas City*, New England, St. Louis Rams

Best NFL Teams After The Bye

A season-high six NFL teams are on byes during Week 10, and every club will have taken its week off by the end of Week 12. On Sunday, two teams coming off their byes meet in an NFC South clash when the ATLANTA FALCONS travel to play the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, only the BALTIMORE RAVENS, fresh off a post-bye win over the Patriots in Week 9, have a better record after the bye.

The NFL teams with the best winning percentages in the game following the bye since 2011:‚Äč

Team W L T Pct.
Source: NFL
Baltimore Ravens720.778
Atlanta Falcons620.750
Denver Broncos620.750
Houston Texans620.750
New Orleans Saints620.750
Buffalo Bills630.667
Detroit Lions630.667
Indianapolis Colts630.667
Pittsburgh Steelers630.667

Another Rookie Quarterback Makes Starting Debut

On Sunday when the BALTIMORE RAVENS meet the CINCINNATI BENGALS (1:00 PM ET, CBS), the Ravens (6-2) have an opportunity to match their best start in franchise history (7-2 in both 2006 and 2012). On the other sideline, quarterback RYAN FINLEY will make his first NFL start. Finley will become the sixth rookie to make his starting debut this season, joining Arizona's KYLER MURRAY, Jacksonville's GARDNER MINSHEW, Pittsburgh's DEVLIN HODGES, the New York Giants' DANIEL JONES and Washington's DWAYNE HASKINS.

Through the first nine weeks, 110 of 135 overall games (81.5 percent) have featured at least one quarterback under the age of 27, the most at this point in a season in league history. In total, quarterbacks under age 27 have started 146 games and recorded 76 wins (52.1 percent), both the most starts and wins by quarterbacks under the age of 27 through the first nine weeks of a season since at least 1970.

Running It Up

The Baltimore Ravens (6-2) enter Week 10 leading the NFL with an average of 204.9 rushing yards per game in 2019. Last week in their win over New England, quarterback LAMAR JACKSON, whose 637 rushing yards are the most by a quarterback through his team's first eight games of a season in NFL history, rushed for 61 yards and two touchdowns, while running back MARK INGRAM rushed for a season-high 115 yards. The team totaled 210 rushing yards in the victory -- their seventh game with at least 150 rushing yards this season.

If Baltimore rushes for at least 150 yards on Sunday against Cincinnati, they would become the first team since the 1976 PITTSBURGH STEELERS to rush for at least 150 yards in eight of a team's first nine games of a season since 1970.

The NFL teams with the most games with at least 150 rushing yards in the first nine games of a season since 1970:

Team Season Games
Source: NFL *Through eight games #Won Super Bowl
Pittsburgh19768
New England19748
Miami#19738
Miami#19728
Detroit19718
Baltimore*20197

Overall, Baltimore has rushed for 1,639 yards -- the most rushing yards through a team's first eight games since the 2006 ATLANTA FALCONS (1,641), and the sixth-most through a team's first eight games of a season since 1970.

In Week 6, Baltimore rushed for a season-high 269 yards against Cincinnati. If the Ravens rush for their season average (204.9) on Sunday in Cincinnati, they would move into the top five for most rushing yards in a team's first nine games of a season since 1970.

The NFL teams with the most rushing yards through their first nine games of a season since 1970:

Team Season Yards
Source: NFL *Through eight games #Won Super Bowl
Buffalo19751,958
Pittsburgh19761,886
Miami#19721,868
Miami#19731,829
Chicago19771,809
Baltimore*20191,639

Ten Starts In

Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray leads all NFC rookies in passing yards (2,229) and passer rating (89.2), while ranking second among all quarterbacks with 313 rushing yards in 2019. Earlier in the season, Murray -- who was selected with the first-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft -- became just the second quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in each of his first two career games in NFL history.

On Sunday at Tampa Bay, Murray needs 271 passing yards to join DESHAUN WATSON (2017-18), CAM NEWTON (2011) and DAUNTE CULPEPPER (2000) as the only quarterbacks with at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in their first 10 career starts in NFL history.

The NFL quarterbacks with at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in first 10 career starts in NFL history:

Quarterback Team Season(s) Passing Yards Rushing Yards
Source: NFL *Through nine starts
Deshaun WatsonHouston2017-182,843414
Cam NewtonCarolina20112,885411
Daunte CulpepperMinnesota20002,562358
Kyler Murray*Arizona20192,229313

Slinging It Like Stafford

Earlier this season, Detroit Lions quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD became the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 40,000 career passing yards in fewer than 150 games. Over the past three weeks, Stafford leads the NFL in passing yards (1,112) and passing touchdowns (10) and has passed for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of his past three games.

Appearing in his 150th career game on Sunday at Chicago, Stafford needs at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (23 games) for the fourth-most games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in a player's first 150 career games in NFL history.

The NFL quarterbacks with the most games with at least of 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in their first 150 career games in NFL history:

Quarterback Team(s) Games
Source: NFL *Through 149 games
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay31
Drew BreesSan Diego, New Orleans27
Dan MarinoMiami26
Kurt WarnerSt. Louis Rams, Arizona23
Matthew Stafford*Detroit22

Christian McCaffrey Unstoppable Force

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 1,244 scrimmage yards through eight games this season and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN (1963) as the only players to have at least 150 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in six of their team's first eight games of a season in NFL history.

With 156 scrimmage yards on Sunday against Green Bay, McCaffrey would become the fourth player in NFL history with at least 1,400 scrimmage yards in their team's first nine games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN (1,529 in 1963) and O.J. SIMPSON (1,518 in 1975), as well as LARRY BROWN (1,405 in 1972).

The NFL players with the most scrimmage yards through their team's first nine games of a season in NFL history:

Player Team Season Scrimmage Yards
Source: NFL *Through 8 games
Jim BrownCleveland19631,529
O.J. SimpsonBuffalo19751,518
Larry BrownWashington19721,405
Eric DickersonLos Angeles Rams19831,396
Tiki BarberNew York Giants20041,391
Christian McCaffrey*Carolina20191,244

Rookie Raider Josh Jacobs Finding the End Zone

Oakland running back Josh Jacobs leads all rookies in scrimmage yards (842), rushing yards (740) and rushing touchdowns (six) in 2019. Last week, Jacobs became the first rookie since Cincinnati's ICKEY WOODS (1988) to have at least two rushing touchdowns in three of his first eight career games.

With at least two rushing touchdowns against the Los Angeles Chargers, Jacobs would become the fifth player to have at least two rushing touchdowns in four of his first 10 career games in NFL history.

The NFL players with the most games with at least two rushing touchdowns in their first 10 career games in NFL history:

Player Team Season(s) Games
Source: NFL *Through 8 games
Marcus AllenLos Angeles Raiders1982-835
Eric DickersonLos Angeles Rams19835
Karim Abdul-JabbarMiami19964
Bill PaschalNew York Giants1943-444
Josh Jacobs*Oakland20193

Unstoppable Michael Thomas

Since entering the NFL in 2016, New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 394 receptions and ranks third with 4,662 receiving yards. This season, Thomas leads the league in receptions (73) and receiving yards (875) through the first nine weeks.

Appearing in his 56th career game on Sunday against Atlanta (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Thomas needs six receptions to become the fastest player to reach 400 receptions in NFL history.

The NFL players to reach 400 receptions in the fewest games in NFL history:

Player Team Games
Source: NFL *394 career receptions
Odell Beckham Jr.New York Giants61
Julio JonesAtlanta64
Jarvis LandryMiami64
Keenan AllenSan Diego/Los Angeles Chargers66
Michael Thomas*New Orleans55

>Thomas, who is currently in his fourth NFL season, needs seven receptions on Sunday to surpass JARVIS LANDRY (400) for the most receptions through a player's first four seasons in NFL history.

The NFL players with the most receptions in their first four seasons in NFL history:

Player Team Receptions
Source: NFL *In fourth season
Jarvis LandryMiami400
Michael Thomas*New Orleans394
Anquan BoldinArizona342
Larry FitzgeraldArizona330
A.J. GreenCincinnati329

Additionally, if Thomas has 125 receiving yards on Sunday, he would join MIKE EVANS (2014-17), A.J. GREEN (2011-14) and Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (1998-2001) as the only players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first four seasons in NFL history.

Packers Party In The Backfield

Green Bay's defense features the only pair of teammates in the NFL to each record at least eight sacks this season -- linebackers ZA'DARIUS SMITH (8.5 sacks) and PRESTON SMITH (8). On Sunday against Carolina, they can become the sixth pair of teammates to each record at least 10 sacks in their team's first 10 games of a season since 1990.

The NFL teammates to each record at least 10 sacks through their team's first 10 games of a season since 1990:

Season Team Player Sacks Player Sacks
Source: NFL *Through nine games
2014BuffaloMarcell Dareus10Mario Williams10
2000MiamiTrace Armstrong12.5Jason Taylor10
2000Tampa BayWarren Sapp11.5Marcus Jones10
1998San FranciscoChris Doleman11.5Roy Barker11
1992Kansas CityDerrick Thomas10.5Neil Smith10.5
2019*Green BayZa'Darius Smith8.5Preston Smith8

[ Related: Best Week 9 Performances ]

NFC West Battle Highlights Week 10 - NFL 100 Week 10 Preview