NFL 2014: What To Look For Week 9
NFL 2014: What To Look For Week 9


Still In The Mix

History shows that a losing record at this point in the season does not negate a team's chances of making the playoffs.

Since 2000, 34 teams have reached the halfway point of their season with a .500 or below winning percentage and proceeded to the playoffs, including at least one in each season.

Of those 34 clubs, five have advanced to the Conference Championship Game, including the 2001 New England Patriots, who won Super Bowl XXXVI.

Manning vs Brady XVI

For the 16th time of their storied careers including the postseason, quarterbacks TOM BRADY and PEYTON MANNING will face off as New England hosts Denver on Sunday afternoon.

Brady (129.1) & Manning (127.4) ranked ranked first and second, respectively, among NFL quarterbacks in passer rating for October, as each player threw 14 touchdowns apiece, marking the first calendar month in NFL history in which two different players passed for at least 14 touchdowns.

Brady, who will make his 200th career regular-season start this week, has already won more games (154) than any other starting quarterback in NFL history through his first 200 starts.

The most wins by starting quarterbacks through 200 regular-season starts in NFL history:

Quarterback Wins
Source: NFL *199 career starts
Tom Brady*154
Peyton Manning136
Brett Favre132
Dan Marino125
John Elway124


November Madness

The NFL season enters November on Sunday and three active quarterbacks -- Dallas' TONY ROMO, New England's TOM BRADY and Baltimore's JOE FLACCO -- are among the best in November in terms of winning percentages for the month amongst starting QBs in the Super Bowl era (since 1966, minimum 20 starts).

Romo, who ranks first among the group with an .828 November winning percentage, and the Cowboys will host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Brady's (.761) and Flacco's (.741) November winning percentages currently rank fourth and fifth, respectively. Brady will aim to improve his November mark on Sunday afternoon against Denver. Flacco and the Ravens will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on Sunday Night Football.

The quarterbacks with the best records in November in the Super Bowl era (minimum 20 starts):

Quarterback Record Win Pct
Source: NFL *Active
Tony Romo*24-5.828
Daryle Lamonica19-4-2.826
Jim McMahon18-5.783
Tom Brady*35-11.761
Joe Flacco*20-7.741


Note: Ties prior to 1972 did not count in winning percentage.

Good Luck

Indianapolis quarterback ANDREW LUCK has passed for at least 300 yards in each of his past six games, surpassing PEYTON MANNING (five games in 2009) for the longest streak in Colts history.

With at least 300 passing yards against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football, Luck can tie Manning, who passed for 300+ yards in seven consecutive games with Denver in 2012-13, for the third-longest such streak in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive 300-yard passing games in NFL history:

Quarterback Team Seasons Games
Source: NFL *Active streak
Drew BreesNew Orleans2011-129
Drew BreesNew Orleans20139
Peyton ManningDenver2012-137
Andrew Luck*Indianapolis20146
Steve YoungSan Francisco19986
Kurt WarnerSt. Louis20006
Rich GannonOakland20026


Luck leads the NFL with 2,731 passing yards this season. With at least 269 passing yards on Monday night, Luck can join TOM BRADY, DREW BREES (twice) and Manning as the only players in NFL history with at least 3,000 passing yards in their team's first nine games to begin a season.

The quarterbacks with the most passing yards through their team's first nine games to begin a season:

Quarterback Team Season Yards
Source: NFL *Through eight games
Peyton ManningDenver20133,249
Drew BreesNew Orleans20133,064
Tom BradyNew England20113,032
Drew BreesNew Orleans20113,004
Drew BreesNew Orleans20082,985
Andrew Luck*Indianapolis20142,731


Tighten Up I

Since entering the NFL in 2010, New England tight end ROB GRONKOWSKI leads all NFL players with 49 touchdown catches during that span.

Gronkowski, who will play in his 59th career game on Sunday, needs one touchdown reception against Denver to tie RANDY MOSS for the second-fewest games to reach 50 career TD catches in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Famer LANCE ALWORTH (54 games) is the fastest player in NFL annals to reach the milestone.

Gronkowski can also far surpass the record for fewest games by a tight end to reach 50 career touchdown catches, (ANTONIO GATES, 92 games).

The players to reach 50 touchdown catches in the fewest games in NFL history:

Player Games
Source: NFL *49 career TD catches
Lance Alworth54
Randy Moss59
Jerry Rice61
Tommy McDonald63
Bob Hayes66
Rob Gronkowski*58


Tighten Up II

A pair of AFC tight ends -- San Diego's ANTONIO GATES and Denver's JULIUS THOMAS -- are currently tied for the NFL lead in total touchdowns with nine TD catches apiece this season.

With one touchdown catch against Miami on Sunday, Gates can become the first tight end in NFL history with four seasons with at least 10 TD receptions. He is currently tied with TONY GONZALEZ (three) and New England's ROB GRONKOWSKI (three) for the most such seasons by a tight end in NFL annals.

Thomas, whose Broncos travel to New England on Sunday, needs one more touchdown to join Pro Football Hall of Famer SHANNON SHARPE (1996, 1998) as the only tight ends in franchise history with multiple 10-touchdown seasons. He would be the ninth tight end in NFL history to accomplish the feat.

The tight ends with the most seasons with at least 10 receiving touchdowns:

Tight End Seasons 10+ TD Seasons
Source: NFL *Nine TD catches in 2014
Antonio Gates*2004-05, 20103
Tony Gonzalez1999, 2003, 20083
Rob Gronkowski2010-123
Dallas Clark2007, 20092
Vernon Davis2009, 20132
Jimmy Graham2011, 20132
Shannon Sharpe1996, 19982
Wesley Walls1996, 19992
Julius Thomas*20131


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NFL 2014 - What To Look For Week 9