NFL TID BITS
PITTSBURGH AT BALTIMORE
- The Steelers have won three of their last four meetings with the Ravens, but Baltimore won, 26-14, at Pittsburgh in Week 4. Since 2008, 13 Steelers-Ravens games have been decided by three points or fewer, the most of any matchup in the NFL.
- Pittsburgh rushed for a season-high 168 yards in last week’s 33-18 win vs. Cleveland. The Steelers are now 4-0-1 this season when rushing for at least 75 yards, compared to 0-2 when failing to reach 75, including a season-low 19 rushing yards in their Week 4 loss vs. Baltimore.
- Baltimore’s defense leads the NFL in points per game, yards per game and yards per play, but the Ravens have allowed 53 points in their last five quarters, blowing a late lead against the Saints in Week 7 and losing, 36-21, at Carolina last week.
- This will be the 19th meeting between Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco as starting quarterbacks, including postseason. That will tie Sonny Jurgensen/Norm Snead for third most all-time behind Jim Kelly/Dan Marino (21) and Drew Brees/Matt Ryan (20).
- Roethlisberger has thrown for at least 250 yards and a touchdown in all seven games this season, the longest streak at any point in a season in franchise history.
- Flacco threw for a season-low 192 yards last week at Carolina. After averaging 313.0 passing yards and two touchdown passes per game over his first four games, Flacco has averaged 251.8 yards and one touchdown over his last four.
CHICAGO AT BUFFALO
- The Bills are 4-2 all-time at home against the Bears, although Chicago won, 22-19, in its last trip to Buffalo (Week 9, 2010). These teams last met Week 1 in 2014, a 23-20 overtime win by the Bills.
- The Bears beat the Jets, 24-10, in Chicago last week, improving to 4-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 24 points. It was their second game this season with at least 10 rushing and 10 receiving first downs; only the Saints (3) have more such games.
- The Bills lost to the Patriots, 25-6, and have now been outscored, 62-11, in their last two games. Buffalo’s -113 point differential through eight games is the second worst in franchise history (1971, -156).
- The Bears defense has forced 17 turnovers this season, second most in the NFL (Cleveland, 22). The Bills have turned the ball over 18 times — only Tampa Bay (19) has done so more often this season.
- Mitchell Trubisky is the only quarterback since 1960 to have four consecutive games with 200+ passing yards, 2+ passing touchdowns, and at least 40 rushing yards. Prior to this season, Bears quarterbacks had just seven such games since 1960.
- Nathan Peterman is expected to start at quarterback for the Bills. His career interception percentage of 11.1 is tied with Randy Hedberg for second highest among all quarterbacks with at least 80 attempts in the Super Bowl era (Wayne Clark — 11.7).
TAMPA BAY AT CAROLINA
- The Panthers swept the Buccaneers last season, including a last-minute, 22-19 win in Week 16. Three of the last five games between these teams in Carolina have been determined by a field goal or less (2 wins for Carolina, one for TB). The other two were blowout wins (21 and 28-point margins) for the Panthers.
- The Buccaneers lost to the Bengals, 37-34, in Cincinnati. Tampa Bay put up 576 yards of total offense against the Bengals, the highest total yardage in a loss in franchise history and the seventh most yards in a loss by any team in the Super Bowl era.
- The Panthers defeated the Ravens, 36-21, in Carolina in Week 8, their ninth home win in a row. Carolina — 154 rushing yards against Baltimore — has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of those nine wins.
- Cam Newton completed 21 of 29 attempts for 219 yards and two scores against the Ravens. He also rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown. It was Newton’s 39th game with at least one passing touchdown and one or more rushing touchdowns, eight more than any other player (Steve Young, 31).
- Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Jameis Winston midgame against the Bengals, throwing for two touchdowns and nearly leading the Bucs to a come-from-behind victory. Fitzpatrick has averaged 10.76 passing yards per attempt — highest in the league among qualifying QBs — compared to 7.98 for Winston this season.
- Carolina has scored every time it has gotten into a goal-to-go situation this season, the best mark in the league. Tampa Bay’s defense has allowed opponents to score a touchdown on 92.3 percent of drives which get inside its ten-yard line, the second-highest percentage in the league.
KANSAS CITY AT CLEVELAND
- The Chiefs lead the NFL with 75 points in the first quarter this season. The Browns have scored an NFL-low 14 points in the first quarter.
- Kansas City has scored at least 26 points in 13 straight games, tied for the fourth-longest streak in NFL history. The Chiefs have scored 30-plus points in four straight games, one shy of the franchise record set in 2004.
- The Browns have lost 12 straight November games, one shy of the NFL record (1964-67 Oilers). Of Cleveland’s 12 straight November losses, 11 have been by double digits.
- Andy Reid is 6-0 in his coaching career against the Browns (4-0 with the Eagles and 2-0 with the Chiefs). Coincidentally, the only other teams he has never lost to are the teams he has coached (the Chiefs and Eagles).
- Patrick Mahomes has three straight games with at least 300 yards passing and four touchdown passes, tied for the longest such streak in NFL history; Dan Marino (1984 Mia) and Drew Brees (2011 NO).
- In Baker Mayfield’s first career start with the Browns (Week 4 at Oakland), Cleveland gained 487 yards of offense. Each week since then has seen a decline in yards gained.
NY JETS AT MIAMI
- The Dolphins have taken four of the last five in this series, including a 20-12 win in Week 2. Miami has won the last two contests but has not beaten New York three times in a row since 2008-09. The Dolphins have won the last two at home and would have their first three-game home win streak over the Jets since winning four a row from 1994-97 when Dan Marino quarterbacked all four victories.
- The Jets lost their second game in a row and fell to 3-5 on the year with a 24-10 loss in Chicago last week. This year, New York is averaging 41.3 points per game in its three wins compared to 13.6 in its five losses.
- The Dolphins began the season by winning each of their first three games but have dropped four of their last five with all four losses coming by double digits, including a 42-23 loss in Houston last Thursday. Miami gave up 28 points in the second-half in that loss, and has allowed a league-high 151 second-half points in 2018.
- Miami held New York to just 42 rushing yards on 19 attempts in Week 2 but has allowed 100+ in every other game. The Dolphins have allowed 600 yards on the ground in its last three games, yielding 5.9 yards per carry. The Jets are averaging a league-low 2.8 yards per carry in the same span (since Week 6).
- Sam Darnold went 14-for-29 and threw for 153 yards last week, his third game with fewer than 200 passing yards and a completion percentage under 50.0 percent on at least 20 attempts. The rest of the NFL combined has three such games (Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Tyrod Taylor — one game each).
- Last week, Brock Osweiler failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this year and completed a season-low 56.8 percent of his passes. He now has a 77.1 passer rating on the road with one TD pass and one interception, but has a 103.1 rating at home with five touchdowns and two interceptions.
DETROIT AT MINNESOTA
- The Vikings took down the Lions, 30-23, in Detroit during Week 12 last season, snapping the Lions’ three-game winning streak in this division rivalry. Detroit is undefeated, 2-0, at U.S. Bank Stadium.
- The Lions dropped below .500 following their 28-14 loss to the Seahawks in Detroit last week. After previously rushing for 248 yards, the Lions could only muster 34 yards on the ground, their biggest week-to-week drop off in rush yards since Week 11 (260 rush yards) and Week 12 (27) or 1972.
- The Vikings lost to the Saints, 30-20, in Minneapolis last week, halting their three-game winning streak. Minnesota has allowed 100 or more rushing yards in each of their three losses this season and fewer than 100 yards in their four wins and one tie.
- The Lions traded Golden Tate to the Eagles this week, who accounted for more than a quarter (517/1926) of Detroit’s receiving yards this season. His departure leaves Detroit with just three players with a receiving touchdown this season, tied with Buffalo for the fewest in the league.
- Adam Thielen caught all seven of his targets in Week 8 for 103 yards and a touchdown, his eighth straight game with 100 receiving yards and his fifth straight game with a touchdown. Thielen tied Calvin Johnson’s NFL record of eight straight games with 100-plus receiving yards.
- The Vikings have only mustered 87.1 yards per game on the ground this season, the fourth-lowest average in the NFL. On the other side of the ball, the Lions have allowed 144.6 rushing yards per game, the second most in the league.
ATLANTA AT WASHINGTON
- The Falcons went 4-14-1 in their first 19 games against the Redskins between 1966 and 2003, but they have since won each of the last five meetings. Additionally, Atlanta lost its first nine games in Washington before winning the past three visits.
- Atlanta had a bye in Week 8 after beating the Giants on Monday night in Week 7, its second straight win after starting the season 1-4. The 212 points allowed by the Falcons through seven games are their most since allowing 220 in 2003.
- The Redskins beat the Giants last week, 20-13, and have now won three straight games by seven points or fewer. The last time they had such a winning streak was in 2012, and they’ve never had such a streak longer than four games.
- Losing Devonta Freeman has hurt the Falcons’ running game — they’re averaging just 83.3 yards per game on the ground, 30th in the NFL. Washington is allowing 80.1 rushing yards per game, second fewest in the league (Saints, 74.1).
- Matt Ryan’s 7.50 touchdown-to-interception ratio is third best in the NFL among qualifying quarterbacks, behind Drew Brees (14.00) and Aaron Rodgers (13.00). Ryan’s career best is 5.43, set in his MVP season of 2016.
- Alex Smith has thrown just two interceptions all season and none since Week 5. Since the 2011 season, his 1.4 interception percentage is second lowest among qualifying quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers, 1.3).
HOUSTON AT DENVER
- The Broncos lead this all-time series 4-2, winning the last two meetings. Only one quarterback matchup has occurred more than once in the series — Houston’s Matt Schaub versus Denver’s Peyton Manning. Case Keenum will be the sixth different Broncos QB to start versus the Texans in the seven meetings.
- Houston is the first team since the 2000 Steelers to open the season 0-3 and reel off at least five straight wins immediately thereafter. Big plays keyed last Thursday’s win over Miami, as the Texans’ offense had three plays of 40-plus yards after managing only one such play in the season’s first seven games.
- Denver is the only team in the league in 2018 averaging at least 130 rushing yards per game and allowing at least that many. The Broncos are on pace to become the first team in league history to average at least 5.00 yards per rush on offense and allow at least 5.00 per carry on defense.
- Deshaun Watson had five TD passes and no interceptions last week against Miami, completing a career-best 80.0 percent of his passes (16 of 20). Watson has thrown touchdown passes in 13 consecutive starts; in franchise history, only Matt Schaub has had a longer streak: 16 straight starts in 2010-2011.
- Case Keenum has been intercepted in eight straight starts to begin 2018, the longest such streak to open a season by any QB since Denver’s Peyton Manning in 2015 (nine straight). Keenum, who was intercepted only seven times in 481 attempts with the Vikings in 2017, has thrown 10 picks in 288 passes in 2018.
- Demaryius Thomas ranks second in Broncos history in receiving yards (9055) and receiving TDs (60); after 125 games with Denver, Thomas figures to make his Houston debut after this week’s trade. He can become the second player ever to catch a touchdown pass for and against a single team within the same season (Chris Chambers, 2009 for and against San Diego).
LA CHARGERS AT SEATTLE
- Each of the last 10 games between the Chargers and Seahawks has been decided by single digits, tied for the longest active streak between any two teams in the NFL. San Diego has won two of the past three meetings following a five-game losing streak against its former AFC West rival.
- The Chargers have won four games in a row and sit at 5-2 for the sixth time in the last 25 seasons. They have missed the playoffs three of the last four times they started 5-2 or better (2014, 2002 and 2001).
- The Seahawks have won four of their last five games, including the past two by double digits, after starting the season 0-2. They had five turnovers in their first two games but have turned the ball over just once in their last five.
- Seattle has the second-best turnover differential in the NFL at plus-10 (Cleveland — plus-11). The Seahawks are tied with the Chargers and two other teams for the second-fewest giveaways this season at six (Falcons — four).
- Philip Rivers has thrown for at least 200 yards and two touchdowns in eight straight games dating back to last year. If Rivers throws for 200 yards and two touchdowns again this week, he will tie the longest such streak of his career set between the 2016-2017 seasons.
- Russell Wilson has thrown a touchdown in each of his last 15 home games, the third-longest active streak in football. Since he joined the league in 2012, Wilson has the third-highest TD-INT ratio at home (3.71) among qualifying quarterbacks behind Aaron Rodgers (6.50) and Tom Brady (4.50).
LA RAMS AT NEW ORLEANS
- These teams met in Los Angeles last season, with the Rams getting a 26-20 win. The Rams have won three of their last four against the Saints, but they have lost their last two games in New Orleans and haven’t won there since 2007.
- The Rams beat the Packers, 29-27, at home last week, improving to 8-0 for just the second time in franchise history. The Roman Gabriel-led 1969 Rams started 11-0 before losing their last three regular season games and their first playoff game.
- The Saints beat the Vikings, 30-20, on Sunday and have won six straight after losing in Week 1. They have now had at least a six-game winning streak in five of the last 10 seasons, something they had done in just four seasons prior to that.
- The Rams have been averaging 150.9 rushing yards per game, by far the most in the league. They’ll face a New Orleans defense that has allowed a league-low 74.1 rushing yards per game.
- Despite getting sacked five times against Green Bay, tied for a season high, Jared Goff still threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns. Since the start of last season, Goff has seven games with 275+ passing yards and 3+ TDs, more than any other player in the league.
- In his last three games, Drew Brees has completed 80.5 percent of his passes. That is the second-best three-game span of his career, only to Weeks 1-3 of this season (80.6).
GREEN BAY AT NEW ENGLAND
- The Patriots (.718) and the Packers (.624) each lead their conference in regular-season win percentage since meeting in the Super Bowl in 1997. They have split their last four games and the last two were decided by a combined nine points – 26-21 GB at Lambeau in 2014 and 31-27 NE at Gillette in 2010.
- The Packers fell to the Rams, 29-27, in Los Angeles in Week 8 for their fifth straight loss on the road. Green Bay has not lost six or more in a row on the road since 1990-1991.
- The Patriots defeated the Bills, 25-6, in Buffalo in Week 8 and are 5-0 after starting the season 1-2. New England has won its last nine regular-season games in Foxborough – dating back to Week 7 of 2017 — by an average margin of 15.3 points.
- Aaron Rodgers will be making his 150th career start this week. Rodgers has 325 passing TDs, 54 300-yard passing games and just 78 interceptions through 149 starts. All of those numbers would already be the best among QBs through 150 starts except the total of 300-yard games, which is tied with Drew Brees.
- Last week in Buffalo, Tom Brady failed to throw for a TD for the first time since last season at Buffalo (Week 13). Brady’s 324 passing yards were his most in a zero-TD performance since Week 3 of 2005 at Pittsburgh (372 yards). He hasn’t had back-to-back games with 0 TDs since 2006.
- New England’s defense has picked off opposing passers 11 times this season, tied for the second most in the NFL. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers has thrown just one interception this season, tied with Drew Brees for the fewest among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts.
TENNESSEE AT DALLAS
- The Cowboys have won three of the last four games against the Titans with Tennessee’s lone win coming in Dallas, 34-27, in Week 5 of 2010. The Titans franchise has won two of its three trips to Dallas since moving to Tennessee.
- The Titans lost to the Chargers, 20-19, in London in Week 7. It was Tennessee’s third straight loss following a 3-1 start to the season. Five of the Titans’ seven games this season have been decided by a field goal or less, tied with the Browns for most in the league.
- The Cowboys lost in Week 7, 20-17, in Washington. Dallas is 0-4 on the road this season, averaging 13.5 points, but is 3-0 at home while scoring 28.7 points per game. The Cowboys’ 175.7 rush yards per game at home lead the NFL.
- Dion Lewis had a career-high 155 yards from scrimmage against the Chargers, converting six first downs. This season, Lewis is last among qualifying players with a 12.3 first-down percentage on rushes and is fifth-lowest in first-down percentage on receptions at 27.6.
- Dak Prescott passed for a touchdown and rushed for a touchdown in the loss to Washington. Since 2016, Prescott has 10 games with a rushing TD and a passing TD, the most in the league over that span.
- The Titans and Cowboys offenses have passed for five and eight touchdowns, respectively, bottom-five marks in the NFL. Conversely, the Cowboys and Titans defenses have allowed eight and nine passing touchdowns, respectively, top-three marks in the league