WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 9

TOP BILLING: The BUFFALO BILLS (5-2) enter Week 9 leading the league in scoring offense (32.7 points per game) and scoring defense (15.6 points allowed per game). They have scored at least 25 points in six consecutive games and have allowed 20 points or fewer in four of their past six games, including two shutouts.

They are the fourth team since 1970 to lead the league in both scoring offense and scoring defense through the first eight weeks of a season. Two of the previous three teams to accomplish the feat advanced to the Super Bowl.

The teams to lead the league in scoring offense and scoring defense through Week 8:

TEAMSEASONPOINTS PER GAMEPOINTS ALLOWED PER GAMESEASON RESULT
Buffalo Bills202132.715.6???
New England Patriots201931.37.6Advanced to Wild Card
Chicago Bears200631.69.9Advanced to Super Bowl
Chicago Bears198529.914.3Won Super Bowl

Since 1970, only two teams finished the season leading the league in both categories: the 1996 Green Bay Packers and 1972 Miami Dolphins. Each of those teams advanced to the Super Bowl.

Last week, quarterback JOSH ALLEN totaled three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing), his 19th career game with both a passing and rushing touchdown and third this season.

With both a passing and rushing touchdown on Sunday at Jacksonville (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Allen can join CAM NEWTON (24 games) as the only players ever with both a passing and rushing touchdown in at least 20 games in their first four seasons.

— NFL —

OFFENSE IS BIGGER IN DALLAS: The DALLAS COWBOYS lead the league in total offense through eight weeks, averaging 454.9 yards per game. That marks the fifth-most by a team through Week 8 since 1970. They have totaled at least 375 total yards of offense in each of their seven games this season and have reached 400 total yards in six of seven contests.

With at least 400 yards of offense on Sunday against Denver (1:00 PM ET, FOX), they will become the sixth team ever to total at least 400 yards in seven of their first eight games of a season.

The teams with the most games with at least 400 yards of offense in their first eight games of a season in NFL history:

TEAMSEASONGAMES 
Denver Broncos#20138 
New England Patriots#20078 
Indianapolis Colts20147 
St. Louis Rams20007 
San Diego Chargers19837 
    
Dallas Cowboys20216* 
*In first seven games 
#Advanced to Super Bowl

— NFL —

MURRAY MAGIC: Arizona quarterback KYLER MURRAY ranks fourth in the league with 2,276 passing yards and a 110.4 rating, and is tied for fifth with 17 touchdown passes this season. He is also one of two players (MATTHEW STAFFORD) with at least 225 passing yards in eight games this season.

The 2019 No. 1 overall pick has 9,969 career passing yards. With 31 passing yards on Sunday at San Francisco (4:25 PM ET, FOX), Murray will become the fourth-youngest player (24 years, 92 days) to reach 10,000 passing yards in NFL history, surpassing CAM NEWTON (24 years, 191 days).

The youngest players to reach 10,000 career passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMAGE
Drew BledsoeNew England23 years, 299 days
Jameis WinstonTampa Bay23 years, 303 days
Dan MarinoHOFMiami24 years, 63 days
Cam NewtonCarolina24 years, 191 days
   
Kyler MurrayArizona24 years, 92 days*
*On Sunday  

— NFL —

SOPHOMORE STARS: Last season, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, recorded the most touchdown passes (31) and second-most passing yards (4,336) by a rookie in NFL history. This season, Herbert has 16 touchdown passes and 1,994 passing yards, while totaling at least three touchdown passes in three games this season. 

With three touchdown passes on Sunday at Philadelphia (4:05 PM ET, CBS), Herbert, appearing in his 23rd career game, will become the fourth-fastest player to reach 50 career touchdown passes in NFL history. Only PATRICK MAHOMES (17 games), and Pro Football Hall of Famers KURT WARNER (21) and DAN MARINO (22) reached the mark in fewer games. 

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

PLAYERTEAMGAMES 
Patrick MahomesKansas City17 
Kurt WarnerHOFSt. Louis Rams21 
Dan MarinoHOFMiami22 
    
Justin HerbertL.A. Chargers22* 
*Has 47 career touchdown passes in 22 games 

Herbert can also join Mahomes, Marino and Warner as the only players ever with 10 games with at least three touchdown passes in their first 25 career games.

The players with the most games with at least three touchdown passes in their first 25 career games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMGAMES
Patrick MahomesKansas City15
Kurt WarnerHOFSt. Louis Rams13
Dan MarinoHOFMiami11
Justin HerbertL.A. Chargers9*
*In 22 games  

Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON, the No. 22 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, set the all-time rookie record with 1,400 receiving yards last season. In 2021, he has 563 receiving yards and has eclipsed the 100-yard mark twice.

With 37 receiving yards on Sunday at Baltimore (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Jefferson, appearing in his 24th career game, will become the second-fastest player in the Super Bowl era to reach 2,000 career receiving yards, surpassing VICTOR CRUZ (25 games). Only ODELL BECKHAM JR. (21) reached the mark in fewer games.

The players to reach 2,000 career receiving yards in the fewest games in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYERTEAMGAMES
Odell Beckham Jr.N.Y. Giants21
Victor CruzN.Y. Giants25
Many tied26
   
Justin JeffersonMinnesota23*
*Has 1,963 receiving yards in 23 games  

Jefferson also has nine career games with at least 100 receiving yards and can join Beckham (15 games) as the only players with 10 such performances in their first 25 career games in the Super Bowl era.

— NFL —

HISTORY IN HOLLYWOOD: Los Angeles Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP leads the league with 924 receiving yards and 10 touchdown receptions and ranks second with 63 catches. He became the first player in the Super Bowl era with at least 900 receiving yards and 10 touchdown receptions in his team’s first eight games of a season.

With 76 receiving yards against Tennessee on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Kupp will become the fifth player ever with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdown receptions in his team’s first nine games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers RAYMOND BERRY (1951), ELROY “CRAZY LEGS” HIRSCH (1960), DON HUTSON (1942) and JERRY RICE (1990).

The players with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdown receptions in their team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONRECEIVING YARDSRECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS
Jerry RiceHOFSan Francisco19901,00611
Elroy HirschHOFL.A. Rams19601,16213
Raymond BerryHOFBaltimore Colts19511,14710
Don HutsonHOFGreen Bay19421,16616
     
Cooper KuppL.A. Rams2021924*10*
*Through first eight games    

Kupp enters Week 9 having totaled at least five receptions, 115 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in each of the past three games. If he accomplishes the feat again on Sunday night, he will become the sixth player ever to record at least five receptions, 115 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in four straight games.

The players with at least five receptions, 115 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in the most consecutive games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Odell Beckham Jr.N.Y. Giants20144
Josh GordonCleveland20134
Calvin JohnsonHOFDetroit20124
Patrick JeffersCarolina19994
Cris CarterHOFMinnesota19994
    
Cooper KuppL.A. Rams20213*
*Active streak  

— NFL —

STEEL OF THE DRAFT: Pittsburgh running back NAJEE HARRIS ranks second among rookies this season with 752 scrimmage yards (479 rushing, 273 receiving) and five touchdowns (three rushing, two receiving). He has recorded a touchdown in four consecutive games and at least 115 scrimmage yards in each of the past three.

With at least 115 scrimmage yards and a touchdown against Chicago on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), Harris will become the fifth rookie running back to accomplish the feat in at least four consecutive games in NFL history. Each of the previous four rookie running backs to do so were named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The rookie running backs with at least 115 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in the most consecutive games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Franco Harris#HOFPittsburgh19726
Alvin Kamara#New Orleans20175
Eric Dickerson#HOFL.A. Rams19834
Curtis Martin#HOFNew England19954
    
Najee HarrisPittsburgh20213*
*Active streak   
#Named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year