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What to Look For - Week 8

What to Look For - Week 8

11/01/2020
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Defense might “win championships,” but offense can at least get you there.

Green Bay could become the team in 2020 to ride a powerful offense all the way through a conference title. With 35 or more points Sunday against the Vikings, the Packers would become the sixth team to reach that level of scoring in at least five of its first seven games to open a season.

In three of the previous instances — Denver in 2013, New Orleans in 2009 and New England in 2007 — the teams went on to play in the Super Bowl, but only the Saints managed to come away with the Lombardi Trophy.

With scoring at record levels across the league, the Baltimore Ravens also are poised to set an NFL record this week. To learn more and for a look at other things to watch for this week, read on…

 

SCORING STREAKS: Entering Week 8, scoring continues to trend at an unprecedented level across the league. The 5,329 points scored are the most in NFL history through seven weeks, while the 50.8 total points per game (both teams combined) is the highest through Week 7 since at least 1970. Overall, seven teams are averaging at least 30 points per game, the most such teams at this point of a season since 1970.

The GREEN BAY PACKERS – who rank second in the league with 32.8 points per game – have scored at least 35 points in four of their first six games this season, including in their 35-20 victory at Houston last week.

With at least 35 points on Sunday against Minnesota (1:00 PM ET, FOX), the Packers will become the sixth team to score 35 points in at least five of their first seven games of a season in the Super Bowl era. Three of the previous five teams to accomplish the feat advanced to the Super Bowl that season.

The teams with 35-or-more points scored in at least five of their first seven games of a season in the Super Bowl era:​

TEAM

SEASON

GAMES

Denver Broncos#

2013

6

St. Louis Rams

2000

6

Kansas City Chiefs

2018

5

New Orleans Saints#

2009

5

New England Patriots#

2007

5

 

 

 

Green Bay Packers

2020

4*

*Through first six games

 

#Advanced to Super Bowl

 

 

The BALTMORE RAVENS are averaging 29.8 points per game this season and are averaging 32.3 points per game since the beginning of the 2019 season, the highest mark in the league over that span. Baltimore has scored at least 20 points in every regular-season contest since Week 11 of the 2018 season, a streak of 29 games.

With at least 20 points on Sunday against Pittsburgh (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Baltimore will tie the DENVER BRONCOS (30 consecutive games from 2012-14) for the longest streak of regular-season games scoring at least 20 points in NFL history.

The teams with at least 20 points scored in the most consecutive regular-season games in NFL history:​

TEAM

SEASONS

GAMES

Denver Broncos

2012-14

30

Baltimore Ravens

2018-2020

29*

St. Louis Rams

1999-2000

28

*Active streak

 
 
KINGS OF THE NORTH: There are six teams with one-or-fewer losses entering Week 8, tied for the most such teams at this point of a season since at least 1970. Two of those teams, the BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-1) and PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-0), meet in Baltimore this week in a battle for first place in the AFC North.
 

It will mark the sixth divisional matchup where both teams have one-or-fewer losses in Week 8 or later since 1970. The eventual division winner won three of the past four matchups.  

The divisional matchups where both teams have one-or-fewer losses in Week 8 or later since 1970:​

MATCHUP

DIVISION

WEEK

RESULT

Pittsburgh (6-0) at Baltimore (5-1)

AFC North

Week 8, 2020

???

Kansas City (9-0) at Denver (8-1)

AFC West

Week 11, 2013

DEN* 27, KC 17

Miami (5-1) at New York Jets (5-1)

AFC East

Week 8, 2000

NYJ 40, MIA* 37

Denver (7-1) at Los Angeles Raiders (7-1)

AFC West

Week 9, 1984

DEN* 22, LA 19

Houston Oilers (6-1) at Pittsburgh (6-1)

AFC Central

Week 8, 1975

PIT* 24, HOU 17

Buffalo (6-1) at New England (6-1)

AFC East

Week 8, 1974

BUF 29, NE 28

*Won division

 
 
SEATTLE SUPERSTAR: Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON leads the league with 22 touchdown passes and a 119.5 passer rating this season. In his nine-year career, Wilson has 249 touchdown passes and a 102.2 passer rating, the second-highest mark in NFL history (minimum 1,500 attempts), behind only AARON RODGERS (102.8).
 

With a touchdown pass on Sunday against San Francisco (4:25 PM ET, FOX), Wilson will become the third player to reach 250 touchdown passes in his first nine seasons in NFL history, joining PEYTON MANNING (275 touchdown passes) and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (266).

The players with the most touchdown passes in their first nine seasons in NFL history:​

PLAYER

TEAM

TOUCHDOWN PASSES

Peyton Manning

Indianapolis

275

Dan MarinoHOF

Miami

266

Russell Wilson

Seattle

249*

*In ninth season

 

With at least three touchdown passes on Sunday, Wilson will have reached 25 touchdown passes in a season for the seventh time in his career and will join Manning (nine seasons) as theonly players in NFL history with at least 25 touchdown passes in seven of their first nine seasons.

Last season, Wilson became the first quarterback in league history with a winning record in each of his first eight seasons. With a win on Sunday, Wilson will tie Manning (92 wins) for the most regular-season wins by a quarterback in his first nine seasons in NFL history. Wilson will also tie TOM BRADY (101) for the most wins, including the postseason, by a quarterback in his first nine seasons in NFL history.


MONDAY NIGHT MAGIC: Last week, Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 369 yards and totaled five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing), his second game of the season with five total touchdowns. The 21-year veteran ranks second in the league this season with 18 touchdown passes.

Brady will make his 25th career appearance on Monday Night Football when Tampa Bay travels to face the New York Giants this week (8:15 PM ET, ESPN). With a touchdown pass on Monday, Brady will become the fourth player with at least 50 career touchdown passes on Monday Night Football, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers DAN MARINO (74 touchdown passes) and BRETT FAVRE (69), as well as DREW BREES (58).  

The players with the most career touchdown passes on Monday Night Football:​

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

TOUCHDOWN PASSES

Dan MarinoHOF

Miami

74

Brett FavreHOF

Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota

69

Drew Brees

San Diego Chargers, New Orleans

58

Tom Brady

New England

49

 
 
MAKING HIS MARK IN MINNESOTA: Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON leads all rookies with 537 receiving yards this season and in Week 6, became the fourth player with at least 100 receiving yards in three of his first six career games.
 
If Jefferson – who recorded 175 receiving yards in Week 3, 103 receiving yards in Week 4 and 166 receiving yards in Week 6 before having a bye in Week 7 – records at least 100 receiving yards on Sunday at Green Bay (1:00 PM ET, FOX), he will become the fourth rookie to have four 100-yard receiving games in a five-game span in NFL history, joining ODELL BECKHAM JR. (2014), BILL GROMAN (1960) and JIMMY ORR (1958).
 

The rookies with four 100-yard receiving games in a five-game span in NFL history:​

PLAYER

TEAM

SEASON

Odell Beckham Jr.

New York Giants

2014

Bill Groman

Houston Oilers

1960

Jimmy Orr

Pittsburgh

1958

 

 

 

Justin Jefferson

Minnesota

2020*

*At least 100 receiving yards in three of his past four games

 
 
ALVIN & THE RECEPTIONS: Entering Week 8, New Orleans running back ALVIN KAMARA leads the NFL with 824 scrimmage yards and ties for the lead league with seven touchdowns (four rushing, three receiving). He also leads all running backs with 46 receptions and 460 receiving yards this season.
 

With at least four receptions at Chicago on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX), Kamara will become the third running back with at least 50 receptions in each of his first four seasons in NFL history, joining MATT FORTE and Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON.

The running backs with at least 50 receptions in each of their first four seasons in NFL history:​

PLAYER

TEAM

SEASONS

Matt Forte

Chicago

2008-11

LaDainian TomlinsonHOF

San Diego Chargers

2001-04

 

 

 

Alvin Kamara

New Orleans

2017-20*

*Has 46 receptions in 2020 entering Sunday

 
 
GARRETT GREATNESS: Last week, Cleveland defensive end MYLES GARRETT recorded two sacks and a forced fumble in the Browns’ victory, his sixth consecutive game with a sack and his fourth game this season with a forced fumble. Overall, he leads the league with nine sacks and ties for the lead with four forced fumbles in 2020.
 

With a sack and forced fumble on Sunday against Las Vegas (1:00 PM ET, FOX) Garrett will join TRACE ARMSTRONG (2000) as the only players since 1999 with at least 10 sacks and five forced fumbles in their team’s first eight games of a season.

Garrett has totaled 39.5 sacks in 44 career games and can become the fifth player with at least 40 sacks in his first 45 career games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The players with the most sacks in their first 45 career games since 1982:​

PLAYER

TEAM

SACKS

Reggie WhiteHOF

Philadelphia

57

Aldon Smith

San Francisco

44

Derrick ThomasHOF

Kansas City

43.5

Von Miller

Denver

41

 

 

 

Myles Garrett

Cleveland

39.5*

*In 44 games

 
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