The return of the race as the season reaches its midpoint in the NFL

As the schedule heads into November, close games and resurgent teams have stood out in the first two months of the 2022 season. This year’s average final point margin (9.52) is the lowest throughout the seasons. first eight weeks of a season since 1970, and 55 games were decided by a touchdown (six points or fewer), the most such performances through week eight in NFL history.

Entering week nine, each conference has four teams currently in playoff spots having missed the postseason a year ago: BALTIMORE (5-3), LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (4-3), MIAMI (5-3) and NEW YORK JETS (5-3) in the AFC, and ATLANTA (4-4), MINNESOTA (6-1), NEW YORK GIANTS (6-2) and SEATTLE (5-3) in the NFC.

Seventeen teams are .500 or better and 26 teams have at least three wins this season, tying the 2018 season for the fourth-most teams with at least three wins through the first eight weeks of a season in the history. Only in 2017 (27 teams), 2016 (27) and 2012 (27) did they have more.

All 11 starters entering Week 8…

  1. HAULING SUCCESS. The 2022 season has the highest average rushing yards per attempt (4.54) through the eighth week since 1970, and there has been an average of 240.7 rushing yards per game, the most through the first eight weeks for a season since 1987 (243.7). Since 1970, there have been 17 times a player has averaged more than six yards per rush attempt (minimum 75 attempts) through the first eight weeks of a season, four of which are in 2022: LAMAR JACKSONof Baltimore (7.37 yards per carry attempt); TONY POLLARDfrom Dallas (6.25); TRAVIS ETIENNE, from Jacksonville (6.21); Y KHALIL HERBERT, from Chicago (6.19). Of the players with at least 75 rushing attempts, Jackson’s 7.37 yards per rushing attempt is the highest average through the eighth week since the merger.

    CHICAGO BEARSleads the league with 188.4 rushing yards per game this season, the third-highest average rushing yards by a team through its first eight games of a season since 1990, trailing only ATLANTA FALCONS in 2006 (205.1 rushing yards per game) and BALTIMORE RAVENS in 2019 (204.9).

    Bears can join PITTSBURGH STEELERS of 1976 (weeks 7-10) as the only teams in the Super Bowl era with at least 225 rushing yards in four straight games, and the first team since NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 1978 (weeks 12-15) with at least 200 rushing yards in four straight games.

  2. WEEK NUMBER – 136. Monday night classic monday night football Come in BALTIMORE(5-3) and NEW ORLEANS (3-5) will be the 136th game played this season, officially marking the midpoint of the 2022 NFL schedule.
  3. NOTE THAT MATTER. Tampa Bay quarterback, TOM BRADY, has 99,836 career passing yards, including postseason, and needs 164 to become the first player in NFL history with 100,000 career passing yards. Brady has the most regular season passing yards (86,787) and postseason passing yards (13,049) in history, and has led the NFL in passing yards four times (2005, 2007, 2017 and 2021) during his 23 years. of race.

    The meeting between LOS ANGELES RAMS(Super Bowl LVI champion) and TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (Super Bowl LV champion) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS) marks the 27th time in the Super Bowl era, and the eighth time in the past 20 seasons, that the two most recent Super Bowl winners Super Bowl are in regular season. The team that won the most recent Super Bowl won six of the previous seven matchups.

  4. UNDER THE SPOTLIGHTS – INDIVIDUAL SHOWDOWN. MIAMI DOLPHINS(5-3), winner of two consecutive games, is led by receivers TYREEK HILL Y JAYLEN WADDLE, who have set a historic pace through the first eight weeks. Hill, who leads the league this season in both receptions (69) and receiving yards (961), and Waddle, who ranks fourth in receiving yards (727), combined for the most receiving yards (1,688) by a pair of teammates through their first eight games of a season in the Super Bowl era.

    Hill and Waddle each have four games with at least 100 receiving yards this season, including three games in which they both topped the 100-yard mark. On Sunday in Chicago (1:00 PM ET, CBS), the duo can top the Hall of Famer Isaac Bruce Already TORY HOLTof the 2000 St. Louis Rams (1,878 receiving yards), for the most combined receiving yards by teammates through his team’s first nine games of a season in the Super Bowl era.

    Hill, who has at least 150 receiving yards in four games this season, can surpass Bruce (1,073 receiving yards in 1995) for the most receiving yards by a player in his team’s first nine games of a season in the It was from the Super Bowl. Hill and Waddle can also become the sixth pair of teammates with each receiving at least 800 yards in their team’s first nine games in history.

  5. UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT – TEAM SHOWDOWN. TENNESSEE TITANS(5-2) visit to KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (5-2) in the Sunday night classic Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM, New York time, NBC) in a matchup between teams that lead their respective divisions.

    The Titans enter Week 9 on a five-game winning streak, the longest active winning streak in the AFC, after starting the season 0-2. Last week, the broker DERRICK HENRY Recorded his sixth career game with at least 200 rushing yards, tying with ADRIAN PETERSON (six) and Hall of Famer OJ SIMPSON (six) for the most such performances in NFL history. Including postseason play, he has 557 rushing yards (111.4 per game) and six rushing touchdowns in his five career games against Kansas City.

    Chiefs are coming off a Week 8 bye having won three of their last four games, with those four opposing teams reaching the postseason in 2021. ANDY REID is 20-3 in his career after his team’s bye week, and Kansas City has won nine straight in November since Week 11 of the 2019 season. PATRICK MAHOMES this season he leads the NFL with 20 touchdown passes and ranks second in passing yards per game (308.4) and passer rating (109.5).

  6. TALKING STREAKS. The Philadelphia quarterback JALEN HURTS, who turned 24 in August, has won each of his last 10 games as a starting quarterback, including his last three starts of the 2021 season, and is the seventh-youngest QB in the Super Bowl era to win 10 starts consecutive.

    With a victory in the Thursday night classic Thursday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, Prime Video) in Houston, he can match the Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING(11 consecutive victories in 1999) already DAK PRESCOTT (11 in 2016) for the third-longest winning streak by a starting quarterback under 25 since 1990, trailing only BEN ROETHLISBERGER (15 wins in a row from 2004-05) and LAMAR JACKSON (13 wins in a row in 2019-20).

    Hurts can also become the third quarterback under 25 to start and win each of his team’s first eight games of a season since 1950, joining Hall of Famer DAN MARINE (1984 with Miami) and JARED GOFF (2018 with the Los Angeles Rams).

  7. DID YOU KNOW? Through seven games this season, Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN, totaled 2,198 passing yards and 306 rushing yards, and leads all players with 357.7 combined passing and rushing yards per game. His 2,504 combined passing and rushing yards in 2022 are second only to the Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING(2,542 combined yards in 2013) and DREW BREES (2,512 in 2011) for the most combined yards by a quarterback in his first seven games of a season. BUFFALO BILLS (6-1) travels to MetLife Stadium on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) to face NEW YORK JETS (5-3).
  8. STORY UNDER THE RADAR. There are three head coaches in their first season with a team –MIKE MCDANIELof Miami; KEVIN O’CONNELL, of Minnesota; Y BRIAN DABOLLof the New York Giants – and four head coaches in his second year –ARTHUR SMITHof Atlanta; BRANDON STALEYof the Los Angeles Chargers; ROBERT SALEHof New York Jets and NICK SIRIANNIof Philadelphia – who currently have their club in playoff position.

    There have only been two seasons in which three first-year head coaches qualified for the postseason in the same year—2008 (JOHN HARBAUGH, MIKE SMITHY Tony Sparano) and 1992 (The Hall of Fame member BILL COWHER, DANNY GREEN Y BOBBY ROSS)– while the most first- and second-year head coaches to make the playoffs in the same season is five, set in 2008 (mike tomlin Y KEN WHISENHUNT in its second seasons).

    When the Vikings visit the Washington Commanders on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), O’Connell can become the fifth head coach since 2000 to win seven of his first eight games, joining JIM CALDWELL (2009), JIM HARBAUGH (2011), Matt Lafleur (2019) and MIKE MARTZ (2000).

  9. TREND. There have been 55 games this season with a lead change in the third period or later, including at least four games in each of the first eight weeks. There were 37 games in which a team came back to win or draw from trailing in the final period in 2022, tying with 2021 (37) and 1989 (37) for the third-most such performances through the eighth week in NFL history, trailing only 2016 (38) and 2012 (38).
  10. THIS WEEK IN NFL HISTORY. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS(3-4-1) visit to NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-4) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). The two clubs met in the ninth week in four consecutive seasons in the 2005-08 span, with the Colts earning three prime-time wins and the Patriots’ only win during their undefeated 2007 regular season. monday night football of the ninth week of the 2005 season, the Hall of Fame trio from PEYTON MANNING (321 yards and three touchdown passes), EDGERRIN JAMES (104 rushing yards and a touchdown) and MARVIN HARRISON (nine receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns), as well as REGGIE WAYNE (nine receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown) all had outstanding performances.
  11. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST. BALTIMORE RAVENS he has led by at least 10 points in each of his first eight games of the season. In the Monday night classic monday night footballat New Orleans(8:15 PM ET, ESPN), can become the fifth team in the Super Bowl era to lead by 10 points in each of its first nine games of the season, joining a GREEN BAY PACKERS from 2011, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS from 2009, NEW YORK GIANTS from 1989 and MIAMI DOLPHINS from 1984.

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The return of the race as the season reaches its midpoint in the NFL