Thursday, December 10, 2009
AFC North milestones
By James Walker
For all of the numbers lovers out there, here are some players who can reach key statistical milestones in Week 14.
Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers receiver
Milestone: Holmes needs 13 yards Thursday for the first 1,000-yard receiving year of his career. Not only has Holmes never reached this milestone in the NFL, but he’s never had 1,000 yards at Ohio State or at the high school level in Florida. I’ve talked to Holmes several times about this, and it’s definitely something he wants to finally add to his résumé.
Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers tailback
Milestone: Mendenhall needs 113 yards to tally 1,000 yards rushing on the season. The second-year tailback has been on a tear since entering the starting lineup in Week 4 and solidified his place as Pittsburgh's long-term answer at tailback. With weather expected to play a factor, Mendenhall could get a lot of carries Thursday against the Cleveland Browns. He is averaging an impressive 5.0 yards per carry.
Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals tailback
Milestone: Benson needs 31 yards to record the first 1,000-yard season of his NFL career. He is the engine behind Cincinnati's offense this year and also is on pace to surpass 300 carries. Benson could have reached the 1,000-yard milestone weeks ago, but missed two games with a hip injury. His previous career-best rushing total was 747 yards.
Chad Ochocinco, Bengals receiver
Milestone: Ochocinco needs 90 receiving yards for his seventh 1,000-yard season. Ochocinco hasn’t had many huge games, but he’s been steady. Most opponents roll extra coverage his way, but Ochocinco has made the most of plays when it comes his way. Last week was arguably his best game, when he caught nine passes for 137 yards and a touchdown against the Detroit Lions.
Joe Flacco, Ravens quarterback
Milestone: Flacco needs 119 yards to eclipse 3,000 yards passing for the first time. He just missed the milestone last year with 2,971 yards. In his second season, Flacco is on pace to set new career highs in every major statistical category, including completions, attempts, yards and touchdowns. But he’s been struggling lately with four interceptions in his past three games.
Ray Lewis, Ravens linebacker
Milestone: Lewis needs one tackle Sunday against the Lions to record the 12th 100-tackle season of his Hall of Fame career. It’s a testament to his impressive consistency over the years. He’s only missed the milestone in 2002 and 2005 when he was injured and played in just five and six games, respectively.