NFC West: Casey Wiegmann

With Peyton Manning's regular-season starting streak in question, I revisited the list of active leaders to see which NFC West players might be gaining.

There is one.

The San Francisco 49ers' Justin Smith, the NFL's active ironman among defensive linemen with 155 starts in a row, would have to remain in the lineup continuously through the sixth game of the 2014 season to surpass Manning's 208-game streak.

Smith, 31, would be turning 35 at about the time he reached 209 starts.

The chart shows current starting streaks of at least 100 games, according to the NFL. Alan Faneca is retiring, so he'll come off the list. Atlanta Falcons center Todd McClure, tied with Faneca on the list, will miss the regular-season opener after having knee surgery.

Players need toughness, luck, consistency and talent to maintain such streaks in such a physically demanding sport. The position they play also matters.

The longest active starting streak for running backs stands at only 48 games, with the Chicago Bears' Matt Forte atop the list. The Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson is next at 32 games, with the St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson third at only 17 regular-season starts in a row. Only three other running backs have started more than 12 games in a row.

Update: The NFL's internal statistics engine listed Ronde Barber with 179 consecutive regular-season starts. The Bucs' figure is 183. Game logs available on NFL.com confirm 183. I updated the chart to 183.

Options for Seattle's offensive line

February, 23, 2010
2/23/10
7:24
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Center Casey Wiegmann, released by the Broncos after starting 143 consecutive regular-season games for Denver and Kansas City, could make sense as an option for teams' running zone blocking schemes.

Seattle is one of those teams, although I question the fit in this specific instance. The Seahawks already appear set at center with Max Unger. Wiegmann, 36, did not play for current Seattle line coach Alex Gibbs and he might make more sense for Mike Shanahan in Washington.

Wiegmann does fit the general profile for players the Seahawks could consider as they remake their offensive line, however.

One of his Denver teammates, guard Ben Hamilton, could make more sense for Seattle as an unrestricted free agent. Hamilton, 32, started in Denver under Gibbs and could be available as the Broncos reconfigure their offensive line under coach Josh McDaniels. McDaniels replaced Hamilton with former Patriot Russ Hochstein in the lineup during last season.

Houston's Chester Pitts is another potential UFA guard with experience playing under Gibbs.

Seattle can be expected to commit more fully to zone blocking tactics favoring small, more athletic linemen. Wiegmann is listed at 285 pounds. Hamilton is listed at 290 and Pitts at 308.

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