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Saturday, November 13, 2010
Playoffs very much in play for most teams


Every team in the NFL has played at least eight games. Each year since 2000, there has been at least one team (27 overall) that was .500 or worse at the halfway point of the season and made the playoffs. In fact, in each of the past four seasons, at least three teams started 4-4 or worse and rebounded to make the playoffs.

Currently, there are 17 teams that are no better than .500.
Michael Vick
Vick

• Not only is Michael Vick on the verge of passing Steve Young for the second-most rushing yards by a quarterback in NFL history, but his passing numbers have been spectacular. He has the highest passer rating in the NFL on attempts between 11-20 yards. No one else in the NFL has a passer rating above 118. And on deep throws (at least 21 yards), his 120.0 passer rating is currently third behind Vince Young and Ben Roethlisberger.

• From the Elias Sports Bureau: Terrell Owens has 41 receptions for 618 yards and seven touchdowns in the last five games, all of which have been Bengals losses. Seven other players in NFL history have had at least 40 catches for 600 yards and seven touchdowns in a five-game span, but Owens is the only one who's done it on a team that lost all five games.

• More from the Elias Sports Bureau: The Cleveland Browns' Colt McCoy is the only quarterback whose first three starts all came against former Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. (The Browns lost to Ben Roethlisberger in McCoy's first start, then beat Drew Brees and Tom Brady in his next two starts).

• Peyton Hillis is averaging a league-leading 9.3 yards per rush when running to the right this season; however, only 12 percent of Hillis’ rush attempts have been to the right side. Two-thirds of his carries have been up the middle, where he’s averaging four yards per rush.

• The Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson will play his 40th game on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Johnson has rushed for 3,955 yards and averaged 5.03 yards per carry. The only players in NFL history to rush for 4,000 yards and average at least five yards a carry in their first 40 games are Jim Brown, Clinton Portis and Adrian Peterson.

• Even when he’s isn’t carrying the ball, Johnson has a huge impact on opposing defenses. Vince Young has a perfect passer rating (158.3) on play-action throws of at least 15 yards this season. On throws downfield of at least 15 yards when he does not use play action, Young’s passer rating is just 55.4.
Sidney Rice
Rice

• Last season, Sidney Rice was the Minnesota Vikings leading receiver on passes thrown outside the field numbers, catching 39-of-59 passes and four of the Vikings 12 touchdowns. In eight games thus far, Minnesota has not had an outside threat, posting just three touchdowns on 92 targets.

• The Denver Broncos are the only team that does not have a rushing play of at least 20 yards this season; conversely, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the only team that has yet to allow a 20-yard running play. The Steelers opponent this week, the Patriots, have four players who have had at least one 20-yard running play this season.