NFL Insider: Who’s hot, who’s not and more

Posted Saturday, Sep. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Who’s hot

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen leads the NFL with 117 sacks over the past nine seasons. Allen, who had only 12 sacks last season, is healthy again after off-season surgeries to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and a torn meniscus in his right knee. He goes against Detroit Lions left tackle Riley Reiff, who played right tackle as a rookie last season.

Who’s not

The Philadelphia Eagles’ defense allowed 5.3 yards per rushing attempt and opponents scored six rushing touchdowns in the preseason. The Eagles were 23rd against the run last season. They will rank lower this season.

Numbers game

74.2Eagles offensive plays per game in the preseason in Chip Kelly’s up-tempo system, which led the league. The Patriots averaged 74.4 plays per game last season to lead the league. In Andy Reid’s West Coast offense, the Eagles averaged 67.4 plays last season.

Best bet

Bengals (plus-3) over Bears: Mike Zimmer’s defense has ranked in the top 10 for three of the past four seasons. The Bengals’ offense has ranked 20th or lower for five consecutive seasons. Cincinnati is a popular dark horse Super Bowl pick, but the Bengals need Andy Dalton to play better than he did in his first two seasons. In the preseason, Dalton was 0 for 5 with an interception on passes that covered 15 yards or more in the air.


The Washington Redskins haven’t had back-to-back winning seasons since 1996-97. They haven’t made the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 1991-92 and haven’t won the NFC East two years in a row since 1983-84.

The Seahawks play five games that start at 10 a.m. Pacific time. They are 7-21 in 10 a.m. starts since 2008, including 1-3 last season.

Raiders free safety Charles Woodson has intercepted at least one pass in 15 consecutive seasons, trailing only Darrell Green (19) and Eugene Robinson and Willie Brown (16 each).

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 344 times in his career, the most in the league since 2004 when he arrived as a rookie.

The Packers have no starting offensive linemen in the same position they started in last season’s opening game against the 49ers. Green Bay has three new starters from Week 1 last year in left tackle David Bakhtiari, center Evan Dietrich-Smith and right tackle Don Barclay, and guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang have swapped sides.

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who led the league with 20.5 sacks last season, had 39 tackles for no gain or loss on running plays last season.

The Carolina Panthers are 6-13 in season openers in their history.

Sean Payton is 10-2 all-time against the Atlanta Falcons, and the Saints are 11-3 against Atlanta since the start of the 2006 season after splitting the two games last season.

The Tampa Bay Bucs’ starting defensive linemen have 21.5 career sacks.

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has 2,531 rushing yards since Week 9 of the 2011 season, the most in the NFL over that span.

Titans quarterback Jake Locker completed 67.3 percent of his passes in the preseason, bettering the 56.4 percent he had in the 2012 regular season.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have 29 players who are 25 or younger, including 11 rookies. All seven draft picks made the roster, plus four undrafted rookie free agents.

The Kansas City Chiefs are 0-4 in season openers on the road in the past 10 years. They haven’t won away from home on Opening Day since 2002 at Cleveland.

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?