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

Posted Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Who’s hot

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly had 24 tackles, according to the press box stats, last Sunday. It tied for the most ever in the NFL, with New York Jets linebacker David Harris also having 24 in 2007. Coaches credited Kuechly with two more tackles after watching film. The defensive player of the year candidate also had an interception, the first player since Derrick Brooks in 2001 with 20 tackles and an interception in the same game.

Who’s not

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, the 2011 defensive player of the year, had nine sacks in the first eight games. He has only one since. Suggs ended a six-game drought by sacking Tom Brady last week.

Numbers game

26Interceptions thrown by Giants quarterback Eli Manning this season, breaking the franchise record previously set by Frank Filchock in 1947, Charlie Conerly in 1953, and himself in 2010.

2014 NFL Draft

Dane Brugler of CBS Sports and NFLDraftScout.com gives his top 15 draft-eligible players in the BCS national title game, regardless of position:

1. Greg Robinson*, OT, Auburn

2. Cameron Erving*, OT, Florida State

3. Kelvin Benjamin*, WR, Florida State

4. LaMarcus Joyner, DB, Florida State

5. Telvin Smith, LB, Florida State

6. Terrence Brooks, DB, Florida State

7. Christian Jones, LB, Florida State

8. Timmy Jernigan*, DT, Florida State

9. Devonta Freeman*, RB, Florida State

10. Tre Mason*, RB, Auburn

11. Josue Matias*, OG, Florida State

12. Rashad Greene*, WR, Florida State

13. Gabe Wright, DT, Auburn

14. Dee Ford, LB, Auburn

15. Nick O’Leary*, TE, Florida State

*Indicates underclassman

Blitz

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning already has the NFL record for touchdown passes in a season with 51. He can set the single-season yardage record, too, needing only 266 to top the 5,476 that Drew Brees had in 2011.

Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh will become the team’s first first-round draft pick to start every game since 1981, when Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor did the same.

The Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles has established a franchise record for receiving yardage by a running back in a single season. The former Texas star has 693 receiving yards on 70 catches, topping the 690 yards Priest Holmes had on 74 receptions in 2003.

Rams defensive end Robert Quinn has a team-record 18 sacks, topping the 17 defensive end Kevin Carter had in 1999. He leads Indianapolis linebacker Robert Mathis by a half-sack.

Browns receiver Josh Gordon has gone two games without a 100-yard game. The former Baylor standout has an NFL-best 1,564 receiving yards despite missing the first two games.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is 23-2 in his career against the Buffalo Bills.

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy’s 1,476 yards are 189 more than Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles. McCoy has 2,012 yards from scrimmage. Charles has 1,980.

Reggie Bush needs 26 yards to become the Detroit Lions’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Kevin Jones in 2004.

Steelers punter Mat McBriar completed a 30-yard pass to tight end David Paulsen on a fake punt last week. It was his first pass attempt ever, anywhere, including his 10 NFL seasons.

Since the bye, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has completed 64.3 percent of his passes (90 of 140) for 1,061 yards with 10 touchdowns, an interception and a 108.1 passer rating. The Bengals have 12 pass plays of 20 or more yards in those four games, compared to just six last December.

The Chargers’ Keenan Allen, a third-round pick, leads all rookie receivers with 66 catches, 957 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

49ers kicker Phil Dawson has made 26 consecutive field goals.

The Ravens’ Justin Tucker finally missed last week, ending a streak of 33 consecutive field goals. He was wide left on a 37-yard attempt.

The Seattle Seahawks are on pace to set a franchise record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game season. Seattle has allowed 222 points. The Seahawks led the NFL with a team-record 245 in 2012.

Seahawks safety Earl Thomas has set a career high with 98 total tackles. He had 92 in 2011.

The Miami Dolphins have allowed a franchise-record 58 sacks. The previous franchise record was 53 allowed in 1969.

Sean Payton has employed eight kickers since he became the New Orleans Saints’ coach in 2006.

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen needs half a sack to extend his streak of seasons with double-digit sacks to seven. He has a half-sack lead over Brian Robison for the team lead. Allen has led his team in sacks every season since 2006, his third year with the Chiefs.

The Indianapolis Colts have had nine players return kickoffs this season.

The Sports Xchange contributed to this report.

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