November 23, 2013

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

Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has 13 tackles, eight assists, an interception and three sacks the past four games. In the first six games, he had four tackles, two assists and one sack.

Who’s hot

Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has 13 tackles, eight assists, an interception and three sacks the past four games. In the first six games, he had four tackles, two assists and one sack.

Who’s not

Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who led the league in rushing with 1,606 yards two seasons ago, has 455 yards on 157 carries, a 2.9 yards per carry average. Jones-Drew has averaged less than 2 yards a carry the past two weeks, gaining 41 yards on 21 carries against the Titans and then 23 yards on 14 carries against the Cardinals.

Numbers game

1 Touchdowns the Panthers have allowed in the first half this season. Carolina is the first team since the 1935 Giants to allow one or fewer first-half touchdowns over the first 10 games of the season.

2014 NFL Draft

Dane Brugler of CBS Sports and gives his top-10 senior outside linebackers and top-five draft-eligible underclassmen at the position:

Senior outside linebackers

1. Anthony Barr, UCLA

2. Khalil Mack, Buffalo

3. CJ Mosley, Alabama

4. Telvin Smith, Florida State

5. Kyle Van Noy, BYU

6. Christian Jones, Florida State

7. Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech

8. Morgan Breslin, USC

9. Dee Ford, Auburn

10. Prince Shembo, Notre Dame

Draft-eligible underclassmen

1. Ryan Shazier, Ohio State

2. Vic Beasley, Clemson

3. Carl Bradford, Arizona State

4. Hayes Pullard, USC

5. Denzel Perryman, Miami (FL)


Since the league went to the current playoff format in 1990, nine teams have made the playoffs despite starting 4-6, according to Elias. The Washington Redskins did it last season.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ starters have missed only 12 games with injuries this season, though that doesn’t count receiver Jeremy Maclin, who tore an anterior cruciate ligament in training camp. Philadelphia’s five offensive linemen and its top six defensive linemen have played every game.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has completed less than half of his passes in each of the past two games, the first time in three seasons that has happened.

Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon, a former Baylor standout, has four 100-yard games in his eight games this season.

TCU product Marcus Cannon will make his third start of the season at right tackle for the New England Patriots since taking over for injured starter Sebastian Vollmer. His assignment this week is Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller, a former Texas A&M star.

TCU product Marshall Newhouse will make his second consecutive start at right tackle for the Green Bay Packers in place of injured starter Don Barclay. He draws Minnesota Vikings end Brian Robison, a former UT standout.

Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and Tampa Bay Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis face off this week for only the second time. Johnson had only one catch for 13 yards in their only other meeting, in 2010, with the Lions throwing at Revis only four times.

The Broncos are 5-5 against Bill Belichick’s Patriots. New England has a winning record against every other team since hiring him in 2000.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been intercepted a career-high 13 times. That includes five the past three games.

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker moved from the coaches’ box to the sideline three games ago. The Bears haven’t allowed more than 21 points since then, giving up only 20.3 points per game.

The Packers’ three-game losing streak is their longest since 2008.

The Houston Texans have lost five games by five or fewer points. Their past four losses were by 12 total points.

Since losing to the Patriots 31-21 last season, the Broncos have won 20 of 21 regular-season games. Their only loss was to the Indianapolis Colts this season.

The San Diego Chargers’ cornerbacks have only two interceptions this season despite opposing quarterbacks throwing 358 passes against them.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have not had a 100-yard rusher in the past 18 games.

After the Falcons’ 17-13 loss to the Saints on Thursday night, Atlanta coach Mike Smith is 3-9 against New Orleans.

The Sports Xchange contributed to this report.

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