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To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made . The NFL has designated Sunday night’s GREEN BAY PACKERSKANSAS CITY CHIEFS matchup (8:20 PM ET, NBC) as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest commemorates the teams that played in the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, later called the Super Bowl thanks to a suggestion made by the late LAMAR HUNT, owner of the Chiefs and co-founder of the AFL. On January 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Packers clung to a 14-10 halftime lead before breaking open the contest in the second half. MAX McGEE caught seven passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns en route to a 35-10 win over the AFL champion Chiefs. Two networks, CBS and NBC, televised the game, which was not sold out.

 

YOUNG QUARTERBACKS ILLUMINATING NFL’S PATH: One of the more remarkable storylines of the NFL’s 100th season is the league’s sterling crop of young quarterbacks, and the amount of wins that group has generated. All told, 87 of 106 games (82.1 percent) have featured at least one starting quarterback age 26 or younger, more than any season ever through Week 7. Quarterbacks age 26 or younger have won 63 of their 116 starts (54.3 percent), 14 more wins than any prior season in league annals through seven weeks.

 A look at some of the starting quarterbacks age 26 or younger this season:

  • Carolina quarterback KYLE ALLEN, 23, is 4-0 as a starter in 2019. He also is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to begin his career 5-0 without throwing an interception in his first five career starts.
  • New Orleans quarterback TEDDY BRIDGEWATER, 26, is 5-0 as a starter in 2019 with 1,370 pass yards and nine touchdowns for a 98.9 rating.
  • Indianapolis quarterback JACOBY BRISSETT, 26, has led the Colts to a 4-2 record and has thrown at least two touchdowns in five of his six starts.
  • Baltimore quarterback LAMAR JACKSON, 23, is the third quarterback in NFL history with at least three games of 100 rushing yards in a single season. He is also one of three quarterbacks with five touchdown passes in a single game in 2019.
  • Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT, 26, has paced the NFL’s top-ranked offense (437.9 yards per game) with 12 touchdown passes and three rushing touchdowns. He is one of four quarterbacks to average at least 300 passing yards per game in 2019.
  • Houston quarterback DESHAUN WATSON, 24, has 1,952 passing yards, 15 touchdown passes and three rushing touchdowns in 2019.

ROOKIES COMPETING AT HIGHEST LEVELS: The JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, who host the New York Jets on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) are the first team in NFL history to have a rookie (GARDNER MINSHEW) with a passer rating of 95 or higher (minimum 100 attempts) and a rookie (JOSH ALLEN) with five-or-more sacks through their first seven games.

Minshew leads NFL rookies in both passer rating (95.7) and touchdown passes (10). It’s only the second time in NFL history in which a rookie quarterback has compiled a 95-or-better passer rating and 10-or-more touchdown passes through seven weeks (Houston’s DESHAUN WATSON had a 103 rating and 19 TDs through seven games in 2017).

In fact, rookies are prevalent all over the NFL landscape as the season approaches its midway point. The 100th season is the only campaign in NFL history in which a rookie through seven weeks of play:

  • Has a 95-or-better passer rating (GARDNER MINSHEW, Jacksonville, 95.7),
  • Has 10-or-more touchdown passes (GARDNER MINSHEW, Jacksonville, 10),
  • Has at least 550 rushing yards (JOSH JACOBS, Oakland, 554),
  • Has at least 400 receiving yards (TERRY McLAURIN, Washington, 419),
  • Has five-or-more overall touchdowns (TERRY McLAURIN, Washington, five),
  • Has at least two interceptions (DEVIN BUSH, Pittsburgh, and RYAN CONNELLY, N.Y. Giants, each with two)    – AND – 
  • Has at least five sacks (JOSH ALLEN, Jacksonville, five).

A POINT ABOUT ONE-POINT GAMES: This past week, eight games were within one score (eight points or fewer) at some point in the fourth quarter. Through seven weeks, 69 of 106 games (65.1 percent) have seen a team come within one possession of tying or taking the lead in the fourth quarter. Only three previous seasons have had more one-point games through Week 7 since the 1970 merger. And, only three other seasons have seen more games decided by seven-or-fewer points in NFL history.

The seasons with the most games decided by one- and seven-or-fewer points through seven weeks:

GAMES DECIDED BY ONE-OR-FEWER POINTS, THROUGH WEEK 7, SINCE 1970   GAMES DECIDED BY SEVEN-OR-FEWER POINTS, THROUGH WEEK 7, ALL-TIME
2016 10   2012 57
1999 10   2016 56
1997 10   1999 55
2019 9   2019 54
1972 9   2018 54
      2011 54
      2010 54

 

BELICHICK HAS 300 IN SIGHT: New England head coach BILL BELICHICK can become just the third coach in NFL history to win 300 games, including the postseason. On Sunday against the Cleveland Browns (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Belichick (299) can join Pro Football Hall of Famers DON SHULA (347) and GEORGE HALAS (324) as one of three coaches in NFL history to reach the milestone.

The head coaches with 200-or-more wins in NFL history, including the postseason:

COACH W L T PCT
Don ShulaHOF 347 173 6 .666
George HalasHOF 324 151 31 .682
Bill Belichick 299 134 0 .691
Tom LandryHOF 270 178 6 .603
Earl (Curly) LambeauHOF 229 134 22 .631
Andy Reid 212 140 1 .601
Chuck Noll HOF​ 209 156 1 .572
Marty Schottenheimer 205 139 1 .596
Dan Reeves 201 174 2 .536

Active coaches in bold; from 1920-71, tie games were not included in winning percentage.

Belichick meets the CLEVELAND BROWNS, where he served as head coach from 1991-95. Ironically, his best season in Cleveland was 1994, when he guided the 11-5 Browns to a Wild Card win over Pro Football Hall of Famer BILL PARCELLS and the Patriots. During his Cleveland tenure, Belichick’s Browns coaching staff and front office contained some of the NFL’s most talented minds.

A closer look at notable Cleveland Browns executives and assistant coaches during the Bill Belichick era:

INDIVIDUAL WITH 1991-95 BROWNS CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Bill Belichick Head coach Won six Super Bowls with Patriots
Thomas Dimitroff Grounds crew assistant Falcons general manager, drafted MVP Matt Ryan, advanced to SB LI
Kirk Ferentz Offensive line coach College Coach of Year and two Big Ten titles as head coach at Iowa
Pat Hill Tight ends coach As Fresno State head coach, 17 wins over teams from power conf.
George Kokinis Scout Browns general manager
Michael Lombardi Director of player personnel Senior executive, Raiders; Browns general manager
Eric Mangini Public relations intern Jets, Browns head coach; won three Super Bowls as NE assistant
Ozzie Newsome Director of pro personnel Pro Football Hall of Fame, Ravens general manager
Scott Pioli Pro personnel assistant New England personnel executive; Chiefs general manager
Nick Saban Defensive coordinator Won six national titles as college head coach (LSU, Alabama)
Phil Savage Scout Browns general manager
Jim Schwartz Scout Lions head coach, won SB LII as Eagles defensive coordinator
Mike Tannenbaum Player personnel assistant Jets, Dolphins general manager

 

BOOKEND NFL POINT-DIFFERENTIALS: New England owns a plus-175 point-differential (223 points scored, 48 points allowed), the second-highest mark in NFL history through seven games. Only one other club through seven games, the 1920 BUFFALO ALL-AMERICANS – in the first season of league competition, 1920 – had a higher point-differential, plus-218. The only other clubs with a point-differential of at least 163 through seven games were the 1941 CHICAGO BEARS (plus-173) and the 1921 BUFFALO ALL-AMERICANS (plus-163).

DOMINATING IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT FOR NEW ENGLAND DEFENSE: With road shutouts in Week 2 and Week 7, the Patriots have two road shutout wins of at least 30 points in 2019. New England is the second team in NFL history to blank an opponent on the road by at least 30 points on multiple occasions in a single season. Only the 1942 CHICAGO BEARS (two) can claim that distinction over a full year.

The Patriots also lead the NFL with 18 interceptions this season. Through seven games, only three clubs in NFL history have had more.

The most interceptions through seven games in NFL history:

INT TEAM, YEAR SEASON RESULT
20 Green Bay Packers, 1996 Won Super Bowl XXXI
19 San Francisco 49ers, 1986 Advanced to NFC Divisional
  Pittsburgh Steelers, 1973 Advanced to AFC Divisional
18 New England Patriots, 2019 ???
  Dallas Cowboys, 1985 Advanced to NFC Divisional
  Los Angeles Rams, 1985 Advanced to NFC Championship
  Pittsburgh Steelers, 1983 Advanced to AFC Divisional
  Oakland Raiders, 1974 Advanced to AFC Championship
  Pittsburgh Steelers, 1972 Advanced to AFC Championship

 

WELCOME BACK AT WEMBLEY, OTHER REUNIONS ON THE SCHEDULE: In addition to Belichick playing his former team, London’s Wembley Stadium hosts its first 2019 NFL game. In a reunion, CINCINNATI BENGALS head coach ZAC TAYLOR meets his former club, the LOS ANGELES RAMS (1:00 PM ET, CBS). Taylor served as the Rams’ assistant wide receivers coach in 2017 and quarterbacks coach in 2018, when the team advanced to Super Bowl LIII. In Week 9, the HOUSTON TEXANS meet the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS at Wembley Stadium, and in Week 11 the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS meet the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS in Mexico City to close the NFL’s 2019 International Series.

Buffalo’s SEAN McDERMOTT hosts his former team, Philadelphia (1:00 PM ET, FOX). McDermott worked for the Eagles from 1999-2010. Meanwhile in Atlanta, Falcons head coach DAN QUINN hosts his former club, the Seahawks (1:00 PM ET, FOX). Quinn served as Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2013-14.

NFL SCHEDULE, OCTOBER 24, 27-28

(All times Eastern)

Thursday       Sunday (cont.)    
Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings 8:20 PM FOX/NFLN

AMAZON

  Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM CBS
Sunday       Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM FOX
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM FOX   Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers 4:05 PM FOX
Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM FOX   Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans 4:25 PM CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Chicago Bears 1:00 PM FOX   Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots 4:25 PM CBS
New York Giants at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM FOX   Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs 8:20 PM NBC
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM CBS   Monday    
New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM CBS   Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers 8:15 PM ESPN
Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Rams+ 1:00 PM CBS   +London; Byes: Baltimore, Dallas

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