American Football Conference XL

Heading into game day, make sure you're current with all the "Extra Large" quotes and notes from around the AFC.

XL Quotes...Powerful Statements!

"They say, 'hey, we're going to blitz you and here we come.' It's not like its any mystery. It's not like they are going to sneak up on anybody." -- Chargers quarterback Drew Brees on the Pittsburgh defense

"I just assumed you talk about your own team. You don't talk about our team. He has no business talking about our team. He's not our coach." -- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady bristling over Chargers' head coach Marty Schottenheimer's postgame comments regarding how personnel losses due to injuries can take a toll on a team. 

"It's my biggest concern as well and it should be to everybody." -- Quarterback Vinny Testaverde, commenting on his inactivity due to not being in an NFL training camp this summer and now being expected to lead the Jets offense with two weeks of studying their new offensive scheme.

"In this league, you can't live on scoring 13 points a game." -- Ravens wide receive Derrick Mason

"LaDainian Tomlinson, I think, is the best back in the game today." -- Steelers coach Bill Cowher who faces the Chargers Monday night.

"We're pretty evenly matched (and), if you look at our records, we're both desperate for a win." -- Texans nose tackle Seth Payne on Houston's (0-3) game against the the Titans (1-3) this weekend.

"As a rookie, you need to always be on your toes and don't ever think that you got it. And you still can't now, even as an eight-year veteran." -- Colts quarterback Peyton Manning on 49ers Alex Smith getting his first start on Sunday versus the Colts.

XL Notes…Essential AFC Information!

Former Colts quarterback Kelly Holcomb will apparently get his first start on Sunday with the Bills against the Miami Dolphins. After going 4-9 over the past three seasons, he signed a 4-year, $6.6 million pact with Buffalo during the offseason. 

Dolphins GM Randy Mueller said he projects his team will be $10 million to $12 million under the salary cap entering the 2006 off-season so that the team can continue to upgrade its roster.

Through their first four games the Patriots (2-2) are last in the NFL in red-zone defense. So far they've allowed nine touchdowns on twelve opponents' possessions. Quarterback Tom Brady will attempt to continue a 4-0 winning streak following a loss when the Patriots play in Atlanta on Sunday. In those contests he has eight touchdowns and no interceptions. New England ranks last in the league in rushing. 

The Ravens head to Detroit on Sunday with a four-game losing streak as an away team dating back to November 14th of last year. They haven't played the Lions since 1998 when Barry Sanders was still playing for Detroit. Running back 

After a lackluster performance against the Texans last weekend, Cincinnati will be striving to improve their red zone performance against the Jaguars. They have converted just seven touchdowns in nineteen attempts and are ranked 24th in the league in that category. The Bengals lost backup center and guard Larry Moore for the season with a leg injury last week.

The Steelers take on the Chargers during a Monday Night Football matchup. Head coach Bill Cowher is 16-6 on Monday nights. Running back Jerome Bettis is expected to be ready for his first action -- as a backup to rookie Willie Parker -- since week three of the preseason when he pulled a calf muscle.

The Texans might get a break this Sunday against Tennessee. Houston is averaging just 8 points per game on offense, but the Titans are allowing 26.5 points per game. But running back Domanick Davis has averaged just 45 yards rushing per game in his last three contests against Tennessee.

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will be seeking his first career victory against the 49ers. He's 0-2 to date. Head coach Tony Dungy has only coached against the 49ers once, and that was back when he was with Tampa Bay. He's 1-0 versus San Francisco. Running back Edgerrin James has never played against the 49ers. He was injured during the only time the teams faced each other since he was drafted by the Colts.

Since the creation of the AFC South, the Colts have held at least a share of first place for 48 of the 55 weeks.

Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee leads the AFC with eight touchbacks out of seventeen kickoffs.

Titans quarterback Steve McNair seems to be a first-quarter wonder this season -- and then poops out. He's completed 25-of-31 passes (80.6 percent) for 231 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, and has a passer rating of 130 in the first quarter of Tennessee's first four games. For the balance of the quarters, he has a 68.4 passer rating with a 59.8 completion percentage, two touchdowns and four interceptions. He needs 125 passing yards to become the 49th player in NFL history to throw for 25,000.

So far it appears the Broncos got the better deal of their trade of Clinton Portis back in 2004 to the Redskins. In addition to getting cornerback Champ Bailey to help their defense, they drafted Tatum Bell who has averaged 5.1 yards per carry since joining the Broncos. Portis is averaging 3.9 yards since joining the Redskins.

The Chargers will wear their powder-blue throwback jerseys on Monday night against the Steelers, despite being 2-4 when they wear them. The Chargers have scored 86 points over the past two weeks.

Tight end Tony Gonzalez will be happy that offensive tackle Willie Roaf will be returning to the Chiefs lineup next weekend after their bye week. Gonzalez has been expected to provide more blocking assistance with Roaf sidelined and caught just two passes for five yards against the Eagles last week.

Raiders WR Randy Moss is on pace to break Jerry Rice's single-season league record of 1,848 yards by 16 yards.




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