Tuesday trends: All winners in AFC North

Every team in the AFC North has a record of at least two games above .500, while the NFC South is the embarrassing division with no team even at .500.

Two of the hottest teams in the NFC are also the top two teams in the conference. The Arizona Cardinals have won five games in a row and sit in the catbird seat of the NFC with an 8-1 record, including a perfect 6-0 in conference play.

The Detroit Lions are only one game behind, continuing to apply the pressure as the chase to the playoffs begins. The Lions have won five in a row, are 7-2 overall and have a 5-1 conference record.

But in the NFC, only 6 of 16 teams are two games above .500 or better.

Thanks to the AFC North, the AFC boasts eight teams that are at least two games above .500, including all four teams in the tightly contested North. The Cleveland Browns lead the way in the North at 6-3, including 5-2 in the conference, followed by the Cincinnati Bengals (5-3), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) and Baltimore Ravens (6-4).

While every team in the AFC’s projected playoff picture – the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland, Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati – are all at least two games above .500, the NFC has the embarrassing problem of the NCF South, where no team is even at .500. That means the 4-5 New Orleans Saints are currently in the playoff picture if the season ended today. The Cardinals and Lions would be getting a bye, with the Philadelphia Eagles (7-2) as the No. 3 seed playing the Seattle Seahawks (6-3) and the Dallas Cowboys as the No. 5 seed playing the Saints.

The Lions and Browns are two of the four teams that have already reached their win total from last year, joining the Houston Texans (4-5; 2-14 in 2013) and Washington Redskins (3-6; 3-13 in 2013) as teams that have already done that.

What else is interesting after 10 weeks of play? Here are some fun facts:

  • The Patriots and Broncos are the only teams in the AFC undefeated at home. The Eagles, Green Bay Packers and Cardinals are the NFC’s undefeated home teams.

  • The Cardinals are the only team in the NFL undefeated in conference play.

  • The Seattle Seahawks are the best rushing team in the NFL, according to yards per carry. They are averaging 5.5 yards per carry with no other team averaging 5.0.

  • Kansas City’s Justin Houston is close to being on pace for the single-season sacks record. Through nine games, he has 12 sacks, putting him on pace for just over 21 this season. Michael Strahan holds the single-season sacks record with 22.5 with the New York Giants in 2001.

  • Through 10 games, Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray has 1,233 yards rushing. He is on pace to come up just short of a 2,000-yard season, at 1,973. But Murray is also the only running back with more than three fumbles this season. He has five. He also has 71 more carries than anyone else this season and 11 more carries of 10 yards or more than any other back. He has 35 of those.

  • No one has been stuffed for no gain or a loss more than last year’s rushing leader, LeSean McCoy. He has been stuffed 27 times, eight more than anyone else, according to STATS.

  • Four receivers are averaging more than 100 yards per game – Denver’s Demaryius Thomas (111.3), Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown (107.0), Indianapolis’ T.Y. Hilton (104.1) and Detroit’s Golden Tate (101.0).

  • Thomas also leads the league with seven dropped passes.

  • Hilton leads the NFL with 12 receiving plays of 25 yards or more.

  • Jacksonville Jaguars rookie QB Blake Bortles leads the league with 14 interceptions, four more than anyone else.

  • With 25 touchdown passes and only three interceptions, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers leads the NFL with a 120.1 passer rating.

  • Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger leads the NFL with 28 pass plays of 25 yards or more.

  • Two of the NFL’s most mobile quarterbacks are also the top two in terms of sacks. San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick leads the way with 31 sacks, followed by 30 for Carolina’s Cam Newton. Newton was sacked nine times by the Philadelphia defense on Monday night.


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