NFL Essentials from Sunday: Can Three Teams Make It to 9-0?

The Cincinnati Bengals could make it a record three 9-0 teams with a win on Monday night after the two 8-0 teams playing Sunday both won. But Sunday also provided a record number of losses for former Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

Cincinnati Bengals, here’s your chance.

The Bengals have a chance to send the NFL into Week 11 with three undefeated teams if they can beat the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. If they do that, they would become third 9-0 team of the 2015 NFL season, the most in league history.

The Carolina Panthers are 9-0 thanks to their 27-10 win over the Tennessee Titans, and the New England Patriots are 9-0 after a 27-26 win over the New York Giants.

Since the Super Bowl era began 50 years ago, 19 teams have started a season 9-0 and all of them made the playoffs, 11 advanced to the Super Bowl and seven of those teams won the Super Bowl.

Nine win guarantees a winning season, and for the Patriots it’s their 15th consecutive winning seasons, the fifth team in NFL history to reach that streak.

The Patriots have also scored in 35 consecutive quarters, blowing past the record (31) set by the 2005 Indianapolis Colts and equaled by the 1999-2000 St. Louis Rams.

But Sunday wasn’t just about the good times.

Those that have experienced the professional pinnacle in the past were defeated in record numbers. Six quarterbacks who had previously started and won a Super Bowl – Drew BreesJoe FlaccoEli ManningPeyton ManningAaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson – all lost on the same day. According to Elias Sport Bureau, that’s a record number (six) of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks that went down in defeat in the same day.

OTHER ESSENTIALS FROM SUNDAY

  • The Detroit Lions have awoken. They beat the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field 18-16, the first time in 21 years they have done that, the longest losing streak by any NFL team in one stadium, per Elias. It was also Rodgers’ first loss to a losing team at Lambeau in 22 such contests.
  • Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson ran for 203 yards in a 30-14 win over the Oakland Raiders, tying O.J. Simpson for the most 200-yard rushing games in NFL history at six. The eight years between Peterson’s first 200-yard game and his last one – Jim Brown and Barry Sanders did it six years apart – was the longest stretch between such games, according to Elias. Peterson also passed the 11,000-yard rushing mark in his career. He now has 11,151 yards and 91 touchdowns in 113 career games, joining Jim Brown as the only players in NFL history to rush for at least 11,000 yards and 90 touchdowns in the first 113 games to begin a career. Peterson also increased his NFL lead in rushing yards. He now has 961 yards, more 227 yards more than anyone else.
  • In a 37-13 win over the St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler had touchdown throws of 87 yards to Zach Miller and 83 yards to Jeremy Langford, becoming the first quarterback in Bears history to throw two touchdowns of 80 yards or more in the same game. Langford, by the way, had 73 yards rushing, including a touchdown, and 109 receiving and a touchdown catch.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs opened a 29-0 lead against the Denver Broncos in their 29-13 win, only the third time in Broncos history they gave up 29 points before scoring their first point, according to Elias.
  • Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins completed 20 of 25 passes for 324 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions – a perfect passer rating of 158.3 – in a 47-14 win over the New Orleans Saints. He is the first Redskins quarterback to throw for 300 yards with a passer rating of at least 150 since “Slinging” Sammy Baugh in 1948. Cousins is also the first quarterback since Tom Brady in 2007 to record a 158.3 rating with at least an 80 completion percentage, 300 yards passing, four touchdowns at no interceptions.
  • Larry Fitzgerald had 10 catches for 130 yards in the Arizona Cardinals’ 39-32 win over the Seattle Seahawks, making him the first Seahawks opponent to register double-digit receptions against the Seattle in three games.
  • Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton is tracking down Steve Young’s NFL record of 31 games with a rushing and passing touchdown. Newton did it for the 30th time in his win over the Titans.
  • Jameis Winston’s 1-yard touchdown run with 56 seconds left gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 10-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys and made Winston the first rookie quarterback to score a game-winning touchdown in the final minute of the fourth quarterback since Rodney Peete did it for the Lions in 1989, according to Elias.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is back in the NFL lead for receiving yards with 1,141 after catching 10 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-9 win over the Cleveland Browns. That gives Brown 27 catches over the last two games, only the fourth player in NFL history to have 27 catches in a two-game span in a single season, joining Clark Gaines (29), Brandon Marshall twice (28) and Tom Fears (27).
  • Ben Roethlisberger is used to starting games, but he didn’t start Sunday as the Steelers were hoping to rest Roethlisberger’s foot. But starter Landry Jones injured his ankle and Roethlisberger came in and threw for 379 yards and three touchdowns for a 123.2 rating. That’s the most yards in NFL history for a quarterback that didn’t start a game, breaking the mark previously held by Minnesota’s Wade Wilson (374 yards in 1990).

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