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November 4, 2008

News & Notes from the AFC

BALTIMORE: Rookie head coach JOHN HARBAUGH has the Ravens flying high on a three-game win streak as Week 10 arrives……Rookie quarterback JOE FLACCO is on pace to record 2,928 passing yards and is within reach of becoming only the fourth Ravens quarterback with 3,000 passing yards (VINNY TESTAVERDE, 4,177; STEVE MC NAIR, 3,050; ELVIS GRBAC, 3,033)……Fullback LE’ RON MC CLAIN is on pace (10) for the second-most touchdowns in a season in franchise history (JAMAL LEWIS, 14 in 2003).

BUFFALO: Wide receiver LEE EVANS ranks second in the AFC with 678 receiving yards and can challenge ERIC MOULDS (1,368 in 1998) for most receiving yards in franchise history……Second-year running back MARSHAWN LYNCH has 466 rushing yards and aims for his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. Lynch leads the team with six rushing touchdowns and can become the first Bills’ running back since WILLIS MC GAHEE (13 in 2004) to record double-digit rushing touchdowns.

CINCINNATI: WR T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH leads the NFL with 61 receptions, is on pace to reach the 100-catch mark in back-to-back seasons and can challenge his franchise record of 112 receptions in 2007. The eight-year veteran would become the first Bengals receiver to record 100 receptions in consecutive seasons and only the eighth player in NFL history to accomplish the feat……WR CHAD JOHNSON has four touchdown receptions and can challenge his career-high of 10 in 2003.

CLEVELAND: Nine-year veteran RB JAMAL LEWIS has the wheels churning in Cleveland. Lewis (533) is on target to become the first Browns’ running back since MIKE PRUITT in 1980-81 to gain 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons……If wide receiver BRAYLON EDWARDS maintains his pace, he would become the first Cleveland player since OZZIE NEWSOME in 1984 to record 900 or more yards in consecutive seasons.

DENVER: JAY CUTLER has guided the Broncos’ top-ranked AFC offense this season. The third-year quarterback has 2,169 yards and is on pace (4,338) to surpass JAKE PLUMMER (4,089) for the most season passing yards in franchise history. Cutler is also on track (30) to set a Broncos record for passing touchdowns (Plummer; 27 in 2004; JOHN ELWAY, 27 in 1997)……WR BRANDON MARSHALL has 51 receptions and is on pace (109) to record 100 receptions in consecutive seasons……T RYAN CLADY has started all eight games and can become the first Broncos’ rookie offensive linemen since 1992 to start all 16 games (RUSSELL FREEMAN).

HOUSTON: ANDRE JOHNSON leads the NFL in receiving yards (834) and ranks second in the league with 60 catches. Johnson is on pace (120; 1,668) to surpass his own Texans record for receptions (103 in 2006) and receiving yards (1,147 in 2006)……Three-year veteran OWEN DANIELS set the club record for tight ends in receptions (63) and receiving yards (768) in a season in 2007 and is on pace (86 receptions; 1,056 yards) to surpass that record……On the defensive side, DE MARIO WILLIAMS leads the team with eight sacks and is on pace (16.0) to break his franchise record of 14.0 in 2007.

INDIANAPOLIS: PEYTON MANNING and Colts take aim at a seventh consecutive playoff bid as the second half of the season begins……Manning ranks third in the AFC with 2,008 passing yards and is on track (4,016) to become the first quarterback in NFL history with nine 4,000-yard seasons……Manning’s pass-catching foursome of WR REGGIE WAYNE (586), WR ANTHONY GONZALEZ (412), TE DALLAS CLARK (391) and WR MARVIN HARRISON (320) are all on pace to reach 500 receiving yards and can become the Colts’ first foursome to accomplish the feat since 2000 (five players with 500 or more receiving yards).

JACKSONVILLE: DAVID GARRARD, the leader of the Jaguars’ offense, is on track (3,542) to become the team’s first quarterback to throw for more than 3,500 passing yards since MARK BRUNELL (3,640 in 2000)……Garrard’s top receiving threat WR MATT JONES leads the team with 45 catches and is on pace join WRs KEENAN MC CARDELL and JIMMY SMITH as the only players in Jaguars history to record 90 or more receptions in a season……CB RASHEAN MATHIS has two interception-touchdown returns this season and needs one more to surpass CB AARON BEASLEY (2 INT-TDs in 1999) for the franchise record.

KANSAS CITY: Second-year WR DWAYNE BOWE leads the Chiefs with 42 receptions for 541 yards and is on track (1,082) to reach the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career……TONY GONZALEZ has 431 receiving yards, which ranks second in the AFC among tight ends, and can challenge to become the first tight end in NFL history with 900 receiving yards in six consecutive seasons……The Chiefs’ two rookie starting cornerbacks BRANDON CARR and BRANDON FLOWERS have two interceptions apiece. The duo is in reach for third-most interceptions by a rookie in franchise history (KEVIN ROSS, 6 in 1984).

MIAMI: Newcomer CHAD PENNINGTON has 1,991 passing yards and is on target (3,982) to surpass his career-high of 3,352 passing yards in 2006 with the Jets and become the first Dolphins quarterback since DAN MARINO in 1997 (3,780) to throw for over 3,500 passing yards……Veteran linebacker JOEY PORTER is off to a record-breaking pace in 2008. Porter leads the NFL with 11.5 sacks and is on track (23.0) to surpass MICHAEL STRAHAN (22.5 in 2001) for the most sacks in a season in NFL history.

NEW ENGLAND: QB MATT CASSEL has continued to develop chemistry with top receivers RANDY MOSS and WES WELKER. Moss (1,072) and Welker (1,006) are on pace to become the first duo with 1,000 receiving yards in consecutive seasons in Patriots history. Welker leads the team with 56 catches and is on track to tie his franchise record of 112 last season……First-round LB JEROD MAYO has a team-high 65 tackles and can become the first rookie to lead the Patriots in the category since the 16-game schedule was instituted 1978……K STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI has converted 19 field goals and is on pace (38) to set a team record for most FGs made in club history (TONY FRANKLIN, 32 in 1986).

NEW YORK: BRETT FAVRE is on pace (30) to surpass VINNY TESTAVERDE (29 in 1998) for most touchdowns by a Jets quarterback in a season……THOMAS JONES ranks second in the AFC with 601 rushing yards and is on track (1,202) to become the first Jets RB since CURTIS MARTIN in 2004 to reach 1,200 such yards……CB DARRELLE REVIS continues to develop in his second season. Revis is tied for the league lead with four interceptions and can become the first Jets player to lead the NFL in the category since CB TY LAW (10 in 2005).

OAKLAND: JA MARCUS RUSSELL, in his first season as the starting QB for the Raiders, is on pace to become the first Oakland quarterback to total 2,500 or more passing yards since QB KERRY COLLINS in 2005 (3,759)……ZACH MILLER leads the team with 22 receptions for 321 yards (14.6 average) and can be the first Raiders tight end to lead the team in catches and yards since TE TODD CHRISTENSEN in 1986 (95 receptions; 1,153 yards)……On special teams, K SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI (859) needs five points to top Pro Football Hall of Famer K GEORGE BLANDA (863) for the Raiders’ all-time lead in scoring. The veteran kicker has averaged 101 points per season since entering the NFL in 2000.

PITTSBURGH: Second-year head coach MIKE TOMLIN has his squad off to a 6-2 (.750) start for the second consecutive season……QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER (10) is on pace to total 20 touchdowns and can become the first Steelers QB since TERRY BRADSHAW in 1981 to record 20 or more touchdowns passes in back-to-back seasons……Under the guidance of defensive coordinator DICK LE BEAU, the Steelers have the NFL’s top-ranked defensive unit and lead the league with 32 sacks. Pittsburgh is on pace to record a franchise-record 64 sacks (55 in 1994 and 2001).

SAN DIEGO: QB PHILIP RIVERS ranks second in the AFC with 2,169 passing yards and is on track (4,076) to become the first Chargers’ 4,000-yard passer since DAN FOUTS (4,802) in 1981. Rivers leads the NFL with 19 touchdowns and is on pace (38) to set a club record for most passing TDs in a season (Fouts, 33 in 1981)……RB LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON (1,102) is on track for his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season and can challenge RB ERIC DICKERSON as the only player in league history to begin a career with eight straight seasons with 1,200 rushing yards……WR VINCENT JACKSON leads the team with 538 receiving yards and is on pace (1,076) to record the first 1,000-yard season of his career.

TENNESSEE: The Titans’ defensive prowess and an effective running game have set the tone for the NFL’s only remaining undefeated team. Tennessee’s defense ranks first in the NFL in points per game (12.9) and is tied for the league lead with 13 interceptions......On offense, rookie RB CHRIS JOHNSON and RB LEN DALE WHITE have formed a formidable tandem. Johnson leads the AFC in rushing yards (715) and White ranks first in the NFL in rushing touchdowns (10). A former USC product, White is on pace (20) to set the franchise record (EARL CAMPBELL, 19 in 1979).

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