NFL

Eagles to look for more of the ball to put first loss behind them, Jefferson can handle Vikings' business

By Sports Desk November 18, 2022

There are no more perfect teams in the NFL, just some very good ones.

The Philadelphia Eagles lost their 100 per cent record against the Washington Commanders on Monday, and will look to bounce back in Indianapolis in Week 11.

The New York Jets return from their bye week looking to continue to surprise, though they have a tough trip to the New England Patriots to contend with, while the Minnesota Vikings host the Dallas Cowboys in another enticing clash.

Stats Perform has taken a look at some of the more interesting numbers ahead of these and other big games on Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) @ Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1)

Philadelphia possessed the ball for just 19 minutes and 36 seconds of game time in the loss to the Commanders. It was their lowest time of possession in a game since another loss to Washington in Week 4 of the 2015 season (18:52).

Jalen Hurts rushed for a touchdown last week, giving him 20 in his career. At 24 years and 99 days old, he became the second-youngest quarterback in NFL history to reach 20 rushing touchdowns, trailing only Cam Newton (23 years, 199 days).

Matt Ryan had a 39-yard rush in last week's win over the Las Vegas Raiders, the longest run of his career. It was the longest rushing play by a Colts quarterback since Jim Harbaugh ran for 41 yards in Week 4 of the 1994 season.

With a win, Jeff Saturday would join Jim Caldwell (2009) as the only Colts head coaches to win the first two games of their careers.

New York Jets (6-3) @ New England Patriots (5-4)

The Patriots have won 13 consecutive games against the Jets, winning every meeting since the beginning of the 2016 season. That is tied for the longest active win streak against a single opponent for any team (the Chiefs over the Broncos).

The Jets entered their bye week with a 20-17 win over the Bills in which they had 136 net passing yards. They are 5-0 this season when having 250 or fewer passing yards in a game compared to 1-3 when they have more than 250.

Players aged 23 and younger have gained 2002 yards from scrimmage for the Jets this season, the most in the NFL (next most is the Colts with 1336). That is already the most scrimmage yards for the Jets by players 23 and under since the 1990 season (2452).

Jakobi Meyers leads the Patriots with 457 receiving yards this season, one of five New England players with 200+ receiving yards this season. Only the Green Bay Packers (six) have more players with at least 200 receiving yards in 2022.

Dallas Cowboys (6-3) @ Minnesota Vikings (8-1)

Last week was the Vikings' third win this season after trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter, tying the 1980 Dolphins, 2000 Jets, 2003 Colts and 2011 Lions for the most such wins in a campaign in NFL history.

Justin Jefferson has 814 receiving yards over his last six games, the most in a six-game span in Vikings history and the most by any NFL player over a six-game span in a single season since Antonio Brown recorded 868 in 2015.

With his 81-yard rushing touchdown last week, Dalvin Cook has now had a rush of at least 65 yards in five straight seasons, level with Derrick Henry (2017-21) for the longest streak by any player since the 1970 merger.

Last week's loss to Green Bay snapped the Cowboys' streak of 195 consecutive wins when leading by 14 or more points entering the fourth quarter (including postseason), which had been the longest streak in NFL history.

Elsewhere...

The Buffalo Bills take on the Cleveland Browns having had at least 100 rushing yards and 300 total yards in 16 straight games, including postseason, the third-longest streak in the Super Bowl era behind the Seattle Seahawks (19, 2014-15) and the Vikings (18, 2002-03).

The Detroit Lions will need to stop Saquon Barkley, who had a career-high 35 rushing attempts for 152 yards in the New York Giants' 24-16 win over the Houston Texans last week. His 35 rushes were the most in a game by any NFL running back this season and the most by a Giant since Joe Montgomery had 38 against the Jets in 1999. 

Ahead of facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has completed 76.8 per cent of his passes over his last four games, the fourth-highest by any QB over a four-game span in a single season in NFL history (minimum 140 attempts, excluding overlapping spans) behind Peyton Manning (78.8) and Philip Rivers in 2013 (78.3), and Sam Bradford in 2016 (77.9).

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2, 27-24. Since 2018, six of the nine games between the Chiefs and Chargers have been decided by seven points or fewer, tied for the third most of any matchup since then (Bears-Lions and Texans-Colts, seven each).

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  • James after reaching 40,000 NBA points: 'Records are always meant to be broken' James after reaching 40,000 NBA points: 'Records are always meant to be broken'

    LeBron James cannot discount another player going on to reach 40,000 NBA points, as he celebrated reaching the milestone despite a Los Angeles Lakers loss.

    The Lakers lost 124-114 to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, though with a haul of 26 points, James reached 40,017 points.

    When James reached nine points, he was presented with the game ball and received an ovation from the crowd at the Crypto.com arena.

    Coincidentally, James surpassed the 40,000 mark on the 62nd anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks.

    While teammate Anthony Davis believes no other player will come close to matching James' points haul, James himself warned records are there to be broken, even though no other active player has yet reached 30,000 career points.

    "Obviously we have a lot of great guys in our league that can score the ball, and if they were to stay healthy and they would play a long time, then they can eclipse it," James said.

    "And then, records are always meant to be broken. You can never say never for any record. At one point we said that Big O's [Oscar Robertson's] triple-double record would never be broken and Russ [Westbrook] did it, and now looks like Joker [Nikola Jokic] and Luka [Doncic], they're doing it every night.

    "I feel like I'm still that threat out on the floor and I am still able to do the things that I was doing 10 years ago. And some things I was doing 20 years ago, which is weird to say."

    Davis did joke, though, that James' record-setting games usually come in defeats for the Lakers.

    "I was just telling him in the locker room he might have to stop breaking records because we always lose any time he breaks a record," Davis said. "And he said the same thing."

    Indeed, that streak is quite something. James was on the losing side when he reached his 30,000th and 35,000th career points. When he became the all-time leading NBA points scorer last year, the Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    "For me, the main thing is always the main thing, and that's the win," James said.

    "I hated that it had to happen in the defeat, especially versus the team that plays extremely well. We played some good basketball tonight, but weren't able to close it out. So, bittersweet but enjoyed every moment tonight on the floor."

  • Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls

    Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 46 points as he became the player with the most wins in the Milwaukee Bucks' history on Friday, with the Chicago Bulls beaten 113-97 at United Center.

    For Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers, however, the focus is squarely on preparing for the postseason as the Bucks eye their third NBA Championship.

    Antetokounmpo surpassed the 40-point mark for the eighth time this season, also adding 16 rebounds and six assists, as the Bucks recorded their fifth straight victory.

    The win was the 489th of Antetokounmpo's Bucks career including both regular-season and playoff games, taking the two-time NBA MVP clear of Sidney Moncrief as the winningest player in franchise history.

    "Everybody has to be on the same page, and I feel like the last couple of games, we're doing that and that's why our defense has taken a step," Antetokounmpo said after the win. 

    "Hopefully, we can keep it up. Right now, it's just about trust. We've just got to trust one another. That's it, win or lose, we have to have the same trust."

    For coach Rivers, who has led the team to an 8-7 run since replacing Adrian Griffin in January, all that matters is ensuring Milwaukee are ready for the postseason.

    "We're winning games, but for us, it's not about that right now," Rivers said. "Our whole key is getting ready. That's the first thing I told the players. 

    "We still have work to do, we're still pushing, we've got to get better. It's nicer to get wins than to lose, but we're not where we want to be yet."

    Milwaukee, who sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 40-21 record, are back in action against the 38-20 Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. 

    They then embark on a four-game California road stretch on Wednesday, when they face the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. 

  • 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors

    Luka Doncic quipped he feels like he is 40 years old after he celebrated his 25th birthday in style.

    Doncic became the first player in NBA history to finish with a triple-double on their birthday as he led the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

    He finished with 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season.

    Doncic has now had 39 30-point triple-doubles, which sees him surpass LeBron James in the all-time list for that feat.

    When asked if he considered his 25th birthday as a milestone, Doncic joked: "I feel like [I'm] 40, so no."

    Doncic was 11 for 23 from the field and missed 7 of 8 from 3-point range in his 67th career triple-double.

    "Just a normal game, triple-double," Jason Kidd said.

    "He was really good. I guess 25 means he's still going to be really good as he gets older here."

    Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas, as they bounced back from back-to-back defeats.

    "Kyrie and Luka, they had such a poise in important moments to make the right plays," said Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic after his team saw a three-game winning streak snapped.

    Doncic added: "We just played aggressive on defense, got out on transition, that's it. 

    "My team knows when I'm engaged. Everybody helps everyone to be engaged.

    "I'm having so much fun. Back-to-back is always tough, a great win today, I've got to get some rest now."

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