NFL

Rams out to inflict more misery on Bucs, Bills chasing fifth straight win

By Sports Desk November 04, 2022

After a busy NFL trade deadline, the focus is back on the field this weekend.

Josh Allen faces Zach Wilson as the New York Jets confront a major test of their defense against the soaraway Buffalo Bills, while the Los Angeles Rams will look to keep up their remarkable record against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Could Derrick Henry have another monumental game in him after last week's big effort, and after he dispelled worries about a foot problem?

Stats Perform has taken a look at the numbers ahead of Sunday's games, beginning with the travails of the Brady bunch.

Los Angeles Rams (3-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)

The Buccaneers are on the slide, and the Rams are just about the nightmare opponents this weekend, judging by recent games between the teams.

Including Los Angeles' win in last season's Divisional Round, the Rams are 9-1 in their last 10 games against the Bucs, and that includes a 5-0 streak in Tampa.

This game is big for both, and for the Bucs it offers a chance to halt a losing sequence of three. They were beaten 27-22 by the Baltimore last week and are on their longest single-season losing run since a dismal four-game run in the 2019 season.

It remains to be seen whether Tom Brady can get them out of this mess. Brady threw for 325 yards and zero interceptions in last week's loss to Baltimore. Across his stellar career, he is 54-7 when throwing 300 yards and no interceptions, but this season he is 1-2 in such games.

Brady might fancy the job against a Rams team who have scored 14 or fewer points and lost by double-digits four times already this season, including last time out in a 31-14 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Rival quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 187 yards last week on 33 attempts. His team are 2-9 in games where Stafford has thrown the ball at least 30 times and finished with fewer than 200 passing yards.

Buffalo Bills (6-1) at New York Jets (5-3)

The Buffalo Bills are 6-1 for the first time since 1993, the season they last made it through to the Super Bowl. This weekend they go after a fifth win in a row after getting the better of the Green Bay Packers last time out.

What's more, they have strung together a four-game winning streak in road games against the Jets, second only in franchise history to a seven-game streak from 1987 to 1993.

The Bills have outscored this season's opponents by 105 points (203-98) so far, the widest differential in the NFL.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen has urged the Jets to show patience with his struggling counterpart Zach Wilson, who has completed just 54.9 per cent of passes this season, the second-worst rate in the NFL heading into Week 9. Wilson has thrown for 1,048 yards across five games, with three touchdowns and five interceptions, compared to Allen's 2,198 yards for 19 TDs and six interceptions from seven games.

Stefon Diggs has at least 100 yards and a receiving touchdown in three straight games, the longest streak of the Bills wide receiver's career and tied for the longest streak in team history with Elbert Dubenion (1964). The last NFL player with a longer streak was Adam Thielen in 2018 (five). How Diggs fares against Jets rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner will be a factor.

The Jets have already topped last season's four wins, but they are 8-30 against divisional opponents since 2016, the worst record in the NFL.

Tennessee Titans (5-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)

What does Titans running back Henry have in store for an encore? Henry last week recorded his sixth career 200-yard rushing game, with 219 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans, tying Adrian Peterson and O.J. Simpson for the most all-time. All other active players have combined for just four such games.

The Chiefs will be wary of that threat, and will look to their own WR, JuJu Smith-Schuster, to make his own impact. After failing to reach 90 yards or find the endzone in his first five games this season, Smith-Schuster now has back-to-back games with at least 100 yards and a touchdown. He had not had such a game since Week 8, 2019 and now has eight such games in his career.

The Titans have won four straight regular season matchups with the Chiefs but lost in the 2020 AFC Championship Game in Kansas City.

Their respective 5-2 records this season disguise the fact each of those wins has been relatively close. The Titans and Vikings have only won by single digits this season. Only five teams in NFL history have seen such a streak reach six games – the 2020 Chiefs, 1997 Vikings, 1994 Giants, 1988 Saints and 1986 Giants. Of those, only the Chiefs' streak reached seven.

Elsewhere...

The Miami Dolphins (5-3) will be looking for a fourth consecutive road win against the Chicago Bears (3-5), which would make the Dolphins the first AFC team since the conference came into being in 1970 to have such a streak in Chicago. Miami's Tyreek Hill has gone 52 consecutive receptions without a receiving touchdown. That accounts for the longest streak of his career, nearly doubling his previous career-long streak (27, twice).

Memories of a record-setting 2014 game between the Carolina Panthers and the Bengals will be stoked when the teams meet in Cincinnati on Sunday. The last time these teams met at the home of the Bengals it finished in a 37-37 tie, and entering Week 9 in 2022 that remains the highest-scoring tie in an NFL game since the NFL and AFL merged in 1970.

The New England Patriots are 4-4 for the fifth time in the Bill Belichick era (since 2000) as they approach a home game against the Indianapolis Colts (3-4-1). The other four times the Patriots started 4-4 under Belichick, they made the playoffs three times (2001, 2005, 2021) and missed the playoffs once (2002). Between the regular season and playoffs, Belichick owns an 18-9 career record against the Colts, with only Don Shula (36 wins as coach of the Dolphins from 1970 to 1995) having achieved more such wins.

Related items

  • Edge rusher Hendrickson reportedly requests trade from Bengals Edge rusher Hendrickson reportedly requests trade from Bengals

    A day before the NFL draft, one of the league's best edge rushers has requested a trade.

    Three-time Pro Bowler Trey Hendrickson has asked to be traded from the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

    Hendrickson, who is set to make $14.8million this season and $15.8million in 2025, is reportedly seeking a long-term deal - something that hasn't been worked out with the Bengals.

    His request to be traded comes at an intriguing time with the draft set for Thursday, as another team could be looking to make a deal with Cincinnati for the established pass rusher.

    The 29-year-old is coming off a career year, registering a personal-high 17 1/2 sacks to tie with Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen for the second most in the league.

    Hendrickson's 16 tackles for loss were tied for 10th in 2023, and his 53 sacks since the start of the 2020 season rank third behind T.J. Watt (62) and Myles Garrett (58).

    A third-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in 2017, Hendrickson signed with the Bengals in 2021, and has been named a Pro Bowler in each of his three seasons in Cincinnati.

     

    Hendrickson's request for a trade comes a little more than a month after wide receiver Tee Higgins asked to be traded.

    Higgins, who had the franchise tag placed on him by the Bengals on February 26, did say earlier this month, however, that he intends to play for Cincinnati in 2024.

    Fellow Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase had the fifth-year option on his rookie contract picked up on Wednesday.

    Chase, the 2021 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, has 268 receptions for 3,717 yards and 29 touchdowns in his first three seasons - the team leader in each category since 2021.

  • Detroit Lions WR St. Brown gets $120M extension Detroit Lions WR St. Brown gets $120M extension

    The Detroit Lions have locked up one of their most important players for the foreseeable future by agreeing to a reported four-year, $120 million extension with wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

    St. Brown, who was entering the final season of his rookie contract, confirmed the news Wednesday with a video message on his Instagram account.

    "I can't wait. I'm here, four more years!," St. Brown announced. 

    One of the NFL's most productive receivers since entering the league as a fourth-round draft pick of the Lions in 2021, St. Brown will now be among the highest-paid players at his position. NFL.com reports the contract, which runs through 2028, includes $77 million in guaranteed money for the largest sum ever for a wide receiver.

    The deal's $30 million average annual value is tied for the highest among wide receivers, matching the four-year, $120 million extension Tyreek Hill received from the Miami Dolphins in 2022. 

    St. Brown earned first team All-Pro honours with a brilliant 2023 campaign in which he finished in the NFL's top three in receptions (119) and receiving yards (1,515) and recorded a career-high 10 touchdown catches in 16 games.

    The 24-year-old added 22 catches for 274 yards and a touchdown in three post-season games to help the NFC North champion Lions advance to the conference title game for the first time since 1991.

    St. Brown's 315 career receptions are the third-most by any player in NFL history through his first three seasons, eclipsed only by Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson's 324 from 2020-22 and Michael Thomas' 321 with the New Orleans Saints from 2016-18. 

    The two-time Pro Bowler is also one of just three receivers in league history with 90 or more catches through his first three seasons, joining Thomas and Odell Beckham Jr. (2014-16).

     

  • Liverpool line up Feyenoord coach Slot as Klopp replacement Liverpool line up Feyenoord coach Slot as Klopp replacement

    Arne Slot appears to be at the front of the queue to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager.

    Klopp confirmed in January that he would be leaving the Reds at the end of the season.

    Xabi Alonso, who has led Bayer Leverkusen to their first Bundesliga title, was swiftly established as a leading candidate to take the helm at Anfield, where he starred as a player for the Reds between 2004 and 2009.

    The 42-year-old, however, is staying put in Germany, and Liverpool's search for Klopp's successor has taken them to Feyenoord's door.

    Slot has been previously linked to jobs in the Premier League. Leeds United wanted to appoint him last season before their relegation to the Championship, while he was targeted by Tottenham before they appointed Ange Postecoglou.

    The Dutchman intimated when linked with Spurs: "A normal next step would be to go abroad and I've always said that the best league in the world is the Premier League."

    Ideally, Liverpool will be aiming for a coach who can come close to replicating Klopp's style of play, and in particular has a flair for working with and developing young players.

    Slot has enjoyed fantastic success in Rotterdam. He became Feyenoord head coach in December 2022, after leaving AZ, and went on to win the Eredivisie title in 2022-23, having reached the Europa League final in the previous season.

    The 45-year-old has a 64.4 per cent win record from 146 games in charge, winning 94, drawing 29 and losing just 23.

    His Feyenoord team have scored 329 goals, an average of 2.2 per match, conceding 147 in return. Slot's points per game is a hugely impressive 2.13.

    Feyenoord are, though, set to relinquish their Eredivisie crown, as they trail leaders PSV by nine points. They have, however, won the KNVB Cup this term. 

    As there is no break clause in the Dutchman's contract, it has been reported that a compensation fee in the region of €10million (£8.5m) could prise him away from Feyenoord.

    Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim is another coach who has been heavily linked with the Liverpool job, albeit he is reportedly in talks with West Ham.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.