Around the NFL
New England's Tom Brady has thrown 292 consecutive passes without an interception, spanning nine-plus games. His last interception came on Oct. 17 on a Hail Mary into the end zone on the final play of regulation against the Baltimore Ravens.
Three more passes without an interception will allow Brady to overtake Hall of Famer Bart Starr (294) with the second-longest streak in history.
If he throws 17 more passes without an interception against Buffalo today, Brady will overtake Bernie Kosar for the NFL record. Interestingly, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was the head coach at Cleveland when Kosar set the record in 1991.
Here's a cautionary note to the NFL owners and players as they head down the stretch toward either a contract settlement or lockout: The fans aren't coming out in droves and filling the league coffers like they once did.
The Bucs are averaging only 49,705 this season in a stadium that seats 65,908. Oakland has had crowds in the 30,000s this year, Detroit has been in the 40,000s and Buffalo in the low 50,000s. Football's golden goose is shrinking some, and the two sides should understand that as they wage a greed war.
Atlanta is the only team in the NFC unbeaten at home this season at 6-0 — and quarterback Matt Ryan will take a personal 15-game home winning streak into the Georgia Dome on Monday night.
Ryan doesn't lose at home. That's his mystique. He has a 32-12 career record as a starter, including a glossy 19-1 record at home.
Ryan has a personal stake in Monday's game — a win would be his 33rd as a starting quarterback in his first three seasons, tying the NFL record held by Dan Marino.
Baltimore holds down the final seed in the AFC playoff bracket and can clinch a berth with a victory today at Cleveland.
But the Browns gave the Ravens all they could handle in the first meeting in September at Baltimore. Peyton Hillis battered the proud Baltimore defense for 144 yards rushing before the Ravens survived, 24-17.
"A blind cat will find a meal every once in a while," Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said of Hillis. "It's just the way it happens. It won't happen again. I hope they understand that."
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