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NFL Today, Week 7

NFL Today, Week 7

SCOREBOARD

Monday, Oct. 22

Lions at Bears, 8:30 p.m. Jay Cutler and the Bears (4-1) look to keep pace in the NFC North when they face the rival Lions (2-3).

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STARS

Passing

-Drew Brees, Saints, was 27 for 37 for 377 yards with four touchdown passes and an interception in New Orleans' 35-28 win over Tampa Bay. Brees has 16 career games with at least four touchdown passes and 300 yards passing, tied with Dan Marino for the most in NFL history. Brees had his 62nd 300-yard passing game of his career, tying Brett Favre for the third-most 300-yard passing games in NFL history. Denver's Peyton Manning (67 games) holds the record, while Marino (63) has the second-most in NFL history.

-Aaron Rodgers, Packers, was 30 for 37 for 342 yards and three touchdowns in Green Bay's 30-20 win over St. Louis. Rodgers set a single-game franchise completion record of 81.1 percent with a minimum of 35 attempts.

-Josh Freeman, Buccaneers, was 24 for 42 for 420 yards and three touchdowns in Tampa Bay's 35-28 loss to New Orleans.

-Eli Manning, Giants, finished 26 for 40 yards for 337 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in New York's 27-23 win over Washington.

-Brandon Weeden, Browns, was 25 of 41 for 264 yards and two touchdowns in Cleveland's 17-13 loss to Indianapolis.

-Mark Sanchez, Jets, was 28 for 41 for 328 yards with a touchdown and an interception in New York's 29-26 loss to New England.

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Rushing

-Chris Johnson, Titans, had 18 carries for 195 yards and two touchdowns in Tennessee's 35-34 win over Buffalo. Johnson joined Earl Campbell and Eddie George in becoming the franchise's third player to have 30 100-yard games.

-Adrian Peterson, Vikings, had 23 carries for 153 yards and a touchdown in Minnesota's 21-14 win over Arizona. Peterson tied Robert Smith's franchise record with his 29th career 100-yard rushing game. Peterson has 67 career rushing touchdowns, the fourth-most through 80 games in NFL history. Only Emmitt Smith (78), Jim Brown (76) and LaDainian Tomlinson (73) have more rushing touchdowns through 80 career games.

-Alfred Morris, Redskins, finished with 22 carries for 120 yards in Washington's 27-23 loss to the New York Giants.

-LaRod Stephens-Howling, Cardinals, had 20 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown in Arizona's 21-14 loss to Minnesota.

-Arian Foster, Texans, finished with 19 carries for 98 yards and two touchdowns in Houston's 43-13 win over Baltimore.

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Receiving

-Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers, had seven catches for 216 yards and a touchdown in Tampa Bay's 35-28 loss to New Orleans.

-Victor Cruz, Giants, had seven catches for 131 yards, including a go-ahead 77-yard touchdown, in New York's 27-23 win over Washington.

-Jordy Nelson, Packers, finished with eight catches for 122 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay's 30-20 win over St. Louis.

-Lance Moore, Saints, had nine catches for 121 yards in New Orleans' 35-28 win over Tampa Bay.

-Jeremy Kerley, Jets, had six catches for 103 yards in the New York Jets' 29-26 loss to New England.

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Defense

-Johnathan Joseph and Connor Barwin, Texans, Joseph returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown and Barwin sacked the Ravens' Joe Flacco for a safety in Houston's 43-13 win over Baltimore.

-Harrison Smith and Brian Robison, Vikings, Smith returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown and Robison had three sacks in Minnesota's 21-14 win over Arizona.

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Special teams

-Devin McCourty, Patriots, returned a kickoff 104 yards for a touchdown in New England's 29-26 win over the New York Jets.

-Brad Smith, Bills, returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown in Buffalo's 35-34 loss to Tennessee.

-Dan Bailey, Cowboys, was 4 for 4 on field goals in Dallas' 19-14 win over Carolina.

-Nick Folk, Jets, was 4 for 4 on field goals in New York's 29-26 loss to New England.

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GOOD NEWS

Colts coach Chuck Pagano watched Sunday's game from home, hours after being released from an Indianapolis hospital. Interim coach Bruce Arians provided the update following Indy's 17-13 victory over Cleveland. Pagano has missed Indy's past three games after being diagnosed with leukemia. He had been in the hospital receiving treatment since Sept. 26, and though he will continue to undergo treatment for several more weeks, Arians says he can at least stay at home. Pagano's physician, Dr. Larry Cripe, attended Sunday's game in person, but only said Pagano was in good spirits and was progressing well. Players didn't know Pagano had been released until team owner Jim Irsay told them during a postgame speech. Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck called the news more thrilling than the win.

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STATS

The Texans are 6-1 for the first time in franchise history. ... The Packers' Aaron Rodgers has 150 career TD passes and 42 interceptions, breaking Dan Marino's NFL record for fewest interceptions at that milestone. ... The Cardinals have allowed an NFL-high 35 sacks this season. ... Justin Tucker has four field goals of at least 50 yards this season, a Ravens record. ... The Giants' winning drive was the 22nd of quarterback Eli Manning's career in either the fourth quarter or overtime, his second this season and eighth over the past two seasons. ... Andrew Luck became the first Colts quarterback to run for two touchdowns in a game since Ricky Turner did it on Dec. 4, 1988, against Miami, and Bert Jones accomplished the feat on Oct. 20, 1974, against the Jets. Luck is also the first rookie quarterback with 1,500 yards passing (1,674) and three wins in his team's first six games in NFL history. ... The Titans' Chris Johnson has four career rushing touchdowns of at least 80 yards, the most in NFL history. Johnson surpassed Ahman Green, Hugh McElhenny and Hall of Famers Barry Sanders and O.J. Simpson as the only players with three career rushing touchdowns of at least 80 yards in NFL history.

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STREAKS

After starting the season 4-0, the Cardinals have dropped three straight. ... Cleveland has lost 11 straight road games. ... The Bills (3-4) have lost three of their past four. In allowing the Titans 197 yards rushing, the Bills have given up 182 or more yards on the ground in each of their past four games - including 311 in a 45-3 loss at San Francisco two weeks ago.

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SIDELINED

Jacksonville lost star running back Maurice Jones-Drew to a left foot injury. Then quarterback Blaine Gabbert hurt his non-throwing shoulder. Jones-Drew was on the field for just two snaps, carrying the ball on the first two plays at Oakland before leaving with an ailing left foot. The Redskins also lost a key player during a dramatic road loss. Tight end Fred Davis tore his left Achilles tendon in the first half of Washington's 27-23 setback against the Giants. He needed help to the sideline and then onto a trainer's table before he was carted to the locker room.

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SPEAKING

``With our offense and Eli at the helm, we're never too worried. No matter what situation we're in, no matter how many points we need or a field goal we need, we have the confidence we can do it. We have a lot of confidence in each other, and in Eli.'' - Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz on quarterback Eli Manning leading the game-winning drive in a 27-23 win over Washington. The TD with 1:13 remaining was the longest game-winning touchdown in the final two minutes of a game in franchise history.

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Despite 4-5 record, Ravens just one game out of final AFC playoff spot

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USA TODAY Sports

Despite 4-5 record, Ravens just one game out of final AFC playoff spot

Their record and performance over the last month may not show it, but the Baltimore Ravens are just one game out of the No. 6 playoff spot in the AFC.

The Kansas City Chiefs (9-1), Los Angeles Chargers (7-2), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2), New England Patriots (7-3), Houston Texans (6-3), Cincinnati Bengals (5-4), Tennessee Titans (5-4) and the Miami Dolphins (5-5) all rank above the Ravens. But a win Sunday against the Bengals would push the Ravens to the No. 6 spot as they own the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Titans.

Beside remaining in playoff contention, a win Sunday is crucial considering head coach John Harbaugh's job is in question with his team sitting at 4-5, quarterback Joe Flacco is reportedly dealing with a hip injury and the possibility of rookie Lamar Jackson getting his first NFL start. 

After getting blown out 51-14 by the Saints, the Bengals fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Monday. Cincinnati's defense ranks last in the league in passing yards allowed (313.3) and total yards allowed (454.6). A rested Ravens team will have to take advantage of the first team in the Super Bowl era to surrender 500 yards in three straight games as they are among five teams within one game of the final wildcard spot. 

Getting shutout by the Bengals this season would give Andy Dalton and co. a two-game lead over the Ravens as well as possessing the tiebreaker. 

According to the New York Times' NFL Playoff Simulator, the Ravens have a 27% chance of making the playoffs heading into Week 11 with their remaining strength of schedule ranking at No. 27. 

After hosting the Bengals on Sunday, the Ravens host the Oakland Raiders (1-7), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) and Cleveland Browns (3-6), but have tough road games against the Atlanta Falcons (4-5), Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) and Los Angeles Chargers (7-2). 

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Robert Griffin III nominated for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA

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AP Images

Robert Griffin III nominated for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III is the team's nominee for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. 

Presented annually by USAA and the NFL, the award honors a league member who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community. 

The Robert Griffin III Foundation supports Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), that helps aid those grieving the death of a loved one who served in the military; Luke's Wings, which united wounded warriors, veterans and heroes with their loved ones; and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, that helps ensure injured veterans and their families are thriving when they return home. 

Griffin III was born in Okinawa, Japan where his parents were stationed as U.S. Army sergeants. The quarterback spent time living in Fort Carson, Colorado, Seoul, Korea and Fort Hood, Texas as a military kid. His family then settled in Cooperas Cove, Texas, an hour drive from Baylor University where Griffin III attended college. 

Finalist for the award will be announced in January. The recipient will be recognized at the NFL Honors award show Saturday, Feb. 2, on the eve of Super Bowl LIII.

RGIII's head coach, John Harbaugh, received the honor in 2013. 

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