Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Series: Steelers lead 62-56
Last Meeting(s): The Steelers continued their incredibly long domination of this series with a sweep in 2010. In Week 6, they won 28-10 at home. In Week 17, they won 41-9. Cleveland had three turnovers in each game and managed just 112 rushing yards in the the two games combined.
Streak(s): The Browns last win in Pittsburgh came in 2003. Cleveland should be happy to have sat out the 1996-98 seasons: the Steelers are 27-4 against the Browns since 1994 (including one playoff win). That means that heading into the 1994 season, Cleveland led this series 52-35. And they did that despite the dominance of the Steelers in the 1970s (15-5). After the Browns joined the NFL in 1950, they started out 16-2 against Pittsburgh. They also ripped off an 11 of 12 stretch in the late 1960s (1964-1970) and Bernie Kosar helped Cleveland win seven in a row from 1986-89.
Kansas City at NY Jets
Series: Tied 17-17-1
Last Meeting(s): The Jets overcame three Brett Favre interceptions to beat the Chiefs 28-24 in 2008. New Jersey lead 21-17 in the fourth quarter when Brandon Flowers intercepted Favre and ran the ball back 91 yards for a touchdown. Favre led the Jets back down the field and his 15-yard touchdown pass to Laveranues Coles won the game.
Streak(s): This will be the third straight meeting in New Jersey and the Jets have won the last two (2007, 2008). Each team has won one playoff game in the series (Jets in 1969, Chiefs in 1986). The tied-up theme goes all the way back: the first six games in this rivalry were played between the Dallas Texans and New York Titans. New York won the first three games, Dallas won the next three.
Tampa Bay at Jacksonville
Series: Jaguars lead 3-1
Last Meeting(s): In 2007, Jacksonville gained just 219 yards behind quarterback Quinn Gray, but eeked-out a 24-23 win in Tampa. Aaron Glenn (JAC) ran an interception back for a touchdown and Joey Galloway (TB) caught a 58-yard touchdown pass—that sounds more like a 1997 Jets-Seahawks game to me.
Streak(s): Jacksonville has won three straight (1998, 2003, 2007) since the Buccaneers beat the expansion Jaguars in 1995. Tampa Bay has never won in Jacksonville.
New England at Washington
Series: Redskins lead 6-2
Last Meeting(s): Washington is 1-1 against Tom Brady, but in 2007 they were destroyed 52-7 in Week 8 at Foxboro. Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes to three receivers (Mike Vrabel, Randy Moss, Wes Welker) and the Patriots’ quarterbacks ran in three more touchdowns. Brady scored from three and two yards out and, in the fourth quarter, backup Matt Cassel ran 15 yards for a score. Vrabel threw in three sacks on defense and the Redskins committed four turnovers.
Streak(s): Washington had won six straight before the 2007 meeting. New England won the first game of the series back in 1972. The Patriots are 0-2 all-time in Washington, D.C. The 2007 game broke the mold: the Patriots were the first team to score more than 30 in the series, the Redskins were the first to score fewer than 10.
Atlanta at Carolina
Series: Falcons lead 21-12
Last Meeting(s): In Week 6, Atlanta outscored the Panthers 17-0 in the 4th quarter and won 31-17 at the Georgia Dome. Cam Newton threw three interceptions.
Streak(s): The Falcons have won three straight and five out of six. Atlanta has scored exactly 31 points in each of the last three games.
Indianapolis at Baltimore
Series: Colts lead 9-2
Last Meeting(s): The Colts and Ravens met in the divisional playoffs following the 2009 season. The Colts won 20-3 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Four Baltimore turnovers were the difference as the Ravens could not capitalize on a solid defensive performance and a Peyton Manning interception.
Streak(s): Baltimore needed 38 points in 1999 and 39 points in 2001 to earn their only two wins against the Colts. Indianapolis won the first-ever meeting 26-21 in 1996 behind Jim Harbaugh’s 9-for-15 performance. Since 2001, Manning and the Colts have won eight straight games against Baltimore, including two playoff wins in which the Ravens scored a combined 9 points. The Ravens are 0-5 in Indianapolis, a streak that will live at least one more year, since these teams won’t play in 2012.
Philadelphia at Miami
Series: Dolphins lead 7-5
Last Meeting(s): In 2007, the Eagles pushed Miami to 0-10 with a 17-7 win. Ted Ginn, Jr. got the scoring started in the second quarter with an 87-yard punt return. Miami’s offense could manage only 186 yards behind leading passer Jon Beck (9-22, 109 yards), leading rusher Jesse Chatman (22 attempts for 72 yards), and leading receiver Ginn (four catches for 54 yards). Donovan McNabb threw two picks and A.J. Feeley tossed a third. The game’s best players were Brian Westbrook (32 attempts for 148 yards) and Miami’s Jason Allen, who had two picks.
Streak(s): The Eagles have won the last two meetings (2003, 2007). Miami’s last victory came in Miami in 1999.
Minnesota at Detroit
Series: Vikings lead 66-32-2
Last Meeting(s): The Lions beat Minnesota in overtime in Week 3 26-23. The Vikings led 20-0 at halftime but managed just three more points. Detroit ran for just 20 yards but Matt Stafford threw for 378 yards and two touchdowns, both to Calvin Johnson. Minnesota’s Jared Allen and Brian Robison combined for five sacks while Detroit had four of their own.
Streak(s): Detroit has their first winning streak (2) against Minnesota since they swept the series in 1997. Between those streaks, the Vikings were 22-3 against the Lions. This is only the fifth time the Lions have won two or more straight games against the Vikings (they have a couple streaks that involve ties also). The last time Minnesota lost back-to-back games in Detroit was in 1994-95.
New Orleans at Tennessee
Series: Titans lead 7-4-1
Last Meeting(s): In 2007, the season after losing the NFC Championship, New Orleans fell to 0-3 with a 31-14 loss to Tennessee. The Saints turned the ball over five times; Drew Brees contributed four interceptions. The subsequent field position kept the Titans from racking up great stats, but they found the end zone a lot. Vincent Fuller sealed the win with a fourth quarter interception return for a touchdown (61 yards). Avid readers will remember that Fuller was mentioned for the same reason in Week 13’s post.
Streak(s): The Titans/Oilers have won four straight against the Saints (1996, 1999, 2003, 2007). The Saints’ last win in this series came in 1993; their last win in Houston came in 1984 and they’ve never won in Nashville (obviously).
Houston at Cincinnati
Series: Bengals lead 3-2
Last Meeting(s): In 2009, the Texans went to Cincinnati in Week 6 and won 28-17. Matt Schaub had a huge day, passing for 392 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Owen Daniels scored the first and last touchdowns of the game.
Streak(s): Cincinnati won the first three games in the series and Houston has won the last two.
Chicago at Denver
Series: Bears lead 7-6
Last Meeting(s): In 2007, Jay Cutler out-quarterbacked Rex Grossman but the Broncos lost 37-34 in Chicago in overtime. Cutler was 17-31 for 302 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while Grossman had just 193 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The score was only 13-6 at halftime (Denver led), but the Bears won the second half 28-21 thanks to Devin Hester’s unreal third quarter: Hester took a punt back 75 yards for a touchdown; after Cecil Sapp scored from 5 yards out for Denver, Hester returned the kickoff 88 yards for another touchdown. Brandon Marshall caught a 68-yard touchdown before the third quarter ended. Tony Scheffler made a great 14-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter, but Chicago scored twice to tie the game. Robbie Gould ended it with a 39-yard field goal in extra time.
Streak(s): Chicago has won two in a row (2003, 2007). Denver had won the previous two games including their most recent win at Chicago, which came in 1993.
San Francisco at Arizona
Series: 49ers lead 24-16
Last Meeting(s): In Week 11, the 49ers easily dispatched Arizona with a 23-7 win at Candlestick Park. San Francisco out-gained the Cardinals 431-229 and the Cardinals committed five turnovers. Michael Crabtree caught seven passes for 120 yards.
Streak(s): The 49ers have won five straight and are playing for their third straight sweep in the series, which would be the eighth straight overall between the two teams. Arizona has scored 9 or fewer points in four straight games against the 49ers (9, 6, 7, 7) and they haven’t scored multiple touchdowns since they beat San Francisco 29-24 at home in 2008.
Buffalo at San Diego
Series: Chargers lead 21-12-2
Last Meeting(s): The Bills improved to 5-1 in 2008 with a 23-14 win that knocked the Chargers to 3-4. The Chargers turned the ball over three times; Buffalo had no turnovers and gained 370 yards. Trent Edwards was 25 for 30 for 261 yards with one touchdown. Buffalo went 2-8 the rest of the way to finish 7-9 while San Diego went 5-4 down the stretch to finish 8-8, sneak into the playoffs, and win in the wildcard round.
Streak(s): The series has been split 3-3 since 2000. Buffalo has lost four straight in San Diego; their last win came in 1981, when they used four rushing touchdowns to top Dan Fouts’ 343 passing yards. The Bills beat San Diego in the 1964 and 1965 AFL Championships.
Oakland at Green Bay
Series: Packers lead 6-5
Last Meeting(s): Green Bay crushed the Raiders 38-7 in 2007. Ryan Grant ran for 156 yards and Will Blackmon scored on a 57-yard punt return and on a fumble recovery in the endzone. Josh McCown tossed two picks for the Raiders.
Streak(s): Green Bay has a five-game winning streak against the Raiders that started in 1990. Three of the wins have been ugly: 28-0 in 1993; 41-7 in 2003; and 38-7 in 2007. The first meeting between these teams came in Super Bowl II, which the Packers won. The Raiders won five straight from 1972 to 1987 before Green Bay’s current streak began.
NY Giants at Dallas
Series: Cowboys lead 56-40-2
Last Meeting(s): The Giants put the final nail in the Cowboys’ 2010 coffin in a wild Week 7 Monday Night Football game. New York improved to 5-2 with the 41-35 win, while Dallas fell to 1-5. Tony Romo was knocked out for the season in the second quarter. Jon Kitna took over and finished a short drive for a field goal that put Dallas up 13-7. Dez Bryant increased the lead to 20-7 with a 93-yard punt return for a touchdown, but the Cowboys began unravelling immediately.
The Giants drove 80 yards for a touchdown, forced a three and out, and drove 56 yards for another touchdown to take the lead. Dallas got the ball back with just 1:15 left in the first half and Jason Witten lost a fumble on their third play. Lawrence Tynes nailed a 53-yard field goal to give the Giants a 24-20 halftime lead. The Giants led 38-20 after the third quarter, and two Kitna-to-Bryant 15-yard touchdown passes were not enough to bring Dallas back.
In Week 10, with Kitna still at the helm, Dallas jumped out to a 19-6 halftime lead, but held on this time for a 33-20 win.
Streak(s): New York had won five of six meetings before Dallas won in Week 10. The Giants have a two-game winning streak in Dallas. Neither team has won more than three in a row in this series since the Cowboys ran off five straight from 1992-94. Before that, streaks were very common, as both teams experienced dominating stretches.
St. Louis at Seattle
Series: Seahawks lead 16-11
Last Meeting(s): In Week 11, Seattle “dominated” an ugly game, winning 24-7. The Seahawks had just 289 yards of offense but held St. Louis to a paltry 185 and forced the Rams into three turnovers.
Streak(s): That win gave Seattle a second straight over the Rams and extended a 12 of 13 stretch. Since realignment, the Rams are 6-15 against Seattle, including a 2-8 mark at Seahawks Stadium/Qwest Field/whatever-the-hell-it’s-called.