San Antonio.- It’s still early in the season and anything can happen. A look back shows that 0-2 teams advance to the playoffs more often than people might think. Since 1990 when the current playoff format was instituted, 22 teams started 0-2 and still qualified for the postseason -- some even go all the way to the Super Bowl ... This month the NFL also celebrates Hispanic Heritage with great events at all the home games this weekend and special events all month long. Thanks to the NFL and Terence Malangone for all the stats and info. Click the headline for the rest of the story. Photo: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage at Cowboys Stadium (Courtesy Dallas Cowboys)
By Angela Covo, firstname.lastname@example.org
SLOW STARTERS THAT MADE IT ALL THE WAY: Notably, the 1993 Dallas Cowboys started 0-2 before winning Super Bowl XXVIII. The 0-2 New England Patriots of 1996 played in Super Bowl XXXI and in 2001, the 0-2 Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI. The 2007 New York Giants started 0-2 before winning Super Bowl XLII.
SIX START STRONG THIS YEAR: Six teams are undefeated through the first two weeks of the season – Arizona, Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego and San Francisco – and hope to move to 3-0 this weekend. While no guarantee of future success, a strong start to the season is a good omen – remember 75.7 percent of teams (84 of 111) that started 3-0 since 1990 made the playoffs. That also means almost a fourth of the teams that looked unbeatable couldn’t keep up the good work. So don’t count out any of the 1-1 or 0-2 teams. Since realignment in 2002, 70 of the 120 playoff teams (58.3 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2, including eight teams last year. Among those eight were the Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants.
KEEPING SCORE:The combinedNFL teams collected 1,556 points (791, Week 1; 765, Week 2) through the first two weeks of the 2012 season, scoring the most points during the first two weeks of any NFL season. That broke the 2011 record of 1,502 while the 765 points scored last week were the seventh-most scored in a single week in NFL history. With 602 points this weekend, the 2012 season would feature the most points through the first three weeks of any NFL season. The current record was set last season with 2,157 points through Week 3.
PASS TIME: The quarterback-led league already boasts 18 individual 300-yard passing performances in 2012, the second-most ever through the first two weeks of a season (23, 2011). Net passing yards are at 15,232, also the second-most ever through the first two weeks (15,788, 2011).
RIVERS CHARGING: San Diego quarterback PHILIP RIVERS has passed for 24,800 yards in his career, including 515 this season. Rivers will play in his 103rd game this weekend when the Chargers host Atlanta in a matchup of 2-0 teams. With 200 passing yards Sunday, Rivers would reach 25,000 for his career and tie New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES as the sixth-fastest player to reach the mark in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO holds the record, reaching 25,000 passing yards in 92 games.
The 700 Club: Arizona wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD has recorded 698 receptions for 9,682 yards and 73 touchdowns in his career. With two catches on Sunday against Philadelphia, Fitzgerald would become the youngest player in NFL history to reach 700 receptions. He will be 29 years and 23 days old at kickoff, more than a year younger than the current record holder, Dallas tight end JASON WITTEN (30 years, 133 days). Fitzgerald would also reach 700 receptions in the fifth-fewest games in NFL history (127). Former Indianapolis wide receiver Marvin Harrison holds the record, recording his 700th catch in his 114th game.
SIXTEEN TEAMS HONOR HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH THIS WEEK: The NFL and its teams will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. All 32 clubs are going all out with great events and local community outreach all month long.
The celebration starts with this weekend at all 16 home games– Arizona, Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Miami, Minnesota, New Orleans, Oakland, San Diego, Seattle, Tennessee and Washington – hosting Hispanic Heritage Month games at their stadiums. In the stadiums, fans will enjoy on-field Fútbol Americano stencils as well as wall banners and goal post wraps. To learn more, visit http://www.nfl.com/espanol
In Texas, the Dallas Cowboys celebrate Hispanic culture on Sunday, Sept 23. Telemundo is partnering with the Cowboys to enrich the Hispanic Heritage outreach. Game day, the Cowboys will honor Hispanic culture and former Dallas Cowboys Tony Casillas will serve as Honorary Team Captain and assist with the coin toss, the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklórico in Dallas will share a pregame performance and from the Alamo City, fans will enjoy a special presentation of Latin American flags from Ballet Folklórico Festival of San Antonio during the national anthem, which will be performed by Star De Azlan. The party continues with Telemundo personalities featured on the plazas and in-game, performances from Mariachi bands and Ballet Folklorico troupes at stadium entrances, in-game Telemundo messaging on the Cowboys videoboard and celebratory Hispanic Heritage Month graphics. The Cowboys will honor Luis Spinola, a nominee for Telemundo's annual Hispanic Business Salute with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award prior to kickoff. The Houston Texans will celebrate at their game on Sept. 30.
SCORING FOR EDUCATION:The Cowboys, Miller Lite and the ¡Adelante! U.S. Educational Leadership Fund are partnering for the second year to support educational programming and resources for Hispanics through the “Scoring for Education” campaign to develop the next generation of Latino leadership.