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Countdown to Kickoff: Stats and Facts from the NFL (Part 3)

Official NFL Release

BEST NFL RECORDS, PAST 10 YEARS

Having continuity under center and in the front office are some of the key ingredients to an organization's success on the field.

Over the past 10 years, four NFL teams have posted a winning percentage of .600 or better - led by the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (115-45, .719). The Colts' 115 wins set an NFL record for the most wins in a single decade in league history, topping the 114 wins by the San Francisco 49ers of the 1990s. During that span, three-time AP Most Valuable Player PEYTON MANNING (right), has started every game at quarterback for the team, leading the Colts to a victory in Super Bowl XLI and a berth in Super Bowl XLIV.

"The most wins in a decade is really something," says Colts President BILL POLIAN. "To think you can win more games in a decade than the legendary San Francisco 49ers, coached by BILL WALSH, I almost can't come to grips with that.

"To think you have eclipsed a record that that great team - with JOE MONTANA and JERRY RICE and STEVE YOUNG and all of those players - set is absolutely amazing. I almost can't get my arms around it, but it's a monumental achievement and one I hope people in Indianapolis will remember for a long, long time."

The teams with the best regular-season records over the past 10 years (2000-09):

TEAM

W

L

T

PCT.

PLAYOFF BERTHS

SUPER BOWL BERTHS

Indianapolis

115

45

0

.719

9

2

New England

112

48

0

.700

7

4

Pittsburgh

103

56

1

.647

6

2

Philadelphia

103

56

1

.647

8

1

Green Bay

95

65

0

.594

6

0


HARRIS POLL: PRO FOOTBALL AMERICA'S FAVORITE SPORT BY FAR

America's favorite sport? Once again, professional football claims the top spot!

For more than four decades, according to The Harris Poll, the NFL has been the most popular sport in America.

In its most recent survey, Harris - the pioneer in market research - reveals that pro football is the favorite sport of more than one-third of people (35 percent) - an increase of four percent over last year. That is more than the combined total of the next three professional sports - baseball (16), auto racing (nine) and men's pro basketball (five).

In addition, professional football has gained in popularity more than any other sport since 1985 with an 11 percent increase in popularity over the past 25 years (from 24 to 35 percent). Pro football moved ahead of baseball as the fans' favorite for the first time in 1965.

The third favorite sport in the survey was college football at 12 percent, meaning that football is the favorite sport of 47 percent of America's sports fans.

Following are the five most popular sports according to The Harris Poll:

RANK

SPORT

PERCENT

1

Pro Football

35

2

Baseball

16

3

College Football

12

4

Auto Racing

9

5

Men's Pro Basketball

5


2010 KICKOFF WEEKEND NOTES

It's a special time, Kickoff Weekend, which begins Thursday, September 9 at 8:30 PM ET on NBC when the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings. It's when things start to count.

Some clubs have excelled in openers. Some notable active NFL Kickoff streaks:

  • The CHICAGO BEARS, who host Detroit on Kickoff Weekend, have 61 wins in home openers, the most in NFL history. The Bears are 61-25-4 (.709) in openers at home, the best mark in the NFC. Chicago has 50 wins on Kickoff Weekend, tied with Green Bay for the most in league history.
  • The GREEN BAY PACKERSopen the season in Philadelphia and have an NFL-best 51 wins in road openers. The Packers are 51-36-2 (.586) in openers on the road, the third-best mark in the league, and have won four consecutive road openers, the longest active streak in the NFC. Green Bay has 50 wins on Kickoff Weekend, tied with Chicago for the most in league history. The Packers, who host Buffalo in Week 2, have 47 wins in home openers, tied for the third-most in NFL annals.
  • The NEW YORK GIANTS, who open the season hosting Carolina at New Meadowlands Stadium, have 48 wins in openers, the third-most in NFL history. New York is tied for third in league annals with 47 wins in home openers and the team's 48 wins in road openers rank second all-time. The Giants travel to Indianapolis in Week 2 on Sunday night and carry a 48-32-5 (.600) record in road openers, the second-best mark in the league
  • The PITTSBURGH STEELERS, who host Atlanta on Kickoff Weekend, have won 39 openers, the most among AFC teams. The Steelers have won seven consecutive openers, the longest current streak in the NFL. Pittsburgh has also won seven consecutive home openers, the third-longest active streak in the league.
  • The DALLAS COWBOYSown a 34-15-1 (.694) record on Kickoff Weekend, the top mark in the NFL, including wins in a record 17 consecutive openers from 1965-81. The Cowboys, who open the season in Washington on Sunday night, have the league's best record in road openers at 32-18 (.640). In Week 2, Dallas will host Chicago and the Cowboys are 34-15-1 (.694) in home openers, the second-best mark among NFC teams.
  • The DENVER BRONCOS, who open the season at Jacksonville, have won 16 of their past 21 openers and are 32-17-1 (.653) on Kickoff Weekend, the best mark in the AFC. The Broncos host Seattle in Week 2 and have won 10 consecutive home openers, the longest current streak in the NFL. Denver is 37-12-1 (.755) in home openers, the best mark in the league.
  • The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTShave won 13 of their past 15 home openers, including a perfect 8-0 record at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots open the season at home against Cincinnati and aim for their ninth consecutive win in a home opener. New England has won six consecutive openers, the second-longest active streak.
  • The INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, who visit Houston on Kickoff Weekend, have won 9 of their past 11 openers and have won five consecutive road openers, the longest current streak in the NFL. The Colts host the Giants on Sunday night in Week 2 and have won six of their past seven home openers.
  • The MIAMI DOLPHINS, who host the New York Jets on Sunday night in Week 3, are 31-12-1 (.721) in home openers, the second-best mark in the NFL.
  • The OAKLAND RAIDERShost St. Louis in Week 2 and are 34-15-1 (.690) in home openers, the third-best mark among AFC teams.
  • The ARIZONA CARDINALStravel to St. Louis on Kickoff Weekend, the 20th time in the past 23 years the club has started the season on the road.
  • The NEW YORK JETSopen the season against Baltimore on Monday night at New Meadowlands Stadium, marking just the 13th time in the past 51 openers the club has started the year at home.

2010 NFL STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Team

Opponents' 2009

Pct. & Record

Games vs. teams

.500 or better

Games vs.

playoff teams

Houston Texans

.547

140

116

0

11

7

Tennessee Titans

.547

140

116

0

10

5

Dallas Cowboys

.543

139

117

0

11

7

Cincinnati Bengals

.539

138

118

0

11

7

Jacksonville Jaguars

.535

137

119

0

11

5

New England Patriots

.531

136

120

0

9

8

New York Giants

.527

135

121

0

10

7

Washington Redskins

.523

134

122

0

11

7

Philadelphia Eagles

.520

133

123

0

11

5

Cleveland Browns

.516

132

124

0

11

7

Indianapolis Colts

.516

132

124

0

11

5

Baltimore Ravens

.508

130

126

0

11

5

Detroit Lions

.508

130

126

0

9

8

Chicago Bears

.504

129

127

0

10

8

Minnesota Vikings

.504

129

127

0

9

8

Buffalo Bills

.500

128

128

0

9

8

Miami Dolphins

.500

128

128

0

10

8

New York Jets

.500

128

128

0

9

6

Oakland Raiders

.500

128

128

0

10

4

Atlanta Falcons

.496

127

129

0

11

7

Pittsburgh Steelers

.492

126

130

0

10

7

Green Bay Packers

.488

125

131

0

9

6

Kansas City Chiefs

.488

125

131

0

9

4

Denver Broncos

.484

124

132

0

9

6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

.480

123

133

0

11

5

Carolina Panthers

.477

122

134

0

10

5

New Orleans Saints

.469

120

136

0

11

5

San Francisco 49ers

.457

117

139

0

9

6

San Diego Chargers

.453

116

140

0

9

4

Seattle Seahawks

.453

116

140

0

10

4

St. Louis Rams

.449

115

141

0

9

4

Arizona Cardinals

.445

114

142

0

9

4