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Week 13 in the NHL

The Nickel Package

December 02, 2007|Sam Farmer

Times staff writer Sam Farmer breaks down five areas worth watching in this week's NFL matchups:

Long gone

Chicago's Devin Hester, who last Sunday returned a punt and kickoff for touchdowns, is off to a record pace. He's averaging one touchdown for every 13.1 returns, best in NFL history and ahead of Bears Hall of Famer Gale Sayers, who averaged one for every 14.8 returns. Hester also has the league's highest-ever average in yards per touchdown. The players with the highest yards per touchdown average in history (minimum 10 TDs):

*--* Player TDs Yds Avg. Devin Hester* 12 1,013 84.4 Mel Gray 10 781 78.1 Tamarick Vanover 11 757 68.8 Dante Hall 21 1,438 68.5* Deion Sanders 22 1,461 66.4 *--*

*Active

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Climbing the charts

With one more touchdown pass, Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning will become the third player in history to throw for at least 20 touchdowns in 10 consecutive seasons. The quarterbacks with the most consecutive seasons with 20-plus touchdown passes:

*--* Player Years Streak Brett Favre 1994-05 12 Dan Marino 1983-92 10 Peyton Manning* 1998-06 9 Len Dawson 1962-67 6 Tom Brady 2002-07 6 *--*

* Needs one touchdown pass to extend streak.

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Life starts at 40

New England's Tom Brady leads the league with 39 touchdown passes. One more and he'll become the fourth NFL quarterback to reach 40. And if that comes against Baltimore on Monday night, Brady will have reached that milestone earlier in a season than every quarterback but Manning. The quarterbacks to reach 40 touchdown passes in the fewest games:

*--* QB Team Year to 40 TDs P. Manning Indianapolis 2004 11 49 Dan Marino Miami 1984 14 48 Dan Marino Miami 1986 15 44 Kurt Warner St. Louis 2000 16 41 *--*

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Peterson can pass too

Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, who should return today from a knee injury to play Detroit, needs 143 yards rushing to pass Eric Dickerson for most in the first 10 games of a player's career. * -- Through first nine games:

*--* Player Year Team Yds. through 10 Eric Dickerson 1983 L.A. Rams 1,223 Adrian Peterson* 2007 Minnesota 1,081 George Rogers 1981 New Orleans 1,040 Edgerrin James 1999 Indianapolis 1,006 Ottis Anderson 1979 St. Louis 1,000 *--*

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Source: NFL

It's a lock

* San Diego over Kansas City - The Chargers will finally get consecutive victories for the first time in a long while.

* Miami over New York Jets - The Dolphins, playing at home, won't blow their best chance to avert an unprecedented 0-16 finish.

* Denver over Oakland - The Broncos have beaten the Raiders five consecutive times, and haven't lost in Oakland since 2002.

* Pittsburgh over Cincinnati - Steelers are itching to bounce back after their near-miss victory over Dolphins.

* New England over Baltimore - On top of everything, the Patriots are the better foul-weather team -- and it figures to be rainy.

* Last week: 4-1.

* Season: 44-16.

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