Dak Prescott ran his winning streak to eight games last week when he helped the Dallas Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. Prescott is five wins from matching the longest winning streak by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.
Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers won a rookie-record 13 consecutive games in 2004. What is the likelihood that Prescott can match Roethlisberger’s streak?
Using ESPN’s Football Power Index, we can determine the current probability of the Cowboys winning each of their next five games. These probabilities reflect what we know about the Cowboys and each of their next five opponents now; developments such as a change at quarterback by one of the Cowboys' future opponents or a stark change in a team’s performance could alter the likelihood of the Cowboys winning a game.
FPI projects the Cowboys as 8 percent likely to win all of their next five games. They currently are projected as likely to win in four of those five games, although one of the four, Week 14 at the New York Giants, FPI sees as essentially a coin flip.
Looking back at Prescott’s eight wins, the Cowboys were given more than a 50 percent likelihood to win in only three of them. Another game (against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 5) was basically a toss-up, as the Bengals were projected as 50.4 percent likely to win. And in Week 4, the San Francisco 49ers were projected as 55 percent likely to beat the Cowboys in San Francisco; what FPI knows about the 49ers has changed since then.
FPI projected the Cowboys as 2 percent likely to win all of their last eight games.
Cardinals’ Johnson chasing Edgerrin James
David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals had 101 yards from scrimmage (55 rushing, 46 receiving) last week against the 49ers, giving him at least 100 scrimmage yards in the Cardinals’ first nine games of the season. He is the first player with at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his team’s first nine games since Edgerrin James of the Indianapolis Colts in 2005.
If Johnson gets at least 100 scrimmage yards in Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings, he would become the third player since 1970 to record at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his team’s first 10 games. James has the longest such streak, 13 games in 2005. James started the 2000 season with 12 such games, and Larry Brown had 10 consecutive games with at least 100 scrimmage yards to start the 1972 season for the Washington Redskins.
How likely is Johnson to get 100 scrimmage yards? One player -- Jordan Howard of the Chicago Bears in Week 8 -- has exceeded 100 yards from scrimmage against the Vikings this season. Last season, it happened 14 times against the Vikings.
Climbing receiving list
Steve Smith Sr. of the Baltimore Ravens has 997 receptions and is three catches from becoming the 14th player with 1,000 career receptions (Hines Ward is 13th on the career list with 1,000). The Ravens play the Cowboys on Sunday. Smith has at least three catches in each of the seven games he has played this season. The Cowboys are tied for the third-fewest receptions allowed this season.
Stefon Diggs of the Vikings has 26 receptions in his last two games, and with 11 catches against the Cardinals, he would set the record for the most receptions in a three-game span in NFL history.
A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals needs 36 receiving yards to join Randy Moss as the only players in NFL history with 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons.
Looking at those who throw passes, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints has 2,991 passing yards this season. With nine passing yards against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night, Brees would record his 13th consecutive season with 3,000 passing yards, tying Peyton Manning (1998 to 2010) for the second-longest streak in NFL history. Brett Favre passed for at least 3,000 yards all 18 seasons from 1992 to 2009.