5 BIG-PLAY DEFENSIVE BACKS

Most combined sacks, interceptions, passes defended and forced fumbles this season:

Kerry Rhodes

New York Jets

* 19: He might be only the second Jets safety to make the Pro Bowl, joining Erik McMillan of the late 1980s.

Charles Woodson

Green Bay

* 19: Nine-year veteran has five interceptions, the most since his rookie year with the Raiders.

Walt Harris

San Francisco

* 18: With four games to go, he already has a career-high six picks.

Lito Sheppard

Philadelphia

* 18: He returned one of his five interceptions 102 yards for a touchdown.

Rashean Mathis

Jacksonville

* 18: His numbers tie him on this list with New England's Asante Samuel, another rising star.

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5 WORST GOAL-LINE OFFENSES

Lowest touchdown percentage this season in goal-to-go situations:

* Atlanta -- eight touchdowns in 17 series: Falcons score from long distance; NFL-high 22 runs of 20-plus yards.

* Miami -- 10 in 21: Dolphins have only six rushing touchdowns this season.

* Minnesota -- eight in 16: But Vikings defense has scored on three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

* New Orleans -- 13 in 26: Saints are still third in NFC scoring, averaging 25.8 points a game.

* Carolina -- nine in 18: The Panthers are missing the type of power back they had in Stephen Davis.

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5 TOP RETURN MEN

Most total kick- and punt-return yards since 2004:

* Dante Hall, Kansas City -- 4,836 yards: In 2003, he looked like the greatest returner in history. By far.

* Wes Welker, Miami -- 4,735: Lots of long returns but only one for a touchdown.

* B.J. Sams, Baltimore -- 4,304: He was injured last week, and the Ravens are sure to miss him.

* Terrence McGee, Buffalo -- 3,888: In the last three seasons, he has 18 kickoff returns of 40-plus yards.

* Eddie Drummond, Detroit -- 3,818: Everything is a comedown after his spectacular performance in 2004.

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5 TOUGHEST REMAINING SCHEDULES

* Miami -- .646: Dolphins have won four of five, but their stretch run could be a reality check.

* Jacksonville -- .646: Tennessee was supposed to be the breather in the final four. Uh-oh.

* Arizona -- .625: Hard to build momentum for next season when you play your finale at San Diego.

* Kansas City -- .583: At least Chiefs should have a Merry Christmas; they play at Oakland on Dec. 23.

* Tampa Bay -- .583: With Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland and Seattle on deck, bad season could get worse.

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5 LOCKS

* Cincinnati over Oakland -- Bengals defense is finally starting to shut down opponents.

* Minnesota over Detroit -- Vikings will sweep the season series for the fifth straight year.

* Seattle over Arizona -- Seahawks can almost taste their third consecutive division title.

* San Francisco over Green Bay -- 49ers should be able to get to a hobbling Brett Favre.

* Chicago over St. Louis -- Rams have won their last five Monday night games at home. That ends this week.

* Last week: 3-2.

* Season: 47-18.

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Source: STATS LLC

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