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Bears running back Thomas Jones has increased his rushing yardage total in each of his six NFL seasons, peaking last year with 1,335. With a healthy Cedric Benson to spell him, however, Jones will have a hard time making it seven. These players also have significant streaks in the balance this season.
ALGE CRUMPLER TE Falcons THE STREAKS Has improved his reception and yardage totals each year since entering the league in 2001, culminating with 65 catches and 877 yards last season. WILL THEY CONTINUE? With the Falcons' running game at full bore and the best Atlanta receiving corps since Michael Vick's arrival, it's not likely.
SHAYNE GRAHAM K Bengals THE STREAK Scored 25 points as a Bills rookie in 2001 and increased his total each year to an AFC-leading 131 last season with Cincinnati. WILL IT CONTINUE? With 25 points through three games, he's on his way.
RUDI JOHNSON RB Bengals THE STREAK After he played two games with no carries in 2001, his ascent to stardom began in '02 with a modest 67 yards. He ran for 1,454 yards in '04 and 1,458 last year. WILL IT CONTINUE? If he stays healthy, he's likely to gain between 1,600 and 1,800 yards.
L.J. SMITH TE Eagles THE STREAK His reception total has gone up in each of his three years in the league, peaking at 61 in 2005--more than a twofold increase since he caught 27 as a rookie. WILL IT CONTINUE? He's on pace for 85 catches.
How do traded wideouts fare?
DEION BRANCH made his Seahawks debut on Sunday by catching two passes for 23 yards against the Giants. The 27-year-old wide receiver sat out the first two weeks of the season, the first while holding out on the Patriots and the next while taking a crash course in Seattle coach Mike Holmgren's offense. Having missed his new team's minicamps, off-season workouts, training camp and preseason games, Branch will find it very difficult to step in and produce. Here's how the other wide receivers who have been traded since the start of training camp have fared so far this season, and the decidedly mixed results for a comparable group of receivers from the previous two years.