October 2013

COMMENTARY | Monday Night Football viewers probably thought it couldn't get much worse than Week 7's sloppy matchup between the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings, but the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams followed with an ugly game of their own.
There are many ways to look at the NFL, but the easiest - and most tedious – method to figure out what is going on is by examining the numbers. Here is a numerical look at the league heading into Week 9: 0 – Touchdowns scored by Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly’s offense in the past two games. 1 – Win by the Oakland Raiders during the 2013 preseason compared to three victories in the regular season. 2 – Statistical categories Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles leads on his team this season. Charles leads his team in rushing yards (635) and receiving yards (383). The last player to lead his team in both categories was Indianapolis Colts running back Marshall Faulk in 1998, according to ESPN Stats & Info. 3 – Times over the past four years Sunday Night Football has topped a World Series game in ratings, according to NBC Sports on Tuesday. Green Bay’s game against the Minnesota Vikings averaged 16.9 million viewers this past Sunday compared to 16 million viewers who watched the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 on Fox. 8 – Career games by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees with five-or-more touchdown passes, the most in NFL history. 10 – Touchdowns thrown by Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer compared to 14 interceptions. 11.5 – Sacks by Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis this season. He has 103 in his career. 12 – Career game-winning drives when trailing or tied in the fourth quarter - or in overtime - by Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. He has now engineered eight game-winning drives after the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter or in overtime, with five of those drives completed with game-winning touchdown passes. 14 – Consecutive home victories by the New England Patriots against AFC East opponents. New England is the fifth team since 1970 to win at least 14 consecutive home games against division opponents. The others are Green Bay (18), Buffalo (17), Dallas (16) and Miami (16). 16 – Sacks by Green Bay’s defense in the past four games (only one by Clay Matthews, who has missed the past three games). 30 – Regular season victories by San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh since being hired in 2011. Harbaugh’s record is 30-9-1, and he is the fourth fastest coach to reach that milestone since 1970. The other coaches who reached 30 wins faster than Harbaugh are George Seifert, Chuck Knox and Ted Marchibroda. 32 – Times Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been sacked this season, which leads the league. 34 – Receptions by New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks without a touchdown this season. Nicks has failed to reach the end zone in eight games. 62.4 – Rushing yards per game average by the Atlanta Falcons, which is ranked last in the NFL. San Francisco leads the league with 153. 109 – Yards tallied by Minnesota Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson during his touchdown return against Green Bay, which is the longest in NFL history, and tied the NFL record for longest play in league history. Antonio Cromartie returned a missed field goal 109 yards for a touchdown on November 4, 2007 at Minnesota when he played with the San Diego Chargers. 155 – Points allowed by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first half of eight games (19 points per game). 343 – Points scored by the Denver Broncos (42.9 points per game) through the first eight weeks of 2013. That is the most points by an NFL team after eight weeks. 33,694 – Career passing yards by New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, surpassing Phil Simms’ previous team record of 33,462. - - - - - - - Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @AnwarRichardson
COMMENTARY | After starting 3-0 and getting many of us to ask "How high is the ceiling?" the Chicago Bears, for a variety of reasons (poor defense, injuries, opponent skill), have steadily lost ground in the various power rankings with their, now, 4-3 record.
Quarterback coming off concussion
Home favorites continue to shine, now coming through at 57.5% on the season.
COMMENTARY | There is reason for pessimism and for optimism for the fan base of the Cleveland Browns after the team's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. On one hand is the fact that the Browns have lost three straight. The plus for the offense is that it seems to have a legitimate quarterback who can, at the very least, give the team a real chance to win each and every Sunday.
Includes two running backs scheduled to make their season debuts in the very near future.
COMMENTARY | It's nice to have something positive to discuss, isn't it, New York Giants fans?
Not all wins are weighed the same in these rankings. Beating good teams is better than beating bad teams. Winning big is better than sneaking out a scary win. Winning and playing well on the road means more than doing the same at home. These are a few obvious concepts. And because of that, Seattle won this week and still got booted from the No. 1 spot in the power rankings. The Seahawks looked lethargic for Monday night's game against St. Louis. The most important thing is they did save a win, thanks to one big offensive play (Golden Tate's touchdown was 80 of the team's 135 yards ... yes, 135 yards) and a great goal-line stand at the end. The Rams are not a good football team. And St. Louis was starting Kellen Clemens at quarterback in front of a crowd that got loud only when Matt Holliday homered across town. And the Seahawks were outplayed. It's probably just a one-game blip for the Seahawks, but it was bad enough that it justifies a new No. 1. Here are this week's power rankings:
The Bears didn’t play over the weekend and it hurt them even though a week off after losing three of their last four was perhaps a needed respite. But they still lost important ground to their chief rivals for what is shaping up as multi-team battle for one wild-card playoff spot.At the midpoint of the season, one wild-card team is expected to be either the San Francisco 49ers (6-2) or Seattle Seahawks (7-1), whichever one doesn’t win the NFC West division. ...

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