Killer Stats on all 13 Week 7 Games

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Oct 18, 2012



We’ve Got Your Numbers: A Matter of Facts (Week 7, 2012)
By Russell S. Baxter
Cold Hard Football Facts Resident Fact-ologist

You’ve heard it a 100 times. The NFL is a copycat league.

A year ago, the New York Football Giants won Super Bowl XLVI with a 9-7 regular-season win-loss record. And this season, it appears that just about every club in the league is determined to achieve that identical feat.

Witness the fact that the entire AFC East is at 3-3 and that the 5-1 Ravens and 5-1 Texans (who face each other this week) are the only clubs in the conference with a winning record. Add in the Falcons (6-0) and Bears (4-1) and you have the only four teams this season that haven’t lost at least two games.

Despite the fact that six teams are off this week, we’ll obviously get a few answers to some key questions thanks to six divisional matchups, as well as nearly half (6) of the 13 games featuring teams with identical records.

Sit back and enjoy…

Thursday Night, Oct. 18

Seattle (4-2) at San Francisco (4-2): Down 13 points in the fourth quarter to the potent Patriots, Pete Carroll’s team awoke courtesy of two Russell Wilson touchdown passes to key a surprise win. A few miles south, a 49ers’ team that had won its previous two games by a combined 79-3 score was rolled themselves by the Giants. The Niners’ formula for winning and losing has been simple; Jim Harbaugh’s team has allowed 261 yards rushing in four victories compared to 295 yards on the ground (140-plus yards in each game) in losses to the Vikings and Giants…

Sunday, Oct. 21

Arizona (4-2) at Minnesota (4-2): After giving up a total of 17 sacks in their previous two games vs. the Dolphins (8) and Rams (9), Cardinals’ blockers only allowed quarterback Kevin Kolb to be sacked five times by the Bills last week. Unfortunately, it was his fifth scramble of the game that proved to be his last that afternoon and perhaps for a few weeks, hence the return of John Skelton. Now he and these Cards are in search of a first-ever win at the Metrodome (0-7, including playoffs) against a Vikings’ team that gave up a season-high 38 points at Washington…

Baltimore (5-1) at Houston (5-1): While the Texans are the team coming off their first setback of the season, the Ravens (winner of four straight games) are the team that suffered real losses last week as Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb went down. Add in the fact that the Baltimore defense suddenly can’t stop the run, giving up 200-plus yards rushing in consecutive games for the first time in team history, and it could be a long afternoon against Arian Foster. But it’s worth noting that the Ravens are a perfect 6-0 in this series, including last season’s playoff win…

Cleveland (1-5) at Indianapolis (2-3): Last week vs. the Bengals, the Browns did something they hadn’t done since Week 9 of 2010; score at least 30 points in a game. Of course, they also snapped an 11-game losing streak but who’s counting? After a stirring come-from-behind win over the Packers, the Colts’ defense was grounded and pounded by the Jets last week as Adam Vinatieri’s three field goals were all that Indianapolis could manage. But the headline here is the rookie quarterback showdown between Brandon Weeden and Andrew Luck…

Dallas (2-3) at Carolina (1-4): Last week in Baltimore, it was kick coverage and clock management issues that proved costly. In their previous game, Tony Romo threw five interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, in a loss to the Bears. And in their Week 2 setback at Seattle, it was the special teams that led Jason Garrett’s team down. Speaking of disappointments, the Panthers have had two weeks to think about three straight losses. If you’re looking for a sign, the turnover numbers read Newton 7, Romo 11. Anyone for a Slurpee?...

Green Bay (3-3) at St. Louis (3-3): The good news for the Packers is that Aaron Rodgers really looked like Aaron Rodgers last Sunday night in Houston, lighting up an excellent Texans’ defense for six scores in a resounding win. The bad news is the next game as Mike McCarthy’s team has alternated losses and wins all season. As for the Rams, it’s not often you outgain a team by 270 total yards (462-192) and still find a way to lose. Only the Cardinals have given up more sacks than these two teams, so Rodgers and Sam Bradford had best be on their toes…

Jacksonville (1-4) at Oakland (1-4): Mike Mularkey’s squad had an extra week to lick its wounds after a 41-3 loss to the Bears and perhaps a trip to the west coast could be good for a team that’s been outscored 95-20 in three home losses this season. Speaking of throwing interceptions for scores, all four starting quarterbacks in the AFC West managed that feat in Week 6, including Carson Palmer, whose pick six to Falcons’ corner Asante Samuel was one of several big plays that didn’t go Oakland’s way. The Jaguars have won the last four meetings in this series…

New Orleans (1-4) at Tampa Bay (2-3): Hopefully the Saints didn’t spend their off-week celebrating Drew Brees’ record-setting night vs. the Chargers. Greg Schiano’s team had a good time last Sunday at the expense of the Chiefs, winning a game for the first time since opening weekend. It’s hard to ignore the fact that Steve Spagnuolo’s defense is still ranked dead last in the NFL. It’s also hard to overlook the lack of a pass rush by the Buccaneers, who totaled half of their eight sacks in one game. And Brees (295) is closing in on 300 career touchdown tosses…

N.Y. Jets (3-3) at New England (3-3): So all is right in the world again, at least from the Jets’ perspective. After failing to reach the century mark on the ground in four straight games, Shonn Green and company rolled over the Colts for 252 yards rushing. Meanwhile, the Patriots have now lost as many games as they did in 2011 and the setbacks to the Cardinals (20-18), Ravens (31-30) and Seahawks (24-23) have been by a combined four points. Lesson here is that Bill Belichick’s team obviously needs to avoid things that can fly. Uh oh…

Tennessee (2-4) at Buffalo (3-3): After a pair of disastrous outings vs. the Patriots and 49ers, Chan Gailey’s team authored a mini surprise in outlasting the Cardinals in overtime. If the Bills are going to get back above .500, they need to make life miserable for Matt Hasselbeck. In three wins this season, Buffalo has totaled 14 sacks, compared to only one in their three losses in which they gave up an astounding 145 points. Speaking of points allowed, the Titans 26-23 win over the Steelers marked the first time in six games an opponent didn’t hit the 30-point mark…

Washington (3-3) at N.Y. Giants (4-2): At 3-3 this season, Mike Shanahan’s team is already more than halfway to last season’s total of five wins. Two of those victories came at the expense of the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants, including a 23-10 victory last December at MetLife Stadium when Eli Manning was intercepted three times. All he’s done since is thrown for 24 scores and been picked off only seven times in 12 outings (including playoffs). Meanwhile, RG3 should be renamed RG 379 for his rushing yards this season, exactly 379 more than Manning…

Sunday Night

Pittsburgh (2-3) at Cincinnati (3-3): A pair of playoff teams from a year ago that are still trying to gain their footing in 2012. The Steelers have had numerous issues on both sides of the ball in terms of injuries but are hoping to get healthy against a team they’ve not only beaten four straight times but happen to enjoy playing in their home park, winning 10-of-11 in the Queen City since 2002, including their ’05 playoff meeting. And the Bengals are making things easier for teams thanks to two or more turnovers in four straight and five of their six games this season…

Monday Night, Oct. 22

Detroit (2-3) at Chicago (4-1): What could possibly happen here as these teams meet for the 83rd consecutive season (the longest continuous rivalry in the league)? All the Bears’ defense has done in its last three games, all victories, is return five interceptions for scores. And does anyone remember the last time Matthew Stafford visited Chicago? The Lions’ quarterback was picked off four time and (you guessed it) had a pair of those returned for touchdowns. And Lovie Smith’s team has won 11 of the last 14 meetings between these adversaries…

Off this week: Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego


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