Matter of Facts: Killer Stats On All 14 Week 6 NFL Games

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Oct 11, 2012



By Russell S. Baxter
Cold Hard Football Facts' Resident Fact-ologist

Five weeks into the National Football League’s 93rd season, we still have a pair of teams striving for perfection.

And what makes it a little special is the fact that Houston and Atlanta, both 5-0, are off to the best starts in the history of their franchises.

More significantly, the Falcons and Texans are two of the 14 current franchises in the league that haven’t won a Super Bowl title.

Are we predicting a Super clash between the teams? Of course, it’s far too early. But it’s worth noting that the last team to suffer a loss during the season has a pretty decent history when it comes to getting to the Big Game. And both clubs are at home this week looking to remain unscathed.

Meanwhile, we will also see our first rematch of the season when the Bengals travel to Cleveland to take on the league’s only winless team. Unfortunately for the Browns, there’s also some history when it comes to being the last team to lose a game and it’s not pretty. And for the record, teams posted sweeps 30 times in the 48 divisional series in 2011.

What does it all mean? I don’t know, I just write here.

Of course, the not-knowing part is what makes it fun.

Thursday Night, Oct. 11

Pittsburgh (2-2) at Tennessee (1-4): In terms of healthy bodies, we finally saw the Steelers that we’ve gotten to know in recent seasons and running back Rashard Mendenhall made a big difference in the win over the Eagles. On the other hand, Mike Munchak’s team has given up at least 30 points in all 5 games this season and while Chris Johnson ran for 141 yards on 25 carries a week and a half ago, he’s totaled 69 yards rushing on his other 48 carries this season. And Pittsburgh has won the last three meetings over the last three seasons…

Sunday, Oct. 14

Buffalo (2-3) at Arizona (4-1): Talk about a contrast? The Cardinals, off their first loss of 2012 but with extra time to rest, have given up 78 points and six touchdowns this season. Chan Gailey’s team has surrendered 97 points the last two weeks and six touchdowns in the 45-3 loss at San Francisco. And the number 23 has some significance here. It’s the number of sacks allowed by Arizona in five games this season, the same number the Bills allowed during all of 2011. Of course, Buffalo has also given up 23 total touchdowns this season, so…

Cincinnati (3-2) at Cleveland (0-5): Four weeks ago, Marvin Lewis’ team held on for a 34-27 win over these Browns, who have also scored 27 points last week against the defending Super Bowl champion Giants and still fell 14 points short. Cleveland has lost four straight and are a dismal 3-13 in their last 16 meetings with their cross state rivals, but those numbers dwarf in comparison to the 11 straight overall losses and the dozen consecutive setbacks vs. division rivals that the Browns are looking to put in the rear view mirror…

Dallas (2-2) at Baltimore (4-1): When last we saw Jason Garrett’s team, quarterback Tony Romo spent a Monday night completing passes to nine different players. Unfortunately, five were Cowboys and four were Bears as the Dallas’ signal-caller saw a pair of his five interceptions returned for scores. Now all the Pokes have to do is snap the Ravens’ 14-game overall home winning streak and see if DeMarcus Ware and company can get to quarterback Joe Flacco, whose thrown fewer interceptions in five games (4) than Romo managed against Chicago…

Detroit (1-3) at Philadelphia (3-2): Hopefully Jim Schwartz and company spent the last two weeks working on kick coverage as the Lions have allowed both a kickoff and punt return for touchdowns in each of their last two games. And just when it looked like Michael Vick and the Eagles had gotten over their craving for turnovers, two more lost fumbles proved costly in a narrow loss at Pittsburgh. And has anyone noticed that quarterback Matthew Stafford, he of 41 touchdown passes a year ago, has thrown for only three scores in four games in 2012?...

Indianapolis (2-2) at N.Y. Jets (2-3): Few wins will be as memorable as the Colts’ comeback win over the Packers a week ago as an inspired team rallied from 18 points down and proved to be “Chuckstrong.” Rex Ryan’s team is playing in its own backyard for the third straight week and while we probe every move by Mark Sanchez and his backup, it should be pointed out that Jets’ opponents have rolled up 172.4 yards per game on the ground this season. Ryan’s undermanned team could use a little luck. Problem is they might get a lot…

Kansas City (1-4) at Tampa Bay (1-3): It’s been a miserable season for the Chiefs to date and we’re not even at the halfway point. But when you turn over the football 19 times in five games and manage to lose yet another home game (despite not giving up a touchdown to the Ravens), it’s hard to find a silver lining. The Bucs certainly look like a better team but it’s not being reflected in their record as all four of their games this season have been decided by seven points or less while they haven’t won since beating the Panthers in Week 1…

Minnesota (4-1) at Washington (2-3): The Vikings have won three in a row, not bad considering they won three games all of last season. Even more impressive is the fact that they’ve held each of their last three opponents to 13 points or less, something they did once during all of 2011. There have been a few constants for Mike Shanahan’s team dating back to last season. The Washington running attack has totaled 120-plus yards in nine straight games. And unfortunately, the Redskins have failed in their last eight tries to deliver a win at FedEx Field…

New England (3-2) at Seattle (3-2): It’s hard to tell what’s more impressive and/or surprising; the fact that the Patriots have run for 827 yards in five games (498 the last two weeks) or the 191 team attempts? In fact, Bill Belichick’s team has more rushing touchdowns (10) than Tom Brady scoring passes (8), but it’s early of course. But Ground Bill may have the right formula against a Seattle defense that may feature the league’s best secondary. And speaking of runners, Pete Carroll does have NFC rushing leader Marshawn Lynch (508 yards)…

N.Y. Giants (3-2) at San Francisco (4-1): For the third time in less than a calendar year, these clubs square off in the Bay Area in this NFC Championship Game rematch from 2011. Last week, the Giants (502) and 49ers (621) totaled 1,123 yards and 86 points last week in wins over Browns (41-27) and Bills (45-3), respectively. And Jim Harbaugh’s club has apparently summoned up its inner Bruce Banner (“you wouldn’t want to see me angry) as they’ve won their last two games by a combined 79-3 count following that Week 3 loss to the Vikings. Sit back and enjoy…

Oakland (1-3) at Atlanta (5-0): When last we saw the Silver and Black, they were looking a little black and blue after being pummeled in Denver, 37-6, by Peyton Manning and company. When last we saw Mike Smith’s club, they looked like the same team we saw the previous four games as the Falcons’ 5-0 start is the best in the franchise’s 47-year history. Not sure what the Raiders did over the last two weeks to fix a team that has allowed 31 or more points in their last three games but you hope it helps…

St. Louis (3-2) at Miami (2-3): An intriguing tilt in South Florida as Jeff Fisher’s club, already with one more victory than in all of 2012 (2-14), faces a Dolphins’ team that opened a few eyes with a win at Cincinnati. Miami’s defense remains the best in the league when it comes to stopping the run and while some may feel that number is a bit skewed with their pass defense statistics, this unit has given up seven touchdown passes but totaled an equal number of interceptions. And both can thank the Cardinals for their identical number of sacks (15) this season…

Sunday Night

Green Bay (2-3) at Houston (5-0): A year ago, it was the then-defending Super Bowl champion Packers who were chasing perfection, opening 13-0 on their way to 15-1. Now it is Gary Kubiak’s team that is looking to build on last season’s first-ever playoff appearance. Both teams suffered big losses last week with Cedric Benson and Brian Cushing going down, respectively. But Green Bay’s supposed-improved defense has been lit up by the Saints and Colts to the tune of 938 total yards and a combined 57 points the last two weeks…

Monday Night, Oct. 15

Denver (2-3) at San Diego (3-2): It’s safe to say that Peyton Manning has some horrible memories when it comes to the Chargers. In his last six meetings with the Bolts, two of those in the playoffs, the prolific passer won just once, throwing 11 touchdown passes compared to 15 interceptions, six of those picks in a regular-season loss in 2007 and four more when he last faced the team in 2010. Add in the fact that the Chargers have won nine of the last 12 meetings with Denver pre-Manning and John Fox’s team has some work to do…

Off this week: Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans


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