Matter of Facts: Week 7 Statistical Onslaught

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Oct 17, 2013



Six weeks into the league’s 94th campaign and we are certainly knee deep in the hoopla.

We are down to a pair of unbeaten teams in the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs, marking the first time in the Super Bowl era that a pair of clubs from the same division own 6-0 records in the same season.

Speaking of similar, we are also down to three winless teams, two that reside in the same state in Florida’s Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5) and another in the New York Giants (0-6).

And get ready for a pair of Manning prime time appearances this week, Eli on Monday night at home vs. the Vikings and Peyton on Sunday night at his old home against the Colts.

Fun stuff…

Thursday Night, Oct. 17

Seattle (5-1) at Arizona (3-3): Despite last week’s loss at San Francisco, Bruce Arians has done a nice job with the Cards, a team that dropped 11 of its final 12 games a year ago. It’s all about ball security here in this tilt. Arizona has committed 15 turnovers, tied for the second-most in the NFL. Pete Carroll’s Seahawks have 17 takeaways, tied for the second-most in the league. Speaking of Carroll, he gets the chance to reunite with USC alum Carson Palmer, who unfortunately for him, and fortunately for Seattle, has already thrown 11 interceptions this season…

Sunday, Oct. 20

Baltimore (3-3) at Pittsburgh (1-4): Who would have ever thought that when it came to one of the league’s best rough-and-tumble rivalries that the Ravens (27th) and Steelers (31st) would be near the bottom of the NFL rankings when it came to running the football? Meanwhile, it took Mike Tomlin’s team five games to get its first takeaway(s) of the season. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco has not picked up where he left off in last season’s playoffs (9 turnovers in six games). And remember, Ben Roethlisberger did not face the Ravens in either game a year ago…

Buffalo (2-4) at Miami (3-2): What is the over/under on Kiko Alonso tackles this week? The rookie middle linebacker totaled 22 stops in last Sunday’s 27-24 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. And unfortunately for the Bills, they already find themselves in familiar territory as in last place in the AFC East, where they’ve finished each of the previous five seasons. There’s still plenty of time to right the ship and it could start this week with the well-rested Dolphins, who have allowed a whopping 24 sacks in five games. Good afternoon, Mario Williams?

Chicago (4-2) at Washington (1-4): It’s fun with numbers time at CHFF. It was just about 73 years ago (December 8, 1940, to be exact) when the Bears edged the Redskins in the NFL title game, 73-0, in Washington. Talk about a deficit? And here you thought there were problems in D.C. (although the government will be getting back to work after a few bye-weeks). If the current Redskins have any intention on snapping out of their own funk, they better plan on getting to Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who has been sacked a combined three times in four wins this season…

Cincinnati (4-2) at Detroit (4-2): Talk about cat scratch fever? It’s a feline battle of first-place teams in the Motor City. The Bengals look to extend their one-game lead in the AFC North while the Lions, with already as many wins as all of last season, look to remain tied with the Chicago Bears in the NFC North. And talk about a duel between evasive running backs? Rookie Giovani Bernard has had his share of highlights in his debut season with Cincinnati while veteran Reggie Bush ranks sixth in the league in total yards from scrimmage despite missing a game…

Cleveland (3-3) at Green Bay (3-2): In case you forgot to send a card, Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden turned The Big 3-0 on Monday. That’s kind of interesting because in the three starts this season his team is 0-3. On the other hand, 29-year old Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his club has struggled to find the end zone in their last two outings. But two touchdowns and nine field goals were good enough to stave off the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens. By the way, it’s a shame we won’t see actually see a Clay Matthews face the Browns…

Dallas (3-3) at Philadelphia (3-3): Last week, the Cowboys managed to even their record with a 31-16 Sunday night win over the Redskins. That means Dallas is now 131-131 in the regular season since the start of 1997. The Eagles have won two straight and figure to give Jason Garrett’s club plenty to think about. In their two wins this season over their NFC East rivals (Redskins and Giants), the Birds have totaled 53 and 45 offensive plays, respectively, in the first half and gained over 300 yards in each instance. But the Eagles have also lost eight straight home games…

Houston (2-4) at Kansas City (6-0): Holy reversal of fortunes, Batman! After six games last season, the Texans were 5-1 on their way to 12-4 and the Chiefs were 1-5 en route to 2-14. And following a 2-0 start this season, Gary Kubiak’s club has lost four straight games, the last two by a combined 72-16 count. But how is this for bizarre?

The Chiefs’ defense has allowed seven touchdowns during their undefeated start this season. Meanwhile, the problem-plagued Texans’ offense and special teams have allowed a whopping seven touchdowns in 2013…

New England (5-1) at N.Y. Jets (3-3): Five weeks ago, the Pats held on for a 13-10 Thursday night win at Foxborough when they picked off Jets’ rookie quarterback Geno Smith three times in the fourth quarter. Turnovers were once again an issue last week for the Jets and Smith in the loss to the Steelers. This season, New York’s signal-caller has 13 of the team’s 14 miscues in six games. Still, Rex Ryan’s sturdy defensive unit should once again present some major problems for quarterback Tom Brady and company…no ifs, ands or butts this Sunday…

St. Louis (3-3) at Carolina (2-3): Six games into the season and Jeff Fisher’s team is still looking for its first rushing touchdown of 2013. In fact, no Rams running back has reached the end zone this year. Five games into the season and an opponent is still looking to score a first-half touchdown against the Carolina Panthers, who have outscored teams a combined 51-12 in the first two quarters. Anyone remember when Panthers wideout Steve Smith ran through the St. Louis secondary in double overtime in the playoffs? Amazingly, that was 10 years ago…

San Diego (3-3) at Jacksonville (0-6): Eight days after a late night, turnover filled loss to the Oakland Raiders, the Bolts shut down the Colts in San Diego. And talk about bizarre numbers? The Chargers are 10-12 in their last 22 games and their point differential over that span is plus-6. Once upon a time in a galaxy not far away the Jaguars were off to an 8-5 start in 2010. The team is a miserable 7-34 since then and currently riding an 11-game losing streak. But wideout Justin Blackmon has caught 19 passes for 326 yards and a score since returning in Week 5…

San Francisco (4-2) at Tennessee (3-3): The two-game bad spell against the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts is now a distant memory for a San Francisco team that has won three straight games and scored a combined 101 points over that span. The Titans have stubbed their toes the last few weeks but it was against the Kansas City Chiefs and Seahawks, a combined 11-1 over that span. After not coughing up the football in their first four games, backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown four picks the last two weeks in place of the hurt Jake Locker…

Tampa Bay (0-5) at Atlanta (1-4): A year ago, the Buccaneers finished 7-9 and in last place in the NFC South, six games behind the division champion Falcons. Greg Schiano’s team would have to go onto one heck of a run just to duplicate last year’s win total, while Atlanta has already lost more games than it did all of last season when they finished 13-3. Minus a consistent pass rush that has produced just 11 sacks in five games, Mike Smith’s club has already allowed 12 touchdown passes. That should make Mike Glennon and Vincent Jackson smile a little bit…

Sunday Night

Denver (6-0) at Indianapolis (4-2): The Baltimore Colts drafted John Elway in 1983 but he didn’t want to play for the team, which packed up and moved to Indianapolis in 1984. In 1998, the Colts drafted Peyton Manning, who led the franchise to a pair of Super Bowls and won a title in 2006. But he was let go early in 2012 and the Colts drafted Andrew Luck. Of course, Elway now runs the team that currently employs the prolific Manning, who makes his return to Indy this week. As for the last time Manning played a game in Peyton’s place, look no further

Monday Night, Oct. 21

Minnesota (1-4) at N.Y. Giants (0-6): Just what turnover-prone Eli Manning and his team needs is a visit from the Vikings, who remember the last time the Giants hosted this series. Back in 2007, the season Tom Coughlin’s club would go onto a win in Super Bowl XLII, Manning was picked off four times and had three taken back for scores in a 41-17 loss. Sound familiar? Minnesota will go with Josh Freeman this week, Leslie Frazier’s third different starting quarterback in six games in 2013. Are you ready for some football headed into the other team’s hands?

Off this week: New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders


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