Matter of Facts: Week 9 Statistical Onslaught

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Oct 31, 2013



It is Halloween night so let’s give some shout outs to “The Galloping Ghost,” the “Monsters of the Midway,” the “Fearsome Foursome” and former New York Giants defensive back “Spider” Lockhart.

Feel free to add a few more to the list…and I’ll give you a pass if you want to use John Candy (after all, he was spotted by Joe Montana at Super Bowl XXIII).

Here are a few more treats to chew on. We are halfway through the schedule for half of the league’s team. The Kansas City Chiefs are at the top of a much-improved AFC West. The Jacksonville Jaguars are at the bottom of a slumping AFC South.

And to think both clubs owned identical 2-14 records in 2012.

Enjoy this week’s games. I’ll be busy Thursday night knocking on a few doors looking for an Almond Joy or two…

Thursday Night, Oct. 31

Cincinnati (6-2) at Miami (3-4): From a 2-2 start to four straight wins, Marvin Lewis’ club looks like the team many thought they would be this season, one that has a chance to go to the playoffs for a team-record third straight year. From a 3-0 start to four straight losses, the Dolphins squandered a 14-point lead at Foxborough last Sunday. Add in the fact that Joe Philbin and his staff haven’t found a way to protect their quarterback this season (Ryan Tannehill sacked 32 times) and the Miami running game is in neutral and that’s bad news against these Bengals…

Sunday, Nov. 3

Atlanta (2-5) at Carolina (4-3): Last week in the dessert, the Falcons’ defense gave up 201 yards rushing to an Arizona Cardinals team not known for its ability to pound the rock. Last season against the Panthers, Mike Smith’s team watched quarterback Cam Newton run for a combined 202 yards and a pair of scores as the teams split their series. Ron Rivera’s team has won three straight games and is a far cry from the club that opened 2-8 each of the last two seasons. So are the highly disappointing Falcons, who tied for the NFL’s best record last season (13-3)…

Baltimore (3-4) at Cleveland (3-5): The defending Super Bowl champions have had two weeks to get ready for a team they not only beat seven weeks ago but 11 straight times overall. The Browns have lost three straight after winning three straight games and Jason Campbell is quarterback No. 3 for them this season. What’s interesting to note is that John Harbaugh’s team is a mere 4-8 in its last 12 regular-season games dating back to last season and 8-8 if you include the 2012 postseason. John Harbaugh has to be scratching his headset these days…

Kansas City (8-0) at Buffalo (3-5): The league’s lone unbeaten team has now quadrupled its win total from a year ago. And even if Andy Reid’s Chiefs go 4-4 the remainder of 2013, they will tie the NFL record for most increased wins (+10) from the previous season, set by the 1999 Colts and 2008 Dolphins. Last week the Bills failed to score at least 20 points for the first time all season. Unfortunately, their streak off allowing at least 20 points in every game in 2013 still hasn’t come to an end. Plenty of pass rushers to choose from in this very intriguing contest…

Minnesota (1-6) at Dallas (4-4): Buried in the discussions over Dez Bryant’s sideline discussions last week was the fact that the Cowboys allowed 623 total yards and once again blew a double-digit lead. Then again, it’s hard to imagine that the Vikings are capable of jumping out to that kind of an advantage these days. But Ponder this; one year after stunning may with a 10-6 record and a wild card berth, Leslie Frazier’s team has already lost that many games this season. Meanwhile, this video will show you just how the Cowboys will come up with a Hail of a win

New Orleans (6-1) at N.Y. Jets (4-4): Here’s something to gnaw on while you’re waiting for this clash of the Ryan Brothers (Rob and Rex). Last week, Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees threw five touchdowns passes in a 35-17 over the state of New York’s Buffalo Bills. Last Sunday, the New York Giants and New York Jets (who both make their home in New Jersey) combined to score zero touchdowns and kick eight field goals. But far more convincing number is that Jets have alternated wins and losses for eight games, which means an automatic victory Sunday…

Philadelphia (3-5) at Oakland (3-4): The Eagles had put themselves in prime position with road wins over the Redskins and Giants, giving them a nice 2-0 mark in the division. But they gave it all away the last two weeks with home losses to the Cowboys and Giants and offensive unit failed to score a touchdown in each game. Give Dennis Allen’s team the nod after a home win over Pittsburgh, which means the Silver and Black are one victory away from last season’s total. The Raiders are the only AFC West team to lose a game to the NFC East this season…

Pittsburgh (2-5) at New England (6-2): In terms of on-the-field play, we have certainly seen better from the Steelers and Patriots. But while Mike Tomlin’s club has plummeted to last place in the AFC North, Bill Belichick’s team has overcome its erratic play and still forged a two-game lead in the AFC East. Both Ben Roethlisberger (26) and Tom Brady (23) have absorbed their share of sacks this season but the bottom line is that this Pittsburgh team has trouble finding the end zone and Brady has solved Dick LeBeau’s defense more often than not…

San Diego (4-3) at Washington (2-5): Remember that Sunday night at about 2:00 a.m. Eastern a few weeks ago when the Chargers were busy turning over the ball five times in a loss to the Raiders? Since then, Mike McCoy’s team has seen running back Ryan Mathews run for 100-plus yards in consecutive games and the San Diego defense not allow a touchdown in wins over the Colts and Jaguars. Speaking of turnovers, the Redskins had the fewest in the NFL last season (14) but Mike Shanahan’s team has already coughed up the ball 15 times in seven outings…

Tampa Bay (0-7) at Seattle (7-1): The Seattle Seahawks have won seven of their first eight games for the first time in the team’s 38-year history. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, the team is not 0-7 for the first time in their franchise’s 38-year history, as we all know. This shapes up as a battle between former third-round quarterbacks Russell Wilson and rookie Mike Glennon. But this one takes on a personal nature for the author. While Mike’s team may win the battle of real estate on the afternoon, there’s no doubt Russell’s club comes out on top…

Tennessee (3-4) at St. Louis (3-5): Cue the Kevin Dyson video (and we at CHFF have already taken care of that for you). The Titans have had two weeks to shake off the effects of a three-game losing streak. The Rams have dropped two straight after a 3-3 start and had to be shaking their helmets after sacking Russell Wilson seven times on Monday night and still falling short to the visiting Seahawks. Jeff Fisher now hosts the team he coached for more than a decade knowing it has more Austin’s (Tavon, Pettis and Davis) than rushing touchdowns (0) in 2013…

Sunday Night

Indianapolis (5-2) at Houston (2-5): After two weeks of play, the Colts were 1-1 and coming off a home loss to the Dolphins and the Texans were 2-0 after a pair of come-from-behind wins. Now Gary Kubiak’s team trails Indianapolis by three games in the standings. Speaking of the Houston head coach, he has made the Case for Keenum to start his second straight game even tough veteran Matt Schaub is healthy. It’s still amazing to think that the Texans have allowed the fewest total yards in the league this season but it has done them little good to date…

Monday Night, Nov. 4

Chicago (4-3) at Green Bay (5-2): It’s always worth remembering that these two amazing franchises have combined for 22 of the league’s 93 championships, with the Packers (13) and Bears (9) ranking 1-2 in NFL history in that category. These days, the teams look like they’re headed in opposite directions. Chicago is 1-3 in its last four games after a 3-0 start while Green Bay has won four in a row after opening 1-2 in September. And a struggling Bears’ defense has to not only now deal with Aaron Rodgers but the league’s third-ranked running attack…

Off this week: Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers


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