This Week in Football

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 26, 2008



(Ed. note: Baseball has its TWIB notes while the average CHFF reader made his way through high school and community college thanks to those venerable old Cliffs Notes. In fact, if not for Cliffs Notes, we never would have appreciated the works of Stanley Shakespeare or Edgar Allen Poe, the guy who invented poetry. Now we have our TWIF notes – This Week in Football – our new weekly wrap-up of the best stats, data and facts from the week that was the CHFF. See last week's TWIF notes here.)
 
In the "Best Game Ever," the Colts-Giants 1958 championship, quarterbacks Johnny Unitas and Charlie Conerly combined for one of the best joint passing efforts in history to that time, completing 36 of 54 passes for 536 yards, 9.9 YPA, 2 TD, 1 INT and a 103.6 passer rating. The performances are all the more remarkable when you consider that the Colts (35.1 Defensive Passer Rating) and Giants (52.3) fielded the two top pass defenses in football that season.
 
Brett Favre set a career record early this year with 6 TD tosses against the Cardinals. In his other 14 games this season, he's completed 299 of 448 (66.7%) for 2,950 yards, 15 TDs, 18 INTs and a 79.6 passer rating.
 
With 14 INTs and seven lost fumbles this year, Ben Roethlisberger shares the league lead for turnovers with Brett Favre (19 and 2).
 
The Patriots lead the AFC in scoring this year with 26.5 PPG and go for their 12 straight December win against Buffalo on Sunday – a streak that dates back to 2006.
 
If the Redskins beat the 49ers Sunday and end the season at 9-7, the Giants will end the year with a record eight or nine wins against Quality Teams. The current record of seven Quality Wins in a single season is shared by the 1979 Steelers, 2003 Patriots and 2004 Patriots. 
 
Philip Rivers (32 TD tosses) needs two more TD tosses to break the franchise record of 33 set by Dan Fouts in 1981.  
 
Randy Moss was the leading receiver on the two highest-scoring offenses in NFL history and has been on the receiving end of two of the five most successful passing seasons ever.  
 
Giants ball carriers Derrick Ward, Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw have combined for 2,364 yards and 5.3 YPA this season.
 
Baltimore running backs Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain became the first tandem in history last week to each rush for 100 yards in a game against the Cowboys.
 
The 1958 championship game was the last time that Giants defensive coordinator Tom Landry and Giants offensive coordinator Vince Lombardi coached together. They would meet on opposite sidelines in the 1966 NFL championship game and again in the "Ice Bowl" NFL championship game of 1967.

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