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THE WEEK THAT WAS – WEEK 9

Posted Nov 6, 2012

THE WEEK THAT WAS – WEEK 9

THE HURRY-UP: A quick look at some notable trends and milestones through Week 9:

 

LEAGUE:

 

  • Close contests remain a staple of the 2012 season as 72 games have been decided by eight points or fewer, the second-most through Week in NFL history (73 in 2010). Sixty-five games have been determined by seven points or fewer, tied for the fourth-most in league annals through a season’s first nine weeks (68 in 1987).
  • Through Week 9, there have been 31 games in which the winning points were scored in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime. Of those 31 games, 10 have been decided in overtime and 11 have seen the winning points scored in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter.

    There have been 12 games this season in which the winning points were scored via touchdown in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, including two of at least 77 yards (Jacksonville’s BLAINE GABBERT to CECIL SHORTS, 80 yards in Week 3 and the New York Giants’ ELI MANNING to VICTOR CRUZ, 77 yards in Week 7).
  • Scoring in 2012 averages 45.7 points per game, on pace to be the highest average in 47 seasons (46.1 in 1965). Teams have combined to score 661 touchdowns, the second-most through Week 9 of any NFL season (667 in 1983).
  • There have been 395 touchdown passes and 73 300-yard passing games, both of which are the most ever through Week 9. Passers are also on pace to set NFL records with a combined 86.8 passer rating (84.3 in 2011), 61.9 completion percentage (61.2 in 2007) and 476.7 total passing yards per game average (459.4 in 2011).

 

  • The league-wide kickoff-return average of 24.2 yards is on pace to be the highest of any season in NFL history (23.8 in 2011).

 

TEAMS:

 

  • The ATLANTA FALCONS (8-0), the league’s only undefeated team, won their first eight games, their best start in franchise history (4-0 in 1986, 2004). The Falcons are the 15th team since 1978 – when the NFL introduced the 16-game schedule – to start a season 8-0.
  • The CHICAGO BEARS (7-1) boast their best record to start a season since 2006 (9-1) when they advanced to Super Bowl XLI.

    The Bears have an interception-return touchdown in five of their past six games and are the first team since the 1961 San Diego Chargers with an INT-TD in five games during a six-game span. In the first quarter of Sunday’s game, Chicago scored a touchdown on a blocked punt (COREY WOOTTON, five yards), a run (MATT FORTE, eight), an interception (BRIAN URLACHER, 46) and a pass (BRANDON MARSHALL from JAY CUTLER, 13) becoming the first team in NFL history to score a touchdown on each of those in a quarter.
  • The HOUSTON TEXANS (7-1), who own the AFC’s best record, are 7-1 for the first time in franchise history.
  • Four teams – the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (5-3; 2-14 in 2011), the MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-4; 3-13 in 2011), the ST. LOUIS RAMS (3-5; 2-14 in 2011) and the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-4; 4-12 in 2011) – have already matched or surpassed their win totals from last season.
  • The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (5-3) active streak of 17 consecutive games with at least 350 total net yards set an NFL record (1999-2000 St. Louis Rams, 16). 

 

PLAYERS:

 

  • Denver quarterback PEYTON MANNING became the NFL’s all-time leader in 300-yard passing games (68) and now has the most come-from-behind victories in the fourth quarter or overtime (48) since 1970.
  • New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES increased his active streak to an NFL-record 51 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass and posted his 62nd 300-yard passing game (tied for third-most all-time with BRETT FAVRE). Brees, who has passed for 303 touchdowns, reached 300 touchdown passes in 161 career games, tied for the third-fewest to reach the mark in league annals.
  • New England quarterback TOM BRADY (50 games) became the fourth player in NFL history (BRETT FAVRE, 72; PEYTON MANNING, 68; and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO, 62) with 50 career games with three or more touchdown passes. Brady (50), who has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 40 consecutive games (third-longest streak all-time), became the seventh player in league annals to pass for 300 yards in 50 games.
  • Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS, who has 25 touchdown passes in Green Bay’s first nine games this season, is the first player in NFL history to throw at least 25 TDs in his team’s first nine games in two different seasons. Rodgers, who had 28 touchdown passes in the Packers’ first nine games last year, has done it in consecutive seasons.

 

-- NFL --

 

KEEP THE PACE: With each team completing at least half of its 2012 slate, multiple players are on track to etch their names in the NFL record book.

 

The players on pace to set or tie NFL single-season records:

 

PLAYER

TEAM

CATEGORY

TOTAL

PROJECTED

RECORD

Matthew Stafford

Detroit

Passing attempts

346

692

691

D. Bledsoe, 1994

Lance Briggs

Chicago

INT-return TDs

2

4

4

Three players

Charles Tillman

Chicago

INT-return TDs

2

4

4

Three players

Lawrence Tynes

NY Giants

Points (no TDs)

102

181

166

D. Akers, 2011

Lawrence Tynes

NY Giants

Field Goals

26

46

44

D. Akers, 2011

Greg Zuerlein*

St. Louis

50-yard field goals

5

10

8

M. Andersen, 1995

Blair Walsh*

Minnesota

50-yard field goals

5

8

8

M. Andersen, 1995

Brandon Fields

Miami

Punt average

51.6

51.6

51.4

S. Baugh, 1940

Thomas Morstead

New Orleans

Net punt average

45.0

45.0

44.0

A. Lee, 2011

*Rookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rookies on pace to set or tie NFL single-season rookie records:

 

PLAYER

TEAM

CATEGORY

TOTAL

PROJECTED

ROOKIE RECORD

Andrew Luck

Indianapolis

Passing completions

190

380

354

S. Bradford, 2010

Andrew Luck

Indianapolis

Passing yards

2,404

4,808

4,051

C. Newton, 2011

Andrew Luck

Indianapolis

Passing attempts

336

672

590

S. Bradford, 2010

Brandon Weeden

Cleveland

Passing attempts

336

597

590

S. Bradford, 2010

Bryan Anger

Jacksonville

Punt average

48.5

48.5

46.7

B. Kern, 2008

Bryan Anger

Jacksonville

Net punt average

42.0

42.0

38.9

M. Bosher, 2011

Johnny Hekker

St. Louis

Net punt average

41.4

41.4

38.9

M. Bosher, 2011

Shawn Powell

Buffalo

Net punt average

38.9

38.9

38.9

M. Bosher, 2011

 

-- NFL --

 

YOUNG ARMS: Through Week 9, four rookie quarterbacks – Indianapolis’ ANDREW LUCK (four), Washington’s ROBERT GRIFFIN III (two), Cleveland’s BRANDON WEEDEN (two) and Miami’s RYAN TANNEHILL (one) – have combined for nine individual 300-yard passing games, already the most such games by rookie QBs in any NFL season (seven in 2011).

 

With four accomplishing the feat this season, 2012 is tied for the most rookie quarterbacks with at least one 300-yard passing game in any NFL season (four in 1987 and 2011).

 

In Week 9, 2012 NFL Draft No. 1 overall selection Luck’s Colts (5-3) defeated Tannehill’s Dolphins (4-4), 23-20. The matchup marked the first time since the merger that two rookie quarterbacks, each with at least three wins, faced each other in a game.

 

Luck completed 30 of 48 passes (62.5 percent) for 433 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 105.6 passer rating. Luck’s 433 passing yards are the most by a rookie in a game in NFL history. It marked his fourth 300-yard passing game this season, tying PEYTON MANNING (1998) for the most-ever by a rookie.

 

The 300-yard passing games by rookie quarterbacks in 2012:

 

PLAYER, TEAM

DATE

GAME

PASS YARDS

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis

9/9/2012

Week 1 at Chicago

309

9/23/2012

Week 3 vs. Jacksonville

313

10/7/2012

Week 5 vs. Green Bay

362

11/4/2012

Week 9 vs. Miami

433*

Robert Griffin III, Washington

9/9/2012

Week 1 at New Orleans

320

9/30/2012

Week 4 at Tampa Bay

323

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland

9/16/2012

Week 2 at Cincinnati

322

9/27/2012

Week 4 at Baltimore

320

Ryan Tannehill, Miami

9/30/2012

Week 4 at Arizona

431

*NFL rookie record

 

 

 

 

-- NFL --

 

MY NEW FAVORITE MARTIN: Tampa Bay rookie running back DOUG MARTIN in Week 9 rushed for a team-record 251 yards and four touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ 42-32 win at Oakland. Martin joins MIKE ANDERSON (December 3, 2000) as the only players in NFL history to rush for at least 250 yards and four touchdowns in a game. Martin had TD runs of 70, 67, 45 and one yards in the victory. He is the first player in NFL history with rushing touchdowns of at least 70, 65 and 45 yards in a single game.

 

Martin, who totaled 214 yards from scrimmage (135 rushing, 79 receiving) with two touchdowns in Week 8, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON, Anderson and BILLY SIMS as the only rookies to record 200 scrimmage yards in back-to-back games. Only nine rookies have registered two games with 200 scrimmage yards since the merger.  No rookie since 1970 has reached the mark in three games.

 

-- NFL --

 

HELLO HEISMANS: On Sunday, Carolina defeated Washington, 21-13, in the first game of the Super Bowl era with the previous two Heisman Trophy winners starting at quarterback against each other. Carolina’s CAM NEWTON, who passed for 201 yards and rushed for 37 yards with a touchdown, won the 2010 Heisman Trophy at Auburn. Washington’s ROBERT GRIFFIN III, who passed for 215 yards and rushed for 53 yards, was the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner at Baylor.

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