NFL By The Numbers
I debuted this section of the column last week and kind of liked it. I felt like I was able to give you some interesting information using numerals. I will attempt to do the same this week.
0: Zero (losses) That is how many losses the Los Angeles Rams have this season. How good are they, you ask? Their opponents last week were the Seattle Seahawks. All Seattle did was not commit a turnover, rush for 190 yards, average 6.8 yards a play while playing in front of its loud and boisterous fan base, and knock out two of the Rams best offensive players in Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp. And the Rams still won, 33-31.
2: Two (interceptions) First year starting quarterback Pat Mahomes threw his first interception of the season last week. And he threw another but he stayed undefeated as the Kansas City Chiefs won again, defeating Jacksonville quite easily.
4.6: The Detroit Lions only averaged 4.6 yards per play against the Green Bay Packers. I am not sure how they won but they did. Green Bay had more first downs (30-18), more total yards (521-264), and the Packers averaged 6.9 yards per play. What happened? Turnovers happened. The Packers fumbled three times, and the Lions recovered all of them, including two inside the Green Bay five-yard line. The Packers also missed four field goals.
10: Ten (first downs) That’s the total number of first downs for the Arizona Cardinals in their 28-18 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers. How do you win a game with just 10 first downs when your opponent had over 30 first downs of their own? We just talked about it. Turnovers. The 49ers had five of them.
24: (unanswered points) The Cincinnati Bengals trailed the Miami Dolphins by a 17-3 count heading into the fourth quarter last week. The Bengals proceeded to score 24 points in the fourth quarter en-route to a 27-17 victory over the shocked Dolphins. Miami quarterback Ryan Tannyhill threw two scoring passes to the wrong team as the Bengals had two pick-sixes during the final 15 minutes.
63: (yard field goal) Graham Gano drilled a 63-yard field goal to give the Carolina Panthers a 33-31 victory over the New York Giants. Carolina is now 3-1 for the season.
My first thought when I heard that New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees became the NFL’s all-time passing leader last Monday was how did that happen? How did the supposedly too-short quarterback out of Purdue surpass the likes of Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Joe Montana, and numerous other great quarterbacks? Brees has done it quietly, very quietly. Oh, he receives acclaim and recognition. But not like Manning or Brady and the like. Brees just goes out every week and makes plays that so called experts stated he would not make coming out of college.
As you would expect after the record-setting game, reporters asked the 39 year old how much longer does he intend to play, thereby extending his record. Brees’ standard answer to this question of late has been that he would like to play well into his 40s. In a recent interview with the Athletic, Brees hinted that retirement might be coming sooner than anyone expects. As a matter of fact, the Saints quarterback flat out said that he’s already ready for the next chapter in his life.
If Brees does decide to retire soon, a Super Bowl win in 2018 might be the thing that could push him over the top. And I would not count out the 4-1 Saints. If that were to happen, it would allow Brees to retire on top, a la John Elway. Not only would he be a two-time Super Bowl champion, but he would also be walking away with one of the NFL’s most hallowed records.