NFL News & Notes - Week Nine

News & Notes from the National Football League - Week Nine

GAMES GETTING CLOSER:  Through eight weeks of the season, the average margin of victory is 11.1 points per game.  At that pace, the average victory margin would be the lowest over a full season since 1995 (10.8). 

However, over the past four weeks, games have been even closer, with an 8.6 average victory margin (vs. 13.5 in the first four weeks). 

Also over the past four weeks, 63.6 percent of games have been decided by one score (eight points) or less (vs. 37.9 percent in the season's first four weeks), and 30.9 percent of games had the winning score come after the fourth-quarter's two-minute warning (vs. 13.8 percent). 

Following is a comparison of the first four weeks and the past four weeks of the 2001 season: 

Weeks 1-4

Category

Weeks 5-8

12.1 percent (7 of 58)

Games Decided By 3 Points or Less

30.9 percent (17 of 55)

32.8 percent (19 of 58)

Games Decided By 7 Points or Less

58.2 percent (32 of 55)

37.9 percent (22 of 58)

Games Decided By 8 Points or Less

63.6 percent (35 of 55)

13.8 percent (8 of 58)

Winning Score After 2-Minute Warning

30.9 percent (17 of 55)

2

Overtime Games

7

THREE-SACK GAMES:   Defensive ends John Abraham of the New York Jets and MichaelStrahan of the New York Giants, and linebacker Joey Porter of the Pittsburgh Steelers each have recorded a league-best four sacks in a game this season.  The efforts of Abraham, Porter and Strahan are three of 12 such three-or-more sack games in the league so far – tied for the second-most after eight weeks since 1990. 

Following are season-by-season individual three-or-more sack efforts after eight weeks since 1990: 

Season

Three-or-More Sack Games

Season

Three-or-More Sack Games

2001

12

1995

10

2000

11

1994

7

1999

11

1993

16

1998

9

1992

8

1997

12

1991

9

TOUCHDOWN RUN RATE:   Oakland Raiders running back Zack Crockett has 11 touchdown runs since the beginning of 2000 – second-most on the Raiders (Tyrone Wheatley, 12) in that time.  However, Crockett has those scoring runs on only 68 carries for a league-best average in 2000-2001 of one touchdown run for every 6.2 rushing attempts.  Following are the players with the fewest rush attempts per touchdown run since the start of the 2000 season (minimum five touchdown runs): 

Player, Team

Attempts

TD runs

Attempts/TD run

Zack Crockett, Oakland

68

11

6.2

Trung Canidate,
St. Louis

52

5

10.4

Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota

138

12

11.5

Kordell Stewart, Pittsburgh

122

9

13.6

100-YARD RUSHING DIFFERENTIAL:   Traditionally, successful teams effectively run the ball on offense while stuffing the run on defense.  The Indianapolis Colts have six individual 100-yard rushing games while allowing none – for a league-best +6 differential in the category.  Among the seven teams with the top 100 offense-defense differentials, six have winning records and three are division leaders.  Following are the clubs with the best differential in 100-yard rushing games for and against: 

Club

100s For

100s Against

Differential

Record

Indianapolis

6

0

+6

4-3

Green Bay

3

0

+3

5-2

Pittsburgh *

4

1

+3

5-2

Chicago *

2

0

+2

6-1

Dallas

2

0

+2

2-5

St. Louis *

2

0

+2

6-1

San Diego

3

1

+2

5-3

* Div. leader

33-17 (.660)

BEST TEAMS IN SEVEN-POINT GAMES:  The Chicago Bears have won their past two games in overtime.  Those victories improved the club's record to 6-1 – tied for tops in the league – and to a league-best 4-0 in games decided by seven points or less.  The Bears are joined by the Baltimore Ravens (3-0) as the league's only unbeaten teams in games decided by seven points or less.  Following are the teams with the best records in seven-point games (minimum three): 

Team

Record

Win Pct.

Chicago

4-0

1.000

Baltimore

3-0

1.000

New York Jets

5-1

.833

Oakland

3-1

.750

St. Louis

3-1

.750

Tennessee

3-1

.750

FAVRE MOVING UP ALL-TIME LISTSGreen Bay Packers quarterback Brette Farve needs three touchdown passes against Chicago this Sunday to tie Joe Montana for sixth place all-time with 273 scoring throws.  Favre has a career-high 36 touchdown passes against the Bears, including six three-touchdown games.  Following is a career comparison of Favre and Montana: 

Brett Favre

Category

Joe Montana

96-52 (.649)

W-L Record

117-47 (.713)

270

TD Passes

273

36,454

Passing Yards

40,551

2

SB Appearances

4

1

SB Wins

4

3

League MVPs

2

Favre and teammate Antonio Freeman can advance on another all-time list if they connect on a scoring pass Sunday.  Favre and Freeman have combined on 54 touchdowns and need one to tie for sixth place among all-time touchdown tandems.  With two more scores, they will tie for fifth, and with three, they will have sole possession of fifth in the category.  Following are the NFL's all-time quarterback-receiver touchdown duos: 

Quarterback-Receiver, Team

Years

Touchdowns

Steve Young-Jerry Rice, San Francisco

1987-99

85

Dan Marino-Mark Clayton, Miami

1983-92

79

Jim Kelly-Andre Reed, Buffalo

1986-96

65

John Unitas-Raymond Berry, Baltimore Colts

1956-67

63

John Hadl-Lance Alworth,San Diego

1962-70

56

Dan Marino-Mark Duper, Miami

1983-92

55

Joe Montana-Jerry Rice, San Francisco

1985-90, ‘92

55

Brett Favre-Antonio Freeman, Green Bay

1995-present

54

Sonny Jurgensen-Charley Taylor, Washington

1964-74

53

Ken Anderson-Isaac Curtis, Cincinnati

1973-84

51


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