Essentials from Sunday: Ties and QB streaks

The tie between the Panthers and Bengals was odder than most ties, but it was the quarterbacks proving they are the most important key to success in the NFL these days.

Neither the Carolina Panthers nor Cincinnati Bengals were likely satisfied with a tie, but at least it wasn’t your average NFL tie.

In the 37-37 tie, both teams scored points in overtime, the second time that has happened since the NFL modified its sudden-death overtime rules to give each team at least one possession unless the team that receives the opening kickoff in the extra period scores a touchdown on that drive.

That was hardly the only oddity or accomplishment the NFL dished out on Sunday.

Other notes from Sunday’s action:

  • The Chicago Bears were one of three teams to win in the NFC North – joining the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers – but the Bears were the first franchise in NFL history to get 750 wins. For those counting at home, Chicago’s all-time record is 750-555-42.

  • Remember when the Dallas Cowboys would only go as far as Tony Romo’s consistency could take them – at least the “Good Tony?” Now the Cowboys are building one of the best records in the NFL with a ground game, too. DeMarco Murray has 100 yards or more in each of the first six games this year. His average per carry may be trending down in recent weeks, but the Cowboys are sticking with the ground game. Murray hasn’t had fewer than 20 carries a game this year and has 60 carries in the last two games combined. For the season, he has 159 carries for 785 yards and six touchdowns. He’s on pace for 2,093 yards and is averaging just over 130 yards a game.

    Murray is just the second player in NFL history to have 100 yards or more in each of his first six games to start a season, joining former Cleveland Browns RB Jim Brown (1958). The Cowboys join the San Diego Chargers as the only teams in the NFL to win their last five games.

  • Romo, by the way, has a 100.5 rating on the season and has been over 100 in three of his last four games. Since opening the season with three interceptions in the season opener, he has thrown only two interceptions in the last five games combined.

  • Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco was even better Sunday. He threw for five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 146 passer rating in a 48-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In fact, Flacco had his five touchdown passes just 16 minutes and three seconds into the game, the fastest player to five passing touchdowns in a game since at least 1970.

    He also became the first player since 1986 with four touchdown passes in the first quarter of a game since Tommy Kramer did that for the Minnesota Vikings against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 28, 1986.

  • Just as Romo has been effective and impressive in his last five games, so has San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers. After completing 64.7 percent of his passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, he posted a 123.8 passer rating. That makes it five straight games for him with a rating of 120 or better, surpassing the old record of four consecutive games shared by Johnny Unitas (1965) and Kurt Warner (2009).

  • It hasn’t taken Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers long to reach the 25,000-yard passing mark. After 100 career games, he has 25,616 yards and his 203 touchdowns are the second-most of any player in his first 100 games. Only Dan Marino has more, throwing 217 touchdowns in his first 100 games. Rodgers’ 25,616 yards rank fourth all-time among players in their first 100 games.

  • The rookie backfield of the Jacksonville Jaguars is representing. QB Blake Bortles and RB Storm Johnson are only the third rookie QB and RB from the same college (Central Florida) to start together in the same NFL game since the merger in 1970, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The others? Vince Young and Ahmard Hall (from the University of Texas) for the Tennessee Titans in 2006 and Ryan Tannehill and Jorvorskie Lane (from Texas A&M) for the Miami Dolphins in 2012.

  • With two touchdowns for Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas on Sunday, he leads the NFL with nine touchdown catches and is tied for the most of any player in NFL history through his team’s first five games. The only other player to do that was Calvin Johnson for the Detroit Lions in 2011.

    Next story:

    NFL Week 6: Scores, Recaps and Pain


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