News, Analysis & UpdatesOctober 18, 2004

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Statistical Odds and Ends

By Arlo Vander

Numbers, numbers, everywhere. From touchdown passes to record-breaking winning streaks, statistics are the meat and potatoes of football fans and fantasy fanatics alike. Here are a few that caught my eye this week.

With victories on Sunday, both Atlanta (5) and the New York Giants (4) have already equaled their 2003 win totals.

BJ Sams’ 78-yard punt return against Washington now stands as the longest of the season, topping San Francisco’s Arnaz Battle’s 71-yarder from week 5. Sams leads all PRs in both yards (311) and average (14.8).

Thomas Jones’ five-yard scramble on third-and-three with the Bears down 10-7 late in the third quarter was Chicago’s first and last successful third-down conversion of the afternoon. The Bears finished the day a dismal one-for-thirteen.

Maybe preseason numbers mean something after all. San Diego was the only team to score more than 100 points in the preseason, and the Chargers have now put more regular-season points on the board than any other squad so far.

Tight end Jermaine Wiggins’ two touchdowns on Sunday equaled his combined total from the 2002 and 2003 seasons (spent with Indianapolis and Carolina).

With Tiki Barber no longer coughing up the ball, the Giants hold the best turnover margin in the league at +11, ahead of Seattle (+10) and the Jets (+9).

For what it’s worth: of the ten teams with a +4 turnover margin or better, only Tennessee has a sub-.500 record.

What do Michael Vick, the fastest quarterback in the league, and Drew Bledsoe, not exactly known for his scrambling ability, have in common? Both have already been sacked twenty times this season, four more than any other passer.

In his team’s 16-22 loss in Jacksonville, Lawrence Tynes became the first kicker to miss an extra point thie season.

The Lions are last in the league in plays run on offense and first downs per game, and next-to-last in yards per play and time of possession. Despite this week’s loss, Detroit still holds a 3-2 record.

Jeff Garcia threw the ball just 23 times en route to a 310-yard day as the Browns beat Cincinnati. The previous low this year for 300+ yard games was Daunte Culpepper’s 30 attempts against Chicago in week 3.

Since being named Denver’s starter, Reuben Droughns is averaging 184.5 rushing yards per game.

Heading into Monday night’s contest, neither St. Louis (5-for-5) nor Tampa Bay (2-for-2) had failed a fourth-down conversion attempt this season.

Thanks to a seven-tackle effort in Chicago, DT Cornelius Griffin now leads all defensive linemen in stops. IDP leaguers, take note.

Carolina’s Todd Sauerbrun landed four punts inside the twenty for the second week in a row, bringing his league-leading total to 13.

The Raiders are living up to the team’s image, leading the NFL by being called for 57 penalties, nine coming on Sunday against rival Denver. The price for all those flags: 416 yards.

Twenty-one teams are generating less combined offense (passing and rushing) than Daunte Culpepper’s 353.2 yards passing per game.

Arlo Vander’s team was fortunate enough not to face Daunte Culpepper this week.

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