• Of Note (Week 8, 2012)

    Every Tuesday, we’ll recap the previous week with a few things of note. Sometimes the obvious is the most interesting, while we’ll try and mix in a surprise or two along the way…

    If you’re looking for some Peyton Manning comparisons from his days with the Colts, here’s one of many. In his final 7 regular-season games with Indianapolis, No. 18 threw 17 touchdown passes compared to 13 interceptions. In his first 7 games with the Broncos, he’s thrown for just as many scores but been picked off only 4 times, 3 of those in the Week 2 loss at Atlanta. Currently, the prolific passer has total 300-plus yards passing in 5 straight games and exactly 3 TD passes in each of his last 4 contests…

    More quarterback numbers. The Steelers have finally won 2 games in a row for the first time all season but despite a so-so 4-3 record, QB Ben Roethlisberger has been sharp and surprised some in terms of his choice of scoring targets. In 7 games this season, the Pittsburgh signal-caller has thrown for 14 scores and been picked off just 3 times. And consider that in 15 outings in 2011, Roethlisberger threw 21 TD passes and 15 interceptions. And as for those 14 touchdown strikes, only 5 have gone to wide receivers while 9 have been grabbed by tight ends and running backs, led by TE Heath Miller (6)…

    In Sunday’s 23-22 win over the Panthers, the Chicago Bears defense struck again. Cornerback Tim Jennings picked off 2 passes by QB Cam Newton and returned 1 for a score, the sixth interception return for a touchdown in 7 games for Lovie Smith’s team in 2012. In case you’re wondering, the NFL record for most interception returns for touchdowns by a team in a season is 9, held by the then AFL’s San Diego Chargers in 1961…

    We’ve mentioned the issues of the Chiefs before on this page but things seem to be getting worse for Romeo Crennel’s team after a 26-16 loss to the Raiders. Kansas City has now committed a league-high 25 turnovers in 7 games this season, including 4 in Sunday’s loss to the Silver and Black. Crennel’s club has also coughed up the ball at least twice in every one of their contests this season. But consider this dismal comparison: the 49ers (19), Packers (21) and Patriots (24) have all committed fewer turnovers in their last 24 games dating back to 2011 than the Chiefs have in 2012…

    They had to do a little traveling to get it done, but the Patriots finally beat a team from the other conference this season via a 45-7 rout of the Rams. Entering 2012, Bill Belichick’s team was an astounding 38-6 vs. the NFC during the regular season dating back to 2001 (41-8, including 5 Super Bowl appearances over that span). But 6 weeks into this campaign, the Pats had already dropped decisions to the Cardinals (20-18) and Seahawks (24-23). New England’s 38-point victory on Sunday was also atypical of this season for the Belichick’s club, their 5 wins by a total of 96 points (3 by 21-plus) and their 3 losses by a total of 4 points…