• Of Note (Week 10, 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…

    Numerous times we have mentioned the fact that the AFC has sent only 3 different teams to the Super Bowl the last 9 seasons dating back to 2003. In order, it’s been the Patriots, Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Steelers and Patriots. Well, it’s interesting to note that New England, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis all sport 6-3 records this season, the latter somewhat surprising considering it was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the team. Stay tuned…

    Jets’ QB Mark Sanchez, who helped lead the team to back-to-back AFC title games in 2009 and ’10, has certainly had his issues the last season and a half. The former first-rounder is 11-14 as starter since 2011, throwing 36 TD passes but committing 39 turnovers (27 INT, 12 lost fumbles) dating back to ’11. And during the Jets’ current 3-game losing streak, Sanchez has thrown at least one interception and lost a fumble in each of his last 3 games. But to be fair, there are a lot of aspects of Rex Ryan’s team that isn’t playing well these days…

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are suddenly 5-4, have won 3 straight games and are certainly in the NFC playoff chase. While QB Josh Freeman and RB Doug Martin have been big factors for a club that has scored at least 28 points in 5 consecutive games. But give credit to another much-improved aspect of the club as last season’s worst team in terms of turnovers (40) and turnover differential (minus-16) has coughed up the ball just 8 times in 9 games and is tied for third in the NFL in turnover margin (+11)…

    How much will the Steelers miss QB Ben Roethlisberger if he’s unable to play for any period of time? The 2-time Super Bowl champion signal-caller has thrown 17 touchdown passes compared to only 4 interceptions in 9 games this season. A year ago, Roethlisberger threw for 21 scores and was picked off 15 times in as many contests. And it’s the kind of efficiency that Big Ben has displayed in 2012, making him a candidate in many people’s eyes for league MVP honors…

    Regardless of who’s throwing the football on Monday night in San Francisco for the Bears, chances are it will be at WR Brandon Marshall. While that’s hardly a surprise, you would be amazed how one-sided the numbers are. Marshall has totaled 67 catches for 904 yards and 7 touchdowns, while the remainder of the team has 96 receptions for 1,004 yards and 5 scores. In fact, RB Matt Forte is second on the team with 22 grabs and no other player on the team has at least 200 receiving yards…