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    Andy Freeland
    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • Of Note (Week 14, 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…

    Once again, it’s been an up-and-down season for the New York Giants, who are hoping to hold off both the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East title. The defending division champions are coming off a wild victory over the New Orleans Saints, who won the NFC South a season ago. The win capped off a clean sweep of the other three teams in the conference that won their divisions in 2011, New York rolling the 49ers (26-3), Packers (38-10) and Saints (52-27) by a combined score of 116-40…

    It’s been a season of turnarounds for a number of clubs, most notably the teams that finished with the worst record(s) in the league in 2011. Last season, Indianapolis (2-14), St. Louis (2-14), Minnesota (3-13), Cleveland (4-12), Tampa Bay (4-12) and Washington (5-11) were a combined 20-76. In 2012, the Colts (9-4), Rams (6-6-1), Vikings (7-6), Browns (5-8), Buccaneers (6-7) and Redskins (7-6) have teamed for a 40-37-1 mark. The stretch of good fortune runs out with the Jaguars, 2-11 this season after a 5-11 finish in 2011…

    So what has exactly happened to the Houston Texans defense as of late? Monday night’s 42-14 loss at Foxborough marked the third time in 4 games that the AFC South-leading Texans had allowed 31 or more points, the other two instances resulting in overtime wins over the Jaguars (43-37) and Lions (34-31). Consider that Gary Kubiak’s club had given up at least 30 points just once in its first 9 games and you could understand if there was a little concern in Houston these days…

    As for the team that pushed the Texans around on Monday night, the New England Patriots are likely on the verge of a little history, be it this Sunday night vs. the San Francisco 49ers or whenever they manage to score their 28th point in the next three games. When Bill Belichick’s team reaches the 500-point mark, they will become the first franchise in NFL history to achieve the mark in 4 different seasons. The only other team to achieve the mark 3 times was the St. Louis Rams, who scored 500 or more points 3 consecutive years from 1999-01, a mark the Patriots can match this season…

    On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Arizona Cardinals, who were dusted in the Pacific Northwest by the surging Seahawks, 58-0. The loss was just the second shutout pitched by a team in the league this season, the other being San Francisco’s 34-0 victory over the New York Jets in Week 4. The Seahawks set a team record for points scored in a game and at 8-5, Pete Carroll won’t finish with a losing campaign for the first time since he arrived in Seattle in 2010…

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      It's interesting to see how the Giants and Patriots are handling the home stretch compared to Houston and Atlanta. The Falcons are downplaying this weekend's game. I'm not sure they should.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Russell, thanks for sticking around and still providing stuff for the site.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      The Gmen are starting to believe their own hype that they can turn the switch on when needed. I'm not sure that is a good thing. It's nice until it stops working.

      Houston is in the typical spot of the elite team that starts flatering at the end because of injuries. The 2007 Patriots were the extreme example, but they started hot and by the end were struggling.

      The Packers went through the same last year. But when they won in 2010, they started with a lot of injuries, but they had time for the "next man up" to settle into his job.

      The Falcons are a team that hasn't really beat anybody. Their wins are suspect when you go back (The Broncos are better than what they were).

      It's a long season, and teams evolve. Some pundits still hang the Bears win over the Colts as a "quality win", but we know better. That was before Chuck strong, and was Luck's first game. It was also back when our old D still had legs.
    1. Russell S Baxter's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
      Russell, thanks for sticking around and still providing stuff for the site.
      Thank you...I enjoy writing and football and so does everyone on this site...I appreciate the kind words...