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NFL Week 2: Five of the Most Interesting Stats in the League

We’ll try to make this a weekly exercise.

* 455. The Arizona Cardinals gave up that many yards to the Washington Redskins. The Redskins should have blown out the Cardinals, but ineptitude, thy name is Daniel Snyder: The Redskins threw two picks (one in the red zone) and missed a field goal in the first half. But perhaps some saw this coming: Last week Carolina rolled up 394 yards on Arizona’s putrid defense. This is why Arizona will not win the NFC West: Its defense is pathetic. Eventually, the Cardinals won’t get 70+ yard TDs in the fourth quarter, and this young, thin defense will wear down. 

* New England Patriots. Nothing specific, just in general. Tom Brady: 31-of-40 (!) for 423 yards against a San Diego defense that held Donovan McNabb to 39 yards. In two games to open the season, Brady’s passed for 940 yards (that’s an NFL record). Amazingly, the Patriots have scored 30+ points in 10 straight regular season games, which is the 2nd longest streak in NFL history. The Rams – aka, Greatest Show on Turf – did it in 14 straight. How do the Patriots not have a nickname yet? Is it because everyone remembers how Rex Ryan and the Jets shut them down in the playoffs in January? Also, for all you Patriot fans, that defense is … well, shaky. New England has given up 958 yards in two games (worst in the league). Sidenote: Another 2-0 team with Super Bowl aspirations, Green Bay, is right there with the Patriots, having given up 952 yards.

* Fred Jackson, your NFL rushing leader. Last year, Arian Foster came out of nowhere to capture the rushing crown. Through two games, Fred Jackson is your NFL rushing leader with 229 yards. Everyone’s going nuts for Ryan Fitzpatrick (people love QBs! Especially those from Harvard!) but Jackson gashed the Raiders for 117 yards (7.8 ypc) and is averaging 6.5 yards per carry through two games. The Jackson-CJ Spiller 1-2 punch has serious potential. I expect Jackson to go over 100 yards again this week when Patriots visit lovely Buffalo for an AFC East … showdown?

* Kansas City Chiefs. Again, nothing specific, just futility across the board: the defense has one sack and has given up a staggering 89 points to the Bills and Lions (both 2-0). Offensively, the Chiefs are making just 20% of 3rd down conversions, which is worst in the league for everyone that has played two games. The defense has a league-low 1 sack through eight quarters. You can see why Kansas City has rocketed up near the top of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

* 4. DeMarcus Ware. The Cowboys’ DE leads the league with four sacks through two games, and my mediocre math skills tell me he’s on pace for 32, which would set an NFL record. The record, in case you’re wondering, is held by Michael Strahan of the Giants (22.5 in 2001). Ware hasn’t even gotten to the weak O-lines in his division (Giants, Eagles, Redskins). Ware gets the Redskins next, and he had three sacks against them last year (three vs. the Eagles, too). In 2008, when Ware challenged the record (he finished with 20), he had four in two games against the Giants. I think after the Seattle game Nov. 6, we’ll have a good idea of whether or not Ware can set the record. The Seahawks can’t protect T-Jack – he’s been sacked 10 times in two games, which is 2nd only to Jay Cutler.

Honorable mention: Cam Newton, who, incredibly, has passed for 854 yards in his first two games of the season. He would have topped this list, but i have a feeling you’ll be reading an gushy post about him soon enough.

 

 

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