Eric Dickerson’s NFL rookie rushing record of 1,808 yards is within reach for Dallas star Ezekiel Elliott. After gashing Pittsburgh for 114 yards, he still leads the league with 1,005 yards, and with seven games left, the Ohio State rookie should set the record. After starting the season slowly with just 51 yards against the Giants, Elliott has been a force, going over 125 yards in four straight games. He’s tied for second in TDs with nine and is tied for third with 5.1 yards per carry.
RIVERS PULLS A FITZPATRICK
Bad Philip Rivers rear his ugly head Sunday in a game that probably knocked the Chargers from Wild Card contention, especially with the Chiefs and Broncos rallying to victory. San Diego fell to 4-6 because their franchise QB tossed four (!) interceptions in the 4th quarter of a 31-24 loss to Miami.
Amazingly, Rivers is only the third QB to throw four interceptions in the 4th quarter (Ryan Fitzpatrick and Carson Palmer were the others), but this hurt far more than those two because they were blowouts.
Rivers threw four interceptions in a close game, and his last one – a pick six with one minute left – sealed the defeat. He also threw one in the end zone early in the quarter, and another one was picked off deep in the Miami end.
REVIS ISLAND IS SUBMERGED
You could see some holes developing Darrelle Revis’s game last season, but those wearing green and white glasses refused to believe it. It’s been apparent of this season, and this stat sadly sums it up:
Revis only permitted seven 80-yard receiving games in his first nine years in the NFL. He’s already given up four of those 80-yard receiving games this season, with Kenny Britt of the Rams Sunday being the most recent.
If you’re wondering what the Jets can do about his large contract … he’s a $15.3 million cap hit next year, but it’ll probably be his last year with the team.
CARDIAC CHIEFS GET LUCKY AGAIN
Remember last week how we noted the Chiefs’ win over Jacksonville was a statistical anomaly? Well, Kansas City did it again against Carolina Sunday. Trailing 17-0 in the 2nd quarter, and then 17-3 entering the 4th quarter, the Chiefs scored 17 points in the 4th quarter and stunned Carolina, 20-17.
Even with Alex Smith in the lineup, the Chiefs were a dreadful 2-for-12 on 3rd down, tallied just 256 yards, tallied a paltry 4.2 ypp and went 0-for-3 in the red zone, the Chiefs managed to win. It was more about Carolina – Cam Newton threw a horrendous pick-6, and Kelvin Benjamin had the ball ripped out of his hands in the final minute.
This isn’t sustainable when they step up in class from teams with losing records like Jacksonville and Carolina. The Broncos, Falcons and Raiders are three of their next four opponents.
FROM GREAT TO AWFUL IN FOUR WEEKS
How bad is the Vikings free-fall? From 5-0 to 5-4, the problem has been an offense that can’t do anything early, and a defense that is just suddenly not very impenetrable.
During the 3-game losing streak, the Vikings led for a mere 34 seconds. After falling behind 14-0 to the Redskins, the Vikings actually led for 14:22 of the 3rd quarter. But the offense couldn’t score a point in the 2nd half, and they dropped to 5-4 with the 26-20 loss.
The schedule won’t be of any help: vs Arizona, at Detroit (short week), vs Dallas. Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers are on the schedule in December. And worst of all, they gave away a 1st round pick for Sam Bradford.
SOMEBODY’S GOT TO GO IN GREEN BAY
When you hear TV pundits say the Packers have the best run defense in the NFL, just laugh. While it may be true statistically, it’s only because of the schedule. When they face a team capable of running the football, they can’t stop it:
Dallas: 33 carries, 191 yards, 5.8 ypc (Elliott 157 yards)
Tennessee: 30 carries, 162 yards, 5.4 ypc (DeMarco Murray 75-yard TD run)
They miss injured Clay Matthews, but the entire defense has been bad against the pass and run. The Titans averaged 9.8 ypp and scored 35 points in the first half of a 47-25 drubbing.
If you don’t want to fire Mike McCarthy, I’ll understand – but defensive coordinator Dom Capers is a goner.
STEFON DIGGS IS STUCK ON 13
Very quietly, Stefon Diggs of the Vikings is becoming one of the best receivers in the NFL. Last year, as a 5th round rookie out of Maryland, he caught a surprising 52 passes for 720 yards. Impressive numbers.
At the risk of offering two Vikings stats – Diggs has already surpassed last year’s reception total – 61, tied with Julio Jones for third – and that’s playing with a backup QB in Sam Bradford.
Diggs caught 13 passes against Washington Sunday, and 13 last week against Detroit, making him the first player in NFL history to have back-to-back games with 13 or more receptions.