I hope nobody minds that this post is a little bit later than normal, but I assure you the stats will be worth the wait. Besides, it’s not like you get football info from anywhere else, right?
WHAT? Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers
WHY? Because you want to see if Aaron Rodgers can post his fourth straight game completing more than 75 percent of his passes, throwing 3 touchdowns, and having a 140+ quarterback rating. He hasn’t thrown for more than 250 yards in the last two, but Tampa Bay is in the bottom 10 in pass defense this year.
Also, a fun fact: Rodgers is two months younger than Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden, who has thrown for an average of 460 yards and 4 TD in the last three weeks. He had a foray into minor league baseball before going to college.
WHO? I don’t know about you, but I want to see what all the hoopla about Legarrette Blount not getting the ball when the Bucs are losing is about. Of his 100 carries this season (nice round number, thanks Tampa Bay!), 54 of them have come when the team was losing, and he’s averaging a solid 4.5 ypc on those carries. By comparison, Lesean McCoy (who most everyone considers to be an all-purpose back) has had just 52 of his 165 carries when the Eagles are losing.
HOW? Check this game out from either Indianapolis or Hawaii, and just wait for Rodgers to show up.
WHAT? Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons
WHY? The Falcons have gone 22-6 at home since Mike Smith, Matt Ryan, and Michael Turner arrived in 2008, while the Titans are 18-3 against NFC teams since 2006. Something’s gotta give.
WHO? Both of the running backs in this game are worth watching. Chris Johnson was abysmal for the first half of the season, but has had his two best yards-per-carry efforts of the season in the last two weeks, and faces a top-five run defense in the Falcons. The Falcons are 5-2 in games in which Michael Turner has a rushing touchdown or rushes for 100 yards and 0-2 otherwise. Additionally, Turner averaged 130 yards and a touchdown in the two games Julio Jones missed earlier in the season, and Jones is likely to miss this week’s game. Just saying.
HOW? I’m not sure how you’re going to finagle this, but try to watch this game from a World War I battlefield, as this one will probably be won in the trenches. BAM!
WHAT? Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions
WHY? These teams have two of the most prolific quarterback-receiver connections in Newton-to-Smith (51 rec, 951 yds, 4 TD) and Stafford-to-Johnson (54 rec, 885 yds, 11 TD), with both quarterbacks being #1 overall picks.
WHO? OK, you’re probably not going to see much of them, but I find it interesting that DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart averaged over 1100 yards each in 2008 and 2009 but will likely combine for 1100 yards in both 2010 and 2011. My, the volatility of the running back position…
HOW? Call up Jamarcus Russell and watch the game with him, so you can show him what a first overall pick quarterback should look like.