Week 7 of the 2011 NFL season won’t be remembered for great football, as Denver overcame a poor performance to beat a winless Miami squad, the Saints over-matched the winless Indianapolis in a record-setting scoring game Sunday night, and Baltimore and Jacksonville couldn’t keep their hands on the football in the Monday night game.
But, despite that, there were standout individual and performances. Tony Gonzalez just keeps on catching footballs to move up the all-time reception list, Arian Foster had a big game running and catching the ball, a rookie running back had a monster day for the Cowboys and Cam Newton continues to impress in Carolina.
Green Bay continues to roll, and double-digit comebacks keep the fans glued to their seats and television sets across the NFL.
Here are the 10 top stat notes from the weekend, courtesy of NFL Communications (@NFLhistory & @NFLfootballinfo on Twitter), Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com’s Elias Says blog), ESPN.com’s own Stats & Info blog (@ESPNStatsInfo on Twitter), STATS, Inc., NFL Twitter feed (@STATS_NFL) and additional BlogAndTackle.net (@BlogAndTackle on Twitter) research.
The Saints routed the Colts 62-7, producing the highest point total in an NFL game since the Jaguars blasted the Dolphins by an identical score in an AFC Divisional Playoff game in January 2000. New Orleans’ score was the highest in a regular-season game since the Jets topped the Bucs, 62-28, in 1985. New Orleans was only the third team in NFL history to score 60 or more points in one game, with at least 200 rushing yards and 300 passing yards. The others were the Bears against the Packers in 1980, and the Jets against the Bucs in 1985. (ESPN.com Elias Says blog)
The Saints were 6-8 on third down, and New Orleans did not attempt a third-down play against the Colts until 8:45 left in the second quarter. In those eight attempts, the Saints needed a combined total of 31 yards to convert — and gained a total of 78 yards, a +47 margin. Here is the breakdown of yards gained (needed): 16 (7), 11 (2), incomplete pass (5), 9 (8), 6 (1), 13 (3), 20 (1) and 3 (4). (BlogAndTackle.net research)
The Ravens and Jaguars combined to average 2.94 yards per-play Monday night. The last NFL game in which the average play gained fewer than 3 yards was in December 2004, when the Browns and Bills averaged 2.92 yards per-play in a 37-7 Buffalo win. And the only other time this happened on Monday Night Football came way back in October 1970, in the sixth game in the history of the primetime football series. The Los Angeles Rams and Vikings averaged 2.45 yards per-play in a 13-3 Minnesota win at Metropolitan Stadium. (ESPN.com Elias Says blog)
The New York Jets overcame a 21-10 deficit to defeat the San Diego Chargers 27-21, and the Denver Broncos erased a 15-0 fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Miami Dolphins 18-15 in overtime. It marked the 21st time this season that a team trailed by at least 10 points and came back to win the game. That is the second-most through the first seven weeks of any season in NFL history (23 in 1987). The Broncos also became the first team to come-from-behind and win a game after trailing by 15+ points with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter since 1970. (NFL Communications)
The Green Bay Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 33-27 and improved to 7-0. The Packers are the fourth defending Super Bowl champion to start the following season 7-0 (1990 San Francisco 49ers; 1998 Denver Broncos; 2007 Indianapolis Colts). (NFL Communications)
Atlanta TE Tony Gonzalez had five receptions for 62 yards in the Falcons’ 23-16 win at Detroit. Gonzalez now has 1,104 catches and passed Cris Carter (1,101) and Marvin Harrison (1,102) for the second-most receptions in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549) holds the record. (NFL Communications)
Houston RB Arian Foster is the first player since Herschel Walker (12/14/86) and sixth in NFL history with 115+ rush & receiving yards in one game. (@STATS_NFL Twitter feed)
Dallas Cowboys rookie RB DeMarco Murray rushed for a franchise-record 253 yards with one touchdown in the Cowboys’ 34-7 win over St. Louis. Murray’s 253 rushing yards are the second-most rushing yards in a game by a rookie in NFL history. Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson holds the rookie and all-time record (296 on Nov. 4, 2007). (NFL Communications)
Calvin Johnson’s touchdown reception in the Lions’ 23-16 loss to the Falcons was his 10th in Detroit’s seven games this season. That matched the fewest team games that any player has required to reach double-digits in TD receptions in the last 49 seasons. During that time, only Randy Moss caught 10 TD passes in his team’s first seven games, doing so for the Patriots in 2007. (ESPN.com Elias Says blog)
Carolina rookie QB Cam Newton had a passing and rushing touchdown in the Panthers’ 33-20 win over Washington. Newton now has seven rushing touchdowns, tying Vince Young (seven in 2006) for the most rushing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback in a season since 1970. This season, Newton has eight passing touchdowns and seven rushing TDs. He is the first player in NFL history with at least seven passing and seven rushing touchdowns in the first seven games of a career. (NFL Communications)