Friday, October 19, 2012
Final Word: NFC South
By Pat Yasinskas
Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 7:
Aaron Kromer will coach his last game as the Saints' interim head coach this week at Tampa Bay.
Kromer’s last stand: This will be the final game as interim head coach for New Orleans’ Aaron Kromer. Coincidentally, Kromer spent three seasons as an assistant with the Buccaneers before joining the Saints in 2008. The Saints are 1-4 under Kromer, and a win could go a long way in helping his chances of eventually landing a full-time gig as a head coach. Kromer had a good reputation around the NFL before this season, and he has handled a difficult situation without any major problems. But adding another win can only help his résumé. Assistant head coach Joe Vitt will take over the team when he returns from his suspension after Sunday's game.
Dallas domination: The Panthers defeated the Cowboys the first time the teams ever met in the regular season. But Dallas has dominated the regular-season meetings since then, winning eight straight against the Panthers. That’s the longest active streak the Cowboys have against any opponent.
Go for the goal line: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Carolina’s Cam Newton is one of only two starting quarterbacks who have not completed a pass in the end zone this season. All four of Newton’s touchdowns have been completed before the end zone. Tennessee’s Jake Locker is the only other quarterback who hasn’t completed a pass in the end zone.
Back to being Brees? After a rocky start, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has come on strong the past two games. In the first three games, Brees completed 54.7 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and five interceptions while compiling a 34.8 Total QBR. In the past two games, Brees has completed 64.6 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and one interception while posting an 83.0 Total QBR.
A positive Bucs stat: It’s been hard to come up with a lot of positive numbers on the Bucs for the past year or so, but here’s one. Tampa Bay has won four of its past six home games against NFC South opponents. So much has happened in the interim that it might be tough to remember that the Bucs won at home against Atlanta and New Orleans last year. But the bottom fell out after the Bucs intercepted Brees three times that day. Tampa Bay lost its final 10 games of the season, costing then-coach Raheem Morris his job.