- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 11:
About that Rams defense. The St. Louis Rams are tied for the NFL lead in sacks. James Hall has 7.5. Chris Long has five in his past four games. The 65-yard pass the Rams allowed against San Francisco in Week 10 marked only the second time all season the team has allowed a pass play of 40-plus yards. But the Rams did allow eight pass plays of at least 20 yards against the 49ers after allowing 23 in their first eight games. It's something to keep in mind with Roddy White and the Atlanta Falcons visiting the Edward Jones Dome.
Troy Smith and turnovers. Matt Williamson's forecast for an impressive 49ers' victory against Tampa Bay makes sense on some levels. The 49ers' Frank Gore should find room to run against a Bucs defense that has allowed more than 200 yards rushing twice, plus 161 to the Rams and 149 to Cincinnati. Much depends upon whether 49ers quarterback Troy Smith can avoid turnovers for a third consecutive game. The Bucs' defense has gone without a pick in three of its past four games. Tampa Bay had four against Arizona in Week 9 and 10 in its first five games.
Russell Okung's return in perspective. The Seattle Seahawks have been more effective with their left tackle, Okung, in the lineup. Okung's blocking in the red zone could give Marshawn Lynch a better chance. Still, the Seahawks' game at New Orleans might be tough even with an in-his-prime Walter Jones manning the position. The Saints have held their past six opponents beneath 280 yards. They have held their past three opponents to six conversions in 33 third-down chances and one touchdown on eight possessions in the red zone. Seattle has only six touchdowns in its past 25 red zone possessions.
Mike Williams' sense of history. The Seahawks' leading receiver hadn't received a franchise history lesson from team officials before tipping his cap to Hall of Famer Steve Largent following a recent performance. Williams has 35 catches in his past five games, one short of Largent's top five-game stretch. Twelve catches against the Saints would give Williams 37 in his past five despite one- and two-catch games along the way. Cris Carter was the last NFL player to catch at least 12 passes against the Saints, in 1995.
Searching for a Cardinals pulse. Arizona has lost four consecutive games heading into its matchup with Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium. What's at stake? Cue the video.