Final Word: NFC South

October, 12, 2012
10/12/12
1:38
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 6 (remember, the Panthers and Saints are on their bye week):

Odds-on favorite: With a 5-0 start, the Falcons are well on their way to the playoffs. Thirty-eight teams have started 5-0 since the NFL went to its current playoff format in 1990, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Of those teams, 34 have reached the postseason, with 25 winning at least one playoff game. Sixteen of those teams have reached the Super Bowl and eight of them have won it. We’ll give you an update on the history of 6-0 teams next week if the Falcons beat the Raiders on Sunday.

[+] EnlargeMatt Ryan
AP Photo/John BazemoreFalcons quarterback Matt Ryan is set to face a Raiders defense that has been burned by opposing quarterbacks recently.
Aiming for the trifecta: The Oakland defense has given up three or more touchdown passes to the past two quarterbacks it has faced (Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger). That obviously is good news for Atlanta’s Matt Ryan. In his five-year career, the Falcons are 14-0 when Ryan has thrown for three or more touchdowns. In NFL history, only Daryle Lamonica (19-0) has won more games without a loss when throwing for three or more touchdowns.

Rain on the parade: Speaking of Ryan, he’s having a wonderful season and deserves to be in any MVP conversation. But there is one unflattering little streak going on right now. Ryan has thrown an interception in his past three games. That’s tied for the second-longest streak of his career. The longest came in 2009, when he was intercepted in six straight games.

AFC history isn’t pretty: Although the Chiefs may be struggling, the fact that the Buccaneers are playing an AFC opponent is not very encouraging. Over the past 10 years, the Bucs are tied with the Redskins for fewest wins against AFC opponents. The Bucs are 11-25 against the AFC in that span.

Something has to give: Tampa Bay’s run defense has been a bright spot so far. The Bucs are allowing 73.8 rushing yards per game, which ranks as the fourth-lowest average in the NFL. But Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles is averaging 110.2 yards per game.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Insider