Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Eagles own the Giants with big plays
By Russell S. Baxter
• The Philadelphia Eagles have defeated the New York Giants six straight times (including playoffs). Philadelphia's big-play ability has killed Big Blue before and it did so again with Michael Vick at the helm Sunday. In the teams' last four meetings, the Eagles have eight touchdowns of 50 or more yards -- four by WR DeSean Jackson (54-yard reception in first meeting, 72-yard punt return and 60-yard reception in second meeting, 65-yard punt return in fourth meeting).
• For anyone that thinks some NFL teams have quit: it’s a little hard to confirm such a theory, but it should be noted that five teams came into the weekend with at least 10 losses (Bills, Bengals, Broncos, Lions and Panthers) and all but Denver won on Sunday.
• More often than not (2008 was an exception), there are more divisional sweeps than splits. In 2009, teams swept teams 31 times and split 17 times. This season so far, there have been 11 sweeps and 17 splits.
• It looks like the city of Detroit has put in an ordinance to stop streaking. Last week, the Lions ended their 19-game skid against divisional foes with a 7-3 win over the Green Bay Packers. On Sunday, Jim Schwartz’s club snapped a 26-game road losing streak with a 23-20 OT win at Tampa Bay. Next up is 2011, when the Lions hope to end 10 straight seasons with a losing record (2001-10).
• Another aspect of the Kansas City Chiefs’ improvement this season that has gone unnoticed: in 2008, Kansas City set a dubious NFL record by recording only 10 sacks all season. And from 2008-09, Chiefs defenders totaled a mere 32 sacks in as many games. Romeo Crennel’s unit has already amassed 32 sacks in 14 games this season.
• Entering Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts had rushed for 1,036 yards in 13 games (79.7 YPG), while the Jacksonville Jaguars had totaled 1,157 yards rushing (192.8 YPG) in their past six games alone. In Indianapolis’ 34-24 win, Jim Caldwell’s team ran for 155 yards and Jacksonville managed just 67 yards on the ground.
• The 7-7 Oakland Raiders (5-0 vs. AFC West rivals) may be on the verge of doing something not done. Dating to 1970 (aka the merger), teams went unbeaten in division play 29 times and each time the team reached the playoffs. Oakland is two games behind the Chiefs in the AFC West and travels to Kansas City in Week 17. Stay tuned.
• The AFC took all four head-to-head matchups with the NFC this week and have already locked up the season series "title." While there have been some ties along the way, the NFC has not beaten the AFC in the regular-season series since 1995.