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Tuesday, October 5, 2010
A first in the Brady, Moss and Welker era

By Russell Baxter

• The latest example of how there are many ways to skin a cat: New England Patriots QB Tom Brady threw for less than 200 yards, WR Wes Welker didn’t score a touchdown and WR Randy Moss didn’t catch a pass, yet the Pats put up 41 points in a win at Miami. This is the first time in their New England careers that those three played in the same game and all failed to reach those thresholds.

• In Week 4, more than half (33) of the 62 games played to date have been decided by seven points or fewer. That’s the most such games through four weeks since 1988 when there were 34.

• What a difference a year makes: The Indianapolis Colts were 6-0 vs. AFC South rivals and are now 0-2 in the division. The Washington Redskins were 0-6 vs. NFC East foes and are now 2-0 in the division. The Cincinnati Bengals were also undefeated in the division in 2009 but lost at Cleveland on Sunday. And despite the fact that they were a playoff team last season, the New York Jets are already 3-0 vs. AFC East opponents this season (2-4 in 2009), including road wins at Miami and at Buffalo.

• It’s early, but it seems like the Seattle Seahawks are going to be a team that thrives at home and struggles on the road. At home they beat the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers by a combined 58-26, and have lost at Denver and St. Louis by a combined 51-17.

• The 2-2 St. Louis Rams, who have already doubled last season’s win total and equaled 2008’s output, look like a different team with rookie QB Sam Bradford. But the real pub needs to go to St. Louis’ defense. Steve Spagnuolo’s club has held all four opponents to 17 points or fewer. A season ago, the Rams held four-of-16 opponents to fewer than 18 points. This season, the Rams have outscored their opponents 77-52. Just a year ago, the 0-4 Rams were outscored 108-24.

• Sounds astounding but true: On Sunday, the Redskins totaled 35 running plays and 20 passing plays in their 17-12 win at Philadelphia. It was the first time since Week 1 of the 2008 (while with the Broncos) that a Mike Shanahan-coached team totaled more rushing plays than pass plays, ending a streak of 18 games (last 15 with Denver in 2008, first three with Washington in 2010).