Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Deion Branch puts up Moss-like numbers
By Russell Baxter
Deion Branch -- in his return to the New England Patriots -- caught nine passes for 98 yards and a score in an overtime win over Baltimore. In his four games with the Patriots before being traded to Minnesota, WR Randy Moss caught nine passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns.
A new spin on the San Diego Chargers’ latest slow start: For those who like to look at schedules and forecast wins and losses before the season even starts, San Diego’s four losses have comes to the Kansas City Chiefs (4-12), Seattle Seahawks (5-11), Oakland Raiders (5-11) and St. Louis Rams (1-15), who combined for a 15-49 record in 2009 and owned the fifth, sixth, eighth and first picks in the 2010 NFL Draft, respectively.
The Green Bay Packers' defense needs to up its act if Mike McCarthy's team can't figure out a way to establish a running game. Right now, QB Aaron Rodgers leads the team with 10 TD passes but also has three of the club's five rushing touchdowns.
Perhaps the most interesting number to come from QB Ben Roethlisberger’s first game of the season -- he wasn’t sacked in 27 passing plays. He had been sacked more than three times per game over the last four seasons.
The Atlanta Falcons may be one of the NFC’s best teams but there’s one thing they obviously fear: the state of Pennsylvania. Atlanta’s only two losses this season have come at Pittsburgh and at Philadelphia.
Those waiting for the Chiefs to complete their fall to Earth following that 3-0 start may have seen glimpses at Houston. After playing very solid defense in their first four games, Kansas City allowed 21 fourth-quarter points (more than they gave up in any game the first four contests) and a total of 35 in the loss to the Texans.
For the first time all season, we saw the New Orleans Saints of 2009. Last season they ran the ball on 45.3 percent of their plays, but it was down to just 35.9 percent through the first five games this season. On Sunday, they ran 32 times and threw 32 times.