Highlighting the most important, bizarre, strange, interesting and historic stats from this week in the NFL.
Numbers and statistics are unquestionably a huge part of the game. Any game, for that matter.
Some fall on the sabermetric side of things, while others like to keep it simple and use the ol' eyeball test. In the football world, that means total offense, total defense and points scored versus points per play and defensive efficiency ratings. Rational and logical arguments can be made for the legitimacy and relevance of both sides of the stats spectrum.
With that in mind, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from Week 11 of the NFL season:
1: Undrafted rookie QBs to throw 3 TDs and 0 INTs in a single game
The Oakland Raiders had to start quarterback Matt McGloin, a rookie undrafted free agent from Penn State, against Houston on the road this weekend. McGloin, who completed just 57.4 percent of his passes in college, threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns, along with no turnovers, while leading his team to a 28-23 victory over the Texans. He became the first undrafted rookie quarterback in the common draft era (1967) to throw for at least three touchdowns and no interceptions in a game. It extended Houston’s franchise-record losing streak to eight. And, oh by the way, it was McGloin’s first career start and his performance has some talking about a quarterback controversy in Oakland.
0: Sacks or knockdowns of Peyton Manning by Kansas City
The Chiefs came into Week 11 leading the NFL in sacks (36.0) and Denver had allowed eight quarterback sacks in its last three games — wins over Washington and San Diego and a loss to Indianapolis. But on Sunday night in primetime with the AFC West hanging in the balance, the maligned Broncos' offensive line played flawless football. Peyton Manning wasn’t sacked and didn’t even touch the ground in the 27-17 win over previously unbeaten Kansas City. Manning finished with 323 yards passing and a touchdown in the key divisional win, which puts Denver back in control of AFC home-field advantage — with a road trip to Kansas City looming in two weeks.
209: London Fletcher's NFL-record consecutive starts by a linebacker
The Redskins fell to 3-7 with a crushing divisional loss to Philadelphia this Sunday. However, veteran linebacker London Fletcher made history. The Ironman tackler started his 209th consecutive game to pass Derrick Brooks for the all-time NFL record for a linebacker. It also was Fletcher’s 250th consecutive game played, trailing only Jeff Feagles (352), Brett Favre (299) and Jim Marshall (282) among the longest consecutive games played streaks in NFL history.
113: Minutes Baltimore and Chicago were delayed due to weather
In a critical game for both teams fighting for the playoffs, the Ravens' trip to Chicago was delayed for nearly two full hours due to severe weather in the middle of the first quarter. An estimated 70 tornadoes touched down in the Midwest Sunday afternoon and it made for a long and muddy afternoon at Soldier Field. Not only was the game delayed 113 minutes but Baltimore kicked a field goal with three seconds to go to send the contest into overtime. With 8:41 left in the extra period, Robbie Gould nailed a 38-yard field goal to give Chicago the win in a game that took five hours and 16 minutes to complete. Baltimore falls into last place in the AFC North while Chicago is now tied for the lead in the NFC North.
31: Second-quarter points for the Bengals
Cincinnati fell behind divisional rival Cleveland 13-0 at the end of the first quarter on Sunday. But two Andy Dalton touchdown passes, a blocked punt touchdown, fumble recovery touchdown and 41-yard Mike Nugent field goal gave the Bengals a 31-13 halftime lead. The 31-point second quarter was the most points scored in any quarter in the franchise’s history. The win keeps the Bengals unbeaten at home (5-0) and, coupled with the Browns' and Ravens' losses, gives them a 2.5-game lead in the AFC North.
16,005: Matthew Stafford's Lions franchise-record passing yards
Stafford threw for 362 yards in the painful road loss to the Steelers on Sunday. He’s third in the NFL this year behind only Peyton Manning and Drew Brees with 3,198 yards after topping at least 4,900 yards in each of the last two seasons. He passed Bobby Layne (15,710) to become the Detroit Lions' all-time career leader with 16,005 yards passing. It took Stafford just 55 games to top Layne, who needed 97 games to set the original benchmark. More importantly, with a chance to take full control of the NFC North, the Lions lost 37-27 to a Steelers team that had won just three times all year.
22-38: Last year's division champs record in 2013 (minus New England and Denver)
Of the eight division winners in 2012, only two — New England and Denver — are leading their division in 2013 and only three (along with San Francisco) are currently slotted into the playoffs. Houston and Atlanta are both 2-8 after going a combined 25-7 last year. The defending Super Bowl and AFC North champion Ravens are 4-6. Washington won the NFC East with a 10-6 record but is 3-7 this year. Green Bay went 11-5 and won the NFC North but is 5-5 and missing Aaron Rodgers. The Texans (8), Falcons (4), Packers (3), Redskins (2), 49ers (2) and Ravens (1) have lost a combined 20 games in a row. The eight division winners in 2012 combined to go 92-35-1 and those same eight teams are 38-42 this year — but 16 of those wins come from the Patriots (7-3) and Broncos (9-1).
413: Days since the Eagles last won at home
The Eagles had lost 10 consecutive home games in Lincoln Financial Field dating back to a 19-17 win over the Giants on Sept. 30, 2012. The Eagles were 3-1 at that time before proceeding to lose 11 of their last 12 games and making a coaching switch to Chip Kelly. It was also the last time Philadelphia had a winning record. After topping the Redskins 24-17 at home this weekend, both of those streaks have been snapped. Phily is above .500 and has a win in front of the home fans for the first time in 413 days. More importantly, the Eagles are alone atop the NFC East standings with huge games against NFC playoff hopefuls Arizona, Detroit, Chicago and Dallas over the final month — three of which will come at home.
7,923: Marques Colston's Saints franchise-record receiving yards
Maybe fantasy players undervalue Marques Colston but Saints fans and opposing coaches certainly do not. Colston is already the Saints' all-time leading receiver with 571 receptions and 60 touchdowns. But after five receptions for 80 yards in the critical come-from-behind 23-20 win over the 49ers, Colston has more receiving yards than any player in Saints history. He passed Eric Martin (7,854) with 7,923 yards career receiving yards — which also puts him in the top 100 in NFL history (91st).