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 old 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 10 of the NFL season.
The AFC North is the first division in which every team is at least two games above .500 at any point in the season since the 1935 NFL Western Division.
The 8-1 Arizona Cardinals hold the NFL's best record for the first time after nine games since 1966. This is the first time since 1948 the Cardinals are 8-1 and just the third time in franchise history (1925, 1948, 2014).
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a game-winning touchdown pass with 29 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of the Lions’ 20-16 win against Miami. Detroit has scored the game-winning points inside of the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter to win in regulation in each of its past three games, becoming the first team to do so since the 1994 New York Giants.
Stafford, who passed for 280 yards and two touchdowns, has 19,953 career passing yards in 70 games, the most of any player in NFL history in his first 70 games. Dan Marino, who passed for 19,179 yards in his first 70 games, previously had the most of any player. Stafford’s 122 career touchdown passes are tied with Johnny Unitas for the fourth-most of any player through 70 career games.
The Chicago Bears are the second team in NFL history to allow 50+ points in consecutive games after surrendering 55 to Green Bay in Week 10 and 51 to New England in Week 8. The other was the Rochester Jeffersons in 1923. The 55 points scored by Green Bay tied the most points for the Packers in a game at Lambeau Field. The team record is 57.
Green Bay became the third team in NFL history to lead by 42 or more points at halftime (42-0). The Packers joined the 2009 Patriots (45 against Tennessee) and the 1983 Packers (42 against Tampa Bay).
Seattle became the first team in NFL history to have a running back rush for at least four touchdowns and a quarterback with more than 100 rushing yards in the same game after QB Russell Wilson ran for 107 yards and a score and RB Marshawn Lynch ran for 140 and a career-high four touchdowns in Seattle's 38-17 win over the New York Giants.
Russell Wilson joins Michael Vick (2004 and 2006) as the only quarterbacks with at least three 100-yard rushing games in a season in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).
Dallas running back DeMarco Murray rushed for 100 yards in the Cowboys’ 31-17 win against Jacksonville. Murray, who has nine 100-yard rushing games in 2014, is the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 100 yards in nine of his team’s first 10 games to begin a season.
Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant became the first player with at least 150 receiving yards (158) and two touchdowns in the 11-game history of the NFL International Series in London. He has also scored a TD in 11 consecutive games against AFC opponents.
Joseph Randle's 40-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter was the first rushing touchdown by a Cowboys back not named DeMarco Murray.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning passed for 340 yards and five touchdowns in the Broncos’ 41-17 win at Oakland, extending his own NFL-record streak of consecutive games with multiple touchdown passes to 15 games. Manning has also thrown a touchdown pass in 48 consecutive games, surpassing Johnny Unitas (47) for the third-longest streak in NFL history. Manning’s first touchdown of the game was a 51-yard pass, marking his 44th career touchdown pass of at least 50 yards, eclipsing Brett Favre for the most such TD passes of any quarterback in the Super Bowl era.
Broncos tight end Julius Thomas had two touchdown catches and leads all NFL players with 12 TDs this season. He is the first tight end in NFL history with back-to-back 12-touchdown seasons.
New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick passed for 132 yards with two touchdowns and added 39 rushing yards in a 20-13 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Vick now has 6,006 career rushing yards and is the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 6,000.
Arizona kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed his first field goal of the season in Week 10 after starting 17-of-17.