Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

NFL 2013: After Further Thought (Week 16)

Yahoo Contributor Network

Some thoughts and some numbers regarding Week 16 of the 2013 season…

--Like it or not, the New Orleans Saints are indeed a different team away from home than they are in the cozy confines of the Superdome. Sean Payton's club fell short at Carolina on Sunday by a 17-13 count, meaning the Saints scored a total of 142 points in their eight road games this season, five of those resulting in losses. As they prepare to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Payton's club has scored 230 points in seven games at the Superdome this season…

--Now that Broncos' QB Peyton Manning has set a new NFL record for touchdown passes in a season (51), perhaps he'll take aim at the franchise's career record. In all seriousness, catching John Elway and his 300 career touchdown passes would be a stretch. But in just 31 games with Denver, Manning has already thrown for 88 scores, second-most in Broncos' franchise history…

--It's been another lost season for the Cleveland Browns, whose latest losing streak has reached six straight games following a 24-13 setback to the New York Jets on Sunday. Since finishing 10-6 in 2007, the franchise is a combined 27-68 in last 95 games and has totaled 11 or more losses in each of the last six seasons. The Browns close the season at Pittsburgh, where they've dropped nine games in a row dating back to 2004…

--Did anyone really expect the NFC North to south this quickly? Just one year ago, the Green Bay Packers (11-5), Minnesota Vikings (10-6) and Chicago Bears (10-6) all won double-digit games with the Detroit Lions (4-12) bringing up the rear. This season, no team in the division will win at least 10 games. And if the Lions give up 38 points to the Vikings this weekend, all four clubs in this division would have allowed at least 400 points in 2013…

--Updating a previous item because it could indeed happen. Only one time in NFL history has a team rebounded from a 0-4 start and wound up reaching the playoffs. But the Pittsburgh Steelers have a shot at being the second. Mike Tomlin's team is 7-4 following a winless September (0-4) and hosts the Browns this weekend. A victory coupled with losses by the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers puts the Steelers in the playoffs. As for that other team to open 0-4 and reach the playoffs, the 1992 Chargers won 11 of their last 12 games to finish 11-5 and win the AFC West…

--For the first time since 2006, the St. Louis Rams will average at least 20 points per game in a season. Jeff Fisher's team came away with a 23-13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, meaning the Rams have scored 339 points in 15 games this season. Unfortunately for Fisher and company, even a win over the Seattle Seahawks this weekend won't prevent St. Louis from another season without a winning record. The last time the Rams finished above .500 was 2003, when they won the NFC West with a 12-4 mark…

--Kudos to head coach Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals, who ended the Seahawks' 14-game home winning streak on Sunday via a 17-10 win. The Cards could possibly finish with an 11-5 record this season and miss the playoffs. Think about that for a second. In 2010, the Seahawks won the NFC West with a 7-9 record. Three seasons later, the Cardinals could finish with 11 wins and wind up in third place. Arizona hosts the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday…

--With 16 games to play in the 2013 regular season, there have been an NFL record 201 performances of 100 or more yards receiving this season. That's nine more than the previous record (192) set each of the previous two seasons. Conversely, there have been 90 100-yard rushing performances. The last time there were fewer than 100 100-yard rushing games in a season was 1994 (82)…

--San Francisco 49ers' linebacker NaVorro Bowman returned an interception 89 yards for a touchdown in his team's 34-24 Monday night win over the Atlanta Falcons. It was the six pick-six of Week 16 and raised the season total for interception returns for touchdowns to 62 in 2013. Last season, there were 71 interceptions taken back for scores. Since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002, these two season totals are easily the highest when it comes to interception returns for touchdown…

Russell S. Baxter has been covering the NFL for 30-plus years on all platforms. He is the founder of ProFootballGuru.com, writes for numerous websites and publications across the country and is blessed with an encyclopedic memory. Ready to talk NFL? Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (5)