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NFL 2013: After Further Thought (Week 6)

Yahoo Contributor Network

Some thoughts and some numbers regarding Week 6 of the 2013 season and entering Monday night's game…

--The last of the unbeaten teams both reside in the AFC West as the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs both stand at 6-0. Dating back to the start of the Super Bowl era in 1966, the Broncos and Chiefs are the 54th and 55th teams, respectively, to open 6-0 or better. But it marks the first time that two teams in the same division have reached the 6-0 mark in the same season…

--Can you guess the team that has scored just two touchdowns and kicked nine field goals the last two weeks and still managed a pair of victories? That would be the Green Bay Packers, who have scored a combined 41 points the last two games and still defeated the Detroit Lions (22-9) and Baltimore Ravens (19-17). We've gotten used to seeing quarterback Aaron Rodgers put up huge numbers in recent seasons. What we haven't seen the last few years is a running game that has averaged an impressive 140.8 yards per game in its first five outings in 2013…

--The Carolina Panthers are off to a 2-3 start but are coming off a 35-10 win over the Vikings at Minnesota. Ron Rivera's defense has been pretty impressive for the most part this season and especially in the first half. In five games in 2013, the Panthers have outscored the opposition by a combined 51-12 score and have yet to give up a touchdown in the first half of any of those games. All told, Carolina has given up a total of six touchdowns in five games this season…

--Off their rousing comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night, the Jets and quarterback QB Geno Smith were stifled on Sunday by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 19-6. The rookie signal-caller was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions. In six games this season, Rex Ryan's team has committed 14 turnovers, 13 of those by the talented Smith. And nine of those 13 miscues have come in the club's losses to the New England Patriots (3), Tennessee Titans (4) and Steelers (2)…

--From 4-12 in 2012 to 4-2 this season, the Detroit Lions find themselves tied for first place in the NFC North a year after finishing last in the division. One reason for the turnaround has been the play of an opportunistic defense that has already totaled 10 interceptions in six games. Last season, Detroit defenders picked off 11 passes in 16 contests. And quarterback Matthew Stafford looks more like the quarterback that threw 41 touchdown passes (16 interceptions) in 2011 opposed to the player who totaled 20 touchdown passes and was picked off 17 times a year ago. In six games this season, Stafford has thrown for three times as many scores (12) as interceptions (4)…

--Although the Arizona Cardinals came up short at San Francisco on Sunday, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught six passes for 117 yards and a score in the 32-20 setback. It was Fitzgerald's fourth touchdown reception of the season after just six weeks of play. Four was a four-letter word for Fitzgerald in 2012. The Cardinals started four different quarterbacks during their 5-11 campaign and Fitzgerald (you guessed it) caught four touchdown passes in 16 games last season…

--Dating back to last season, the Indianapolis Colts are now 13-3 in their last 16 regular-season games since opening the Andrew Luck era with a 2-3 mark in 2012. The first overall pick in 2012 is off to an excellent start this season although his overall numbers are far from daunting. But where Luck has been impressive is his improvement in terms of ball security. Last season, the Indianapolis signal-caller threw 23 touchdown passes and ran for five scores but also committed 23 turnovers in 16 regular-season outings. During the team's 4-1 start in 2013, Luck has thrown for seven scores, run for two others and coughed up the ball just three times…

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.

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