Welcome to Statistically (in)Significant, the place to find great stats that probably only matter at the water cooler (or bar). Each week I'll dig through the stats of the week gone by and deliver you some choice conversation starters.
1.38 Yards per Carry
Thursday night's game was another slogfest, and while the games have been more competitive this year than they have in past years, the poor quality of play really shines through. This week, the leading rusher in the game, Adrian Peterson, with 29 yards on 21 carries, had a whopping 1.38 yards per carry. He beat out both of the Seahawks rushers, who finished with 27 yards (Thomas Rawls) and 26 yards (J.D. McKissic). Of course, the big story in this game is the achilles injury that Richard Sherman. Sherman had been previously critical of the NFL regarding Thursday night games, and he was battling this injury all season. The numbers of injuries may not be significantly higher than on Sundays, but it's clear that the quality of play on short rest is affected nearly every single week.
6 Rushing Touchdowns
The Saints set a franchise record with 6 rushing touchdowns on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. They also rushed for 298 yards on the day behind impressive performances from Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, who combined for over 50 points. Ingram and Kamara were the 1st and 4th highest scoring fantasy RBs on the week, mixed in with the 3 TD DeMarco Murray and the unknown Austin Ekeler. The Saints improved to 7-2, and it's really surprising that Drew Brees has only thrown for 300+ yards once in those wins, and only twice overall. The Saints run game was really by far the most impressive aspect of this game, peaking with a 10-play 94 yard TD drive that was all rushes of 15 yards or less. The Saints averaged 6.2 yards per carry on the day, just shy of Drew Brees's 7.4 yards per passing attempt.
208 Consecutive Starts
Congrats to Eli Manning, who tied his brother Peyton with 208 consecutive starts on Sunday - good for second on the list behind Brett Favre. This start, like most this year, was very forgettable for Eli. Going in to Sunday's game in San Francisco, this was the first time in 33 years that two teams met this late in the season with only 1 victory between them. Clearly, the stage was set for mediocrity and this game delivered. The Giants managed to make C.J. Beathard look great, putting up the 4th most points this week among QBs - 26.02 points. This was the 49ers first win against a team that wasn't the Rams in 708 days. On the other side, the Giants gave up yet another touchdown to an opposing TE, making it one in every game this season, and this streak goes back into last season. Looks like a good sign for Travis Kelce and the Chiefs against the Giants next week.
297 Passing Yards
It was strange seeing Mitchell Trubisky on the passing leader boards all afternoon and evening. His 297 yards is easily a career high (the previous was last week's 164). He completed 60% of his passes with 21 completions on 35 attempts. One TD and no picks are a good way to show that you can take care of the ball, ok, Coach? I didn't really write about Trubisky for his sake, though congrats to the rookie on a solid outing, but to poke at head coach John Fox. In the 2nd quarter, Fox threw a challenge flag on a play where Benny Cunningham was called out of bounds short of the goal line. Upon review, it was determined that Cunningham did not, in fact, step out of bounds. Great news? Nope, it was then determined that he lost control of the ball before it struck the pylon, thus ruling it a fumble out of the end zone and a touchback for the Packers. This play is kind of a microcosm of Fox and the Bears over the last couple of years. There's always been flashes of good things happening, but it all winds up looking mismanaged and it's never the desired outcome. Here in Chicago, it's pretty clear that he's going to be on the hot seat before too long.
4-60+ Yard TD Passes
If you read this column, you know I'm a sucker for milestones that haven't been reached in a while. On Sunday, Jacoby Brissett threw a pair of 60+ yard touchdowns against the Steelers' formerly league leading passing defense. It's been over 50 years since a Colts QB had 4-60 yard touchdown passes in a single season. Johnny Unitas did it back in 1966, and both Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck were not able to reach that mark, not even with all of the great receivers they have had. Brissett has 4 on the season now, and has improved as the year has gone on and is one of the bright spots in an otherwise dismal season in Indy. The Colts are only 3-7, but did hang in there against a Steelers team that is tied for the best record in the AFC. If the Colts could figure out a run game, they would have something for Andrew Luck to look forward to when he comes back. Right now, Brissett's league leading 35 sacks has to be alarming for a guy who is probably not nearly as mobile. Get well soon, Andrew!