5 NFL Facts to Know for Week 6
Just another week in the crazy wonderful world of the NFL! Keep reading below for some nuggets you should know going into Week 6.
Four decorated quarterbacks continue to add to their legacies. We'll start first with Peyton Manning, who doesn't have many records left to topple. Manning threw four touchdowns last weekend to take his career total to 503. The only other person to have over 500 passing touchdowns is Brett Favre. Manning has the Jets and 49ers coming up over the next two weeks and should be able to pass Favre against the 49ers - if not sooner.
Peyton hit two other marks over the weekend as he passed for a career-high 479 yards. This marked the 13th game of 400 or more passing yards in his career, tying him for first all-time with with Dan Marino. What record doesn't Manning have?
Manning's arch-nemesis, Tom Brady, also reached a monumental milestone. He joined the 50,000 passing yards club on Sunday night. Brady is currently 6th on the career list and trails John Elway by 1,243 yards – something that could be accomplished in the next 4 to 6 weeks for Brady. Manning and Brady will face off in Week 9 in Foxboro, but it would take 310 yards per game for Brady to surpass Elway against the Broncos.
Lastly, Aaron Rodgers topped 25,000 career passing yards this past weekend. With Manning and Brady passing for as many as they have in their careers, this seems miniscule, but it still has significance, as the 31-year-old is only approximately 10,000 yards away from breaking into the top-20.
But not only did Rodgers do it in fewer attempts than anyone, he did it in the fourth-fewest games ever. It took Rodgers 98 games to hit 25,000 yards: only 1 more than Manning and Kurt Warner and just 6 more than Dan Marino. Don't be surprised if Rodgers is knocking on the door of some of Manning’s records in seven or eight years.
Undefeated No More
Last week, we saw the last two undefeated teams lose a game. The Patriots shocked the Bengals on Sunday night while the Broncos controlled the game against the Cardinals. There are no undefeated teams left, but we see seven different one-loss teams in the league currently.
Of those seven, the Cowboys, Eagles, and Chargers are all 4-1; the Cardinals, Seahawks, Bengals, and Broncos are all 3-1. The Eagles, Cowboys and Cardinals are the only three one-loss teams that do not make numberFire's NFL Power Rankings top 10, but they still rank well at 13th, 15th and 16th, respectively.
It's a Passing League
If you didn't think the NFL was a passing league with all the records mentioned above, this should definitely make you realize it is a passing league: 14 quarterbacks are on pace to pass for over 4,000 yards. That would be another record, as 2011 only saw 10 quarterbacks pass that mark.
And of those 14 quarterbacks, a few names might shock you. Austin Davis, the 3rd-stringer who turned into the Rams starter tops the list of surprises. Brian Hoyer is another – though he's close to dropping off pace for 4,000 yards.
But those two aren't just padding stats at the end of blowout games. Both Davis and Hoyer rank well in Passing NEP, too. Davis is 18th in Pass NEP, contributing 19.28 points in his 4 games, and has put up 2 top-10 weekly Passing NEP performances. Hoyer also had a top-5 Passing NEP and currently ranks 9th in Passing NEP, contributing 30.78 points to the Browns.
Top Quarterback Performers So Far
Speaking of top weekly performances so far, we have seen 17 different quarterbacks post a top-5 Passing NEP week. Of those 17 quarterbacks, 4 have done it twice: Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Andrew Luck, and Matt Ryan. It is no surprise that each of their respective teams are in the top 12 of numberFire's passing offenses.
Only two quarterbacks, though, have posted three top-five weeks. One is last year's MVP and the other is the frontrunner for this year's MVP: Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. Manning is at the helm of the second-best passing offense according to Adjusted Passing NEP per play while Rivers commands the top passing offense in the league.
The best single-game performance (based on our passing metrics) of the year so far belongs to Luck. His 28.33 Passing NEP came against the Tennessee Titans, whose pass defense ranked fifth in the league at the time of the Week 4 match-up with Luck and the Colts. In the same week Joe Flacco put up the second-best weekly performance with 27.97 Passing NEP, which also came in Week 4 against the Carolina Panthers.
If the first five weeks are any indication, we should be set for a lot of quality performances across the league from the quarterback position.
Top Receiver Performers So Far
Through 5 weeks, 21 receivers have put up at least a single top-5 performance. I judged these weekly performances based off of numberFire's Reception NEP. Reception NEP looks at how well a receiver performed above expectation on only his receptions, and so far this season, only four receivers have turned in multiple top-five performances: Jordy Nelson, Steve Smith, Emmanuel Sanders, and DeSean Jackson.
Based on pre-season expectations, it's certainly a surprise that Sanders made the list and Broncos-teammate Demariyus Thomas did not, but Sanders has definitely played above expectation this year. Sanders currently has a Reception NEP of 32.61 - good for 12th-best in the league. Thomas, who ranks 11th, currently bests Sanders by just 0.65 points, thanks to his 19.19 Reception NEP in Week 5.
Thomas' mark is the single best Reception NEP performance for a receiver so far this season.