Drew Brees and Peyton Manning keep breaking NFL records

时间:2019-11-16 责任编辑:亓杌 来源:云顶集团4008 点击:105 次

Manning, and the Broncos, look better than ever

Peyton Manning is running out of records to break. In four weeks, the quarterback has thrown 16 touchdowns, the most ever by a single player inside the first month of a season. Manning is also yet to throw an interception. The last signal caller to reach 16 touchdowns without a pick was Milt Plum in 1960 – and he needed 10 games to reach that mark.

Of course, we are used to Manning breaking records by now. He was the fastest player ever to reach 50,000 passing yards, and then the quickest to reach 60,000, too; he has the most Pro Bowl selections for a quarterback (12) and has been named as the NFL's Most Valuable Player more times (four) than anyone else in league history.

And yet, at 37 years old, he continues to raise the bar even higher. Manning's passer rating so far this season stands at 138.0 – . Surrounded by an outrageously talented set of targets in Denver – from wide receivers Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker through to the tight end Julius Thomas – he is dismantling defenses at will.

His numbers against Philadelphia on Sunday were typically outlandish. Manning completed 28 of 34 passes for 327 yards and four touchdowns as the Broncos won 52-20 – setting a new team record for most points scored in a single game.

Perhaps the most preposterous statistic of all was the one that showed Denver had not even faced a third down on any of the quarterback's final four drives – which totaled 305 yards and each ended in a touchdown. Manning was pulled out of the game thereafter with the victory effectively secured.

It is easy to forget now that many people doubted Manning when he joined the Broncos last year. There was trepidation over a player who had missed the entire 2011 season recovering from neck surgery.. That question has been answered in emphatic terms.

And Manning is not the only one exceeding expectations. The Broncos' defense was supposed to struggle without its leading pass rushers Elvis Dumervil, , and Von Miller, serving a six-game suspension to start the year. The 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey has also missed every game so far due to a foot injury, and yet the Broncos have forced 11 sacks and six interceptions.

"Manning and the Broncos defy logic," wrote Adam Schein on .com. "They laugh in the face of logic. They're a flawless 4-0 while punching logic in the mouth."

They are also playing with a mighty chip on their shoulder after last season's playoff defeat to Baltimore, made possible only by an inexplicable blown coverage on a Hail Mary pass by Joe Flacco in the dying seconds of regulation. This is a team hell-bent on returning to the postseason in order to right those wrongs.

One writer for the Denver Post went as far as to suggest that , leading up to January, the playoffs and "the only games that matter". Even with Denver playing in a strong division, where the Kansas City Chiefs are also 4-0, that assessment does not feel wide of the mark.

The Saints can still air it out, too

Going into their game against the Dolphins on Monday night, the hype around New Orleans revolved mostly around their recently-discovered ability to stop other teams from scoring. The Saints had achieved new levels of defensive ineptitude in 2012, giving up the most yards (7,042) of any team in NFL history. They allowed their opponents an average of 28.2 points per game.

That had all changed under new defensive co-ordinator Rob Ryan. Hired in February to replace Steve Spagnuolo, the former Dallas Cowboys coach achieved immediate results with his hybrid 3-4 scheme, using a variety of different looks and blitzes to keep opponents off guard. Through week three New Orleans gave up just 38 points and 295.7 yards per game. Those numbers looked all the more impressive when you considered that they had lost several starters to long-term injuries.
Better yet for Saints fans, . But while his defense flourished, the offense had not yet attained its usual dominance. The Saints were hardly struggling on that side of the ball, but their 23.3 points per game placed them pretty firmly in the middle of the pack. They had averaged 28.8 a year previously.

But if the league needed reminding of what Drew Brees and co were capable of, then they saw it on Monday night. Miami arrived in New Orleans unbeaten, and opened the game playing with a confidence reflective of that status. At the first-half's two minute warning, they trailed just 14-10. By the end, however, they had been defeated 38-17.

The difference was Brees, looking untouchable at times as he completed 30 of 39 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns. Along the way he equaled an NFL record by making this his ninth consecutive game with 300+ passing yards. And who exactly had set the previous record? .

And so New Orleans, like Denver, move to 4-0. After showing some new strings to their bow over the first three weeks, they have reminded the league that the old ones still work just as well as they ever did.

The NFC East has become the NFC Least

There was a time when the NFC East was considered to be the toughest division in football. Its representatives won five out of six Super Bowls between 1990 and 1995, and although such heights had not quite been recaptured since, it remained highly competitive. Only once between 2002 and 2009 did the NFC East fail to send at least one team to the wildcard round of the playoffs. In both 2006 and 2007, it sent two.

Not for nothing, in other words, was it nicknamed the NFC Beast. These days it is resolutely the NFC Least. Only one of the division's four representatives won this weekend – Washington recovering from 14 points down to overcome an Oakland team that was missing its starting quarterback. The remaining three NFC East teams – the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and – lost by a combined score of 113-47.

Even that was an improvement on week two, when all four teams were defeated. Such collective failure nevertheless felt symbolic of a greater decline. Not once between 2002 and 2010 had they all lost on the same weekend.

One quarter of the way through their respective seasons, the NFC East's representatives have a combined record of 4-12. And two of those wins were essentially unavoidable, since they were obtained in divisional play.

So it is that the Cowboys occupy top spot at 2-2, despite giving up 506 yards and blowing a 21-13 lead en route to defeat in San Diego. It is hard to imagine them maintaining their .500 record when the Broncos come to town next weekend.

Behind them, and Philadelphia, with one win each, have the two worst-ranked defenses in the league. The Giants, 0-4, have given up a scarcely credible 16 turnovers in four games, yet can still survey the standings and reason that all is not lost.

Because the fact is that, come January, one of these four teams will be hosting a postseason game. Three years ago, the Seattle Seahawks became the first team (outside of strike-shortened seasons) to reach the playoffs with a losing record, topping the NFC West with just seven wins. Right now it is hard to feel confident about any of the East's representatives even getting that many.

Fantasy Football Thoughts

Fantasy owners who drafted Brees and Manning should be feeling pretty pleased once again this morning after performances that will place them as the top two points scoresr in many Fantasy formats. But who else stood out this week? And who should you be looking to add from the waiver wire?

Star performers

1) Adrian Peterson lit up London with a dazzling performance in the International Series game, rushing for 140 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings 34-27 win over Pittsburgh. And he even made time to praise the Wembley crowd afterwards, too. "The atmosphere was electric," he said. "Coming out of that tunnel, looking at all that purple and yellow … and [with] all that energy, it felt like a home game."

2) Tony Gonzalez had been relatively quiet through the first three weeks, but dominated the new England Patriots on Sunday, claiming 12 receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Sadly the same cannot be said for his team-mates, as the Falcons lost 30-23 to fall to a surprising 1-3.

3) Reggie Bush returned from a knee injury for Detroit and picked up right where he left off, rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, as well as making four catches for 34 yards. But if those numbers look good to the player's Fantasy owners, then the footage of his .

Worth picking up

1) Rashad Jennings could be in line to take over as Oakland's starting tailback after both Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece left the Raiders' defeat to Washington with injuries. Subbing in for those two on Sunday, he produced a modest 45 yards rushing on 15 carries, but was more productive in the passing game – taking eight receptions for 71 yards.

Quick hits

There is a certain irony to the fact that the most compelling game in the seven-year history of the International Series should be played between two teams who arrived in London with a combined 0-6 record. The Vikings and the Steelers remain two flawed teams, but . Anecdotally, I know of at least one former sceptic who claimed to have been won over to the sport by this game. I might still advise him to steer clear on 27 October, though, when the Jacksonville Jaguars come to town.

The best celebration of the week belonged to the Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno, who brushed up on his rock, paper, scissors skills after scoring against Philadelphia. Last week his team-mate .

Have Peyton Manning's ubiquitous Papa John's endorsements finally spilled over into the games themselves? It is unclear from exactly who is responding to the quarterback's audible by bellowing the pizza delivery company's name, .

Wes Welker has certainly enjoyed catching passes from Manning this year – the pair hooking up for two touchdowns on Sunday, and six so far this season. But the receiver's former partner in crime, Tom Brady, seems to be surviving OK without him. Despite the continued – and increasingly contentious – absence of tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots extended their perfect start with an impressive 30-23 win over the Falcons in Atlanta. And for all that the focus will inevitably land on Brady and the offense, the real star of the show for New England might have been cornerback Aqib Talib, who shut down Julio Jones for a large part of Sunday evening, as well as breaking up a potential game-tying pass from Matt Ryan to Roddy White in the end zone with seconds remaining.

Joining the Broncos, Chiefs, Patriots and Saints at 4-0 are Seattle, who trailed 20-3 at half-time in Houston but rallied to win 23-20 in overtime. It was cornerback Richard Sherman who tied things up in regulation, . Given that there were less than three minutes left in the game at the time, many Houston fans wanted to know what had possessed quarterback Matt Schaub - who had already given up two pick sixes this year - to throw such a pass in the first place. Others skipped the questions and .

Could we soon see the NFL expand its playoffs to a 14-team field? ESPN reported on Sunday that the idea is under "urgent" consideration by the league, and .

One moment, Josh Freeman is starting quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the next he is watching games from a suite after seemingly being banished from the sideline altogether by head coach Greg Schiano. The speed with which this relationship has fallen apart is startling. The Bucs would like to trade Freeman, but the situation is sufficiently ugly already that some are asking whether they .