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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: Dean's List: On Average, NFC Average in 2004

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posted on Nov, 20 2004 @ 03:04 PM
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Take one look at the NFC and you'll know that Parity is here to stay in the NFL...
 

Just about every team in the National Football Conference has been awfully average in 2004. Through nine games, nine out the conference's 16 teams have a record of 4-5 or 5-4. Talk about mediocre. Even Michael Vick's Falcons, who have the NFC's second-best record at 7-2, aren't living up to the hype. In fact, Atlanta's scoring average of 21.6 points per game barely exceeds the 20.4 they're giving up. On average, that is...

But that's not all. AFC teams own eight of the ten best records and seven of the eight highest point differentials in the NFL. And if evolution has its way, the "less mediocre" teams of the American Football Conference won't be safe for long...

Amazingly, the Jaguars have scored less points than they've given up but have an AFC South-leading 6-3 record to show for it. The statistics say that - on average - Jacksonville loses 18.1 to 16.8 in 2004. In the NFC, the stats argue that St. Louis isn't any better. Despite their 5-4 record, the West-leading Rams are a losing team on paper, averaging 22.6 and surrendering 24.1 points per game. But as the legendary Bill Parcells would say, "you are what you are," and Jacksonville and St. Louis are winning teams with playoff bids likely awaiting them come January. Maybe the numbers lie sometimes after all...

Heading into Week 10, the surprising 6-3 San Diego Chargers boasted the biggest point differential in the NFL, outscoring opponents by almost 10 points per game (9.9)...

Not surprisingly, the 8-1 Eagles, Patriots and Steelers rank 2-3-5 in the league in point differential with plus margins of 9.5, 9.4 and 8.3 points per game. The top-scoring Colts, who are running up 33.1 points per game behind Peyton Manning's league-leading 31 touchdown passes, come in at number four with a positive differential of 8.7 points per contest...

Speaking of the Indy offense, Manning and wide-out Marvin Harrison are the most prolific quarterback-receiver tandem in NFL history with a record 76 touchdowns through the air. This duo is dynamic, their legacy of greatness anything but ambiguous. Harrison is Manning's go-to-guy, Batman's Robin, Montana's Rice, the MVP's MVP...

Or is he? Thus far in 2004, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokely - the Colts' number two and three receivers - have posted numbers remarkably similar to Harrison's. Stokely has 41 catches for 665 yards (16.2 yards per catch) and five touchdowns. Wayne has 41 catches for 636 yards (15.5 ypc) and seven touchdowns. And Harrison has 47 catches for 588 yards (12.5 ypc) and seven touchdowns. Very similar, indeed...

But let's be serious. Stokely and Wayne might measure up to Marvin on paper, but they're not the ones drawing the double teams. They're not the ones opening up the Colt offense. And they're not the ones Manning will look for come January. Like it or not, Stokely and Wayne will never carry Harrison's jock, wear his tights or sport his mask for that matter. And like it or not, they'll never be Batman's Robin...

True to form, Graham is cracking. After scoring five touchdowns on 12 receptions in New England's first four games, Patriots tight end Daniel Graham has just seven catches for no scores in the last five...

There was never a better takeaway than when Philadelphia linebacker Mark Simoneau ripped the ball out of Eddie George's hands during this past Monday's Eagles/Cowboys game. Why? Because he literally took the ball away from the Dallas running back...

So the consensus among white men ages 18-34 - the target demographic of NFL - is that they weren't offended by the sexual content in this past week's "Monday Night Football" teaser. You know, the one that outraged countless parents, conservatives and stereotype-weary African Americans. (For those of you who've been asleep for the past five days, the ABC cross-promotional spot featured "Desperate Houswife" Nicolette Sheridan seducing Philadelphia's Terrell Owens in the Eagles locker room by dropping her bath towel and leaping into his arms.) But I wonder: If the SWMs were so indifferent to the segment, why couldn't they stop talking about it on sports talk radio and around those elusive water coolers across the country? To convince others otherwise? Or to merely prove just how disinterested they really were? Rhetorically speaking, I'm Dean Christopher...




 
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