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Ness Notes -- NFL Football Week 5

   by Larry Ness - 10/14/2004

Week 5 of the NFL produced the highest-scoring game average of the season by more than a touchdown! Teams combined to average 46.1 PPG, easily topping the previous weekly high of 39.0 PPG back in Week 3....

Despite the high scores there were three overtime games, after having just one OT game through the season's first four weeks. Eight of the 14 games were decided by seven points or less (57.1 percent), topping the 46.7 percent average through the first four weeks....

Home teams continue to struggle going just 7-7 SU and 5-9 ATS. On the year road teams are now 43-28-3 ATS, a winning percentage of 60.6! home dogs are just 8-14 SU and 9-12-1 ATS. Remember when you always wanted the home team on Monday night? Well not in 2004, as the visiting team on Monday nights this year has gone 4-1 SU and ATS!...

Teams with the better running games are still dominating. Following up on last week's numbers from this column, teams with the most rushing yards in a game have a winning percentage of . 676 (60.6 ATS) and teams with the most rushing attempts for the game own a winning percentage of .750 (68.1 ATS). There have been 50 100-yard performances through the season's first five weeks, the most-ever in a season's first five weeks since the 1970 merger. Teams with 100-yard players have gone 37-13 SU and 36-13-1 ATS!...

While it's easy to point to HAVES like New England and Philadelphia as well as HAVE-NOTS like Buffalo and Miami, this should be noted. The 2003 NFL season saw 13 teams win 10 games or more and 13 teams lose 10 games or more. In 2004, FIVE of the teams that won 10 or more games own losing records through five weeks while SEVEN of the 13 teams that lost 10 or more games last year have winning records!...

It will be "losers night out" in Buffalo this Sunday, as the 0-5 Dolphins meet the 0-4 Bills. This is the latest two winless teams have played in a season since 1998. Miami ranks dead-last in scoring offense (8.4 PPG) and total offense (249.2 YPG)) plus owns the league's worst turnover ratio at minus-11(the team's 16 giveaways are also a league-worst). Buffalo is second behind Miami for fewest points scored (12.8 PPG) and 28th in total offense (268.5 YPG). Looks like a dead 'over' to me....

Miami and Buffalo are the league's only two winless teams, so barring a tie, there will be only one left after Sunday. Three teams remain unbeaten at 4-0, New England and the New York Jets in the AFC and Philadelphia in the NFC. All three are home this week but only the Jets (facing 1-4 San Francisco), seemingly have a 'breather'....

The Patriots go for their 20th consecutive win (17th straight regular season win) when they host the Seahawks. Seattle has to be considered very dangerous after the Seahawks let a 27-10 lead over the Rams get away in the game's final minutes last week (lost 33-27 in OT). The Pats however, are an amazing 14-1-1 ATS in their current 16-game regular season winning streak!...

The Eagles host the Panthers on Sunday in a rematch of their 14-3 NFC Championship Game loss last January. While New England has gotten all the 'pub' surrounding its current winning streak (and rightly so!), the Eagles have gone 14-1 SU and ATS over their last 15 regular season games! Carolina is 1-3 and injured but continues to cover as an underdog! The Panthers covered at Denver last Sunday despite getting outgained 434-227! Carolina is 16-6 as an underdog under John Fox, including wins in 10 of its last 11 in that role....

GO FIGURE!...The Jacksonville Jaguars opened the year 3-0 SU and ATS with QB Byron Leftwich averaging 130.3 YPG passing . Leftwich has thrown for 318 and 357 yards the last two weeks and the Jags are 0-2 SU and ATS! The Jags are the only team with a winning record to have allowed more points (86) than they've scored (73)....

WOULD YOU BELIEVE....That if the Lions beat the Packers on Sunday, Detroit with Joey Harrington at QB will be 4-1 and Green Bay with Brett Favre will be 1-5?...

OR THAT....San Diego visits Atlanta this week and San Diego QB Drew Brees has eight TD passes and two interceptions for a QB rating of 100.00 (5th-best in the NFL) and that Atlanta QB Mike Vick has yet to top 200 yards passing in five tries and owns a QB rating of 77.7?...

AND FINALLY....That the NFL's leading receiver is San Francisco TE Eric Johnson with 41 catches. Johnson naturally learned his pass-catching skills at....Yale??..


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