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Age is just a number for Reggie Wayne and Steve Smith

This week's Post-Mortem is filled with grim statistics about serious problems undercutting on-field efforts. However, Reggie Wayne and Steve Smith used Sunday to make an important statement about age. Dr. Ryan Nanni has the positive news all of #DadTwitter will be talking about.

Rob Carr

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HAERING'S DISEASE

The 1995 Atlanta Falcons gave up 4,541 passing yards, an all-time record that lasted until 2011, when both the Patriots and Packers allowed over 4,700. Though that Atlanta team no longer stands at the top of this particular mountain, we still use this term, named for their defensive coordinator that season, to describe patients who are physically incapable of stopping opposing quarterbacks and receivers.

And the Jaguars are on pace to have the worst case of Haering's Disease ever reported. Jacksonville allowed the Chargers to throw for 365 yards this week and are now on pace to give up a record-shattering 5,132 passing yards this season. Should this happen, we will have no choice but to rename this disease as Babich's Faltering Syndrome.

THE DANGERS OF BREECH FIELD POSITION

You may have heard by now that the Bears and Packers played the second game in NFL history in which neither team punted. There is no question that this was a major contributing factor to Chicago's breech field position; every Bears drive started inside their own 30 yard line, while only two of Green Bay's did. Giving the Packers a shorter field is disastrous to a defense's health and should be avoided at all costs.

EPIDEMIOLOGICAL ODDITIES

Like any branch of science, Football Epidemiology relies on the existence of a certain set of postulates. When those basic foundations are challenged or disproven, the entire field is thrown into chaos. Two of those foundations lie in ruins after this weekend:

1. A team cannot win if Ryan Fitzpatrick is its leading rusher.

This assumption had held true in the last six games in which Fitzpatrick had finished atop the rushing column in his team's side of the box score, and there was little reason to think it was in jeopardy. 31-year old journeymen quarterbacks rarely make for the best ground attack.

And yet the Texans beat Buffalo with this:

fitzpatrick leading rusher

2. If Calvin Johnson a) plays and b) is held below twenty yards receiving, the Lions will lose.

In the six games in which this set of factors had previously arisen, Detroit had always taken the loss. Johnson is such an amazing talent that his near-absence, statistically speaking, must mean disaster for the Lions. But Detroit beat the Jets despite Johnson's two catches for 12 yards.

We'll hope both of these are exceptions that prove the rule. If they aren't, we may be forced to reexamine everything we thought we knew about football.

THIS WEEK'S UNUSUAL CASE STUDY

Patient A is averaging 3.3 yards per carry this year, has just one rushing touchdown, and has caught 11 passes for 122 yards, none of them touchdowns.

Patient B is averaging 2.7 yards per carry this year, also with one touchdown on the ground. He has 10 catches for 64 yards and no scores as a receiver.

Were you forced to start one of these running backs on your team, which would you choose? If you selected Patient A, please send a note of apology to the Indianapolis Colts; you picked Trent Richardson over LeSean McCoy.

SALUTING THE HEALTHY

  • Entering yesterday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had lost the last 23 times they trailed by a touchdown or more at the start of the fourth quarter. That streak is now over, as the Bucs outscored the Steelers 10 to zero in the last fifteen minutes.
  • Since Brett Favre's retirement after the 2010 season, the Vikings have only had four games in which a quarterback threw for 300+ yards. One was yesterday, which means it is time for a very sad chart:

    300 Yard Vikings
  • Reggie Wayne and Steve Smith both finished with over 100 yards receiving; the last time two wide receivers over the age of 35 did so in the same week was 2009, when Derrick Mason and Terrell Owens showed us all that age is naught but a number.
GET WELL SOON
  • The Saints were shut out in the first half against Dallas, only the third time that's happened since Sean Payton was named head coach in 2006.
  • Carolina's running game would probably benefit from playing against Carolina's run defense; the former is the second worst in the league, averaging just over three yards per carry, and the latter is even worse, last in the league with 5.68 yards per carry allowed.
  • Decency prevents us from mentioning the Oakland Raiders in any depth.