In the past three weeks the NFL has seen two different quarterbacks throw for six touchdowns (the NFL record for passing touchdowns in a game). This past week Aaron Rodgers accomplished the feat, after Ben Roethlisberger achieved it in both of the weeks prior. In the new “pass happy” NFL I muse when someone will finally get to seven passing touchdowns in a game, and who that someone will be.
As far as when this happens, I speculate that it could be this year. I am seeing far too many injuries around the league, and with defenses ailing almost as much as quarterbacks are, the pickings are pretty juicy for seasoned signal callers. Acting as the honey on the already alluring treat that is the injury laden 2014 season, are the new rules that basically make it illegal to touch players outside of five yards of the line of scrimmage. Quarterbacks have been instructed this year to hurl the ball into single and even double coverage as the likelihood of a penalty is far greater than that of an interception (unless your name is Blake Bortles).
As far as the who, here is my list of usual suspects, and what I’d expect to see the Las Vegas odds for each of them being the one to break the record would be.
Peyton Manning – Denver Broncos – 7–2
Manning is the ultimate passer in the game right now. He plays in a pass happy offense with some amazing weapons that come in all shapes and sizes. Manning has also played against some teams that have poor pass defenses over the balance of the year. Kansas City and Denver are colder places to play, but San Diego and Oakland are nice and warm year round. Perfect for airing it out. It helps too that the team doesn’t have an amazing running back, or a desire to really run the ball.
Tom Brady – New England Patriots – 10–1
Brady gets to line up in a division that has improved over last year. Everyone execpt Miami is in the North Eastern part of the US in outdoor stadiums. Outside of Rob Gronkowski there are limited weapons on the Patriots to pass to, but Brady is still Brady. One game against the Jets is all that it would take. The running back situation also lends itself to Brady throwing more often than not, even near the goal line.
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – 10–1
Luck is killing it when it comes to yards, and has a good selection of passing threats as his disposal. The division either plays inside or in warmer climates and the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans are all looking pretty miserable as of late when it comes to defense (J.J. Watt excluded). I’d had Luck going off at 20 : 1 because of his age and the decent run game in Indy, but when looking at the competition I had to move him up.
Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – 15–1
Brees has put up amazing numbers in the Sean Payton offense. The division is in shambles (the Saints are winning this division with a 4 – 5 record). The only reason Brees isn’t higher is because the teams record on the road is about as good as my record with super models. Brees can get it done anywhere, but he does need some support from the rest of the team.
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – 15–1
It is getting a lot colder at this time of the year and everyone in the division plays outside except for the Lions. Rodgers is an amazing QB, but his receivers are not the all-star cast that helped him win a super bowl. There is virtually no running game in Green Bay, but they do try to create some balance, this too hurts the odds.
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – 25–1
Despite hitting six touchdowns twice this year already Big Ben is at the bottom. Statistically it’s nearly impossible for him to have three games in a season with six or more touchdowns. Ben also plays in a cold climate, with all his divisional opponents in the same outdoor setting. Putting aside the weather, the other teams in the division are much tougher. Everyone in the AFC North is above .500 and very much in the hunt. They are all also defensive minded teams. The last strike against Ben is that he has one of the better running backs in the league in his backfield. I can’t believe he threw for six touchdowns once this season, let alone twice.