Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) makes a catch against Carolina Panthers cornerback Daryl Worley (26) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

 

“Breaking records is not something you expect to do.  That’s a sports thing, not a comedy or writing thing.” – Louis C.K.

 

So, Jeff sits down and says to me, “Julio Jones had a day, huh?”  Immediately, the 300 yard club came to mind.  Who are they?  How many NFL receivers have caught balls for that much yardage in a single game?  And, who is Jeff, you might say?

Jeff and I began to peruse the list.  It’s quite short.  Jones’ 12 catch, 300 yard performance on Sunday against Carolina was only the 6th in league history.  Willie “Flipper” Anderson has the league record for receiving yardage in a game with 336 against New Orleans in 1989.  Detroit’s recently retired Calvin Johnson had 329 in 2013, Kansas City’s Stephone Paige recorded 309 in 1985, and Jim Benton of the Cleveland Rams had 303 in 1945.

But it was a fellow named Cloyce Box who, in 1950, recorded 302 yards receiving for Detroit against the Baltimore Colts while hauling in 4 touchdown passes with only 12 receptions from quarterback Bobby Layne.  I’m no math wizard but that’s over 25 yards per catch and a touchdown per every three.

cloyce-box

Box was born in 1923 in Hamilton, Texas and didn’t even see a football game until he was 18 years old.  He played a total of just 5 seasons, all with Detroit from 1949 through 1954 with the exception of 1951 when he was called in to active duty in the U.S. Marines.  My man Cloyce won NFL championships and made the Pro Bowl in both 1951 and 1953.  He achieved All Pro status in 1952.

After Box’s short lived but eventful NFL career, he became an oil tycoon and allowed his own ranch in Frisco, Texas to serve as the original setting for the mini series that turned in to the show, “Dallas.”

Both Cloyce and his brother Boyce (of course his brother’s name was Boyce) attended West Texas A & M.  Afterwards Boyce joined his brother in the U.S. Marines.  Cloyce Box passed away in 1993 at the young age of 70.

Big thanks to Julio Jones for causing Cloyce Box’s name to come across my desk on a Monday morning.  An interesting guy from the annals of NFL history.

 

A parity filled Week 4 gives way to YOUR NFL Notes & Musings…

 

Indianapolis GM Ryan Grigson is the latest ‘Teflon Don’ of the NFL.  Owner Jim Irsay has given him more than ample time to build that roster.  Can you imagine how bad the Colts would be without Andrew Luck?  They are proof, however, that you while you may have a franchise quarterback, it isn’t always enough.

 

Through the first three quarters on Thursday night, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green had already accumulated 166 yards receiving while the entire Miami offense had only mustered 152 yards total.

 

Call me picky but I prefer players that choose to protest the National Anthem prior to games be those that are regarded as contributors in their community.  Well, Indianapolis cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who has fathered more children out of wedlock than most third world villages, chose to kneel then proceeded to get toasted by the Jaguars in his team’s loss in London.  Cromartie, the pillar of his community that he is, was rewarded by being given his release on Tuesday.  At least now he will have more time to continue making a difference.  Jacksonville’s comeback win may have saved head coach Gus Bradley’s job for now, especially since the Jaguars have led the league in surrendered wins since 2014.

 

Julio Jones wasn’t the only record setting Falcon on Sunday.  Quarterback Matt Ryan set a franchise record with 503 passing yards.  Jones’ 300 yards receiving are also a franchise record and both totals are the most ever allowed by a Carolina defense.

 

The Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers, two teams that met in last year’s NFC Championship game are a combined 2 – 6 at the quarter-way mark this season.  In 2015, these two teams combined for 4 losses all year.

 

The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, two teams that met in last year’s AFC Championship are a combined 7 – 1 at the quarter-way mark this season.

 

The Oakland Raiders have won their first three games on the road for the first time since 2002.

 

Chicago’s win on Sunday against Detroit put an end to a 6 game home losing streak.

 

It always bothers me when I see a team like the Lions who lost a close game that was close throughout did not commit to their running game.  Detroit’s leading rusher, Theo Riddick, only had 11 rush attempts.  Detroit has now lost 3 straight games and will welcome the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles to Ford Field this coming Sunday.

 

Sunday’s game against Tennessee was Houston’s first without all world defensive end J.J. Watt since 2010.  The usually durable Watt was drafted the following season and had previously started all 83 games prior.  Watt is likely to miss the rest of the season following a back injury that he believed to have taken care of with offseason surgery.  It’s a big loss for the Texans.  J.J. is not only their best player but, arguably, the best defensive player in the league and, pretty much, the face of the NFL marketing campaign.

 

Sunday also marked the first punt return for a touchdown by Houston’s Will Fuller, at any level.

 

In his last 2 games, both losses, Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown 9 interceptions and 1 touchdown.

 

After Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian left Sunday’s game in Tampa Bay near the end of the first half with a non-throwing shoulder injury, rookie Paxton Lynch took the first snaps of his career.  Lynch finished the game going 14 of 24 for 170 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions.  Head coach Gary Kubiak stated after the game that Siemian will remain the starter as long as he is healthy.

 

Sunday was the first time the New England Patriots have ever been shut out at Gillette Stadium, which they moved in to in 2002.  The shutout came at the hands of head coach Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills and you can be certain that no one enjoyed the win more than Rex.  It was only Buffalo’s second win in New England in 16 years and marked the first time the Patriots were shut out at any home stadium since 1993.

 

The Rams are 3 – 1 for the first time in ten years.  In case you haven’t noticed, while not on their level, Los Angeles plays and wins in similar fashion to the Minnesota Vikings.  Solid defense and a good running game keep the pressure off quarterback Case Keenum who can manage a game as long as he doesn’t turn the ball over.

 

Arizona, despite outgaining Los Angeles in total offense 440 yards to 288, lost the game primarily because they turned the ball over 5 times to the Rams’ 1.

 

Sunday marked the first time Saints quarterback Drew Brees played in San Diego since December 31, 2005 when he played for the Chargers, the team that drafted him.  He then had off-season shoulder surgery before New Orleans signed him as a free agent, the Saints’ best move in franchise history.  Brees, my all time favorite non-Eagle, capitalized on two crucial late game Bolt turnovers by tossing a pair of touchdown passes in the final 5 minutes to erase a 13 point deficit and claim N’Awlins’ first win of the year.  Prior to the game, Brees walked to the spot on the field where he suffered that near catastrophic shoulder injury, kneeled and prayed.

 

Some things never change.  Instead of protecting a two touchdown lead against Dallas, San Francisco’s stubborn head coach Chip Kelly kept his offensive tempo up, effectively wearing out his defense once again who collapsed in the fourth quarter, allowing the Cowboys to come back and steal a win.

 

Sunday’s win against Kansas City was Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s 5th career 5 touchdown game.  Pittsburgh running back Le’veon Bell’s return from suspension was a successful one as he carried the ball 18 times for 144 yards and added 5 receptions for 34 yards.  The Steelers set a franchise record by scoring 22 points in the first quarter.

 

Is Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. going to cry during every game?  New York not only competes against their weekly opponent but has to compete against Beckham, as well.  The man can not control himself at all during these games to the point where he isn’t communicating with quarterback Eli Manning at the line of scrimmage, not to mention he is a walking personal foul.

 

The Minnesota Vikings’ defense owns the NFL’s best turnover margin thus far at -10.

 

The Los Angeles Rams are 3 -1, yet are -13 in total point differential.  Tampa Bay is the league’s worst at -51.  The Philadelphia Eagles are the league’s best at +65.

 

And finally, here are my top 10 teams, in order, now that the season is already 25% complete:

  1. Denver
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. New England
  4. Minnesota
  5. Seattle
  6. Green Bay
  7. Philadelphia
  8. Atlanta
  9. Cincinnati
  10. Dallas

 

 

This week’s Darrentees…

 

San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick will be named the starting quarterback within three weeks.

 

Neither team that played in last year’s NFC Championship game (Carolina and Arizona) will qualify for the post-season.

 

2016 will be Colts’ GM Ryan Grigson’s last with the team.

 

In other words…

 

I’m fortunate enough, despite not knowing a single thing about the game of soccer, to be a coach on both of my daughters’ teams.  One plays for U8 and another for U6 in Evesham Township, NJ.  I’ve been coaching for a few years because it’s fun and it is impossible for me to be too involved with my kids.  Let this be a public service announcement to parents who think their child doesn’t play the right position or feel their kid is slighted in some ways…get a grip.

I can’t speak for other coaching staffs but we always rotate our kids the same, they all play every position for the same amount of time to the point where we keep notes each week for every game.

Parents are the worst.  The kids, at young ages, are there to have fun, learn what it means to be a teammate and learn how to both win and lose the right way.  Your kid, likely, isn’t going to play for the Eagles, Flyers, Sixers, Phillies or Union.  Just let them have fun.  They’re not training for the Olympics.  Sit back, coffee in hand and enjoy the smiles on your children’s faces.  Thanks, in advance.

 

YOUR Football Friday starts early on Sportsradio 94WIP in Philadelphia as I join Big Daddy Graham in studio.  The fun starts at 2am.

 

Follow me on Twitter:  @darrendegaetano

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Darren DeGaetano
A lifelong buddy of Voodoo Brown's, Darren was born in Philadelphia and resides with his family in South Jersey. His resume includes ten years producing sports radio in Philadelphia and five years as a writer, director and producer for NFL Films. His weekly NFL NOTES & MUSINGS column provides his thoughts, anecdotes and eye opening statistics that happened over the previous weekend. Additionally, every Friday, Darren offers his "What 2 Watch 4" column to set you up for the coming weekend football action. Darren's best known annual piece features his Darrentees, a collection of NFL bold and not so bold predictions for the season at hand. Finally, Darren is a full time NFL Insider for Philadelphia's Sportsradio 94.1 WIP and co-hosts the Thursday night / Friday morning overnight show with Big Daddy Graham and can be heard on the official Philadelphia Eagles post-game show. He also likes red wine. Lots and lots of red wine.

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