The New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers fans will try to set a Guinness world record for the largest Halloween gathering ever.
A Guinness adjudicator will attend tonight's Steelers-Saints game at the Superdome to determine whether it qualifies as the largest group of people to gather in costume in one place.
The Saints are also hosting a costume contest in Champions Square outside the stadium before the game.
It won't be that tough. The current record is 508, and the Superdome has a capacity of around 70,000.
Lots of points
Last weekend's average points were the second-highest since the 1970 merger. In 14 games, there were 737 points scored, an average of 52.6 per game. That has been beaten only by Week 7 in 1983, which averaged 54.4 points per game (761 points) for 14 games.
One reason for the surge in scoring: turnovers. There were 64 takeaways last week — and nine interceptions were turned into touchdowns, a record for one day. Cincinnati's Adam "Pacman" Jones ran back a fumble 59 yards for a score, and Dallas' Dez Bryant had a punt return score. The big contributors to the points parade were the Giants-Cowboys (41-35, Giants) and Raiders-Broncos (59-14, Oakland) games. In 1983, the highest-scoring game in Week 7 was the Packers over the Redskins 48-47 in a Monday night game.
Send them back?
The NFL quit conducting "American Bowl" preseason games in London in the early 1990s because British fans figured out what they really were — no-count exhibitions that featured mere cameo appearances by the biggest-name players.
So the Brits stopped paying and the NFL stopped coming. The NFL then tried to base its World League operation out of London in the mid-1990s, but it was the same story. So three years ago, the NFL began giving England the real thing, scheduling a regular-season game in London. But the Brits may yearn for the World League after today. The NFL is sending the Broncos and 49ers across the pond. The teams are a combined 3-11. San Francisco ranks in the bottom half of the league in offense and will be starting a backup quarterback (Troy Smith). The Broncos rank in the bottom half of the league in defense. The 49ers lost to previously winless Carolina last week, and the Broncos were shellacked for 59 points by Oakland.
Even the indestructible Brett Favre finds himself in the NFL sick bay this week.
Favre has started a record 291 consecutive games in the NFL at quarterback — every game since the fourth weekend of the 1992 season. If he is to hobble out for start No. 292 Sunday at New England, Favre will do so with two fractures in his left ankle.Favre became the 15th quarterback to leave a game with an injury last Sunday night when his Minnesota Vikings lost to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Tony Romo became the 16th quarterback on the injured list the following night when he suffered a fractured clavicle in a loss to the New York Giants.
Favre and Romo are the two highest-profile injuries at quarterback. But there are plenty of household names in their parade to the sideline. Two 2009 Pro Bowlers, Aaron Rodgers and Vince Young, also have suffered injuries, as have former first overall draft picks Alex Smith, Matthew Stafford and Michael Vick.
Injuries forced the Cleveland Browns to start three different quarterbacks before Halloween. The Pittsburgh Steelers also have used three quarterbacks this season, but not because of injury. Incumbent starter Ben Roethlisberger missed the first month of the season because of an NFL suspension for conduct detrimental to the league.
David Garrard saw his streak of 38 consecutive starts for the Jacksonville Jaguars end with a concussion in the sixth week against Tennessee. Romo's streak of 29 consecutive starts comes to an end today. He is expected to miss a minimum of six weeks.
Because of all the injuries, 45 quarterbacks have already started games in the NFL this season. The count increases to 47 this week when Jon Kitna replaces Romo and Troy Smith replaces Alex Smith in the San Francisco lineup. Tarvaris Jackson could be No. 48 if Favre can't go.
And that's just through eight weeks of the season. In 2009, the NFL needed only 54 different starting quarterbacks to get through the entire season.