Data Points: And then there were three

Since neither starting QB in the Monday night game has any chance of being mistaken for Dan Fouts, we’ll go ahead and update our weekly look at who’s on pace to break Dan Marino‘s single-season passing record right now. As we’ve noted, Marino set the mark of 5,084 yards back in 1984. As many as six passers were on pace to top that number just a couple of weeks ago. As defenses around the league have figured things out, that total is down to three:

Data Points: Most wins by QB-head coach combo

With a win against Dallas on Sunday, New England’s Tom Brady and Bill Belichick can tie Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Don Shula of Miami for the most wins (116) by a quarterback-head coach duo in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).

Data Points: These QBs take a consistent beating

When the Bears host the Vikings on Sunday night, Jay Cutler won’t be the only quarterback twitching. If it seems as if Cutler is sacked more consistently than any other QB in the league, you’re right. The Bears passer has been taken down at least once in 27 straight games, the longest active streak in the league. But Donovan McNabb isn’t far behind, having been sacked in 20 straight games.

Data Points: Five still on pace for Marino’s mark

Even Dan Marino admits that it’s only a matter of time before someone breaks his 27-year-old single-season passing record of 5,084 yards. And as we take our weekly look at the numbers, it shows that five QBs are still on pace to set a new record.

Data Points: Vick’s impressive milestone

All the panic in Philadelphia after the Eagles dropped to 1-4 has overshadowed the news that Michael Vick passed Randall Cunningham as the all-time rushing leader among quarterbacks. It’s a very impressive record for two reasons.

Data Points: Texans start strong

The Texans have gotten off to a fast start this season, and it’s fast starts that have contributed to that 3-1 record. Houston has outscored its opponents 76-13 in the first half of games. That’s been good enough to hold on for the most part, but the Texans do need to avoid the second-half letdown — particularly in the third quarter, when they’ve been outscored 21-3.

Data Points: LT closing in on 600 catches

Jets RB Shonn Greene‘s struggles this season have made LaDainian Tomlinson a key factor again — and as always, that means he’s playing a big part in the passing game. The 32-year-old veteran already has 13 catches this season, and he needs just five more to become just the fourth running back in NFL history to reach 600 for his career.

Data Points: Colts’ duo doesn’t get much help

There was a point in the first half of Monday night’s Colts-Buccaneers game when cameras spotted Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis both on the sidelines during a Tampa Bay possession. And it was no surprise that Josh Freeman used that opportunity to start throwing the football deep.

Data Points: Six QBs on pace to pass Marino

Okay, so Tom Brady is no longer on pace to throw for 7,000 yards this season — but he’s still on pace to obliterate Dan Marino‘s single-season yardage mark. And for the record, we will continue to make this a weekly feature in Data Points as long as there are still a few NFL quarterbacks threatening Marino’s mark of 5,084 yards.

Data Points: Numbers say Lions are playoff-bound

Good news for the Detroit Lions: Recent history says they now have an 82 percent chance of making their first playoff appearance since 1999. The Lions, along with the Packers, are off to a 4-0 start. Since 1990, 50 of the 61 teams to win their first four games have gone on to the postseason.

Data Points: Megatron is a scoring machine

Thanks to his hot start here in 2011, Lions WR Calvin Johnson has vaulted to the top of the list among players with the most receiving TDs since 2009. Too bad the player he passed last week — Miles Austin — is still injured and won’t be able to go head-to-head with Megatron when the Lions and Cowboys face off this Sunday.

Data Points: White’s sack dominance

How good was Reggie White? The Hall of Fame defensive end is the only player in NFL history to record more than 100 sacks in his first 100 career games. That’s not what makes White such a compelling figure — as you’ll see in Thursday night’s “A Football Life” documentary about White and former Eagles teammate Jerome Brown (NFL Network, 10 p.m. ET), but it’s part of White’s legacy.

Data Points: Passer efficiency at an all-time high

On Tuesday, we told you that five quarterbacks are still on pace to break Dan Marino‘s single-season passing yardage record. As it turns out, 2011 is shaping up to be a banner year for passing efficiency as well.

Data Points: Brady still on pace for 7,000

Last week, we told you that five quarterbacks, after two weeks, were on pace to shatter Dan Marino’s single-season passing yards record. Well, now that three games are in the books, there still are five passers on pace to beat that mark.

Data Points: Texans defense stepping up

It’s only been two games — but so far, so good for the Wade Phillips defense in Houston. The Texans have been struggling for years to field a playoff-caliber defense, and the results have been far less than satisfactory. Enter Phillips as the new defensive coordinator.

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