What a difference a game makes.
The Green Bay Packers stumbled out of the gate here in 2012, but returned to relevance Sunday night with an emphatic, dominant and, yes, historic win on the road against the previously unbeaten Houston Texans.
Aaron Rodgers powered the victory with a brilliant passing performance, joining the very short list of men in what the Cold, Hard Football Facts call the 300-6-0 club.
OK, it doesn't roll off the tongue quite like baseball's 40-40 club.
But the 300-6-0 club is a rare group of quarterbacks who, for one game, did everything almost perfectly: got the ball downfield (300+ yards), put the ball in the end zone (6+ TDs) and kept the ball out of the hands of the opposition (0 INT).
The first member of the 300-6-0 club was Y.A. Tittle, who joined in his breakout season of 1962. He set an NFL record with 33 TD passes that year, and followed it up with 36 in 1963 -- a record which stood for 21 years until Dan Marino smashed it with 48 TD tosses.
Tittle's 300-6-0 effort lasted even longer as a singular event. It was the only game of its kind for nearly 30 years and still one of the great single-game performances in football history.
Here's a look the seven 300-6-0 games in NFL history, in chronological order.
Young deserves special note. His is the only 300-6-0 performance in the postseason -- and in the Super Bowl no less. He embarrassed the Chargers and famously "got the monkey off his back" leading San Francisco to its fifth and most recent Super Bowl victory.
Rypien somehow racked up 6 TDs and led his Redskins to 56 points while completing just 16 passes. He ended the year with a 37-24 Super Bowl victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Manning and Brady posted so-called "perfect" passer ratings in the process of their 300-6-0 days. Brady, meanwhile, is the only QB on the list twice -- the second effort coming on a snowy day in Foxboro. The Patriots tied the record that day for biggest blowout (59 points) since World War II.
Tittle's numbers are amazing even a half century later. He tore up the Redskins back in an era when defenders could prison shank wide receivers.
And he ruined Washington's season in the process. The Redskins were 4-0-2 entering that game against the Giants. They ended the year 5-7-2.
One can only wonder if Rodgers' effort will have the same effect on the Texans. Like the 1962 Redskins, they were undefeated at the time of their meltdown. Houston, 5-0 entering the game, went from dominant to helpless in the face of the Packers offensive onslaught.
In fact, given the quality of the defenses each QB faced, Rodgers' effort may be the best of the bunch in the 300-6-0 club.
He statistically skewered the stout defense for a previously undefeated team and cooked it over an open fire of red-hot passing excellence.
The Texans are a shadow of their statistical self today, in the wake of that one game.
Here's where Houston ranked in key defensive indicators before facing Rodgers and the Packers -- and here's where they rank today, licking their statistical and physical wounds in the process.
Houston dropped an incredible 12 spots in the space of this one game in Defensive Passer Rating.
It's a huge and sobering note for the Texans. Teams rarely compete for championships with a DPR outside the top 10 league-wide. And only five teams in history have won a championship with a DPR worse than 80.0.
The Texans defense looked extraordinary Sunday morning. It looks merely ordinary today.
Conversely, the Packers offense suddenly looks back in 2011 form. Rodgers & Co. topped the NFL last year in almost all of the indicators we use to measure passing efficiency at Cold, Hard Football Facts.
This year was a different story.
The Packers were 11th in Real Quarterback Rating (85.3) and 6th in Offensive Passer Rating (99.3) when they stepped onto the field in Houston Sunday night.
They are No. 4 (93.4) in Real Quarterback Rating and No. 1 (107.3) in Offensive Passer Rating today.
Rodgers may have put up the most impressive numbers in Week 6. But it was also a historic day for those who admire clutch play and big comebacks.
Peyton Manning led the Broncos to a 35-24 win in San Diego Monday night, in a game that Denver trailed 24-0 at halftime.
Along with way, he surpassed legendary Dan Marino for the most fourth-quarter comeback victories in NFL history (37), according to "Captain Comeback" Scott Kacsmar, the nation's top authority on comebacks and game-winning drives. He provides all the comeback and game-winning drive data for CHFF and for ProFootballReference.com.
Manning leads an elite list of big-game quarterbacks. Here's the top 5 all-time in fourth-quarter comeback wins:
Peyton Manning -- 37Dan Marino -- 36Johnny Unitas -- 34John Elway -- 34Joe Montana -- 31
Meanwhile, Matt Ryan made some history this week, too. He struggled early against the second-rate Raiders, throwing three first-half picks. Oakland had not picked off a single pass all year entering the game.
But Matty Ice came on strong late, as he so often does, leading the undefeated Falcons to a tougher-than-expected 23-20 victory.
In the process, he surpassed Tom Brady for the best record in NFL history in fourth-quarter comeback and overtime opportunities (min. 30 opportunities).
Ryan is now 19-11 (.633) in comeback and game-winning drive opportunities, edging past Brady, who is 37-23 (.617)
The Chicago Bears hibernated in Week 6, enjoying their bye week just five games into the season.
But this flawed team with the stout defense and issues on offense emerges from the week high atop the statistical elite -- No. 1 on the Cold, Hard Football Facts Relativity Index.
This indicator measures how well each team performs relative to the quality of its competition.
The Relativity Index is not impressed by big wins over bad teams, such as Tampa Bay's 38-10 win over the Chiefs this week. Conversely, it punishes you for close wins over bad teams, such as Atlanta's 23-20 escape at home against Oakland.
The Bears, however, have enjoyed four blowout wins, albeit over largely second-rate competition. They have yet to face a team that's currently sporting a winning record, and were beat badly, 23-10, by the Packers.
Still, Chicago is No. 1 in scoring defense and No. 2 in scoring offense. Not bad for a team in nobody's discussion of NFL elite.
The Relativity Index tells us that Chicago averages 29.8 PPG against teams that give up 24.95 PPG in their other contests. That's a +4.85 PPG scoring advantage.
The Bears have surrendered just 14.2 PPG against teams that score 22.6 PPG in their other contests. That's a +8.40 PPG advantage for the Chicago defense.
Add those totals together, and the Bears are a league-best +13.15 PPG better than their opponents' average performance. Can't do better than No. 1.
Certainly, all the defensive scores help pad the total -- including a pair of pick-6s by Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs in each of the team's last two games.
But as we like to say, the scoreboard doesn't care about the method by which you get the points, only that you get them. The bigger question is whether the stout defensive play and recent surge of offense are sustainable.
The N.Y. Giants, meanwhile, powered up the list on the heels of their 26-3 win at San Francisco. That's the time of game that would excite the Relativity Index if it suffered the weakness of human emotion -- a big win over a strong team.
As a result of that game, the Giants raced nine spots up the indicator, from No. 12 last week to No. 3 this week.
Here's the Top 10 on the Relativity Index entering Week 7, plus the movement up or down the leaderboard for each team in Week 6:
1. Chicago -- +13.25 (+1)2. San Francisco -- +12.87 (-1)3. N.Y. Giants -- +11.4 (+9)4. Denver -- +10.33 (-1)5. Green Bay -- +8.90 (+2)6. New England -- +8.87 (unchanged)7. Houston -- +7.70 (-2)8. Atlanta -- +7.43 (-4)9. Dallas -- +4.80 (+4)10. Baltimore -- +4.67 (-2)
The Bears need to prove that they can beat up good competition. So far, we only know that they can beat up bad teams.