BY THE NUMBERS fastest to 400 catches

Saints receiver Michael Thomas needs to catch six passes in his next five games to reach 400 receptions faster than any other player in NFL history.

Considering he leads the NFL in catches (73) and receiving yards (825) this season, we like his chances of setting that mark as early as Sunday against Atlanta.

Sunday will be Thomas’ 56th career game. Currently, the fastest to 400 catches in league history is Odell Beckham Jr. (61), followed by Julio Jones and Jarvis Landry (64).

Thomas needs only seven more catches this season to surpass Landry’s record for most catches through four seasons (400). He also needs just 125 yards to join Mike Evans, A.J. Green and Randy Moss as the only players in NFL history to post 1,000 yards receiving in each of their first four seasons.

Did you know stats of the week

Keeping up with the Smiths: Green Bay’s super sack duo

• In 16 games last season, the Packers had only one player with more than six sacks. Through nine games this year, they have two with more than eight sacks. Prized free-agent signees Za’Darius Smith (8½) and Preston Smith (8) are leading the revamped Packers defense. Playing the Panthers at home on Sunday, the Smiths have an outside shot at becoming the sixth pair of teammates to each post at least 10 sacks in the first 10 games of a season. The five that have done it are: Buffalo’s Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams in 2014; Miami’s Trace Armstrong and Jason Taylor in 2000; Tampa Bay’s Warren Sapp and Marcus Jones in 2000; San Francisco’s Chris Doleman and Roy Barker in 1998 and Kansas City’s Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith in 1992.

 

Stafford’s 150th game: Another 300 & 3 TDs?

• Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is riding a three-game streak of throwing for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately for Detroit, he’s 1-2 in those games. Sunday’s game against the Bears will be Stafford’s 150th in the NFL. He has 22 games in which he’s thrown for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns. That’s the fifth-most in a player’s first 150 games behind Aaron Rodgers (31), Drew Brees (27), Dan Marino (26) and Kurt Warner (23). Stafford can tie Warner on Sunday.

MARK CRAIG