The Chargers (128 points) and Packers (113) have outscored foes by more than any team in the NFL except the Patriots (143), yet could both miss the playoffs. Green Bay’s defense was No. 2 in the NFL last year, but the Packers lost 51-45 in the playoffs. This year, Green Bay is tied with Pittsburgh for fewest points allowed in the league with 220, yet the Packers are 1-5 in games where they don’t score at least 27 points.

The Chargers (128 points) and Packers (113) have outscored foes by more than any team in the NFL except the Patriots (143), yet could both miss the playoffs. Green Bay’s defense was No. 2 in the NFL last year, but the Packers lost 51-45 in the playoffs. This year, Green Bay is tied with Pittsburgh for fewest points allowed in the league with 220, yet the Packers are 1-5 in games where they don’t score at least 27 points.

Chicago knows how to win close games (6-2 in games decided by 7 points or fewer). Green Bay (3-6) and San Diego (1-4) don’t.

Rex probably ends McNabb era

Rex Grossman still makes too many mistakes (three turnovers Sunday), but he threw for 322 yards and four TD passes and helped the Redskins score a season-high 30 points in a 33-30 loss to Dallas. Washington hadn’t even scored 20 points in any of its four wins with McNabb, who has a passer rating above 80 in only two of his last 11 games. Grossman may not quarterback the Redskins next year, but he showed it shouldn’t be McNabb.

Flynn joins GB backup tradition

Green Bay’s Matt Flynn looked like the next Mark Brunell or Matt Hasselbeck when he passed for 251 yards and three touchdowns against the Patriots for a 100.2 passer rating. He also showed teams how to beat the Patriots, with dinks, dunks a moving pocket and ball control. Problem is, the four AFC teams good enough to beat the Patriots — the Steelers, Ravens, Jets and Chargers — all like to throw deep more than they like screens and other short passes.

Keeping an eye on the clock

Play-by-play man Jim Nantz didn’t like the end of DeSean Jackson’s game-winning 65-yard punt return against the Giants. “One second left and he couldn’t resist a showboat again with the game on the line and just straddling the goal line at the 1-yard line. That’s pretty sad,” Nantz said. Maybe Jackson was trying to milk every last second was off the clock. One play was enough for the Eagles to steal a win. Who says the Giants couldn’t have done the same?

Bucs trends come to end

Tampa Bay had been 8-0 vs. losing teams and 0-5 vs. winning teams before losing to Detroit, which snapped its NFL-record 26-game road losing streak. Still, Josh Freeman, the third first-round QB last year, looks like a keeper. The No. 17 overall pick has an 87.9 passer rating, 16th in the league and 12 spots ahead of the No. 5 Mark Sanchez of the Jets.

Rockford (Ill.) assistant sports editor Matt Trowbridge can be reached at: 815-987-1383 or mtrowbridge@rrstar.com.