Good news/bad news for the Denver Broncos

Peyton

Okay Broncos fans… do you want the good news first or the bad news?

Let’s assume you want the good news first: The 2015 Denver Broncos became the first team in 38 years to win a Super Bowl after losing the Super Bowl either the previous year or two years back. The Broncos lost Super Bowl #48 to the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 but won the title two years later.

Here’s a look at the five teams in Super Bowl history to win a Super Bowl within two years of losing the title contest.

Baltimore Colts: Lost Super Bowl #3… won Super Bowl #5
Dallas Cowboys: Lost Super Bowl #5… won Super Bowl #6
Miami Dolphins: Lost Super Bowl #6… won Super Bowl #7
Dallas Cowboys: Lost Super Bowl #10… won Super Bowl #12
Denver Broncos: Lost Super Bowl #48… won Super Bowl #50

That’s the good news; now for the not-so-good news. Can the Broncos return to the Super Bowl next year to defend their title? Past history indicates there is about a one in five chance they will be back in the Super Bowl in 2017 representing the AFC.

Of the previous 49 Super Bowl champs, only 11 of them returned to the Super Bowl the following year. Following is a list of those teams.

Green Bay Packers: won Super Bowl #1… won Super Bowl #2
Miami Dolphins: Won Super Bowl #7… won Super Bowl #8
Pittsburgh Steelers: Won Super Bowl #9… won Super Bowl #10
Dallas Cowboys: Won Super Bowl #12… lost Super Bowl #13
Washington Redskins: Won Super Bowl #17… lost Super Bowl #18
San Francisco 49ers: Won Super Bowl #23… won Super Bowl #24
Dallas Cowboys: Won Super Bowl #27… won Super Bowl #28
Green Bay Packers: Won Super Bowl #31… lost Super Bowl #32
Denver Broncos: Won Super Bowl #32… won Super Bowl #33
New England Patriots: Won Super Bowl #38… won Super Bowl #39
Seattle Seahawks: Won Super Bowl #48… lost Super Bowl #49

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NBA numbers: 40 victories in their first 50 games

GSSA

For the second consecutive year, two NBA teams reached the 50-game mark in an NBA season with 40 or more wins. This year the Golden State Warriors (46 wins) and the San Antonio Spurs (42) reached that mark. Last year it was the Warriors (41) and the Atlanta Hawks (41). Two teams reaching 40 victories in their first 50 games in the same season has happened four other times in NBA history: 2006, 2005, 1985 and 1981.

The Spurs and Warriors this year became the 28th and 29th teams in NBA history to reach 40 wins in their first 50 games. Of the previous 27 teams, 14 won the NBA title that year. The Warriors, with their 46 wins in 50 games this season, tied the NBA mark of the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers who also won 46 of their first 50 games.

Here’s a breakdown of the 27 teams prior to this season that had 40 victories in their first 50 games. (The year listed is the year the playoffs started that season).

46 wins: 1967 Philadelphia (won title)

45 wins: 1996 Chicago (won title)

44 wins: 1997 Chicago (won title)

43 wins: 1972 L.A. Lakers (won title); 1983 Philadelphia (won title)

42 wins: 1965 Boston (won title); 1978 Portland (lost in Western Conf. semis); 2011 San Antonio (lost in Western Conf. first round)

41 wins: 1971 Milwaukee (won title); 1973 Boston (los in Eastern Conf. finals); 1981 Boston (won title); 1981 Philadelphia (lost in Eastern Conf. finals); 1985 Boston (lost in NBA Finals); 1986 Boston (won title); 1988 L.A. Lakers (won title); 1991 Portland (lost in Western Conf. finals); 1992 Chicago (won title); 2006 Detroit (lost in Eastern Conf. finals); 2007 Dallas (lost in Western Conf. first round); 2008 Boston (won title); 2009 Boston (lost in Eastern Conf. finals); 2009 L.A. Lakers (won title); 2015 Atlanta (lost in Eastern Conf. finals); 2015 Golden State (won title).

40 wins: 1985 Philadelphia (lost in Eastern Conf. finals); 2006 San Antonio (lost in Western Conf. semis); 2012 Chicago (lost in Eastern Conf. first round).

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Broncos can’t let Panthers get off to a quick start

SB2016

One of the talking points in the time leading up to the Super Bowl this Sunday has been how can the Denver Broncos prevent the Carolina Panthers from getting off to a fast start. Over their previous two playoff games, the Panthers have jumped off to a 14-point lead at the end of the first quarter in their playoff contest against the Seahawks, and to a 17-point first-quarter lead in the NFC Championship Game two weeks ago versus Arizona.

Let’s take a look at the previous Super Bowls and how well teams did when they had substantial leads after each of the three quarters.

10-point or more lead after the first quarter
There have been nine Super Bowl games where one team had a lead of 10 points or more after the first quarter. Those teams won seven of the nine games. The two teams that lost: Indianapolis had a 10-point lead in the 2009 Super Bowl games versus New Orleans; the Saints came back to win that game 31-17… Denver had a 10-point lead over Washington in their 1988 Super Bowl contest; the Redskins came back to overwhelm the Broncos and won the game 42-10. The biggest first quarter lead in the Super Bowl was 14 points; that was accomplished by three teams (Miami, 1973, Oakland, 1981, and Green Bay, 2011).

14-point or more lead at halftime
There have been 15 Super Bowls where one team had a lead of 14 points or more at halftime. Those teams went on to win all 15 of those games. The last time a team had a 14-point or greater lead at halftime was in 2014 when the Seahawks had a 22-point lead over the Broncos. The biggest halftime lead was in 1988 when the Redskins had a 25-point lead over the Broncos at half.

17-point or more lead after three quarters
There has been 14 Super Bowls where one team had a lead of 17 points or more going into the fourth quarter. All 14 of those teams went on to win the Super Bowl. The last time a team had a 17-point or greater lead after three quarters was in 2014 when Seattle had a 28-point lead over Denver. The biggest lead going into the fourth quarter of any Super Bowl was in 1986 when the Chicago Bears had a 41-point lead over New England. There has been only one time in Super Bowl history that a team lost the game after having a lead of 10 points or more going into the final period. It happened last year when Seattle led the Patriots by 10 points after three quarters but lost the game 28-24.

The takeaway from this piece: You certainly don’t want to get behind in the Super Bowl, especially by two touchdowns or more.

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Milwaukee Brewers home runs… by the alphabet

HomeRun

Ryan Braun passed Robin Yount last season for the most career home runs with the Brewers. Braun now holds the team record with 255 career HRs with the Brewers; Yount had 251.

Keeping on the topic of home runs, do you think you could answer which Brewers player has the most career home runs based on the first letter of the last name? Only one letter of the alphabet is not represented among Brewers players… you guessed it, X.

How many of these would you have gotten right?

A: Hank Aaron, 22
B: Ryan Braun, 255
C: Cecil Cooper, 201
D: Rob Deer, 137
E: Johnny Estrada, 10
F: Prince Fielder, 230
G: Carlos Gomez, 87
H: Corey Hart, 154
I: Travis Ishikawa, 4
J: Geoff Jenkins, 212
K: George Kottaras, 17
L: Sixto Lezcano, 102
M: Paul Molitor, 160
N: Dave Nilsson, 105
O: Ben Oglivie, 176
P: Darrell Porter, 54
Q: Jamie Quirk, 3
R: Aramis Ramirez, 65
S: Richie Sexson, 133
T: Gorman Thomas, 208
U: Tim Unroe, 2
V: Greg Vaughn, 169
W: Rickie Weeks, 148
X: (None)
Y: Robin Yount, 251
Z: Gregg Zaun, 2

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Top QBR numbers for the Super Bowl

Phil Simms: The highest QBR in Super Bowl history

Phil Simms: The highest QBR in Super Bowl history

With more than half of the MVPs in the Super Bowl being quarterbacks, it’s not surprising that the performance of each team’s QB plays an important role in a team’s chances to win a Super Bowl title.

Over the past several years football has used a QB Rating to help us quantify how well a QB has played in a game. The QBR can range from 0 to a “perfect” score of 158.3. While we have not had a “perfect” QBR in the 49-year history of the Super Bowl, there have been a couple of performances that came close.

New York Giants QB Phil Simms in 1987 had a QBR of 150.9 in the Giants 39-20 win over the Denver Broncos. That is the highest QBR of any QB in Super Bowl history. The Top Five QBRs in the Super Bowl after Simms: Joe Montana, San Francisco, 1990 (147.6), Jim Plunkett, Oakland, 1981 (145.0), Troy Aikman, Dallas, 1993 (140.7), Steve Young, San Francisco, 1995 (134.8).

There have been four QBs that had a Super Bowl QBR over 100 that lost the championship game. They are:

Jake Delhomme, Carolina, 2004… 113.6
Kurt Warner, Arizona, 2009… 112.3
Russell Wilson, Seattle, 2015… 110.6
Roger Staubach, Dallas, 1979… 100.4

The quarterback with the lowest QBR to win a Super Bowl was Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger in 2006. He had a 22.6 QBR in the Steelers’ 21-10 Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks. Next lowest is Denver’s John Elway in 1998 versus Green Bay; his QBR in that win was 51.9.

One final stat: There have been 99 quarterbacks that have attempted 10 or more passes in a Super Bowl game. Here’s the breakdown of each QB’s QBR and the record of the teams in those QBRs.

QBR over 100: 28 wins-4 losses (.875)
QBR 80-99.9: 14-9 (.609)
QBR 50-79.9: 5-21 (.192)
QBR under 50: 1-17 (.056)

  • QBR of 90 or above: 36-8 (.818)
  • QBR of 80 or above: 42-13 (.764)
  • QBR under 80: 6-38 (.136)
  • QBR under 60: 3-24 (.111)

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