Imagine an NFL team with an effective offense and an unbreakable defense. Seems like the recipe for a championship team, right?
Let’s put some numbers to the above concept.
On offense, let’s look at teams that average 5.6 or more yards per play. On defense, let’s look at teams that allow less than 4.6 yards per play by their opponents. How many teams fit into those parameters… both on offense and defense?
For the 2013 NFL season, only one team fits the bill… the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll’s offense (through Week #13) are averaging 5.89 yards per play on offense. On defense, the ball-hawking Seattle “D” is allowing only 4.53 yards per play. The Seahawks rank eighth on offense with their 5.89/yards per play, while the defense is second in the league by allowing only 4.53/yards per play. Seattle is the only team in the league to rank in the top 10 in both of these categories.
Looking back at the history of the league, only 10 teams have ended the season with a yards per play on offense of 5.6 or above and a yards per play on defense under 4.6. The Seahawks could become the 11th team in history if their numbers stay where they are currently at for the season. Interestingly, the last two teams to fit into these stat numbers were from the last two NFL seasons. The Denver Broncos last year averaged 5.84 yards per play on offense and 4.58 yards on defense; in 2011, the Steelers gained 5.87 yards per play and allowed 4.51 on defense.
Following are the 10 teams that were 5.6 yards or above on offense and less than 4.6 yards on defense in a season since 1966 (the beginning of the Super Bowl era).
2012 Denver: 5.84 yards per play on offense, 4.58 yards per play on defense
2011 Pittsburgh: 5.87 yards per play on offense, 4.51 yards per play on defense
2007 Indianapolis: 5.63 yards per play on offense, 4.57 yards per play on defense
1991 Washington: 5.76 yards per play on offense, 4.54 yards per play on defense
1987 San Francisco: 5.68 yards per play on offense, 4.39 yards per play on defense
1980 San Diego: 5.65 yards per play on offense, 4.44 yards per play on defense
1979 Pittsburgh: 5.79 yards per play on offense, 4.13 yards per play on defense
1972 Miami: 5.64 yards per play on offense, 4.28 yards per play on defense
1968 Oakland: 5.88 yards per play on offense, 4.33 yards per play on defense
1966 Kansas City: 6.04 yards per play on offense, 4.55 yards per play on defense
Of the 10 teams listed above, four made the Super Bowl that season (1991 Washington, 1979 Pittsburgh, 1972 Miami and 1966 Kansas City) with three of those teams, Washington, Pittsburgh and Miami, winning the title that year. The other six teams each made the playoffs that year. All of the 10 teams won 11 or more games that season.
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Week 13 had two games go into overtime: The Vikings beat the Bears 23-20, and the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Buffalo Bills 34-31. For the Falcons, it was their first overtime win on the road since September 26, 2010.
Through games of December 1, there have been 13 overtime games in the NFL this season. One ended in a tie, and the home team has won nine of the other 12 OT contests.
In 2012, there 21 regular-season overtime games in the NFL. Of those 21, the home team won 11 of them. There was also an overtime game in the playoffs; that was won by the away team (Baltimore) as they knocked the Denver Broncos out of the playoffs on their home field on a Justin Tucker 47-yard field goal in double overtime.
One of the more interesting overtime games last season was on December 2. The Seattle Seahawks were on the road facing the Chicago Bears. The Seahawks won the game 23-17 in Chicago in overtime. It was the first victory in a five-game winning streak that propelled the Seahawks to an 11-win season and a spot in the playoffs.
But another reason that game was noteworthy was that it was the first overtime win on the road for the Seahawks in almost 10 years. Prior to that win in Chicago, the last time Seattle won an overtime game on the road was December 29, 2002 when they beat the Chargers 31-28 in an overtime game in San Diego.
The current longest drought for a road overtime win belongs to the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona has not won an overtime game on the road since December 2, 2001.
With that in mind, here is the last time each team won an overtime game on the road.
Last overtime game won on the road, team
10-23-2003: New England
11-27-2005: St. Louis
10-29-2007: Green Bay
12-9-2007: San Diego
9-14-2008: San Francisco
1-22-2012: New York Giants
9-23-2012: Kansas City
9-23-2012: New York Jets
11-18-2012: Tampa Bay
12-23-2012: New Orleans
Of the three teams that have this season won OT games on the road, two of those road OT victories came at the expense of the Buffalo Bills (both Cincinnati and Atlanta beat Buffalo in OT on the Bills’ home field). The Bills became the 11th team since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to have lost two overtime games at home in a season. Following are those teams:
Lost two overtime games at home in a season
2003: Tampa Bay
2002: Minnesota, Oakland
1993: New England
1987: New England
1983: Green Bay, Houston Oilers, Tampa Bay
1979: New England
With four weeks left in the 2013 NFL regular season, there is more and more conversation about the playoffs and which teams will not only make the playoffs, but which teams might have home field advantage throughout the duration of the post-season.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that having the home field is a benefit during the season and also in the playoffs. For the record, from the 2010 season through Week #13 of this year, home teams have won .572 of the games with road teams at .428, a difference of .144. (In the last three NFL playoffs, home teams have an 18-12 record, a .600 winning percentage.)
For some teams, however, the difference between their regular season home and road winning percentage is much greater than the league average of .144 since 2010. The Arizona Cardinals since 2010 are 19-11 (.633) at home and 6-24 (.200) on the road. That .433 difference is the largest of all NFL teams in that time period.
After looking at the records below, you will notice that:
* Two teams, Philadelphia and Washington, have actually played better on the road than at home since 2010. Only two teams, New England (.700) and Philadelphia (.600) have won 60 percent or more of their regular season road games since 2010.
Here’s a look at each NFL teams winning percentage at home and on the road since 2010.
Difference, Team (Home win pct/Road win pct)
+.433 Arizona (.633/.200)
+.400 Baltimore (.867/.467)
+.334 Seattle (.767/.433)
+.317 Green Bay (.850/.533)
+.250 Minnesota (.500/.250)
+.247 Cleveland (.419/.172)
+.245 Buffalo (.452/.207)
+.233 Indianapolis (.633/.400)
+.217 San Francisco (.750/.533)
+.200 New England (.900/.700)
+.200 New Orleans (.767/.567)
+.200 New York Jets (.600/.400)
+.166 Atlanta (.733/.567)
+.150 St. Louis (.433/.283)
+.142 Pittsburgh (.690/.548)
+.134 Oakland (.467/.333)
+.133 San Diego (.552/.419)
+ .102 Kansas City (.516/.414)
+.100 Chicago (.633/.533)
+.100 Dallas (.533/.433)
+.100 Denver (.633/.533)
+.100 Detroit (.500/.400)
+.100 New York Giants (.600/.500)
+.087 Jacksonville (.345/.258)
+.068 Cincinnati (.552/.484)
+.067 Tennessee (.467/.400)
+.066 Carolina (.433/.367)
+.033 Houston (.516/.483)
+.000 Miami (.433/.433)
+.000 Tampa Bay (.400/.400)
-.066 Washington (.367/.433)
-.233 Philadelphia (.367/.600)
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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has certainly given his team a boost with his 125.2 Passer Rating and a 5-1 record for the team as a starter. In addition, his 19 TDs without an interception has given him enough buzz around the league that his name is now being mentioned as a potential MVP for this season. His performance (and that of the Eagles) will likely determine if we are still talking about “Nick Foles, MVP” in four weeks.
But here’s a more thought-provoking question: Is it possible for Foles to end the season without an interception?
Foles is one TD from tying Peyton Manning’s record for 20 TDs without an interception to start a season. In addition, if the season ended today, Foles would set a record for most TDs without an interception in a season. The current mark is held by Steve Young who had 10 TDs and no interceptions in 1987. He started three games in ’87 subbing for Joe Montana, winning two of those three contests. Two other QBs, Charlie Batch and Todd Collins, finished a season with five TDs and no interceptions.
Here’s a look at the most TDs in a season with none, one, two, three, four and five interceptions.
No interceptions in a season: Steve Young, 1987, San Francisco, 10 TD passes.
One interception for the season: Damon Huard, 2006, Kansas City, 11 TD passes.
Two interceptions in a season: Boomer Esiason, 1997, Cincinnati, 13 TD passes.
Three interceptions in a season: David Garrard, 2007, Jacksonville, 18 TD passes.
Four interceptions in a season: Tom Brady, 2010, New England, 36 TD passes.
Five interceptions in a season: Steve Bartkowski, 1983, Atlanta, 22 TD passes.
What do you think? Can Foles end the season without an interception? Or, in which of the above categories might he take over the lead?
Horrible. Embarrassing. Ugly.
Those are just a few of the words that have been used to describe the Packers 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day. Packers fans, players and coaches are no doubt leaving last Thursday’s game behind and focusing on the remaining four games on the schedule. But here’s a quick look back at some of the numbers from the most recent loss.
* The Lions had 561 total yards in the game while the Pack could muster only 126. It was the 16th time since 1970 that one team had over 500 total yards and their opponents had under 150 in an NFL game. The Packers have been on the low end in three of these 16 games, most in the league. In 1999, the Packers lost to the Denver Broncos 31-10, with the Broncos gaining 514 yards to the Pack’s 133. In 1978, the Cowboys gained 537 yards en route to a 42-14 win over Green Bay. The Packers had only 142 yards in that contest.
* Until Matt Flynn connected with James Jones on that 56-yard pass play late in the game, the Packers had only 70 total yards. Had they stayed under 100 total yards for the game, it would have been the fourth time since 1970 that one team had over 500 yards and their opponents had under 100 in a game. The last time was in 1988 when the Vikings had 553 yards to Detroit’s 89 in Minnesota’s 44-17 win over Detroit.
* This was the 23rd game since 1970 that the Packers had under 150 total yards for the game. They are now 2-21 in such games. The last game with under 150 yards was November 19, 2006 against the New England Patriots. That resulted in a 35-0 defeat at the hands of the Pats.
* The Packers did have four takeaways in the game against the Lions. It was their second game this year with four takeaways (also vs. Cincinnati). Unfortunately, the Packers have lost both games when they had four takeaways. NFL teams this year are 30-6 (.833 winning percentage) in games where they have four or more takeaways. The Packers have two of those six losses; the Vikings have also lost two of those games. Green Bay is 101-25-3 (.795 winning percentage) in games since 1970 when they force their opponents into four or more turnovers; they are 30-4 (.882) since 2000.
* The Packers last 30-point loss was November 19, 2006 to New England when the Patriots won 35-0. Their last 30-point loss on the road prior to the Detroit beating on Thanksgiving was December 19, 2005 when they lost 48-3 to Baltimore.
* The Packers offense had no TDs last Thursday. It was the first game with no offensive TDs since December 12, 2010 when they lost 7-3 to the Lions. The Packers have had no offensive TDs in 11 games since 2000. They are 4-7 in those games.
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