Monthly Archives: January, 2012

Tom Brady joins John Elway at top of Super Bowl starts by QB list

John Elway tosses footballs to the crowd durin...

John Elway... Image via Wikipedia

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

Recently, blog follower (and Boston sports fan) Dave Dryer wondered about multiple appearances by quarterbacks in the Super Bowl. Specifically, Dave wanted to know how Tom Brady making his fifth Super Bowl start in 11 years compared with other QBs who have started multiple Super Bowls.

For the record:

* Brady’s five Super Bowl starts ties him with Denver’s John Elway for most Super Bowl starts by a QB.

* Brady’s 11-year timespan from first to last Super Bowl start ranks second on the list.

* Nine quarterbacks started back-to-back Super Bowl games: Elway (twice), Brady, Terry Bradshaw (twice), Joe Montana, Roger Staubach, Jim Kelly (three times; he actually started four consecutive Super Bowls), Troy Aikman, Bob Griese (twice; he actually started three consecutive Super Bowls), Fran Tarkenton, Bart Starr, Joe Theismann, and Brett Favre.

* Longest gap between Super Bowl starts by a QB? Eight years. Elway started Super Bowl 24 and the Super Bowl 32. Kurt Warner had a seven-year gap between consecutive starts (he started Super Bowl 36 and Super Bowl 43), Craig Morton also had a seven-year gap (he started Super Bowl 5 and Super Bowl 12).

Here’s a look at the 19 quarterbacks who have made (or will be making, in the case of Eli Manning) two or more starts in a Super Bowl. Also noted is the year of their first start and the year of their “last” start (Brady, Roethlisberger and Eli  & Peyton Manning are still active and may get a chance to start another Super Bowl; plus you never know if Favre will suddenly want to play again later this decade).

Quarterback           Super Bowl starts        First/Last SB start   Years

John Elway                                5                                    1987/1999                    13

Tom Brady                                 5                                    2002/2012                   11

Joe Montana                             4                                    1982/1990                     9

Roger Staubach                        4                                    1972/1979                      8

Terry Bradshaw                       4                                     1975/1980                     6

Jim Kelly                                   4                                     1991/1994                     4

Kurt Warner                             3                                     2000/2009                 10

Ben Roethlisberger                 3                                     2006/2011                    6

Troy Aikman                            3                                     1993/1996                     4

Fran Tarkenton                       3                                     1974/1977                     4

Bob Griese                                3                                     1972/1974                     3

Craig Morton                           2                                     1971/1978                      8

Eli Manning                             2                                     2008/2012                   5

Jim Plunkett                            2                                     1981/1984                    4

Len Dawson                             2                                     1967/1970                    4

Peyton Manning                     2                                     2007/2010                   4

Bart Starr                                 2                                     1967/1968                    2

Joe Theismann                       2                                     1983/1984                    2

Brett Favre                              2                                     1997/1998                     2

(Thanks, Dave, for a great suggestion!)


15 regular season stats that may determine this year’s Super Bowl champion

The San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX troph...

Image via Wikipedia

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog that is published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

What’s your prediction for this year’s Super Bowl?

Football analysts, commentators and just plain fans all have an opinion. For some, it’s a gut feeling; for others, they have analyzed, studied, and even watched game film.

Here’s my contribution to the madness. I’ve looked at 15 regular season stats from the past 45 Super Bowl champions. In some cases, there is a strong case for a particular team winning based on how they performed in the regular season. In other cases, the regular season stats don’t reveal much.

Following are 15 regular season stats that may help determine who will win on February 5.

1. Wins. Thirty-nine of the 45 Super Bowl champs won 11 or more games in the regular season. Only twice in Super Bowl history did a team with less than 10 regular season victories win the Super Bowl: 1967, when the Packers were 9-4-1, and 1982 when the 8-1 Washington Redskins won the title in that strike-shortened season. In case you didn’t know, New England won 13 this year, the Giants won nine. If the Giants win, they would become the first team with less than 10 wins from a 16-game NFL season to win a Super Bowl.

2. Turnover Ratio. Thirty-nine of the 45 Super Bowl champs had a positive turnover ratio; 21 of the 45 had a +10 or more turnover ratio in the regular season. The Patriots were a +17 in turnovers this year, New York was +7.

3. Offensive rank by points. Thirty-eight of the 45 were in the Top 10 in offense based on points. New England was third, New York was ninth.

4. Offensive rank based on yards. Thirty-five of the 45 were in the Top 10 in offense based on total yards. New England was second, New York was eighth.

5. Defensive Rank by Points. Thirty-five of the 45 were in the Top 10 in defense based on points. Won’t happen this year… New England was 15th, the Giants were ranked 25th. The lowest ranked defense (by points) to win a Super Bowl were the 2006 Colts who ranked 23rd.

6. Defensive rank based on yards. Thirty-eight of the 45 ranked in the Top 10 in defense based on total yards allowed. Won’t happen this year… New England was ranked 31st, New York was ranked 27th. This year’s Super Bowl champ will establish a new “low”… Previous to this year, the lowest ranked defense (by yards allowed) to win a Super Bowl were the 2009 New Orleans Saints who were ranked 25th.

7. Offensive yards per play. Thirty-six of the 45 Super Bowl champs averaged 5.0 or more yards per play during the regular season. Twenty-one of the 45 averaged 5.5 or more yards per play. This year in the regular season New England was at 6.3 yards per play, New York was at 6.0.

8. Three-game losing streak. Only three teams that lost three straight games during the regular season went on to win a Super Bowl that year: Baltimore in 2000, Pittsburgh in 2005 and New Orleans in 2009. New England did not lose three straight games this year; the Giants did lose three straight this year.

9. Winning streak to start season. Thirteen of the 45 won five straight games to start the season; 22 won three straight games to start the season; 30 of the 45 won their first two games. New England won their first two games of the 2011 regular season; New York lost their first game of the year.

10. Away wins. Forty-four of the 45 won four or more games on the road in the regular season. The 2011 Green Bay Packers are the only team to win a Super Bowl and win three or less games on the road that regular season. Thirty-six of the 45 lost none, one or two away games during the regular season of their Super Bowl year. New England won six away games this year, New York went 5-3 on the road.

11. 1,000-yard rusher. Twenty-seven of the 45 had a 1,000-yard rusher during the regular season. Neither team in this year’s Super Bowl had a 1,000-yard runner.

12. 1,000-yard receiver. Twenty-four of the 45 had a 1,000-yard receiver during the regular season. Both teams in this year’s game had two 1,00-yard receivers.

13. More passing TDs than running TDs. Thirty-two of the 45 had more passing TDs than running TDs for the regular season. Both teams this year had more passing TDs than rushing. The last time a team that had more rushing TDs than passing in the regular season won a Super Bowl were the 1995 Dallas Cowboys.

14. Losses by eight points or less. Thirty-nine of the 45 lost half or more of their defeats by one score (eight points or less). The three games New England lost this year were all by eight points or less. Of the seven games the Giants lost, only three were by eight points or less.

15. Point differential rank. Thirty-eight of the 45 ranked in the Top 3 in point differential in the regular season. New England ranked third in the 2011 regular season, the Giants ranked 17th. Only one team has ranked outside the Top 10 in point differential and won the Super Bowl: the New York Giants of 2007 ranked 13th in point differential when they won the Super Bowl later that year.

SIX STATS you might not know about… Super Bowl host cities, states

Super Bowl XLVI

Image via Wikipedia

“SIX STATS…” is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ and is published every Friday.

Super Bowl XLVI will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. It will be the first Super Bowl in Indianapolis and the state of Indiana. Here’s a “SIX STATS…” look at Super Bowl host cities and states.

1. Miami is the city that has hosted the most Super Bowls with 10. They are followed by New Orleans with nine. The other cities to host three or more times are Pasadena (5), Tampa (4) and San Diego (3). The state of Florida has hosted 15 Super Bowls followed by California with 11 and Louisiana with nine.

2. The NFC is 7-4 in Super Bowl games in California… the AFC is 10-5 in Florida-hosted Super Bowls… the NFC is 5-4 in Louisiana… the NFC is 19-11 in Super Bowls outside of Florida… The NFC is 5-0 in Super Bowls played in either Minnesota, Georgia  or Arizona.

3. The NFC has won six of the last seven Super Bowls played in California… the AFC has won five of the last six Super Bowls held in Florida… the NFC has won three of the last four Super Bowl games played in Louisiana.

4. In 15 of the 45 Super Bowls, the final score was a margin of eight points or less. Seven of those 15 games were played in Florida.

5. In 17 of the 45 Super Bowls, the two teams combined for 50 or more points. Seven of those games were played in California. The highest scoring Super Bowl was Super Bowl XXIX when San Francisco and San Diego combined for 75 points. That game was played in Miami.

6. How well have teams done in specific time zones? Glad you asked. The NFC is 8-11 in Super Bowl games played in the Eastern Standard Time; the NFC is 7-6 in Central Standard Time Super Bowl games; the NFC is 2-0 in games played in Mountain Standard Time; and the NFC is 7-4 in games played in Pacific Standard Time. This year’s game in Indianapolis will be played in an Eastern Standard Time zone city.

The NBA’s 1,200-600-300 players

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” published every Friday.

Larry Bird's photo at Conseco Fieldhouse, Indi...
Larry Bird…Image via Wikipedia

Last season the L.A. Clippers Blake Griffin was the only NBA player to have over 1,200 points, over 600 rebounds, and 300 or more assists. Griffin scored 1,845 points, had 989 rebounds and dished out 312 assists. LeBron James fell 10 rebounds short last year of  making the 1,200-600-300 club.

Larry Bird tops the list of players with the most 1,200-600-300 seasons with 10. He is, however, followed by an active player, Boston’s Kevin Garnett, who has amassed nine of these seasons.

Following are the players who have the most 1,200+ points, 600+ rebounds, and 300+ assists seasons in the NBA.

1,200-600-300 seasons…Players

10… Larry Bird

9…. Kevin Garnett, Karl Malone

8…. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

7…. Wilt Chamberlain

6…. Charles Barkley

5…. Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson

4…. Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Fat Lever, Scottie Pippen, Chris Webber

3…. Alvan Adams, Brad Daugherty, John Havlicek, Connie Hawkins, Grant Hill, Magic Johnson, Detlef Schrempf, Mychal Thompson, Antoine Walker, Sidney Wicks

Peyton vs. Eli: A quick stats comparison

Eli Manning during a 2007 training camp
Eli Manning… Image via Wikipedia

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

Sports radio has been buzzing over the last 24 hours with discussion about the Mannings. Part of the debate is whether or not Eli has surpassed Peyton as the better quarterback. I’m not going to offer my opinion on that discussion, but if you look at the stats below you will see a very distinct slant in their careers. While Peyton has four MVP Awards, many records and regular season stats that put him in an elite group, Eli has had a fairly non-descript regular season career, but his post-season numbers are not only better than his regular season stats, but in some cases, his playoff stats exceed Peyton’s. (Notice how Peyton’s numbers drop in the playoffs while Eli’s rise from the regular season to the playoffs)

Here’s a quick look at some select stats for both Peyton and Eli in regular season and postseason games.

******                                                PEYTON                                             ELI

Stat category                  Regular Season/Playoffs        Regular Season/Playoffs

Wins/losses as starter         141-67 (.678)/9-10 (.474)                69-50 (.580)/7-3 (.700)

Completion pct.                             64.9%/63.1%                                     58.4%/59.8%

QB Rating                                          94.9/88.4                                           82.1/87.5

TD/Interception Ratio      399-198 (2.02)/29-19 (1.53)         185-129 (1.43)/16-8 (2.00)

TDs per game                      399-208 (1.92)/29-19 (1.53)         185-120 (1.54)/16-10 (1.6)

Yards per pass attempt                     7.6/7.51                                            7.03/7.03


Did you know? Eli is 5-1 in road playoff games; Peyton is 2-5.