Daily Archives: February 3rd, 2013

Baltimore QB Joe Flacco: An ‘error-free’ Super Bowl puts him in an elite QB group

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

We have seen on several occasions where a quarterback with a “hot” hand can lead his team to a Super Bowl victory. Could that be the case with Ravens’ signal-caller Joe Flacco?

Let me offer the following stat that might be pretty relevant… In the three playoff games this year leading up to today’s Super Bowl, Flacco has eight touchdown passes and no interceptions on 93 pass attempts. Flacco could break a record held by Drew Brees; Brees in 2009 led the Saints to an NFL title with a post-season performance that included no interceptions on 102 pass attempts. If Flacco can finish today’s game with no interceptions and have 10 or more pass attempts, he will erase Brees’ mark.

Following are the eight QBs who finished a playoff season with no interceptions on 70 or more pass attempts.

Quarterback, team, season, playoff pass attempts with 0 interceptions
Drew Brees, New Orleans, 2009: 102 pass attempts
Troy Aikman, Dallas, 1992: 89 pass attempts
Steve Young, San Francisco, 1994: 87 pass attempts
Daryle Lamonica, Oakland, 1968: 86 pass attempts
Joe Montana, San Francisco, 1989: 83 pass attempts
Tom Brady, New England, 2004: 81 pass attempts
Neil O’Donnell, Pittsburgh, 1994: 77 pass attempts
Jeff Hostetler, New York Giants, 1990: 76 pass attempts

Three quick notes:

* Nineteen (Flacco would be the 20th if he doesn’t throw an interception in today’s game) quarterbacks went through a playoff season with no interceptions on 50 or more passes.

* Of the QBs who had no interceptions in a playoff season, Joe Montana had the most TDs with 11 in 1989. Steve Young had nine in 1994. Three players are tied with eight TDs: Troy Aikman (1992), Drew Brees (2009) and Phil Simms (1986). Flacco already has eight TDs this postseason and could challenge Montana’s mark with three TDs and no interceptions today.

* Of the 19 QBs with no interceptions on 50 or more pass attempts in a playoff season, 11 won the Super Bowl that year.

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Another rookie kicker looks to score in the Super Bowl

Justin_Tucker_(cropped)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

If rookie kicker Justin Tucker can put a point on the board for the Baltimore Ravens today via an extra point or field goal, he will become the first rookie kicker in 15 years to score a point in the Super Bowl. The last rookie kicker to score in the Super Bowl was Green Bay’s Ryan Longwell in 1998; he had a field goal and three extra points for six points in the Packers’ 31-24 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Tucker will probably not get much attention for NFL Rookie of the Year, but the first-year kicker made 30 of 33 field goal attempts (a success percentage of 90.9). He became the third rookie kicker in history to make 90 percent or better of his field goal attempts (minimum of 16 attempts to qualify).

(Note: Another rookie kicker this year, Minnesota’s Blair Walsh, made 35 of 38 field goal attempts (92.1 percentage). That’s the highest field goal percentage for a rookie kicker in the history of the league).

Here’s a look at the eight rookie kickers who have scored points in the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl year, Kicker, team (Points)
1971: Jim O’Brien, Baltimore (four points on one field goal and one extra point)
1980: Matt Bahr, Pittsburgh (seven points on one field goal and four extra points)
1986: Kevin Butler, Chicago (14 points on three field goals and five extra points)
1990: David Treadwell, Denver (four points on one field goal and one extra point)
1993: Lin Elliott, Dallas (10 points on one field goal and seven extra points)
1995: Doug Brien, San Francisco (seven points on seven extra points)
1997: Adam Vinatieri, New England (three points on three extra points)
1998: Ryan Longwell, Green Bay (six points on one field goal and three extra points)

* The Bears’ Kevin Butler, with his 14 points, holds the Super Bowl record for most points by a rookie. Washington’s rookie running back Jim Smith in 1988 scored a pair of touchdowns in the Redskins’ 42-10 Super Bowl win over Denver. His 12 points ranks second to Butler.

* Of the eight rookie kickers who scored points in the Super Bowl, five of the kickers saw their team win the title, three did not.

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