99 Stats Until Kickoff (#87) First Annual NFL “Takeo” Honors… 2012 top performances by players not in the playoffs

ESPN.com picked Calvin Johnson as one of the 5...

Calvin Johnson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)

Each year, 12 of the NFL’s 32 teams get a chance to play in the playoffs. Names like Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Wes Welker and Ray Rice punctuated the rosters of the 12 playoff teams in 2012. But for the other 20 teams and their players, the off-season began once that 16th game was finished. Unfortunately, what gets lost when the playoffs start is the performances of some of those players whose teams didn’t make the post-season.

To honor those players on the 20 teams that did not make the 2012 NFL playoffs, I’ve created an honor to recognize the top performances from their seasons. In honor of Takeo Spikes, the San Diego Chargers linebacker who has now played 219 NFL regular season games without playing in the playoffs, I present the first annual “Takeo” Honors. These honors are presented to the players from non-playoff teams who topped the list in 19 different statistical categories.

(Numbers for each of the statistical categories are based on only those players whose teams did not make the playoffs.)

2012 NFL “Takeo” Honors

QUARTERBACKS
Most passing TDs: Drew Brees, New Orleans, 43
Highest Passer Rating: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh, 97.0

RUNNING BACKS
Most rushing yards: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City, 1,509
Most rushing TDs: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay/Trent Richardson, Cleveland, 11 each

RECEIVERS
Most receptions: Calvin Johnson, Detroit, 122
Most receiving TDs: Dez Bryant, Dallas, 12

POINTS SCORED
Most points scored (non-kicker): Dez Bryant, Dallas, 74
Most points scored (kicker): Lawrence Tynes, N.Y. Giants, 145

KICKERS
Most field goals made: Lawrence Tynes, N.Y. Giants, 33

DEFENSE
Most sacks: Cameron Wake, Miami, 15
Most tackles: James Laurinitis, St. Louis, 117
Most interceptions: Tim Jennings, Chicago. 9
Fumbles recovered: Patrick Peterson, Arizona, 5
Fumbles forced: Charles Tillman, Chicago, 10

PUNTERS
Highest average per punt: Brandon Fields, Miami, 50.2

KICK RETURNERS
Highest yards per kickoff return (min. of 16 returns): Leodis McKelvin, Buffalo, 28.3
Highest yards per punt return (min. of 16 returns): Leodis McKelvin, Buffalo, 18.7

MISCELLANEOUS
Most yards from scrimmage: Calvin Johnson, Detroit, 1964
Most all-purpose yards: Calvin Johnson, Detroit, 1964

2012 NFL “Takeo” Honors Player of the Year: My selection for the Takeo Honors POY is Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Johnson led the league with 122 receptions and tops our list with the most yards from scrimmage (1964) and all-purpose yards (1964). He broke the single-season record for most receiving yards and led the entire league with his 122 catches.

“99 Stats Before Kickoff” (Stats you need to know before the start of the 2013 NFL season) is available from e-book publisher Smashwords. Go to www.smashwords.com to download a copy, including a pdf version which can be viewed on your home computer. Cost is $2.99.

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