Monthly Archives: February, 2014

Are Panthers and Bengals headed for a Super Bowl #49 showdown?


Both the Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals were playoff teams this season although they both lost home playoff games and were “one-and-out” in this year’s post-season.

But if we look at the win totals of both these teams since the 2010 season, Carolina and Cincinnati are the only NFL teams that have increased their win totals in each of the last three seasons.

For the Panthers, they won two games in 2010, increased that to six in 2011, added another win in 2012, and jumped up five victories to 12 this past season. The Bengals won four contests in 2010, increased to nine victories in 2011, and have added one win in each of the last two seasons.

Only two other NFL teams have increased their win total in each of the last two seasons: the Miami Dolphins have increased their wins from six in 2011 to seven in  2012 and eight last season. This year’s Super Bowl champs, the Seattle Seahawks, had 13 wins in 2013 after winning 11 in 2012 and seven in 2011.

On the downside of this stat are a pair of recent Super Bowl champs. The Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers are the only two NFL teams that have seen their win totals decrease in each of the last two seasons. The Ravens have gone from 12 wins in 2011 to 10 in 2012 and eight last season. The Packers had 15 victories in 2011, 11 in 2012 and only eight last year.

In looking at the standings from the 2013 season, we see that 14 teams increased their win total from 2012, eight had the same number of wins in 2012 and 2013, and 10 teams had fewer wins in 2013 than 2012. Here’s a look at the teams that increased their win totals most in 2013 and those that lost fewer games.

Biggest increase in wins from 2012 to 2013, team,  (2012 wins-2013 wins)
9: Kansas City Chiefs (2-11)
6: Philadelphia Eagles (4-10)
5: Arizona Cardinals (5-10)
5: Carolina Panthers (7-12)
4: New Orleans Saints (7-11)
3: Detroit Lions (4-7)
2: Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4)
2: New York Jets (6-8)
2: San Diego Chargers (7-9)
2: Seattle Seahawks (11-13)
1: Cincinnati Bengals (10-11)
1: Miami Dolphins (7-8)
1: San Francisco 49ers (11-12)
1: Tennessee Titans (6-7)

Biggest decrease in wins from 2012 to 2013, team,  (2012 wins-2013 wins)
10: Houston Texans (12-2)
9: Atlanta Falcons (13-4)
7: Washington Redskins (10-3)
5: Minnesota Vikings (10-5)
3: Green Bay Packers (11-8)
3: Tampa Bay Bucs (7-4)
2: Baltimore Ravens (10-8)
2: Chicago Bears (10-8)
2: New York Giants (9-7)
1: Cleveland Browns (5-4)
(Teams not listed in the two lists above had the same number of wins in 2013 as in 2012)

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


How old were the players who scored touchdowns in the NFL in 2013?


Did you know that of the 1,393 touchdowns scored in the NFL in 2013 that 86 percent of those TDs were scored by players in their 20s?

Last season there were 1,393 touchdowns, 1,198 scored by players in their 20s and 195 scored by players in their 30s. The youngest player to score a TD last season was Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins who was 21 years and 101 days when he caught an overtime TD pass from Matt Schaub. The oldest to score a TD in 2013? The recently-retired Tony Gonzalez who was 37 years and 299 days when he caught a TD pass for the Atlanta Falcons.

A closer look at the age of players who scored TDs in the 2013 NFL season showed that over 60 percent were scored by players under the age of 27. This year the most TDs were scored by players age 26 (223). Last season most of the touchdowns were scored by players age 25 (203).

Following is a look at the number of TDs scored by each age group last season.

Age… Touchdowns
20… 0
21… 39
22… 108
23… 131
24… 155
25… 188
26… 223
27… 132
28… 143
29… 79

30… 79
31… 34
32… 40
33… 15
34… 16
35… 0
36… 2
37… 9

Of all the players age 30 and older, Wes Welker had the most TDs with 11.

The 2013 playoffs saw 46 TDs scored with nine by players 30 years old and older and 37 (80% scored  by players in their 20’s. San Diego receiver Keenan Allen was the youngest player to score a TD in this year’s playoffs… he was 21 years and 260 days. New England QB Tom Brady was the oldest player to score a playoff TD this year at age 36 and 169 days.

Going back in the history of the league, we find that there were four players who scored touchdowns at age 40 and above. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice scored 10 TDs while in his 40s. He is followed by Doug Flutie who scored four TDs in his 40s; Vinny Testaverde who scored three; and Warren Moon, who scored one.

Testaverde is the last player in his 40s to score a TD in the NFL. He did it on October 24, 2005 as a member of the New York Jets on a one-yard run. He was 41 years and 345 days.

The oldest player to score a TD in NFL history? Doug Flutie scored a TD on January 2, 2005 at the age of 42 years and 71 days. He beat out Jerry Rice, who scored his last TD in the NFL when he was 42 years and 67 days.

Rice does hold the record for oldest player to score a TD in the playoffs. Rice scored a TD on January 26, 2003 in the Super Bowl as a member of the Oakland Raiders. He was 40 years and 105 days old at the time.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Scoring 50 points in an NBA game


During a nine-day span of games in late January, three different NBA players scored 50-plus points in a game. On Jan. 17th, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant had 54 points in a game; a week later on Jan. 24, the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony dropped in 62; and on the 25th, Toronto’s Terrence Ross had 51 for the Raptors.

For Anthony it was his fourth 50-plus game, second most among active players (LeBron James has nine 50-plus point games in his career). Durant’s 54-point game was the third of his career, while for Ross the 51 points was a career high and first 50-point game in his short NBA career.

In each of the past 15 NBA seasons at least one player has scored 50 or more points in a game (the last season where no player scored 50-plus was during the 1998-99 season). There were three such games last season, three in the 2011-12 season, two in 2010-11 and three in 2009-10. Since the 1999-2000 NBA campaign, we have had 99 50-point games. has points scored stats back to the 1963-64 season. Since then, Michael Jordan has had the most 50-point games with 31. He is followed by Wilt Chamberlain with 30 and Kobe Bryant with 24. Rick Barry (14), Allen Iverson (11) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (10) complete the list of NBA players who scored 50 or more points in 10 games or more since 1963-64.

In looking at the 107 players who have scored 50 or more points in an NBA game since 1963-64 (42 players did it multiple times, 65 did it once), we see that Brandon Jennings, current Detroit Pistons guard, is the youngest player to score 50 in a game, while Michael Jordan was the oldest. Here’s a look at the seven players who were the youngest and oldest to score 50+ points in an NBA contest.

Youngest to score 50 in a game
Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee, 55 points (20 years, 52 days)
LeBron James, Cleveland, 56 points (20 years, 80 days)
LeBron James, Cleveland, 52 points (20 years, 345 days)
LeBron James, Cleveland, 51 points (21 years, 22 days)
Rick Barry, San Francisco, 57 points (21 years, 261 days)
Allen Iverson, Philadelphia, 50 points (21 years, 309 days)
Jamal Mashburn, Dallas, 50 points (21 years, 348 days)

Oldest to score 50 in a game
Michael Jordan, Chicago, 51 points (38 years, 315 days)
Karl Malone, Utah, 50 points (36 years, 273 days)
Alex English, Denver, 51 points (35 years, 64 days)
Karl Malone, Utah, 56 points (34 years, 257 days)
Bernard King, Washington, 50 points (34 years, 92 days)
Michael Jordan, Chicago, 55 points (34 years, 69 days)
Bernard King, Washington, 52 points (34 years, 25 days)

One final item: Did you know that two players scored 50-plus points on their birthday? On March 6, 2000, on his 28th birthday, Shaquille O’Neal had 61 points. The other player was Dominique Wilkins. He had 53 points on his 27th birthday, on January 12, 1987.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Second Annual NFL “Takeo” Honors: 2013 top performances by players not in the playoffs


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, Drew Brees, Wes Welker and Marshawn Lynch punctuated the rosters of the 12 playoff teams in 2013. 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 2013 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 played 219 NFL regular season games without playing in the playoffs, I present the second 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. The number noted in parenthesis is where they player ranked in that category in the league.)

2013 NFL “Takeo” Honors

Most passing TDs: Tony Romo, Dallas, 31 (5th)
Highest Passer Rating: Josh McCown, Chicago, 109.0 (3rd)

Most rushing yards: Matt Forte, Chicago, 1339 (2nd)
Most rushing TDs: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota, 10 (4th tie)

Most receptions: Pierre Garcon, Washington, 113 (1st)
Most receiving TDs: Dez Bryant, Dallas, 13 (3rd tie)

Most points scored (non-kicker): Dez Bryant, Dallas, 78 (5th tie)
Most points scored (kicker): Justin Tucker, Baltimore, 140 (6th)

Most field goals made: Justin Tucker, Baltimore, 38 (1st tie)

Most sacks: Robert Quinn, St. Louis, 19 (2nd)
Most tackles: Paul Posluszny, Jacksonville, 121 (2nd)
Most interceptions: DeAndre Levy, Detroit and Antrel Rolle, NY Giants, 6 each (2nd tie)
Fumbles recovered: Four ties with 3
Fumbles forced: Robert Quinn, St. Louis, 7 (2nd)

Highest average per punt: Marquette King, Oakland, 48.9 (1st)

Highest yards per kickoff return (min. of 16 returns): Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota, 32.4 (1st)
Highest yards per punt return (min. of 16 returns): Tandon Doss, Baltimore, 15.6 (3rd)

Most yards from scrimmage: Matt Forte, Chicago, 1933 (3rd)
Most all-purpose yards: Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota, 2020 (2nd)

2013 NFL “Takeo” Honors Player of the Year: My selection for the Takeo Honors POY is St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn. Quinn finished second in the league with 19 sacks and was second with most forced fumbles. He won the Pro Football Writers of America Defensive Player of the Year Award and finished fourth in the AP voting for the same honor.

Other players considered for the “Takeo” POY were Matt Forte (Chicago running back), Justin Tucker (Baltimore placekicker) and Cordarrelle Patterson (Minnesota receiver/kick returner).

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Super Bowl stats review: A look back at the numbers that defined Super Bowl #48


Now that we are a couple of days from Seattle’s 43-8 manhandling of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl #48, let’s take a look at some of the stats that helped define the Seahawk’s win.

* With a safety and two field goals, the Seahawks scored three times in the first quarter. It was only the second time in Super Bowl history that a team scored three times in the first quarter. The Chicago Bears from Super Bowl #20 were the only team to score three times in the first quarter in a Super Bowl game. They had two field goals and a touchdown on the way to a 46-10 victory over New England.

* The Seahawks opened the scoring with a safety on the first play from scrimmage when the snap sailed over Peyton Manning’s head. It was the eighth safety in Super Bowl history. Teams that record a safety are now 6-2 in those games.

* Seattle became the seventh team in Super Bowl history to score 40 or more points in the Super Bowl. Of these seven teams, three entered the game as the number one defense during the regular season: The Chicago Bears from Super Bowl #20 and the Tampa Bay Bucs from Super Bowl #37 were both the top defense in the league that year. The Bears scored 46 points in their win over New England; the Bucs won 48-21 over Oakland. Seattle was the number one ranked defense this season.

* The 43-8 final score was the first time in NFL history that a regular season or playoff game ended with that score.

* Peyton Manning had more interceptions (2) than touchdown passes (1) in this Super Bowl loss. In his career, Peyton is 14-30 (regular season and playoff games) in contests where he has more interceptions than TD passes.

* The first quarter ended with the score 8-0 in favor of Seattle. It was only the third time in NFL history that the score was 8-0 at the end of the first quarter. The last time it happened was in 1996.

* Seattle’s Malcolm Smith had a “pick-6” for the Seahawks after he intercepted a Manning pass in the second quarter and returned it 69 yards for a TD. Teams that intercept a pass in the Super Bowl and return it for a touchdown are now 12-0 in the game.

* Denver was scoreless at halftime, down 22-0 to the Seahawks. It was the first time in the 2013 season that they were held scoreless in the first half. The last time they had been held scoreless in the first half was October 15, 2010 versus the Chargers. The Broncos recovered from a 24-0 halftime deficit and won that game 35-24.

* Super Bowl teams are now 0-12 when they are held scoreless in the first half.

* The Seahawks had a kick return for TD and an interception return for TD in the game. It was the second time this has happened in a Super Bowl… it occurred in Super Bowl #35 when Baltimore defeated the New York Giants. Duane Starks returned an interception for TD and Jermaine Lewis took a kick-off for six points in the third quarter in that game won by the Ravens 34-7.

* Seattle had four takeaways and did not have a turnover in the game. It was the 12th time a team had a four-turnover (or more) margin in the Super Bowl… those teams won each game (12-0). The last time it happened was in Super Bowl #37 when the Tampa Bay Bucs had five takeaways and committed only one turnover in their Super Bowl victory over Oakland.

* The Broncos scored only eight points in the game. The lowest number of points they scored in the 2013 regular season was 20 in a 27-20 loss to San Diego. The last time Denver scored under 10 points was on January 1, 2012 when they were defeated 7-3 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

* Denver became only the ninth team in Super Bowl history to score under 10 points in a game. Of those nine teams, three were the number one ranked offense in the league: Denver (Super Bowl #48), Washington (Super Bowl #18) and Minnesota (Super Bowl #4).

* With a safety seven seconds into the game and a field goal at the 10:25 mark in the first quarter, the Seattle Seahawks became only the second team in Super Bowl history to score twice within the first five minutes of a Super Bowl game. The other team? The San Francisco 49ers from Super Bowl #29 had a pair of Steve Young TD passes in the first five minutes of that game.

* The Broncos became the fifth team to lose a Super Bowl game by 30 or more points. Of the previous four teams, three did not make the playoffs the following year. The largest blowouts in Super Bowl history and how those teams that lost fared the following season:
Super Bowl #20: Chicago over New England 46-10 (New England went 11-5 the next season and made the playoffs)
Super Bowl #22: Washington over Denver 42-10 (Denver went 8-8 the following season and missed the playoffs)
Super Bowl #24: San Francisco over Denver 55-10 (Denver went 5-11 the following season and missed the playoffs)
Super Bowl #27: Dallas over Buffalo 52-17 (Buffalo went 7-9 the following season and missed the playoffs)
Super Bowl #48: Seattle over Denver 43-8 (How will Denver do in 2014?)

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp