Monthly Archives: October, 2014

Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning: 20 stats you might not know


The marquee matchup in Week #9 is the Denver Broncos hitting the road for a game with the New England Patriots. It also means the 16th time that future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will face each other. Here’s a look at some of the stats from the previous 15 times that Brady and Manning have squared off in an AFC battle.

1. Brady has won 10 of the 15 games against Manning. The Patriots are 7-2 in home games against a Peyton Manning-led team. The last time Manning defeated Brady when New England was hosting the game was November 5, 2006.

2. Manning has attempted more passes than Brady in 12 of the 15 games. The Patriots are 3-0 in the games where Brady attempted more passes than Manning.

3. Talk about symmetry… Brady has attempted 500 passes in his games against Peyton, completing 334 of them for a 66.8 completion percentage. Manning has attempted 600 passes in games versus Brady, completing 376 for a 62.7 completion percentage.

4. New England has scored 20 or more points in 14 of the 15 games played against Peyton. Peyton’s Indianapolis/Denver teams have scored 20 or more in 11 of the 15 games against the Patriots.

5. Brady and the Pats scored 30 or more points in eight of the games against Peyton; Manning’s teams have scored 30-plus in five games against the Pats.

6. Brady completed 60% or more of his passes in 12 of the 15 games; Manning completed 60% or higher of his passes in eight games.

7. In the 15 matchups, Brady has 27 TD passes and 12 interceptions, a 2.25/1 TD pass to interception ratio. Manning has 31 TD passes and 20 interceptions in the 15 games, a 1.55/1 ratio of TD passes to interceptions.

8. Brady had a QB Rating of 100 or higher in seven of the games (the Pats were 5-2 in those games); Manning had a 100 or higher QB Rating in four games (his teams were 2-2 in those games).

9. Brady had a higher QB Rating in 11 of the 15 games versus Peyton.

10. Peyton had more passing yards than Brady in 11 of the 15 games.

11. The Patriots were 6-2 in games where Brady threw two or TD passes in games versus Peyton. Peyton’s teams were 4-5 in games where he threw two or more TD passes against Brady and the Patriots.

12. Of the 15 contests, Brady had two or more interceptions in only three games; Manning had two or more picks in four games.

13. Manning had 300 or more yards passing in eight of the games. Brady had 300-plus yards passing in only three games.

14. Seven of the Brady-Manning matchups took place in November. The Patriots hold a slight 4-3 advantage in those games.

15. Eight of the 15 games played between Brady and Manning were decided by eight points or less. Only two games in the series were decided by 20 points or more; those were blowout wins by the Patriots in 2001.

16. Brady has had only one game of the 15 where his QB Rating for the game was under 70. Peyton had three games with a QB Rating under 70.

17. In the 10 Patriots wins, Brady has had 19 TD passes and six interceptions. In the five losses he has had eight TD passes and six interceptions. Manning has had 12 TD passes and five interceptions in the five wins over New England. He has had 19 TD passes and 15 interceptions in the 10 losses.

18. Brady is 8-3 versus Peyton in the regular season with New England winning the last three. The two have split four playoff games with Peyton’s teams winning the last two post-season contests.

19. The game this Sunday is being played in New England. Brady has an 87-14 record at home and a 97.3 QB Rating in home games. Manning is 78-44 in road games in his career with a 94.5 QB Rating in away games (6.7 below his QBR at home).

20. Brady has a QB Rating of 99.8 in November games in his career, the highest of any month during the season. Manning has a QB Rating of 90.9 in November games. That is the lowest month (other than his 83.5 QBR in January games) in his career.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


Stats you might have missed from NFL Week #8

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger

Every week in the NFL there is the potential for performances that are rare, historic or record-setting. Week #8 in the NFL was no exception. Here’s a look at a few stats you might have missed from last week’s games.

1. The Atlanta Falcons became the eighth team in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to hold their opponents scoreless in the first half, score 21 or more points themselves in the first half, and then lose the game. The Lions eventually won the game 22-21 on a last-second field goal after the Falcons took a 21-0 lead at half. The last team to lose such a game was last year when Denver led 24-0 over New England at halftime and then lost 34-31 in overtime.

2. The Pittsburgh Steelers held a 35-20 lead over Indianapolis at halftime in their game on Sunday. It was only the 12th time in the Super Bowl era where one team scored over 30 points in the first half and their opponents scored over 20 in the same first half. Last time it happened was 2008 in a game where the Eagles led the Cowboys 30-24 at half.

3. Buffalo QB Kyle Orton became the first QB since Bubby Brister in 1990 to throw four TD passes with 10 or fewer completions in a game.

4. New England QB Tom Brady had the third game in history where a QB had five TDs, over 350 yards passing, and a pass completion percentage over 85% in a game. Kurt Warner was the last QB to reach these numbers on January 10, 2010. The first QB to reach these numbers? Tom Brady in a game on October 18, 2009.

5. The Patriots scored 38 points in the first half in their win over the Chicago Bears. It was the 46th time in the Super Bowl era that a team scored 38 or more points in the first half of a contest. It was the fourth time the Pats have reached this number in the first half in a game, most since 1966. Seven teams have done it three times: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Kansas City, Oakland, Philadelphia and Seattle.

6. Buffalo rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins had three receptions for 157 yards in Buffalo’s win over the New York Jets. It was the 16th time since 1966 that a player had 150 or more receiving yards in a game with three or fewer catches. The last player to do this was Victor Cruz in a 2011 game against the same N.Y. Jets. Watkins became the youngest player to accomplish this feat.

7. Seattle defeated the Carolina Panthers 13-9 in their Sunday game. It was the ninth time since 2000 that the Seahawks have won a game where they scored under 14 points. The Ravens lead that category with 12 wins with fewer than 14 points scored in a game. The Seahawks also did it last year against the Panthers; they defeated Carolina 12-7 in that game.

8. Ben Roethlisberger had six TD passes and 522 passing yards in Pittsburgh’s win over the Colts. It was the 34th game since 1960 that a QB had six or more TD passes. Of those 34 times when a QB threw six or more TD passes, Roethlisberger’s 522 passing yards is the most.

9. The Dolphins had a pair of interceptions returned for touchdowns in their 27-13 victory over Jacksonville. It was the 52nd game since 1966 where a team returned two or more interceptions for a TD. Teams are 49-3 in those games.

10. Arizona QB Carson Palmer had 329 passing yards with 20 completions in 42 pass attempts (47.6% completion percentage) in their win over Philadelphia. It was the second time in his career that he had 300+ passing yards in a game with a completion percentage under 50%. John Hald tops that list with six such games.

11. Both Tom Brady and Kansas City QB Alex Smith completed 85.7% of their passes in games on Sunday (Brady was 30-for-35; Smith was 24-for-28). It was the second consecutive week that two QBs had a completion percentage over 85% (minimum of 20 passes thrown) in the same week. Last week Aaron Rodgers and St. Louis’ Austin Davis did it. It had never been done two weeks in a row in NFL history.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Looking for an NBA title? Follow the Spurs 2013-14 blueprint


With the 2014-15 NBA season getting started last night, teams that are looking to challenge or overtake the defending champion San Antonio Spurs would do well to take a look back at the Spurs title run last season and copy that blueprint.

One element that teams will want to replicate is the Spurs shooting. The Spurs were the only team last season to finish in the Top Five in two-point shooting percentage, three-point-shooting percentage, and free throw shooting percentage. In fact, only one other NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, finished in the Top Five in two of those categories (5th in two-point shooting and second in free throw shooting).

So, is accuracy in all three aspects of the shooting game that important in the NBA? The answer, at least from last year’s stats, is a resounding “Yes!”

Let’s take a look at some numbers to make the point. Based on year-end shooting percentages for each of the 30 NBA teams, we can see that teams that have better shooting percentages had higher winning percentages for the season… and it played out the same way for each of the three shooting stats. For example:

Two-point shooting
The eight teams that finished the 2013-14 season with a two-point shooting percentage over .500 won 64.2% of their games last season;
The 14 teams that finished the 2013-14 season with a two-point shooting percentage between .475-.499 won 47.8% of their games last season;
The eight teams that finished the 2013-14 season with a two-point shooting percentage under .475 won 39.6% of their games last season.

Three-point shooting
The 10 teams that finished the 2013-14 season with a 3-point shooting percentage over .370 won 55.4% of their games last season;
The 13 teams that finished the 2013-14 season with a 3-point shooting percentage between .350-.369 won 52.7% of their games last season;
The seven teams that finished the 2013-14 season with a 3-point shooting percentage under .350 won 37.3% of their games last season.

Free Throw shooting
The 10 teams that finished the 2013-14 season with a free throw percentage over .775 won 58.4% of their games last season;
The 10 teams that finished the 2013-14 season with a free throw percentage between .750-.775 won 46.2% of their games last season;
The 10 teams that finished the 2013-14 season with a free throw percentage under .750 won 45.4% of their games last season.

I think you get the point… better shooting equals better records. Only two teams last season finished the year with a two-point shooting percentage over .500, a 3-point shooting percentage over .370, and a free throw percentage over .775. The two: San Antonio (.517/.397/.785) and Dallas (.508/.384/.795). Surprise, surprise.

In addition, the Spurs didn’t depend on just one or two players for last year’s shooting prowess. Taking the three categories we noted above and the top shooting percentages (two-point shooting percentage above .500, 3-point shooting percentage above .370, and free throw percentage over .775) we notice that 20 players finished the 2013-14 season above these three percentages in all three categories… four from the San Antonio Spurs. The 20 players:

Brooklyn: Paul Pierce
Charlotte: Chris Douglas-Roberts
Dallas: Dirk Nowitzki
Golden State: Stephen Curry
L.A. Clippers: J.J. Redick, Darren Collison
L.A Lakers: Jodie Meeks
Memphis: Mike Miller
Miami: Ray Allen
Minnesota: Kevin Love
Oklahoma City: Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka
Phoenix: Channing Frye
San Antonio: Tony Parker, Patrick Mills, Kawhi Leonard, Marco Belinelli
Washington: Martel Webster, Drew Gooden
Boston/Memphis: Courtney Lee

It’s all about putting the ball in the basket!

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

NFL rookies are finding the end zone in 2014

Buffalo rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins

Buffalo rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins

When the 2014 NFL draft was held this past May, we heard a lot about Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel. Both were expected to come into the NFL and make an immediate impact on the league. We did not, however, hear much about John Brown (Arizona), Lorenzo Taliaffero (Baltimore) and Isaiah Crowell (Cleveland). Brown was a third-round pick, and Taliaferro ended up as the 138th pick (in the fourth round). Crowell, on the other hand, wasn’t even drafted.

Brown, Taliaferro and Crowell are three first-year players who are making an impact this season in the NFL. In fact, this trio of players is tied for third in the league for most TDs scored by a rookie, each with four scores. They are one score behind wide receivers Sammy Watkins (Buffalo) and Kelvin Benjamin (Carolina), who each have scored five times in their rookie campaigns.

While some teams this season have not had rookies play a major role in putting points on the scoreboard, there are a few teams that have seen first-year players play a major role in putting the ball in the end zone. The Jacksonville Jaguars lead the NFL through games played on October 26 with eight TDs scored by four different rookies. Carolina and Cleveland are second in the league, each with six TDs scored by first-year players.

Here’s a look at how many TDs have been scored by each team by rookies this season.

8: Jacksonville
6: Carolina, Cleveland
5: Baltimore, Buffalo, N.Y. Giants
4: Arizona, San Francisco, Tampa Bay
3: Cincinnati, Denver, New Orleans, San Diego
2: Green Bay, Houston, Minnesota, Philadelphia
1: Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Miami, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tennessee, Washington
0: Chicago, Dallas, New England, Oakland, Seattle

All total, there have been 39 rookies who have scored TDs this season. Jacksonville, as mentioned above, has had four different first-players score this season, most in the league. Both San Francisco and Tampa Bay have seen three rookies find the end zone this season.

Another interesting part of this stat is that of the 39 rookies who have scored TDs, seven were not even drafted. Eight of the 39 were drafted in the first round, but second-round players have done one better… nine. The rest of the 39: Four third-rounders; seven fourth-rounders; two sixth-rounders; and two seventh-rounders.

One final number: Six first-year rookies are putting points on the board for their teams as placekickers. Leading the way is Philadelphia’s Cody Parker who has scored 65 points for the Eagles. First-year Arizona kicker Chandler Cantazaro is close behind with 62 points. The other four: Kansas City’s Cairo Santos (50 points), Brandon McManus, Denver (46 points), Tama Bay’s Patrick Murray (37) and Detroit’s Nate Freese, who had 15 points before he was released earlier this season.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


Packers Numbers Notebook: Stats from their loss to New Orleans

Packers lose

Here’s a look at a dozen stats that helped define the Green Bay loss to the Saints Sunday night.

1. The Packers had three turnovers. It was their sixth straight loss when they have three-plus turnovers in a game. Since 2000 the Packers are 6-24 (.200 winning percentage) when they have three or more turnovers in a game.

2. The 21-point loss was the Packers third 20-point loss on the road in their last four away losses.

3. The game was tied 16-16 at halftime. Green Bay is now 14-18 since 1966 when they are tied at half on the road. They are 2-5 since 2000 in such games.

4. Randall Cobb had five catches for 126 yards, his eighth career 100-yard receiving game. The Pack are 6-2 when Cobb has a 100-yard receiving game.

5. Aaron Rodgers threw a pair of interceptions. Green Bay is 6-5 in the 11 games where Rodgers has had two or more interceptions.

6. New Orleans running back Mark Ingram became the 13th opposing runner to have 170 or more rushing yards in a game versus the Packers. It was the 19th time since 1966 that an opposing runner had 170 or more yards rushing in a game against the Pack. Green Bay is 4-15 (.211 winning percentage) in those games. Three running backs had multiple games with 170 or more rushing yards against the Packers: Adrian Peterson  (4), Walter Payton (3) and Barry Sanders (2).

7. Green Bay was down by 14 points at the end of the third quarter (30-16). Since 2000, they have been behind by 14 or more points at the end of the third quarter in 25 games; they are 0-25 in those games.

8. The Packers defense came into the game with New Orleans with the lowest opposing QB Rating at 74. Drew Brees’ QB Rating for the game Sunday night was 138.4. It was the 26th game since 1966 where an opposing QB had a Passer Rating of 130 or above against the Packers. Green Bay is 1-25 in those games.

9. Rodgers had 418 yards passing, his fifth 400-yard passing game with the Packers. The team is 3-2 in those games. Since 1966 the Packers are 5-3-1 in games where their QB has 400 or more yards passing.

10. It was the third time since 2010 that the Packers allowed 40 or more points in a regular-season game. Tampa Bay leads the league with nine games where they allowed 40-plus points since 2010. The Packers are one of only four teams to win a game when they allowed 40-plus points in a contest since 2010. They did it in a 45-41 win over Detroit on January 1, 2012.

11. Eddie Lacy had eight receptions for 123 yards. He was the first Packers running back to have over 100 yards receiving in a game since Dorsey Levens did it January 12, 1997 in a playoff games versus the Panthers. Levens had five catches for 117 yards in that game.

12. Since 2010, the Packers are 20-17 in games on the road (.541 winning percentage). In games within their division (versus Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota) they are 9-5 (.643 winning percentage) in games on the road since 2010, while they are 11-12 (.478 winning percentage) in road games outside the division in that timeframe.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp