Monthly Archives: December, 2014

NFL stats potpourri: Least turnovers; most improved; playoff misses

The Houston Texans, led by J.J. Watt, was the NFL's most improved team in 2014

The Houston Texans, led by J.J. Watt, was the NFL’s most improved team in 2014

Here’s three stats from the just-completed NFL regular season that you may find interesting.

* For the first time in NFL history, three teams finished the regular season with less than 15 turnovers. Green and New England each had only 13 turnovers this season, while the Seattle Seahawks had only 14. Each of these three teams also finished the season with 12 wins each.

Prior to this season, there had been 14 teams that had 15 or fewer turnovers in a season. The 2010 Patriots and the 2011 49ers each had only 10 turnovers in a season, best in NFL history.

Here’s a look at the NFL teams with 15 or fewer turnovers in a season.

10: New England, 2010; San Francisco, 2011
13: Miami, 2008; New York Giants, 2008; Green Bay, 2014; New England, 2014
14: New York Giants, 1990; Kansas City, 2010; Green Bay, 2011; Washington, 2012; Indianapolis, 2013; Seattle, 2014
15: Dallas, 1998; Jacksonville, 2002; Kansas City, 2002; San Diego, 2006; New England, 2007

* The Houston Texans were the most improved team in the NFL this season. The Texans went from two wins in 2013 to nine victories this season, an increase of seven victories. The biggest drop was a tie between Tennessee and Carolina; both dropped five wins from 2013 to 2014. Ironically, the Panthers still made it to the playoffs despite their five-win drop this season.

Here’s a look at the teams with the biggest gains (and drops) in wins for 2014.

Biggest Gain
+7: Houston
+4: Dallas, Detroit, Green Bay
+3: Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh

Biggest Drop
-5: Carolina, Tennessee
-4: New Orleans, New York Jets, San Francisco
-3: Chicago

* For the fourth time since 1996, the Kansas City Chiefs had a winning record yet failed to make the playoffs. The Chiefs were one of five teams this season to have a winning record (nine or more wins) yet did not make the playoffs. Buffalo, Houston, Kansas City and San Diego each had nine wins in the AFC but did not make the playoffs; the Philadelphia Eagles had 10 wins in the NFC, but it wasn’t enough to make the post-season.

Here are the teams with the most winning seasons since 1990 (when the NFL went to a 12-team format for the playoffs) that did not make the playoffs that year.

Winning record seasons but no playoffs (since 1990)
4: Kansas City, Miami

3: Chicago, New York Giants, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego

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Packers Numbers Notebook: Stats from their win over Detroit

Micah Hyde

Micah Hyde

Here’s a look at some stats you might not know from the Packers 30-20 win over the Lions.

1. Micah Hyde returned his second punt for a TD in 2014 yesterday. He became the fifth Packers player to have two or more punt returns for TD in a season. The last player was Will Blackmon in 2008. Other Packers with two or more punt returns for TD in a season: Desmond Howard, three in 1996; Willie Wood, two in 1961; and Billy Grimes, two in 1950.

2. The Pack had a 7-0 lead over the Lions after the first quarter. They had the lead after the first quarter in 10 of their 16 games this season, compiling a 9-1 record in those games. (The only loss was in the first game of the year versus the Seahawks; the Packers led after the first quarter, but eventually lost the game.) Green Bay is 38-7-1 (.837 winning percentage) since 2010 in games where they have the lead after the first quarter.

3. The Packers ended the season with only 13 turnovers, tied with New England for fewest in the league. Only four teams previous to this year had 13 or fewer turnovers in an NFL season: San Francisco, 10 (2011); New England, 10 (2010) and Miami and the New York Giants (each 13 in 2008). The previous turnover low for the Pack in a season was 14 in 2011.

4. Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson had a pair of TD receptions in the contest. Since 1966, the Packers have allowed 115 receivers to have two of more TD receptions in a game. Johnson has now had four such games versus the Packers, most of any opponent receiver.

5. The Packers fell four points short of setting the team record for most points scored at Lambeau Field in a regular season. They ended the year with 318 points at home, an average of 39.8 pts. per game. The team record is 321 points scored by the 2011 Packers. The 2014 Packers became the fourth team in NFL history to score 300 or more points at home in a season, joining the 2011 New Orleans Saints (329 points), the 2011 Packers (321 points) and the 2013 Denver Broncos (316 points).

6. Jordy Nelson (13 TDs), Eddie Lacy (13 TDs) and Randall Cobb (12 TDs) became the third trio in football history to score 12 or TDs in a season for a team. They join the 1961 AFL Houston team and the 2013 Denver Broncos with three teammates with 12 or more TDs in a season.

7. The Packers had a 21-14 lead over the Lions going into the fourth quarter in yesterday’s game. With the win, the Packers are now 40-2 (.952 winning percentage) since 2011 in games where they had the lead going into the fourth quarter. They have now won 44 straight at home in games where they had the lead going into the fourth quarter. The last loss was on October 14, 2007 when they had a three-point lead over the Bears going into the fourth quarter, but lost the game 27-20.

8. Aaron Rodgers had a rushing TD in the game. The Packers are 12-10 (.545 winning percentage) in games (including playoffs) where Rodgers has a rushing TD, but they are 7-2 at home in games where Rodgers has a rushing TD.

9. Dom Capers defense held the Lions to a pass completion percentage under 50% in the game. Since 2000, the Packers are 42-10 (.808 winning percentage) when they hold their opponents under 50% in pass completions in a game.

10. Green Bay has now won 43 consecutive games at home when they hold the opposition to 20 or fewer points in a game at Lambeau. The last game they lost at home when opponents scored 20 or fewer points at Lambeau was in November of 2005 when they lost to Minnesota 20-17.

11. The 2014 Packers finished a perfect 8-0 in games at Lambeau. They became the fifth Packers team to go undefeated at Lambeau in a season. The other years: 1996, 1997, 2002 and 2011.

12. This is the 17th post-season appearance for the Packers since 1993. They will be the second seed for the third time (2007 and 1997). It will also be the fifth time since 1993 that they will have a bye for the first week of the playoffs. In those other four years, the Packers have compiled a playoff game record of 6-3 in games when they had a bye the first week of the playoffs. Here is a look at the playoff game record for the Packers when they were seeded #1 through #6 since 1993:

#1 Seed: 3-1
#2 Seed: 3-2
#3 Seed: 3-4
#4 Seed: 3-4
#5 Seed: 0-2
#6 Seed: 5-1

The Packers won the Super Bowl after the 1996 regular season as the #1 seed; they were the number 6 seed in their last Super Bowl-winning year.

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An omen for a Packers victory vs. the Lions?

Packers-Lions
If you are a Packers fan, you are probably looking for that one stat or fact that will give you hope that a Green Bay win is in the bag for Sunday. Well, here is one stat that may fit that bill…

Since 1990, the Green Bay Packers have been the NFL’s best team on the last day of the regular season. The Pack is 19-4 (an .826 winning percentage) in Game #16, Week #17 games since 1990 (that was the year the NFL went to a 17-week season with each team getting one bye during the regular season).

To add to the above stat, can you guess which NFL team is tied for last on this list with a 7-16 record (a .304 winning percentage)? You guessed it, the Packers opponent on Sunday, the Detroit Lions.

Here’s a look at the record of each NFL team since 1990 in Game #16, Week #17 games.

Green Bay 19-4 (.826)

Tennessee 16-7 (.696)

San Diego 15-7 (.682)

New England 15-8 (.652)

Carolina 12-7 (.632)

Baltimore 11-7 (.611)

New York Giants 14-9 (.609)
Pittsburgh 14-9 (.609)
San Francisco 14-9 (.609)

Indianapolis 13-10 (.565)
Philadelphia 13-10 (.565)
Washington 13-10 (.565)

Atlanta 12-11 (.522)
Cincinnati 12-11 (.522)
Denver 12-11 (.522)
Kansas City 12-11 (.522)
New York Jets 12-11 (.522)
Seattle 12-11 (.522)

Miami 11-12 (.478)
Minnesota 11-12 (.478)

Tampa Bay 10-13 (.435)

Jacksonville 8-11 (.421)

Houston 5-7 (.417)

New Orleans 9-14 (.391)
St. Louis 9-14 (.391)

Cleveland 7-11 (.389)

Arizona 7-16 (.304)
Buffalo 7-16 (.304)
Chicago 7-16 (.304)
Dallas 7-16 (.304)
Detroit 7-16 (.304)
Oakland 7-16 (.304)

The Packers have won 10 of their last 11 Game #16, Week #17 games, and 18 of their last 20. This will be the fourth time since 2007 that the Packers and Lions have faced each other in Week #17 for the last game of the year. The Packers are 3-0 in such games, winning 34-13 in 2007; 31-21 in 2008; and 45-41 in 2011. They were all home games for the Packers. Speaking of which, the Packers have played 11 games at home for Game #16, Week #17; they are 11-0 in those contests.

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Can the Cowboys finish 2014 undefeated on the road?

Cowboys

There’s a lot to celebrate in Dallas: An NFC East Division championship and an upcoming home playoff game. This Sunday the Cowboys are on the road facing the Washington Redskins. A victory in D.C. would not only finish their 2014 season, but it would signal a perfect 8-0 record on the road this season. And based on past history, an undefeated road record has been a good omen for the past 11 teams that reached that milestone.

Since 1966 (the start of the Super Bowl era), there have been 11 teams that were unbeaten on the road in a season. Of those 11, eight went on to play in the Super Bowl that year. Will the Cowboys become the 12th team to have an unblemished away record… and if they do, will that be enough to give them a spot in this year’s Super Bowl?

Here’s a look at the teams that were undefeated in road games in an NFL season (and how well they performed in the playoffs that season).

Team, Year (road record), playoffs that year

New England, 2007 (8-0) lost in the Super Bowl
St. Louis Rams, 2001 (8-0), lost in the Super Bowl
San Francisco, 1990 (8-0), lost in the NFC Championship Game
San Francisco, 1989 (8-0), won the Super Bowl
San Francisco, 1984 (8-0), won the Super Bowl
Washington, 1982* (5-0), won the Super Bowl
Miami, 1972, (7-0), won the Super Bowl
Baltimore Colts, 1968, (7-0) lost in the Super Bowl
Dallas, 1968, (7-0) lost in the first round
Los Angeles Rams, 1967, (6-0-1), lost in the first round
Kansas City, 1966, (7-0), lost in the Super Bowl

* Strike-shortened season

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Packers Numbers Notebook: Stats from their win over Tampa Bay

Lacyrun

Here are a few stats you may not know from the Packers 20-3 win over the Bucs.

1. The Packers now hold a 31-21-2 advantage over Tampa Bay. They are, however, only 3-4 against the Bucs since 2002, and have only beaten Tampa Bay twice in the last nine trips into Tampa Bay.

2. Eddie Lacy has now gained 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. It is the first back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing season for a Packers running back since Ryan Grant did it in consecutive seasons in 2008 and 2009. Other Green Bay running backs (in addition to Lacy and Grant) with consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons: Jim Taylor, John Brockington and Ahman Green.

3. Aaron Rodgers had one TD pass yesterday (a pass to Jordy Nelson in the fourth quarter). Why was it important for Rodgers to get that TD pass in the fourth quarter? Aaron has never had two straight games without a TD pass as the Packers starting QB. (He had 0 TD passes in the previous week’s loss to Buffalo.)

4. Randall Cobb had 11 catches for 131 yards in the contest. It was the 29th game where a Packers player had 10+ catches and over 100 yards receiving in a game. It was his second career game with these numbers, making him the eighth Packers receiver to have multiple 10 catch/100 yards receiving games. Donald Driver and Sterling Sharpe each had six such games in their careers. Others with multiple games: Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman, James Lofton, Jordy Nelson and Javon Walker.

5. The Packers defense held Tampa Bay to only 109 total yards in the game. The Packers have now won nine straight games when they hold the opposition to under 150 total yards in a game. In the Super Bowl era the Packers have held opponents under 150 yards 20 times, compiling a 16-3-1 record.

6. Green Bay had seven sacks against the Bucs, the 28th time in history that have reached the seven-sack mark in a game; they are 26-2 in such games. The Packers are 28-9-1 since 2000 when they have five or more sacks in a game.

7. The Packers have now reached the playoffs in six straight seasons, matching the 1993-98 Packers for the longest streak of consecutive post-season appearances.

8. Yesterday’s game was the 15th time since 2000 that the Packers have held opponents to three or fewer points in a game. The Pittsburgh Steelers lead the league with 20 games holding the opposition to three or fewer points this century. Baltimore has 19, Seattle and San Francisco are tied with 16 each. The Packers are tied with New England and Tampa Bay for fifth on this list.

9. This will be Mike McCarthy’s seventh post-season appearance as Packers head coach. He is now only one post-season behind Curly Lambeau, who had eight playoff seasons as Green Bay coach. Other Green Bay coaches who made it to the post-season: Mike Holmgren (six seasons), Vince Lombardi (six seasons), Mike Sherman (four seasons), Dan Devine (one season), Bart Starr (one season).

10. Lacy had exactly 99 yards rushing in the contest, missing the 100-yard mark by a single yard. It was his second 99-yard rushing game in his short career with the Packers. He is now tied with Dorsey Levens for most 99-yard rushing games as a Packer with two.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp