If you take a look at the list of NBA players who are averaging 20 or more points this season, you will see a lot of familiar names. In fact, of the 25 players averaging 20 or more points per game (ppg) this year through games of November 28, 21 finished last season with a points-per-game average of 20 or more.
The four players who did not average 20 or more points per game last season but are averaging 20 at this point this season are Kristaps Porzingis (27.0 this year/18.1 last season), Victor Oladipo (23.0/15.9), LaMarcus Aldridge (22.2/17.3) and D’Angelo Russell (20.9/15.6). Of the 25 players who are averaging 20 ppg this year, Porzingis has the biggest jump… 8.9 ppg from last season to this year.
Of the 25 averaging 20 ppg this year, Russell Westbrook has the biggest drop, 10 points over last season… he is at 21.6 ppg this year and finished last season at 31.6.
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One aspect of quarterback play that we have seen in the NFL in recent years is the QB who can use his feet to make plays. The dual-purpose QB of today can pass and can be a threat with his legs.
In years past, a QB that scored a TD was usually on a quarterback sneak from the one-yard line. In today’s game, it’s not uncommon for a QB to have a running TD from outside the 10-yard line and beyond.
Carolina’s Cam Newton is probably the best example of what we are seeing in the multi-threat QB… he can pass and is dangerous when he takes off with the ball. In fact, if we look the QBs who have had the most games with a TD pass and a running TD since 1970, Newton sits atop this stat.
Here’s a look at the quarterbacks with the most games with a rushing TD and a TD pass in the same game.
37: Cam Newton
31: Steve Young
22: Daunte Culpepper, John Elway, Steve Grogan, Aaron Rodgers, Mike Vick
21: Terry Bradshaw, Donovan McNabb
20: Kordell Stewart
Looking at the QBs who have had the most games of this kind this season, we see a whole new generation of running QBs who fit this category. Dallas’ Dak Prescott leads the group with four games this season where he had a TD pass and a running D in the same contest. He is followed by DeShone Kizer and Tyrod Taylor with three games each, and Kirk Cousins, Josh McCown, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson with two games each.
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Football fans know that turnovers can play a big part in whether or not a team wins a game. But there are those rare occasions when winning the turnover “battle” (even by a big margin) did not lead to victory.
Ask the Green Bay Packers. Last Sunday the Packers forced the Pittsburgh Steelers into three turnovers and did not turn the ball over once, but the end result was a Steelers’ win.
Since 2010, the Packers had been 10-0 (prior to the loss to the Steelers) in games where they had zero turnovers and three or more takeaways. They became the second NFL team this season to lose a game when they have zero turnovers in a game and three or more takeaways. NFL teams in 2017 are now 20-2 (.909) in such games. The other loss was suffered by the Detroit Lions who had zero turnovers and three takeaways in a September 24 loss to Atlanta.
Since 2010, NFL teams are 242-11 (.957) in games when they have zero turnovers and three or more takeaways in a contest. The New England Patriots top the league with 19 such games… they have won all 19.
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Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 31-28 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 26.
- Green Bay is now 27-20 (.574) versus the AFC in the Mike McCarthy era (since 2006).
- Ben Roethlisberger is now 3-0 against the Packers in the regular season. His four TD passes on Sunday were the most for him against the Pack in a game. He has nine TD passes and three interceptions in those three regular season contests. The Packers did beat Roethlisberger in Super Bowl XLV.
- Randall Cobb got his first TD reception since Week #4 against the Bears. He had gone six games without a TD reception.
- Damarious Randall got an interception in the game. The Packers are 4-5 in games when Randall gets a pick.
- The Pack put 14 points on the scoreboard in the first quarter. They had won 22 straight when they tally 14 or more points in the first quarter. They are now 34-5 (.872) since 2000 when they score 14 or more points in the first quarter.
- They had the lead 14-6 at the end of the first quarter. Since 2000, Green Bay is 35-14 (.714) when they have the lead going into the second quarter.
- The score was tied at 14-14 at halftime. Green Bay is now 1-7 since 2010 in games where they are tied at halftime.
- Brett Hundley threw for three TD scores in the game. He is the first Packers QB other than Aaron Rodgers to have three or more TD passes in a game since Matt Flynn had four TD passes against Dallas on December 15, 2013. There have been only four Green Bay QBs to have three or more TD passes in a game in the last 25 years (since 1993): Hundley, Rodgers, Flynn and Brett Favre.
- The Packers defense had a pair of interceptions in the game. Since 2000, they are 79-16 (.832) in games where the “D” get two or more interceptions; they have, however, lost two straight.
- Pittsburgh had a better third down efficiency in the game: The Steelers converted on eight of 13 third downs (62%)… Green Bay was six for 13 (46%).
- Mason Crosby missed on his only field goal attempt in the game. Green Bay is now 6-6 since 2015 in games when Crosby misses a field goal.
- The game was tied at 21-21 going into the fourth quarter. Since 2000, the Pack is 10-6 (3-3 on the road) when there is a tie score going into the fourth quarter.
- If you need any proof that Jordy Nelson misses Aaron Rodgers, consider this: In the six games that Rodgers started this season, Jordy was targeted 38 times, had 25 catches for 290 yards and six touchdowns; in the five games started by Hundley, Jordy was targeted 26 times, has 13 catches for 113 yards and no TDs.
- The Packers had three takeaways in the game, usually a good omen for success. The Packers are now 23-4 (.852) since 2010 in games where they have three or more takeaways.
- Pittsburgh’s all-purpose back Le’Veon Bell rushed for 95 yards and had 88 yards in receptions in the game. He is the first opposing player to have 80 or more yards rushing and 80 of more yards receiving in the same game against the Packers since 2001. The last player was Cleveland’s Jamiel White on December 23, 2001 who had 131 yards rushing and 85 yards in receptions against the Packers.
- Roethlisberger had four TD passes. He is the 21st QB since 1970 to have four or more TD passes in a game against the Packers (Green Bay is 5-16 in those games). The last opposing QB to have four or more TD passes against the Pack was Marcus Mariota last season in Tennessee’s 47-25 win over Green Bay.
- Jamaal Williams became only the fourth Green Bay rookie in history to have a rushing TD and a receiving TD in the same game. The others: Samkon Gado (2005), Gerry Ellis (1980) and Travis Williams (1967).
- Scoring 28 or more points on the road has been a good benchmark for the Packers. Unfortunately, 28 points on Sunday was not enough. Green Bay is now 75-20 (.789) since 2000 in away games when they score 28 or more points.
The Philadelphia Eagles became the first team to reach 10 wins in the NFL this season. It was their first time reaching 10 wins before the other teams since 2004 when they, Pittsburgh and New England each won their 10th game in their 11th game of the 2004 campaign.
Let’s take a look at the teams that were the first to 10 wins each season since 2000 (if multiple teams were the “first” to win their 10th game of the season in the same week, each of the teams is noted). From 2000-2016, there were 30 teams that won their 10th game before the rest of the league. Of those 30 teams:
- Six went on to win the Super Bowl that year (New England, 2014; Seattle, 2013; New Orleans, 2009; Indianapolis, 2006; New England, 2004, and Tampa Bay, 2002)
- Eleven of the 30 made the Super Bowl that season (six won the Super Bowl, five lost in the Super Bowl).
- All 30 made the playoffs that year.
- Nineteen of the 30 played in the Conference Championship Game that season.
All of this is good news for the Eagles, who are looking for their first appearance in the NFC Championship Game since 2008 (they lost to the Arizona Cardinals in that game, 32-25) and their first Super Bowl appearance since 2004 (they lost that Super Bowl to the New England Patriots, 24-21).
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