Will new Packers receiver Christian Watson match and exceed the team’s expectations?
Anyone who follows the Green Bay Packers knows the team needs to fill some major needs at the wide receiver position. One move to fill the gap left by Davante Adams is the team’s drafting of Christian Watson. And if the media and social media’s early reports on Watson are to be believed, the Pack may have found a star in the making. One problem: Watson has yet to play a single game in the NFL.
That being said, early reports are encouraging: Green Bay’s offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich was reported to have said Watson is “going to be a problem” for opposing defenses. Current Packers receiver Randall Cobb opined that Watson has the “total package.” And others associated with the team have thrown out one word, “Dangerous,” to describe Watson.
What will Watson need to accomplish this season to meet and exceed the Packers hopes for him in 2022? Tough question to answer. But let’s look at what the best rookie receivers have accomplished for the team. Here are the Green Bay Packers rookie records for most catches, yards and TD:
Most catches by a Packers rookie
Sterling Sharpe, 55 (1988)
Billy Howton, 53 (1953)
Gerry Ellis, 48 (1980)
James Jones, 47 (2007)
James Lofton, 46 (1978)
Greg Jennings, 45 (2006)
Most receiving yards by a Packers rookie
Max McGee, 614 (1954)
Most receiving TDs by a Packers rookie
Don Hutson, 6 (1935)
Carl Elliott, Ray Pelfrey, 6 each (both in 1951)
The Packers would probably be happy if Watson exceeded these numbers and topped the Packers rookie receiving stats with 56+ catches, for 1,232 yards and 14 TDs… highly unlikely, but a good goal to shoot for.
The NFL rookie receiving records for these three stats is another goal for Watson to shot for. The catches and yardage records were just broken last season; Miami’s Jaylen Waddle broke the NFL rookie catches record of 101 with 104 catches last season, while Ja’Marr Chase of the Bengals topped the league record for receiving yards of 1,400 with 1,455 last year. The league record for most receiving TDs by a rookie is 17 held by Randy Moss of the Minnesota Vikings in 1998.
MLB best and worst win-loss records of all-time could be in jeopardy
We are only about one-quarter of the way through the 2022 MLB season, but we might be looking at some record-breaking performances this year. Some good… some not so good.
First, the New York Yankees tops the majors with a 29-13 (.690 winning percentage). They are on pace to finish the season 112-50. The best win-loss percentage in MLB history was 116-36 by the 1906 Chicago Cubs (.763 winning percentage). Most wins in a season are 116, held jointly by the ’06 Cubs and the 2001 Seattle Mariners. The 1998 Yankees had 114 wins, third most in baseball history. For this season’s Yankees to surpass the all-time record for wins in a season, they will have to go 88-32 the rest of the season; that’s a .733 winning percentage.
On the right side of the ledger, the loss column, the 2022 Cincinnati Reds currently have the major’s worst record at 12-29, a .293 winning percentage. Through games of May 5, the Reds had a 3-22 record (.120 winning percentage) and looked like a sure bet to become baseball’s worst team of all-time. Since then, the Reds have actually had a winning record, 9-7.
The Reds 12-29 record though games of May 24, put them on a pace to finish the season 47-115 (.290). The worst winning percentage in baseball (since 1901) were the 1916 Philadelphia A’s who went 36-117 (.235) that season. Since 1901, there have been 22 teams that have finished a season under .300. Three of those teams have “accomplished” this since 2000:
Detroit, 2003: 43-119 (.265)
Baltimore, 2018: 47-115 (.290)
Detroit, 2019: 47-114 (.292)
To finish above .300 this season, the Reds will need to go 37-84 in their remaining 121 games. To finish with the worst winning percentage in baseball history, the Reds would have to finish with a season-ending record of 38-124 (.235), the worst record in MLB history by percentage points.
Game Seven blowouts end season for last year’s NBA Finals teams
Last season the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns faced off in the NBA Finals. This year, both of their seasons ended on the same day in the conference semis… and both lost in Game Sevens. To make matters worse, both the Bucks and Suns lost in blowouts (the Bucks lost to the Celtics 109-81, a 28-point defeat, and the Suns lost 123-90 to Dallas, a 33-point loss). The Game Seven blowouts suffered by the Bucks and Suns were among the worst Game Seven losses in NBA playoff history.
Since 1955, the start of the shot-clock era in the NBA, the worst Game Seven blowout was a 40-point win (116-76) by the Dallas Mavs over the Houston Rockets during the 2005 playoffs. Here’s a look at the 10 worst Game Seven blowouts in NBA history (since 1955):
2005: Dallas over Houston, 116-76, 40-point blowout
1970: LA Lakers over Phoenix, 129-94, 35-point blowout
2008: Boston over Atlanta, 99-65, 34-point blowout
2016: Miami over Charlotte, 106-73, 33-point blowout
2022: Dallas over Phoenix, 123-90, 33-point blowout (Phoenix home team)
2006: Phoenix over LA Lakers, 121-90, 31-point blowout
1992: Chicago over NY Knicks, 110-81, 29-point blowout
2022: Boston over Milwaukee, 109-81, 28-point blowout
2005: Indiana over Boston, 97-70, 27-point blowout (Boston home team)
2016: Toronto over Miami, 116-89, 27-point blowout
It’s interesting to note that of the 16 Game Seven blowouts of 20 points or more, 14 of those games were won by the home team. Dallas’ 33-point win over Phoenix in Phoenix is now the largest blowout won by an away team in Game Seven of a playoff series since 1955.
For the Bucks, their 28-point loss to Boston is their largest Game Seven defeat in team history. Prior to the Game Seven loss to Boston, the worst Game Seven loss for the Bucks was a 21=point loss to Atlanta 95-74 in the 2010 playoffs.
One final note: The Bucks have lost five Game Sevens by 15 points or more in their history. Three of those losses came at the hands of the Boston Celtics.
Game Four loss could mean series defeat for the Bucks
The Boston Celtics have regained home court advantage with their Game Four win over the Milwaukee Bucks on May 9. But based on history, the Game Four loss by the Bucks may mean that their 2021-22 season might be over later this week.
In their playoff history, the Bucks have played in 35 Game Fives (in seven-game playoff series). Their all-time record in those Game #5’s is 18-17. But here is the important stat: When they are ahead in the series 3-1, the Bucks are 8-0 in Game Fives; when the series is tied at 2-2, the Bucks are 6-11 in Game 5. That is a significant difference.
Here is a few other stats you might find interesting about Game 5 in the Bucks post-season history:
- Milwaukee has played 16 Game 5 home games and have a record of 11-5 (.688). In their 19 Game 5’s on the road, the Bucks are 7-12 (.368).
- As stated above, up 3-1 in a series, the Bucks are 8-0 in game 5; tied at 2-2, the Bucks are 6-11. Behind 3-1 in a playoff series, the Bucks are 4-6 in Game 5.
- The Bucks are 7-0 at home in Game 5 when up 3-1, 1-0 on the road in Game 5 when up 3-1.
- The Bucks are 4-4 in Game 5 at home when the series is tied 2-2, 2-7 on the road when the series is tied 2-2.
- The Bucks have won three straight Game 5’s: this season in the first round versus the Bulls and last year against Phoenix and Atlanta.
- They are 3-7 in their last 10 Game 5’s on the road.
- Milwaukee is 2-3 in Game 5’s versus the Celtics in their playoff history… Milwaukee lost in Boston in 2018 and won in Milwaukee in 2019.
- Milwaukee is 13-0 in Game 5 when they score 110 or more points. They are 3-14 in Game 5 when they score under 100 in Game 5.
- The Bucks are 5-7 in Game 5s played in May.
Pitching, Hader get Brewers off to great start in April
If you spent any time watching or listening to the Brewers in April, you know that pitching was at the forefront of the team’s first month success. The team compiled a 15-7 record (.682 winning percentage) in April and lead the National League Central by a couple of games over the Cardinals.
The .682 winning percentage in April was the fifth best in team history behind 1987 (18-3 .857), 1995 (4-1 .800), 1976 (9-3 .750) and 2014 (20-8 .714). The 15 wins is tied for eighth in club history; the 2014 squad’s 20 wins tops the list. It’s interesting to note that of the previous eight Brewers teams that won 15 or more games in April, four went on to make the playoffs that year: 2008, 2018, 201 and 2021.
The 15-7 record in April, however, did not come with any eye-opening hitting stats. In fact, save for a pair of blowout wins over the Cubs on the last two days in April (11-1 and 9-1), the Brew Crew’s offense was almost non-existent. They finished the month with a .223 team batting average, tied for the fifth lowest in team history in April.
That brings us back to the pitching staff. An outstanding April by the hurlers are what led the team. Consider this:
The 3.06 team ERA was the tenth best in team history…
The 11 saves in the month were tied for second most in team history…
The pitching staff averaged 10.3 strikeouts in April, second only to last year’s staff that averaged 10.35 in the first month…
The opponents’ combined batting average in April was .206, the second lowest in team history behind last year’s .204.
Don’t be a hater; be a Hader. Josh Hader was near perfect in April (he was recently honored as the top reliever in the N.L. for April). He had 10 saves in 10 opportunities, a 0.00 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 9.1 innings.
On April 17 in a win over the Cardinals, Hader notched his 100th career save with the Brewers, becoming the third Brewers reliever to reach the 100-career save mark (he joined Dan Plesac-133 and John Axford-106). Through games of May 2, Hader has tied Axford with 106 saves.
Hader became the 160th relief pitcher in MLB history to have 100 career saves. Of these 160 relievers with 100 or more career saves, Hader ranks first with 15.3 strikeouts per nine innings (Alroldis Chapman ranks second with 14.9); he ranks fourth in strikeout/walk ratio at 4.52 (behind Robert Osuna-6.33, Sean Doolittle-5.07 and Kenley Jansen-5.01); and Hader ranks first in WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) at 0.852.
Only time will tell if Hader remains a Milwaukee Brewer for his entire career, but of the 160 members of the 100 career save club, Hader is one of only six pitchers on the list who have collected all of their career saves with one club. The other members: Mariano Rivera, 652 with the N.Y. Yankees… Bob Stanley, 132 with Boston… Kazuhiro Sasaki, 129 with Seattle… John Hiller, 125 with Detroit… and Glen Perkins, 120 with Minnesota.
As mentioned above, Hader became the third Brewers relief pitcher to reach 100 saves with the team. Six MLB franchises top the list with six different pitchers with 100 or more career saves with the team: Cincinnati, L.A. Dodgers, Minnesota, N.Y. Yankees, San Francisco, Washington.