Category Archives: Football

Today’s Sports Stat: May 6, 2018

Green Bay Packers fans were a little surprised when they used one of their draft picks on a punter. But based on history, the Pack’s selection of punter JK Scott (Alabama) in the fifth round of the NFL Draft should not have come as a surprise.

Yes, drafting a punter is not a common choice of teams, especially in these days where the draft is only seven rounds. But the history of the draft has shown that punters do have their place in the draft.

Here are 12 stats you may not know about punters being taken in the draft.

  • According to Pro Football Reference.com there have been 169 punters drafted in the NFL since 1959.
  • There were four punters drafted in this year’s draft. The highest choice was Michael Dickson by Seattle in the fifth round with the 149th pick. The Packers chose Scott with the 172 pick in that round.
  • In their team history, the Packers have drafted 13 different punters. Six of them played at least one regular season game in the league.
  • Of the 169 punters drafted into the league, 122 played at least one regular season game.
  • The highest punter selected in the draft was Russell Erxelben by the New Orleans Saints in 1979. He was selected in the first round, the 11th pick. The only other first round selection of a punter was in 1973 when the Oakland Raiders picked Ray Guy with the 23rd pick in the first round. (Note: Erxelben was also a placekicker.)
  • Here’s a by-round (rounds one through seven) breakdown of when punters have been picked in the draft since 1959: First Round-2; Second Round-4; Third Round-14; Fourth Round-13; Fifth Round-26; Sixth Round-17; Seventh Round-18.
  • The highest selection of a punter by the Packers was in 1981 when they selected Michigan State punter Ray Stachowicz with the 62nd pick in the third round. The Packers also selected Ohio State punter BJ Sander in the third round with the 87th pick in the 2004 draft.
  • In NFL Draft history, the Packers have selected the most punters, 13. They are followed by the New York Jets with 11 and the San Francisco 49ers with 10.
  • The University of Tennessee has had the most punters drafted with seven. They are followed by Michigan State, Mississippi and UCLA with five each.
  • The Wisconsin Badgers have had one punter drafted: Brad Nortman. He was chosen in the 2012 draft by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round (207th pick).
  • The most punters chosen in an NFL Draft was in 1978 and 1979. There were seven punters chosen in each of those drafts. It’s important to remember that the NFL Draft years ago lasted upwards of 19 rounds. The draft these days lasts only seven rounds.
  • The most successful punter ever drafted by the Packers was probably Josh Bidwell. He was drafted by the Packers in the fourth round of the 1999 draft, but was diagnosed with testicular cancer and did not begin his NFL career until the 2000 season. He played four seasons with the Packers and then had five years in Tampa Bay before he ended his career with four games with the Redskins. He played in 148 NFL games and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2005 with Tampa Bay.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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Today’s Sports Stat: March 17, 2018

Now that the Philadelphia Eagles have won their first Super Bowl, when will they win their second one? Could they go back-to-back? Or, will they sit on one Super Bowl victory for many years?

Let’s take a look with a little historical perspective to try to explore the above questions. First, the Eagles, by winning Super Bowl #52, became the 20th NFL franchise (of the 32) to win a Super Bowl. Of those 20, 12 have won two or more Super Bowls and eight have won just one. That means that 12 of the current franchises have never won a Super Bowl; of those 12, four have never even made it to the Super Bowl… Cleveland, Detroit, Houston and Jacksonville.

Of the 12 franchises that have won two or more Super Bowls, let’s focus on when they won their first Super Bowl and when they won their second:

  • Four teams won their first and second Super Bowls in back-to-back years… Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Denver and Miami.
  • Five teams won their first and second Super Bowls within six years of each other… New England (two years), San Francisco (three years), New York Giants (four years), the Raiders (four years), Washington (five years), Dallas (six years).
  • Two teams won their first and second Super Bowls more than 10 years from each other… Colts (36 years), Ravens (12 years).

It was mentioned above that the Eagles are now one of eight franchises that has won one Super Bowl. Here’s a look at when the other seven franchises won their one and only Super Bowl.

New York Jets (won Super Bowl #3)
Kansas City Chiefs (won Super Bowl #4)
Chicago (won Super Bowl #20)
Rams (won Super Bowl #34)
Tampa Bay (won Super Bowl #37)
New Orleans (won Super Bowl #44)
Seattle (won Super Bowl #48)

What does all this mean? The 12 teams that have won multiple Super Bowls won their first and second Super Bowls within an average of about six years. Take away the Rams 36-year wait for their second Super Bowl title and the average wait for Super Bowl win #2 averages just over three years.

The Eagles could, however, go the route of the Jets and Chiefs and spend nearly a half-century waiting for their second Super Bowl crown.

When will the Eagles win (or will they ever win) their second Super Bowl? There is no secret formula we can plug in. As someone once said, “That’s why they play the games.”

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sports Stat: March 2, 2018

With the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine going on this weekend, there has been a lot of discussion about who might be the overall first pick in the draft, a pick currently held by the Cleveland Browns.

Experts are wondering if the Browns will use the pick on a quarterback, a position where they could use an upgrade. Is there a franchise QB that could turn around the Browns fortunes?

Since 1970, the merger between the AFL and NFL, there have been 22 quarterbacks who were the first overall pick in the draft. In 1970 it was Terry Bradshaw; the last time a QB was the first overall pick was two years ago when the L.A. Rams selected Jared Goff.

Among those 22 QBs chosen as the first pick, there have been many hits, some misses, and a few “wait-and-see” choices. Of the 22 QBs chosen first since 1970, 13 of them are no longer active in the league. If we use career TD passes as a yardstick, it’s safe to say that Peyton Manning has been the most successful of these 13 QBs; he had 539 career TD passes, exactly 200 TD passes ahead of his nearest first-choice QB, brother Eli Manning, who has 339 career TD passes.

Here is the career TD passes of the 22 QBs who were the first overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1970. (The year each of these QBs was drafted is listed after their names; the nine QBs chosen first overall since 1970 who are still active in the NFL are noted.)

539-Peyton Manning, 1998
339-Eli Manning, 2004 (active)
300-John Elway, 1983
294-Carson Palmer, 2003 (active)
275-Vinny Testaverde, 1987
251-Drew Bledsoe, 1993
216-Matthew Stafford, 2009 (active)
212-Terry Bradshaw, 1970
183-Alex Smith, 2005 (active)
165-Troy Aikman, 1989
164-Jim Plunkett, 1971
158-Cam Newton, 2011 (active)
156-Steve Bartkowski, 1975
154-Jeff George, 1990
133-Michael Vick, 2001
132-Andrew Luck, 2012 (active)
101-Sam Bradford, 2010 (active)
69-Jameis Winston, 2015 (active)
65-David Carr, 2002
64-Tim Couch, 1999
18-JaMarcus Russell, 2007
14-Jared Goff, 2016 (active)

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sports Stat: February 24, 2018

Earlier this week the Indianapolis Colts signed their kicker, Adam Vinatieri, to a one-year contract. The 45-year-old Vinatieri will be playing in his 23rd NFL season in 2018.

The one-year deal gives Vinatieri a chance to break the all-time scoring record in the NFL. He is currently 57 points behind Morten Andersen; Andersen tallied 2,544 career points, Vinatieri has 2,487.

Vinatieri, who went to South Dakota State, is also within striking distance of breaking the record for most points scored by a player in his 40s. He is second behind George Blanda, who had 863 points at age 40 and beyond. Vinatieri has scored 735 points in his 40s.

Here is a look at the players who scored the most career points in their 20s, 30s and 40s. (Research courtesy of Pro Football Reference.com.)

Most points in their 20s
Stephen Gostkowski, 1,023

Mason Crosby, 903
Nate Kaeding, 862
Pete Stoyanovich, 859
Jason Hanson, 857

Most points in their 30s
David Akers, 1,225

Matt Stover, 1,141
Jason Elam, 1,137
Gary Anderson, 1,118
Matt Bryant, 1,082

Most points in their 40s
George Blanda, 863

Adam Vinatieri, 735
Morten Andersen, 704
John Carney, 629
Gary Anderson, 589

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sports Stat: February 6, 2018


Former Wisconsin Badgers running back Corey Clement went from being undrafted in 2017 to being a major player for the Philadelphia Eagles. Clement had four catches for 100 yards and scored a TD for the Eagles in their 41-33 Super Bowl win over New England.

Clement’s name figures prominently in four interesting stats from that game…

  1. The Eagles and Patriots tied a Super Bowl record with eight different players scoring a TD. For the Pats, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan and James White (another former Badger player) scored touchdowns, while five Eagles players found the end zone, LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, Zach Ertz, Nick Foles and Alshon Jeffery. Eight different players scored a TD in three other Super Bowls: 1979 (Dallas-Pittsburgh), 1993 (Buffalo-Dallas) and 2004 (Carolina-New England). The 1969 Super Bowl between Baltimore and the New York Jets (won by the Jets 16-7) had only two players score a TD, Matt Snell for the Jets and Jerry Hill for Baltimore. That is the fewest number of players to score TDs in a single Super Bowl contest.
  2. Clement became only the fourth rookie player in Super Bowl history to have 100 yards receiving in a Super Bowl game. He had four catches for 100 yards. The other players: Cris Collinsworth (five catches for 107 yards in 1982 for the Bengals); Torry Holt (seven catches for 109 yards in 2000 for the St. Louis Rams); and Chris Matthews (four catches for 109 yards in 2015 for the Seahawks). Only two rookie running backs have gained 100 or more yards in a Super Bowl game: Timmy Smith (22 carries for 204 yards in 1988 for Washington) and Jamal Lewis (27 carries for 102 yards in 2001 for the Ravens).
  3. Of the 74 points scored in this year’s Super Bowl (41 by Philadelphia and 33 by New England), 20 of those points were scored by players who attended college at the University of Memphis. The two kickers in the game, Jake Elliott and Stephen Gostkowski both attended Memphis. Elliott had 11 points in the game, Gostkowski had nine. Here are the points scored in the game based on the colleges attended by the players who scored the 74 points in Super Bowl LII… University of Memphis, 20 (Elliott & Gostkowski); Arizona, 18 (Nick Foles & Rob Gronkowski); Wisconsin, 12 (Corey Clement & James White); Oregon, 6 (LeGarrette Blount); South Carolina, 6 (Alshon Jeffrey); Monmouth, 6, (Chris Hogan); Stanford, 6 (Zach Ertz).
  4. Philadelphia Eagles rookies Jake Elliott and Corey Clement scored 17 points for the team in this year’s Super Bowl. That was the second-most points scored by a team’s rookies in a Super Bowl game since the Chicago Bears rookies (Kevin Butler, William Perry and Reggie Phillips) tallied 26 points in 1986. Only four other Super Bowl teams saw their rookies score 10 or more points in a Super Bowl game: 1995 San Francisco, 13 (William Floyd and Doug Brien); 1988 Washington, 12 (Timmy Smith); 2013 Baltimore, 10 (Justin Tucker) and 1993 Dallas, 10 (Lin Elliott).

 

Stats on Tapp