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 Of the 22 QBs chosen first since 1970, 13 of them are no longer active in the league.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)
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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
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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…
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
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- The Patriots allowed 27 points to their opponents in four games this season… they lost three of those games.
- New England as a team rushed for less than 81 yards in five games… they lost two of those games.
- The Pats allowed the opposition to gain over 430 total yards in two games… they lost both of those games.
- The Patriots allowed 300 or more passing yards to their opponents in five games this season… they lost two of those games.
- New England allowed their opponents to rush for over 120 yards in eight games… they lost three of those contests.
- Tom Brady had a Passer Rating under 80.0 in a pair of games this year… the Patriots lost both games. (FYI: Brady has never lost a playoff game when he had a Passer Rating of 100 or better; he is 14-0.)
- Only three opposing QBs had a Passer Rating over 100 in a game versus the Patriots this season: Alex Smith (148.6), Cam Newton (130.8) and Jay Cutler (112.1). New England lost each of those three games.
- Four opposing running backs had 100-yard games versus the Pats in 2017. New England was 2-2 in those games.
- Five opposing receivers had 100-yard games versus the Pats in ’17. New England was 3-2 in those games.
- New England converted on less than 34% of their third-down attempts in five games this season… they lost two of those games.
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The Eagles are 0-2 in Super Bowl contests; they lost to Oakland in Super Bowl XV, 27-10 on January 25, 1981, and were beaten by the New England Patriots 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX on February 6, 2005. With their appearance in Super Bowl LII, the Eagles become the 16th NFL franchise to play in three or more Super Bowls.
Of the other 15 franchises that have played in three or more Super Bowls, seven won their third appearance in the big game and eight lost their third Super Bowl game.
What’s even more telling is that four teams went into their third Super Bowl game having lost the previous two: Buffalo, Denver, Minnesota and New England. Of these four teams, the Patriots are the only team in NFL history to lose their first two Super Bowl games and then win their third one. New England lost their first Super Bowl to the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX (1986) and then lost Super Bowl XXXI to the Green Bay Packers 11 years later. They finally won their first Super Bowl in Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams (on February 2, 2002) on their third try. It was current New England coach Bill Belichick’s first Super Bowl as head coach of the Patriots.
Following is a look at how each of the 15 franchises that have played in three or more Super Bowls did in their third Super Bowl appearance.
Won first two Super Bowl appearances, won third one
Green Bay, Pittsburgh and San Francisco
Won first two Super Bowl appearances, lost third one
New York Giants
Won one and lost one in their first two Super Bowl appearances, won third one
Colts, Miami, Raiders
Won one and lost one in their first two Super Bowl appearances, lost third one
Dallas, Rams, Seattle, Washington
Lost first two Super Bowl appearances, won third one
Lost first two Super Bowl appearances, lost third one
Buffalo, Denver, Minnesota
How will the Eagles do in their third Super Bowl contest? Will they join the Patriots in the above category by beating them in Super Bowl LII?
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