Category Archives: Football

Today’s Sportstat: March 11, 2019

11 stats you may not know about the Packers last 10 years in the draft

With the NFL Combine ending last week, the start of the free agency period getting ready to launch into frenzy mode, and the NFL Draft less than two months away, the Green Bay Packers off season is in full swing. The draft will take place April 25-27, with the Packers (at this moment) having the 12th, 30th and 44th picks in the draft… among a slew of additional picks in later rounds.

Who, or what type of player, will the Packers select with their picks? It’s anyone’s guess; there’s talk that an edge rusher is a high priority, and another tight end has been talked about with one of the early picks. Help on the offensive line has been discussed, and defensive backs are always a focus for the Packers in the draft.

Let’s take a look at the last 10 years of the NFL draft and 11 interesting stats that you may not know about the Packers draft choices from 2009-18. Will the past draft history of the Packers give us any indication how the team will draft this season?

  1. In the last 10 drafts, the Packers selected 89 players. Forty-four were defensive players, 43 played on the offensive side of the ball, two were special team players.
  2. Receivers topped the list of the position most drafted over the past decade by the Pack. There were 18 receivers/tight ends chosen over the past 10 years. Defensive linemen were close behind with 17 choices followed by defensive backs/safeties (14), offensive linemen (14), linebackers (13) and offensive backs (QBs and running backs) with 11.
  3. The average round where offensive players were selected by the Packers over the past 10 years was 4.53. The average round where defensive players were taken by the Pack over the past 10 years was 3.82.
  4. Breaking it down by positions, the average defensive back/safety was taken in the 2.9 round, followed by defensive linemen (3.9), offensive linemen (4.4), linebackers (4.7), offensive backfield (4.9) and receivers/tight ends (5.1)
  5. Twenty of the 44 defensive players (45.5%) selected in the past 10 years were chosen in the first three rounds of the draft. Only nine of the 43 offensive players (20.9%) chosen were selected in the first three rounds of the draft.
  6. Of the 14 defensive backs/safeties chosen by the Packers in the last 10 years, nine (64.3%) were selected in the first three rounds. Eight of the 17 (47.1%) defensive linemen chosen were picked in the first three rounds of the draft. Twenty-three percent of the 13 linebackers picked were in the first three rounds… 22% of the receivers were chosen in the first three rounds… 21.4% of the offensive linemen were taken in the first three rounds of the draft… 18.2% of the offensive backfield were selected in the first three rounds of the draft.
  7. Twenty of the 29 players (69%) chosen in the first three rounds of the draft in the last 10 years were defensive players.
  8. Eight of the 10 players picked in the first round by the Packers since 2009 were defensive players.
  9. Of the 21 players chosen by the Packers in the first two rounds of the draft in the past 10 years, 15 were defensive players.
  10. In the last 10 years, the Packers have chosen three players from one position in a draft four times: 2018-three receivers; 2017-three offensive backs; 2014-three receivers; 2012-three defensive linemen.
  11. The only offensive players chosen by the Pack in the first round over the past 10 years were Derek Sherrod in 2011 and Brian Bulaga in 2010.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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Today’s Sportstat: February 25, 2019

TODAY’s SPORTSTAT-February 25, 2019

Who has been the Packers worst QB in the Super Bowl era?

There is no argument when it comes to who are the best quarterbacks for the Green Bay Packers franchise… there are two Hall of Famers, Bart Starr and Brett Favre, and a future HOFer in Aaron Rodgers. The only discussion might be who would take the fourth spot in a Packers QB Mt. Rushmore, but even that might be a brief discussion as Lynn Dickey would be a solid choice for the fourth spot.

But what about the worst QB for the Packers? Is there a clear-cut selection?

To answer that question, I looked at five stats. First, I limited the discussion to only quarterbacks who played for the Packers in the Super Bowl era (1966 and beyond). There have been 18 players who attempted 100 or more career passes with the Packers since 1966. (In case you wanted to see if you could name all 18, here they are: Zeke Bratkowski, Lynn Dickey, Anthony Dilweg, Brett Favre, Matt Flynn, John Hadl, Scott Hunter, Don Horn, Brett Hundley, Blair Kiel, Don Majkowski, Aaron Rodgers, Bart Starr, Jerry Tagge, Mike Tomczak, David Whitehurst, Randy Wright, and Jim Zorn.)

The five stats I used were pass completion percentage, TD percentage, interceptions percentage, Passer Rating and win-loss percentage as a starter.

Following are the five Packers QBs since 1966 that had the lowest rankings in these five stat categories:

Lowest pass completion percentage
Hunter, 43.95%… Zorn, 45.53%… Tagge, 48.4%… Horn, 48.94… Whitehurst, 51.43%

Highest interception percentage
Horn, 7.75%… Hunter, 6.73%… Bratkowski, 6.54%… Tagge, 6.05%… Hadl, 5.40%

Lowest TD percentage
Tagge, 1.1%… Hadl, 1.7%… Wright, 2.8%… Hundley, 2.8%… Whitehurst, 2.9%

Passer Rating
Tagge, 44.2… Hunter, 49.0… Hadl, 53.2… Zorn, 57.4… Whitehurst, 59.2

Win-loss percentage (minimum of 10 games started at QB for the Pack to qualify)
Wright, 7-25 (.219)… Hadl, 7-12 (.368)… Dickey, 43-56-2 (.436)… Whitehurst, 16-20-1 (.446)… Majkowski, 22-26-1 (.459)

Okay… if we take these five stats and assign a numerical value to each, I come up with my list of the five QBs who would statistically rank as the Top Five worst Packers QBs in the Super Bowl era. They are:

  1. Jerry Tagge: (1972-74). Started 12 games for the Packers. The 11th overall pick in the 1972 draft. Played only three seasons in Green Bay with only three TD passes and 17 interceptions. Was released prior to the ’75 season. Did not play in the NFL after that.
  2. Scott Hunter: (1971-73). Selected in the sixth round of the 1971 draft. Started 29 games for the Pack, 10 in his rookie season. Led the team to a 10-4 record in ’72 and a NFC Central crown. Was traded to the Buffalo Bills inn 1974.
  3. John Hadl: Traded to the Packers and played two seasons (1974-75) with the Pack. His trade to the Pack for five draft choices has been called one of the worst trades of a QB in NFL history. Hadl, who earlier had a great career for the San Diego Chargers, was a flop with the Packers throwing only nine TD passes with 29 interceptions in 22 games with Green Bay.
  4. Randy Wright: Wright played collegiately at Wisconsin and was a sixth round pick of the Packers in 1984. He played five seasons in Green Bay, starting 32 games. He was only 7-25 as a starter with the team.
  5. Don Horn: Another first round pick of the Packers in 1967. Played four seasons in Green Bay, although he only played in 20 games, starting six of them. Was traded to Denver in 1971. Did win four of the six games he started for the Pack.

So what do you think? Who is your choice?

Comments?

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: January 31, 2019

Super Bowl 53 MVP? Brady? Goff? Other?

If you are looking to predict who might be the MVP of the Super Bowl this year, you won’t go wrong by picking either of the opposing QBs… Tom Brady or Jared Goff. In the past 52 Super Bowls, there have been 29 quarterbacks chosen as the MVP, well over half of those honored.

But there’s more to the story. Here’s a handful of stats you may not know about QBs and the Super Bowl MVP Award. Did you know…

  • Joe Namath is the only Super Bowl MVP QB who did not throw a TD pass in that game.
  • Of the 53 Super Bowl winning quarterbacks who threw five or more passes in the game (the Baltimore Colts in 1971 had QBs Earl Morrall and Johnny Unitas each attempt five or more passes in that game), 45 had at least one TD pass in the game.
  • Every Super Bowl winning QB who threw three or more TD passes in the game was selected as the MVP… one threw six TD passes (Steve Young), one threw five TD passes (Joe Montana), four had four TD passes, and seven had three TD passes. That’s 13 of the 13 Super Bowl winning QBs who had three or more TD passes was selected as the game’s MVP.
  • Of the 15 Super Bowl winning QBs who had two TD passes in the game, eight were chosen as the game’s MVP. Of the 17 Super Bowl winning QBs who had one TD pass in the game, seven were chosen as the MVP. Eight Super Bowl winning QBs did not have a TD pass in the game.
  • Of the 28 Super Bowl winning QBs who had two or more TD passes in the game, 21 went on to win the MVP… that’s 75%. Good odds for any Super Bowl winning QB who can get at least two TD passes on his stat line.

There have been a few Super Bowl winning QBs who, statistically speaking, did not have very impressive games. Topping that list would probably be Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger. In the Steelers’ 2006 Super Bowl win over Seattle, Roethlisberger had a Passer Rating of 22.6, the lowest Passer Rating of any Super Bowl winning QB. He had no TD passes and two interceptions in the game.

Following are the five Super Bowl winning QBs who had the lowest Passer Rating in the contest.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh, 2006… 22.6
John Elway, Denver, 1998… 51.9
Earl Morrall, Baltimore, 1971… 54.0
Peyton Manning, Denver, 2016… 56.6
Joe Theismann, Washington, 1983… 75.1

In addition, did you know…

  • Four Super Bowl winning QBs completed less than 50% of their passes in the big game: Roethlisberger 42.9% (2006), Morrall 46.7% (1971), Terry Bradshaw 47.4% (1976) and Trent Dilfer 48.0% (2001).
  • Eight Super Bowl winning QBs did not have a TD pass in the game: Roethlisberger (2006), Elway (1998), Peyton Manning (2016), Morrall (1971), Namath (1969), Troy Aikman (1994), Jim McMahon (1986), Bob Griese (1974).
  • Four Super Bowl winning QBs had multiple interceptions in the game: Bradshaw (three in 1980… he was still selected MVP in the game); Tom Brady (two in 2005… also selected MVP of the game); Joe Theismann (two in 1983); and Roethlisberger (two in 2006).

Just to add a little balance to this piece, there have been six Super Bowl losing QBs who had three TD passes in the game: Roger Staubach (1979), Brett Favre (1998), Jake Delhomme (2004), Donovan McNabb (2005), Kurt Warner (2009) and Tom Brady (2018).

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

It’s time to change the NFL’s OT rule

by Jerry Tapp

Let me preface what I’m about to say with this one statement: I am not a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan.

With that out of the way, something has to be done about the ridiculous overtime rule in the NFL. We saw it firsthand this past weekend when the Chiefs and New England went into OT in their AFC Championship Game. By winning the coin toss, the Patriots got the ball first and drove down for a TD, thus ending the game. The Chiefs did not get a chance to even touch the ball on offense.

This has been the rule for some time now. And it’s now time to change it. It’s time to make sure that each team, especially in the playoffs, get at least one time to have possession.

Think about it: In what other sport does a team that wins a coin toss get to have possession and then can win a game without their opponents even having a chance? Baseball? Nope. If the game goes into extra innings, both teams get to bat. Think of the outrage if MLB changed the rule and the first team that scored in extra innings would win (that would have to be the road team in this case). Stupid, right? You bet. At least in baseball each team gets an at-bat in extra innings. If the road team scores a run in the top of the 10th, the home team must either score one or two runs or the game is over.

Basketball? No, again. There is a five-minute overtime period in the NBA. Both teams get multiple chances to handle the ball. How about we change the rule and the first team that scores wins the game? Absurd, right? You bet.

Even in the NHL, there is sudden death. But I think it’s pretty rare that a team would win an OT face-off and would immediately score a goal without the other team handling the puck.

Winning a coin toss should never be the factor in a team winning a game in OT, again, especially in the playoffs. Why the NFL would think that this is okay is beyond me. I know in biblical times they would cast lots if an important decision had to be made, but I don’t think the NFL based their OT rule on Old Testament biblical principles. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am.

As it states right now, the team that wins the coin toss in an NFL overtime game wins if they score a TD. If that team has to punt or commits a turnover, or if they kick a field goal, the other team has a chance to have possession. I say that even if that team that wins the toss scores a TD, let the other team have a possession. If they don’t score a TD, then the game is over. If they do score a TD, then, and only then, do you make the game sudden death. At least each team had one possession. If you want to reward the team for winning the coin toss, at least let the other team get one possession. What happens after that is fair game.

For Patrick Mahomes not to get a chance to match Tom Brady’s overtime drive just seemed wrong. Both teams need to get a fair shot. If the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball can make sure that their overtime (or extra inning format) is fair for both teams, the NFL has to figure out a way to get on par with its fellow professional sports.

Other people are advocating the NFL go to the overtime system used by college football. I’m okay with that as well. At least both teams have the same chance to win.

But the way things are now in the NFL, the way this year’s AFC Championship Game ended (and the way other OT games have ended in past where only one team had possession) has to be changed. There are people a lot smarter than me that should be able to figure out a plausible way to play overtime.

If, however, the NFL comes out and says its overtime policy is based on Old Testament principles and the coin toss must remain in its current form, well, then I guess divine intervention has spoken. I highly doubt that is the case.

We lost out on a possible terrific scenario when Mahomes and the Chiefs did not get a chance to match the Pats. Heck, I would’ve watched another hour of the game if both teams marched up and down the field matching TD in OT. Must-see TV? You betcha.

It may not have lessened the outcry from fans who thought the officiating in both title games was sub-par, but at least we wouldn’t be listening to the ever-present outrage because of a stupid overtime policy.

NFL… The ball is in your court. Or should I say, you have possession. Let’s end this discussion about how unfair the overtime format is once and for all.

Today’s Sportstat: January 17, 2019

How many points will a team need to score to win the AFC or NFC title game?

We’re down to the final three games of the NFL season: In the AFC, the New England Patriots will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs; in the NFC, the New Orleans Saints will host the Los Angeles Rams. The winners will square off in the Super Bowl.

Since the NFC-AFC merger back in 1970, it appears that if a team scored 20 or more points in a conference championship game, they had a pretty good chance of winning the game and advancing to the Super Bowl. Since 1970, teams that scored 20 or more points were 82-25 (.766 winning percentage) in the conference title game. In the AFC Championship Games since ’70, teams that scored 20 or more were 43-11 (.796) while NFC teams playing in the title game were 39-14 (.736) when they scored 20+ points in the title contest.

Here’s a breakdown of record of teams in each conference championship game based on the number of points they scored in the contest.

Points scored             AFC                     NFC                     Total

0-9                                 0-10                     1-16                     1-26 .037

10-19                             5-27                     8-18                     13-45 .224

20-29                            26-9                     21-14                    47-23 .671

30-39                            12-2                     14-0                     26-2 .929

40 or more points         5-0                       4-0                       9-0 1.000

As you can see, only two teams that scored 30 or more points in a championship game since 1970 lost the title game: Indianapolis defeated the New England Patriots 38-34 in 2006 and the Denver beat Cleveland in a 1987 season title game, 38-33. The only team to win a conference title game by scoring fewer than 10 points were the Rams in 1979; they defeated Tampa Bay 9-0.

Following are 10 stats you may not know concerning the AFC and NFC Championship Games since the 1970 merger:

Most appearances: AFC (Pittsburgh, 16), NFC (San Francisco, 15)

Most wins: AFC (New England, 10), NFC (Dallas, 8)

Most losses: AFC (Pittsburgh, 8), NFC (San Francisco, 9)Last title: AFC (NY Jets, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Kansas City have never won an AFC Championship Game; Miami has the longest drought of teams that have previously won a title since 1970… they last won in 1984/ NFC (Detroit has never won an NFC Championship Game since 1970; Minnesota has the longest drought of teams that have previously won a title since 1970… they last won in 1976.

Most home games: AFC (Pittsburgh, 11), NFC (San Francisco, 9)

Most home wins: AFC (New England, 7), NFC (Washington, 5)

Most home losses: AFC (Pittsburgh, 5), NFC (San Francisco, 5)

Most away games: AFC (New England & the Raiders, 6 each), NFC (Dallas, 9)

Most away wins: AFC (New Englland, 3), NFC (Dallas, 4)

Most away losses: AFC (Raiders, 5), NFC (Dallas and Minnesota, 5 each)

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp