- The Brewers are at the .500 mark (a 10-10 record through games of August 16) with the season one-third of the way complete. The Brew Crew is averaging only 4.0 runs per game in the first 20 games of this season; if the season ended today, that would be the 12th lowest offensive output in team history. The fewest runs per game for a Brewers team was 3.16 in 1972. The second lowest was 3.54 in 1976. That, however, is not the worst news… through games of August 16 this year, the Brewers team batting average is .221; the lowest team batting average for a season was 1971 when the team hit .229. In fact, the four lowest team batting averages were all under .243 and happened in the first four seasons of the franchise: 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972. One more dreadful stat through the first 20 games: The Brewers offense has averaged 10.1 strikeouts per game. The most strikeouts per game the team have averaged in a season is 9.7 in 2017.
- Bob Uecker is a Hall of Famer… broadcaster, that is. He has gotten a lot of comedic mileage out of the fact that he had a very mediocre MLB career, and his nickname of “Mr. Baseball,” which came from Johnny Carson, certainly takes advantage of that fact. But did you know that Uecker may have had one of the worst seasons of all time for a player? In 1967, Uecker had 221 plate appearances and a season batting average of .150. He is one of only 11 players since 1901 to have 200 or more plate appearances and a batting average of .150 or below in a season. If that isn’t enough, in that same season, Uecker led the league with the most errors and most passed balls by a catcher. I guess it was a good thing that he was so funny.
- Aaron Rodgers is one of 28 quarterbacks in NFL history to have 100 or more TD passes in a career and less than 100 career interceptions… Rodgers has 364 career TD passes and only 84 career interceptions. Of all the NFL QBs with fewer than 100 career interceptions, Rodgers has the most TD passes with 364. Russell Wilson is second on the list with only 68 interceptions and 227 career TD passes.
- Defense will be a big key as the Bucks try to win an NBA title this season. Consider this: The Bucks were 56-17 this season, best record in the NBA; however, they were 11-12 (.478 winning percentage) in games when they allowed the opposition to score 115 or more points in a game, and were 45-5 (.900) when they kept their opponents under 115 points in a game. The Bucks were a perfect 26-0 this season when the defense held foes to 102 or fewer points in a game.
- Over the last 21 college football seasons, the University of Wisconsin has had four different running backs lead the nation in rushing yards: Ron Dayne (1999), Monte Ball (2011), Melvin Gordon (2014) and Jonathan Taylor (2018). In the last 21 years, only one other school had multiple players lead the nation in rushing yards… San Diego State (Donnel Pumphrey, 2016, and Rashaad Penay, 2017).
- In the Brewers 6-4 win over the Twins on August 11, the Brew Crew offense hit four home runs. Since 2015, the Brewers are 29-3 in games where they hit four or more HRs. Since 2015, the Brewers are 5-23 in games when their pitching staff allows four or more home runs.
- Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams has 50 or more receptions in five straight seasons. He joined four others Pack receivers who had 50+ receptions in five or more seasons; Donald Driver tops the list with nine seasons with 50+ catches for the Pack. He is followed by Sterling Sharpe with seven consecutive 50-catch seasons, Antonio Freeman with six straight seasons, and Greg Jennings with five straight seasons with 50 or more receptions for the Packers.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo finished the 2019-20 NBA season with a points per game average of 29.5 and 13.6 rebounds per game. It was the third season in his career that he averaged 25 or more points and 10 or more rebounds per games in a season. He became the 17th player in NBA history to have three or more 25 points/10 rebounds seasons in an NBA career. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal each had 10 25/10 seasons, most in league history.
- The “Greek Freak” also finished this NBA season with an amazing stat: He upped his per game points average for the sixth straight season. He averaged 6.8 points per game in his rookie campaign and has upped that stat to 12.7, 16.9, 22.9, 26.9, 27.7 and 29.5 in each subsequent year. What’s even more noteworthy is that he has also upped his rebounds per game stat in each of his seven seasons in the league… he averaged 4.4 boards his rookie year and then upped that stat to 6.7, 7.7, 8.8, 10.0, 12.5 and 13.6.
- Can you imagine going a whole MLB career without a stolen base? There are quite a few players who never swiped a base in their MLB career, but four of them had 2,000 or more plate appearances and never had a steal. The four: Russ Nixon (2,715 plate appearances and no steals; he played from 1957-68), Chris Snyder (2,459 PA, 2004-13), Johnny Estrada (2,244 PA, 2001-08) and Aaron Robinson (2,191 PA, 1943-51). The Brewers have seven players who had 500 or more plate appearances in a Brewers uniform but no stolen bases. Topping the list is Jesus Aguilar, who had 1,139 plate appearances with the Brewers and no stolen bases. He is followed by Wes Helms (1,030 plate appearances), Hank Aaron (851), Chad Moeller (669), Marc Newfield (583), Adam Lind (572) and Charlie O’Brien (559). The MLB record for most plate appearances with only one career stolen base is held by Gus Triandos, who played from 1953-65. He had 4,424 career plate appearances and only one career stolen base. The Brewers record for most plate appearances with only one career stolen base is 1,664 by Casey McGehee.
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(A weekly look at several sports stats you may not know)
- Can you have a home field advantage in baseball if there are no fans in the stands? Interesting question. Based on some numbers from the early games played in this year’s abbreviated version of Major League Baseball, it appears that maybe cheering fans do play a role in their team’s success at home. Through games of August 8, MLB home teams are 105-100, a .512 winning percentage. Last season home teams had a winning percentage of .529 for the season. We’ll have to see how this stat plays out the rest of this season.
- In the Brewers’ 8-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on August 6, Christian Yelich had a home run and walked four times. Yelich became the 100th player in MLB history to have at least one home run and four or more walks in a game in baseball history. It was the 123rd time this feat was accomplished. He also became the first Brewer player to reach these numbers in a game. Yelich also scored three runs in the contest; it was the 43rd time in MLB history that a player had a home run, four or more walks and three or more runs scored in a game in MLB history. Barry Bonds accomplished the feat of a home run and four walks in a game six times in his career… Ted Williams did it five times… Edgar Martinez did it four times… and Babe Ruth and Mark McGwire did it three times each in their careers.
- The Milwaukee Bucks were the only NBA team this season that had a shot at winning 60 games when the season resumed play in late July. They would have become the 14th team in NBA history to have back-to-back 60-win seasons, but will fall short of the 60-win season this year. The 13 teams that accomplished the feat of back-to-back 60-win seasons: Philadelphia (1967-68), Milwaukee (1971-72-73), L.A. Lakers (1972-73), Boston (1981-82-83), Boston (1984-85-86). L.A. Lakers (1985-86-87-88), Chicago (1991-92), Chicago (1996-97-98), Utah (1997-98), Dallas (2006-07), Cleveland (2009-10), Golden State (2015-16-17), San Antonio (2016-17).
- The Chicago White Sox have a Rookie of the Year (ROY) candidate in centerfielder Luis Robert. Through the first 15 games of this season, Robert is batting .322 with nine runs scored, six RBI and four stolen bases. The Sox have had six ROY in their history: Jose Abreu (2014), Ozzie Guillen (1985), Ron Kittle (1983), Tommie Agee (1966), Gary Peters (1963) and Luis Aparicio (1956).
- Did you know that based on a player’s age as of June 30, Prince Fielder hit the most HRs with the Brewers in his 20’s? Fielder hit 230 home runs with the Brewers in seasons age 20-29. Second on the list is Ryan Braun, who hit 211 home runs with the Brewers in his 20s. Robin Yount hit 11 homers as a teenager with the Brewers, tops in that age group (Gary Sheffied is second with four dingers). Most home runs by a Brewer player in his 30’s? Ben Oglivie with 158 followed by Cecil Cooper (144). Hank Aaron has the most HRs by a Brewers player in his 40s with 22. He is followed by Jim Edmonds with eight. (Source: Research on baseball-reference.com).
- There has been speculation in the media that the Packers might take a look at former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown to upgrade their receiving corp. Might not be a bad idea based on this stat: Brown holds the NFL record for most consecutive games with seven or more receptions with 14 games. He is followed by Michael Thomas (New Orleans) and Demaryius Thomas (Denver) who each caught seven or more passes in eight consecutive games. The Packers record is held by Davante Adams who caught seven or more passes in five straight games.
- When Aaron Rodgers throws his first TD pass in the 2020 regular season, he will become the second Packers QB to have thrown a regular season TD pass in three different decades. Rodgers had his first TD pass in 2007, tossed a bunch of them in the 2010s, and will likely throw a few this decade. The other Packers QB to have a TD in three different decades is Bart Starr. He had his first TD pass for the Packers in 1956 and then threw TD passes in the 60’s and 70’s.
- The Brewers 1-0 win over the White Sox on August 5 was their first 1-0 win since April 3, 2019 when they defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 1-0. It was the 80th 1-0 win for the Brewers in the team’s history. Since 2015, there have been 213 1-0 games in the majors. The San Francisco Giants have won 14 of those games, tops in the majors. The other teams with 11 or more 1-0 wins since 2015: L.A. Dodgers (13), Chicago Cubs (13), Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay (each with 11).
- San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. recently became the ninth player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs in the first 100 games of his career. The others: Mark McGwire (he hit 37 in his first 100 games), Cody Bellinger (34), Rudy York (33), Pete Alonso (33), Gary Sanchez (33), Jose Abreu (31), Tatis Jr. (30), Aaron Judge (30) and Ryan Braun (30).
- The Brewers have gotten off to a relatively slow start which may not bode well in this shortened season. They may have to depend on another September charge to make the playoffs. In September of 2018 and 2019, the Brewers had the second-best record in the majors. The Brew Crew was a combined 40-14 (.741) in regular season games after September 1 in 2018 and 2019. The Houston Astros were 40-12 (.769) those two seasons in September contests, tops in the majors. If you go all the way back to 2010, the Brewers were 159-123 in September games, fifth best in the MLB.
- One final thought: Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick are no longer dating… Patrick said she was a Bears fan before her and Rodgers started dating… former Bears QB Jay Cutler and wife Kristin Cavallari are headed for divorce… does it make sense for Jay Cutler to start dating Danica Patrick? Just wondering.
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Here’s how the Packers have treated their previous first-round QBs
“With the 26th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select… Jordan Love, QB, Utah State.”
With those words, spoken from his basement, NFL Commissioner Roger Godell sent a literal wedge into Packer Nation. On one side, there are the Packer faithful who see Love as the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers and feel the selection of Love in the first round was a sound decision for the future. On the other side, we have Packers fans who thought the selection of a QB who will likely not see the field anytime soon was a waste, especially when you consider the team has needs at other positions.
In today’s NFL, it is not uncommon for teams to use a first round pick on a quarterback, especially if they have a dire need for an upgrade at that position. But for the Packers to choose Love (JLo) when they already have Rodgers (ARod), seemed strange. (Maybe as strange as Alex Rodriguez dating Jennifer Lopez… but I digress.)
Love, who was the fourth QB chosen in the first round of this year’s draft (behind Joe Burrow-Cincinnati, Tua Tagavailoa-Miami and Justin Herbert -L.A. Chargers), is clearly looked upon as Rodgers’ eventual replacement, but that will probably not happen soon. Burrow, Tagavailoa and Herbert will likely be thrust into starting positions in their first seasons with their respective teams while Love will sit. Rodgers has said he wants to keep playing into his 40s, and if he stays healthy, Love will not get introduced as the G.B. starting QB unless Rodgers sustains an injury.
Having said all of this, it should not be surprising that the Packers franchise took this route in the draft. Consider this: Love is the fourth QB the Packers drafted in the first round since 1970. The other three first-rounders, Jerry Tagge, Rich Campbell and Aaron Rodgers, rarely took snaps as the Pack’s starting QB in their first three seasons on the team.
Tagge was a first rounder in 1972, the 11th overall pick. He did not start any games at QB for the Packers his first season; started six games his second season, and had six starts his third season. After that, he was out of football after only three seasons.
Campbell was the Packers first pick in the 1981 draft, the sixth overall selection. He spent four seasons in Green Bay, yet never started a game for the team. In fact, he played in only seven career games in the NFL. Yes, that was the Packers’ first round choice in 1981. Five eventual Hall of Famers were selected after Campbell that year.
Rodgers was the 24th pick in the first round of the 2005 draft. He did not start a game until his fourth season with the Packers. We all know what he has done since then.
There’s a really interesting stat I discovered about first round QBs taken since 1970… there have been 110 QBs taken in the first round since 1970. Did you know that only two QBs of those 110 did not start a game for his team the first three seasons with his team? Well, I gave you the answer above; Rich Campbell and Aaron Rodgers are the only two QBs taken in the first round since 1970 who did not start an NFL game for their team in the first three seasons… both quarterbacks chosen by the Green Bay Packers in the first round.
Will Love see his career go the route of the previous first round QBs taken by the Packers? We’ll see. It would not, however, surprise me if Rodgers stays healthy and Love does not start a game for the Pack in his first three seasons with the team. That would make him the third Packers first round QB to not start a game in his first three years with the team. None of the other NFL franchises has since 1970 has had even one QB fit this category.
Here are the 11 NFL quarterbacks selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since 1970 who started the fewest games in their first three seasons in the league.
0: Rich Campbell, 1981; Aaron Rodgers, 2005
1: Jim Druckenmiller, 1997
2: Dan McGwire, 1991
3: Mark Malone, 1980
4: Paxton Lynch, 2016; Tommy Maddox, 1992, Steve Pisarkiewicz, 1978, Andre Ware, 1990
5: Jack Thompson, 1979
6: Art Schlichter, 1982
In addition to Campbell and Rodgers, there are two first round QBs who did not start a game in their first two seasons. The other two are Chad Pennington and Philip Rivers. Ironically, of the 110 QBs taken in the first round since 1970, Rodgers has started the 12th most career games with 174, and Rivers has started the fifth most career games with 224.
One final note: Of the 110 QBs taken in the first round since 1970, 65 of them started 50% or more of their teams’ games in their first three seasons in the league. Twenty-five of the 110 started 40 or more of the team’s 48 games in those first three campaigns, and five first round QBs started all 48 of their team’s 48 games those first three seasons. The five: Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill.
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PACKERSTATS-Game #18-2019 season
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 37-20 road playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, January 19.
- Well, the Packers ended the 2019 season going 14-0 when they kept their opponents under 24 points in a game; they were 0-4 when the opposition scored 25 or more points.
- Green Bay finished the 2019 campaign 14-4 (regular season and playoffs). Three of their four losses were road games in California… two to San Francisco, one to the L.A. Chargers. The 2020 regular season has only one trip to California for the Pack: they travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers in 2020!
- The Packers have now lost four of their last five NFC Championship Game contests. The 17-point defeat this year to the 49ers was the second largest margin of defeat for the team in an NFC/NFL title game. They lost by 23 points to the Atlanta Falcons in the 2016 (season) NFC title contest.
- Green Bay has now lost five of their last seven road playoff games. The Pack is 9-14 (.391) in road playoff games in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).
- Green Bay is 2-6 vs. the Niners in their last eight matchups (regular season and playoffs).
- The score at the end of the first quarter was San Francisco 7, Green Bay 0. Since 2000, the Packers are 4-7 in playoff games when they do not score in the first quarter.
- Green Bay was behind 27-0 at halftime. They are 2-48 in their history when they are behind by 20 points or more at halftime in a game.
- The Packers allowed three sacks of Aaron Rodgers. The team is 8-10-1 (.447) over the past two seasons (all games) when they allow three or more sacks in a game.
- Aaron Rodgers threw a pair of interceptions. Green Bay is 8-10 (regular season and playoffs) in games when Rodgers has two or more interceptions. The Packers are 2-7 in playoff games when Rodgers has one or more interception.
- Green Bay did not have a takeaway in the game. They are 16-41 (.281) since 2000 in games where they did not have a takeaway. In their last 19 games where they did not have a takeaway (regular season and playoffs) the Packers have only won two of those games.
- The Packers ended the season 12-0 in games when they had at least one takeaway… they were 2-4 in 2019 in games when they did not get a takeaway.
- With a pair of TDs in the game, Aaron Jones set the Packers all-time record for most TDs in a single season (regular season and playoffs) with 23. It was the 18th time in NFL history that a player had 23 or more TDs in a season (regular season and playoffs). The last player to do it before Jones was in 2018 when the Rams’ Todd Gurley had 23 TDs. LaDainian Tomlinson holds the NFL record with 33 total touchdowns in the 2006 season.
- Forty-Niners running back Raheem Mostert had four touchdowns in the game. He became only the third player to score four or more TDs against the Packers in a game. The others: Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams in 2008 and the Bears’ Bobby Douglass in 1973.
- Mostert had 220 yards rushing in the game on 29 carries. The 220 yards rushing is the third highest in a game against the Packers. Tommy Wilson (Rams) had 223 yards rushing in a game against the Pack on 12-16-1956 and the Rams Tommy Bell had 221 yards rushing in a 9-24-1989 contest against Green Bay.
- San Francisco finished the game with 285 yards rushing. The Packers are 1-37 in their history when a team gains 250 or more yards rushing (regular season and playoffs). The only game they won when the opponents rushed for 250+ yards was in 1965 against the Vikings; they had 251 yards rushing in that game, won by the Packers, 24-19.
- Davante Adams had nine receptions for 138 yards. He now has 20 games in his career (regular season and playoffs) with 100 or more yards receiving. That places him seventh on the all-time Packers list; James Lofton tops the list with 33 100-yard receiving games. Adams now holds the Packers record with four playoff games with 100 or more yards receiving.
- Rookie Jace Sternberger caught a TD pass from Rodgers in the game. It was not only his first NFL TD, but also his first NFL reception.
- Rodgers had a pair of TD passes and set the team record for most playoff TD passes with 40, passing Brett Favre who had 39 with the team. His 40 playoff TD passes ties him with Peyton manning for fourth on the all-time list. Tom Brady tops the list with 73 followed by Joe Montana with 45 and Brett Favre with 44 (Favre had five career playoff TD passes with the Vikings in addition to his 39 with the Packers).
- Rodgers ended the game 31-for-39 (79.5%) passing for 326 yards and a 97.2 Passer Rating. The 79.5 completion percentage was the second highest in a playoff game in his career (it is the 10th highest completion percentage in any game of his career, regular season or playoffs). The Packers are now 7-1 in playoff games when Rodgers has a Passer Rating of 100 or better… they are now 3-7 in playoff games when his Passer rating is below 100.
- Green Bay had only 62 yards rushing in the contest. For the season, the team was 10-1 in games when they had 100 or more yards rushing; 4-3 in games when they had less than 100 yards on the ground.
- The Packers did not lose back-to-back games in 2019. The last time they went an entire regular season without losing back-to-back games was in 2014. They finished that year 13-5 and lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game.
14 stats the Packers need to improve to win the NFC title game
The Packers will venture out to California to play the San Francisco 49ers for the second time this season. Less than two months ago, on November 24, the Pack lost to the 49ers 38-9 in their Week #12 game. To advance to the Super Bowl, Green Bay will need to do a lot of things differently this time against San Francisco.
Here’s a look at 14 stats from the first meeting between the two teams and how the Packers will need to reverse those numbers.
- San Francisco had a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Packers cannot let the 49ers get off to a quick start like they did last game. Green Bay only let two opponents score 10 or more points in the first quarter all season (SF and Detroit on 10/14); they were 1-1 in those two games. They were 3-2 in games when they did not score in the first quarter and 10-1 in games where they did score in the first quarter. They were also 3-2 in games this season when they were behind after one quarter.
- Aaron Rodgers had only 104 yards passing. The 104 yards passing was the lowest of the year for ARod. The second lowest was 161 yards passing against the Chargers, another loss for the Packers in 2019. Green Bay is 0-8 in Rodgers’ career when he has less than 155 yards passing in a game and 1-11 when he has less than 170 yards passing in a game.
- Green Bay gave up five sacks in the contest. The 49ers five sacks against the Pack was tied for the most against the Packers in 2019. Green Bay is 5-17 since 2010 in games when they allow five or more sacks. Conversely, they are 9-2 since 2010 in games when they do not allow a sack in the contest.
- The Packers did not have a takeaway in the game. Green Bay was 1-3 this season when they did not have a takeaway… 12-0 in games when they had at least one takeaway. Since 2010, they are 6-26 in games when they do not have a takeaway… 96-30-2 since 2010 when they get at least one takeaway in a game.
- The Pack was 1-for-15 in third down attempts in the game. A third down conversion rate of 6.7% will not cut it in this game. The 1-for-15 on third down was the worst of the season for Green Bay. The Packers are 67-22 since 2010 in regular season games when they convert 40% or higher of their third down attempts. Last week against Seattle, the Packers converted on 9-of-14 third downs for 64.3%. That was the third highest third down conversion for the Packers in their history in a playoff game.
- Aaron Jones had 13 carries for 38 yards, a 2.9 average. Jones ended the 2019 season with a 4.6 yards per carry average. Green Bay was 9-0 this season when Jones had a per carry average above 4.0 in a game. They were 4-3 when it was below four yards per carry in a game.
- Davante Adams had seven catches, but for only 43 yards. In two of the three losses the Packers had this year, Adams had under 50 yards receiving. Green Bay is 24-11-1 in Adams’ career when he scores a TD.
- Green Bay had the ball 11 times in the first game, but no drive in that game started past their own 35 yardline. Field position will be a key. They can’t start every drive in their own territory.
- They had eight drives in the first half and did not score. In five of their eight drives in the first half, the Packers were three-and-out. Their longest drive of the first half was eight plays and 3:47. They will need to sustain drives and get first downs. For the season, Green Bay scored on 19 or the 23 drives that went 10 plays or longer.
- San Francisco scored on seven of their 11 drives in the game. Four of those scores came on drives that lasted four plays or less.
- Final Score, 38-9. Green Bay ended the year going 12-1 in games where they scored 20 or more points in a game. They were 0-3 in games where they allowed the opposition to score 26 or more points in the game.
- San Francisco had 112 yards rushing. In the three games the Packers lost this season, the opponents had more than 100 yards rushing in each of those contests.
- The Packers longest pass completion in the game was 15 yards. Rodgers completed a pass to Jamaal Williams for 15 yards for the longest pass of the game. The longest pass to a wide receiver was 14 yards to Adams.
- The longest play from scrimmage in the game was a 21-yard run by AllenLazard. The 21-yard run by Lazard was the longest play for the Packers. Is it possible that more trick plays need to be in the game plan?
Keys for a Packers win?
- A trick play or two will help.
- Keep the game a one-score game at halftime
- Aaron Rodgers cannot throw an interception
- The “O” line has to keep Rodgers on his feet; no more than two sacks
- Sustain drives; a third down conversion rate above 40%
- The running backs need to break a couple of long runs
- Davante Adams has to have a big game
- Rodgers two TD passes and 200-plus yards passing would be great
- The “D” needs to get a takeaway (or two)
- Mason Crosby cannot miss
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp