Tag Archives: Baltimore Ravens

Could the AFC North make NFL history in 2014?


At the unofficial midpoint of the 2014 NFL season, the AFC North Division has all four teams sporting winning records: Cincinnati (5-2-1), Pittsburgh (6-3), Cleveland (5-3) and Baltimore (5-4). If all four remain above .500 at the end of the season, it would be the first time in NFL history that all of the teams from one division finished with a winning record.

Since 2002 when the NFL went to the current four-team, four-division format in each conference, there have been six times when all of the four teams in the division finished the year at .500 or above. The last time was in 2008 when each of the four teams in both the NFC East and NFC South finished the year at .500 or above.

Here’s a look at the six times since 2002 when all the teams in the division finished the season at .500 or above.

2002: AFC East (New England 9-7; Miami 9-7; N.Y. Jets 9-7, Buffalo 8-8)
2002: AFC West (Oakland 11-5; Denver 9-7; Kansas City 8-8; San Diego 8-8)
2007: AFC South (Indianapolis 13-3; Jacksonville 11-5; Tennessee 10-6; Houston 8-8)
2007: NFC East (Dallas 13-3; N.Y. Giants 10-6; Washington 9-7; Philadelphia 8-8)
2008: NFC East (N.Y. Giants 12-4; Philadelphia 9-6-1; Dallas 9-7, Washington 8-8)
2008: NFC South: (Carolina 12-4; Atlanta 11-5; Tampa Bay 9-7; New Orleans 8-8)

Interesting to note that when four teams from a division finished a season at .500 or better that it happened twice in the same year. If the AFC North finishes with all four at .500 or above, is there another division that could also have the same finish? Looking at the standings we see that both the NFC Central and NFC West have their fourth place teams with records of 3-5.

Prior to 2002, there were three times when all the teams in a division finished at .500 or better. Two of those times it happened with five teams in the division. Here are those three times.

1989: AFC Central (Cleveland 9-6-1; Houston 9-7; Pittsburgh 9-7; Cincinnati 8-8)
1995: AFC West (Kansas City 13-3; San Diego 9-7; Oakland 8-8; Denver 8-8; Seattle 8-8)
1999: AFC East (Indianapolis 13-3; Buffalo 11-5; Miami 9-7; N.Y. Jets 8-8; New England 8-8)

Only twice in NFL history has a team that made the Super Bowl from a division that had all of its teams at .500 or above: Oakland in 2002 and the New York Giants in 2007. The Raiders lost in the championship game; the Giants won the Super Bowl that year.

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Packers look to avoid first three-game losing streak since 2008

English: Brett Favre Under Center against the ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With a two-game losing streak, losing their star quarterback for four to six weeks, and a post-season appearance very much in question, the Green Bay Packers badly need a win this weekend against the New York Giants. A road win would not only put them back in the playoff picture, but it would also help them avoid something that hasn’t happened to the team since 2008… a three-game losing streak.

Prior to the start of the 2013 season, the Packers were one of three NFL teams that had not had a three-game losing streak in a season since 2008 and beyond. One of the teams, the Atlanta Falcons, who had not had a three-game losing season since 2007, quickly saw their streak end when they lost three straight after splitting the first two games to start the 2013 season. (They have since had another three-game losing streak this season.) The other team, the New England Patriots, keeps sailing along; they have a 7-2 record and still have not had a three-game losing streak since 2002. (More on that in a minute.)

The Packers in 2008 had both a three-game and five-game losing streak that season. Since then, the longest losing streak has been two games. The last time they had a two-game losing streak was in 2010. They lost consecutive games in mid-December before defeating the New York Giants 45-17 to avert the third straight loss. Can they perform the same magic this year with the Giants next on the schedule?

Let’s get to the Patriots. After a loss to Arizona in Week 2 and a defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3 last season, the Patriots went into their game September 30 at Buffalo hoping to avoid a 1-3 start. But there was another reason the Pats needed a win over their division rivals: They were looking to avoid a three-game losing streak, something that had not happened to the franchise since 2002.

Fortunately for the Pats, they came out of Buffalo with a 52-28 win and avoided a three-game losing streak for yet another year.

The last time New England lost three consecutive games in a season was 2002 when they lost four straight games to San Diego, Miami, Green Bay and Denver. They then defeated Buffalo on November 3, 2002 to end the streak. Since then, they have lost two straight on five occasions, but have not lost a third straight since October, 2002.

Following is a look at the last season each of the 32 NFL teams lost three consecutive games.

2002: New England
2008: Green Bay
2010: Dallas, San Francisco
2011: Denver, Indianapolis, Seattle
2012: Arizona, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Oakland, San Diego
2013: Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, Minnesota, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington

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Indianapolis Colts suffer first 30-point loss at home in 20 years

The interior of Qualcomm Stadium during a game...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s one thing to lose a game, but it’s another thing to lose that game at home. But what might by even more demoralizing is to lose a game at home and get whooped in the process.The AFC South Division-leading Indianapolis Colts on Sunday suffered their third defeat of the season 38-8 to the last place St. Louis Rams, who had come into that game with a 3-6 record. This 30-point defeat at home was the first time the Colts lost at home by 30 or more points since losing 31-0 to the San Diego Chargers on November 29, 1993, almost 20 years ago. It had been the longest time between 30-point losses at home in the NFL.

The Baltimore Ravens franchise, which began play in the league in 1996, now holds the longest time between 30-point losses at home. In fact the Ravens have never lost a game at home by 30 points or home. The worst home loss suffered by the Ravens was a 27-point loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-8, on October 21, 1999.

In addition to the Colts losing a home game by 30-plus points this year, the Jacksonville Jaguars have twice in 2013 lost a home game by 30 points or more. Last season there were seven such games in the league.

Following is the last regular season each of the NFL teams lost a home game by 30 points or more.

1996: Baltimore (have never lost a home game by 30 points or more)
1997: Pittsburgh
1998: New England
2001: Dallas, Minnesota
2002: Houston, San Diego
2003: Arizona, New Orleans
2004: Chicago
2005: Atlanta, Philadelphia
2006: Green Bay
2008: Cincinnati, Detroit
2009: NY Giants, Oakland, San Francisco, Tampa Bay
2010: Carolina, Cleveland, Seattle, Washington
2011: Denver, Kansas City
2012: Buffalo, Miami, NY Jets, St. Louis, Tennessee
2013: Indianapolis, Jacksonville

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14 or more points in the first quarter: Victory in the book?

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England P...

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick had to be feeling pretty good. Logan Ryan had just intercepted a pass and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown putting the Pats ahead 14-7 in the first quarter of their game last Sunday against the Jets. Considering that in the past 22 games where the Patriots had scored 14 or more points in the first quarter they had eventually won 21 of those games, you would assume Belichick and his team were well on their way to their sixth victory against one loss for the season.

Unfortunately, the end result was not a win. The Jets got back in the game, it went into overtime and the Patriots lost on a field goal.

Scoring 14 or more points in the first quarter of an NFL game has for the most part been a good omen for teams. Since 2000, there have been 491 times when a team has scored 14-plus points in the first quarter. Those teams have won 400, lost 90 and there was one tie. That’s a winning percentage of .816. Do that in every game of a 16-game season and that will get you 13 or 14 wins, enough probably to host all of your playoff games.

The Green Bay Packers have had the most games since 2000 where they scored 14 or more points in the first quarter with 27. The Baltimore Ravens are the only team since 2000 to not lose a game when they scored 14-plus in the first quarter. They are 9-0.

Following is a look at each NFL team and how many games they played since 2000 where they scored 14 or more points in the first quarter. Their record in those games is also noted.

Teams, games, record

Green Bay, 27… 23-4 .852

Pittsburgh, 25… 21-4 .840

New England, 23… 21-2 .913
Philadelphia, 23… 21-2 .913
San Diego, 23… 21-2 .913

St. Louis, 22… 17-4-1 .795

Atlanta, 21… 15-6 .714
Seattle, 21… 18-3 .857

Denver, 20… 17-3 .850

New Orleans, 19… 15-4 .789

Indianapolis, 17… 14-3 .824
Tennessee, 17… 13-4 .765

New York Giants, 16… 14-2 .875

Buffalo, 15… 10-5 .667
Cincinnati, 15… 14-1 .933
Kansas City, 15… 14-1 .933
Minnesota, 15… 14-1 .933
New York Jets, 15… 12-3 .800

Oakland, 14… 13-1 .929

Carolina, 12… 9-3 .750
Detroit, 12… 3-9 .250
San Francisco, 12… 7-5 .583

Chicago, 11… 10-1 .909
Arizona, 11… 9-2 .818

Houston, 10… 9-1 .900
Tampa Bay, 10… 8-2 .800

Dallas, 9… 8-1 .889
Miami, 9… 5-4 .556
Baltimore, 9… 9-0 1.000

Cleveland, 8… 6-2 .750
Washington, 8… 6-2 .750

Jacksonville, 7… 4-3 .571

Teams this year are 12-3 (.800 winning percentage) if they scored 14-plus points in the first quarter. Dallas, New England and Oakland are the three teams that have lost games this season after scoring 14 or more points in the first quarter.

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Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson: NFL’s ‘big play’ combo

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

English: Green Bay Packer Wide Receiver Jordy ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The big play in Green Bay‘s 19-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday was a 64-yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson late in the third quarter that put the Packers ahead 16-3. The Rodgers-to-Nelson combination has become one of the best (if not the best) big play combos in the NFL… and we have numerical proof.

For the sake of this article, let’s define a “big play” as a run or pass from scrimmage that goes for 30 or more yards. Looking at this season, there have been 282 “big plays” through the first six weeks of the season. Over 84% of those big plays (238) have been passes; 44 have been runs of 30-plus yards.

The Philadelphia Eagles lead the NFL this season with the most big plays with 20. The Packers are a close second with 19 (more on team big plays in a moment). But let’s get back to Rodgers and Nelson.

If we look at which players have been involved in the most big plays this year, Rodgers and Nelson top the list. Rodgers leads all QBs with 15 big play passes. Nelson tops receivers with seven big play receptions.

Here’s a look at the top four players in three different offensive categories for big plays (plays of 30-plus yards).

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 15
2. Joe Flacco, Baltimore, 12
3. Jay Cutler, Chicago, 12
4. Peyton Manning, Denver, 11

1. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay, 7
2. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia, 5
3. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago, 5
4. Josh Gordon, Cleveland, 5

1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota, 4
2. Alfred Morris, Washington, 4
3. Michael Vick, Philadelphia, 3
4. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia, 3

With Vick, Jackson and McCoy as big play threats, it’s no surprise that the Eagles are leading the league so far in most big plays with 20. Following are the number of big plays from each team this season.

20: Philadelphia
19: Green Bay
15: Chicago
12: Cleveland, Denver, Baltimore
10: Minnesota, New Orleans, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco
9: Buffalo, Miami, New England
8: Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Tennessee, San Diego, Seattle
7: Atlanta, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Oakland
6: Houston, Washington
5: Jacksonville, St. Louis, Tampa Bay
4: Arizona, Carolina, Kansas City

Note: In last week’s games we had 46 “big plays” of 30-plus yards. The Packers had the most with five, followed by the Ravens, Eagles and Browns with four.

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