Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver officially announced his retirement yesterday in a ceremony at Lambeau Field. The 14-year veteran ends his career with 743 catches and 62 touchdowns, all with the green and gold. Following are a few stats you may not know about Driver’s career.
* Driver was a seventh round selection in the 1999 draft. Thirty different receivers were chosen in that draft; Driver was the 25th receiver chosen. Torry Holt was the first receiver selected in the first round (6th pick overall) by the Rams. Holt is the only receiver in that class to catch more career passes than Driver.
* Of all the players chosen in that ’99 draft, Driver ranks second in NFL games played with 205. The only player drafted in the 1999 draft to have more career NFL games than Driver is Champ Bailey with 210.
* Driver scored at least one TD in each of his 14 seasons in the league.
* Driver is one of 39 players to have 700 or more career catches in the NFL. Of those 39, Driver was drafted the lowest (two players with 700-plus receptions, Wes Welker and Rod Smith, were not drafted).
* He is one of 281 players to play 200 or more games in the NFL.
* Of his 61 TD receptions, Driver caught 36 of them from Brett Favre and 22 from Aaron Rodgers. Can you name the three players (other than Favre and Rodgers) who threw TD passes to Driver? Answer at end of blog.
* Twenty-seven of Driver’s 62 TDs either tied the score or put the Packers ahead in the game.
* Driver scored two touchdowns in four games. The Pack was 3-1 in those games. The Packers were 36-21 in games when Driver scored a touchdown.
* Driver caught three or more passes in 131 of the 190 regular-season games he played in with the Packers. He caught three of more passes in nine of the 15 playoff games he played in.
* He had 10-plus catches in seven games with the Packers. The team was 6-1 in those games. Driver’s game-high in receptions was 11.
* Driver had 100 or more yards receiving in 22 games in his career. The Packers were 15-7 in those games. Of those 22 games, 13 were on the road, nine were home games. Six of those 100-yard games came against the Detroit Lions.
Trivia answer: In addition to Favre and Rodgers, Driver caught TD passes from Matt Flynn, Ahman Green and Bubba Franks.
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
I only caught a brief portion of the conversation on sports talk radio, ESPN-540 Milwaukee (the Steve “The Homer” True show). The discussion centered around Green Bay Packers quarterbacks Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers and whether or not they were the best trio of QBs from an NFL franchise.
So… I decided to put some numbers to the discussion.
The premise I started with is that to qualify for my list, the quarterback had to have thrown 100 or more TD passes with the team and won 40 or more games for that team as the starting quarterback (Note: Some of the older QBs do not have won-loss records in the resources I used, so had to give some of the “older” QBs a “pass” if I thought they deserved to be on the list).
Here’s my list of the Top 10 NFL Franchises with the Best Trio of Quarterbacks in their History (Agreements? Disagreements? Let me know.)
1. San Francisco 49ers: Joe Montana, Steve Young and John Brodie. All three threw for 200 or more TD passes with the team (the only tandem in NFL history); all won 70 or more games as starting QB and Montana and Young not only won Super Bowls but also have been elected to the Hall of Fame. They have a fourth QB that fit my criteria: Y.A. Tittle.
2. Green Bay Packers: Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Maybe a little bias being a Packers fan, but I believe they stack up pretty well against other trios. They are one of only three QB trios to lead their team to the Super Bowl (Washington and the New York Giants are the other two). Rodgers is still early in his career, but he has the potential to finish with many more TDs and wins as the Packers QB. They have a fourth QB that fit my criteria: Lynn Dickey.
3. Dallas Cowboys: Troy Aikman, Danny White and Roger Staubach. The ‘Boys actually have five QBs who fit the criteria (add Tony Romo and Don Meredith). Staubach and Aikman won Super Bowls and were elected to the Hall. All three QBs listed threw for 150+ TDs and won 60 or more games as Dallas’ starting QB.
4. Washington Redskins: Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Theisman and Sammy Baugh. The Redskins QB history includes five QBs with 100 or more passing TDs when you add Billy Kilmer and Mark Rypien. Baugh holds the ‘Skins TD pass record; Jurgensen is in the Hall; Theisman won a Super Bowl (as did Rypien and Doug Williams).
5. New York Giants: Phil Simms, Eli Manning and Charlie Conerly. Another pair of Super Bowl quarterbacks in Simms and Manning. This threesome each had 170+ TD passes.
6. Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning, Johnny Unitas and Bert Jones. Manning and Unitas rank among the best of all time. Jones is not a real strong #3, so the team ranks lower in my rankings.
7. New England Patriots: Tom Brady, Steve Grogan and Drew Bledsoe: Each of the three have 60+ wins and more than 165 TDs on their Patriots resume. Brady and his three Super Bowls are a lock for the Hall. They have a fourth QB that fit my criteria: Babe Parilli.
8. Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans: Warren Moon, George Blanda and Steve McNair. This was the group that probably surprised me the most. This group each had over 150 TD passes. Moon and Blanda are Hall of Famers. They had a fourth QB that just missed the list: Dan Pastorini (he had 53 wins but only 96 career TDs).
9. San Diego Chargers: Dan Fouts, John Hadl and Philip Rivers. No Super Bowls leaves this group lower, but they each have over 150 TDs and 59+ wins. Rivers has the chance for 200+ career TDs, which would give the team three QBs with 200+ (a rarity… see the 49ers above).
10 (tie). Philadelphia Eagles: Donovan McNabb, Ron Jaworski and Randall Cunningham; Cincinnati Bengals: Ken Anderson, Boomer Esiason and Carson Palmer. Solid groups, but no Hall of Famers or Super Bowl wins to make an impact on the list.
SIX STATS… is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’
1. Favre‘s teams were 9-30 in regular season games when he threw three of more interceptions in a game. His teams were 0-2 in such games in the playoffs. His teams were 9-0 in playoff games when he did not throw an interception.
2. Favre scored 14 TDs in his career, but only scored twice in a game once. That was on Oct. 8, 1995 in a loss to Dallas. The last TD he scored was December 7, 2008 as the Jets lost to San Francisco. His last Green Bay TD was October 29, 2006 in a win vs. Arizona.
3. He completed 75% or more of his passes in 28 regular season games; his teams were 25-3 in those games (all three losses were with the Packers). He had a 3-0 record in the playoffs when he completed 75% or better of his passes.
4. Favre threw 60 TD passes against the Bears, most in his career. He threw 58 vs. Detroit, 54 vs. the Vikings and 37 against Tampa Bay.
5. Of his 508 TD passes, 265 came at home, 243 on the road. He threw 165 TD passes in the second quarter, 117 in the third quarter, 116 in the fourth quarter, and 108 in the first quarter. He had two overtime TD passes.
6. Favre had his highest QB rating in 2009… 107.2 with Minnesota. His worst? The following season in Minnesota when his QB rating was 69.9.