One aspect of quarterback play that we have seen in the NFL in recent years is the QB who can use his feet to make plays. The dual-purpose QB of today can pass and can be a threat with his legs.
In years past, a QB that scored a TD was usually on a quarterback sneak from the one-yard line. In today’s game, it’s not uncommon for a QB to have a running TD from outside the 10-yard line and beyond.
Carolina’s Cam Newton is probably the best example of what we are seeing in the multi-threat QB… he can pass and is dangerous when he takes off with the ball. In fact, if we look the QBs who have had the most games with a TD pass and a running TD since 1970, Newton sits atop this stat.
Here’s a look at the quarterbacks with the most games with a rushing TD and a TD pass in the same game.
37: Cam Newton
31: Steve Young
22: Daunte Culpepper, John Elway, Steve Grogan, Aaron Rodgers, Mike Vick
21: Terry Bradshaw, Donovan McNabb
20: Kordell Stewart
Looking at the QBs who have had the most games of this kind this season, we see a whole new generation of running QBs who fit this category. Dallas’ Dak Prescott leads the group with four games this season where he had a TD pass and a running D in the same contest. He is followed by DeShone Kizer and Tyrod Taylor with three games each, and Kirk Cousins, Josh McCown, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson with two games each.
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At this time last year, the Carolina Panthers were the talk of the NFL. Quarterback Cam Newton was leading the MVP race and the team was a few days away from going 13-0 on the season and looked like a favorite to not only make the Super Bowl, but to actually win the title.
What a difference a year makes!
This week, the Panthers have a 4-8 record and, barring a miracle, will be on the outside looking in at the playoffs.
With their eighth loss this season, the Panthers became the 20th team in NFL history to play in the Super Bowl one year and then lose eight or more games the following season. The last team to “accomplish” this were the Baltimore Ravens who won the Super Bowl after the 2012 season and then fell to an 8-8 record the following season. They missed the playoffs in 2013.
With four games remaining, the Panthers still have a mathematical chance to win the division this year (Atlanta and Tampa Bay are tied for the division lead at 7-5). The Panthers could also lose their last four games and end the season at 4-12. That would tie them for the most losses in the season after a Super Bowl appearance. The Oakland Raiders in 2002 made the Super Bowl and then the following season had a 4-12 record.
Here’s a look at the 20 teams that lost eight or more games the season after appearing in the Super Bowl (the year noted below is the season they won the Super Bowl).
12 losses the following year after playing in the Super Bowl 2002 Oakland Raiders
11 losses the following year after playing in the Super Bowl 1989 Denver Broncos 1998 Atlanta Falcons
10 losses the following year after playing in the Super Bowl 1998 Denver Broncos 2004 Philadelphia Eagles
9 losses the following year after playing in the Super Bowl 1980 Oakland Raiders 1986 New York Giants 1987 Washington Redskins 1993 Buffalo Bills 2000 New York Giants 2001 St. Louis Rams 2002 Tampa Bay Bucs 2003 Carolina Panthers 2006 Chicago Bears
8 losses the following year after playing in the Super Bowl 1987 Denver Broncos 1988 Cincinnati Bengals 1990 New York Giants 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Baltimore Ravens 2016 Carolina Panthers (four games remaining)
One final note: Three times in league history both teams that appeared in the Super Bowl lost eight or more games the following season. That happened in 1987 (Denver and Washington), 1998 (Denver and Atlanta) and 2002 (Oakland and Philadelphia).
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Stanford’s Andrew Luck in the NFL Draft in April, 2012 became the 18th quarterback taken with the first overall pick since 1970 in the NFL draft. The Indianapolis Colts obviously hoped that Luck would deliver wins and playoff victories in the same manner as the man he replaced, Peyton Manning, who was also the first overall pick in 1998.
For many experts, Luck and the Colts exceeded expectations last season as the team won 11 games and made the playoffs, and Luck tossed 23 TDs for over 4,300 yards.
Based on the rookie year performance of the previous QBs who were the first overall pick in the draft, we probably wouldn’t have expected Luck’s first season as the Colts leader to be that successful? First, based on the win-loss records of the other 17 QBs in games they started their first season, there weren’t many wins that rookie season. The other 17 No. 1 picks won 55 and lost 132 for a .294 winning percentage in games they started their first season. In addition, those QBs passed for an average of 11.9 touchdowns their rookie season.
Following are the career win-loss records of the 18 quarterbacks who were the No. 1 overall pick in an NFL draft.
Year Drafted, quarterback, Career W-L Pct. (rookie year W-L)
1998 Peyton Manning… 154-70 .688 (3-13)
2012 Andrew Luck… 11-5 .688 (11-5)
1970 Terry Bradshaw… 107-51 .677 (3-5)
1983 John Elway 148-82 .617 (4-6)
2004 Eli Manning… 78-57 .578 (1-6)
1989 Troy Aikman… 94-71 .570 (0-11)
2001 Michael Vick… 56-44-1 .559 (1-1)
2005 Alex Smith… 38-36-1 .513 (2-5)
1993 Drew Bledsoe… 98-95 .508 (5-7)
1971 Jim Plunkett… 72-72 .500 (6-8)
1975 Steve Bartkowski… 59-68 .465 (4-7)
2004 Carson Palmer… 54-67 .446 (0-0)
1987 Vinny Testaverde… 90-123-1 .423 (0-4)
2011 Cam Newton… 13-19 .406 (6-10)
2009 Matthew Stafford… 17-28 .378 (2-8)
1999 Tim Couch… 22-37 .373 (2-12)
1990 Jeff George… 46-78 .371 (5-7)
2010 Sam Bradford… 15-26-1 .369 (7-9)
2003 David Carr… 23-56 .291 (4-12)
2008 JaMarcus Russell… 7-18 .280 (0-1)
Here’s a look at which of the 18 QBs had the most TD passes that first season.
Most TDs passes in rookie year by overall No. 1 QB
26: Peyton Manning
23: Andrew Luck
21: Cam Newton
19: Jim Plunkett
18: Sam Bradford
16: Jeff George
Did you know? Prior to Luck being selected as the first overall pick in last year’s draft, of the 17 QBs who were the No. 1 overall pick since 1970, Sam Bradford won the most games in his rookie season with seven. Peyton Manning lost the most games his rookie year with 13. Michael Vick was the only QB to have a winning percentage at .500 or above in his rookie year starts; he was 1-1. The other 16 signal-callers were all under .500 in their rookie year starts. Luck obviously now tops the list with 11 wins his rookie season (a .688 winning percentage).
“99 Stats Before Kickoff” (Stats you need to know before the start of the 2013 NFL season) is available from e-book publisher Smashwords. Go to www.smashwords.com to download a copy, including a pdf version which can be viewed on your home computer. Cost is $2.99.