Today’s Sports Stat: December 4, 2017
With their loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football, the Philadelphia Eagles had the NFL’s longest winning streak snapped… the Eagles had won nine straight. It tied the franchise record for consecutive wins of nine in a row from 2003.
With wins on Sunday, the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings now hold the current longest win streaks with eight straight wins each. The Vikings had a 13-game winning streak in 1974-75, the longest of their franchise; the Patriots hold two of the four longest winning streaks in NFL history… they won 21 straight from Dec. 17, 2006 to September 14, 2008, the second longest in league history and longest in team history.
The other eight-game winning streak this season was the New Orleans Saints; that streak was snapped two weeks ago. That fell short of the franchise record of 13 wins in a row.
The Indianapolis Colts hold the league’s longest regular season winning streak at 23, which ran from November 2, 2008 to Dec. 17, 2009. The Patriots are second with their 21-game streak noted above. The Carolina Panthers and Patriots each had 18-game win streaks for the third spot on the longest win streaks. The Panthers did it in the 2014-15 seasons, while the Pats 18-game streak was from October 2003 to October 2004.
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From the Super Bowl to eight or more losses the next season
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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Regular season losses help determine the Super Bowl winner?
This year’s Super Bowl will feature the Carolina Panthers, who lost one game this season, and the Denver Broncos, who lost four games in 2015. The three-loss difference is the 12th time in the 50 years of the Super Bowl that one team had three or more regular season losses than their Super Bowl opponent.
The greatest loss difference in Super Bowl history was in 2008 when the undefeated Patriots faced off against the six-loss Giants. Twice there was a four-loss difference between the Super Bowl teams: 2012 (New England, three losses versus vs. the Giants, seven losses) and in 1986 (one-loss Bears versus the five-loss Patriots).
Here’s a look at the 12 times there was a three-loss (or greater) difference in Super Bowl opponents (the team that won the Super Bowl that year is noted in bold).
2016: Carolina (1 loss) vs. Denver (4 losses)
2012: New England (3 losses) vs. New York Giants (7 losses)
2009: Pittsburgh (4 losses) vs. Arizona (7 losses)
2008: New England (0 losses) vs. New York Giants (6 losses)
2004: New England (2 losses) vs. Carolina (5 losses)
2002: St. Louis (2 losses) vs. New England (5 losses)
1990: San Francisco (2 losses) vs. Denver (5 losses)
1987: New York Giants (2 losses) vs. Denver (5 losses)
1986: Chicago (1 loss) vs. New England (5 losses)
1980: Pittsburgh (4 losses) vs. Los Angeles Rams (7 losses)
1973: Miami (0 losses) vs. Washington (3 losses)
1968: Oakland (1 loss) vs. Green Bay (4 losses)
In 12 of the 50 Super Bowls we have had two teams that had the same number of losses in the regular season; in the other 38 games one team had fewer losses than the other.
In the previous 10 Super Bowls prior to this year’s game, there have been eight times when one team has more regular season losses than their Super Bowl opponent (in the last two Super Bowls, in 2014 and 2015, the two teams had the same number of losses). That team has won seven times. That’s a good omen for the Broncos for this year’s game, although in the 37 Super Bowls where one team had more losses than their opponent, those teams were 15-22 in the big game (they were 8-21 from 1968 to 2005, 7-1 from 2006-13).
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Conference Championship Game: Blow-out or nail-biter?
The path to Super Bowl 50 was very different for the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, especially if you focus on the games that punched their tickets to this year’s Super Bowl.
The Panthers put a beat-down on the Arizona Cardinals, defeating them 49-15 in the NFC title game. The Broncos stopped a two-point conversion late in the game to preserve a 20-18 win over the defending champs, New England. So, we have a team that won by 34 taking on a team that won by two in the conference championship game in this year’s Super Bowl. Which team has the advantage?
Let’s take a look at previous conference championship games. First, let’s look at those conference title games that had a margin of victory more than 30 points. It has now happened eight times including Carolina’s win this year. Of the previous seven games where one of the Super Bowl teams won their previous game by 30-plus points, only two of those seven teams won the Super Bowl that year.
Here’s a look at those seven games.
1967: Oakland over Houston 40-7 (33-point margin)… lost in the Super Bowl
1968: Baltimore over Cleveland 34-0 (34-point margin)… lost in the Super Bowl
1975: Dallas over Rams 37-7 (30-point margin)… lost in Super Bowl
1990: Buffalo over Raiders 51-3 (48-point margin)… lost in the Super Bowl
1991: Washington over Detroit 41-10 (31-point margin)… won Super Bowl
2000: New York Giants over Minnesota 41-0 (41-point margin)… lost in the Super Bowl
2014: New England over Indianapolis 45-7 (38-point margin)… won Super Bowl
2015: Carolina over Arizona (49-15 (34-point margin)… ?
Let’s now look at the conference title games that were decided by only a couple of points. In fact, Denver’s 20-18, two-point win over New England in the AFC Championship Game was only the third time since 1966 (the Super Bowel era) that a conference title game was decided by two or fewer points. Of those two occasions, both teams went on to win the Super Bowl.
Here’s a look at those two games.
1981: San Francisco over Dallas 28-27 (one-point margin)… won Super Bowl
1990: New York Giants over San Francisco (two-point margin)… won Super Bowl
2015: Denver over New England 20-18 (two-point margin)… ?
It certainly appears that Denver may have the advantage based on the history of conference championship game blowouts vs. nail-biters. We’ll see if history remains true to form.
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Lions discover scoring 27 points in a quarter is not enough
Through games of Week #11, teams that have scored 27 or more points in the NFL in 2013 have won 79.5% of their games. So you’d figure that when the Detroit Lions put 27 points on the scoreboard in the second quarter alone in last weekend’s contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, that victory was a cinch…
Unfortunately for the Lions, the 27 points they scored in the second quarter were the only points they scored in the game. The Steelers shutout the Lions 17-0 in the second half and went on to defeat the Lions 37-27.
By scoring 27 or more points in a quarter and losing the game, the Lions became only the ninth team in NFL history to “accomplish” this rare feat. In fact, teams that scored 27-plus points in a quarter are now 170-8 (a winning percentage of 95.5) in those games. The last team to lose a game after scoring 27-plus points in a quarter were the Houston Texans on October 21, 2007. They scored 29 in the fourth quarter of a game against the Tennessee Titans although they eventually lost the contest 38-36. The last team to lose a game after scoring 27-plus points in the second quarter (prior to the Lions) was Baltimore on December 21, 1980; they scored 28 points in the second quarter of a 38-28 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here’s a look at the record of teams that scored 27-plus points in a quarter.
First Quarter: 19-0 (last team were the Chicago Bears on 11/4/2012)
Second Quarter: 94-3 (last team were the Detroit Lions on 11/17/2013)
Third Quarter: 12-0 (last team were the Carolina Panthers on 9/10/1995)
Fourth Quarter: 45-5 (last team were the New England Patriots on 11/3/2013)
The Lions also became only the seventh team in league history to score 27 or more points in a quarter and have those points be the only points they scored in a game. The seven teams:
Detroit, 11/17/2013: Scored 27 points in the second quarter for their only points in the game)
Green Bay, 12/20/1992: Scored 28 points in the second quarter for their only points in the game)
Minnesota, 12/1/1985: Scored 28 points in the fourth quarter for their only points in the game)
Atlanta, 9/13/1981: Scored 31 points in the fourth quarter for their only points in the game)
Baltimore, 12/21/1980: Scored 28 points in the second quarter for their only points in the game)
Houston, 11/23/1980: Scored 28 points in the fourth quarter for their only points in the game)
San Diego, 11/15/1964: Scored 28 points in the second quarter for their only points in the game)
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