All four NFC North teams above .500 after three games
If you haven’t done so already, take a look at the standings in the NFL after Week #3. The thing that might pop out at you immediately is that all four teams in the NFC North, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota, are all above .500 after three games, the only division with all four teams above .500 after Week #3.
The Packers top the division with a 3-0 record; the Lions are undefeated, but have a tie game on their 2-0-1 record, and the Bears and Vikings are “bringing” up the rear with very respectable 2-1 records.
Yes, we are only three weeks into the season, I know. But it got me thinking about whether or not there has been a season where all four teams in a division ended the year with records above .500.
Back in 2002, the NFL went to the current set-up with four four-team divisions in each conference. Since that year, there has not been any division where all four teams were above .500 at the conclusion of the season. There has been, however, six times when all four teams ended the season at .500 or better. The last time it happened was in 2008 when both the NFC East and the NFC South had all four of the teams in their division end the year with an 8-8 record or better.
(Ironically, the six times it happened were in three years; in 2002, 2007 and 2008 there were two divisions each season that had all four teams at .500 or better.)
Here is a look at the six times all four teams in a division ended the season at .500 or better.
2002 AFC West (Oakland 11-5, Denver 9-7, San Diego 8-8, Kansas City 8-8)
2002 AFC East (New York Jets 9-7, New England 9-7, Miami 9-7, Buffalo 8-8)
2007 NFC East (Dallas 13-3, New York Giants 10-6, Washington 9-7, Philadelphia 8-8)
2007 AFC South (Indianapolis 13-3, Jacksonville 11-5, Tennessee 10-6, Houston 8-8)
2008 NFC South (Carolina 12-4, Atlanta 11-5, Tampa Bay 9-7, New Orleans 8-8)
2008 NFC East (New York Giants 12-4, Philadelphia 9-6-1, Dallas, 9-7, Washington 8-8)
Will the NFC North join this list? Or, could the NFC North become the first division in league history to have each team above .500 at the end of the year?
We’ve got 13 more games (14 weeks with a bye for each team) to see.
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PACKERSTATS-Game #14-2018 season
Written and Compiled by Jerry Tapp
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 24-17 loss to the Chicago Bears on December 16.
- Prior to last Sunday’s contest, the Packers had won five straight over the Bears in December games. Green Bay is 15-5 versus the Bears in December games since 1994.
- Prior to the game against the Packers, the Bears had lost seven straight at home in December when the temperature was 45 degrees or higher. It was 45 degrees at game time.
- Aaron Rodgers was sacked five times in the contest. Green Bay is now 3-16 since 2010 in games where the QB is sacked five or more times.
- Chicago scored first in the game. Since 1940, the Bears are 24-51-1 (.322) against the Packers when they score first in the game.
- The Pack did not score in the first quarter and have now lost eight of their last nine games when they do not score in the first quarter. Green Bay is 45-53 (.459) since 2000 in games when they do not score in the first quarter.
- Green Bay’s Mason Crosby made three field goals in the game. That’s usually good news for the Pack; the team is now 32-8-1 (.793) in games when Crosby connects on three or more field goals in a game.
- Green Bay was behind 14-3 at halftime. Since 2000, the Packers are 3-23 (.115) in road games when they are behind by 10 points or more at halftime.
- Jamaal Williams has a rushing TD in the game, the only TD scored by the Packers. The team is only 2-4 in games where Williams scores a rushing TD.
- The score was tied at 14-14 going into the fourth quarter. Green Bay has now lost five straight games on the road when the score is tied going into the fourth quarter.
- The Pack had one turnover in the game, an interception by Aaron Rodgers. The team is 2-2-1 in games this season when they do not have a turnover; they are 3-6 in games where they had at least one turnover.
- Rodgers had a Passer Rating of 68.9 in the game. Green Bay is 3-11 in games started by Rodgers where he had a Passer Rating below 70. It was the second worst Passer Rating Rodgers had in his career in a game against the Bears.
- Chicago QB Mitch Trubisky had a Passer Rating of 120.4 in the game. It was the seventh highest Passer Rating for a Chicago Bears QB in a game against the Packers in history (minimum of 10 pass attempts). He was the first QB with a Passer Rating above 120 against Green Bay since Cade McNown had a Passer Rating of 123.5 against the Pack in a game on October 1, 2000.
- Rodgers streak of no interceptions ended with 403 pass attempts. He now has two interceptions this season (with 23 TD passes). Tom Brady holds the NFL record for most TD passes in a season with only two interceptions with 28 (he did it in 2016). Second on the list is Nick Foles who had 27 TD passes and only two interceptions in 2013.
- Davante Adams had eight receptions for 119 yards, his fifth 100-yard receiving game this season. Robert Brooks holds the team record with nine 100-yard receiving games in 1995. Adams, if he reaches the 100-yard mark in each of the final two games, could tie Jordy Nelson and Sterling Sharpe for second on the list; Nelson had seven 100-yard games in 2014, Sharpe had seven 100-yard games in 1992.
- Scoring under 20 points in a game versus the Bears has not been a good omen for the Pack: since 1940, Green Bay is 17-63 (.213) in games against Bears when they tally less than 20 points.
With their loss to Detroit on Saturday, December 16, the Bears saw their record this season drop to 4-10. It gave them their fourth straight season with double-digit losses, the longest current streak in the NFL.
The Jacksonville Jags had lost 10 or more games for six straight years, but at 10-4 this season, they have qualified for the playoffs and no longer hold the current streak for the most consecutive seasons with 10+ losses.
Here is the number of 10-loss seasons for each NFL team since 2000. As you might expect, the Cleveland Browns top this list with 14 10-loss seasons this century. Four teams, Denver, New England, New Orleans and Pittsburgh are at the other end, each with only one double-digit loss season this century.
10: Detroit, Jacksonville, Oakland
8: Arizona, Buffalo, San Francisco, Washington
7: Chicago, Houston, L.A. Rams, Tampa Bay
6: Dallas, Minnesota, New York Jets, Tennessee
5: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Kansas City, L.A. Chargers, Miami, New York Giants
3: Baltimore, Indianapolis, Seattle
2: Green Bay, Philadelphia
1: Denver, New England, New Orleans, Pittsburgh
Stats on Tapp
Week 13 had two games go into overtime: The Vikings beat the Bears 23-20, and the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Buffalo Bills 34-31. For the Falcons, it was their first overtime win on the road since September 26, 2010.
Through games of December 1, there have been 13 overtime games in the NFL this season. One ended in a tie, and the home team has won nine of the other 12 OT contests.
In 2012, there 21 regular-season overtime games in the NFL. Of those 21, the home team won 11 of them. There was also an overtime game in the playoffs; that was won by the away team (Baltimore) as they knocked the Denver Broncos out of the playoffs on their home field on a Justin Tucker 47-yard field goal in double overtime.
One of the more interesting overtime games last season was on December 2. The Seattle Seahawks were on the road facing the Chicago Bears. The Seahawks won the game 23-17 in Chicago in overtime. It was the first victory in a five-game winning streak that propelled the Seahawks to an 11-win season and a spot in the playoffs.
But another reason that game was noteworthy was that it was the first overtime win on the road for the Seahawks in almost 10 years. Prior to that win in Chicago, the last time Seattle won an overtime game on the road was December 29, 2002 when they beat the Chargers 31-28 in an overtime game in San Diego.
The current longest drought for a road overtime win belongs to the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona has not won an overtime game on the road since December 2, 2001.
With that in mind, here is the last time each team won an overtime game on the road.
Last overtime game won on the road, team
10-23-2003: New England
11-27-2005: St. Louis
10-29-2007: Green Bay
12-9-2007: San Diego
9-14-2008: San Francisco
1-22-2012: New York Giants
9-23-2012: Kansas City
9-23-2012: New York Jets
11-18-2012: Tampa Bay
12-23-2012: New Orleans
Of the three teams that have this season won OT games on the road, two of those road OT victories came at the expense of the Buffalo Bills (both Cincinnati and Atlanta beat Buffalo in OT on the Bills’ home field). The Bills became the 11th team since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to have lost two overtime games at home in a season. Following are those teams:
Lost two overtime games at home in a season
2003: Tampa Bay
2002: Minnesota, Oakland
1993: New England
1987: New England
1983: Green Bay, Houston Oilers, Tampa Bay
1979: New England
From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)
Although the Chicago Bears did not make the playoffs despite a 10-6 record, their defense played at a high level in 2012. The defensive unit was third in the league in points allowed and fifth in yards allowed.
In a new defensive stat, however, the Bears finished the 2012 regular season as the top-ranked defense. In the Stop Factor rankings, the Bears defense stopped their opponents from scoring on almost 74 percent of their possessions. That number ranked first in the league ahead of the Seattle Seahawks who stopped their opponents’ offense from scoring on 72.4 percent of their possessions.
(The Stop Factor is based on the premise that it is the defense’s job to stop their opponents from scoring on each possession. To get a team’s STOP Factor, you divide the number of times a defense stops the offense from scoring – offensive unit TD or field goal – by the number of total possessions by the opposition.)
Following is each NFL teams’ Stop Factor for the 2012 regular season. Listed is how many times each team stopped the opponents from scoring, the number of possessions their opponents had, and the percentage of possessions that each team prevented the other team from scoring.
Team, Opponents’ scoreless possessions/opponents’ possessions, Stop Factor percentage
- Chicago 73.9 (139 stops in 188 possessions)
- Seattle 72.4 (118 stops in 163 possessions)
- Denver 71.3 (129 stops in 181 possessions)
- San Francisco 70.8 (119 stops in 168 possessions)
- Houston 70.5 (134 stops in 190 possessions)
- Arizona 70.3 (135 stops in 192 possessions)
- Cincinnati 69.1 (125 stops in 181 possessions)
- New England 67.6 (123 stops in 182 possessions)
- New York Jets 67.2 (121 stops in 180 possessions)
- Pittsburgh 67.1 (114 stops in 170 possessions)
- Cleveland 66.8 (123 stops in 184 possessions)
- San Diego 66.5 (115 stops in 173 possessions)
- Tampa Bay 65.9 (120 stops in 182 possessions)
- Atlanta 65.9 (110 stops in 167 possessions)
- Miami 65.7 (113 stops in 172 possessions)
- Green Bay 64.8 (114 stops in 176 possessions)
- Minnesota 64.0 (112 stops in 175 possessions)
- Baltimore 64.0 (119 stops in 186 possessions)
- St. Louis 63.2 (110 stops in 174 possessions)
- New York Giants 61.7 (100 stops in 162 possessions
- Washington 60.6 (106 stops in 175 possessions)
- Indianapolis 58.9 (99 stops in 168 possessions)
- Dallas 58.5 (96 stops in 164 possessions)
- Detroit 58.4 (104 stops in 178 possessions)
- Tennessee 58.3 (105 stops in 180 possessions)
- Buffalo 58.2 (99 stops in 170 possessions)
- New Orleans 58.0 (105 stops in 181 possessions)
- Philadelphia 57.7 (97 stops in 168 possessions)
- Carolina 57.4 (93 stops in 162 possessions)
- Jacksonville 56.8 (100 stops in 176 possessions)
- Kansas City 56.2 (91 stops in 162 possessions)
- Oakland 55.2 (95 stops in 172 possessions)
Average league Stop Factor: 64.0
“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.