Tag Archives: Dan Fouts

99 Stats Until Kickoff: (#26) Tony Romo’s great game in Dallas’ season opener was no surprise

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.)

English: Tony Romo - 2009 - Dallas Cowboys vs....

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fact that Tony Romo had three touchdowns, 307 yards passing and a Passer Rating of 129.5 in the Cowboys 24-17 season-opening win in 2012 over the New York Giants should not have come as a surprise to NFL enthusiasts and Dallas fans. In his previous five season-opening games, Romo had a Passer Rating over 100 in four of those five games with a high of 140.6 in 2009.

From 1960-2012, there were 149 times when a quarterback had a Passer Rating of 120 or more in his team’s first game of the season (minimum of 10 passes attempted to qualify). Teams won 128, lost 19, with two ties in those games (a .866 winning percentage).

Last season, seven QBs had a Passer Rating of 120 or more in the NFL’s opening week. They were:

Robert Griffin, III, Washington, 139.9 (vs. New Orleans)

Matt Ryan, Atlanta, 136.4 (vs. Kansas City)

Tony Romo, Dallas, 129.5 (vs. New York Giants)

Peyton Manning, Denver, 129.2 (vs. Pittsburgh)
Joe Flacco, Baltimore, 128.4 (vs. Cincinnati)
Alex Smith, San Francisco, 125.6 (vs. Green Bay)
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets, 123.4 (vs. Buffalo)

Following are the NFL quarterbacks who have had the most season-opening games with a Passer Rating of 120 or higher (1960-2011). With his 129.5 Passer Rating in last year’s Opening Game contest, Romo became the 11th QB since 1960 to have three or more season-opening games with a 120 or higher Passer Rating.

Season-opening games with 120+ rating, quarterbacks

Four: Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Dan Fouts, Dan Marino

Three: Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady, Len Dawson, Jay Fiedler, Chad Pennington, Fran Tarkenton, Tony Romo

Four quarterbacks had a perfect Passer Rating of 158.3 in their team’s first game of the year. The last time it happened was in 2005 when Ben Roethlisberger had a 158.3 Passer Rating in Pittsburgh’s season-opening game against the Tennessee Titans. Roethlisberger was 9-for-11 for 218 yards and two touchdowns in that game.

Here are the quarterbacks that have had the highest Passer Rating on the NFL’s opening weekend since 1960:

Passer Rating, Quarterback, Season

158.3: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (2005); Dick Shiner, Atlanta (1973); Daryle Lamonica, Oakland (1972); Len Dawson, Kansas City (1963)

157.6: Phil Simms, NY Giants (1984)

157.1: Dan Fouts, San Diego (1981)

156.6: Steve Bono, Seattle (1995)

153.3: Craig Morton, Dallas (1971)

152.1: John Brodie, San Francisco, 1965)

151.8: Don Meredith, Dallas (1968)

151.4: Eddie LeBaron, Dallas (1961)

151.1: Len Dawson, Kansas City (1966)

150.4: Dan Marino, Miami (1984)

Note: There have been five quarterbacks who had a Passer Rating of 0.0 in an opening game since 1960. They were: Al Dorow (in 1962 with Buffalo), Earl Morrall (in 1965 with the N.Y. Giants), James Harris (in 1975 with the L.A. Rams), Jim Plunkett (in 1977 with San Francisco) and Joe Ferguson (in 1978 with Buffalo). The last QB to have a Passer Rating under 20.0 in an opening game of the season happened in 2012: Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden, in his NFL debut with the Browns against Philadelphia, completed only 12 of 35 passes for 118 yards with four interceptions and no TDs. His Passer Rating for that game was 5.1.

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99 Stats Until Kickoff: (#22) Your QB throws five interceptions in a game! No problem, right?

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.)

English: Tony Romo - 2009 - Dallas Cowboys vs....

Tony Romo  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If your quarterback throws five interceptions, it’s impossible to win that game, right? In fact, if you look at the numbers, an NFL team that has had a quarterback throw five interceptions in a game had won eight times, tied twice and lost 144 times (from 1966 to 2011). That’s a winning percentage of .058. Maybe not impossible, but highly unlikely.

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons made the “not impossible, but highly unlikely” a definite “yes” on November 18 last season when they defeated the Arizona Cardinals 23-19 despite Ryan throwing five interceptions in the contest.

(Two other QBs threw five interceptions in a game last season: Tony Romo did it on October 1 and Drew Brees did on November 29. Their teams lost both of those games.)

Ryan’s first pass of the game was intercepted as were two more of his first quarter passes. The Falcons recovered from a 13-0 first quarter deficit to win their ninth game of the season.

Ryan became the first QB since Tony Romo in 2007 (and only the second QB in the last 23 years) to have five interceptions in his team’s victory.

In addition to Ryan’s game this past season, here are the eight other quarterbacks whose teams won when they tossed five interceptions in a game:

Oct. 8, 2007: Tony Romo, Dallas, in a win over Buffalo

Dec. 9, 1990: Mark Rypien, Washington, in a win over Chicago

Oct. 26, 1987: Wade Wilson, Minnesota, in a win over Denver

Dec. 24, 1985: John Elway, Denver, in a win over Kansas City

Sept. 14, 1980: Dan Fouts, San Diego, in a win over Oakland

Sept. 7, 1980: Joe Ferguson, Buffalo, in a win over Miami

Nov. 29, 1970: Johnny Unitas, Baltimore, in a win over Chicago

Sept. 24, 1967: Bart Starr, Green Bay, in a win over Chicago

Following are the QBs who have had the most games with five-plus interceptions:

8: Joe Namath

5: Ken Stabler

4: Vinny Testaverde, Tommy Kramer, Joe Ferguson, Dan Fouts

3: Jim Hart, Steve Grogan, Steve DeBerg

Here’s a few more interesting stats concerning QBs who threw five or more interceptions in a game and his team won.

* Ryan became only the second QB since 1966 to have five-plus interceptions and no TD passes and his team won. Bart Starr did it in 1967.

* Tony Romo is the only QB to throw five interceptions in a game that his team won on the road. The other eight QBs who threw five-plus interceptions in a win did it at home.

* Quarterbacks who threw five-plus INTs in a playoff game are 0-11. The last QB to do so? Jake Delhomme of the Carolina Panthers who had five interceptions in the Panthers 33-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Jan. 10, 2009.

* Ten QBs have thrown six or more interceptions in a game. None did it in a victory.

* David Woodley of the Miami Dolphins had the highest passer rating of any QB who threw five-plus interceptions in a game. He had an 82.8 passer rating in his five-interception game versus the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 25, 1981.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp