Tag Archives: Detroit Lions

Today’s Sportstat: September 26, 2019

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.


Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Packers hoping history is a good omen in 2016 season finale


It seems appropriate that the final game of the 2016 NFL regular season should come down to a game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. The winner of this game will win the NFC North and secure a home game for the first round of the playoffs. The Lions are looking for their first divisional since 1993 while the Packers are hoping to regain their hold on the NFC North crown that they lost last year to the Vikings.

Last week I wrote about the fact that the Packers have been one of the best teams in the league since 2009 when it comes to games played later in the season. The Pack is 33-13-1 (.713 winning percentage) in Games #11-#16 of the season since ’09. Well, let’s take that stat one step further…

In the last 25 years, the Packers are 20-5 (.800 winning percentage) in the season finale, Game #16. They are the only team to have won 80% of the season-finale games since 1991; in fact, they are the only team to have won 70% of the last games of the season in that timeframe (the Steelers are second with a .680 winning percentage in this category).

So, Green Bay fans are hoping that this analytic will spur their team to victory over the Lions. One advantage for the Lions is that they are the home team in this game. In another bit of “good news” for the Pack, they have an 8-4 record (.667 winning percentage) since 1991 in season finales that were played on the road. That is the second-best record in this category behind the Carolina Panthers who are 10-4 (.714).

If we look at the last 10 seasons, the Packers are 8-2 in season finales… the 49ers and Steelers have the best season-finale record in the last 10 seasons at 9-1.

Following are the winning percentages of each team in the final games of the season since 1991 (the last 25 seasons).

.800 Green Bay
.680 Pittsburgh
.667 Carolina
.640 New England, Tennessee, San Diego
.600 Baltimore, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco
.560 Kansas City, Minnesota
.520 Denver, New York Giants, Seattle, Washington
.500 Houston
.480 Cincinnati, New York Jets
.440 Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans
.400 Buffalo, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay
.381 Jacksonville
.360 Dallas, Detroit
.320 Arizona
.318 Cleveland
.280 Chicago, Oakland
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

An omen for a Packers victory vs. the Lions?

If you are a Packers fan, you are probably looking for that one stat or fact that will give you hope that a Green Bay win is in the bag for Sunday. Well, here is one stat that may fit that bill…

Since 1990, the Green Bay Packers have been the NFL’s best team on the last day of the regular season. The Pack is 19-4 (an .826 winning percentage) in Game #16, Week #17 games since 1990 (that was the year the NFL went to a 17-week season with each team getting one bye during the regular season).

To add to the above stat, can you guess which NFL team is tied for last on this list with a 7-16 record (a .304 winning percentage)? You guessed it, the Packers opponent on Sunday, the Detroit Lions.

Here’s a look at the record of each NFL team since 1990 in Game #16, Week #17 games.

Green Bay 19-4 (.826)

Tennessee 16-7 (.696)

San Diego 15-7 (.682)

New England 15-8 (.652)

Carolina 12-7 (.632)

Baltimore 11-7 (.611)

New York Giants 14-9 (.609)
Pittsburgh 14-9 (.609)
San Francisco 14-9 (.609)

Indianapolis 13-10 (.565)
Philadelphia 13-10 (.565)
Washington 13-10 (.565)

Atlanta 12-11 (.522)
Cincinnati 12-11 (.522)
Denver 12-11 (.522)
Kansas City 12-11 (.522)
New York Jets 12-11 (.522)
Seattle 12-11 (.522)

Miami 11-12 (.478)
Minnesota 11-12 (.478)

Tampa Bay 10-13 (.435)

Jacksonville 8-11 (.421)

Houston 5-7 (.417)

New Orleans 9-14 (.391)
St. Louis 9-14 (.391)

Cleveland 7-11 (.389)

Arizona 7-16 (.304)
Buffalo 7-16 (.304)
Chicago 7-16 (.304)
Dallas 7-16 (.304)
Detroit 7-16 (.304)
Oakland 7-16 (.304)

The Packers have won 10 of their last 11 Game #16, Week #17 games, and 18 of their last 20. This will be the fourth time since 2007 that the Packers and Lions have faced each other in Week #17 for the last game of the year. The Packers are 3-0 in such games, winning 34-13 in 2007; 31-21 in 2008; and 45-41 in 2011. They were all home games for the Packers. Speaking of which, the Packers have played 11 games at home for Game #16, Week #17; they are 11-0 in those contests.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Returning a punt and kick-off for TD in the same game

Cal quarterback Nate Longshore (#6) pitches th...

Cal quarterback Nate Longshore (#6) pitches the ball to wide receiver Jeremy Ross (#3) at a Cal home game against the Arizona State Sun Devils. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detroit Lions returner Jeremy Ross had a pair of TDs last weekend as he returned a punt 58 yards for a TD in the third quarter and then returned a kick-off 98 yards in the fourth quarter in the Lions’ 34-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Ross, who earlier in the season had been the return guy for the Green Bay Packers before he was released,  became the 14th player in league history to return both a punt and kick-off for TD in the same game. It was also the 27th time in history that a team had both a punt and kick-off return in the same game.

Here’s a quick rundown of the 14 players who had both a punt and kick-off return for TD in a game.

12-8-2013: Jeremy Ross, Detroit
1-12-2013: Trindon Holliday, Denver
9-11-2011: Ted Ginn, Jr., San Francisco
10-19-2009: Eddie Royal, Denver
11-25-2007: Devin Hester, Chicago
11-11-2007: Darren Sproles, New Orleans
12-8-2002: Dante Hall, Kansas City
10-13-2002: Michael Lewis, New Orleans
12-17-1977: Eddie Payton, Detroit
11-2-1969: Travis Williams, Green Bay
12-3-1967: Gale Sayers, Chicago
12-3-1961: Al Frazier, Denver (AFL)
11-23-1958: Bobby Mitchell, Cleveland
10-30-1955: Jimmy Patton, New York Giants

As mentioned above, the Lions lost the contest where Ross had punt and kick-off returns for TD. It was only the fourth time that when a player accomplished this feat that his team lost; teams are now 10-4 in such games. In the 27 times that a team had both a punt and kick-off return for TD, they are now 21-6.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Leftovers from Green Bay’s Turkey Day stuffing

Brett Favre prepares to kneel down and end Gre...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Horrible. Embarrassing. Ugly.

Those are just a few of the words that have been used to describe the Packers 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day. Packers fans, players and coaches are no doubt leaving last Thursday’s game behind and focusing on the remaining four games on the schedule. But here’s a quick look back at some of the numbers from the most recent loss.

* The Lions had 561 total yards in the game while the Pack could muster only 126. It was the 16th time since 1970 that one team had over 500 total yards and their opponents had under 150 in an NFL game. The Packers have been on the low end in three of these 16 games, most in the league. In 1999, the Packers lost to the Denver Broncos 31-10, with the Broncos gaining 514 yards to the Pack’s 133. In 1978, the Cowboys gained 537 yards en route to a 42-14 win over Green Bay. The Packers had only 142 yards in that contest.

* Until Matt Flynn connected with James Jones on that 56-yard pass play late in the game, the Packers had only 70 total yards. Had they stayed under 100 total yards for the game, it would have been the fourth time since 1970 that one team had over 500 yards and their opponents had under 100 in a game. The last time was in 1988 when the Vikings had 553 yards to Detroit’s 89 in Minnesota’s 44-17 win over Detroit.

* This was the 23rd game since 1970 that the Packers had under 150 total yards for the game. They are now 2-21 in such games. The last game with under 150 yards was November 19, 2006 against the New England Patriots. That resulted in a 35-0 defeat at the hands of the Pats.

* The Packers did have four takeaways in the game against the Lions. It was their second game this year with four takeaways (also vs. Cincinnati). Unfortunately, the Packers have lost both games when they had four takeaways. NFL teams this year are 30-6 (.833 winning percentage) in games where they have four or more takeaways. The Packers have two of those six losses; the Vikings have also lost two of those games. Green Bay is 101-25-3 (.795 winning percentage) in games since 1970 when they force their opponents into four or more turnovers; they are 30-4 (.882) since 2000.

* The Packers last 30-point loss was November 19, 2006 to New England when the Patriots won 35-0. Their last 30-point loss on the road prior to the Detroit beating on Thanksgiving was December 19, 2005 when they lost 48-3 to Baltimore.

* The Packers offense had no TDs last Thursday. It was the first game with no offensive TDs since December 12, 2010 when they lost 7-3 to the Lions. The Packers have had no offensive TDs in 11 games since 2000. They are 4-7 in those games.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp