Green Bay Packers fans were a little surprised when they used one of their draft picks on a punter. But based on history, the Pack’s selection of punter JK Scott (Alabama) in the fifth round of the NFL Draft should not have come as a surprise.
Yes, drafting a punter is not a common choice of teams, especially in these days where the draft is only seven rounds. But the history of the draft has shown that punters do have their place in the draft.
Here are 12 stats you may not know about punters being taken in the draft.
- According to Pro Football Reference.com there have been 169 punters drafted in the NFL since 1959.
- There were four punters drafted in this year’s draft. The highest choice was Michael Dickson by Seattle in the fifth round with the 149th pick. The Packers chose Scott with the 172 pick in that round.
- In their team history, the Packers have drafted 13 different punters. Six of them played at least one regular season game in the league.
- Of the 169 punters drafted into the league, 122 played at least one regular season game.
- The highest punter selected in the draft was Russell Erxelben by the New Orleans Saints in 1979. He was selected in the first round, the 11th pick. The only other first round selection of a punter was in 1973 when the Oakland Raiders picked Ray Guy with the 23rd pick in the first round. (Note: Erxelben was also a placekicker.)
- Here’s a by-round (rounds one through seven) breakdown of when punters have been picked in the draft since 1959: First Round-2; Second Round-4; Third Round-14; Fourth Round-13; Fifth Round-26; Sixth Round-17; Seventh Round-18.
- The highest selection of a punter by the Packers was in 1981 when they selected Michigan State punter Ray Stachowicz with the 62nd pick in the third round. The Packers also selected Ohio State punter BJ Sander in the third round with the 87th pick in the 2004 draft.
- In NFL Draft history, the Packers have selected the most punters, 13. They are followed by the New York Jets with 11 and the San Francisco 49ers with 10.
- The University of Tennessee has had the most punters drafted with seven. They are followed by Michigan State, Mississippi and UCLA with five each.
- The Wisconsin Badgers have had one punter drafted: Brad Nortman. He was chosen in the 2012 draft by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round (207th pick).
- The most punters chosen in an NFL Draft was in 1978 and 1979. There were seven punters chosen in each of those drafts. It’s important to remember that the NFL Draft years ago lasted upwards of 19 rounds. The draft these days lasts only seven rounds.
- The most successful punter ever drafted by the Packers was probably Josh Bidwell. He was drafted by the Packers in the fourth round of the 1999 draft, but was diagnosed with testicular cancer and did not begin his NFL career until the 2000 season. He played four seasons with the Packers and then had five years in Tampa Bay before he ended his career with four games with the Redskins. He played in 148 NFL games and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2005 with Tampa Bay.
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Now that the Philadelphia Eagles have won their first Super Bowl, when will they win their second one? Could they go back-to-back? Or, will they sit on one Super Bowl victory for many years?
Let’s take a look with a little historical perspective to try to explore the above questions. First, the Eagles, by winning Super Bowl #52, became the 20th NFL franchise (of the 32) to win a Super Bowl. Of those 20, 12 have won two or more Super Bowls and eight have won just one. That means that 12 of the current franchises have never won a Super Bowl; of those 12, four have never even made it to the Super Bowl… Cleveland, Detroit, Houston and Jacksonville.
Of the 12 franchises that have won two or more Super Bowls, let’s focus on when they won their first Super Bowl and when they won their second:
- Four teams won their first and second Super Bowls in back-to-back years… Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Denver and Miami.
- Five teams won their first and second Super Bowls within six years of each other… New England (two years), San Francisco (three years), New York Giants (four years), the Raiders (four years), Washington (five years), Dallas (six years).
- Two teams won their first and second Super Bowls more than 10 years from each other… Colts (36 years), Ravens (12 years).
It was mentioned above that the Eagles are now one of eight franchises that has won one Super Bowl. Here’s a look at when the other seven franchises won their one and only Super Bowl.
New York Jets (won Super Bowl #3)
Kansas City Chiefs (won Super Bowl #4)
Chicago (won Super Bowl #20)
Rams (won Super Bowl #34)
Tampa Bay (won Super Bowl #37)
New Orleans (won Super Bowl #44)
Seattle (won Super Bowl #48)
What does all this mean? The 12 teams that have won multiple Super Bowls won their first and second Super Bowls within an average of about six years. Take away the Rams 36-year wait for their second Super Bowl title and the average wait for Super Bowl win #2 averages just over three years.
The Eagles could, however, go the route of the Jets and Chiefs and spend nearly a half-century waiting for their second Super Bowl crown.
When will the Eagles win (or will they ever win) their second Super Bowl? There is no secret formula we can plug in. As someone once said, “That’s why they play the games.”
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
There’s a distinct possibility that of the remaining seven NFL playoffs games this season that we will see one (or more) of those games go into overtime. The last NFL playoff game that went into OT was last year’s Super Bowl, a 34-28 win by the New England Patriots over the Atlanta Falcons.
There have been 30 playoff games that went into overtime in the Super Bowl era (since 1966). The Green Bay Packers have played in the most playoff OT games with six… they are followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers with five. The Packers also have the most playoff OT losses with five (no other team has more than three playoff losses).
Here are the NFL franchises with the most playoff OT wins and losses since 1966.
Most playoff OT wins
2-Arizona, Denver, Miami, New England, New York Giants, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Tennessee/Houston
Most playoff OT losses
3-Baltimore/Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Seattle
Of the last 10 playoff OT games played, the Packers have been the losing team in four of those games; in fact, the Pack has been on the losing end of five of the last 14 NFL playoff OT contests.
Stats on Tapp
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 35-11 loss to the Detroit Lions on December 31.
- The 35-11 final score was only the second time in NFL history that a game ended with that score. The other time was September 26, 2013 when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the St. Louis Rams, 35-11.
- This was the first time in Packers history that they ever ended the game scoring exactly 11 points.
- The last game of the season had been good to the Packers this century. Prior to Sunday’s finale, Green Bay was 14-3 in their last game of the season since 2000. That was the second-best record of the 32 teams; Pittsburgh was 15-2 (they upped their last-game-of-the-season record since 2000 to 16-2 with a win on Sunday).
- Green Bay had won three straight division road games in December until Sunday. They are now 7-6 in December division road games since 2004.
- The Pack scored first in the contest with a Mason Crosby field goal. In the last five seasons, Green Bay is 36-9-1 (.793) when they scored first in the game.
- Green Bay had four turnovers in the game. In the Mike McCarthy era (since 2006), the Packers are 2-10 when they have four or more turnovers in a game. If they have three or more turnovers, they are 6-22 (.214) since 2006; with two or more turnovers in a game since 2006, they are 29-44 (.397).
- Green Bay is 65-27-1 (.704) since 2010 in games when they scored in the first quarter.
- The Packers allowed the Lions to score 17 points in the second quarter. Since 2006, Green Bay is 11-17 if they allow the opponents to score 14 or more points in the second quarter.
- Detroit had a 20-3 lead at halftime. Under McCarthy, the Pack is 5-15 when the opposition scores 20 or more points in the first half.
- The Packers ended the season 7-9, their first losing season since 2008. It had been the third longest streak of winning seasons (or non-losing seasons) in the NFL. The Patriots have not had a losing season since 2000; the Steelers have not had a losing season since 2003.
- Detroit’s Ezekiel Ansah had three sacks in the game. The last opposing player to get three or more sacks in a game was Dwight Freeney with Arizona on December 27, 2015. Freeney is now a teammate of Ansah’s.
- The 24-point loss was the worst road defeat since the Packers lost by 30 points, 38-8, to the Cardinals in 2015. This was the fifth time in the series with the Lions that Detroit has beaten the Packers by 24 or more points in a home game for the Lions. The worst defeat for the Packers on the road against Detroit was a 34-0 drubbing in 1973.
- Detroit QB Matthew Stafford passed for over 300 yards with three TD passes in the game. It was his 17th career game with 300 yards passing and three TD passes in his career… all before the age of 30 (he turns 30 on February 7 this year). Those 17 games ranks third in this stat category; Dan Marino had 26 such games before he turned age 30… Aaron Rodgers ranks second with 19 games with 300 yards passing and three or more TD passes before the age of 30.
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 16-0 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on December 23.
- Games at Lambeau Field in December against division opponents are normally a certain win for the Packers. Prior to Saturday night’s game, the Packers since 2000 had been 14-1 in December games at Lambeau against NFC North opponents. They had also won nine straight of those contests.
- Since 2000, the Packers have played the most games in the league under 20 degrees, 16. They are now 9-6-1 in those games. The Bears are second in this category with 10 games played below 20 degrees since the start of this century. Seven teams have not played a regular season game below 20 degrees since 2000: Arizona, Baltimore, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington.
- The Vikings scored first in the game (and were obviously the only team to score in the game). Green Bay is 10-8 since 2010 in games at Lambeau when their opponents score first. They have now lost six of the last nine of those games.
- Minnesota held a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Since 2006, the Packers are 1-4 in games at Lambeau when the opposition tallies 10 or more points in the first quarter.
- Green Bay was behind by 10 points at halftime, 10-0. Since 2000, the Pack is now 6-34 in games where they are behind by 10 or more points at half.
- Minnesota held a 13-0 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Packers are 1-33-1 since 2000 in games where they are behind by 13 or more points heading into the fourth quarter.
- Both the Packers and Vikings were 4-for-15 in third down attempts in the game. Green Bay certainly did not help themselves by going 0-for-4 in fourth down attempts in the game.
- Quarterback Brett Hundley had two interceptions and no TD passes in the game. It was his second career game with zero TD passes and two or more interceptions in the same game. Brett Favre tops this stat for the Packers with 22 games where he had no TD passes and two or more interceptions in the same contest. He is followed by Bart Starr with 17 games, Tobin Rote with 13 and Lynn Dickey with 12. Aaron Rodgers has only one career regular season games where he had no TD passes and two or more interceptions.
- The Packers will not make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, a run of eight consecutive years making the playoffs. That ranks as the second longest streak in league history, tied with Dallas (1966-73), the L.A. Rams (1973-80), Pittsburgh (1972-79) and San Francisco (1983-90). Three teams, the 1975-83 Dallas Cowboys, the 2002-10 Indianapolis Colts and the 2009-17 New England Patriots are tied for the NFL’s longest streak of playoff appearances with nine consecutive seasons. The Patriots will go for the record next year, hoping for a tenth consecutive playoff appearance.
- Green Bay was shutout at Lambeau for the second time this season, the first year that has happened since 2006.
- Green Bay had zero points at halftime and are now 13-69-2 (.167 winning percentage) since 1966. They were held scoreless at halftime in three games this season, the most since 2006 when they were held scoreless at halftime in four games.
- The Packers defense allowed under 17 points in the game. It was their first loss in a game where they held the opponents under 17 points since they lost 14-12 to Seattle in 2012. Since 2006, Green Bay is 57-4 in games where they hold the opposition under 17 points in a game. This was the first since 2004 that the Packers lost a game at Lambeau when they hold the opponents under 17 points (Green Bay lost that game 14-7 to the New York Giants). The Packers had won 41 straight at Lambeau when they held opponents under 17.