(A weekly look at several sports stats you may not know)
- On June 29, four Brewers pitchers (Brandon Woodruff, David Phelps, Devin Williams and Josh Hader) combined on a one-hit shutout in the team’s 3-0 win over the Pirates. It was the first one-hit shutout by the Brew Crew pitching staff since May 7, 2011 when Yovani Gallardo and John Axford combined on a one-hit shutout of the Cardinals in a Brewers’ 4-0 victory. The last one-hit, complete game shutout by one pitcher for the Brewers was August 31, 2008 when CC Sabathia did it against the Pirates in a 7-0 Brewers win.
- In that same June 29th game, the Brewers pitching staff had 14 strikeouts. It was the 92nd game in team history where the pitching staff had 14 or more strikeouts. The Brewers are 62-30 in those games.
- Through the first six games of the 2020 season, Christian Yelich was one-for-27, a .037 batting average. In his previous two seasons in Milwaukee, Yelich was 9-for-22 (in 2019) and 10-for-26 (in 2018) in his first six games of those two seasons, a combined average of .396. In his career prior to this season, Yelich was 51-for-170 in the first six games of a season, a .300 average.
- From 2010-19, the New England Patriots were 24-0 in games where one of their players amassed 100 or more yards rushing, the only undefeated team in that timeframe. The league as a whole was 761-284-7 (a .727 winning percentage) when teams had one player gain at least 100 yards rushing in a contest. The Packers were 20-5-1 (.788) from 2010-19 in games where they had a running back gain 100 or more yards in a game.
- Former MLB manager John McNamara died on July 28, 2020 at the age of 88. He was the skipper for six different MLB teams in his career (Oakland, San Diego, Cincinnati, California, Boston and Cleveland) and won 1160 games in his managerial career. He is one of 64 managers in league history to win 1,000 or more games as a manager. He managed in one World Series… with the Boston Red Sox in 1986.
- On one baseball broadcast I watched, there was discussion about how many home runs would lead the majors in the game-shortened season (60 games). The announcers opined that they thought 20 might lead the league this year. For the record, the most home runs in the first 60 games of a season is 32 by Barry Bonds in 2001. He is followed by Mark McGwire with 28 in the first 60 games of the 1998 seasons; Mickey Mantle with 27 HRs in the first 60 games of the 1956 campaign; and Babe Ruth with 27 long balls in the first 60 games of the 1928 season. The most home runs by a Brewers player in the first 60 games of a season happened last year when Christian Yelich had 22 in the first 60 games. Prince Fielder held the record with 21 HRs after the first 60 games of the 2007 season. Carlos Lee (2006) and Richie Sexson (2003) each hit 19 homers in the first 60 games of a season with the Brewers.
- Prior to the start of the eight-game bubble season for the NBA, the Bucks had two players averaging over 20 points per game for the 2019-20 season: Giannis at 29.6 and Khris Middleton at 21.1. If they both finish the season over 20 points per game, it would be the third time in four years that the Bucks had two players average 20.0-plus points per game in a season. In 2017-18, Giannis and Middleton averaged 26.9 and 20.1 respectively; in 2016-17, Jabari Parker averaged 20.1 and Giannis averaged 22.9 per game. In three straight years starting with the 1999-2000 season, Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson each averaged over 20 points per game in a season for the Bucks, the only time in team history that the same two players averaged 20 or more points per game in three consecutive seasons.
- Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones tied with Christian McCaffrey for the most TDs in the NFL last season with 19. Jones was 12th in the league with 1,084 rushing yards. Tennessee’s Derrick Henry led the league in rushing with 1,540 yards. The Packers have had a player lead the league in rushing only once in team history: Jim Taylor led the NFL in rushing in 1962 with 1,474 yards.
- The shortened MLB season will likely prevent a few players from reaching important milestones in their careers. The Cubs’ Jon Lester started the season with 190 career wins and appeared a sure bet to reach 200 this season; he had won at least 10 games in 11 of his 15 seasons. Now reaching 200 this year could be a tough road for him. On the batters’ side, Yadier Molina and Ryan Braun were two players who looked like they would pass the 2,000-hit mark this season. Molina started the year with 1,963 career hits; Braun had 1,933.
- Speaking of 2,000 hits, Ian Kinsler, who played for the San Diego Padres last season, announced his retirement in December, 2019. Kinsler had 1,999 career hits in a 14-year career and it looks like he will end his career one hit short of 2,000. One other MLB player ended his career with 1,999 hits: Jimmy Collins, who played from 1895-1908.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
No wide receivers in the draft is not common for the Packers
How about one more article on the recent NFL draft?
In addition to the chatter about how the Green Bay Packers used a first round choice on a QB, the other big news for the team was the fact that they did not select a wide receiver early in the draft… truth is they didn’t select any wide receivers among their 2020 selections.
Most experts had the Packers adding a playmaking receiver in the first couple rounds of the draft. When they didn’t select even one over the three days, a lot of people were surprised.
The last time the Packers did not select a wide receiver in any round of an NFL Draft was in 2012, eight years ago. If we check the team’s drafts from the past 50 years, it was only the ninth time since 1970 that the Pack did not choose a wide receiver in the draft.
Let’s go back to the selection of a wide receiver in the first round, again, an expected move for the Packers this season. In some respects, it should not come as a surprise that they didn’t use their first rounder on a wide receiver. Since 1970, only four times have the Packers chosen a wide receiver in the first round. The last time it happened was in 2002 when Green Bay selected receiver Javon Walker in the first round.
The other first round receivers taken by the Packers in the first round since 1970: Sterling Sharpe, 1988; James Lofton, 1978; and Barry Smith, 1973.
Both Sharpe and Lofton went onto great careers with the Packers. Sharpe had 595 catches with the Packers and ranks second behind Donald Driver’s 743 for most catches by a Green bay wide receiver. Lofton grabbed 530 passes as a Packers and ranks fourth on the wide receiver’s most catches list.
Sharpe, Lofton and Walker are the three Packers wide receivers drafted in the first round that had 150 or more career catches with the team. Of the 19 wide receivers who had 150 or more career catches with the Packers, five were selected in the second round, four were taken in the third round, four were taken in the fourth round or later, and two of the players came to the Packers via a trade or free agency, and one, Don Hutson, who ranks fifth on the list with 488 catches, was with the team before the NFL Draft was ever instituted.
Looking at the 22 NFL wide receivers that have 900 or more career catches, 10 were drafted in the first round, two were chosen in the second round, four were selected in the third round, four were taken in the fourth round, and two of those wide receivers with 900 or more career receptions were undrafted.
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Here’s how the Packers have treated their previous first-round QBs
“With the 26th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select… Jordan Love, QB, Utah State.”
With those words, spoken from his basement, NFL Commissioner Roger Godell sent a literal wedge into Packer Nation. On one side, there are the Packer faithful who see Love as the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers and feel the selection of Love in the first round was a sound decision for the future. On the other side, we have Packers fans who thought the selection of a QB who will likely not see the field anytime soon was a waste, especially when you consider the team has needs at other positions.
In today’s NFL, it is not uncommon for teams to use a first round pick on a quarterback, especially if they have a dire need for an upgrade at that position. But for the Packers to choose Love (JLo) when they already have Rodgers (ARod), seemed strange. (Maybe as strange as Alex Rodriguez dating Jennifer Lopez… but I digress.)
Love, who was the fourth QB chosen in the first round of this year’s draft (behind Joe Burrow-Cincinnati, Tua Tagavailoa-Miami and Justin Herbert -L.A. Chargers), is clearly looked upon as Rodgers’ eventual replacement, but that will probably not happen soon. Burrow, Tagavailoa and Herbert will likely be thrust into starting positions in their first seasons with their respective teams while Love will sit. Rodgers has said he wants to keep playing into his 40s, and if he stays healthy, Love will not get introduced as the G.B. starting QB unless Rodgers sustains an injury.
Having said all of this, it should not be surprising that the Packers franchise took this route in the draft. Consider this: Love is the fourth QB the Packers drafted in the first round since 1970. The other three first-rounders, Jerry Tagge, Rich Campbell and Aaron Rodgers, rarely took snaps as the Pack’s starting QB in their first three seasons on the team.
Tagge was a first rounder in 1972, the 11th overall pick. He did not start any games at QB for the Packers his first season; started six games his second season, and had six starts his third season. After that, he was out of football after only three seasons.
Campbell was the Packers first pick in the 1981 draft, the sixth overall selection. He spent four seasons in Green Bay, yet never started a game for the team. In fact, he played in only seven career games in the NFL. Yes, that was the Packers’ first round choice in 1981. Five eventual Hall of Famers were selected after Campbell that year.
Rodgers was the 24th pick in the first round of the 2005 draft. He did not start a game until his fourth season with the Packers. We all know what he has done since then.
There’s a really interesting stat I discovered about first round QBs taken since 1970… there have been 110 QBs taken in the first round since 1970. Did you know that only two QBs of those 110 did not start a game for his team the first three seasons with his team? Well, I gave you the answer above; Rich Campbell and Aaron Rodgers are the only two QBs taken in the first round since 1970 who did not start an NFL game for their team in the first three seasons… both quarterbacks chosen by the Green Bay Packers in the first round.
Will Love see his career go the route of the previous first round QBs taken by the Packers? We’ll see. It would not, however, surprise me if Rodgers stays healthy and Love does not start a game for the Pack in his first three seasons with the team. That would make him the third Packers first round QB to not start a game in his first three years with the team. None of the other NFL franchises has since 1970 has had even one QB fit this category.
Here are the 11 NFL quarterbacks selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since 1970 who started the fewest games in their first three seasons in the league.
0: Rich Campbell, 1981; Aaron Rodgers, 2005
1: Jim Druckenmiller, 1997
2: Dan McGwire, 1991
3: Mark Malone, 1980
4: Paxton Lynch, 2016; Tommy Maddox, 1992, Steve Pisarkiewicz, 1978, Andre Ware, 1990
5: Jack Thompson, 1979
6: Art Schlichter, 1982
In addition to Campbell and Rodgers, there are two first round QBs who did not start a game in their first two seasons. The other two are Chad Pennington and Philip Rivers. Ironically, of the 110 QBs taken in the first round since 1970, Rodgers has started the 12th most career games with 174, and Rivers has started the fifth most career games with 224.
One final note: Of the 110 QBs taken in the first round since 1970, 65 of them started 50% or more of their teams’ games in their first three seasons in the league. Twenty-five of the 110 started 40 or more of the team’s 48 games in those first three campaigns, and five first round QBs started all 48 of their team’s 48 games those first three seasons. The five: Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
NFL draft: When was the last time the Green Bay Packers took these position players in the first round
The National Football League is scheduled to hold its annual draft in late April… barring any delays due to the current health crisis.
Teams will be filling roster spots with young players. But on which side of the ball will teams focus… offense or defense?
The Green Bay Packers have definitely looked to defensive players when it comes to selections in the first round of previous drafts. In fact, of the last 20 NFL drafts, 2000-2019, did you know that the Packers selected 15 defensive players in the first round to only five offensive players?
Here’s a quick look at the number of first rounders the Pack has chosen at various offensive and defensive positions since 2000.
Running Backs: 0
Wide receivers: 1
Tight Ends: 1
Def. Tackles: 3
Def. Ends: 3
Corner Backs: 1
Defensive Backs (no designation of CB or Safety): 2
The last offensive player the Packers chose in the first round was in 2011 when they selected Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod. He played in 20 games for the Packers in his four-year NFL career, starting only one game for the team in his career.
Following is the last position player the Packers chose in the first round and the year they were drafted.
Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers, 2005
Running Backs: Darrell Thompson, 1990
Wide receivers: Javon Walker, 2002
Tight Ends: Bubba Franks, 2000
Tackles: Derek Sherrod, 2011
Guards: Aaron Taylor, 1994
Centers: Bob Hyland, 1967
Def. Tackles: Kenny Clark, 2016
Def. Ends: Datone Jones, 2013
Linebackers: Rashan Gary, 2019
Corner Backs: Jaire Alexander, 2018
Safeties: Darnell Savage, 2019
Defensive Backs (no designation of CB or Safety): Ha Ha Clinton Dix, 2014
So in which direction will the Packers go this season? If history is any indication, look for a player on the defensive side of the ball. But then again, they could tab an offensive player in the first round for the first time since 2011.
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PACKERSTATS-Game #18-2019 season
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 37-20 road playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, January 19.
- Well, the Packers ended the 2019 season going 14-0 when they kept their opponents under 24 points in a game; they were 0-4 when the opposition scored 25 or more points.
- Green Bay finished the 2019 campaign 14-4 (regular season and playoffs). Three of their four losses were road games in California… two to San Francisco, one to the L.A. Chargers. The 2020 regular season has only one trip to California for the Pack: they travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers in 2020!
- The Packers have now lost four of their last five NFC Championship Game contests. The 17-point defeat this year to the 49ers was the second largest margin of defeat for the team in an NFC/NFL title game. They lost by 23 points to the Atlanta Falcons in the 2016 (season) NFC title contest.
- Green Bay has now lost five of their last seven road playoff games. The Pack is 9-14 (.391) in road playoff games in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).
- Green Bay is 2-6 vs. the Niners in their last eight matchups (regular season and playoffs).
- The score at the end of the first quarter was San Francisco 7, Green Bay 0. Since 2000, the Packers are 4-7 in playoff games when they do not score in the first quarter.
- Green Bay was behind 27-0 at halftime. They are 2-48 in their history when they are behind by 20 points or more at halftime in a game.
- The Packers allowed three sacks of Aaron Rodgers. The team is 8-10-1 (.447) over the past two seasons (all games) when they allow three or more sacks in a game.
- Aaron Rodgers threw a pair of interceptions. Green Bay is 8-10 (regular season and playoffs) in games when Rodgers has two or more interceptions. The Packers are 2-7 in playoff games when Rodgers has one or more interception.
- Green Bay did not have a takeaway in the game. They are 16-41 (.281) since 2000 in games where they did not have a takeaway. In their last 19 games where they did not have a takeaway (regular season and playoffs) the Packers have only won two of those games.
- The Packers ended the season 12-0 in games when they had at least one takeaway… they were 2-4 in 2019 in games when they did not get a takeaway.
- With a pair of TDs in the game, Aaron Jones set the Packers all-time record for most TDs in a single season (regular season and playoffs) with 23. It was the 18th time in NFL history that a player had 23 or more TDs in a season (regular season and playoffs). The last player to do it before Jones was in 2018 when the Rams’ Todd Gurley had 23 TDs. LaDainian Tomlinson holds the NFL record with 33 total touchdowns in the 2006 season.
- Forty-Niners running back Raheem Mostert had four touchdowns in the game. He became only the third player to score four or more TDs against the Packers in a game. The others: Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams in 2008 and the Bears’ Bobby Douglass in 1973.
- Mostert had 220 yards rushing in the game on 29 carries. The 220 yards rushing is the third highest in a game against the Packers. Tommy Wilson (Rams) had 223 yards rushing in a game against the Pack on 12-16-1956 and the Rams Tommy Bell had 221 yards rushing in a 9-24-1989 contest against Green Bay.
- San Francisco finished the game with 285 yards rushing. The Packers are 1-37 in their history when a team gains 250 or more yards rushing (regular season and playoffs). The only game they won when the opponents rushed for 250+ yards was in 1965 against the Vikings; they had 251 yards rushing in that game, won by the Packers, 24-19.
- Davante Adams had nine receptions for 138 yards. He now has 20 games in his career (regular season and playoffs) with 100 or more yards receiving. That places him seventh on the all-time Packers list; James Lofton tops the list with 33 100-yard receiving games. Adams now holds the Packers record with four playoff games with 100 or more yards receiving.
- Rookie Jace Sternberger caught a TD pass from Rodgers in the game. It was not only his first NFL TD, but also his first NFL reception.
- Rodgers had a pair of TD passes and set the team record for most playoff TD passes with 40, passing Brett Favre who had 39 with the team. His 40 playoff TD passes ties him with Peyton manning for fourth on the all-time list. Tom Brady tops the list with 73 followed by Joe Montana with 45 and Brett Favre with 44 (Favre had five career playoff TD passes with the Vikings in addition to his 39 with the Packers).
- Rodgers ended the game 31-for-39 (79.5%) passing for 326 yards and a 97.2 Passer Rating. The 79.5 completion percentage was the second highest in a playoff game in his career (it is the 10th highest completion percentage in any game of his career, regular season or playoffs). The Packers are now 7-1 in playoff games when Rodgers has a Passer Rating of 100 or better… they are now 3-7 in playoff games when his Passer rating is below 100.
- Green Bay had only 62 yards rushing in the contest. For the season, the team was 10-1 in games when they had 100 or more yards rushing; 4-3 in games when they had less than 100 yards on the ground.
- The Packers did not lose back-to-back games in 2019. The last time they went an entire regular season without losing back-to-back games was in 2014. They finished that year 13-5 and lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game.