Every player wants to have a great game. But having a great game when your team loses can dampen the reward of a great performance.
This past weekend’s NFL games featured an interesting contrast to the above scenario. In the Cincinnati-Detroit game, won by the Bengals 27-24, two receivers, A.J. Green of the Bengals and Calvin Johnson of the Lions, each had 155 yards in receptions. Green’s team walked away with the win, Johnson’s team the loss.
For Johnson, losing a contest when you have a big game has become a little too common. Johnson has 11 games where he gained 150 or more yards receiving in his career. Of those 11, the Lions have won only three. Those eight losses have Johnson knocking on the door of a dubious honor.
Let’s go back to 1970 (the merger of the NFL and AFL). There have been 230 different receivers who have gained 150 or more yards receiving in a game (regular season and playoffs included) that his team lost. Ninety of those players have lost two or more games where he had 150-plus yards receiving. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice had nine such games, tops on the list. Of course, he also leads the NFL with 32 games with 150 or more yards receiving.
Calvin Johnson, with his eighth 150-yard game where his team lost is now tied for second on this list. Here’s a look at the receivers whose teams have lost the most games when they had 150 or more yards receiving in a contest. Noted in parenthesis is the total number of 150+ yard games for each of these players.
150+ yard games receiving where team lost, player
9: Jerry Rice (32)
8: Tim Brown (13) , Isaac Bruce (15) , Calvin Johnson (11) , Steve Smith (14)
7: James Lofton (12)
6:Henry Ellard (12), Terrell Owens (18)
5: Torry Holt (12), Chad Johnson (7)
4: Wes Chandler (6), Marvin Harrison (11) Vincent Jackson (4), Brandon Marshall (6), Stanley Morgan (6), Andre Rison (7)
There have been 19 teams so far in 2013 where a player had 150 or more yards in receiving yards. Teams are 8-11 in those games.
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Did you know that of the 1,369 touchdowns scored in the NFL in 2012 that almost 87 percent of those TDs were scored by players in their 20s?
Last season there were 1,369 touchdowns, 1,190 scored by players in their 20s and 179 scored by players in their 30s. The youngest player to score a TD last season was Denver’s Ronnie Hillman who scored a TD on November 11 at the age of 20. The oldest to score a TD in 2012? The recently-retired Donald Driver scored a touchdown for the Packers on October 28 at the age of 37 years, 269 days.
Following is a look at the number of TDs scored by each age group last season.
Going back in the history of the league, we find that there were four players who scored touchdowns at age 40 and above. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice scored 10 TDs while in his 40s. He is followed by Doug Flutie who scored four TDs in his 40s; Vinny Testaverde who scored three; and Warren Moon, who scored one.
Testaverde is the last player in his 40s to score a TD in the NFL. He did it on October 24, 2005 as a member of the New York Jets on a one-yard run. He was 41 years and 345 days.
The oldest player to score a TD in NFL history? Doug Flutie scored a TD on January 2, 2005 at the age of 42 years and 71 days. He beat out Jerry Rice, who scored his last TD in the NFL when he was 42 years and 67 days.
Rice does hold the record for oldest player to score a TD in the playoffs. Rice scored a TD on January 26, 2003 in the Super Bowl as a member of the Oakland Raiders. He was 40 years and 105 days old at the time.
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The 2012 NFL Draft is less than three days away. Much of the analysis you see on the draft centers around which teams will take which players and how will each NFL team fill their specific needs.
Here’s a different look back on previous NFL drafts. To pique your interest, see if you can answer this question: When you look at the Top 10 career lists of most TD passes (quarterbacks) and most rushing yards (running backs), which list has more players who first-round draft choices?
Following is a look at six career stats and where in the draft the players in the Top 10 were drafted.
Most Career TD Passes (quarterbacks). Of the players in the Top 10, four players were first-round draft picks (Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, John Elway and Vinny Testaverde; all but Marino were the first pick in the draft). Warren Moon, who ranks seventh on the list, was undrafted out of college and played in the Canadian Football League for six years before he signed with the Houston Oilers. John Unitas, who ranks ninth on the list, was drafted in the ninth round of the NFL Draft. The career leader, Brett Favre, was a second-round pick.
Most Career Rushing Yards (running backs). Of the 10 players in the Top 10, nine of them were first-round picks. The only exception was Curtis Martin, who ranks fourth on the list, who was a third-round selection. None of the Top 10, however, was the first selection in the draft. Three of the Top 10, Eric Dickerson, Tony Dorsett and Marshall Faulk were the second pick in the draft. Dorsett was actually the second pick behind another running back, Ricky Bell. The career rushing leader, Emmitt Smith, was the 17th overall pick in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft.
Most Career receptions (receivers). Half of the Top 10 in this category were selected in the first round (Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez, Marvin Harrison, Tim Brown and Randy Moss). Brown was the highest pick; he was the sixth selection in the 1988 draft. Cris Carter, who is fourth on the list, was a supplemental draft choice. Andre Reed (No. 10 on the list) and Terrell Owens (No. 6 on the list) were the 86th and 89th picks in their respective drafts. Hines Ward (eighth on the list) was the 92nd pick in the 1998 draft. Rice, the category leader, was the 16th choice in the 1985 NFL Draft.
Most Career Interceptions (defensive player). Only three first-round selections in this list: Rod Woodson (third on the list), Ronnie Lott (seventh on the list) and Dave Brown (eighth on the list). Three players in the Top 10 were undrafted: Emlen Tunnell, Night Train Lane and Emmitt Thomas. Paul Krause, the career leader with 81 interceptions, was a second-round choice. Ken Riley (fifth on the list) was a sixth-round selection; Dick LeBeau (ninth on the list) was a fifth-round pick.
Most sacks (defensive player). Bruce Smith, the category leader, was the first overall pick in the 1985 NFL Draft. Other first-round picks in the Top 10 of this stat: Reggie White, Chris Doleman, Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O’Neal. Of the remaining five in the category, John Randle (eighth in sacks) was undrafted. Richard Dent, a Hall of Famer and seventh on this list, was the 203rd player selected in the 1983 draft.
Most career field goals (placekickers). Only six of the Top 10 were even drafted. Of those that were drafted, Jason Hanson, was the highest drafted player; he was a second-round selection of the Detroit Lions in 1992. Morten Anderson, who leads this category, was a fourth-round choice. The four on the list who were not drafted: John Carney, Adam Vinatieri, Nick Lowery and Jan Stenerud.
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How important is it to be the first team to score in the Super Bowl? In the previous 45 Super Bowl games, the team that scored first has won 29 times (64.4% winning percentage). Here’s a few more stats regarding the first score in the Super Bowl.
1. The first score in the Super Bowl has been either a field goal or touchdown pass in 82.2% of the games (37 of 45).
2. The first score has been a field goal in 22 games (48.9%). Of those 22, nine have been field goals of 40 yards or more. The first score has been a touchdown pass in 15 of the 45 Super Bowls (33.3%). Only four of those 15 TD passes were of 40 yards or more.
3. The first score has been a TD run in only five Super Bowl games. None of those five TD runs were longer than five yards. The last time a rushing TD was the first score in a Super Bowl was 1993 when Buffalo’s Thurman Thomas scored on a two-yard run. The first score has been a safety, blocked punt for TD and kick return for TD once apiece.
4. The NFC has been the first team to score in 24 of the 45 games and in 12 of the last 17.
5. The first score in the Super Bowl has happened in the first quarter in 39 of the 45 games (86.7%) and in 15 of the last 17 contests. No Super Bowl game has been scoreless at halftime The lowest scoring Super Bowl game was Super Bowl IX between Pittsburgh and Minnesota. Pittsburgh scored a safety in the second quarter on their way to a 2-0 lead at halftime.
6. Three different players have scored the first points in two different Super Bowls. Kicker Mike Clark of Dallas did it with field goals in Super Bowl 5 and Super Bowl 6; the 49ers Jerry Rice put the first points on the board in Super Bowls 24 and 29 with TD receptions (in Super Bowl 24 from Joe Montana and in Super Bowl 29 from Steve Young); and Rams kicker Jeff Wilkins made field goals in Super Bowl 34 and Super Bowl 36 for the first scores in those games.