Is it possible that the reason the New England Patriots have been so successful over the past several years is because opposing team kickers have found Gillett Stadium tough to kick in? Before you answer that, consider this:
From the 2010 NFL season until Week #13 of this year, opposing field goal kickers have made 76.1 percent of field goal attempts at the Patriots’ Gillett Stadium, lowest percentage of any opposing field goal kickers in an NFL stadium.
Here’s a look at the opposing team field goal percentages at each NFL team’s home field from 2010 until Week #13 of this season.
New England 76.1
San Francisco 80.2
Tampa Bay 80.3
Green Bay 81.5
Kansas City 83.9
New Orleans 85.7
New York Jets 86.3
New York Giants 90.5
There could be a lot of factors involved in why the Patriots’ opponents have the worst field goal percentage on New England’s home field… it could be the weather conditions, it could be the way the Pats’ special teams defend the attempted field goals of the opposition. It could be that Patriot opponents attempts more “longer” field goals.
In any case, I’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves. Any thoughts?
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With their loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football, the Philadelphia Eagles had the NFL’s longest winning streak snapped… the Eagles had won nine straight. It tied the franchise record for consecutive wins of nine in a row from 2003.
With wins on Sunday, the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings now hold the current longest win streaks with eight straight wins each. The Vikings had a 13-game winning streak in 1974-75, the longest of their franchise; the Patriots hold two of the four longest winning streaks in NFL history… they won 21 straight from Dec. 17, 2006 to September 14, 2008, the second longest in league history and longest in team history.
The other eight-game winning streak this season was the New Orleans Saints; that streak was snapped two weeks ago. That fell short of the franchise record of 13 wins in a row.
The Indianapolis Colts hold the league’s longest regular season winning streak at 23, which ran from November 2, 2008 to Dec. 17, 2009. The Patriots are second with their 21-game streak noted above. The Carolina Panthers and Patriots each had 18-game win streaks for the third spot on the longest win streaks. The Panthers did it in the 2014-15 seasons, while the Pats 18-game streak was from October 2003 to October 2004.
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You didn’t really think that the New England Patriots would lose to the Tampa Bay Bucs on Thursday Night Football sending their record to a sub-.500 2-3, did you?
With their 19-14 win over the Bucs last night, New England upped their record to 3-2. If they would have lost to Tampa Bay, it would have been the first year since 2001 that the Pats would have been under .500 after five games.
New England started 2-3 in 2001, but won nine of their last 11 on their way to winning the Super Bowl that season. The previous season, 2000, Bill Belichick’s first as head coach of the Patriots, the team was 1-4 after five games, the worst five-game start in Belichick’s career at New England.
(From August 1 until the first regular season game against the Seattle Seahawks on September 10, we’ll give you a daily dose of Packers stats.)
Is it possible that having consistency in the placekicking game can be a key to overall team success?
The two best teams in the league over the past 10 years have been the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. In addition to have long-time coaches (Bill Belichick and Mike McCarthy) and long-time quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady), it’s interesting to note that both teams have had the same placekicker in this same time period (Stephen Gostkowski and Mason Crosby).
In fact, if we note how many different placekickers have attempted a field goal for all NFL teams since 2000, the two teams with the fewest number of placekickers on this list are the Patriots and Packers with three kickers each. At the other end of the list are the Washington Redskins; they have had 17 different kickers attempt a field goal from 2000-16.
Here’s a look at the number of placekickers who have attempted a field goal for each NFL team from 2000-16.
3: Green Bay, New England
4: L.A. Raiders
5: Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle
6: Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis. L.A. Rams
7: Cleveland, Denver, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, Tennessee
8: Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Minnesota, San Diego
10: Carolina, Dallas, Jacksonville, Miami
11: San Francisco
12: Kansas City, New Orleans, Tampa Bay
13: N.Y. Giants
For those of you who are curious, here are the three kickers for both the Packers and Patriots, and the 17 kickers who attempted a field goal since 2000 for the Redskins.
Green Bay: Ryan Longwell, Dave Rayner, Mason Crosby
New England: Adan Vinatieri, Stephen Gostkowski, Shayne Graham
Washington: Scott Bentley, Jeff Chandler, Brett Conway, Jose Cortez, Billy Cundiff, Kai Forbath, Graham Gano, John Hall, Kris Heppner, Dustin Hopkins, Michael Husted, Ola Kimrin, Eddie Murray, Nick Novak, John Potter, Shaun Suisham, James Tuthill
Let’s start this blog with a trivia quiz… Twelve different players have been named Super Bowl MVP and have won the league MVP award (AP Player of the Year). How many of the 12 can you name? Hint: There are nine quarterbacks and three running backs on this list. Answer appears at the end of the post.
Tom Brady won his third Super Bowl MVP in New England’s 28-24 win over Seattle in Super Bowl 49. A pair of undrafted rookies (one from each team), however, stole the spotlight. In fact, had the Seahawks held on to win that game, there was a good chance that the undrafted rookie from the Seahawks could have been named the game’s MVP.
First, Chris Matthews, an undrafted receiver from the University of Kentucky, did not have a reception in his career prior to Super Bowl 49. At the end of the game, he had four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown reception for Seattle. He became only the third rookie receiver to have 100 receiving yards in a Super Bowl. Here’s a look at the three players who had 100 or more receiving yards in the Super Bowl in a rookie season (year is the actual year the game was played).
Player, Team, Year, Catches/Receiving Yards
Chris Matthews, Seattle, 2015, four catches/109 yards
Torry Holt, St. Louis, 2000, seven catches/109 yards
Cris Collinsworth, Cincinnati, 1982, five catches/107 yards
Matthews also became the eighth rookie player to have a receiving TD in the Super Bowl. The eight: Matthews, Seattle, 2015; Holt, St. Louis, 2000; William Floyd, San Francisco, 1995; Ricky Nattiel, Denver, 1988; Charlie Brown, Washington, 1983; Sammy White, Minnesota, 1977; Percy Howard, Dallas, 1976; Duane Thomas, Dallas, 1971.
On the other side of the ball, New England’s Malcolm Butler, an undrafted defensive back from West Alabama, made the big play of the game with an interception at the goal-line in the closing seconds of the game. It was Butler’s first career interception. Butler became the sixth rookie player to intercept a pass in the Super Bowl. The six: Butler, New England, 2015; Bill Romanowski, San Francisco, 1989; Brian Davis, Washington, 1988; Jim Morrissey, Chicago, 1986; Reggie Phillips, Chicago, 1986; Eric Wright, San Francisco, 1982.
Trivia answer: The 12 players who have won a Super Bowl MVP and a league MVP (AP Player of the Year honor) in their career are Marcus Allen, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady, Terrell Davis, John Elway, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Aaron Rodgers, Emmitt Smith, Bart Starr, Kurt Warner, Steve Young.
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