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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The Philadelphia Eagles became the first team to reach 10 wins in the NFL this season. It was their first time reaching 10 wins before the other teams since 2004 when they, Pittsburgh and New England each won their 10th game in their 11th game of the 2004 campaign.
Let’s take a look at the teams that were the first to 10 wins each season since 2000 (if multiple teams were the “first” to win their 10th game of the season in the same week, each of the teams is noted). From 2000-2016, there were 30 teams that won their 10th game before the rest of the league. Of those 30 teams:
- Six went on to win the Super Bowl that year (New England, 2014; Seattle, 2013; New Orleans, 2009; Indianapolis, 2006; New England, 2004, and Tampa Bay, 2002)
- Eleven of the 30 made the Super Bowl that season (six won the Super Bowl, five lost in the Super Bowl).
- All 30 made the playoffs that year.
- Nineteen of the 30 played in the Conference Championship Game that season.
All of this is good news for the Eagles, who are looking for their first appearance in the NFC Championship Game since 2008 (they lost to the Arizona Cardinals in that game, 32-25) and their first Super Bowl appearance since 2004 (they lost that Super Bowl to the New England Patriots, 24-21).
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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.
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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has certainly given his team a boost with his 125.2 Passer Rating and a 5-1 record for the team as a starter. In addition, his 19 TDs without an interception has given him enough buzz around the league that his name is now being mentioned as a potential MVP for this season. His performance (and that of the Eagles) will likely determine if we are still talking about “Nick Foles, MVP” in four weeks.
But here’s a more thought-provoking question: Is it possible for Foles to end the season without an interception?
Foles is one TD from tying Peyton Manning’s record for 20 TDs without an interception to start a season. In addition, if the season ended today, Foles would set a record for most TDs without an interception in a season. The current mark is held by Steve Young who had 10 TDs and no interceptions in 1987. He started three games in ’87 subbing for Joe Montana, winning two of those three contests. Two other QBs, Charlie Batch and Todd Collins, finished a season with five TDs and no interceptions.
Here’s a look at the most TDs in a season with none, one, two, three, four and five interceptions.
No interceptions in a season: Steve Young, 1987, San Francisco, 10 TD passes.
One interception for the season: Damon Huard, 2006, Kansas City, 11 TD passes.
Two interceptions in a season: Boomer Esiason, 1997, Cincinnati, 13 TD passes.
Three interceptions in a season: David Garrard, 2007, Jacksonville, 18 TD passes.
Four interceptions in a season: Tom Brady, 2010, New England, 36 TD passes.
Five interceptions in a season: Steve Bartkowski, 1983, Atlanta, 22 TD passes.
What do you think? Can Foles end the season without an interception? Or, in which of the above categories might he take over the lead?
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
The big play in Green Bay‘s 19-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday was a 64-yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson late in the third quarter that put the Packers ahead 16-3. The Rodgers-to-Nelson combination has become one of the best (if not the best) big play combos in the NFL… and we have numerical proof.
For the sake of this article, let’s define a “big play” as a run or pass from scrimmage that goes for 30 or more yards. Looking at this season, there have been 282 “big plays” through the first six weeks of the season. Over 84% of those big plays (238) have been passes; 44 have been runs of 30-plus yards.
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the NFL this season with the most big plays with 20. The Packers are a close second with 19 (more on team big plays in a moment). But let’s get back to Rodgers and Nelson.
If we look at which players have been involved in the most big plays this year, Rodgers and Nelson top the list. Rodgers leads all QBs with 15 big play passes. Nelson tops receivers with seven big play receptions.
Here’s a look at the top four players in three different offensive categories for big plays (plays of 30-plus yards).
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 15
2. Joe Flacco, Baltimore, 12
3. Jay Cutler, Chicago, 12
4. Peyton Manning, Denver, 11
With Vick, Jackson and McCoy as big play threats, it’s no surprise that the Eagles are leading the league so far in most big plays with 20. Following are the number of big plays from each team this season.
19: Green Bay
12: Cleveland, Denver, Baltimore
10: Minnesota, New Orleans, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco
9: Buffalo, Miami, New England
8: Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Tennessee, San Diego, Seattle
7: Atlanta, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Oakland
6: Houston, Washington
5: Jacksonville, St. Louis, Tampa Bay
4: Arizona, Carolina, Kansas City
Note: In last week’s games we had 46 “big plays” of 30-plus yards. The Packers had the most with five, followed by the Ravens, Eagles and Browns with four.
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