- The Patriots allowed 27 points to their opponents in four games this season… they lost three of those games.
- New England as a team rushed for less than 81 yards in five games… they lost two of those games.
- The Pats allowed the opposition to gain over 430 total yards in two games… they lost both of those games.
- The Patriots allowed 300 or more passing yards to their opponents in five games this season… they lost two of those games.
- New England allowed their opponents to rush for over 120 yards in eight games… they lost three of those contests.
- Tom Brady had a Passer Rating under 80.0 in a pair of games this year… the Patriots lost both games. (FYI: Brady has never lost a playoff game when he had a Passer Rating of 100 or better; he is 14-0.)
- Only three opposing QBs had a Passer Rating over 100 in a game versus the Patriots this season: Alex Smith (148.6), Cam Newton (130.8) and Jay Cutler (112.1). New England lost each of those three games.
- Four opposing running backs had 100-yard games versus the Pats in 2017. New England was 2-2 in those games.
- Five opposing receivers had 100-yard games versus the Pats in ’17. New England was 3-2 in those games.
- New England converted on less than 34% of their third-down attempts in five games this season… they lost two of those games.
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The Eagles are 0-2 in Super Bowl contests; they lost to Oakland in Super Bowl XV, 27-10 on January 25, 1981, and were beaten by the New England Patriots 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX on February 6, 2005. With their appearance in Super Bowl LII, the Eagles become the 16th NFL franchise to play in three or more Super Bowls.
Of the other 15 franchises that have played in three or more Super Bowls, seven won their third appearance in the big game and eight lost their third Super Bowl game.
What’s even more telling is that four teams went into their third Super Bowl game having lost the previous two: Buffalo, Denver, Minnesota and New England. Of these four teams, the Patriots are the only team in NFL history to lose their first two Super Bowl games and then win their third one. New England lost their first Super Bowl to the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX (1986) and then lost Super Bowl XXXI to the Green Bay Packers 11 years later. They finally won their first Super Bowl in Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams (on February 2, 2002) on their third try. It was current New England coach Bill Belichick’s first Super Bowl as head coach of the Patriots.
Following is a look at how each of the 15 franchises that have played in three or more Super Bowls did in their third Super Bowl appearance.
Won first two Super Bowl appearances, won third one
Green Bay, Pittsburgh and San Francisco
Won first two Super Bowl appearances, lost third one
New York Giants
Won one and lost one in their first two Super Bowl appearances, won third one
Colts, Miami, Raiders
Won one and lost one in their first two Super Bowl appearances, lost third one
Dallas, Rams, Seattle, Washington
Lost first two Super Bowl appearances, won third one
Lost first two Super Bowl appearances, lost third one
Buffalo, Denver, Minnesota
How will the Eagles do in their third Super Bowl contest? Will they join the Patriots in the above category by beating them in Super Bowl LII?
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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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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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