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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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Green Bay receiver James Jones jumped to the head of the list of receivers with the most TD receptions in 2012 with a three-TD performance in yesterday’s win over the Bears. (He now has 12 TD receptions for the season.)
Jones became the sixth receiver this season (and second Packers receiver) to catch three touchdown passes in a game. Jordy Nelson had a three-TD pass reception game in October against the Houston Texans.
Jones’ three TD game also put the Packers in a tie for most games with three TD receptions by a receiver since 1966. The Packers have had 15 such games, which now ties them with the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers. Here’s a look at how many games since 1966 each team has had where one receiver caught three or more TD passes.
Games with a player with three-plus TD receptions, teams
15: Green Bay, New York Jets, San Francisco
14: Dallas, Indianapolis, Oakland
13: Minnesota, San Diego, St. Louis, Washington
11: Cincinnati, Miami, Philadelphia, Tennessee
10: Denver, New England, New York Giants, Pittsburgh
9: Arizona, Buffalo
7: Chicago, Detroit
6: Atlanta, Cleveland, Kansas City
5: Baltimore, Seattle
4: Carolina, New Orleans
2: Tampa Bay
Looking at the league totals since 1966, it’s no surprise that Jerry Rice leads the league with 11 games with three or more TD receptions. He is followed by Marvin Harrison and Randy Moss (nine each), Wesley Walker and Terrell Owens (five each) and Kellen Winslow and Carl Pickens (four each).
Here’s another interesting stat from Jones’ game yesterday: Jones had three TDs but only 60 yards total in receiving yards. This was the 25th time since 1966 that a player had 60 or less receiving yards with three or more receiving TDs. Fewest yards receiving in a game with three receiving touchdowns? Houston Oiler Mack Alston had three receptions, all for touchdowns and only 22 yards receiving in a game versus the Cleveland Browns on October 12, 1975.
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