Saying goodbye to each NFL week with our latest edition of “Five Interesting Stats” during COVID is one thing that emotes positive feelings in a difficult year.
Here are five interesting notes to close out Week Four in the NFL.
Dak Prescott makes history again, but the Cowboys lose again.
Prescott’s thrown for 450 or more yards in three straight games (NFL record).
1,424 passing yards is the most for any three-game span in NFL history.
Cowboys Defense Suffering Through a Historical Implosion.
Set the team record for most points allowed over a three-game span with 126.
Allowed 38 points in three straight games for the first time since 1960.
Last Three Games
Cowboys 1-2 in those games
Tom Brady sets another NFL record
Brady threw for five TD in the Buccaneers win over the Chargers on Sunday. Brady (43 years, 62 days) passed Warren Moon (40 years, 342 days) as the oldest QB in NFL history to do so. All five of Brady’s TD’s went to different receivers.
Most Times Throwing 5 TD
SIngle Game, NFL History
W-L in Games
Those Little Town Blues
The New York Jets and Giants are both 0-4 in the same season for the second time since the merger. In 1976 both teams started 0-4 and finished their seasons 3-11.
Atlanta Defense is Historically Bad (Just like Dallas).
The Falcons are off to their first 0-4 start since 1999 (the year after they advanced to the Super Bowl). Their defense is the main culprit, as their 1,793 yards allowed in their first four games is a franchise record for most allowed in the first four games of the season.
The NFL begins Week Four of the 2020 season in New York, as the Jets host the Broncos.
Both teams off to 0-3 starts
The Jets started 0-3 for the ninth time in 2020, while Denver did so for just the fourth time (since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970). Both teams started 0-4 in 2019.
Not many. Both teams possess pitiful offenses. The Jets rank 32, and 30 in points scored and yards, while the Broncos rank 30th in points and 29th in yards.
The Jets -325 yard differential is the worst in the NFL, as is their -7 TD differential. Sam Darnold and Jeff Driskel both rank 31st among QB in Pro Football Focus with a 54.4 rating.
The Broncos failure to protect Driskel could cost them if the Jets can generate a consistent pass rush. Driskel’s 78 dropbacks generated 11 sacks for the opposition, while the Broncos rank fifth-worst in the NFL in QB pressure (31 percent of dropbacks).
Judging both teams through three games, look for this game to be decided on a turnover. I predict the Jets will force Driskel into a mistake, providing the deciding score.
Jets 17 Broncos 13
The only previous time the Jets and Broncos played on Thursday night, Tim Tebow ran for the game-winning score with 58 seconds remaining. Denver started on their five-yard line and went 95 yards in 12 plays culminating in Tebow’s 20-yard TD run.
Overall, Denver holds a 20-16-1 lead in the series. The Jets won the last meeting 34-16 at the Meadowlands in 2018. Sam Darnold threw for 3 TD in the victory.
While the NFL gets ready to start Week Four on Thursday night, here is one final look at some stats and interesting facts from Week Three.
Last Look at Week Three in the NFL (*courtesy of NFL.com research).
Ravens lose to Kansas City, 34-20 in MNF showdown:
Another disappointing performance for 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson against Kansas City adds to questions about his ability to win big games.
Career, Starting QB
Rest of NFL
Russell Wilson continues to shine in Seahawks win over Cowboys
Wilson threw for five TD again (second time this season), and his 14 TD through the first three games is an NFL record. Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger own the most games throwing at least five TD since 2012, doing it five times each. He also joins Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, and Daunte Culpepper as the only QB to throw five TD in consecutive games since the merger.
Most Games w/5 TD Passes
NFL, Since 2012 Season
>>21st player since 1970 w/multiple five TD games
in season (P. Manning owns NFL record w/4 in 2004)
Vikings teammates shine, but not enough in 31-30 loss to Tennessee
Minnesota RB Dalvin Cook ran for 181 yards, and WR Justin Jefferson recorded 175 receiving yards. The Vikings set an NFL record by becoming the first teammates with at least 175 yards rushing & receiving in the same game.* Despite their efforts, the Vikings fell to 0-3 for just the fourth time since the merger.
Fewest 0-3 Starts, Since 1970
Played in Every Season
Last 0-3 Start
Texans Fall to 0-3 as their defense can’t stop the run
Houston allowed 169 rushing yards in their 28-21 loss at Pittsburgh. The Texans are the first team since the 2009 Texans to allow 160 rushing yards in each of their first three games.* Their 545 rushing yards allowed is the third-most allowed in the first three games of a season since 2010.
Most Rushing Yards Allowed
First Three Games, Since 2010
Josh Allen leads the Bills back…again
After Buffalo failed to hold a 28-3 lead, Bills QB Josh Allen completed his seventh game-winning drive since the start of last season, the most in the NFL. Buffalo’s 35-32 win marks the second straight season they’ve started 3-0, the first time since 1991-92.
Want to make sports more exciting? Welcome to Playoff Drafts!
COVID brought all sorts of new ideas to sports. It may be the ultimate legacy to a botched public response to a global pandemic- new sports rules. Like? A baseball double header lasting 14 innings. If it goes extra innings? The inning starts with a guy on 2nd base. Everyone gets a DH, like the games are played in Oprah’s studio.
As a sport, baseball was way ahead of its rivals. They made fundamental short term changes to the game in order to have something that looked like a season. Football? Showed its true mentality. “SMASH! RUN!” was the Commissioners reaction grunt to how football would deal with fans and corona.
Two sports thought of a bubble. One thought of one without prostitutes, which may speak to the long run difference of being raised with one parent versus two.
But there was one change I would have liked to have seen be introduced in every sport. And not just this year, but going forward forever. That idea? Playoff drafts.
What’s a playoff draft? I’m not sure it even exists, so I get to totally create this new and brilliant idea. In theory, a playoff draft is a way to make playoff sports more interesting and exciting. How does it work? It goes like this:
Team A beats Team B in the playoffs. Fuck you, Team B, you pieces of shit! After A dispatches B, depending on the sport, Team A can harvest players off of Team B’s roster. How many players? Easy.
A smart team would select other players to cover for weaknesses. Is your running back average? Steal the better one! Did a star player get hurt? Take the equivalent?
Think back to when the Jets beat anyone in the playoffs. In 2010 Tom Brady would have been a Jet. That’s a big wow factor, no?
The player additions are also a per round total. If your baseball team wins the play in and the wild card? You have 4 new guys on your team.
Forever? No. You get the player back on your team after the postseason.
Do you have to take other players? No, its up to your GM and coach.
You may say “Since we won, why would we take a player from the other team?” The better question is- Why wouldn’t you? What, you think by sharing how you’re coached a guy or two will have the keys to your weaknesses? They just lost to you, so if they couldn’t figure it out then, one player wont break a code in an extra week or two. The only thing he may figure out is that his regular coach sucks.
No, this is about rewarding winning. About adding excitement for the fan. About offering the best product that you possibly can. Plus now you get multi city appeal. Derek Jeter on the 2004 Red Sox? New York will be watching that World Series.
For the players, it’s like a free agency window. You get to check out other teams operations first hand. Players should love that because it will push wages up when they jump ship for teams that they liked.
What if there is an upset? Holy cow is that a game changer! Say The LA Lakers lose in the semi finals. Suddenly you have LeBron James or Anthony Davis coming off of your bench in the next round. That’s sudden interest in an underdog team. And the more LeBron, the more ESPN exists.
What about the guys that they replace? Those guys get put into suspended animation on your roster. New guy gets injured? Fuck off. You’re down one. You have to give the suspended animation list a positive sounding name so it doesn’t sound like a punishment. Call it the “Recent Reserves” list.
The 2020 New York Islanders and their awful power play beat the Capitals. Top 5 bust Michael Dal Colle goes on the Reserves list, add Alexander Ovechkin to your lineup. Power play issues solved, maybe the Islanders beat Tampa Bay and add Braden Point to their team at forward, and Victor Hedman on defense. But Tampa won….bet Josh Bailey wouldn’t be in their top ten players to poach list.
Reunited with Trotz? Power play solved.
Players you take in a playoff draft? They get playoff money shares, a title ring, but their name isn’t added to your team history or on the Stanley Cup. Their stats however are added to their personal history. Say Pete Alonso is taken by the Braves and hits 4 playoff home runs? That’s all Alonso stats, not the Braves.
The Celtics beat the Sixers? Suddenly backing up at point for the Celtics? Ben Simmons! Makes the game more interesting, and the team stronger. This year in the NBA Kawai Leonard would have been picked up by Denver. How would that change their approach in the next round?
Plus, the selection process itself would be super exciting. All sports leagues make a big deal about amateur drafts. Imagine the headlines of a professional draft? It would be interesting to see who would get picked. Sorry, choking ass Clayton Kershaw!
And if you chose a player who was a bum? The second guessing would make a whole new world of sport talk what if’s. “Imagine how it would have turned out if the Yankees took Ichiro, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito in 2001? They win 6 World Series in a row!”
Think about the revenue opportunities available for sports teams. Sport leagues keep making money off of TV ratings. Why would they want to water down a product?
Could players throw games? Absolutely. That makes the selection more exciting- it’s the chance you take as a franchise. Plus, couldn’t a player throw a game in the playoffs anyway, or was John Starks that god awful bad versus Houston?
This idea is most definitely outside the box, and will insult sports purists. However, if would create dream teams in each sport, and that’s what fans want to see, right? So come on big leagues, time to grow a pair and start the playoff draft!
The second week in the NFL produced a large number of high-scoring, exciting games, while also delivering many significant injuries to key players.
Here are five interesting facts and figures.
Falcons blow 20-point lead at Dallas – Atlanta allows 570 total yards and a 15-point lead with under six minutes remaining. Since 2015 teams are 506-3 when leading by more than 14 points in the final five minutes of regulation (courtesy Mike Sando of The Athletic). Two of those losses involved Dan Quinn’s Falcons.
The Patriots Cam Newton is the first quarterback since 1950 to lead his team in rushing attempts in the first two games of the season (Elias).
Russell Wilson (Seahawks) leads the NFL in TD passes (9), completion percentage (82.5, 52-63), and passer rating (140.0).
Josh Allen (Bills) leads the NFL in passing yards (729) and joins Jim Kelly (1991) as the only QB in team history to throw for 300 yards in each of the Bills’ first two games.
The Jets and Bengals are 0-2 for the 17th and 19th time since the merger. Only the New Orleans Saints with 21 have more.
Another disastrous season appears on the horizon for Gang Green, while San Francisco receives a gift from the NFL schedule.
Strengths vs. Weakness
Last week the Jets made Josh Allen look like Barry Allen, as their defense could not contain the third-year QB. New York finished last in Week 1 in opponent time of possession, allowing Buffalo 41:17. New York allowed 98 rushing yards, but 57 came from Allen on 14 attempts (allowed just 41 yards on 18 attempts from conventional running plays).
Both teams should pass the ball much better against each other than their week one opponents. However, the Jets offense does not feature a playmaker such as DeAndre Hopkins, responsible for 56 percent of the receptions and 66 percent of receiving yards against San Francisco.
The 49ers’ weakness against Arizona saw Kyler Murray run past their defense for 91 yards. San Francisco won’t fear the same from the Jets, as Sam Darnold legs rarely earn rushing yards (206 rushing yards in 27 career starts). Without worrying about LeVeon Bell or Jamison Crowder, Nick Bosa should find plenty of chances to impact the game.
On defense, the Jets allowed the Bills to complete 55 percent of their passing plays (10th worst in week one), but no plays 30 yards or more. That allows Jimmy Garoppolo to find receivers underneath coverage. Despite missing both Deebo Samuel and George Kittle to injuries, Jarick McKinnon and Raheem Mostert provided the Niners two big passing plays against Arizona. Brandon Aiyuk makes his NFL debut and should receive multiple opportunities to make it a memorable one.
The Jets are 1-6 all-time against the 49ers at home. Their only victory was in 2004 with Tim Rattay behind center for San Francisco. Overall, the Jets are 3-10 against the Niners but did prevail in their last matchup 23-17 at Levi’s Stadium (12/11/2016).
The Niners’ issues of closing out games haunted them in their Super Bowl loss and Week One. However, Sam Darnold does not possess the weapons and consistency to apply the same result. Look for San Francisco to dominate TOP with consistent high-percentage passes and provide some playing time for their backups late in this fourth quarter.
Final Score: 49ers 27 Jets 13
The last time?
-The Jets played the San Francisco at home, the Jets starting RB on Sunday, Frank Gore, led the Niners with 62 of their 247 rushing yards in a 34-0 win. The 49ers outgained the Jets by 236 yards (381-145).
-The Jets hosted the Niners in their home-opener was 1992. Steve Young threw two TD and ran for another as the Niners opened a 31-0 lead before allowing two Ken O’Brien passing TD in garbage time.
Ken O’Brien’s two late TDs in the 49ers 31-14 victory in Week three of 1992 are the only TD passes for Jets QBs in their last five games hosting San Francisco (163 pass attempts).