Needles From the Haystack - Week 17
Posted 12/24 by Jeff Haseley, Exclusive to Footballguys.com
Are you a fan of interesting stats or tidbits of information about what's happening in the NFL? I make it my goal to unearth the most useful and useless stats that you can or can't think of. If that kind of thing excites you, sit back, relax and read on, because in the haystack of the NFL, I have found some needles.
...And yet they still have a chance to win the AFC West
- The Broncos are 8-7 even though they have been outscored by 47 points this season. Only one other team with a winning record has a negative point differential this year and that's Arizona at -12. Just in case you're wondering, the Lions have been outscored by 239 points. Wow.
- Tony Scheffler and Darrell Jackson have longer receptions than Brandon Marshall this season
- The Broncos have yielded 396 points this season, good for fifth worst in NFL. The other four teams are a combined 12-48
- The Broncos have highly touted corners in Dre Bly and Champ Bailey (yes, Champ has missed some time), but they have combined for only 3 picks all year
- Denver as a team only has 6 INTs, while their opponents have 16
- Denver's turnover margin is -15 with one more game to play
- All of this, and the team is still 8-7 with a chance to win the AFC West
Teams that run and stop the run
Perhaps the favorites to win the Super Bowl?
Teams who average 140 yards rushing yards or more per game
- 158.9 NYG
- 149.9 BAL
- 148.1 MIN
- 146.9 CAR
- 145.3 ATL
- 141.1 TEN
- 140.7 NE
Teams who average less than 100 yards rushing allowed per game
- 73.0 MIN
- 78.5 PIT
- 78.9 BAL
- 91.3 CHI
- 91.9 TEN
- 92.6 PHI
- 92.8 NYJ
- 93.7 WAS
- 94.9 NYG
Greatest rushing differential
- MIN 75.1 (and yet they may not make the playoffs now)
- BAL 71.0
- NYG 64.0
- TEN 49.2
Limping into the Playoffs
Things are looking bleak in Ariz-Woe-Na. What happened?
- Arizona has lost four of their last five games with the one win thanks to lowly St. Louis
- They can't run - or at least they don't try. Hard to imagine with HC Ken Whisenhunt being a former OL. Tim Hightower has 45 carries in the last five games. All other ARI RBs combined have 17. Hightower has a total of 97 yards or 2.2 YPC in that span.
- Anquan Boldin has not scored a TD since week 12 after scoring 10 TDs prior to week 11
- Drew Brees needs 402 yards passing against Carolina on Sunday to beat Dan Marino's all time record of 5084 yards passing in a season.
- DeMarcus Ware needs four sacks to break Michael Strahan's all time single season sack record of 23.5 sacks
- Peyton Manning needs 93 yards passing to reach 4000 yards passing in a season for the ninth time in 11 years
- DeAngelo Williams needs one rushing TD of 30 yards or more to tie the single season record of seven rushing TDs of 30 yards or more set by Jim Brown
- Arizona WR Steve Breaston needs 85 yards receiving to be the third player on the team with 1000 yards receiving this season. This hasn't happened since 1989 when Ricky Sanders, Art Monk and Gary Clark accomplished the feat.
- Randy Moss needs five yards receiving to reach 1000 yards for the season, giving the Patriots two WRs with 1000 yards. Wes Welker being the other. New England would join Arizona as the only teams this year with two players with at least 1000 yards receiving. Dwayne Bowe needs 81 yards to join Tony Gonzalez for 1000. Muhsin Muhammad needs 156 yards to reach 1000 to pair him with Steve Smith for the 1000-yard tandem.
- Tony Gonzalez needs nine catches to reach 100 for the season, which would
be the second time in his career he has reached 100 receptions in a season
More Gonzalez - he needs 11 targets to break his own record of 154 targets in a season, the most ever by a TE in a season
- Eddie Royal needs 96 yards to be the first rookie WR with 1000 yards since Marques Colston in 2006
- Derrick Ward needs 52 yards to reach 1000 yards rushing, thus giving the Giants two RBs with at least 1000 yards rushing, Brandon Jacobs being the other. The last time this happened was in 1985 when Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack turned the trick with the Cleveland Browns. Atlanta had two players with 1000 yards rushing in 2006, but one was not a RB (Michael Vick). The other was Warrick Dunn.
- Lions RB Kevin Smith needs 116 yards rushing to reach 1000 yards on the season. If he reaches 1000 yards, he'll join Chris Johnson, Steve Slaton and Matt Forte thus marking the only time in NFL history where four rookies RBs rushed for 1000 yards or more in the same season.
- TE John Carlson needs seven catches to reach 60 for the season, which would mean four rookies would have 60 receptions or more this year. This has only happened once in NFL history in 1996 when Mike Alstott, Terry Glenn, Marvin Harrison and Keyshawn Johnson accomplished the feat. Carlson would join Eddie Royal, DeSean Jackson and Matt Forte if he reaches that mark
- Three rookies have reached 10 rushing TDs in a season only once before - 1980 when Billy Sims, Curtis Dickey and Joe Cribbs accomplished the feat. It could happen again this year, in fact there could conceivably be five. Tim Hightower already has 10 rushing TDs, but close behind is Chris Johnson with 9, Jonathan Stewart with 9, Matt Forte with 8 and Steve Slaton with 8
From the "That's Interesting" File
- The two longest runs so far this year have come from RBs who weigh in at 260 and 235 lbs. (Le'Ron McClain 82 yards and LenDale White 80 yards)
- The worst team in the league, Detroit Lions have the #2 ranked fantasy WR and the #19 ranked RB, yet they have yet to win a game (week 17 withstanding)
- The Giants have only lost three fumbles all season
- Broncos RB Cory Boyd and perhaps Alex Haynes could be the 12th and 13th players to have a rushing attempt for Denver this year. Denver has a remarkably high eight RBs on IR in 2008.
- Speaking of Denver - they do not have a single player with more than 80 carries this year. Michael Pittman has 76 and Peyton Hillis has 68. Both are done for the year on IR. The next closest is 61 by Selvin Young
- Terrell Owens has the most receptions (63) for any player with a reception percentage of less than 50%. Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes are the only other players with more than 30 receptions with a sub 50% reception percentage.
Smelling like a rose
Yours truly was the lone staff member who back in January suggested that Footballguys could go with DeAngelo Williams on the cover of the 2008 Strategy Guide this year. My pitch - "Talk about a gutsy prediction. This would be a shocker, but we'd come out smelling like a rose if we were right".
Trivia Question of the Week
Five teams have a 1000-yard rusher and a 1000-yard receiver this season. Can you name the five teams and can you name each of the ten players? (see bottom for answer)
You can count on me
Four teams have had only one QB make every pass attempt this season for their team. Interestingly enough, if San Diego wins on Sunday, all four teams will be playoff bound.
- Atlanta - Matt Ryan
- Carolina - Jake Delhomme
- Indianapolis - Peyton Manning
- San Diego - Philip Rivers
*New Orleans and Washington have only used one QB all year, but they have pass attempts from Lance Moore and Antwaan Randle El respectively.
The Lions have used five different QBs including two Drews (Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky, Drew Henson, Drew Stanton and Daunte Culpepper). The Chiefs, Browns, Raiders and Cardinals have also used five different players to attempt a pass this year - although not all were QBs.
But they weren't the most
St. Louis had six different players attempt a pass this year. QBs Marc Bulger, Trent Green, Brock Berlin, WRs Dante Hall and Dane Looker and P Donnie Jones
And in case you were wondering...
Donnie Jones isn't the only punter to attempt a pass.
- Dirk Johnson, ARI 1-for-1, 10 yards
- Brian Moorman, BUF 1-for-1, 19 yards, TD
- Brad Maynard, CHI 0-for-1, 0 yards
- Matt Turk, HOU 0-for-1, 0 yards
- Donnie Jones, STL 0-for-1, 0 yards
Breaking down the top 10 fantasy rankings
Which players are on playoff teams?
Top 10 QBs
- Drew Brees, NO - not a playoff team
- Philip Rivers, SD - potential playoff team
- Aaron Rodgers, GB - not a playoff team
- Jay Cutler, DEN - potential playoff team
- Kurt Warner, ARI - locked into the playoffs
- Peyton Manning, IND - locked into the playoffs
- Matt Cassel, NE - potential playoff team
- Donovan McNabb, PHI - potential playoff team
- Tony Romo, DAL - potential playoff team
- David Garrard, JAC - not a playoff team
- Two QBs who are locked into the playoffs
- Three QBs who are not in the playoffs
- Five QBs who are potential playoff teams
Top 10 RBs
- DeAngelo Williams, CAR - locked into the playoffs
- Michael Turner, ATL - locked into the playoffs
- Thomas Jones, NYJ - potential playoff team
- Matt Forte, CHI - potential playoff team
- Adrian Peterson, MIN - potential playoff team
- Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC - not a playoff team
- Brian Westbrook, PHI - potential playoff team
- Clinton Portis, WAS - not a playoff team
- Chris Johnson, TEN - locked into the playoffs
- Steve Slaton, HOU - not a playoff team
- Three RBs who are locked into the playoffs
- Three RBs who are not in the playoffs
- Four RBs who are potential playoff teams
Top 10 WRs
- Larry Fitzgerald, ARI - locked into the playoffs
- Calvin Johnson, DET - not a playoff team
- Andre Johnson, HOU - not a playoff team
- Anquan Boldin, ARI - locked into the playoffs
- Greg Jennings, GB - not a playoff team
- Roddy White, ATL - locked into the playoffs
- Steve Smith, CAR - locked into the playoffs
- Randy Moss, NE - potential playoff team
- Antonio Bryant, TB - potential playoff team
- Terrell Owens, DAL - potential playoff team
- Four WRs who are locked into the playoffs
- Three WRs who are not a playoff team
- Three WRs who are potential playoff teams
Top 10 TEs
- Tony Gonzalez, KC - not a playoff team
- Dallas Clark, IND - locked into the playoffs
- Jason Witten, DAL - potential playoff team
- Antonio Gates, SD - potential playoff team
- Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN - potential playoff team
- Owen Daniels, HOU - not in the playoffs
- John Carlson, SEA - not in the playoffs
- Chris Cooley, WAS - not in the playoffs
- Zach Miller, OAK - not in the playoffs
- Greg Olsen, CHI - potential playoff team
- One TE locked into the playoffs
- Five TEs not in the playoffs
- Four TEs who are potential playoff teams
The four #1 ranked players
- Two players locked into the playoffs
- Two players not in the playoffs
The 12 top three ranked players
- Four locked into the playoffs
- Five not in the playoffs
- Three potential playoff teams
ATL, CAR, HOU, GB, SD each have a 1000-yard rusher and receiver
- Atlanta - Michael Turner 1491 yards rushing, Roddy White 1334 yards receiving - 2825 total
- Carolina - DeAngelo Williams 1337 yards rushing, Steve Smith 1287 yards receiving - 2624 total
- Houston - Steve Slaton 1190 yards rushing, Andre Johnson 1427 yards receiving - 2617 total
- Green Bay - Ryan Grant 1097 yards rushing, Greg Jennings 1191 yards receiving - 2288 total
- San Diego - LaDainian Tomlinson 1014 yards rushing, Vincent Jackson 1051 yards receiving - 2065 total
Thanks as always - Enjoy the games!
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