Friday NFL Nuggetpalooza!

More nuggets from around the league:










Last night, the Panthers missed a 50-yard FG with less than 10 seconds to play that would have won the game against the Broncos. It was the 51st time since 1999 (regular season) that a kicker has attempted a FG of 50+ yards in the final 20 seconds of the 4th quarter that would have tied or won the game. Of those 51 tries, only 21 (41%) have been successful.

Carolina kickers are now 0-3 on such FGs since 1999, with last gasp misses against the Saints in 2005 (John Kasay’s 60-yard try was blocked), against the Falcons in 2014 (Graham Gano’s 63-yarder was blocked), and last night’s Gano miss.

Last night was the first time since 1999 that such a try was not successful in a game involving Denver as Broncos’ kickers have made both of their “Hail Mary” attempts and their opponents had also gone 2-2 until last night.

Since 1999, the only such FG try in a postseason game came in 2007, when San Diego’s Nate Kaeding missed a 54-yarder with three seconds remaining against the Patriots in San Diego.












From 2013-2015, NFL teams acquired the ball via fumble or interception only to give it back via fumble or pick on the ensuing drive 154 times. In particular, the Redskins did it 9 times, while the Raiders and Vikings derped it right back 8 times.

One team had no such possessions during that three-year span: The New England Patriots.

Since the start of the 2013 season (48 games), the Pats’ offense has come out following a turnover 60 times and run 313 plays without turning the ball over:







Know these things too: That 75% score percentage on drives where the Pats acquired the ball via turnover from 2013-2015 is the highest in the league, ahead of Seattle (69%), Chiefs (69%), and Jaguars (68%)… Don’t look now but the Patriots’ opening week opponents, Arizona, has also excelled at not giving back turnovers. The Pats (2013-2015) and Cardinals (2014-2015) are the only two teams that have not committed such a gaffe over the past two seasons.








Every year, about 3% of all drives start inside the offense’s own 5-yard-line. Those drives are turned into touchdowns about 10% of the time, which is about half the touchdown rate of all drives. Frankly, I thought the TD percentage would be lower than 10%.

Last year, five different teams scored two touchdowns on drives starting inside their own 5: Cardinals, Eagles, Seahawks, Texans, and Saints.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Jets have not scored a touchdown on a drive that started inside their own 5-yard-line since November 11, 2001, when Curtis Martin capped a 96-yard drive against the Chiefs with a 1-yard run. Vinny Testaverde completed five passes on the drive which was aided by two nice runs by rookie RB LaMont Jordan.

That means the Jets enter the 2016 season having gone 79 consecutive such possessions without a touchdown, easiest the longest current streak in the NFL (obviously STL is now the LA Rams):






Know this too:  Since 2010, the Bengals have forced opponents to start 48 drives at least 95 yards from paydirt, by far the most in the league in that time (Jets, Chiefs 40 each). Cincinnati opponents have turned those drives into 4 TD and 3 FG… In those same six seasons, the Patriots have forced opponents into only 19 such drives, the league’s fewest, and have allowed scores on 32% of them, the highest/worst percentage in the league (3 TD, 3 FG).

Want to talk about any of this? Have an idea that needs research? Hit me up on Twitter (@nuggetpalooza).

Enjoy your football weekend!


NFL Stat Nuggetpalooza!

What better way to welcome the 2016 NFL season than with a bunch of stat nuggets that you won’t see anywhere else! So let’s get started:

From the start of the 2009 season through the end of 2015, there have been 244 rushing plays of 51 yards or more (regular season only).

Oakland and Detroit have allowed 16 such runs each in that span. The Patriots? None.







You know what’s weird? The Patriots also hold the record for the longest OFFENSIVE streak of rushes without busting one for 51+ yards. On Dec. 27, 1998, Sedrick Shaw went 71 yards against the Jets.

After that run, the Pats ran the ball 4,065 times before Laurence Maroney’s 51-yard scamper on the final play of the first quarter against the Dolphins on Dec. 23, 2007, four days shy of nine years later.  Then on the Pats’ very next possession, Maroney broke out for a 59-yard touchdown run.

Since that day, the only 51+ yard rush by a New England back was a 55-yard breakaway by Sammie Morris against the Jaguars on Dec. 27, 2009. The last five Patriots’ rushing plays of more than 50 yards have all come in December.

The Pats’ active streak of 2,750 rushes without one of more than 50 yards is the NFL’s longest, more than twice that of the second longest (NYG, 1,306).


Image result for julian edelman card

Since November of the 2012 season, Julian Edelman of the Patriots has rushed 18 times for 189 yards, an average of 10.5 yards per carry, including runs of 47 and 25 yards. What’s more, he’s gained at least 2 yards on all 18 of those rushes, the longest active such streak in the NFL. The next longest current streak (active players) is 10, by Karlos Williams (late of Buffalo), Oakland QB Derek Carr, and the Jets’ Chris Ivory.








Since 2000, NFL teams are a combined 240-284 (.458) in the game after playing overtime the week before, including 12-28 (.300) in 2015. The Lions have been especially hapless after playing overtime games, going just 3-26 since 1987 the week after playing into an extra period.







Jacksonville QB’s have thrown 16 “pick six” touchdowns over the past four seasons, allowing at least three such scores each year. Here’s your context: The Patriots’ opponents have run back as many as three picks for touchdowns in a single season only once since the merger in 1970. That came in 1984.

Eight teams made it through the 2015 season without giving up a “pick six” touchdown, including Arizona. Before 2015, the Cardinals has allowed a “pick six” TD in 18 consecutive seasons, the second longest such streak since 1970. Only the Lions had a longer streak, serving up at least one “pick six” touchdown in every season from 1989-2013, stretching 25 years.

Buffalo now carries the longest current streak, having allowed an opposing defender to take an interception to the house in every season since 1999, an 18-year stretch.

At the other end of the spectrum, Seattle hasn’t allowed a “pick six” since 2012 and hasn’t allowed more than one in a season since 2000. Since 2001, the Seahawks have allowed only 9 such TD’s, while the Lions have allowed FORTY-ONE.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Hit me up at @nuggetpalooza on Twitter. 


Friday’s Red Sox Win Feels Like a Big One

To come back and win after your ace starter gets knocked out following what, depending on your definition of “worst”, could be called the worst start in Red Sox history:20160625 Post Worst Starts BBREF


Yep. Last night’s abysmal start by David Price (12 hits allowed in 2 1/3 innings) is much more rare in baseball than a perfect game, a cycle, or a batter clubbing four home runs in a game.

When the sun rose this morning, there had been 12 starts since 1913 where a pitcher had allowed 12 or more hits while lasting 2.1 innings or fewer. Prior to last night, no Red Sox starter was the victim of such a start.

The kicker? David Price is the owner of TWO of those starts.

Luckily, Price only allowed 6 runs, the fewest of any start on the list, because the Red Sox were still in the game.

With two outs in the 9th inning, Boston had closed to within 7-4 and had Jackie Bradley on base for Sandy Leon. On the 11th pitch, Leon, who is now hitting .545 (12-for-22) after entering the season with a .165 career average, roped a double, bringing up Mookie Betts as the tying run.

Since they began recording pitch counts in 1989, it was just the 2nd hit by a Red Sox player with 2 outs in the 9th or extra innings on 11 pitches or more while trailing. The other was by another Sox legend, Darnell McDonald, in 2010.

Betts then deposited a 1-1 pitch from Matt Bush into the stands to tie the game. It was just the 29th tying or go-ahead HR by a Red Sox player with 2 outs in the 9th or extra innings since 1930:

20160625 Tying GoAhead HR 2outs 9th RedSox BBREF

Only Ted Williams (4), Rico Petrocelli (2), and Butch Hobson (2) have hit more than one such HR as a member of the Red Sox. Williams is tied with Derrek Lee and Miguel Cabrera for the most such homers in MLB since 1930.

16 pitches later, Dustin Pedroia put the Red Sox in front when he scored on a Bush wild pitch.

But Boston still needed to get the Rangers out in the bottom of the 9th and didn’t have closer Craig Kimbrel available after he pitched two innings on Thursday. So the Red Sox turned to Koji Uehara to try to seal the deal.

Uehara fanned the side in order to notch the save. It was the 8th time as a Red Sox that Koji had faced 3+ batters and struck them all out, making him the all-time franchise leader in such games:

20160625 Games with 3+BF and all K RedSox BBREF








He’s now tied for 21st on the all-time MLB list in that category:

20160625 Games with 3+BF and all K MLB BBREF















What a win for Boston! Will it be a season altering night? Maybe we’ll begin to find out tonight.

Got a comment or suggestion? Hit me up on Twitter @nuggetpalooza.

Thanks to Baseball-Reference for their help in putting all this together,


Baseball Nuggets – May 6


How about a few nuggets and notes before the Red Sox and Yankees get started?
* – The Yankees have batted in the 9th inning in 22 games this season and have scored 1 run, fewest in the majors so far. They are 0-for-8 with RISP in the 9th (14-for-76 overall, .184).
* – Since 1970, there have now been 72 games where a starter has lasted 3 innings or less, walked 6+, and allowed at least one HR. Teams are now 9-63 in those games. The Red Sox’ win in such a game last night was the first in the majors since 2008, when Texas beat Cleveland, 13-9, despite Kason Gabbard (remember him?) walking 6 and allowing a homer in 2.2 innings. The only other such Red Sox starts were by Daniel Bard in 2012 (a 5-1 loss to TOR ) and Tomo Ohka in 2001 (a 10-3 loss to the CHW).


* – Dustin Pedroia has a 1.067 OPS in his last 69 PA, his best such stretch since ’13 and 11th best career-wise:









* – RBI can be a misleading stat because the context in which a player bats can vary so much. The more runners that are on base when you come to bat increases your RBI opportunities. SO let’s look at the leaders in RBI/RunnersOnBase percentage so far in 2016 (min. 45 runners on base):RBI20160505











Bryce Harper has come up with 60 runners on base and has 26 RBI, a 43% RBI rate, best in the majors. Big Papi ranks 3rd among AL batters at 37% (min. 45 runners on base).

Here are the trailers:










Atlanta’s Erick Aybar has been abysmal this year, tallying only two RBI despite 60 ducks on the pond. Houston’s Carlos Gomez (4 RBI despite 47 baserunners) is a real surprise on this list.

Finally, here are the Red Sox:










Travis Shaw leads a list of SIX Red Sox who have hit with 70+ runners on base already, but none of those seven guys are leading the team in RBI. That’s David Ortiz, who despite having only 63 runners on so far, leads the team in RBI by 6 over his next closest challenger.


Draftkings and “House Money”

I am a customer of Draftkings. I deposited $25 about 18 months ago and played hundreds of $2, $3, and $5 games until my account ran dry after Week 2 of this NFL season. Considering all of the hand-wringing that has occurred regarding DFS since, I decided not to make any more deposits.

On Saturday, I received an email from Draftkings stating that I had been offered a free entry (worth $20!) into their final “Millionaire Maker” game of this NFL season. Who can pass that up, right? I did a little math in my head and figured that four people in the contest would win “life changing” money ($100,000 or more). If 250,000 people entered, that gave me in the neighborhood of a 1-in-62,500 shot, which are MUCH BETTER odds than buying a lottery ticket and a whole lot more fun too!

So my son and I took about an hour on Sunday debating which lineup to send out there.

In the early games, I only had three players going. But all three did well. Panthers receivers Ted Ginn and Greg Olsen combined for three touchdowns and emerging Bills star Sammy Watkins hauled in two more. By 4:30, I was not in the top 150,000 in the standings (because so many entries had more players playing) but I was averaging nearly a half point per player minute, which put me in contention to make a little money as this contest paid the top 63,000 finishers.

The 4:00 games did not help my cause at all.

I had selected the Bengals defense after debating between them and the Chiefs (that one hurt). Cincinnati gave up some garbage-time points and really didn’t do much at all. My other late afternoon player was (Fat) Eddie Lacy. I can hear the groans from many of you Lacy owners from here. Two measly points. I was pretty much finished. Why didn’t I pick Danny Woodhead? Why?

The Sunday Night game came on and I had one guy playing. I was really only keeping one eye on that game after Lacy had pretty much buried me. Except that one guy I had was Arizona running back David Johnson, who immediately cashed in a touchdown before 8:45, then another before halftime, and another in the 3rd quarter. 47 fantasy points later, and I was back to .40 points per player minute, which projected into the top 63,000.

After all of the trouble I had picking players this fantasy season (I rode CJ Anderson heavily in my drafts this year) it was difficult to be optimistic about the three players that I had going in the Monday Night game. Detroit’s Matt Stafford and Golden Tate and New Orleans wideout Brandon Cooks.

But holy moly Stafford hit Tate for an early touchdown and just like that I went from 125,000th to 50,000th. We had a ballgame. Then midway through the second quarter Stafford found Tate in the end zone AGAIN. By this time, I’m sniffing the top 20,000 and looking at a $25 payday! I guess you can tell by now that I’m not what Vegas-types would call a “whale”.

With about a minute to go in the half, Drew Brees lofted a pass down the right sideline to… Cooks! TOUCHDOWN! I’m 11,000th! But replay showed that he didn’t get in. Back to 23,000th place.

Draftkings PrizesA little aside here: Another fun thing about playing in a “big money” game is the ability to track the drama at the top of the leaderboard, where the life-changing money is changing lives. Entering the game last night, 16 of the top 17 entries had no players playing Monday Night. Entrant “cflanders002” was leading for the million dollar prize with 272 points (a little over .50 points per player minute). His lineup included basically all of the weekend’s superstars (Cam, Woodhead, Antonio Brown, David Johnson), the definition of “hitting the jackpot”. But lurking in 4th place (the $100,000 spot) was entrant “lazgetsfit”, who entered Monday night with 258 but with the Saints’ Tim Hightower yet to play. Right after Cooks’ touchdown was reversed, the ball was placed on the one-yard-line and Hightower ran for the touchdown. Putting “laz” in GREAT SHAPE for winning a million dollars. But there was a FLAG ON THE PLAY. One more unsuccessful Hightower carry and a couple of braindead plays by Saints players and coaches ended the threat. I can’t imagine what “laz” and “cflanders” were going through.

Anyway, in the third quarter, Brees found Cooks for a legit touchdown (along with several other catches by Cooks and Tate) which, for a short while, moved me into the top 2,500. That would have meant a $100 payout! Alas, the final few minutes saw TD passes to other players which dropped me into 3,086th place with 219 points (.41 points per player minute)Draftkings3

“cflanders002” is a million dollars richer. Tim Hightower caught an 18-yard pass on the game’s final play, lifting “lazgetsfit” past three players and into second place. Going from 5th to 2nd on that play was worth a whopping $360,000 to “laz”. Entrant “tholl99” lost $200,000 on that final play. I bet his alarm went off early this morning.

My Draftkings account now proudly boasts a $75 balance. Common sense says cash it out and use the money for something sensible like that new pump for the well that we’ve had our eye on. But that’s not going to happen. I’ll play hundreds and hundreds of $2 games over the next several months, winning some and losing some, and eventually the “house money” will be gone.

But it won’t be boring!

Baseball Notes – BALLS HIT DEEP


I’ve hypothesized all year that Boston has been the victim of more “warning track outs” than anybody else this season. And it appears that I was wrong. At least I was if you use the Baseball-Reference’s event finder play descriptions for balls hit to “deep outfield”. Below are the team-by-team totals (through May 28) for batted balls where the location was listed as “deep” and “outfield”:

temp 2015 thru May 28 DEEP results















The Red Sox have hit the 13th most such balls (272) and their 1.646 OPS on them ranks a very bad 26th. The only AL team that’s worse is Chicago (1.634). Of course, the Red Sox currently rank 25th in overall OPS (.680) with, you guessed it, the White Sox (.658) the only AL team that’s worse.

Is it luck? Is it a quirk in the way batted balls are categorized from park to park? Is it that Red Sox and White Sox hitters have “warning track power”? Let’s look at 2014:

temp 2014 DEEP results















Well look at that. Toronto was on top last year, too. And Boston was in their same 26th place, albeit with an OPS about 100 points lower.

Before we move on to players, let’s look at Home/Road splits. Here are HOME results since the start of the 2014 season:

temp 2014 2015 HOME DEEP results
















Boston checks in 12th (1.779 OPS) while Toronto remains in the top spot with a ridiculous 2.305 OPS. The Blue Jays have 132 HR on 465 deep balls at home (28%), while the rest of the league was at 16% (Boston 12%, KC just 9%).

What about on the road?

temp 2014 2015 ROAD DEEP results















Aaack. There are the Red Sox, dead last, with a 1.400 OPS on deep balls hit on the road. However, only one team has hit more deep balls on the road since the start of the 2014 season than the Red Sox (655)…Cleveland (657).

Baltimore leads the league in road OPS on deep balls (1.954), thanks to 21% of their deep balls leaving the yard. On the road, the Blue Jays sport a much more normal 17% home run rate, leading me to believe that there is some noise in the data coming from Rogers Centre.

So what about individual players? Here is the list of players with 40+ deep balls so far in 2015:

temp 2015 thru May 28 INDIVIDUAL DEEP results









Colorado’s Nolan Arenado (49) and Cincinnati;s Todd Frazier (47) have the most deep balls in the league so far. But look who’s 5th? Yep, Boston rookie Mookie Betts. And only Evan Longoria (1.220) has a lower OPS on deep balls among this group than Betts’ 1.333.

Finally, here are the batters who have had the worst “luck” on deep batted balls this season (min. 25 deep balls):

temp 2015 thru May 28 WORST INDIVIDUAL DEEP results











Note that Betts is the only Red Sox player on this list. I found it interesting that Detroit’s Ian Kinsler and Seattle’s Robinson Cano have hit 61 deep balls between them and have only one home run between them to show for it. Remember that one homer is hit for just about every six deep balls on average.

I hope you found this as enlightening as I did. Thanks to Baseball-Reference and their awesome stats database for making this possible.

Comments? Find me on Twitter: @nuggetpalooza.

Have a good weekend, everyone.











































































































































Baseball Notes – May 31 – The First Inning

* – The Red Sox allowed a 1st inning run (again) on Saturday. They’ve now allowed a 1st inning score in 12 of their 28 games this month. They’ve SCORED in the 1st frame just twice in that span. In their 19 games since May 11, the Sox have been outscored 12-1 in the 1st inning.

NOTE THIS: Boston has not scored in the 1st inning since May 19, going scoreless in the opening frame in 11 straight games, the longest current such streak in the majors. Here are Boston’s longest 1st inning droughts (within a season) since 2009:

red sox 1st inn scoreless droughts 12+ games since 2009 - 2015 05 31






The Brewers failed to score a 1st inning run for nearly a month in 2013:

mlb longest 1st inn scoring droughts since 2009 - 2015 05 31






One more table: 1st inning runs allowed in May (through Saturday):


mlb 1st inn runs allowed may 2015 - 2015 05 31















A little context on the Giants’ 2 runs allowed in first innings this month: Since 2009, the only staffs that have allowed fewer 1st inning runs over a full month are the 2009 Dodgers (0 allowed during August) and the 2013 Blue Jays (1 allowed during June).

Have a good Sunday!















Baseball Notes – May 30


* – The Red Sox put the leadoff batter on base in both the 1st and 2nd innings on Thursday for the 1st time in 38 games (April 15).

* – Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun has come to bat with 79 runners on base this season and has driven home 25 of them. That 32% rate is tops in the majors (minimum 50 baserunners). Here are the leaders:

RBI by ROBSIT leaders 2015 05 28 min 50



And here are the laggards:

RBI by ROBSIT laggards 2015 05 28 min 50

Here are Boston’s hitters for the 2015 season to date:

RBI by ROBSIT red sox 2015 05 28 min 50

Note that Mookie Betts has 7 more RBI than David Ortiz despite having 13 fewer baserunners on during his at bats.

Finally, here are Boston’s hitters in May (through Thursday):

RBI by ROBSIT red sox may only thru 2015 05 28 min 50

You know, there’s not a lot of comment needed here.




















































































Baseball Nuggetpalooza – 4/17/15

A few things I saw this week:

* – So far in 2015, hitters leading off innings for the Red Sox have gone 11-for-76 (.145), the lowest average in the majors:

.145 – Red Sox
.169 – Mariners
.169 – Nationals

Note this: The Sox do have 10 walks leading off innings, which is tied for 2nd most in the majors, trailing only the Cubs. That drives their OBP to .270, which is 20th.


* – True to their philosophy of grinding at bats, Red Sox hitters have swung at the first pitch only 66 times in 2015, the fewest in the league:

66 – Red Sox
68 – Indians
70 – A’s

Note this: The Giants (136), Reds (128), and Nationals (127) have swung at first pitches most often.


* – The Rays have already received 6 bases-loaded walks this season. The other 29 teams have combined to receive 11 such walks.

Here are the career leaders in bases-loaded walks received (since 1950):

39 – Carl Yastrzemski
38 – Dwight Evans
31 – Derek Jeter
31 – Joe Morgan
30 – 3 tied (Mickey Mantle, Rocky Colavito, Mickey Tettleton)

And the pitchers who have surrendered the most bases-loaded walks since 1950:

47 – Nolan Ryan

* – Going into last Sunday night, the Red Sox had not allowed 10+ runs in a game since last July 29, a streak of 61 games. At the time, it was the 2nd longest current streak in the AL. Now, they’ve allowed 10+ twice in the last four games.

Longest current streaks without allowing 10+ runs:

143 – Mets
95 – A’s
86 – Pirates
68 – Phillies


* – The last time that the Twins swept a road series of three games or more was June 2-3-4-5, 2011 in Kansas City. Since then, they’ve played 86 such road series and lost at least one game in each of them.

Here are the longest such losing streaks since 2003:

99 – Brewers, 2004-2008
89 – Rangers, 2005-2008
86 – Twins, 2011-present
81 – Royals, 2003-2006

Longest HOME streaks without a sweep are much shorter, but still feature a LONG current drought:

66 – Astros, 2012-present
49- Cubs, 2009-2011
39 – Cubs, 2012-2014
39 – White Sox, 2010-2012

Keep in mind that we’re only counting series’ of 3+ games.


* – Steve Carlton allowed 2+ unearned runs in 58 different starts since 1970, the most such starts in that 45 season span:

58 – Steve Carlton
57 – Nolan Ryan
53 – Phil Niekro

Note: Roger Clemens had 35 such starts in his career and posted a record of 1-21 in those starts, the lowest winning percentage (.045) by any pitcher with 25 or more such starts in that span.

At the other end of that spectrum, four different times pitchers have put together a streak of 50+ starts without allowing an unearned run since 1970. The TWO longest streaks belong to Curt Schilling:

69 – Curt Schilling, 2004-2007
53 – Curt Schilling, 2001-2002
50 – Dontrelle Willis, 2007-2011
50 – Roy Oswalt, 2008-2010

The longest current streaks without allowing an unearned run (active in 2015):

42 – Drew Hutchison, TOR
31 – Dillon Gee, NYM
24 – Jered Weaver, LAA


* – From 1931-1942, Giants’ pitcher Carl Hubbell had 47 starts in which he lasted at least 6 innings and allowed zero extra-base hits. The Giants won all 47 of those starts, the longest such streak in MLB history. No one else has a streak longer than 35 such starts.

The top 4 such streaks by active players are:

21 – Edinson Volquez (2007-2013; 3 teams)
20 – Scott Feldman (2008-2014; 4 teams)
20 – Tim Hudson (2001-2005; 2 teams)

The longest current streaks belong to Max Scherzer (11) and Justin Masterson (10).


Comments? Suggestions? See something cool? Wanna talk baseball? I’m on Twitter at @nuggetpalooza!



My Second Post on Super Bowl Forty-Nine

I thought I’d look into the importance of field position today…

During the regular season, the Patriots started 28 drives (16% of their total) inside their opponent’s 50-yard-line, the 3rd highest percentage in the league. They put up an average of 4.32 points on those drives, 4th highest:

Bears – 5.3                                                                                                                                               Steelers – 5.0                                                                                                                                           Packers – 4.5                                                                                                                                           Patriots – 4.3

Seattle had 27 such drives, tied for 4th most, but managed only 3.3 points per drive, ranked 23rd.

So how has the New England offense done on these “short field” drives recently? Well, including the playoffs, they’ve scored 8 touchdowns, 2 field goals, and 2 punts on their last 12 drives starting inside opponent territory, an average of 5.2 points. And to be fair, one of those punts came late in the 4th quarter with the game in hand last Sunday.

Seahawks’ opponents started only 12 drives in Seattle territory during the regular season, tied with the 49ers for 2nd fewest in the league (Lions, 10). However, they put up an average of 4.8 points on those drives, the 2nd highest average points allowed in the league. Only the Lions, at 5.5, allowed a higher average. There are obviously small sample size alerts here.

Seattle famously allowed three short field opportunities to the Packers last week (starting at the 19, 23, and 33) and allowed only a FG each time. During the season, Seattle had allowed 4 touchdowns and 2 FGs when opponents’ began drives at or inside the Seahawks’ 33-yard-line. The Packers had scored touchdowns on 5 of their 6 such opportunities this season.

On offense, Seattle did not start a drive inside Green Bay’s 50 last week, although the one time they started AT the 50 (following the successful onsides kick) they scored a touchdown. If you count that, they have now scored a touchdown on ALL SIX of their short field opportunities since the beginning of December.

Patriots’ opponents scored each of the first 10 times that they started drives in New England territory (6 touchdowns; 4 FGs), averaging 5.4 points on those drives. However, they allowed a total of only 3 points on two such drives over their last two regular season games and haven’t allowed a short field opportunity in the postseason yet.

How does Seattle’s opponents fare when forced to start drives at or inside their own 20-yard-line? Not very well. If you ignore the oh-by-the-way touchdown scored by the Panthers late in the 4th quarter when down by three touchdowns, the Seahawks have allowed exactly 3 total points on the last 28 such possessions dating back to December 14. The only FG coming by the Packers early in the 4th quarter last week.

By contrast, when the Patriots have forced opponents to start at or inside their own 20, they’ve allowed 4 touchdowns and a FG in their last 28 tries (31 points… still stout). Here are the leading defenses during the regular season in average points per drive on drives started at or inside the 20:

TEMP Opp Drives From Inside 20 Leaders





At 1.50, the Patriots ranked 16th, right smack in the middle of the league.

That’s all for now. More coming as the Super Bowl draws closer!

Thanks for Pro Football Reference for their outstanding statistical resources!

Got comments or suggestions? Give me a shout on Twitter: @Nuggetpalooza.