Most bizarre NFL stats in the past 20 years
All professional athletes are apt to producing some amazing stat lines, because that is exactly why they are playing at the highest level. And regardless of what sport it is, some of those stats live in infamy for the entirety of that sport’s existence, regardless of how good or bad the stat line was.
For the NFL, a lot of statistics revolve around the offensive side of the ball, with teams setting good and bad records all while trying to score points. These records do not always involve strictly offensive players, however, as this list will point out.
Here are some bizarre statistical anomalies that you may not be aware of.
Kansas City Has Had Problems Connecting With Their Wide Receivers
During the 2014 NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs produced a 9-7 record in the second years of both general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid, who are both still with the franchise in those same roles. But while a second-place finish in the AFC West was a solid result for that year, what was the most surprising part of it is how they got there.
Led by quarterback Alex Smith, a healthy running back in Jamaal Charles, and tight end Travis Kelce, the Chiefs had a formidable offensive attack that also featured Dwayne Bowe, Albert Wilson, and Donnie Avery as the three wide receivers that recorded the most receiving yardage in ‘14.
While that is a very uninspiring cast of receivers, the fact that all of the offensive touchdowns that were scored did not come through the air on a catch by a receiver is an absolutely astounding mark. There were 18 receiving scores during this season, nine of which went to Kelce or tight end Anthony Fasano, with the other nine being split between Charles, the late Joe McKnight, Knile Davis, and fullback Anthony Sherman.
With none of their receivers hauling in a TD at all this season, the Chiefs were quite happy when they were able to get over that hump the following season on the back of free-agent signee and former Philadelphia Eagle receiver Jeremy Maclin, who hauled in the first receiver-caught touchdown in 2015 all the way in Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers.
Maclin went on to lead KC in receiving touchdowns that year with eight, a far cry from the zero that the entire unit put up the year prior.
Apparently, First Does Not Get You Everything That You Want
Staying out west in the AFC West division, the 2010 San Diego Chargers were in the fourth year of the Norv Turner experiment, which ended up lasting two more seasons after this before he was exchanged for another failed head coach in Mike McCoy. But for Turner and his roster that he helped assemble, they put together a solid group of players that somehow managed to still disappoint.
Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates, two of the more notable names in the history books for the Chargers, were Pro Bowl-bound again this year, and linebacker Shaun Phillips joined them from the defensive side of the ball. Rivers led the league that year in passing yardage with 4,710 yards, but apparently, that metric was not enough to lead the Chargers to where they desired to be.
San Diego boasted the league’s best offensive and defensive units on the field, which is a pretty incredible feat for one team to be able to have two of the top units in the same year. But what is the absolute cherry on top of their cake here is the fact that even with their two top units, they failed to make the postseason.
Their 9-7 record stuck them behind the Chiefs, who put together a 10-6 record in the year that the AFC was represented by the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFC was represented by the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers. They managed to not only hit the under on their projected 10.5 win total but also blow a completely historical chance at utilizing what some may say was one of the better teams not to have won a Super Bowl while they were together.
The Secret Weapon For The New England Patriots… Was A Linebacker
A 13-year playing career in the NFL is nothing to scoff at, and linebacker Mike Vrabel made a living sticking his nose into the offense’s business and getting dirty in the trenches. But what he was also known for was becoming a goal-line weapon for both the New England Patriots and the Chiefs.
The former Ohio State Buckeye turned NFL player now turned NFL head coach for the upstart Tennessee Titans, Vrabel was the most efficient of efficient players in the history of the league when it came to being in the offensive huddle.
16 career targets. 12 career catches. 17 career receiving yards. 12 career receiving TDs.
That is right – on every ball that Vrabel ever caught in his career, it always went for six points – the incredible nature of this happening is quite unique, and even when the other team knew that Vrabel was in the offensive huddle at the goal line, they still failed to stop him on many occasions.
While Vrabel is much more well-known for his defensive abilities, the flare that he brought when he was playing both ways is something not many players can attest to, and Vrabel’s efficiency is bar none across the league.
A Fantasy Football Dream – From The Bus
In 2004, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost one regular-season game (Week 2 at Baltimore) and did not lose until the Conference Championship game, which was four months and four days from their first defeat. While the Steelers fell to the Patriots, a game earlier that year in September was a precursor to how well they would perform that year.
The day was Sept. 12, 2004, and the Steelers were opening up their ‘04 season at home against the Oakland Raiders. Oakland, which at the time was coached by eventual Chargers boss Turner, boasted a team led by Kerry Collins at QB and finished 5-11 on the year, a real disappointing year all around.
How Oakland fared in their opening game of the ‘04 season was also a precursor of how their year was going to go, especially with how they handled Jerome Bettis.
In this game, the Steelers were actually led by a different running back, Duce Staley, who fell nine yards short of opening the season with 100 yards on the ground. With Pittsburgh only getting 142 yards out of QB Tommy Maddox through the air, the question becomes, why was the Bus not more involved in the offense that day?
The Raiders chose to box up Bettis and got burned by Staley instead, but only in the box score was Staley the better runner that day.
On only five carries, Bettis recorded one lousy rushing yard. But he scored three touchdowns, all from one yard out.
Bettis opened the scoring in the first quarter for the game, scored again around the 11-minute mark in the second quarter, and capped off his scoring barrage by plunging in for a third time at the 3:12 mark in the third quarter for Pittsburgh.
While Bettis was wildly efficient inside the one, Staley was the team’s starter and was the main guy. However, Bettis was a fantasy football handcuff dream for anyone who rostered both guys that day, as they reaped the yardage benefits of Staley and was also able to gain a ton of points via the way of Bettis’ scoring.