Pro Football’s Fantastic Plays and Other Amazing Statistics

Super Fan

You loved our post about college football’s winning streaks so much we’re going to continue the fun with a similar post on pro football’s fantastic stats.


Who Has the Longest Winning Streak?

That depends: do you mean regular season only or including playoffs? You also have to decide if you mean only the NFL.

If you want to look outside the NFL, you can look to the Cleveland Browns. They had an 18-game winning streak in the latter part of the 1940s in the All-American Football Conference, before the team joined the NFL.

When it comes to regular season only winning streaks in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts won 23 games in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. (Interesting historical footnote: the Canton Bulldogs had the most regular season consecutive non-losses [25] between 1921 and 1923 when they won 22 games and tied 3.

As for a combined regular season and playoffs winning streak in the NFL, the prize goes to the New England Patriots, who won 21 games in the 2003 and 2004 seasons (including their Super Bowl XXXVIII win against the Carolina Panthers on Feb. 1, 2004).

Everyone Loves a Winner, But Who Made the Worst Play in NFL History?

It may not be the absolute worst in the NFL, but the subsequent moniker given to it probably is the best ever given to a ruinous play: the Butt Fumble.

The fumble occurred during a New York Jets game against the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving 2012. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez took the snap and mistakenly stepped left, where there was no one to hand the ball to. Trying to protect himself and the ball, Sanchez started to slide down, but hit the backside of right guard Brandon Moore, whose derriere dislodged the ball from Sanchez’ arms.

Moore fell on top of Sanchez as the QB slid down and the football bounced on the ground near the Jets’ 32-yard line, right near the hands of Patriots’ safety Steve Gregory.  He easily scooped the ball up and ran unmolested to a touchdown. The Patriots ended up winning the game in a rout, 49-19.

Talk about an interesting stadium experience!

Video of the fumble made ESPN’s “Not Top-10” blooper reel segment, eventually “winning” the “Worst of the Worst” play, an honor the video kept for 40 straight weeks.

football-amazing-playYou Want an NFL Blow Out? We Have it Right Here

While not as awful as Georgia Tech’s 222-0 win over poor Cumberland College in 1916 (as we mentioned in our college ball stats post), the Chicago Bears NFL championship win over the Washington Redskins in 1940 is the biggest blowout in NFL history. The Bears won 73-0.

Yet the similarities to the Georgia Tech rout over Cumberland are telling:

As Cumberland beat Georgia Tech the year before 22-0, with Georgia Tech coach John Heisman then vowing revenge, so did Bear’s coach George Halas’ umbrage at having his team called “quitters” and “cry babies” by Redskins’ Coach George Preston Marshall after his team beat the Bears 7-3 a few weeks earlier.

Halas used Marshall’s remarks to incite his players, firing them up so much that they scored 78 points in just their next two games, thus setting up a showdown with the Redskins in the NFL’s championship game.

The Bears certainly showed their opponents that they weren’t weak: Bears’ running back Bill Osmanski ran 68 yards to score the first touchdown less than a minute into the start of the game. The Bears were leading 28-0 by the end of the first half, but went on to score another unanswered 50 additional points in the second half.

In fact, so bad was the beating, field officials in the second half asked Halas not to allow his team to kick for extra points.  Too many footballs had been booted into the stands and they were running out.

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