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A full one-quarter of all NFL teams have opening day starters who have won a Super Bowl: New England (Tom Brady), Pittsburgh (Ben Roethlisberger), Baltimore (Joe Flacco), Denver (Peyton Manning), New York Giants (Eli Manning), Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers), New Orleans (Drew Brees) and Seattle (Russell Wilson) all sport Super Bowl winning passers.

That’s pretty rare. In 1991, Jeff Hostetler was the only quarterback starting in week 1 who had a Lombardi Trophy on his resume.1 From 1993 to 2012, an average of 4.0 week 1 starters had previously won a title. Having a Super Bowl winning quarterback is nice, but it doesn’t exactly make a team unique. At least not for 2014.

YearWk 1 SB QBsQuarterbacks
20148Tom Brady; Ben Roethlisberger; Peyton Manning; Eli Manning; Drew Brees; Aaron Rodgers; Joe Flacco; Russell Wilson
20137Tom Brady; Ben Roethlisberger; Peyton Manning; Eli Manning; Drew Brees; Aaron Rodgers; Joe Flacco
20126Tom Brady; Ben Roethlisberger; Peyton Manning; Eli Manning; Drew Brees; Aaron Rodgers
20115Tom Brady; Ben Roethlisberger; Eli Manning; Drew Brees; Aaron Rodgers
20105Brett Favre; Tom Brady; Peyton Manning; Eli Manning; Drew Brees
20096Brett Favre; Kurt Warner; Tom Brady; Ben Roethlisberger; Peyton Manning; Eli Manning
20086Brett Favre; Kurt Warner; Tom Brady; Ben Roethlisberger; Peyton Manning; Eli Manning
20074Brett Favre; Tom Brady; Ben Roethlisberger; Peyton Manning
20064Brett Favre; Kurt Warner; Tom Brady; Brad Johnson
20054Brett Favre; Kurt Warner; Trent Dilfer; Tom Brady
20044Brett Favre; Kurt Warner; Tom Brady; Brad Johnson
20034Brett Favre; Kurt Warner; Tom Brady; Brad Johnson
20023Brett Favre; Kurt Warner; Tom Brady
20012Brett Favre; Kurt Warner
20003Troy Aikman; Brett Favre; Kurt Warner
19993Troy Aikman; Steve Young; Brett Favre
19984Troy Aikman; Steve Young; Brett Favre; John Elway
19973Troy Aikman; Steve Young; Brett Favre
19962Troy Aikman; Steve Young
19953Jeff Hostetler; Troy Aikman; Steve Young
19943Joe Montana; Jeff Hostetler; Troy Aikman
19936Joe Montana; Jim McMahon; Phil Simms; Jeff Hostetler; Mark Rypien; Troy Aikman
19922Phil Simms; Mark Rypien
19911Jeff Hostetler
19902Joe Montana; Phil Simms
19893Joe Montana; Jim McMahon; Phil Simms
19884Joe Montana; Jim McMahon; Phil Simms; Doug Williams
19872Joe Montana; Phil Simms
19862Joe Montana; Jim McMahon
19853Jim Plunkett; Joe Montana; Joe Theismann
19843Jim Plunkett; Joe Montana; Joe Theismann
19834Ken Stabler; Jim Plunkett; Joe Montana; Joe Theismann
19824Terry Bradshaw; Ken Stabler; Jim Plunkett; Joe Montana
19813Terry Bradshaw; Ken Stabler; Jim Plunkett
19803Bob Griese; Terry Bradshaw; Ken Stabler
19794Roger Staubach; Bob Griese; Terry Bradshaw; Ken Stabler
19783Roger Staubach; Terry Bradshaw; Ken Stabler
19775Joe Namath; Roger Staubach; Bob Griese; Terry Bradshaw; Ken Stabler
19764Joe Namath; Roger Staubach; Bob Griese; Terry Bradshaw
19754Joe Namath; Roger Staubach; Bob Griese; Terry Bradshaw
19744Joe Namath; Len Dawson; Roger Staubach; Bob Griese
19734Joe Namath; Johnny Unitas; Roger Staubach; Bob Griese
19723Joe Namath; Len Dawson; Johnny Unitas
19711Len Dawson
19703Bart Starr; Joe Namath; Len Dawson
19692Bart Starr; Joe Namath
19681Bart Starr
19671Bart Starr
  1. Phil Simms was the team’s backup, Joe Montana missed the entire year with an elbow injury, Doug Williams had retired, Jim McMahon was the backup in Philadelphia, Jim Plunkett and Joe Theismann had long been retired, and that takes us all the way back to 1979. []
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Guest Trivia: High and Low Points Scored In a Season

Some trivia today from longtime commenter Jason Winter. Jason is a former sports blogger (http://jasonwinter.blogspot.com/) who’s shifted his focus to video games (http://jasonwinter.wordpress.com/).

1) In a 16-game regular season, what team has the highest low point total in their games? In other words, this is the only team to score 24 or more points in every game.

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2) After reading Jason’s first trivia, I decided to do some digging. Since 1940, only two other teams scored more than 20 points in every game, including the postseason. Both teams were from the ’50s.

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The Rams and First Round Linemen

Robert Quinn finds out who the team's offensive coordinator is

Robert Quinn finds out who the team's offensive coordinator is.

Bill Barnwell and Robert Mays do a great job on their NFL podcasts. Yesterday, I listened to their NFC West preview, and it’s just stunning the amount of highly drafted talent the Rams have on both lines. We already know that the Rams have four former first rounders on the team’s starting defensive line, making them the first team since the 2012 Saints to pull off that feat. With Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Michael Brockers, and Aaron Donald, St. Louis has the best defensive line (at least on paper) in the NFL.

But the Rams also have two former first round picks on the offensive line, too, with Jake Long and Greg Robinson, the team’s first overall pick this year.  In fact, consider:

  • St. Louis has three linemen who were first or second overall picks: Long, Long, and Robinson. (Imagine if the Jason Smith pick worked out?)
  • The Rams also have three other linemen drafted in the top fourteen in Quinn, Brockers, and Donald.
  • Add in Rodger Saffold, and seven of the Rams’ starting nine linemen were drafted in the top 33. The exceptions: Scott Wells and Joe Barksdale.

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Touchdowns in Losses

A fun trivia question from Scott Kacsmar this week:

The most TD passes a QB threw in one season in games he LOST is 25. Name the QB, and if you can, the year.

Here’s the answer:

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Who is the career leader in touchdown passes in losses?

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Who is the single-season leader in rushing touchdowns in losses?

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What about the career leader in rushing touchdowns in losses?

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How about the single-season leader in receiving touchdowns in losses?

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Finally, what about the career leader? There’s a three-way tie in this category, with 46 touchdown receptions in losses.

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The trivia run ends tomorrow, as Andrew Healy has another fun post.

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Last weekend, we looked at the team with the most Pro Bowlers to win a championship. Today, we look at the reverse: the team with the fewest Pro Bowlers to win it all.

As a technical matter, the Pro Bowl hasn’t always been around, so some pre-1950 teams and the 1960 Oilers (there was no Pro Bowl in the AFL’s first season) had zero Pro Bowlers. But only one team has had exactly one Pro Bowler and won the title. Here are some hints:

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Trivia: Pro Bowlers on NFL Champions

Yesterday, we looked at the team with the most Hall of Famers in a single season in NFL history. That team, which won the NFL championship, had 8 of its players make the Pro Bowl. That’s a very high number, of course, but over 30 teams have won it all and had eight or more players make the Pro Bowl.

Three teams have had twelve players make the Pro Bowl in a championship season. Two of them came in the AFL. In 1961, QB George Blanda, HB Billy Cannon, FB Charley Tolar, WR Charley Hennigan, TE Bob McLeod, LT Al Jamison, C Bob Schmidt, DE Don Floyd, DT Ed Husmann, MLB Dennit Morris, and cornerbacks Tony Banfield and Mark Johnston, all made the Pro Bowl for the Houston Oilers.  Somehow, Bill Groman, who led the league with 17 touchdowns and was a first-team All-Pro selection, was not a Pro Bowler.

A year later, another Texas team won the AFL championship and sent a dozen players to the Pro Bowl. Lamar Hunt’s Dallas Texans fielded QB Len Dawson, HB Abner Haynes, FB Curtis McClinton, TE Fred Arbanas, LT Jim Tyrer, LG Marvin Terrell, RT Jerry Cornelison, DE Mel Branch, DT Jerry Mays, LLB E.J. Holub, MLB Sherrill Headrick, and CB Dave Grayson en route to an 11-3 record.

But only one NFL champion has sent 12 players to the Pro Bowl.  Can you guess who?

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Most Hall of Famers on an NFL Team

Today’s trivia is a straightforward one: only one team in NFL history has fielded 11 players who are currently members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Can you name that team?

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At the end of my Seahawks-Saints playoff preview, I came up with (what I thought was) a pretty neat bit of trivia:

New Orleans gained 4918 passing yards and allowed only 3105 passing yards. That 1813 yard difference is largest by any NFL team in history. The 1961 Oilers, led by George Blanda, Bill Groman, and Charley Hennigan, actually gained 2,001 more passing yards than they allowed, but Houston of course was an AFL team. And there’s a bit of an asterisk here because of the games played: the 1943 Bears, 1951 Rams, and 1967 Jets also had a larger passing yards differential on a per-game basis. But regardless, that puts the Saints in some pretty impressive company. The Oilers, Bears, and Rams all won their league’s championships that season, and Joe Namath’s Jets won the Super Bowl the next season. The team with the fifth largest passing yards differential on a per-game basis, prior to the Saints, was the 2006 Colts, also a Super Bowl champion.

I never ran the same numbers but for rushing yards, because I just assumed it would be dominated by the ’72 Dolphins and other similar teams.  But as it turns out, the undefeated Dolphins rank only third in net rushing yards in a single season since 1950, even on a per-game basis.  In 1972, Miami rushed for an amazing 2,960 yards, but allowed 1,548 yards on the ground to opposing teams. That comes out to a 1,412 yard difference, or a +100.9 rushing yards per game differential.

The 2001 Steelers, with Kordell Stewart, Jerome Bettis, and a suffocating defense, finished with a +98.7 differential, the fifth best differential since 1950.  The ’84 Bears, behind Walter Payton and their own dominant defense, checks in at #4 at +99.8.  The second best performance is owned by the ’76 Steelers, who finished with a +108.1 differential.  That was the year Pittsburgh allowed just 28 points over the team’s final 9 games, and Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier both hit the 1,000-yard mark (they were the second duo to do so, behind Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris on the ’72 Dolphins).

None of those teams caused me any surprise, which I guess is why I never ran the numbers until today.  But it would have taken me quite a few more guesses to come up with the number one team on the list.  That’s why I’ll give you guys some hints. [click to continue…]

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Weekend Trivia: Sack Differential

White and Ryan helped lead a dominant Eagles pass rush

White and Ryan helped lead a dominant Eagles pass rush.

Last year, the Denver Broncos led the NFL in sack differential — that is, sacks recorded by the defense minus sacks allowed by the offense. Having Peyton Manning really helps, as the Broncos had essentially an average number of defensive sacks (41) but ranked first in offensive sacks (20). So Denver ranked 1st in 2013 at +21, with the Panthers and Rams tying for second at +17 each. The worst team was the Jaguars at -19, with the Dolphins (-16) and Bucs/Falcons (-12) not too far behind.

A few years ago, Mike Tanier wrote a great column on the 1986 Eagles, the team that obliterated the record for sacks allowed with 104. But since Philadelphia had 53 sacks of their own (having Reggie White tends to help), Philadelphia was able to pull into a tie for worst sack differential of all time. That honor of -51 is shared with the 1961 Minnesota Vikings, an expansion team led by our good pal Fran Tarkenton. Minnesota’s defense recorded an absurdly low 16 sacks that season (the 14-team league average, including Minnesota, was 38), and led the league by a substantial margin with 67 sacks, most of them attributed to Tarkenton. Back then, expansion teams were not very good, although the team would turn things around soon.

What about the teams with the best sack differential? Four teams have recorded 40 or more sacks than they’ve allowed. [click to continue…]

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Over the last three years, Calvin Johnson has 5,137 receiving yards in 46 games.  That’s an average of 111.7 receiving yards per game, the most by any player over a three-year stretch in NFL history.  That mark comes with a bit of an asterisk, of course, as the Lions have attempted 2,040 passes since the start of the 2011 season, also an NFL record; that’s why I like using True Receiving Yards and various other WR Ranking Systems rather than just raw receiving yards.

But hey, trivia is trivia, and Johnson is the current record holder.  But prior to 2013, do you know who held the record for receiving yards per game over a three-year stretch? The answer is not Jerry Rice, or else this would be a really lame trivia question.  Rice averaged 101.0 receiving yards per game from 1993 to 1995, and is one of just three players to average over 100 receiving yards per game for a three-year stretch.  Megatron also averaged 101.4 receiving yards per game from 2010 to 2012, but he only became the 3-year king after the conclusion of the 2013 season.

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I suspect you’ll also be surprised to see who would is number 4 on the list of most receiving yards per game over a three-year span (counting each player only once, of course).

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Trivia: Rushing Yards with Multiple Franchises

Only two players in NFL history have ever rushed for 5,000 yards with two teams. Can you name either of them?

Here’s a couple of hints for the only player to rush for 5,300+ yards with two different teams.

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Here’s a couple of hints for the other player:

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One other player was really, really close.

Here’s a couple of hints for that player:

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Why did I have to play with Matt  Moore?

Why did I have to play with Matt Moore?

While reading the always excellent Football Outsiders Almanac, I was reminded that Brandon Marshall has had 1,000-yard seasons playing with Jay Cutler, Kyle Orton, Chad Henne, and Matt Moore (and, of course, Cutler again in Chicago). That’s pretty impressive for a player in his twenties, although regular readers know that I’m a big fan of Marshall.

Two other active players have gained 1,000 yards with four different quarterbacks. For the remainder of this post, I’ll be defining a receiver’s “quarterback” as the quarterback on his team each season who threw for the most passing yards. One of them is pretty obvious: the annually great Tony Gonzalez hit the 1,000-yard mark with Elvis Grbac, Trent Green, Damon Huard, and Tyler Thigpen (but not Matt Ryan). The third player might be a bit more difficult to guess:
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Trivia: NFL Head Coaches

In light of Shattenjager’s great post yesterday about Marion Campbell, I thought we should do some NFL head coach trivia today centered around losing.

Let’s start with a tough one. With 165 losses, which coach has lost the most games in NFL history?

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Obviously, there’s something to be said for losing a lot of games. That’s kind of like throwing the most interceptions in NFL history, a mark that Brett Favre holds. Let’s move on to a rate-based trivia question.

Which coach has the worst winning percentage in NFL history, minimum 50 games coached? It’s not Campbell or Joe Bugel, who at 30% are tied for the fourth worst record.

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What if we move to current coaches? Which of the 32 active head coaches has the most losses? No hints here:
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Sid Luckman did it twice. Two Packers quarterbacks, Arnie Herber and Irv Comp, did it with help from Don Hutson. Sammy Baugh did it as a rookie in 1937.

In five out of eleven seasons from 1936 to 1946, the league leader in passing yards also won the NFL championship. Otto Graham led the AAFC in passing yards in ’47, ’48, and ’49, and the Browns won the championship each of their four seasons in the AAFC. But since then, only two quarterbacks have led the league in passing yards in the same season as winning a title. Can you name them?

Click Show for Answer Show

Want to take a look at the list of all 95 players to lead their league in passing and their team’s final results? Click the “Show” button below:

All Passing Leaders Show

Of course, you already knew that passing yards wasn’t strongly correlated with winning. But what about being the league’s most valuable player? This year, the Miami Heat won the NBA title and LeBron James was the MVP (for the second straight year). But in the NFL, it’s much rarer for a player to pull off that feat: Adrian Peterson won MVP, but the Minnesota Vikings weren’t very close to winning the Super Bowl. Can you name the last player to win the MVP and the Super Bowl in the same year?

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One more bit of trivia. To really be like LeBron, an NFL player would need to win the MVP, the Super Bowl, and the Super Bowl MVP. That’s happened six times in NFL history, but only once by a non-quarterback. Can you name him?

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Longest Streaks without a 1,000-yard rusher

Two weeks ago, I looked at the longest streaks where a team failed to have a player rush for 100 yards. Richie asked me if I could run the numbers on the longest streaks without a 1,000-yard rusher. The longest active streak in the NFL belongs to the Detroit Lions, who have not boasted a 1,000-yard rusher since Kevin Jones rushed for 1,133 yards as a rookie in 2004. Will Reggie Bush or Mikel Leshoure end that streak in 2013? Probably not.

It’s hard to look at these streaks across NFL history. For example, New York entered the NFL in 1925 and no Giant rushed for 1,000 yards until Ron A. Johnson in 1970. The Lions didn’t have a 1,000-yard rushing in their first 41 years, either. But we can look at the longest streaks that starter after the AFL-NFL merger. The modern Lions are the 12th team to go eight straight years without a 1,000 yard rusher over the last 43 years. As the longest streak? Well now we know why Miami drafted three running backs in consecutive rounds in 1996.

TeamFirst YrLast YrYrsStreak Breaker
MIA1979199517Karim Abdul-Jabbar
CLE1986200416Reuben Droughns
GNB1979199416Edgar Bennett
NYG1973198412Joe Morris
MIN1982199110Terry Allen
NOR1990199910Ricky Williams
NYJ1986199510Adrian Murrell
KAN199220009Priest Holmes
RAI198619949Harvey Williams
DET200520128--
DET197219798Billy Sims
NYJ197619838Freeman McNeil
PIT198419918Barry Foster

Insert obligatory Dan Marino comment here.

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I took this Sporcle quiz the other day on receivers to gain 1,000 yards with multiple teams. I did fine, I suppose, naming 22 of the 30 receivers. As I was going through the list, I kept looking at the rows for “Buccaneers, Panthers” and “Panthers, Cowboys” and my brain operated in this way:

Steve Smith never played for the Bucs or Cowboys. Neither did Muhsin Muhammad.”
….
Patrick Jeffers had a big year in 1999, but that was it for his career.”
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“The Panthers have literally never had anyone resembling a competent wide receiver starting across from Smith in as long as I can remember (other than Muhammad).”
….
Wesley Walls didn’t play for Dallas or Tampa Bay. And I can’t think of a single other Panthers receiver from before 2000.”

“Let me try typing in Smith and Muhammad again.”

After the quiz, I checked the Panthers team page on PFR. The top nine receiving seasons were accomplished by either Smith or Muhammad, but there were in fact two other players to hit the 1,000-yard receiving mark for Carolina. Can you name them? If so, you’re a better man on Panthers wide receiver trivia than me.
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With Anquan Boldin being traded to San Francisco, he’ll have the rare opportunity to win the Super Bowl in consecutive years with different teams. Here’s another bit of trivia: if Boldin makes it back to the Super Bowl, he’ll become just the 11th player to ever make Super Bowls with three different teams. (man, the Anquan Boldin tag at Football Perspective has gotten way more use than I ever expected).

NameTeam/Year(s)Team/Year(s)Team/Year(s)
Rod Woodson1995-pit2000-rav2002-rai
Bill Romanowskisfo-1988; 1989den-1997; 19982002-rai
Matt Millenrai-1980; 19831989-sfo1991-was
Ricky Proehlram-1999; 20012003-car2006-clt
Preston Pearson1968-clt1974-pitdal-1975; 1977; 1978
Harry Swayne1994-sdgden-1997; 19982000-rav
Clark Haggans2005-pit2008-crd2012-sfo
John Parrella1993-buf1994-sdg2002-rai
Joe Jurevicius2000-nyg2002-tam2005-sea
Jeff Rutledge1979-ram1986-nyg1991-was

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Not the answer.

Not the answer.

Kurt Warner will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2 years, making him a potential member of the Class of 2015. Warner is an interesting candidate, and while I suspect he does get in on the first ballot, it’s certainly not a given. Warner won more than 8 games just four times in his career, and he had a relatively nondescript six-year stretch from 2002 to 2007.

But I suspect Warner makes it on his first try because he was a two-time AP MVP choice, he appeared in three Super Bowls, revived two franchises, and he used to bag groceries. Few have a story as incredible as Warner’s, and sportswriters seem to love the guy, so I don’t expect there to be too many hurdles. If he doesn’t get in on the first ballot, he’ll certainly get in eventually.

And that would be a pretty rare feat. Can you name the last quarterback to be selected to the Hall of Fame who was not as a first-ballot choice?

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Trivia of the Day – Sunday, February 24th

The GSOT

The GSOT.

Eight teams in NFL history have rostered five players who — at some point in their career — gained at least 1,000 receiving yards in a season. The most recent three teams were the 2003-2005 Rams, who had Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Marshall Faulk, Kevin Curtis, and Mike Furrey. Furrey wouldn’t record 1,000 yards until he joined the Lions in 2006, while Curtis’ only 1,000-yard season came in 2007 with the Eagles. But they qualify, as the question doesn’t concern itself with when that 1,000-yard season occurred.

From 1995 to 1997, the Denver Broncos also pulled off this feat. You could probably guess Shannon Sharpe, Rod Smith, and Ed McCaffrey, but they were joined by Vance Johnson and Anthony Miller in ’95, Miller and Patrick Jeffers (!) the following season, and Jeffers and Flipper Anderson (!!) in 1997.

That leaves just two teams. Bill Belichick’s Cleveland Browns are one of them, as Eric Metcalf, Derrick Alexander, Mark Carrier, Michael Jackson, and Keenan McCardell were all on the 1994 team. Today’s trivia question focuses on the first team to roster five players who, before or after, had a 1,000-yard receiving season.

As this question is, well, impossible, I’ll simply list the players from “least useful” to “most useful” in terms of guessing the team and year. Post in the comments after which player you figured it out!

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, February 23rd

And you thought the 'Luck' puns were bad...

And you thought the 'Luck' puns were bad...

Last year, Stanford’s David DeCastro was considered one of the safest picks in the draft. But despite being a dominant player that nearly every scout loved, because he was a guard, DeCastro fell to the Steelers with the 24th pick. This year, Alabama guard Chance Warmack projects to be an even better player, and some think he’ll crack the top ten.

Guards generally don’t get drafted so early. It’s not always easy to typecast a player as a guard (as opposed to a center or tackle), but according to Pro-Football-Reference, Chris Naeole (Colorado) is the last guard to be selected in the top 10, when the Saints took him at 10 in 1997. Before that, you have to go back to 1988, when Dave Cadigan (USC) and Eric Moore (Indiana) went to the Jets and Giants. The last guard selected in the top five was Bill Fralic of Pittsburgh, who was taken by the Falcons with the second pick in the 1985 draft.

But when it comes to guards, there’s an even rarer feat than landing in the top five of the draft. The last time any rookie made the Pro Bowl at guard – regardless of draft position – came in 1983. Can you name him?

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Trivia of the Day – Sunday, February 17th

Those are some clutch shirts

Those are some clutch shirts.

We all know that Tom Brady set the single-season passing touchdowns record in 2007, when he threw 50 touchdowns as the New England Patriots went 16-0. That broke Peyton Manning‘s mark of 49 touchdowns in 2004. And I think most of us know that prior to Manning, Dan Marino had set the NFL record with 48 touchdowns in 1984.

Marino’s touchdown record stood for 20 years, but do you know who held the record before Marino? Believe it or not, the previous record stood for even longer. Before we get to the hints, here are two freebies.

The quarterback still holds his franchise’s record for passing touchdowns in a season. And he is the last quarterback to set the single-season passing touchdowns record twice in his career.

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, February 16th

The Packers tried to stop the 49ers with predictable results.

The Packers forgot to tackle the quarterback.

It’s hard not to be amazed by the seasons that Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson had as first-year starters in 2012. It’s playing around with the cut-offs to an absurd degree, but prior to 2012, only six men in NFL history had ever:

  • Averaged 7.9 yards per attempt on at least 200 passes
  • Average at least 5.0 yards per carry on at least 50 rushes

You probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that Fran Tarkenton, Steve Young, Daunte Culpepper, Michael Vick, and Aaron Rodgers were five of the players to accomplish this feat. Then, in 2012, Kaepernick, Griffin, and Wilson joined the list, as did Cam Newton.

But can you name the remaining member of the 7.9/200/5.0/50 club?

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Trivia: Leading rusher in two different Super Bowls

Emmitt Smith was a product of the system, except when the system failed without him.

Emmitt Smith was a product of the system, except when the system failed without him.

A week before the Super Bowl, I asked if you could name the seven wide receivers to start for two different teams that reached the Super Bowl. In the comments to that post, JWL alerted me to a pretty cool piece of Super bowl trivia.

Eight different men have been the leading rusher in multiple Super Bowls. Seven of these men (Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants; Antowain Smith, New England Patriots; Terrell Davis, Denver Broncos; Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys; Tony Dorsett, Dallas Cowboys; Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers; and Larry Csonka, Miami Dolphins) pulled off this feat while playing for the same team.

However, one running has been the leading rusher in two Super Bowls for two different teams. He’s the subject of today’s trivia question. Can you name him?

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In 2011, San Francisco made it to the NFC Championship Game with Alex Smith at quarterback; today, the 49ers will face the Falcons with Colin Kaepernick as their starter. This makes them the 9th team since 1970 to make the conference championship game in consecutive years but to start different quarterbacks in that game. Can you name the last team?

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Trivia of the Day – Sunday, December 16th

Manning finds the last empty spot on his trophy case.

What do you give to the man who already has everything? How about a Comeback Player of the Year Award?

Right now, the choice for AP Comeback Player of the Year is a two-horse race between Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson. If Manning wins the award, it will put him in pretty rare territory: he’d be just the fourth player to, over the course of a career, be named by the Associated Press as the Most Valuable Player of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Super Bowl MVP. Can you name the first three?

Below is one hint for each of the three players who have won all three awards.

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Trivia of the Day – Sunday, December 2nd

Matt Stafford won the ESPY for most double chins in a leading role

In case you haven’t noticed, Detroit’s Matt Stafford is throwing the ball a lot this year. He’s thrown the second most passes of any quarterback through 11 games in league history.

In 2011, Stafford led the NFL with 663 pass attempts, the third most in NFL history. In my preview of the 2012 Lions, I threw some cold water on Stafford’s outlook, noting that while he threw for 5,000 yards, his 13th-place finish in Y/A was more telling. This season Stafford is throwing even more frequently — he’s up three pass attempts per game — and is on pace to break the record for pass attempts in a season. And while Stafford may again hit the 5,000-yard mark, he currently ranks just 21st in yards per attempt, which is less forgivable in connection with a 4-7 record than a 10-6 mark.

I suspect that most fans of Football Perspective are pretty good at trivia, so I’m not going to let you off easy. You probably know which quarterback holds the record for pass attempts in a season:

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The more challenging question is this: which team holds the record for most team pass attempts in a season? Right now, Detroit is on pace for 729 pass attempts this season (Shaun Hill threw 13 passes), which would break the record.

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, November 3rd

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Philip Rivers not pictured.

On Sunday, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger will meet for the first time since Manning picked up his second Super Bowl ring. The game will be the 9th such matchup between two teams whose starting quarterbacks have each won multiple Super Bowls as starters.

This is the third straight year where we have such a game on the heels of a 25-year drought. In each of the last two seasons, the Steelers and Patriots have played, with Roethlisberger and Tom Brady starting both games. But prior to 2010, the last NFL matchup between two starting quarterbacks with multiple rings was in 1985, featuring the San Francisco 49ers (Joe Montana) and the Los Angeles Raiders (Jim Plunkett).

But today’s trivia question wants to know: which two quarterbacks starred in the first NFL game between two quarterbacks with multiple Super Bowl rings?

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Hat tip to The Jerk from the Footballguys message boards for pointing this out to me.

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, October 27th

Last week, I noted that Calvin Johnson was trying to become just the third player since 1970 to lead the NFL in receiving yards in consecutive seasons. The rushing crown is much more likely to go to the same player; in fact, ten rushing champions since 1973 also led the league in rushing yards in the prior season.

Maurice Jones-Drew led the league in rushing in 2011, but isn’t going to repeat in 2012. Who was the last player to win the rushing crown in consecutive years?

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, October 20th

Megatron.

Calvin Johnson led the league in receiving last season with 1,681 yards. Johnson is fourth in receiving yards this season behind A.J. Green, Wes Welker, and Reggie Wayne, but Johnson is 2nd in yards per game as the Lions have had their bye week while the Bengals and Patriots have not.

If Johnson can lead the league in receiving yards again, he’d become just the third person since the merger to accomplish that feat. Which brings us to today’s trivia question.

Who was the last player to lead the league in receiving yards in consecutive seasons?

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, September 15th

Emmitt Smith was a product of the system, except when the system failed without him.

Three teams have started 0-2 and won the Super Bowl. In 1993, the Dallas Cowboys started 0-2 in part because Emmitt Smith was holding out for a new contract. In 2001, the New England Patriots — with Drew Bledsoe as starting quarterback — began the year 0-2, before Tom Brady got his first professional start in week three. In 2007, the Gianst allowed 80 points in the first two weeks of the regular season, months before shutting down the highest scoring offense in NFL history in Super Bowl XLII.

There have been 68 teams to win a championship since 1950, including the six AFL champions in the pre-Super Bowl era. 41 of those teams started the season 2-0, and the group as a whole had a 0.790 winning percentage after two weeks. That shouldn’t be too surprising, as the best teams are likely to win most weeks. The last six Super Bowl champions not named the Giants have started the year 2-0.

But which Super Bowl champ had the greatest points differential after two weeks? One team started the year with wins of 34-3 and 39-13 (and won 42-10 in week three).

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Note: Tomorrow, in lieu of Sunday trivia, I’ll present the first edition of the SRS for college football teams.

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