Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Oct 2007

Seven Straight 17 (and 14 and 10)

With their 49-28 win today over Miami, the Pats have now won their first seven games by 17 points or more. Has any team in NFL history ever had a streak like this?

As far as I know, the answer is no. We have a database with the score of each game going back to 1983. No team in that database has seven straight wins of 17+ points. I went back and looked at some of the best NFL teams in history prior to 1983. None of those teams had seven straight wins of 17+ points.

Only four teams since 1983 had won even FIVE games in a row by 17+ points. Surprisingly, two of the four streaks include the postseason.

The 1986 Giants, for example, had five straight wins by 17+ points that ended up with a Super Bowl title.

Week 15: 27-7 over Arizona
Week 16: 55-24 over Green Bay
Playoffs Round 2: 49-3 over San Francisco
NFC Championship: 17-0 over Washington
Super Bowl: 39-20 over Denver

The 1996 Packers are another team that took their winning streak into the playoffs.

Week 15: 41-6 over Denver
Week 16: 31-3 over Detroit
Week 17: 38-10 over Minnesota
Playoffs Round 2: 35-14 over San Francisco
NFC Championship: 30-13 over Carolina

The 1999 Rams are the one team with six straight, and those wins also started the season.

Week 1: 27-10 over Baltimore
Week 3: 35-7 over Atlanta
Week 4: 38-10 over Cincinnati
Week 5: 42-20 over San Francisco
Week 6: 41-13 over Atlanta
Week 7: 34-3 over Cleveland

Finally, the 2005 Colts. This is the streak that famously "broke" the DVOA ratings because the Colts had such an easy schedule before their bye week.

Week 4: 31-10 over Tennessee
Week 5: 28-3 over San Francisco
Week 6: 45-28 over St. Louis
Week 7: 38-20 over Houston
Week 9: 40-21 over New England

ADDED 8:00pm EDT: Someone in the comments expressed the idea that "17" is an arbitrary number chosen to make the current Patriots look good. I suppose it is, so I went back and did this again, looking for teams winning by 14 or more points instead of 17.

The Patriots are the only team since 1983 to win seven straight games by 14+ points. The 2005 Colts, 1999 Rams, and 1996 Packers all have streaks of six wins by 14+ points.

Looking for teams with streaks of five wins by 14+ points, we add on the 1993 49ers (Weeks 8-13, and Week 14 they won by 13 points), the 1984 Dolphins (Weeks 6-10), and the 1984 Redskins (Weeks 3-7).

There are two teams since 1983 with EIGHT straight wins of 10+ points, the 1998 Vikings (Week 11-17, plus the second round of the playoffs) and the 1996 Packers (Week 13 through the Super Bowl). The Patriots are one of five teams with seven straight wins of 10+ points, along with those two, the 1999 Rams, and the 1997 Packers. Amazingly, no team from 1983-1995 had seven straight wins of 10+ points.

ADDED 11:30pm EDT: Chris "Mr. Data Parsing" Povirk did some scraping off NFL.com and I now have the scores prior to 1983. I can now look at all teams from 1970-1982.

No team from 1970-1982 has a seven-game streak of wins of 10 points or more, which of course also means no team from 1970-1982 has a seven-game streak of wins of 14 or 17. Add it to the previous data, and it means that no team from 1970-1995 managed seven straight wins of 10+ points, but five teams have done it since 1996.

No team from 1970-1982 has a six-game streak of wins of 17 or more. Only one team has a six-game streak of wins of 14 or more, the 1976 Baltimore Colts (Weeks 4-9).

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 21 Oct 2007

49 comments, Last at 24 Oct 2007, 4:06am by Alex

Comments

1
by hooper (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 5:35pm

Wow. That was a fast post.

2
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 6:06pm

This seems like a pretty meaningless statistic when you think about it. I mean, the only reason the Pats have won 7 games by 17+ is because of the last-second garbage time TD against Dallas and the fumble recovery for a TD in the final seconds of the Cleveland game. Would the Pats be any less impressive if they hadn't gotten those last-second garbage time TDs? And what's so special about 17+ points? Note: I'm not trying to knock Aaron for posting, I just don't see what makes this meaningful.

3
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 6:09pm

I'd have to imagine that since they already had six straight, and were favored by 17 in this one, this post was already researched and ready to go. It's mighty interesting research, at any rate.

So how does New England's schedule thus far compare to Indy's 2005 schedule? They've played some pretty awful teams this year, although with probably more quality wins than Indy had at this point in 05.

4
by Bill Barnwell :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 6:19pm

Actually, it came up during Audibles.

5
by RickD (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 6:28pm

re: 2
"The only reason is..." and then you cite ways that the streak might have been stopped, but weren't. The current streak of the Pats is not unique in terms of being susceptible to luck. By that I mean that, whatever streak you are looking at, you can always say "well, if thing X had happened, then the streak would have stopped". The reason streaks are interesting because the fact that so many things 'X' didn't happen implies that the odds of each of them happening must have been fairly low.

Or, to put it another way, yes, luck was a factor. But luck is always a factor, and no other team has been in the position to both take advantage of good luck and to avoid bad luck.

And a final point: the Pats have toyed with half the teams on their schedule. "The only reason" the Browns or Dolphins or Jets were as close as they were was because the Pats stopped playing at their top level. Based on today's first half, I think it's reasonable to say that, had the Pats wanted to win by 50, they could have.

6
by johnt (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 6:48pm

5: No, it's a perfectly legitimate point. Take the Steelers under Bill Cowher, for example. If they were up late, they were not throwing deep bombs, they were running the ball every single down. The Pats have been much more aggressive with large leads (if you want to put it that way) than many other teams which makes the relevance of this statistic as an indicator of team quality questionable.

7
by Mike B (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 7:38pm

If only someone could show that blowing out bad teams means more that grinding out wins against good teams in terms of post-season success. Until then I'll just have worry about the upcoming trap games and establishing a running game early.

8
by RickD (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 7:45pm

re: 5
"It's a perfectly legitimate point".

"It" being?

"Take the Steelers under Bill Cowher".

Or take the Colts under Peyton Manning. Or the Rams during their glory years.

Picking an extreme example and characterizing it as typical does not a serious argument make.

For most of the games in this streak, the Pats have not only won by 17, but have been up by at least two TDs for most of the game. Dallas is the only team that has really tested them thus far.

If it were so easy to rattle off 17-point victories for several games in a row, teams would be doing it all the time. The idea that other teams in the past could have done the same, but simply held back from doing so, is without historical merit.

The streak is what it is. It does not mean the Pats are better than, say, the '93 Cowboys. But calling it 'a meaningless statistic' is absurd.

9
by mikeabbott (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 7:46pm

Thank You Mike B. It's nice to see someone posting common sense.

10
by RickD (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 7:55pm

FWIW, part of why the 2005 Steelers didn't win 7 games in a row by 17+ points was, well, they didn't win 7 games in a row, at least not in the regular season. If you include the postseason, you have to include the 3-point victory over the Colts. The Steelers' failure to beat the Colts by 17 or more was not because Cowher held back.

Simply winning 7 games in a row is a noteworthy accomplishment. When a team wins them all by 17 points, you have to concede the point that they were much better than any of the teams they faced.

11
by RickD (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 8:00pm

re: 7
The Chargers and Cowboys are bad teams?

Part of the reason this kind of streak is unprecedented is because the likelihood of facing 7 "bad teams" in a row in the NFL is fairly low. It is true that the Pats have been helped by the weakness of the AFC East. Still, the AFC South has had some stinker years in recent years, and the Colts haven't had a streak like this. Back in the day, the 49ers used to have a cakewalk division year after year and they have never had a streak like this, even given their offensive dominance.

I don't think the streak means the Pats are teh best team evah, but it certainly is noteworthy. Far from "meaningless".

12
by Mike B (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 8:27pm

Re: 11
Alright, alright. If only someone could show that blowing out bad teams AND getting big wins over good teams mean more than...

13
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 8:39pm

RickD-
I think you're missing my point. This streak to me seems a lot like the statistics that always seem to get hyped on TV that everyone here regularly mocks (i.e. team _____ is the first in NFL history to win 4 games on the road by 14 points while playing in the snow!). I don't see where the Pats winning 7 games by 17+ points makes them seem any more special or dominant than they already look from watching the games. 17+ points for 7 games is a totally arbitrary number used solely to make the Pats seem unique or special this year. Otherwise, why not look at teams that won 7 games by 14+ points or more? Or teams that won 5 games by 21+ points? Or teams that won 10 games by 10+ points? Etc. Nobody had even heard of this record until the Pats set it, which should be a clue that it isn't all that valuable. I mean, can you name a team that had 5 straight victories of 20+ points? Of course you can't, because it isn't a statistic that has a whole lot of meaning.

As I asked before, would the Pats be any less dominant had they not scored those 2 garbage time TDs? Of course not! The Pats would've missed this streak by taking a knee at the end of the Dallas game, but taking a knee wouldn't have made one iota of difference in terms of how great this Pats team is. 17+ point victories in this instance are arbitrary because most teams don't play to win by 17+. Your mentioning of the fact that the Pats could've chosen to score more and win by more in many of these games only proves my point. Does the fact that the Pats didn't play Brady all of today's game (and hence they didn't win by more) make them a less dominant/less impressive team? Of course not! A team is just as dominant whether or not they score points in garbage time or choose to leave their starters in during a blowout. Yes, the Pats streak is rare, but it doesn't tell us anything that we didn't already know about this Pats team.

14
by Purds (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 8:45pm

re: Stomps vs. Guts

I reread the original article, but it seems to have a big hole in the research. Either that, or I have a big hole in my understanding.

I see that the SB teams have more stomps than guts, as do most of the AFC/NFC participants. Okay. But, don't most winning teams ahve more stomps than guts, including those who do NOT make the championship games? In other words, how many teams have more stomps than guts and do NOT excel deep in the playoffs? I guess my question is this: how is saying "more stomps than guts in predictive" any more enlighting than saying "having more wins than losses is predictive"?

(I say this as a Colts fan who watched Indy rack up the stomps year after year, but only win the SB when they had a year full of guts, not stomps)

15
by Purds (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 8:51pm

re: #13 jtp:

I completely agree with your point. The streak's stats are meaningless. The dominance with which NE is playing is meaningful. If NE had kept the backup QB through the end of today's game, and Miami had closed it to 14 points, I would think nothing different about NE's dominating performance.

Those streaks are for TV folks to have something to say, beyond the obvious that they've repeated over and over: This Pats team is exceptional. They're trying to quantify that excellence, and they can't, as teams play to win, not win by 17+. Many non-Bellichick head coaches would have sat their most valuable player (Brady) today, for example, and perhaps won by less. So what?

16
by hooper (not verified) :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 9:05pm

Re: 4

If the comment was in reference to my comment in #1, I apologize. I did not mean to sound snarky, and I did not mean to make a sideways reference to Aaron's team loyalty.

I'm now interested in reading the Audibles now, though.

17
by admin :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 9:12pm

Updated above.

18
by Ben Riley :: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 11:29pm

#16

Hopefully you are always interested in reading audibles, hooper, but you may not see this dialogue because Aaron has now XP'ed about it. The way this developed is that Michael David Smith asked about when the last time the Giants won four games by 10 points or more (answer: last year), followed by me wondering when the last team was that won six straight by 20 or more, thinking the Pats were on such a streak. I had forgotten about the Browns win being a mere 19 points.

19
by hooper (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 1:31am

Re: 18

I gotta learn to get my point across better in text. I do read the audibles, particularly for the games I couldn't see. Sometimes a good observational viewpoint is nice to have, even for a numbers guy.

The double use of "now" in #16 doesn't help my cause, either. Sheesh.

20
by AndyE (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 1:48am

#15 Purds:
It isn't clear if you mean most coaches wouldn't have played their starting quarterback, or most coaches would have benched the starter in the second half. It's worth noting that Brady was benched for Cassel, who threw a pick-6, closing the lead to 21 (42-21), which brought Brady back out to widen it and burn off clock time, after which Gutierrez was brought out.

And if you think that a 21 point lead is too much of a buffer, you should go read Belichick's post-game interview.

21
by Travis (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 2:46am

Some pre-merger research:

The only 1950-1969 team to win 9 consecutive games by 10 or more points were the 1961 Houston Oilers, actually an AFL team. Remarkably, the streak came after the Oilers fired their head coach, Lou Rymkus, after a 1-3-1 start; new coach Wally Lemm, working with only two assistants (one quit, one fired) would lead the Oilers to 9 straight regular season wins, plus one in the AFL championship game. (Lemm would later quit the Oiler job in an offseason contract dispute; he never won another playoff game.)

The only to win 8 straight by 10+ was the
1952 Los Angeles Rams, who won their final 8, but lost in the divisional tiebreaker game.

Teams to win 7 straight by 10+:
1968 Cleveland Browns (Weeks 6-12)
1968 Baltimore Colts (Weeks 7-13).
1969 Minnesota Vikings (Weeks 2-8).

Teams to win 6 straight by 10+:

1953 Eagles (Weeks 4-9, all by 16+).

1955 Chicago Bears (Weeks 4-9).

1956 Chicago Bears (Weeks 2-7).

1961 Green Bay Packers (Weeks 2-7, all by 18+).

1963 Cleveland Browns (Weeks 1-6).

1967 Los Angeles Rams (Weeks 7-12).

1968 Dallas Cowboys (Weeks 1-6).

22
by Mike H (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 3:12am

To everyone saying that this streak doesn't mean that the Pats are dominant, and that it's arbitrary: of course that's true.

All Aaron is saying is that it's interesting, and this particular streak is historically unprecedented. That's interesting to me. It can be interesting without being statistically significant.

23
by Michael (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 4:26am

The 1949 Philadelphia Eagles won seven straight by 17 or more, starting in Week 5 and ending in Week 11. (I'd post the scores, but they won't align.)

http://www.jt-sw.com/football/pro/results.nsf/Teams/1949-phi

The 1942 Chicago Bears also had an 11-0 regular season in which they beat every opponent by at least 14 points...and then lost in the championship game.

http://www.jt-sw.com/football/pro/results.nsf/Teams/1942-chi

24
by Bobman (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 4:38am

I liked Bellichick's post-game comments. Classic BB. The problem was, he's comparing the 2007 Miami offense to Indy (I wasn't all that sure if he meant last year's SB champ's 2nd half comeback over NE or the big rally over TB in the final 4 minutes a handful of years ago). Either way, he's comparing the fins to a team at the peak of its offensive powers with 3 potential HOFers on the offense. While what he said is historically true, the probablity of the 2007 Dolphins doing it is... what, 10,000 to one? More? Less? Against his vaunted D?

Puh-leeze. It's considered shabby to say "we're going for all the records there are while we can," but they are and it's, well, a little tacky, but life is short and these kinds of things don't come around too often (as in never before), so you might as well dive in while you can.

Face it, we'd all like to have these problems. Going 16-0 is cool, 19-0 cooler. Doing it with 60 TD passes, 88 team TDs, 5,500 yds passing, an average pt differential of 21, etc, is even cooler. The only thing they're missing is 150 rushing yards a game and 4 defensive sacks or INTs a game. I guess there's always next year to work on those.

If I was a Pats fan I'd be a little embarassed by this, but pretty damn gleeful, hopeful, awed, etc. Enjoy it, folks. Please try not to rationalize youself into a hole and don't crow too loudly. Or, as a Colt fan, should I advise excessive crowing, fit to incur the Football Gods' wrath...? I'll have to check the Oracle of Easterbrook on that one.

From what I have seen so far this year, the OL might be more MVP than Brady--they do face at least three teams that bring good pressure from here on out (IND, PIT, BAL), and one team with outstanding pressure (NYG). Of course last year Indy discovered how a hyper-pressure front four can be gutted by draws, screens, and traps. We'll see.

25
by dk (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 5:19am

Given some of the past actions by BB, I think it's even more likely that BB is indeed that paranoid, and we can take his statement at face value.

Have we forgotten the fact that this is the same coach that blatantly violated the league rules on video taping opposition signals in search of a minor edge? (minor vis-a-vis other forms of defensive signal stealing that's more prevalent)

If reaching some statistical milestone or scoring margin was the goal, wouldn't BB have left Brady in longer instead of pulling him and then putting him in the game again?

/not a pats fan

26
by Purds (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 8:14am

re #20:

AndyE: Living in NE, I heard the sacred BB interview over and over on TV. He's right -- in a bizzaro world, one more turnover (and score, he forgot to mention that part) would have cut the lead to 21, and then the sky would have fallen because the Fins offense is other worldly.

Sarcasm aside, what I meant to say was that in looking at a streak, it's meaningly to look at margin of victory, because I would argue that many coaches would have left the backup in there to learn, knowing full well that the team would not lose that game.

I don't care if BB should have left the back up in -- but if you're trying to compare apples to apples, like in a streak, it's tough to do that when one coach is not an apple when it comes to paranoia about the score.

27
by Vern (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 9:04am

There were 3 games THIS WEEK where a team put up 21 or more points in the 4th quarter.

Running up the score only applies when there is a mathematical certainty or victory (due to time left and score), not to situations where it would be "very unlikely."

P.S. one of the teams who put up 21 points in the 4th quarter this week was - you guessed it, the lowly Dolphins. Another was the Texans, who put up 29.

A coach would be an idiot to trust a 21 point lead these days, no matter who the opponent was. You can thank the competition committee for that. The NFL is practically arena league these days.

28
by Vern (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 9:14am

In fact, in half the weeks this year, at least one team has put up 21+ points in the 4th quarter. In the other three weeks you had an 18, 19, and 20 point 4th quarter.

It's looking like one out of every 16 games or so has a 21 point 4th quarter.

Risking a 6% chance of a loss just to be "nice" is just stupid. Four touchdowns is the only point at which to even consider the lead safe.

Didn't TMQ set the number for safe leads some years back? Wasn't it 32 points based on that playoff comeback against the Bills?

29
by B (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 9:47am

I think we're missing the most interesting part: "it means that no team from 1970-1995 managed seven straight wins of 10+ points, but five teams have done it since 1996." So much for parity. It looks like one of the by-products of free agency & the salary cap is it allows good teams to bring in a few key free agents and become great teams. Then at the same time bad teams can trade their few remaining good players for future draft picks, and you end up with a larger gap between the top and the bottom.

30
by AndyE (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 10:55am

#26 Purds -
Just to be pedantic, another pick-6 leaves the lead at 14, not 21. And we've never ever seen teams make up that mush territory in the 4th quarter.

I expect the Patriots to win. If they want to win by a fourty point margin to ensure that they can't be upset, then great.

31
by sippican (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 11:13am

I was just checking in to make sure the team of footballers down the street here won their contest in exactly the right way, by an excruciatingly exact margin determined by an elaborate and mindnumbingly list of weird and meaningless touchstones considered manly and appropriate by persons whose lips move when they read Ron Borges columns, and that they, their fans, cheerleaders and pundits, and any local woodland creatures all behaved with a Kabuki-like rigidity at all times while doing so and being interviewed after, so as not to upset people who cheer for other people they do not know wearing other color laundry because they live in another zipcode.

I will also now entertain further direction on exactly how I and anyone else who watched the game should comport ourselves in internet forums, and wait to see if you all think the Pats stink because they only win the Super Bowl by three points, over and over, or they stink because they score too many points against all their opponents, who are suck teams when the Pats beat them but are juggernaut runaway freight trains when your club plays them.

Signed:
Anxious in New England

32
by Thinker (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 12:06pm

#31 - Sipican: OUTstanding! That is the best posting by a non-professional writer (at least not attributed) ever.

There is nothing else to add.

33
by mactbone (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 12:39pm

Re 30:
I knew someone was going to go this route.

"You know, if the other team recovered 8 fumbles and ran them back for scores... we'd be losing! Then you'd all think I was dumb."

Re 31:
It's hilarious because that's exactly what Pats fans did to Peyton Manning and the Colts. This whole year is like one giant hypocrisy train rolling through New England. You stay classy!

34
by M (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 1:59pm

One thing I haven't heard mentioned is that "running up the score" is strategy, not paranoia or vindictiveness. The strongest part of this Patriots team is their passing offense. While their defense is pretty strong, last year Peyton Manning showed that it is possible to come back on them. Combine that with a rushing attack that doesn't seem to have a grind-it-out mentality or ability, and you have a strategy of putting games out of reach by passing, until the game is completely out of reach.

35
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 2:25pm

"The Pats have been much more aggressive with large leads (if you want to put it that way) than many other teams which makes the relevance of this statistic as an indicator of team quality questionable."

No, they really haven't. They're throwing the ball, yes, but they're not scoring nearly as many points in the 2nd half as they are in the first. They're blowing teams out and then just sitting on the ball.

If you want to see a team being more aggressive in the second half, watch dallas.

36
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 2:33pm

re:29

"I think we’re missing the most interesting part: “it means that no team from 1970-1995 managed seven straight wins of 10+ points, but five teams have done it since 1996.� So much for parity. It looks like one of the by-products of free agency & the salary cap is it allows good teams to bring in a few key free agents and become great teams."

Either that, or point differentials are being larger. I'd think this is more a factor of the competition comittee making it easier to score.

20 years ago, a 10 point lead might be safe, now a 21 point lead isn't. That would make teams more likely to expand their leads.

37
by coldbikemessenger (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 3:07pm

Rich, what do you mean a 21 point lead isn't safe?
You are kidding right?
How many teams have actually pulled this off for the win?
I am guessing not 20 ever.

38
by Thinker (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 4:45pm

Stop that incessant ridiculous whining!

Should your contractor use shorter screws on your kitchen so that the other builders won't feel bad? Do you want your painter to use the cheap stuff on the porch because that paint on the trim is just too good? Perhaps the US should have switched sides once the Russians joined WWII - just to keep it even.

Really, you are embarassing yourselves.

Have you noticed that this is the NFL? That the men who work at it are professionals? That they there are hoardes who want their jobs? That they wouldn't have been drafted or paid so handsomely if they had not been completely dominant over the players (even teammates)? Professional sports are a competition, not a retreat weekend. Unlike us, they don't play for fun. They play when they are hurt, when they feel like crap, when the whether forecast isn't nice, and a thousand other reasons we might want to quit. Further, statistically they know that the end of their career may arrive before the end of this game/practice?

Do you think that Tenn thought that Houston would come back YESTERDAY? Do you think that the Patriots thought that Indy would come back in the AFC title game?

Folks I hate to break it to you but we all compete and winning is what capitalism is built upon. I am sorry that you have chosen to cheer against the Patriots, but that was (and remains) your choice.

If it were your multi-million dollars in question, you would want BB leading the team that secures the deal - leaving no stone unturned to get that job done all the way to completion, not until it seems "pretty likely" that the cash will come.

39
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 5:09pm

37.

"Rich, what do you mean a 21 point lead isn’t safe?
You are kidding right?
How many teams have actually pulled this off for the win?
I am guessing not 20 ever"

Well.

Houston was down 32-7 and had the lead with less than a minute left in the game.

Given that it happened this weekend, and that 2 other losing teams this weekend put up 21+ in the 4th quarter, and that we're having a team put up 21+ in the fourth quarter almost every week this year (and detroit dropped 34 on chicago a couple weeks ago) makes me think its MUCH more of a threat than you think.

40
by Tony C (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 5:32pm

23. 1942, Wow, Sid Luckman and the 11-0 Bears vs. Sammy Baugh and the 10-1 Redskins. Wartime's version of Manning vs. Brady.

Imagine the hype (if the NFL had been big back then, and there had been internet, cable, sportstalk radio, etc.).

41
by coldbikemessenger (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 6:48pm

re 39
I said for the win.
So is that a long winded way of saying zero?
Thanks, I thought so too.

42
by JPaulo (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 6:48pm

For any team that gets completely obliterated by New England (or Indy or whomever) and feels the need to vent about how classless they are for running up the score, I can only offer this piece of advice: Don't let them run up the score! This is professional football, not Pop Warner. NFL players don't need to exercise restraint with respect to scoring points. Just like they shouldn't exercise restraint in preventing teams from scoring on them. (When was the last time a team said, "Hey, our opponents haven't scored in this game yet. What say we let them run one in just to boost their morale.") No self-respecting pro football player should apologize for humiliating the opposition on the scoreboard. As a Titans fan, I'd love to see Vince Young and company dominate opponents by three or more touchdowns every game, but they just don't have the ammo. The Patriots do, and I applaud them for using it.

43
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 8:56pm

#36: The NFL is not trending towards higher scoring games. It is, in fact, trending towards lower scoring games, with occasional upward "pushes" from rules changes which keeps the total score per game at about ~41.5-42 or so.

Obviously there was a huge upward shove in the 70s/80s to the modern average, though.

The parity argument is actually backwards: you could easily expect long-term parity to produce more short-term disparity if teams can 'recover' faster than they 'decline'.

44
by DGL (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2007 - 12:04pm

#38:
"Perhaps the US should have switched sides once the Russians joined WWII - just to keep it even."

Um, the Russians "joined" WWII on September 17, 1939, with their invasion of Poland. Although they "switched sides" on June 22, 1941 when Germany invaded. Either way you look at it, the Russians "joined" WWII well before the US did.

(Caution: Approaching territory of Godwin's Law. Use extreme care.)

45
by Had to do it! (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2007 - 12:30pm

Do you see any corelation between winning by 17 points and cheating?

46
by the K (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2007 - 12:39pm

If this was mentioned already, I apologize, but I don't think 17 is really an "arbitrary" number. Especially in the modern, 2 point conversion NFL, it's exactly 3 scores. 16 can still be two scores.

47
by Thinker (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2007 - 1:18pm

Re #44.

Thanks for correcting me. I should have said something about, "... joining the efforts to overcome the Nazi regime."

I stand corrected. And yes, that particular portion of the argument may have been a bit extreme even though clearly hyperbole was intended.

The point of the post does not change, however.

48
by Carl H. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2007 - 3:02pm

Very interesting streak, and very impressive, no matter who the opponents have been.

Some teams have close to this accomplishment, putting together win-streaks that were mostly blowouts, but they don't match the Patriots' acheivement:

1976 Steelers: won 10 in a row, including one playoff game, all by 17+ except for one 16-point win, one 11-point win, and a 4-point win.

1976 Raiders, including three playoff games, won 8 straight games by 17 points or more except for one 3-point win, one 11-point win, and one 15-point win.

1962 Packers had nine straight wins, seven of which were by 17 or more.

I'm not making a point; just looked it up and thought it was interesting.

49
by Alex (not verified) :: Wed, 10/24/2007 - 4:06am

re 39
I said for the win.
So is that a long winded way of saying zero?
Thanks, I thought so too.

Zero?! There have been three 21+ point comebacks in the last two years! Two of them happened last year:

Chargers won 49-41 at Bengals, Titans won 24-21 vs. Giants.

The third happened in 2005. Can you guess which team did it?

Dolphins won 24-23 vs. Bills.

And these are just the most recent examples.