STATS MAN: Houston's Blowout Loss Not a Deal-Breaker

By Timothy Crouse
December 12, 2012 1:40 pm
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In the wake of Monday’s blowout loss to New England, Houston fans can take heart in the fact that eventual Super Bowl victors getting routed in the regular season is not unheard of.

In fact, 14 of the past 24 champs lost a game by at least 17 points, including the 2011 New York Giants, who were routed 49-24 by New Orleans in Week 12.  Multiple teams suffered more than one of these bad losses on their way to winning a championship.

Despite a league-best 11-2 record, Houston has suffered a pair of bad losses this year; the Texans were blasted 42-24 (18-point loss) by Green Bay in Week 6, and then blitzed 42-14 (-28) by the Patriots on MNF.

Biggest single-game margin of defeat by eventual SB champ

*Since start of 1988 season

     32 – 1994 San Francisco L to Philadelphia, 40-8, in Week 5

     31 – 2003 New England L to Buffalo, 31-0, in Week 1

     27 – 2006 Indianapolis L to Jacksonville, 44-17, in Week 14

     25 – 2011 New York Giants L to New Orleans, 49-24, in Week 12

     24 – 1992 Dallas L to Philadelphia, 31-7, in Week 5

     24 – 2007 New York Giants L to Minnesota, 41-17, in Week 12

Interesting to note that three of these bad losses came relatively late in the season; Indianapolis was blitzed by Jacksonville in 2006, three weeks before the end of the regular season – but turned around and allowed just 65 total points in four playoff wins.

The 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers lost to Tennessee 31-14 in Week 16, rebounded to win by 31 points in Week 17, en route to a title.

Most double-digit losses in season by eventual SB champ

*Since start of 1988 season

  • 5 – 2007 New York Giants
    • Including 24- & 22-point L
  • 4 – 2011 New York Giants
  • 2 – 2002 Tampa Bay
    • A pair of 10-point L
  • 2 – 2001 New England
  • 2 – 1997 Denver
  • 2 – 1993 Dallas
  • 2 – 1988 San Francisco

Houston has the pair of double-digit losses so far in 2012, as does San Francisco.  Baltimore lost by 30 to Houston (43-13 in Week 7) and Green Bay lost by 28 to the Giants (38-10 in Week 12).

Amazingly, New England’s 3 losses have been by a total of 4 points: a pair of 1-point defeats and a 2-point L.  Atlanta’s 2 losses are by a combined 14 points and Denver (10-3) has lost its games by a total of 22 points.

Lowest combined point total of losses by eventual SB champ

*Since start of 1988 season

      5 points – 1991 Washington (2 L) & 1989 San Francisco (2L)

     14 points – 1999 St. Louis (3 L) & 1998 Denver (2 L)

     15 points – 2004 New England

     23 points – 2009 New Orleans (3 L)

Of course, the 2007 New England Patriots won all 16 games in the regular season, before losing in the Super Bowl.  And the 2010 Green Bay Packers lost 6 times, all by 4 points or less – never trailing during the entire season by more than 7 points – en route to a SB win.


  • Avoiding skids

Coming into the season, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Atlanta were the three teams with the longest active streaks of not losing consecutive games.  Atlanta stands alone now, as both Pittsburgh and Baltimore have suffered through losing streaks this season of at least 2 games; the Ravens take a 2-game skid into their Week 15 game against Denver (10-3).

Baltimore stretched its Avoiding-Consecutive-Losses (A-C-L) streak to 53 games before losing to Pittsburgh and Washington the past two weeks.  Pittsburgh played 43 straight games before consecutive losses in Weeks 11 & 12 (without QB Ben Roethlisberger).

The top active A-C-L leaders now reside in the NFC:

  • Atlanta – 48 straight games (lost last week)
  • Green Bay – 31 straight games (currently on a 2-game win streak)
  • San Francisco – 30 straight games (currently on a 1-game win streak)

New Orleans took a 32-game A-C-L streak into this season, before opening with 4 losses in a row.

  • Standing tall

There is no doubt which rookie QB is having the best season on the field.

It’s Washington’s RG3 by a wide margin.

Even though No. 1 pick Andrew Luck’s team – Indianapolis – has won more games and is better-positioned to make the playoffs than Washington, Griffin’s overall body of work is superior to Luck’s.

Russell Wilson, Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill are the other rookie signal-callers to start every game for their respective teams this season.  Wilson’s Seattle team is in position to make a push for the playoffs, and Wilson has the second-best TD:INT ratio (20:9) among these rookie QBs.

Robert Griffin III

2,906 passing + 748 rushing yards = 3,654 yards

18 pass TD, 6 rush TD / 4 INTs

66.4% completion, 8.3 Y/A (best in NFL)

104.2 rating (best in NFL)

28 sacks, 11 fumbles / 2 lost

Andrew Luck

3,792 passing + 223 rushing yards = 4,015 yards

18 p, 5 rush TD / 18 INTs (most in NFL)

54.9% completion, 7.1 Y/A

74.5 rating

32 sacks, 10 fumbles / 5 lost

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