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Nuggetpalooza: Patriots vs Redskins!

12.10.11 at 9:08 am ET
By

Week 14 sends the 9-3 Patriots to our nation’s capital to face the once proud Redskins, who have fallen on hard times. Get ready for the game with lots of numbers that I doubt you’ll see elsewhere. But if you’re a ‘Skins fan, it’s not particularly pretty:

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* – Last Sunday against the 0-11 Colts was the first time that the Patriots have played a winless team with 10 or more losses since a 38-10 win over Buffalo (0-10) back in 1984. But since 1970, it was their fourth game against an opponent that was 0-10 or worse at the time, the most in the NFL in that span.

Get a load of this: Since 1970, the Chiefs have played a winless team with 10 or more losses three times… and lost all three games! In 1975, the Chargers were 0-11 but downed the Chiefs, 28-20. In 1984, an 0-10 Oilers squad nipped Kansas City, 17-16, in Houston. And in 2000, San Diego came into Arrowhead at 0-11 and got off the schneid, also by a 17-16 score.

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* – Highest fourth quarter completion percentage allowed in a single game since 1991 (min. 18 fourth quarter attempts):

90.0% – Patriots vs Colts, 12/4/11, 18-of-20
87.0% – Patriots vs Steelers, 11/14/10, 20-of-23
85.0% – Lions vs Broncos, 11/4/07, 17-of-20
85.0% – Chargers vs Chiefs, 10/30/05, 17-of-20

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* – Washington has lost 10 of their last 12 home games. The only other times that they’ve won as few as two times in a 12 home game stretch was 1993-1994 (won one of 12) and 1962-1964 (won one of 12).

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* – Since 1970, the Patriots have gone on the road 24 times to play a team with a .333 winning percentage or worse after Week 12 (the Redskins are currently 4-8). From ’70 through ’00, they lost 10-of-14. Since then, they’ve won 9-of-10. In those last 10 such games since 2001, only one of their nine wins was by less than a touchdown (average margin: 17.6) and their lone loss was by one point (29-28 to a 2-11 Dolphins squad in 2004).

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* – The Redskins have scored 19 or more points in their last three games. They haven’t put up 19+ points in four consecutive games since Weeks 2-5 of the 2008 season, 52 games ago. By contrast, the Patriots have scored 19 or more points in 43 of their last 52 games.

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* – Averaging just four rushing first downs per game, the Redskins are last in the league. It continues a disturbing three-year progression in rushing first downs per game: 30th in 2009, 31st in 2010, and 32nd in 2011.

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* – Washington is 27th in scoring this season. Beginning with the 2000 season, the Redskins have finished in the top 20 in scoring just once and have put up an average ranking of 24. That quite a drop from their previous 17 seasons, where they finished ouside the top 20 just twice. They’re average rushing yards per game (87.5) is second worst in the league. They haven’t finished in the league’s bottom two in rushing yards since 1973. What’s more, Grossman and Co. have a combined NFL passer rating of 70.5, second worst in the league (Jacksonville, 60.4). They’ve finished in the bottom two in passer rating just twice before since 1960: In 1961 they were second worst, and in 1993 they were last. They’ve thrown seven more interceptions than touchdowns this season. The only other time since 1963 that they’ve had a -7 or worse was 1993 (-10).

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* – NFL quarterbacks with the highest percentage of attempts deflected/batted at the line of scrimmage (min. 200 attempts):

4.4% – Kevin Kolb, Cardinals
3.8% – Rex Grossman, Redskins
3.8% – Matt Schaub, Texans

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* – Every team in the league has at least two touchdown passes of 20 or more yards this season… except the Redskins (1). They had seven such TD passes last season and three in 2009. The Patriots have thrown 28 touchdown passes of 20+ yards during that same three-year span.

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* – Tom Brady and the Patriots lead the league with 360 net passing yards (gross pass yards minus sack yards lost) in the red zone this season. If they remain on their current pace, they would end the season with 480 red zone passing yards, which would break the NFL record (since 1991):

444 – Patriots, 2007
410 – Saints, 2008
384 – Saints, 2010

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* – The Redskins have rushed up the middle 36 times this season and only seven of those rushes (19%) managed a gain of four or more yards. Their 1.61 yards per carry average on up the middle runs would be the lowest since they started tracking the stat in 1991 (min. 20 such running plays):

1.61 – Redskins, 2011
1.69 – Bengals, 2010
1.77 – Ravens, 2011

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* – For the season, New England’s defense has allowed an average of 1.67 rushing yards after contact, the second lowest/best mark in the league:

1.56 – 49ers
1.67 – Patriots
1.69 – Seahawks
1.69 – Ravens

Over the season’s first six weeks, the Patriots’ mark was a sparking 1.45 (ranked first in that span), but since then it’s been a not quite so good 1.87 (ranked ninth).

Note this: Over 59% of Washington’s rushing yards have come after contact this season (621-of-1,043), the third highest percentage in the league:

63.6% – Browns
61.3% – Giants
59.5% – Redskins

Individually, Washington’s Ryan Torain (2.85) ranks second in average yards after contact per carry (min. 50 carries) while Roy Helu (2.55) ranks 15th. Only two other teams have two running backs ranked in the top 15 in this category: Buffalo (Fred Jackson, CJ Spiller) and Carolina (DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart).

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* – The Redskins’ offense has been flagged for the most delay of game yards (35) and intentional grounding yards (44) in the league this season.

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* – All or nothing: The Redskins (mostly Brandon Banks) have returned eight punts for 20 yards or more, tied for the most in the league with Devin Hester’s Bears. But on the 23 punt returns that Washington hasn’t gained 20+ yards, they’ve averaged only 3.5 yards per return, fourth lowest/worst in the league. The Patriots, mainly Edelman and Welker, have managed only two punt returns for 20+ yards, but have averaged 8.7 yards on their other 27 returns, good for second highest/best in the league.

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* – Washington has not led at the end of the first quarter in any of their last 13 home games. Also, the ‘Skins were outscored 21-6 in the fourth quarter last week, the 15-point negative margin was their worst fourth quarter at home since 2003 (66 home games).

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* – The Redskins have picked off a league leading seven third down passes this season, while Brady and Company haven’t thrown an interception on third down in their last 23 games, the longest streak in the NFL since at least 2003:

23 – Patriots (2010-2011)
20 – Texans (2009-2010)
18 – Packers (2008-2009)

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* – Here’s something else that the Redskins have done well: Their punter, Sav Rocca, has put 25 punts inside the 20-yard-line against only one touchback. That success rate of 96% ranks first in the league:

96% – Redskins (Sav Rocca)
95% – Browns (Brad Maynard)
91% – Buccaneers (Michael Koenen)

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* – Time to check in again on the BenJarvus Green-Ellis non-fumble tracker: The Law Firm is up to 485 career rushing attempts without a fumble, by far the most in a career without a miscue (since 1970):

485 – BenJarvus Green-Ellis
364 – Scottie Graham
227 – Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala
193 – Mike Cloud

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Enjoy the game and get those decorations up!

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