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Nuggetpalooza: Cool stat nuggets previewing Patriots-Jaguars

12.21.12 at 9:59 am ET

The Patriots hit the road this Sunday against the 2-13 Jaguars in Jacksonville. After Sunday night’s tough loss against San Francisco, the last thing the Pats need is for that loss to beat them again this week. Here are some stats that struck me:

* – Last weekend’s NFL games were decided by an average of 18.7 points, the sixth-most lopsided week since the merger in 1970:

23.5 – 1970, Week 14
20.3 – 1973, Week 13
20.3 – 2009, Week 7
18.9 – 1976, Week 13
18.7 – 2012, Week 15
18.6 – 1976, Week 14

* – Jacksonville has led at some point in each of its last five games. Since 2009, the Jaguars have only had one longer streak (seven in 2010).

Note this: The Patriots never led against the 49ers, snapping a streak of 22 consecutive games in which they held a lead at some point.

* – The 41 points allowed by the Patriots snapped a streak of 117 straight games allowing fewer than 40, which was the longest active streak in the league and their longest such streak since at least 1970:

117 – 2005-2012
106 – 1998-2005
69 – 1979-1984

Note this: The longest such streak in the NFL since 1970 is 182 games, by the 49ers from 1982-1994:

182 – 49ers, 1982-1994
156 – Eagles, 1975-1985
152 – Redskins, 1971-1981

Note this, too: The longest active streak in the league is now 104 games, by the Steelers.

One last thing: New England hasn’t allowed 40 or more points in a road game since Dec. 16, 1995 (a 41-27 loss to Pittsburgh), a streak of 136 straight games, the longest in the NFL since 1970:

136 – Patriots, 1995-2012
134 – 49ers, 1980-1997
127 – Giants, 1980-1996

* – In their history, the Jaguars are 1-11 against teams that enter the game with 10 or more wins. Only the Browns (0-13), Lions (1-17) and Raiders (1-12) have been worse in such games in that span.

Note this: Green Bay (10-4) and Dallas (9-5) have the best records against teams entering with 10+ wins in that span.

* – The Jaguars have not returned an interception for a touchdown in 73 games (week six, 2008), by far the longest active streak in the league:

73 – Jaguars
30 – Raiders
24 – Chiefs

Note this: The Patriots have returned 11 picks for touchdowns since Jacksonville has done it. The Jaguars have returned 11 interceptions for touchdowns IN THEIR HISTORY, spanning almost 18 seasons.

Note this, too: The longest such streak in the NFL is 118 games, by the Houston Oilers (1980-1987). The Jaguars hold the second longest such streak (along with Minnesota) at 90 games (2000-2005).

* – Over the first eight weeks of the season, Jacksonville had only 18 plays of 20 or more yards, tied with Seattle for the fewest in the league in that span. New England had 36 such plays over the season’s first eight weeks. Since then, the Jaguars have had 30 such plays, tied for seventh in the league. The Patriots offense has had just 24 such plays in that span.

* – If the Pats were to lose this weekend, it would give them TWO two-game losing streaks in the same season for the first time since 2002.

* – Jacksonville has gained at least one first down via penalty in 15 straight games, the longest such streak in franchise history.

* – Since 2000, the Patriots have gone for it on fourth down from inside their own 20-yard-line only five times and they haven’t converted on any of them. The only teams with bigger “o-fers” in that span are Cleveland (0-for-6) and Kansas City (0-for-6).

* – Jacksonville’s defense has been called for 15 personal fouls this season. Only Baltimore, with 17, has more. Six of the Jags’ P.F.’s were for roughing the passer (tied with Denver for the most in the league). So buckle up.

* – Patriots receivers have dropped 9.2 percent of “catchable” passes this season. Only four teams have dropped a higher percentage of catchable passes, and one of them is Jacksonville, whose receivers have dropped a league high 11.6 percent of catchable balls.

* – Jacksonville has been outrushed by an average of 66 yards per game this season, the worst net rushing mark in the NFL.

Note this: Jacksonville had ranked in the top half of the league in net rushing in each of the past 15 seasons, snapping the fourth-longest such streak since the merger (Steelers’ 19 seasons ended 1988; 49ers’ 17 seasons ended 1999; Bears’ 16 seasons ended 1991).

* – The Jaguars are averaging just 2.68 yards per carry on runs to the right side this season, the lowest in the league by over half a yard. It’s also on track to be the fourth-lowest/worst mark since they began tracking the stat in 1995:

2.54 – Buccaneers, 2005
2.58 – Dolphins, 1997
2.65 – Steelers, 2003
2.68 – Jaguars, 2012
2.72 – Jaguars, 2005

* – One positive in the Jaguars rushing game is their 73.3 percent conversion rate (33-of-45) on second, third or fourth down when one or two yards are needed for the first down. That’s the third-best mark in the league, trailing only the Bengals (76.7 percent) and Colts (76.6 percent). The Patriots (70.5 percent) are also one of the 10 teams that have been successful over 70 percent of the time this season.

Note this: From 2000-2011, the Jaguars never reached a 70 percent success rate in any season. The fact that 2012 has been their most successful season is even more of a surprise considering that their star running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, has been injured for the majority of the year.

Note this, too: From 2000-2012, the Patriots have been successful on 72.1 percent of such rushes (605-of-839), the highest percentage in the league in that span:

72.1 percent – Patriots
71.4 percent – Chargers
71.3 percent – Ravens

* – The Patriots have allowed a league high 28 completions on passes thrown 21 or more yards downfield this season. Since 1995, only six teams have allowed more such completions over a full season:

33 – Chiefs, 2004
31 – Bengals, 1996
30 – Saints, 2004
30 – Lions, 2002
29 – Jaguars, 2008
29 – Panthers, 1998

* – Jacksonville and Oakland are the only teams that have not scored a touchdown on their first possession of a game this season. The last team to go a full season without a first possession touchdown was San Francisco in 2009.

* – The Jaguars have sacked opposing quarterbacks on just 3.0 percent of passing plays, the lowest percentage in the league and on pace to be the fourth lowest percentage since 1970:

1.9 percent – Chiefs, 2008
2.6 percent – Colts, 1981
2.7 percent – Jaguars, 2009
3.0 percent – Jaguars, 2012
3.2 percent – Jaguars, 2005

* – Jacksonville has managed only two victories this season despite a respectable +1 turnover margin. On pace to tie for the best turnover margin for a team with two or fewer wins in (at least) the last 23 seasons:

+5 – Chiefs, 2008 (2 wins)
+1 – Jaguars, 2012 (2 wins)
+1 – Panthers, 2001 (1 win)
-3 – Colts, 1991 (1 win)
-4 – Patriots, 1990 (1 win)

Note this: Since 1990, 24 teams have won two games or fewer in a season and the average turnover margin by those teams is -11.8.

I’d like to wish all my readers the happiest of holidays. If you’re traveling, stay safe!



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