A look at the historic Sunday performances of Mahomes, Carr, and Fitzpatrick

Yesterday Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick all put on historic performances passing the ball. This article will take a look into the context of what these three men did yesterday by using Pro Football Reference.

Mahomes

Mahomes put on a passing clinic in his team’s week two win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, having only the 39th game in NFL history with at least six passing touchdowns. In addition to being the youngest quarterback to achieve this, he was also only the second Chief to do so.

Hall of Famer Len Dawson threw six touchdowns in a game for the team back in 1964. Finally, Mahomes became only the sixth quarterback to have at least a 150 QB rating in a six-touchdown game.

Name Year When Score QB Rating Comp Att Comp% Yards TD Int
Y.A. Tittle 1962 Week 7 Win: NYG 49 – WAS 34 151.4 27 39 69.23 505 7 0
Peyton Manning 2003 Week 4 Win: IND 55 – NO 21 158.3 20 25 80.0 314 6 0
Tom Brady 2007 Week 7 Win: NE 49 – MIA 28 158.3 21 25 84.0 354 6 0
Tom Brady 2009 Week 6 Win: NE 59 – TEN 0 152.8 29 34 85.29 380 6 0
Nick Foles 2013 Week 9 Win: PHI 49 – OAK 20 158.3 22 28 78.57 406 7 0
Ben Roethlisberger 2014 Week 8 Win: PIT 51 – IND 34 150.6 40 49 81.63 522 6 0
Patrick Mahomes 2018 Week 2 Win: KC 42 – PIT 37 154.8 23 28 82.14 326 6 0

Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick carried over his magical week one performance into week two of the season, leading the Buccaneers to a 27-20 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. In the last two games, he has had the 96th and 97th games in NFL history having at least 400 passing yards and four passing touchdowns. (Kirk Cousins had the 98th such game yesterday).

Fitzpatrick also became only the third quarterback to do so in back-to-back games, joining Hall of Famer Dan Marino and Billy Volek. He also became only the third quarterback to throw four or more touchdowns in each of his team’s first two games, joining Drew Bledsoe and Patrick Mahomes.

Quarterbacks with 400 yards and 4 TDs in multiple games over one season

Name Year When
George Blanda 1961 Week 8 and 11
Dan Marino 1984 Week 14 and 15
Dan Fouts 1985 Week 2 and 10
Dan Marino 1986 Week 3, 11 and 15
Ken O’ Brien 1986 Week 3 and 9
Billy Volek 2004 Week 14 and 15
Peyton Manning 2013 Week 13 and 16
Drew Brees 2016 Week 1 and 6
Ryan Fitzpatrick 2018 Week 1 and 2

Carr

Meanwhile, in the afternoon slot of game Carr put on one of the most accurate passing displays in NFL history. He put up only the 27th game in NFL history where a quarterback completed at least 90% of their passes (minimum 10 completions).

Carr also had only the ninth game ever in which a quarterback threw at least 20 passes and still completed at least 90% of them. In fact, he became the first to ever throw at least 30 passes and do so. However, Carr also became the first quarterback to complete at least 88.5% of his passes (minimum 14 attempts) and lose the game.

Name Year When Score QB Rating Comp Att Comp % Yards TD Int
Ken Anderson 1971 Week 9 Win: CIN 17 – PIT 10 109.7 20 22 90.9 227 0 0
Lynn Dickey 1981 Week 15 Win: GB 35 – NO 7 149.5 19 21 90.5 218 5 0
Steve Young 1991 Week 8 Win: SF 35 – DET 3 149.4 18 20 90.0 237 2 0
Vinny Testaverde 1993 Week 17 Win: CLE 42 – STL 14 134.8 21 23 91.3 216 2 0
Tom Brady 2008 Divisional Round Win: NE 31 – JAX 20 141.4 26 28 92.9 262 3 0
Kurt Warner 2009 Week 2 Win: ARZ 35 – JAX 17 131.2 24 26 92.3 243 2 0
Philip Rivers 2012 Week 9 Win: SD 31 – KC 13 125 18 20 90.0 220 2 1
Tony Romo 2014 Week 16 Win: DAL 42 – IND 7 151.7 18 20 90.0 218 4 0
Derek Carr 2018 Week 2 Loss: DEN 20 – OAK 19 114.7 29 32 90.6 289 1 0

Notes and Info:

Featured Image: “A football on a field” by U.S. Department of Agriculture is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Pro Football Reference Source for Mahomes info

Pro Football Reference Source for Fitzpatrick info 

Pro Football Reference Source for Carr info

All charts and graphs made using Google Spreadsheets

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How often do NFL teams finish with winning records but miss the playoffs?

For the 1967-68 season, the NFL added the divisional round to the playoffs expanding them after having added the championship round only two years earlier. Since the divisional round of the playoffs was added, there have been 147 teams to have finished the regular season with a winning record and not make the playoffs. This includes the NFL since the 1967-68 season and the 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons of the AFL.

Timeline and breakdown by season

1967: NFL adds two divisional rounds, four-team playoffs

1968: AFL adds one divisional round, three-team playoffs

1969: AFL adds two divisional rounds, four-team playoffs

1970: NFL-AFL merger, eight-team playoffs

1978: Wildcard round added, 10 team playoffs

1982: Strike shortened season (nine games), special 16 team playoffs

1987: Strike shortened season (15 games)

1990: Second wildcard round added, 12 team playoffs

There have been 10 seasons where at least five teams finished with winning record and missed the playoffs. In contrast, there have only been two seasons where it did not happen. The strike-shortened 1982 season and the 1998 season.

Teams with winning records to miss playoffs in the NFL, notes

Click here to view larger image of above graph

Breakdown by Era and 10+ win teams

The next three graphs show a breakdown of the above cumulative graph into three different eras based on how the playoffs were formatted.

Teams with winning records to miss playoffs in NFL Divisional Round Era (1967-68 to 1977-78)

Teams with winning records to miss playoffs in NFL's 10 team Wild Card Era (1978-79 to 1989-90)

Teams with winning records to miss playoffs in NFL's 12 team Wild Card Era (1990-91 to 2017-18)

The graph below shows how often a team that finished the season with 10 or more wins missed the playoffs in each NFL season.

Teams with 10+ wins to miss playoffs in the NFL each season (1967-68 to 2017-18)

Records of teams to not make the playoffs

The table below shows the number of times each the playoffs was missed by a team with a specific winning record. Since the NFL expanded to a 16-game regular season schedule, 70/103 (67.96%) of teams to miss the playoffs with winning records finished at 9-7. In the 14-game era, the most common winning record was 8-6, which happened 11/44 times (25%).

*All four 8-7 teams came during the NFL’s strike-shortened 15-game season in 1987.

Record
Number of times team missed playoffs with that record
11-1-2 (.917) 1
10-3-1 (.769) 1
10-4 (.714) 5
9-4-1 (.692) 3
11-5 (.688) 2
8-4-2 (.667) 1
9-5 (.643) 8
10-6 (.625) 21
8-5-1 (.615) 4
8-6 (.571) 11
7-5-2 (.571) 5
9-7 (.563) 70
7-6-1 (.538) 5
8-7 (.533)* 4
8-7-1 (.531) 6

The best teams to miss the playoffs in this span

Below is a list of the top 13 teams (those with at least a .667 win percentage) who did not make the playoffs in this span. Since 1977, only two teams with this high of a winning percentage have missed the playoffs, the 1985 Broncos and 2008 Patriots.

Team Year Record
Baltimore Colts 1967 11-1-2 (.917)
Los Angeles Rams 1968 10-3-1 (.769)
Miami Dolphins 1975 10-4 (.714)
Houston Oilers 1975 10-4 (.714)
St. Louis Cardinals 1976 10-4 (.714)
Cincinnati Bengals 1976 10-4 (.714)
Miami Dolphins 1977 10-4 (.714)
St. Louis Cardinals 1968 9-4-1 (.692)
Detroit Lions 1969 9-4-1 (.692)
Los Angeles Rams 1970 9-4-1 (.692)
Denver Broncos 1985 11-5 (.688)
New England Patriots 2008 11-5 (.688)
Oakland Raiders 1971 8-4-1 (.667)

The total amount of times each franchise has missed the playoffs with a winning record in this span

The Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins have both missed the playoffs with a winning record a league-high nine times. Since 2000, 27/32 (84.37%) of the league has missed the playoffs at least once with a winning record. The only exceptions are the Panthers (who have never done so), the Raiders (1994), Colts (1992), 49ers (1991), Bengals (1986) and the Rams (1971).

Team # of times missed playoffs with winning record
Last year missed with winning record
Kansas City Chiefs 9 2014: 9-7 (.563%)
Washington Redskins 9 2016: 8-7-1 (.531%)
Denver Broncos 8 2016: 9-7 (.563%)
Los Angeles Chargers 8 2017: 9-7 (.563%)
New England Patriots 8 2008: 11-5 (.688)
Miami Dolphins 7 2005: 9-7 (.563%)
Arizona Cardinals 6 2013: 10-6 (.625%)
Detroit Lions 6 2017: 9-7 (.563%)
New York Giants 6 2012: 9-7 (.563%)
Seattle Seahawks 6 2017: 9-7 (.563%)
Cleveland Browns 5 2007: 10-6 (.625%)
Dallas Cowboys 5 2017: 9-7 (.563%)
Green Bay Packers 5 2000: 9-7 (.563%)
New York Jets 5 2015: 10-6 (.625%)
Pittsburgh Steelers 5 2009: 9-7 (.563%)
Buffalo Bills 4 2014: 9-7 (.563%)
Chicago Bears 4 2012: 10-6 (.625%)
Cincinnati Bengals 4 1986: 10-6 (.625%)
Indianapolis Colts 4 1992: 9-7 (.563%)
Oakland Raiders 4 1994: 9-7 (.563%)
Tennessee Titans* 4 2016: 9-7 (.563%)
Atlanta Falcons 3 2009: 9-7 (.563%)
Los Angeles Rams 3 1971: 8-5-1 (.615)
Minnesota Vikings 3 2005: 9-7 (.563%)
New Orleans Saints 3 2002: 9-7 (.563%)
San Francisco 49ers 3 1991: 10-6 (.625%)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 2016: 9-7 (.563%)
Philadelphia Eagles 2 2014: 10-6 (.625%)
Baltimore Ravens 2 2017: 9-7 (.563%)
Houston Texans 2 2014: 9-7 (.563%)
Jacksonville Jaguars 1 2004: 9-7 (.563%)
Carolina Panthers 0 N/A

Teams to make the playoffs with a losing record

In contrast to the 147 teams to have missed the playoffs with a winning record, only four have made the playoffs with a losing one. Two of these teams make the playoffs during the 1982 strike-shortened season, which featured a special 16 team playoff.

Team Year Record
Detroit Lions 1982 4-5 (.444)
Cleveland Browns 1982 4-5 (.444)
Seattle Seahawks 2010 7-9 (.438)
Carolina Panthers 2014 7-8-1 (.469)

Sources and info:

Featured Image: “Game Competition Sport Athletic American Football” from maxpixel.net is CC0 Public Domain

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1967/ (Used this season through the last 2017-18 season)

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1968_AFL/index.htm (Used the 1968 and 1969 seasons)

All other charts and tables made using Google Spreadsheet