Title game facts & stats: NFL firsts for rookie coaches & 'triple-crown' QBs

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 21, 2010



The following information comes from the NFL.
 
WHAT TO LOOK FORAFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
 
RETURN ENGAGEMENT:  For the fourth consecutive season and 14th time since 1990 when the NFL went to the 12-team playoff format, teams that played at least once during the regular season will meet in the AFC Championship Game when the New York Jets face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.  If New York defeats Indianapolis, it will mark the 11th time in 14 opportunities that a team won the AFC Championship Game against a team it defeated in the regular season.
 
AFC Championship Games that were rematches of regular-season meetings since 1990:
 
SEASON
SEASON WINNER
SEASON LOSER
CHAMP. GAME RESULT
1990
Buffalo
L.A. Raiders
Buffalo, 51-3
1992
Buffalo/Miami *
Buffalo/Miami *
Buffalo, 29-10
1993
Kansas City
Buffalo
Buffalo, 30-13
1994
San Diego
Pittsburgh
San Diego, 17-13
1996
New England
Jacksonville
New England, 20-6
1997
Pittsburgh
Denver
Denver, 24-21
1999
Tennessee **
Jacksonville
Tennessee, 33-14
2002
Oakland 
Tennessee
Oakland, 41-24
2003
New England 
Indianapolis
New England, 24-14
2004
Pittsburgh
New England
New England, 41- 27
2006
Indianapolis
New England
Indianapolis, 38-34
2007
New England
San Diego
New England, 21-12
2008
Pittsburgh **
Baltimore 
Pittsburgh, 23-14             
2009
New York Jets
Indianapolis
???
* Met twice during season.  Teams split; ** Met twice during season.  Tennessee and Pittsburgh won both games.    
 
-- AFC --
 
ROOKIE HEAD COACHES:  For the first time in NFL history, a conference championship game will feature two rookie head coaches: New York's REX RYAN and Indianapolis' JIM CALDWELL.  The winner of this week's matchup will become the fifth rookie head coach to lead a team to the Super Bowl.
 
The rookie head coaches to lead a team to the Super Bowl:
 
YEAR
HEAD COACH
TEAM
SUPER BOWL RESULT (OPPONENT)
1970
Don McCafferty
Baltimore Colts
Won SB V, 16-13 (Dallas)
1977
Red Miller
Denver Broncos
Lost SB XII, 27-10 (Dallas)
1989
George Seifert
San Francisco 49ers
Won SB XXIV 55-10 (Denver)
2002
Bill Callahan
Oakland Raiders
Lost SB XXXVII, 48-21 (Tampa Bay)
2009
Jim Caldwell/Rex Ryan
Indianapolis Colts/New York Jets
???
 
-- AFC --
 
PEY DAYIndianapolis Colts quarterback PEYTON MANNING currently ranks fifth in NFL postseason history in completions and passing yards.  Manning needs 18 completions to surpass DAN MARINO (385) and TOM BRADY (395) for third-most ever in the playoffs.  He needs 57 yards to overtake Marino (4,510) for fourth-most playoff passing  yards all-time.
 
The players with the most completions and passing yards in NFL postseason history:
 
PLAYER
COMP.
 
PLAYER
YARDS
Joe Montana
460
 
Joe Montana
5,772
Brett Favre
453*
 
Brett Favre
5,545*
Tom Brady
395
 
John Elway
4,964
Dan Marino
385
 
Dan Marino
4,510
Peyton Manning
378*
 
Peyton Manning
4,454*
*Active in 2009 playoffs
 
-- AFC --
 
YOUTH IS SERVED:  Last week, the Jets' MARK SANCHEZ became the second rookie quarterback in NFL history to win two playoff games, joining Baltimore's JOE FLACCO (2008).  With a win this Sunday, Sanchez would become the youngest quarterback to lead his team to the Super Bowl at 23 years and 88 days on Super Bowl Sunday.  Sanchez would also be the first rookie quarterback in history to start a Super Bowl.
 
Ages of the youngest quarterbacks to start a Super Bowl:
 
SEASON
QUARTERBACKS
TEAM
YEARS
DAYS
NFL EXP.
SB RESULT
1984
Dan Marino
Miami
23
127
 
2
L 38-16 vs. San Francisco (SB XIX)
2005
Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh
23
340
 
2
W 21-10 vs. Seattle (SB XL)
1982
David Woodley
Miami
24
97
 
3
L 27-17 vs. Washington (SB XVII)
2001
Tom Brady
New England
24
184
 
2
W 20-17 vs. St. Louis (SB XXXVI)
1996
Drew Bledsoe
New England
24
347
 
4
L 35-21 vs. Green Bay (SB XXXI)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2009
Mark Sanchez*
NY Jets
23
88
R
???
* On Super Bowl Sunday, February 7
 
 
 
 
                                   
Sanchez, who will be 23 years, 74 days old when the Jets face the Colts this Sunday, will become the fourth-youngest quarterback to start a conference championship game.
 
The youngest quarterbacks to start a conference championship game:
 
SEASON
QUARTERBACK
TEAM
YEARS
DAYS
NFL EXP.
CHAMP. RESULT
1999
Shaun King
Tampa Bay
22
239
 
R
L 11-6 vs. St. Louis
2004
Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh
22
327
 
R
L 41-27 vs. New England
1986
Bernie Kosar
Cleveland
23
47
 
2
L 23-20 (OT) vs. Denver
1984
Dan Marino
Miami
23
113
 
2
W 45-28 vs. Pittsburgh
2005
Ben Roethlisberger 
Pittsburgh  
23
326
 
2
W 34-17 vs. Denver
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2009
Mark Sanchez*
New York Jets
23
74
 
R
???
* On Sunday, January 24
 
 
 
 
 
 
                       
-- AFC --
 
GREENE MAN:  With 128 rushing yards against the San Diego Chargers last week, New York Jets running back SHONN GREENE became one of three rookies in NFL history with at least 100 rushing yards in each of his first two playoff games, joining DUANE THOMAS (1970) and ICKEY WOODS (1988).
 
If he continues his streak against Indianapolis, Greene can become the first player in NFL history with 100+ rush yards in each of his first three playoff games.  With 121 rushing yards, Greene can also set the NFL record for the most rushing yards by a player in his first three postseason contests.  FRED TAYLOR (383 yards) currently owns the record.
 
The players with the most rushing yards in their first three playoff games:
 
PLAYER
TEAM
YEARS
RUSH YARDS
Fred Taylor
Jacksonville
1998-99
383
Terrell Davis
Denver
1996-97
376
Eddie George
Tennessee
1999
354
Timmy Smith
Washington
1987
342
Freeman McNeil
New York Jets
1981-82
335
 
Shonn Greene
New York Jets
2009
263*
*Through 2 games
 
 
PLAYOFF SPARK FROM CLARK:  Indianapolis' Pro Bowl tight end DALLAS CLARK can become the NFL's all-time postseason leader among tight ends in receptions and receiving yards this Sunday.  Clark, who currently ranks fourth in both categories with 53 catches for 726 yards, needs 10 receptions and 109 yards against the Jets to set both records.
 
The tight ends with the most receptions and receiving yards in NFL postseason history:
 
PLAYER
REC.
 
PLAYER
YARDS
Jay Novacek
62
 
Keith Jackson
834
Shannon Sharpe
62
 
Shannon Sharpe
814
Brent Jones
60
 
Brent Jones
740
Dallas Clark
53
 
Dallas Clark
726
Keith Jackson
51
 
Jay Novacek
645
 
-- AFC --
 
WAYNE MANORColts wide receiver REGGIE WAYNE is currently tied for sixth all-time with nine postseason touchdown receptions.  If he catches his 10th playoff touchdown this Sunday against the Jets, Wayne will tie for third on the all-time list with Pro Football Hall of Famer FRED BILETNIKOFF, ANTONIO FREEMAN and RANDY MOSS.
 
The players with the most receiving touchdowns in NFL postseason history:
 
PLAYER
TEAM(S)
RECEIVING TDs
Jerry Rice
San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle
22
John Stallworth
Pittsburgh
12
Fred Biletnikoff
Oakland
10
Antonio Freeman
Green Bay, Philadelphia
10
Randy Moss
Minnesota, New England
10
 
Reggie Wayne
Indianapolis
9
 
Wayne also has an active streak of four consecutive postseason games with a touchdown catch.  He can extend that streak to five games this Sunday, which would tie for the third longest such streak in NFL playoff history.
 
The most consecutive postseason games with a touchdown reception in NFL history:
 
PLAYER
TEAM(S)
YEARS
CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF
GAMES WITH TD CATCH
John Stallworth
Pittsburgh
1978-1983
8
David Givens
New England
2003-2005
7
James Lofton
Green Bay, Buffalo
1982-1990
5
Randy Moss
Minnesota
1998-2000
5
Antonio Freeman
Green Bay
1997-2001
5
Hines Ward
Pittsburgh
2002-2005
5
 
Reggie Wayne
Indianapolis
2006-2009
4*
*Active streak
 
 
 
 
-- AFC --
 
REVIS ISLANDAfter intercepting a pass in his playoff debut against Cincinnati in the Jets' Wild Card win, Pro Bowl cornerback DARRELLE REVIS secured another INT against San Diego.  With an interception against Indianapolis, Revis can become the sixth player in NFL history to intercept a pass in each of his first three postseason games.
 
The players with an interception in each of their first three postseason games:
 
PLAYER
TEAM
YEAR(S)
CONSECUTIVE GAMES
WITH INT TO START POSTSEASON CAREER
Aeneas Williams
St. Louis Rams
1998-2001
4
Ken Gorgal
Cleveland Browns
1950-1953
3
Warren Lahr
Cleveland Browns
1950-1951
3
Ed Reed
Baltimore Ravens
2003-2008
3
Jason Sehorn
New York Giants
1996-2000
3
 
Darrelle Revis
New York Jets
2009
2*
*Active streak
 
 
 
AFC TROPHY PRESENTATIONThe LAMAR HUNT TROPHY will be presented to the winner of the AFC Championship Game.
 
The late Hunt, founder of the Kansas City Chiefs and American Football League, helped professional football attain its stature as America's No. 1 sport.  In the 10-year history of the AFL, his team posted the most wins (87) and earned berths in two of the first four Super Bowls, including a victory in Super Bowl IV. 
 
In 1972, Hunt became the first person from the AFL to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
 
# # #
 
 
WHAT TO LOOK FORNFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
 
TOP-TWO SQUARE OFF:  For the fifth time since the 2000 season, the top-two seeds will square off in the NFC Championship Game (Sunday, 6:40 PM ET, FOX).  The New Orleans Saints aim to reach their first Super Bowl in franchise history, and the Minnesota Vikings seek their fifth Super Bowl berth.
 
SEASON
ONE SEED
TWO SEED
RESULT
2000
N.Y. Giants
Minnesota
N.Y. Giants 41, Minnesota 0
2002
Philadelphia
Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay 27, Philadelphia 10
2004
Philadelphia
Atlanta
Philadelphia 27, Atlanta 10
2006
Chicago
New Orleans
Chicago 39, New Orleans 14
2009
New Orleans
Minnesota
???
 
-- NFL --
 
SCORING BONANZAThe NFC Championship Game will match the two highest scoring teams in the NFL in 2009.  The Saints, who recorded the ninth-highest single-season points total in NFL history with 510, will face the Vikings, who averaged 29.4 points per game (470 total) this year.  The meeting will be just the fifth Conference Championship Game featuring the top two scoring teams in the league.  All such matchups have taken place in the NFC Championship Game.
 
Conference Championship Games featuring the top two scoring teams in the league:
 
SEASON
HOME (RANK)
VISITOR (RANK)
RESULT
1989
San Francisco (1)
LA Rams (2)
San Francisco 30, LA Rams 3
1992
San Francisco (1)
Dallas (2)
Dallas 30, San Francisco 20
1993
Dallas (2)
San Francisco (1)
Dallas 38, San Francisco 21
1994
San Francisco (1)
Dallas (2)
San Francisco 38, Dallas 28
2009
New Orleans (1)
Minnesota (2)
???
 
The Saints and Vikings showed off their high-powered offenses in the Divisional Playoffs, posting 45 (New Orleans) and 34 (Minnesota) points.  The two tie for the second-highest combined points scored in the Divisional Playoffs by Conference Championship opponents.
 
SEASON
HOME
POINTS
VISITOR
POINTS
TOTAL
1999
Jacksonville
62
Tennessee
19
81
1994
San Francisco
44
Dallas
35
79
2009
New Orleans
45
Minnesota
34
79
2001
St. Louis
45
Philadelphia
33
78
1981
San Francisco
38
Dallas
38
76
1986
N.Y. Giants
49
Washington
27
76
 
-- NFL --
 
FAVRE AND AWAY:  Minnesota quarterback BRETT FAVRE will be 40 years and 106 days old on Sunday when he faces the New Orleans Saints.  If he starts that game as expected, he will become the oldest quarterback ever to start a Conference Championship Game.  Favre's four touchdown passes last week against Dallas are twice as many as all other 40-year old quarterbacks have thrown in NFL postseason history combined. 
 
The oldest quarterbacks to start a Conference Championship Game:
 
PLAYER
SEASON, TEAM
YEARS
DAYS
RESULT
Johnny Unitas
1971 Baltimore
38
240
L 21-0 vs. Miami
Earl Morrall
1972 Miami
38
228
W 21-17 vs. Pittsburgh
John Elway
1998 Denver
38
203
W 23-10 vs. NY Jets
Brett Favre
2007 Green Bay
38
102
L 23-20 (OT) vs. NY Giants
Johnny Unitas
1970 Baltimore
37
241
W 27-17 vs. Oakland
 
 
 
 
 
Brett Favre*
2009 Minnesota
40
106
???
* Favre will be 40 years 106 days old Sunday
 
Favre ranks second in NFL playoff history in completions, passing yards and touchdown passes.  He needs eight completions, 228 passing yards and three touchdowns on Sunday to set postseason records in each passing category.  He is already the all-time postseason leader in attempts with 745.
 
The top two quarterbacks in playoff completions, attempts, passing yards and touchdown passes:
 
PLAYER
COMPLETIONS
 
PLAYER
ATTEMPTS
Joe Montana
460
 
Brett Favre*
745
Brett Favre*
453
 
Joe Montana
734
                                  *Active                                                         *Active
 
PLAYER
PASS YARDS
 
PLAYER
TD PASSES
Joe Montana
5,772
 
Joe Montana
45
Brett Favre*
5,545
 
Brett Favre*
43
                                 *Active                                                         *Active
 
-- NFL --
 
BEEN HERE BEFOREWhen he takes the field on Sunday, Favre will tie Philadelphia Eagles quarterback DONOVAN MC NABB for third-most starts by a quarterback in the NFC Championship Game.  Pro Football Hall of Famers JOE MONTANA and ROGER STAUBACH have each started an NFL-record six NFC Championship Games.
 
The quarterbacks with the most NFC Championship Game starts:
 
PLAYER
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME STARTS
RECORD
Joe Montana
6
4-2
Roger Staubach
6
4-2
Donovan McNabb
5
1-4
Troy Aikman
4
3-1
Brett Favre*
4
2-2
Steve Young
4
1-3
* Favre will start his fifth NFC Championship Game on Sunday
 
 
-- NFL --
 
TRIPLE CROWN QUARTERBACKS:  New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES and the Vikings' Favre both passed for 4,000+ yards, 30+ touchdowns and had a passer rating of 100+ this season.  When they face off on Sunday, it will be the first matchup of quarterbacks with such passing totals in Conference Championship Game history. 
 
There has been only one previous Conference Championship Game matchup in which both starting quarterbacks passed for even 4,000+ yards during the regular season.
 
Conference Championship Game matchups of quarterbacks with 4,000+ passing yards in the regular season:
 
GAME
HOME QB (YARDS)
VISITING QB (YARDS)
RESULT
1996 AFC Championship Game
(New England vs. Jacksonville)
Drew Bledsoe (4,086)
Mark Brunell (4,367)
New England 20, Jacksonville 6
2009 NFC Championship Game
(New Orleans vs. Minnesota)
Drew Brees (4,388)
Brett Favre (4,202)
???
 
-- NFL --
 
PUNT RETURN PROWESS:  New Orleans running back/punt returner REGGIE BUSH recorded an 83-yard punt-return touchdown in the Saints' Divisional Playoff win over Arizona, becoming just the 20th player with a punt-return touchdown in playoff history.  With a punt-return touchdown against Minnesota, Bush will become the first player in postseason history with two punt-return touchdowns and just the fourth player with two combined kick-and punt-return touchdowns. 
 
In his last game against Minnesota (10/6/08), Bush tied an NFL record with two punt-return touchdowns.
 
The players in NFL history with two combined kick-and punt-return touchdowns in postseason history:
 
PLAYER
COMBINED RETURN TDs
PUNT-RETURN TDs
KICK-RETURN TDs
Ron Dixon
2
0
2
Desmond Howard
2
1
1
Jermaine Lewis
2
1
1
 
 
 
 
Reggie Bush*
1
1
0
* Active
 
 
 
 
Bush has recorded a touchdown in each of his three career playoff games, and has scored an 80+ yard touchdown in an NFL-record two consecutive playoff games.  He aims for his third straight such game on Sunday.
 
-- NFL --
 
NFC TROPHY PRESENTATIONThe winner of the NFC Championship Game will be presented with the GEORGE HALAS TROPHY
 
Halas, the late owner of the Chicago Bears and a founder of the NFL, is the second-winningest coach in history (324-151-31) behind DON SHULA (347-173-6).  He won six NFL championships with the Bears and is a charter enshrinee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1963).
 
# # #

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