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Wild Thing: Some of the Wildest and Weirdest NFL Facts and Stats

Before our offseason begins here at The Shield, let’s look at some NFL stats that are hard to believe.

The Young Bucs: Loss Leaders

Long before the arrival of Tampa Tom, the Buccaneers were among the worst teams in the league. The expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw their first season in 1976, and experienced, well, some massive growing pains. The young team saw a 26-game loss streak across ’76 and ’77. Because of improvements made to free agency and the salary cap, this record is going to be hard to break, but never doubt the Carolina Panthers. (I had to throw shade, all right?)

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

The Colts have the longest win streak in league history. Indy went on a 23-game win streak by winning the final 9 games in 2008 and the first 14 games in 2009. Ah yes, that does tend to happen when you have prime Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne on your roster simultaneously.


The Colts also have the distinction of choking away the biggest lead in NFL history. Even the Atlanta Falcons would shudder looking at this, especially when you consider that Matt Ryan was somehow the QB in both games. In 2022, the Colts jumped out to a 33-0 lead over the Vikings at halftime. They then chose the novel strategy of “scoring exactly three more points in the second half,” which allowed the Vikings to put up 36 points of their own, force the game to overtime, and, well, you know what happens with Matt Ryan in overtime.

This is the biggest blown lead in NFL history (bigger by one point than the notorious Bills/Oilers comeback), and it happened only a couple years ago, too.

Old Man Levis

When the next NFL season starts this fall, Titans QB Will Levis will be the oldest QB in his division.

This sounds normal, but he will be the oldest . . . at 25 years old. The Colts’ Anthony Richardson will be 22, the Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence will be 24 (although he’ll turn 25 in October), and the Texan’s CJ Stroud will be 22 (23 in October).

The Texans are also the youngest team in the league, since they played their first snap in 2002. Almost everything in this division is young.

Bretting On In Age

In 2010, Brett Favre became the first, and to this date, the only active player to also be a grandfather, when his oldest daughter gave the family its first grandchild. The NFL confirmed this stat to be true.

In His Bag, Not The Sack

Across 1988 and 1989, Dolphins QB Dan Marino managed a streak of 19 games where he was not sacked a single time. During this same time frame, he attempted a total of 759 passes, which tells you something about the protection he had ahead of him. Still, despite this and his many other honors, Marino never won a Super Bowl, making him the greatest not to do so.

That’s a Basketball Score

The highest scoring game in NFL history was in 1966 between the New York Giants and Washington Football Team. Washington’s 72-41 win was one of only four games since the NFL-AFL merger with a point total of 100+ points.

If you think that’s not weird enough, the kickers for the two teams were Pete and Charlie Gogolak—as in, they were brothers. They combined to kick fourteen extra points.

This is Becoming a Jon Bois Video

Now for some lowest scores. There have been a total of five 2-0 games, although the last one occurred was between the Bears and Packers, before the NFL-AFL merger. Per Pro Football Reference, a total of 73 games have ended in a 0-0 tie, although the last one was between the Giants and Lions in 1943.

The lowest-scoring game in the Super Bowl era was actually quite recent: the Vikings’ 3-0 win over the Raiders in 2023. This was the first 3-0 since the Steelers’ win over the Dolphins in 2007, and one of only seven such scores in modern football.

Football Has a Jamie Moyer, Too

The longest tenured player in NFL history is George Blanda. A dual QB and kicker, Blanda played for 26 seasons. He and John Carney, who played for 22 years, are the only players in league history to have careers spanning four decades. Blanda’s career started in 1949 playing for the Bears under head coach George Halas. He won AFL MVP in 1961 and NFL MVP in 1970, and finally retired from the Raiders in 1975 under EA legend John Madden.

And a Cal Ripken Jr.!

Brett Favre has one of the most interesting and legendary careers in league history, although not all of it for good reasons. Part of this legendary status is his streak of 279 consecutive starts. The previous record was set by Ron Jaworski in 1984 with 116 consecutive starts. The closest anyone has come to breaking Favre’s record was Peyton Manning, in a 208-game streak from 1998 to 2011.

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