NFL Fun Stats – 2015 Kickoff Debut


For the first full weekend of NFL action, “NFL Fun Stat”s returns to provide a wide range of number-oriented morsels for those who crave the delicacy and geek-dom of statistics, news and notes. If you’re not quoting one note each week, I’m not doing my job. Here are your water cooler nuggets.



How bad was it for San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis last season? In New England’s home opener Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski scored three touchdowns via the arm of future HOF quarterback Tom Brady. Gronkowski’s three scores to open the season were more than Davis had all of last year (two).



Touchdown passes are the most ever thrown by a rookie quarterback that was a former Heisman Trophy winner during his rookie season and selected with the No. 1 pick overall in the NFL Draft. Carolina’s Cam Newton set the mark in 2010 after breaking New England Patriots quarterback Jim Plunkett’s previous record (19) that he set back in 1971. Amongst Newton and Plunkett, there are only four other quarterbacks to be named winner of the Heisman and get selected No. 1 overall. The list includes Vinny Testaverde, Carson Palmer, Sam Bradford and Jameis Winston. Winston is in the unique position due to his accolades to chase Newton’s rookie record.   



 Yards passing by then rookie quarterback Conner Shaw last season was second on the team, only to former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer. Hoyer led the team with 3,326 passing yards followed by Shaw who made one start and appeared in only one game. The Browns other rookie quarterback last season, Johnny Manziel, finished with 175 passing yards and appeared in five games combined (two starts).



 Players in the National Football League threw at least one touchdown pass during the regular season last year. Amongst those 52 players, none were thrown by Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, who finished the year with zero touchdown passes and two interceptions on his 35 pass attempts.



 Teams in the NFL will begin the season with a new stating quarterback under center from opening day last year. The list includes the Philadelphia Eagles (Sam Bradford), Washington Redskins (Kirk Cousins), Minnesota Vikings (Teddy Bridgewater), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Jameis Winston), Nick Foles (St. Louis Rams), Buffalo Bills (Tyrod Taylor, New York Jets (Ryan Fitzpatrick), Tennessee Titans (Marcus Mariota), Houston Texans (Brian Hoyer) and Cleveland Browns (Josh McCown).



 Division in football returns the same starting quarterbacks that took the first snap for their respected teams from a season ago. That is the AFC West with returning starters Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos), Alex Smith (Kansas City Chiefs), Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers) and Derek Carr (Oakland Raiders).



 Straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons has eluded the Miami Dolphins backfield since 2002-03, when Ricky Williams reached the running back plateau in consecutive seasons. Lamar Miller ran for 1,099 yards last year and is poised to become the first running back since Williams to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons for Miami.



Straight division titles is the longest streak ever set by the Denver Broncos franchise that entered the AFL (American Football League) way back in 1960 and joined the NFL (National Football League) in 1970. Can they make if five straight by winning the AFC West again in 2015?



 Consecutive season’s running back Frank Gore led the San Francisco 49ers in rushing yards. That streak will end after he signed with the Indianapolis Colts this spring, but his impressive performance for San Francisco should not go unnoticed. The NFL’s all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith led the Dallas Cowboys in the same category 13- straight years while Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton accomplished it 12 years in a row. Quietly, Gore has been one of the most productive and consistent running backs in the NFL.



 Teams enter the 2015 season looking to win their first ever Vince Lombardi Trophy.  The list of teams looking for their first Super Bowl win includes the Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers.

About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.