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Old 10-11-2013, 08:16 AM   #1
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Default Examples of historic upsets in the regular season.

I've been trying to find some big upsets in NFL history and see if some of the factors are there that could come to bear this weekend. This doesn't feel like the Ravens playoff loss, for example, because the Ravens were a good team last year. So I wondered if there were any examples of crappy, winless teams beating, to that point, pretty good ones. I found at least three:

The 5-0 '79 Buccs lost to the 0-5 Giants. Tampa turned the ball over to a brand new Phil Sims and the G-men beat them 14-17. The game was in New York, though. And the Giants had a decent defense. The Bucc would go on to play in, and lose the NFCCG.

In 1975, the eventually Super Bowl bound, Roger Staubach-led Dallas Cowboys lost at home to a winless Green Bay team in week 5. This took another great defensive effort by Green Bay. Dallas was shut out in the first half. The Cowboys would take the lead but lose it as Joe Hadl scored a late fourth quarter TD to win. The Packers would go on to continue to suck, and the Cowboys would eventually get to the Super Bowl (and lose).

The last one I found was the unbeaten 5-0, and eventual NFL Champion '63 Bears losing to the winless 0-5 Niners in San Fran. It is difficult to tell what happened because the game is so old, but two of Chi-town's QB's played. One had an awful game, with two ints and not many completions and a second QB did better. San Fran got a 17 point lead in the first half and the Bears struggled to catch up coming up short despite San Fran only getting a field goal in the second half.

There may be some other examples, but the example from above is probably the closest. The week is the same and some of the elements are similar. The Niners head Jack Christensen was an assistant who took over the club after the head coach was fired mid-season.

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After just over four years of inconsistent play, Hickey resigned on September 30, 1963, with Christiansen receiving the promotion to head coach. In that season's final 11 games, the 49ers won only twice, but held the distinction of being the only team to defeat the eventual NFL champion Chicago Bears.
Going into that game the Niners had lost to their two previous opponents by combined scores of 6-46 (This is the early sixties, mind you, so being outscored by that much was not the norm). They were considered the worst in the NFL. So it was of some historic significance for that year. The Bears would never lose again that year (they would tie twice, again this is the early 60's of football).

I'm sure there are other examples. But I just wanted to point out there were some instances of great teams being upset.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:23 AM   #2
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Wasn't Dallas pretty bad in 91 when they beat Washington? Granted that is a division game too.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:26 AM   #3
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And there's this:

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Old 10-11-2013, 08:26 AM   #4
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Good research. I saw this article earlier which also touches on similar/interesting stats.

http://linemakers.sportingnews.com/n...-upset-history

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In those games with 20-plus point spreads, the underdog is 0-8 straight up. In fact, favorites in games with a spread of 14 or more are 78-4 straight up since 2003.
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There is a precedent, after all, for shocking upsets by winless teams, and the best example indirectly involves Denver quarterback Peyton Manning.

In 1997, Green Bay (8-2) was a 12.5-point favorite heading into a matchup at Indianapolis (0-9). The Packers, led by Brett Favre and Reggie White, were the defending Super Bowl champions. The Colts had Paul Justin starting for an injured Jim Harbaugh at quarterback.

Green Bay jumped out to a 14-3 lead, but the Colts scored two defensive touchdowns and trailed just 28-27 at halftime. The teams played a wild second half before Cary Blanchard's field goal as time expired gave Indianapolis a 41-38 win.

Indianapolis finished 1-15 that season and drafted Manning with the No. 1 pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. The Packers went on to lose Super Bowl XXXI to Denver, despite being 11-point favorites.
I do still vaguely remember that Colts team having its only win come against Green Bay in the middle of their back-to-back SB appearances. So that would be the closest analogy to the level of upset this would be. But, in terms of point spread, Denver would be the 1st team ever to not win after being favored by 20+.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:27 AM   #5
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Gabbert and Sunshine from Remember The Titans...we're in deep ****.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:31 AM   #6
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:37 AM   #7
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:39 AM   #8
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There are many but the one that sticks out to me is the 2000 broncos who finished 11-5 got embarrassed by the 0-6 bengals, mostly Corey dillon.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:39 AM   #9
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I think those should take care of all this upset talk.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid A View Post

I do still vaguely remember that Colts team having its only win come against Green Bay in the middle of their back-to-back SB appearances. So that would be the closest analogy to the level of upset this would be. But, in terms of point spread, Denver would be the 1st team ever to not win after being favored by 20+.
That was the context behind Eugene Robinson's "These are the Indianapolis Colts!" comment...
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:51 AM   #11
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The team has too much self-pride, to drop this game...
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crushaholic View Post
The team has too much self-pride, to drop this game...
This feels different than the Ravens game. That game I knew the one way they could win is if everything broke their way. It did. This game if everything broke the Jags way they'd still lose by ten.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:55 AM   #13
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Kahn the real indicator should be how does Peyton do in potential trap games. I remember him losing to a bad Tenn team once but that was a divisional game. What other games in his career did he enter thinking it was a slam dunk then losing?

Our trap game would have been last week, on the road vs a team with some playmakers.

This week we are at home facing a team with no playmakers, MJD is a shadow of himself and the Jags OL is in shambles. They traded away their starting LT then their shiny new LTotF goes down and is out for the year. It will be hard for them to protect Hene.

Hene is also a Backup, I think he is better than Gabbert but he is older and will not run much outside the pocket like a younger QB in the mold of Kapernick would do. Hene has no one to throw to and our Run D is still #1 in the league I believe. They will not be able to run on us which will make them one dimentional. Throw in the fact that their receivers drop lots of balls and I see Denver getting up 28-35 then turning it over to the O.S.S to close out the game.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:10 AM   #14
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Henne has good players to throw to. Shorts and Blackmon are good receivers. The online and the qb's hold them back
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DENVERDUI55 View Post
Wasn't Dallas pretty bad in 91 when they beat Washington? Granted that is a division game too.
Dallas made the playoffs that year. Even got past the Wildcard round beating Chicago.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid A View Post

http://linemakers.sportingnews.com/n...-upset-history





I do still vaguely remember that Colts team having its only win come against Green Bay in the middle of their back-to-back SB appearances. So that would be the closest analogy to the level of upset this would be. But, in terms of point spread, Denver would be the 1st team ever to not win after being favored by 20+.
I remember the game and also driving around for some reason but every sports station was interviewing someone from that Colts' team. I can't think of a bigger regular season upset since that time.

Without looking it up due to laziness, didn't the Colts make the playoffs the next season with a 8-8 record or 9-7 and then was one Hell Mary pass away from upsetting the Steelers and going to the Super Bowl? Fast turnaround.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket 7 View Post
Dallas made the playoffs that year. Even got past the Wildcard round beating Chicago.
Hmm I must be thinking of another year. The year that Dallas was 1-15 but I don't think the Redskins were that big of a powerhouse that year.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broncosteven View Post
Kahn the real indicator should be how does Peyton do in potential trap games. I remember him losing to a bad Tenn team once but that was a divisional game. What other games in his career did he enter thinking it was a slam dunk then losing?

Our trap game would have been last week, on the road vs a team with some playmakers.

This week we are at home facing a team with no playmakers, MJD is a shadow of himself and the Jags OL is in shambles. They traded away their starting LT then their shiny new LTotF goes down and is out for the year. It will be hard for them to protect Hene.

Hene is also a Backup, I think he is better than Gabbert but he is older and will not run much outside the pocket like a younger QB in the mold of Kapernick would do. Hene has no one to throw to and our Run D is still #1 in the league I believe. They will not be able to run on us which will make them one dimentional. Throw in the fact that their receivers drop lots of balls and I see Denver getting up 28-35 then turning it over to the O.S.S to close out the game.
That's why the 28-point spread scares me. I can see the starters getting that margin. When the backups are in, garbage TDs can be possible...
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Old 10-11-2013, 01:43 PM   #19
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98 Broncos were beat by Kent Graham and a 5-8 Giants team.
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Old 10-11-2013, 02:18 PM   #20
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98 Broncos were beat by Kent Graham and a 5-8 Giants team.
No way the Jags win 5 games this year. Talent wise they are as bad as the 2008 Lions.
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Old 10-11-2013, 02:29 PM   #21
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Plus that game was on the road. According to football reference, the Broncos were 13 point favorites against the Giants in 1998.

Last edited by Finger Roll; 10-11-2013 at 02:35 PM..
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Old 10-11-2013, 02:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broncosteven View Post
Kahn the real indicator should be how does Peyton do in potential trap games. I remember him losing to a bad Tenn team once but that was a divisional game. What other games in his career did he enter thinking it was a slam dunk then losing?

Our trap game would have been last week, on the road vs a team with some playmakers.

This week we are at home facing a team with no playmakers, MJD is a shadow of himself and the Jags OL is in shambles. They traded away their starting LT then their shiny new LTotF goes down and is out for the year. It will be hard for them to protect Hene.

Hene is also a Backup, I think he is better than Gabbert but he is older and will not run much outside the pocket like a younger QB in the mold of Kapernick would do. Hene has no one to throw to and our Run D is still #1 in the league I believe. They will not be able to run on us which will make them one dimentional. Throw in the fact that their receivers drop lots of balls and I see Denver getting up 28-35 then turning it over to the O.S.S to close out the game.
The closest I remember is when the eventual winless Lions almost upset the 10-4 Colts. But Manning closed the game out and the Lions went on to lose the rest of their games.
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Old 10-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #23
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Old 10-11-2013, 02:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DENVERDUI55 View Post
Hmm I must be thinking of another year. The year that Dallas was 1-15 but I don't think the Redskins were that big of a powerhouse that year.
1989 Cowboys.

It was a major upset because it came after the Walker trade.

He was pretty much the only thing they had those last couple years in Dallas.
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Old 10-11-2013, 02:49 PM   #25
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1989 Cowboys.

It was a major upset because it came after the Walker trade.

He was pretty much the only thing they had those last couple years in Dallas.
There was a Cowboys loss during their last SB run that they lost to duh bears while they were real bad. I think the Cowboys lost Emmit for like 4-6 weeks in that game yet still managed to make it into the playoffs and win the SB.
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