Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NFL’s Most Dominant Wins of 2013-15

By Brad Oremland

Last month, I wrote about the most dominant wins (and most embarrassing losses) in the NFL's 2016 season. It was kind of a fun piece, and I think it's a nice reference to have available at the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen.

So, I hereby present the most dominant wins (and most humbling losses) of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons.

2013

1) Week 16: Philadelphia Eagles 54, Chicago Bears 11
514 yards to 257; 24-3 at halftime

The largest margin of victory in the NFL in 2013 (+43), with Philadelphia exactly doubling Chicago's yardage. The Eagles jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and coasted the rest of the way, with two 100-yard rushers, LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown. Eight different Eagles scored in this game.

2) Week 14: Kansas City 45, Washington 10
346 yards to 257; 38-10 at halftime

Even the blowout halftime score understates Kansas City's dominance: the Chiefs led 31-0 after only 20 minutes. The Chiefs, who had one sack in their previous four games combined, got to Robert Griffin and Kirk Cousins a total of six times. Quintin Demps scored on a 95-yard kickoff return, and Dexter McCluster scored on a 74-yard punt return. Fortunately for the home fans, Washington drew the lowest attendance in the 19-year history of its stadium.

3) Week 3: Carolina Panthers 38, New York Giants 0
402 yards to 150; 17-0 at halftime

Since realignment in 2002, five-touchdown shutouts happen an average of a little more than once per season. Eli Manning dropped back 31 times against Carolina, with 7 sacks and only 12 completions. The Giants had 6 punts, 2 interceptions, a lost fumble, a turnover on downs, and a missed field goal.

4) Week 13: Detroit Lions 40, Green Bay Packers 10
561 yards to 126; 17-10 at halftime

A Thanksgiving Day massacre:

Score: 40-10
First downs: 30-7
Offensive yardage: 561-126
Time of possession: 40:26 - 19:34

With Aaron Rodgers out, Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn completed 10 passes and got sacked 7 times.

5) Week 4: Indianapolis Colts 37, Jacksonville Jaguars 3
437 yards to 205; 20-3 at halftime

This was the year the Jaguars lost each of their first eight games by double-digits, and looked like they might become the worst team in modern history. I had to get a Jags game into the top 5, and there were several options. I could have chosen Week 2, when the Chiefs beat them 28-2. Or Week 8, when the 49ers took a 28-0 lead and beat them 42-10. Or Week 3, when the Seahawks took a 31-0 lead and beat them 45-17. Like San Francisco and Seattle, the Colts eased off in the fourth quarter. On one drive, they ran Trent Richardson up the middle five times. The Jags couldn't even stop that.

Honorable Mentions: 49ers 34, Texans 3 (Week 5); Bengals 49, Jets 9 (Week 8); Saints 49, Cowboys 17 (Week 10); Seahawks 34, Saints 7 (Week 13), Seahawks 43, Broncos 8 (Super Bowl XLVIII)

New Orleans' yardage advantage in Week 10 was 625-193.

2014

1) Week 13: St. Louis Rams 52, Oakland Raiders 0
348 yards to 244; 38-0 at halftime

There have been six 50-point shutouts since the 1970 NFL/AFL Merger:

Nov 1972: Dolphins 52, Patriots 0
Dec 1976: Rams 59, Falcons 0
Sep 1989: Browns 51, Steelers 0
Oct 2009: Patriots 59, Titans 0
Dec 2012: Seahawks 58, Cardinals 0
Nov 2014: Rams 52, Raiders 0

2) Week 3: Atlanta Falcons 56, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14
488 yards to 217; 35-0 at halftime

Here's the score each quarter: 21-0, 14-0, 21-0, 0-14. Atlanta scored eight touchdowns in the first three quarters. Matt Ryan went 21-of-24 for 286 yards, 3 touchdowns, and a 155.9 passer rating.

3) Week 10: Green Bay Packers 55, Chicago Bears 14
451 yards to 311; 42-0 at halftime

Aaron Rodgers had 315 passing yards and 6 touchdowns. At halftime. If Rodgers had continued that pace in the second half, he would have finished with 73 fantasy points.

With the Packers leading 48-7, Jay Cutler completed a 3-yard pass on 1st-and-10, and Mike McCarthy challenged the call. When Green Bay lost the challenge, Al Michaels deadpanned, "Boy, that might come back to bite him."

4) Week 6: Baltimore Ravens 48, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
475 yards to 264; 38-0 at halftime

2014 was a year of blowouts. Seriously, there were four halftime leads of at least 35-0. The Ravens had more points at the end of the first quarter than the Bucs had yards. On each team's first five possessions, Baltimore produced 268 yards and 5 touchdowns; Tampa produced 15 yards, 4 punts, and an interception. It was over in the first quarter.

5) Week 9: Miami Dolphins 37, San Diego Chargers 0
441 yards to 178; 20-0 at halftime

Okay, year of blowouts. A 20-0 halftime lead, 37-0 shutout victory, and 441-178 yardage margin ranks fifth on the list of dominant wins. But which could you move down? This was possibly the best game of Ryan Tannehill's career: 288 yds, 3 TD, 125.6 passer rating, and 47 rushing yards.

Honorable Mentions: Chargers 31, Jets 0 (Week 5); Eagles 27, Giants 0 (Week 6); Colts 27, Bengals 0 (Week 7); Bengals 30, Browns 0 (Week 15); Cowboys 42, Colts 7 (Week 16)

The Colts out-gained Cincinnati 506-135 in Week 7. Flipping the tables on Indy, Dallas led 28-0 at halftime of their matchup, if you're looking for another one one that was over early.

2015

1) Week 14: Carolina Panthers 38, Atlanta Falcons 0
424 yards to 230; 28-0 at halftime

Cam Newton connected to Ted Ginn on 74-yard and 46-yard TDs, and Carolina led 21-0 in the first quarter. It was 38-0 after three, but the Panthers chose not to run up the score.

2) Week 3: Arizona Cardinals 47, San Francisco 49ers 7
446 yards to 156; 31-7 at halftime

The largest margin of victory all season (+40), with a nasty yardage differential (+290), nasty first down differential (+18), and an early 28-0 lead. Colin Kaepernick threw pick-sixes on each of the Niners' first two drives, and it didn't get any better afterwards.

3) Week 13: Seattle Seahawks 38, Minnesota Vikings 7
433 yards to 125; 21-0 at halftime

Seattle more than tripled Minnesota's yardage (3.46:1) and took a 35-0 lead before easing off. Russell Wilson passed for 3 touchdowns and a 146.0 passer rating, and ran for 51 yards and another touchdown. The Vikings' only score came on a kickoff return; the offense got shut out (9 first downs, 125 yards, no points).

4) Week 7: Miami Dolphins 44, Houston Texans 26
503 yards to 322; 41-0 at halftime

Miami RB Lamar Miller carried 14 times for 175 yards and a touchdown, with 3 receptions for 61 yards and another touchdown. He sat out the second half. Ryan Tannehill went 18-of-19 for the maximum 158.3 passer rating.

5) Week 12: Detroit Lions 45, Philadelphia Eagles 14
430 yards to 227; 24-7 at halftime

I award some extra points for dominant wins in front of a national audience, and this was on Thanksgiving. This game wasn't very long ago; you probably remember how quickly things got away from Philadelphia. Calvin Johnson scored three TDs, and the Lions led 45-7 before a late touchdown.

Honorable Mentions: Bengals 37, Browns 3 (Week 13); Steelers 45, Colts 10 (Week 13); Cardinals 38, Packers 8 (Week 16); Chiefs 30, Texans 0 (wild card playoff); Panthers 49, Cardinals 15 (NFC Championship Game)

Last year's NFC Championship Game wasn't any more competitive than this year's. The Panthers were +6 in turnovers, and took a 17-0 lead in the first quarter.

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