NFL countdown: 50 days, 50 numbers


Fifty days until the start of the NFL season, we count down 50 facts, one for each day.

50: Wes Welker enters the 2015 season with 50 career touchdown receptions. Jordy Nelson is one touchdown catch shy of 50.

49: The New Orleans Saints will be playing their 49th NFL season in 2015. In the first game of their first season (1967), John Gilliam returned the opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams.

48: The Cincinnati Bengals will play their 48th season in 2015. Of their first 47 seasons, 17 resulted in winning seasons, including each of the last four.

47: Three active punters enter 2015 with career averages of 47 or more yards per punt: Shane Lechler (47.5), Brian Anger (47.0) and Thomas Morestead (47.0).

46: Tom Brady has had 46 career game-winning drives. Peyton Manning and Dan Marino are the only quarterbacks with 50 or more career game-winning drives.

45: Russell Wilson and Cam Newton each rushed for 45 first downs last season, tied for the most by a quarterback.

44: Dwayne Bowe has 44 career touchdowns. He didn't add to his total last season despite making 60 catches last season with the Chiefs.

43: Andrew Luck accounted for 43 touchdowns last season, scoring three on runs and passing for the others.

42: George Blanda threw a single-season record 42 interceptions (in 14 games) with the Houston Oilers in 1962.

41: Peyton Manning is the all-time leader in fourth-quarter comebacks with 41. The next closest active player is Tom Brady with 35.

40: The uniform number 40 has been retired by five NFL teams: the Arizona Cardinals (Pat Tillman), Chicago Bears (Gale Sayers), New England Patriots (Mike Haynes), New York Giants (Joe Morrison) and Philadelphia Eagles (Tom Brookshier).

39: The Bills held their opponents to a 39.0 Total QBR last season, best in the NFL.

38: The Broncos have won 38 regular-season games since they acquired Peyton Manning before the 2012 season, most of any team in the league.

37: The Cowboys scored 37 passing touchdowns last season, most in one season in team history.

36: The New York Jets were last in the NFL in red zone efficiency in 2014 at 36.2 percent.

35: Jimmy Graham has 35 receiving touchdowns over the last three seasons, the most by a tight end in the NFL.

34: The Ravens scored 34 points in each of their two Super Bowl appearances (they won both).

33: Jamaal Charles has scored 33 rushing and receiving touchdowns over the last two seasons, most of any player in the NFL.

32: Four teams had an average time of possession of 32 minutes per game or better in 2014: the Cowboys (32:50), Steelers (32:24), Seahawks (32:22) and Panthers (32:16).

31: Julio Jones had a league-leading 31 catches of at least 20 yards in 2014.

30: Entering the 2015 season, three franchises have made at least 30 playoff appearances in their history: the Dallas Cowboys (31), New York Giants (31) and Green Bay Packers (30).

29: Twenty-nine kickers made a field goal of at least 50 yards last season. Atlanta’s Matt Bryant had the most 50-plus yard field goals, with seven.

28: There were 28 successful two-point conversions in the NFL in 2014. Nearly half of those – 13 – were made by three teams (Cardinals five, Steelers and Vikings four each).

27: The Green Bay Packers have won 27 division titles in their history, the most of any team in NFL history.

26: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost 26 games over the last two seasons, the most of any NFL team in that time.

25: The Seahawks and Broncos each have 25 regular-season wins over the past two seasons, tying them for the most in the NFL in that span.

24: The Cincinnati Bengals have gone 24 seasons without a playoff victory, the longest active drought of that kind in the NFL entering 2015 (Cincinnati has lost in the wild card round each of the past four seasons).

23: Tom Brady’s game-winning passing touchdown to Brandon LaFell in the fourth quarter of the Patriots’ 2014 divisional playoff win against the Ravens was 23 yards.

22: Adam Vinatieri enters 2015 22 field goals shy of 500 for his career. Vinatieri has made 22 or more field goals in a season 16 times in his 19 seasons.

21: With rumors of teams moving to Los Angeles rampant, 2015 will be the 21st straight season the NFL has not had a team in Los Angeles. The Rams and the Raiders moved after the 1994 season.

20: The New York Jets had an NFL-low 20 points off turnovers in 2014.

19: Nineteen players had at least 10 sacks during the 2014 season. Of those 19 players, 11 were from AFC teams (including five of the top six sack leaders).

18: The Bears’ Jay Cutler and the Chargers’ Philip Rivers each threw 18 interceptions last season, tied for the most in the NFL in 2014.

17: Among active qualified receivers, three enter the 2015 season with career yards per receptions averages of 17.0 or better: DeSean Jackson (17.7), Malcom Floyd (17.1) and Vincent Jackson (17.0).

16: Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant posted a league-leading 16 touchdown receptions in 2014. The 16 touchdown catches were a career-high for Bryant.

15: The Buffalo Bills have missed the playoffs each of the last 15 seasons. That is the longest active postseason drought in the NFL.

14: Peyton Manning has been selected to the Pro Bowl 14 times in his career. In the AFC-NFC era (1970-present), he is tied for the most Pro Bowl selections with Bruce Matthews and Tony Gonzalez.

13: The Packers and Patriots each committed 13 turnovers last season, tied for the lowest team total in the NFL in 2014.

12: Super Bowl 50 will be the 12th Super Bowl held in California.

11: There were 11 punts of 70 yards or more during the 2014 NFL regular season. The longest punt was a 79-yarder by the Titans’ Brett Kern in Week 17 against the Colts.

10: Four teams had a turnover differential of plus-10 or better last season: the Packers (plus-14), Patriots (plus-12), Texans (plus-12) and Seahawks (plus-10). Of these, only the Texans missed the playoffs.

9: Mario Williams is nine sacks shy of 100 for his career. Williams has had nine sacks or more in six of his nine NFL seasons.

8: Among qualified active quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers is the only one with a career average for yards per pass of 8.0 or better (8.2 entering 2015).

7: The Philadelphia Eagles had a league-best seven special teams touchdowns in 2014.

6: Two teams allowed more than 6 yards per play during the 2014 regular season: the Atlanta Falcons (6.14) and New Orleans Saints (6.01).

5: Matt Forte is the active leader in two-point conversions scored with five and is two shy of the all-time record of seven held by Marshall Faulk.

4: Four NFL teams have never reached a Super Bowl: the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars.

3: The San Diego Chargers had an NFL-best three fumble return touchdowns in 2014.

2: Philip Rivers is two touchdown passes shy of tying Dan Fouts’ Chargers career record of 254. In addition, the Chargers are the only team in NFL history to have two quarterbacks throw at least 250 touchdown passes for their franchise (Fouts 254, Rivers 252).

1: There has been one tie game in the NFL in each of the past two seasons:

2015: Bengals and Panthers tied 37-37 in Week 6.

2014: Packers and Vikings tied 26-26 in Week 12.