Monday, March 26, 2012

APR's top 25 regular season upsets: #20

#20: 1996 Week 10: Panthers 17, Falcons 20 (ρ=1.2784)
Panthers' season: finished 12-4 with the #2 seed in the NFC, losing in the NFC Championship game to the Packers.
Falcons' season: finished 3-13. Head coach June Jones was fired at the end of the season.
What happened: with the exception of no touchdowns, quarterback Kerry Collins had pretty decent passing stats for this game (14/21 221 yard 0 ints), which gave him one of his best passer ratings of the 1996 season.
But the Panthers also gave up 6 sacks and lost 3 fumbles, which meant most of those yards were on drives that ended without a score. And it turns out that the turnovers where the real deal-breaker here: the 1996 Panthers were 1-4 when they lost more turnovers than they gained.
Also of note: Bobby Hebert, the Falcons quarterback in this game, is much better known as the quarterback that lead the New Orleans Saints to their first-ever winning season (and first-ever playoff berth) in 1987.

Next week: the Packers get caught in a trap game.