25 Little-Known Facts About the NFL



By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: NFL

About This Quiz

Each year, the Super Bowl is the most-watched sporting event on the planet, drawing American football fans from all corners of the globe. It’s the highlight of the National Football League’s season, but it is by no means the only game that matters. Let’s dive headfirst into this gridiron quiz and see if you know these little-known facts about America’s favorite sport.

For every celebrity in the modern game, there are legends of the past who accomplished just as much – or more – than today’s pro football stars. Guys like Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, and Gale Sayers still have the numbers to match current standouts like Nick Foles, Russell Wilson and Ben Rothlisberger. Do you know which extraordinary players really hold some of the NFL’s most treasured records?

In the same vein, old-school teams put together some amazing runs (both good and bad) during the NFL’s first decades. Clubs like the Bears, Packers and Giants began their runs into the history books early, while other teams started off badly and have still barely managed any degree of success.

Smear on that eye black and lace up your cleats for war. Maybe you’ll know all of the little-known facts in this NFL quiz, or perhaps you’ll get sacked all the way back in the end zone!

Which team has the longest waiting list for season tickets?

The Packers are, to say the least, fan favorites. Only about 90 fans per year drop their tickets, but tens of thousands are still on the waiting list. Some pundits say it would take more than 900 years for people at the end of the list to finally get their tickets.


Who set the record for most passing yards in a single game?

Of the 18 QBs who've surpassed the 500-yard mark in a single game, just one reigns supreme -- Norm Van Brocklin. In 1951, the Rams QB completed 27 of 41 passes for a whopping 554 yards against the New York Yanks. He also threw 5 TD passes that fateful day.


Which Super Bowl was actually the first to be called "Super Bowl"?

The first two Super Bowls weren't called "Super Bowl" at the time. They were just the AFL-NFL World Championship Games. Super Bowl III was the first actual "Super Bowl."


True or false, are the Miami Dolphins the only team to complete an undefeated and untied regular season?

It's an enduring myth that the Dolphins are the only team with an undefeated regular season to their credit. In three other seasons, teams have duplicated the feat.


Which of the following teams is NOT one of the three to have completed an undefeated regular season?

The Chiefs have never gone undefeated. The Bears have accomplished the feat twice, once in 1934 and once in 1942, and the Dolpins went unbeaten in '72. The Patriots followed up in 2007 with a perfect regular season before losing to the Giants in a dramatic Super Bowl.


Which team owns the record for the longest winning streak in NFL history?

From 2003 to 2004, the Patriots went on a legendary tear, winning 21 consecutive games. That streak included two overtime games in which the Patriots barely squeaked by the Dolphins and Texans.


The Patriots had their NFL-record winning streak broken by the ______.

On Halloween night 2004, the Pittsburgh Steelers finally put a stop to the Patriots' streak. Pittsburgh won 34-20, and the streak was halted.


What's the record for most points scored by an individual in a single game?

In 1929, Ernie Nevers, a fullback for the Chicago Cardinals, scored 40 points in a single game against the Bears. He gashed the defense for six TDs and four extra points.


Currently, Super Bowl tickets cost about how much each, on average?

Fans dole out huge bucks to attend the Super Bowl, with tickets averaging between $2,500 and $3,000 each. For high-demand games, those prices became even more exorbitant.


Which team was almost named "Bay State"?

In 1971, the Boston Patriots moved to their location in Foxborough and then considered a name change -- the "Bay State Patriots." But the league insisted on the "New England Patriots," largely because the abbreviation of Bay State would've been inappropriate for marketing purposes.


How much does the Super Bowl trophy cost?

Each year, a new Lombardi Trophy is made by hand and awarded to the winners of the Super Bowl. The trophy costs around $50,000.


Which of the following teams is NOT one that is tied for the record for most losses in a single season?

Denver has never sunk to the level of incompetence of the Lions and Browns, both of which have somehow managed to lose 16 games in a single season. The Browns achieved their "feat" in the 2017 season, the Lions in 2008.


Who was the first black player to sign with the NFL in the post-WWII era?

Jackie Robinson was the first black player in major league baseball. Kenny Washington, a star running back, signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 1946 and broke the color barrier in the NFL.


George Halas, the owner of the Chicago Bears, really wanted to sign Kenny Washington as the first black player in the NFL. Why wasn't he able to sign Washington?

Halas wanted to enlist Washington's running talents into the Bears offense. But other NFL owners didn't want a black player in the league, so they stopped Halas before the deal was completed.


In 1966, two teams put together the highest combined score ever in an NFL game. The two teams were the Redskins and the _____.

In a late November matchup, the Redskins and the Giants put on an offensive show for the ages, combining for a record 113 points. But the game was a blowout -- Washington won by a score of 72-41.


How many teams have managed to win back-to-back Super Bowls not once, but twice?

Just one team has won consecutive Super Bowls on two separate occasions. That'd be the Steelers, in '74 and '75 and then '78 and '79.


Which team holds the (very specific) record of "most consecutive games without a defeat"?

From 1921 to 1923, the Canton Bulldogs were unstoppable, winning 22 games and tying three. Their record for most games without a defeat is nearly 100 years old.


Why did the NFL change the shape of the football in 1934?

In 1934, the NFL decided to emphasize the passing game. League officials altered the ball to make it skinnier and more aerodynamic for easier throws.


True or false, through the past few decades, have NFL games been played on every day of the week?

Sure, it's a Sunday game, but throughout the decades the NFL has tinkered with all sorts of formats in scheduling. At one point or another, each day of the week has featured an NFL game.


Which team has accomplished not one, but two 18-game winning streaks?

There's a reason that the Bears are NFL royalty in spite of their recent struggles. In 1933 and 1941, Chicago put together 18-game winning streaks, two of the best streaks in league history.


True or false, did the same team end both of Chicago's 18-game winning streaks?

Chicago hasn’t seen a winning streak of 18 games since WWII. In 1934, the Giants beat the Bears 30-13. And in 1942, the Redskins edged the Bears 14-6.


Which team holds the record for most consecutive HOME losses?

Believe it or not, the Cowboys were terrible at home from from '88-'90, losing 14 straight home games. Then, of course, Troy Aikman caught fire and a dynasty was born.


What's the record for longest LOSING streak in the NFL?

From 1976-77, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an expansion team, managed to lose 26 straight games. During the '76 campaign, in five losses, they didn't even manage to score a single point.


A player named Fred Dryer set the record for _____ in a single game.

In 1973, a Rams defensive back named Fred Dryer logged two safeties in one game, and his record still stands. Dryer went on to Hollywood, starring in the cop show "Hunter."


Which team is NOT tied for the record of four Super Bowl losses?

The Jaguars have never even made it to the big game. But the Bills, Vikings, and Broncos are all tied for most-ever Super Bowl losses -- four. The Broncos can rest easy knowing that they've also won two.


What amazing feat did Chuck Bednarik accomplish in 1960?

In 1960, the incredibly talented Chuck Bednarik played every single play on offense and defense for the whole season. He was, to say the least, an Eagles celebrity.


In 2015, Sports Illustrated said that ____ of NFL players go broke within three years of retirement.

A widely publicized Sports Illustrated story reported that about 80% of NFL players go broke within three years of retirement. Poor financial planning was named as the number one cause.


Which team holds the record for most consecutive home games without a defeat?

There's a reason that the "frozen tundra of Lambeau field" is so legendary. From '28-33, the Packers fended off defeat at home by winning or tying 30 straight games.


Roughly how much does the Super Bowl trophy weigh?

Four months of work go into the Super Bowl trophy each year. It has a heft of around 7 pounds, light enough for a weary QB to triumphantly wave it around after the big game.


What's the record for the highest-scoring game in Super Bowl history?

In 1995 (Super Bowl XXIX), the 49ers and Chargers scored TD after TD, delighting fans in a back-and-forth affair. By the third quarter the game was all but over, and the 49ers triumphed 49-26, for a record 75 combined points. The Eagles and Patriots missed that total by 1 in Super Bowl 52.


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