The Arizona Cardinals were unstoppable in the recent NFL playoff game against Green Bay, on January 10, 2010. How unstoppable? They were 3 for 5 on third down conversions. That’s right, they only attempted FIVE third down conversions. That’s gotta be some kind of NFL record, or at least close to it.
I did some brief surfing but couldn’t come up with an official record. I’m assuming that some high school team has probably gone a whole game without facing third down, and possibly in college as well. But the NFL?
I did find that the biggest blowout in NFL history was 73-0 (a 1940 playoff game), but the box score I found did not include third down stats. So I guess the first order of business would be to find out when people started keeping third down stats. And since that time, has any team tried fewer than 5 third down attempts in a game?
Oh, and for the purposes of this question, if a team is faced with third down but doesn’t try for a first down, it doesn’t count. For example, if a team kicks a field goal on third down because it’s the end of the half or game, that doesn’t count. We’ll only count times when they attempt to get a first down; this should make it easier to look up the statistics for this.
If anyone has any info on this, I’d be interested in hearing it.