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“Game-winning” touchdowns

Posted by Doug on February 19, 2008

A few weeks ago, I told you about The Touchdown Project that we're working on here at p-f-r. We've now got a database of every scoring play back to 1940, and you'll start to see the results of that work at the site before too long.

When I was a kid, the baseball boxscores included something called the "game-winning RBI," which was defined as an RBI that gave your team a lead it never relinquished. So the game-winning RBI might have been on the first run of the game, or it might have been on the last. It was interesting as trivia, but useless as any kind of measure of how well a guy actually played. So useless, in fact, that even announcers realized it was useless. It was eventually scrapped.

Anyway, for no other reason than that I can, I decided to compute "game-winning touchdowns" in the same way. A game-winning touchdown is one which gives your team a lead (a lead it didn't have before that score, that is) that it never relinquishes.

If you can't guess who is the all-time leader in game-winning touchdowns, then, well, let's just say you're not exactly the Jerry Rice of football trivia. If you can guess who is in second place, you just might be. I'll put it in white text just below this paragraph for those who want to take a second to guess.

Answer here ------> Lenny Moore <----------

With a clear statement that this is interesting only in a trivial way, here is a list of all players who have scored 50 or more regular season TDs, ordered by the percentage of their TDs which were game-winning:

+---------------------+--------+------------------+--------+
| player              | tot_td | game_winning_TDs | PCT    |
+---------------------+--------+------------------+--------+
| Charlie Garner      | 51     |               14 | 0.2745 |
| Roger Craig         | 73     |               20 | 0.2740 |
| John Stallworth     | 64     |               17 | 0.2656 |
| Fred Taylor         | 69     |               18 | 0.2609 |
| Paul Hornung        | 62     |               16 | 0.2581 |
| Shannon Sharpe      | 62     |               16 | 0.2581 |
| Larry Brown         | 55     |               14 | 0.2545 |
| Lenny Moore         | 113    |               28 | 0.2478 |
| Dave Casper         | 53     |               13 | 0.2453 |
| Eric Dickerson      | 96     |               23 | 0.2396 |
| Neal Anderson       | 71     |               17 | 0.2394 |
| Mark Duper          | 59     |               14 | 0.2373 |
| Steve Van Buren     | 77     |               18 | 0.2338 |
| Stephen Davis       | 69     |               16 | 0.2319 |
| Pete Johnson        | 82     |               19 | 0.2317 |
| Calvin Hill         | 65     |               15 | 0.2308 |
| Nat Moore           | 75     |               17 | 0.2267 |
| Lynn Swann          | 53     |               12 | 0.2264 |
| Dante Lavelli       | 62     |               14 | 0.2258 |
| Walter Payton       | 125    |               27 | 0.2160 |
| Rodney Hampton      | 51     |               11 | 0.2157 |
| Del Shofner         | 51     |               11 | 0.2157 |
| Ahman Green         | 70     |               15 | 0.2143 |
| Jimmy Orr           | 66     |               14 | 0.2121 |
| Cliff Branch        | 67     |               14 | 0.2090 |
| Ricky Watters       | 91     |               19 | 0.2088 |
| Chris Warren        | 58     |               12 | 0.2069 |
| George Rogers       | 54     |               11 | 0.2037 |
| Jimmy Smith         | 69     |               14 | 0.2029 |
| Jerome Bettis       | 94     |               19 | 0.2021 |
| Jerry Rice          | 208    |               42 | 0.2019 |
| Ed McCaffrey        | 55     |               11 | 0.2000 |
| Leroy Kelly         | 90     |               18 | 0.2000 |
| Hugh McElhenny      | 60     |               12 | 0.2000 |
| Terrell Owens       | 131    |               26 | 0.1985 |
| Jim Brown           | 126    |               25 | 0.1984 |
| Plaxico Burress     | 51     |               10 | 0.1961 |
| Lance Alworth       | 87     |               17 | 0.1954 |
| LaDainian Tomlinson | 129    |               25 | 0.1938 |
| Ken Willard         | 62     |               12 | 0.1935 |
| Freddie Solomon     | 57     |               11 | 0.1930 |
| Joey Galloway       | 83     |               16 | 0.1928 |
| Jamal Lewis         | 58     |               11 | 0.1897 |
| Dalton Hilliard     | 53     |               10 | 0.1887 |
| Isaac Curtis        | 53     |               10 | 0.1887 |
| Marcus Allen        | 145    |               27 | 0.1862 |
| Gary Collins        | 70     |               13 | 0.1857 |
| Wendell Tyler       | 66     |               12 | 0.1818 |
| Edgerrin James      | 88     |               16 | 0.1818 |
| Terance Mathis      | 66     |               12 | 0.1818 |
| Anthony Miller      | 67     |               12 | 0.1791 |
| Alex Webster        | 56     |               10 | 0.1786 |
| Donny Anderson      | 56     |               10 | 0.1786 |
| Muhsin Muhammad     | 56     |               10 | 0.1786 |
| Tony Martin         | 56     |               10 | 0.1786 |
| Gale Sayers         | 56     |               10 | 0.1786 |
| Charley Hennigan    | 51     |                9 | 0.1765 |
| Tony Hill           | 51     |                9 | 0.1765 |
| Raymond Berry       | 68     |               12 | 0.1765 |
| Tony Dorsett        | 91     |               16 | 0.1758 |
| Tom Matte           | 57     |               10 | 0.1754 |
| Curt Warner         | 63     |               11 | 0.1746 |
| Carroll Dale        | 52     |                9 | 0.1731 |
| Thurman Thomas      | 88     |               15 | 0.1705 |
| Franco Harris       | 100    |               17 | 0.1700 |
| Shaun Alexander     | 112    |               19 | 0.1696 |
| Michael Irvin       | 65     |               11 | 0.1692 |
| Joe Morrison        | 65     |               11 | 0.1692 |
| Cris Carter         | 131    |               22 | 0.1679 |
| Keyshawn Johnson    | 66     |               11 | 0.1667 |
| Joe Perry           | 84     |               14 | 0.1667 |
| Rick Casares        | 60     |               10 | 0.1667 |
| Bobby Mitchell      | 91     |               15 | 0.1648 |
| John Riggins        | 116    |               19 | 0.1638 |
| Eric Metcalf        | 55     |                9 | 0.1636 |
| Paul Warfield       | 86     |               14 | 0.1628 |
| Earl Campbell       | 74     |               12 | 0.1622 |
| John David Crow     | 74     |               12 | 0.1622 |
| Tiki Barber         | 68     |               11 | 0.1618 |
| Curtis Martin       | 100    |               16 | 0.1600 |
| Irving Fryar        | 88     |               14 | 0.1591 |
| Andre Reed          | 88     |               14 | 0.1591 |
| Art Powell          | 82     |               13 | 0.1585 |
| Steve Largent       | 101    |               16 | 0.1584 |
| Haven Moses         | 57     |                9 | 0.1579 |
| Bill Brown          | 76     |               12 | 0.1579 |
| Chuck Foreman       | 76     |               12 | 0.1579 |
| Corey Dillon        | 89     |               14 | 0.1573 |
| Ricky Williams      | 51     |                8 | 0.1569 |
| Charley Taylor      | 90     |               14 | 0.1556 |
| Wilbert Montgomery  | 58     |                9 | 0.1552 |
| Rod Smith           | 71     |               11 | 0.1549 |
| Marshall Faulk      | 136    |               21 | 0.1544 |
| Terrell Davis       | 65     |               10 | 0.1538 |
| Eddie George        | 78     |               12 | 0.1538 |
| Emerson Boozer      | 65     |               10 | 0.1538 |
| Gary Clark          | 65     |               10 | 0.1538 |
| Sonny Randle        | 65     |               10 | 0.1538 |
| Earnest Byner       | 72     |               11 | 0.1528 |
| Randy Moss          | 125    |               19 | 0.1520 |
| James Brooks        | 79     |               12 | 0.1519 |
| Jim Taylor          | 93     |               14 | 0.1505 |
| Jerry Smith         | 60     |                9 | 0.1500 |
| Priest Holmes       | 94     |               14 | 0.1489 |
| Chuck Muncie        | 74     |               11 | 0.1486 |
| Wesley Walls        | 54     |                8 | 0.1481 |
| Don Maynard         | 88     |               13 | 0.1477 |
| Antonio Freeman     | 61     |                9 | 0.1475 |
| Art Monk            | 68     |               10 | 0.1471 |
| Gerald Riggs        | 69     |               10 | 0.1449 |
| Harold Jackson      | 76     |               11 | 0.1447 |
| Bob Hayes           | 76     |               11 | 0.1447 |
| Wes Chandler        | 56     |                8 | 0.1429 |
| Fred Biletnikoff    | 77     |               11 | 0.1429 |
| Emmitt Smith        | 175    |               25 | 0.1429 |
| Mike Pruitt         | 56     |                8 | 0.1429 |
| Isaac Bruce         | 84     |               12 | 0.1429 |
| Torry Holt          | 71     |               10 | 0.1408 |
| James Stewart       | 57     |                8 | 0.1404 |
| Antowain Smith      | 57     |                8 | 0.1404 |
| Anthony Carter      | 57     |                8 | 0.1404 |
| Harold Carmichael   | 79     |               11 | 0.1392 |
| Billy Cannon        | 65     |                9 | 0.1385 |
| Elroy Hirsch        | 66     |                9 | 0.1364 |
| Joe Morris          | 52     |                7 | 0.1346 |
| John Gilliam        | 52     |                7 | 0.1346 |
| Ken Kavanaugh       | 52     |                7 | 0.1346 |
| Gene A. Washington  | 60     |                8 | 0.1333 |
| Don Hutson          | 105    |               14 | 0.1333 |
| Mike Quick          | 61     |                8 | 0.1311 |
| Roy Green           | 69     |                9 | 0.1304 |
| Ricky Proehl        | 54     |                7 | 0.1296 |
| Mark Clayton        | 85     |               11 | 0.1294 |
| Chris Burford       | 55     |                7 | 0.1273 |
| Curtis Conway       | 55     |                7 | 0.1273 |
| Mike Alstott        | 71     |                9 | 0.1268 |
| Terry Allen         | 79     |               10 | 0.1266 |
| Keenan McCardell    | 64     |                8 | 0.1250 |
| Larry Johnson       | 56     |                7 | 0.1250 |
| Tim Brown           | 105    |               13 | 0.1238 |
| Stanley Morgan      | 73     |                9 | 0.1233 |
| Hines Ward          | 66     |                8 | 0.1212 |
| Greg Bell           | 58     |                7 | 0.1207 |
| Clinton Portis      | 67     |                8 | 0.1194 |
| Herschel Walker     | 84     |               10 | 0.1190 |
| James Lofton        | 76     |                9 | 0.1184 |
| Larry Csonka        | 68     |                8 | 0.1176 |
| Mark Carrier        | 51     |                6 | 0.1176 |
| Frank Clarke        | 51     |                6 | 0.1176 |
| Ottis Anderson      | 86     |               10 | 0.1163 |
| Frank Gifford       | 78     |                9 | 0.1154 |
| Herman Moore        | 62     |                7 | 0.1129 |
| Pete Pihos          | 63     |                7 | 0.1111 |
| Kevin Mack          | 54     |                6 | 0.1111 |
| Timmy Brown         | 64     |                7 | 0.1094 |
| Ron A. Johnson      | 55     |                6 | 0.1091 |
| Ray Renfro          | 55     |                6 | 0.1091 |
| John Henry Johnson  | 55     |                6 | 0.1091 |
| Hugh Taylor         | 58     |                6 | 0.1034 |
| Joe Horn            | 58     |                6 | 0.1034 |
| Barry Sanders       | 109    |               11 | 0.1009 |
| Otis Taylor         | 60     |                6 | 0.1000 |
| Wesley Walker       | 71     |                7 | 0.0986 |
| Drew Hill           | 61     |                6 | 0.0984 |
| Billy Howton        | 61     |                6 | 0.0984 |
| Max McGee           | 51     |                5 | 0.0980 |
| Leroy Hoard         | 51     |                5 | 0.0980 |
| Warrick Dunn        | 62     |                6 | 0.0968 |
| Brian Westbrook     | 52     |                5 | 0.0962 |
| Pete Banaszak       | 52     |                5 | 0.0962 |
| Andre Rison         | 84     |                8 | 0.0952 |
| Roy Jefferson       | 53     |                5 | 0.0943 |
| Dorsey Levens       | 53     |                5 | 0.0943 |
| Amani Toomer        | 54     |                5 | 0.0926 |
| Clem Daniels        | 54     |                5 | 0.0926 |
| Keith Byars         | 54     |                5 | 0.0926 |
| O.J. Simpson        | 76     |                7 | 0.0921 |
| Sterling Sharpe     | 66     |                6 | 0.0909 |
| Marvin Harrison     | 123    |               11 | 0.0894 |
| Don McCauley        | 58     |                5 | 0.0862 |
| Tommy McDonald      | 85     |                7 | 0.0824 |
| Charlie Joiner      | 65     |                5 | 0.0769 |
| Kyle Rote           | 52     |                4 | 0.0769 |
| Tony Gonzalez       | 66     |                5 | 0.0758 |
| Ted Brown           | 53     |                4 | 0.0755 |
| Floyd Little        | 54     |                4 | 0.0741 |
| Abner Haynes        | 69     |                5 | 0.0725 |
| Gary Garrison       | 58     |                4 | 0.0690 |
| Ollie Matson        | 73     |                5 | 0.0685 |
| Ernest Givins       | 51     |                3 | 0.0588 |
| Henry Ellard        | 69     |                4 | 0.0580 |
| Carl Pickens        | 64     |                3 | 0.0469 |

Here is the game-winning field goal list (min. 100 career field goals made):

+----------------------+--------+------------------+--------+
| player               | tot_fg | game_winning_FGs | PCT    |
+----------------------+--------+------------------+--------+
| Toni Fritsch         | 157    |               43 | 0.2739 |
| Uwe von Schamann     | 101    |               27 | 0.2673 |
| Pete Stoyanovich     | 272    |               71 | 0.2610 |
| Mike Cofer           | 133    |               33 | 0.2481 |
| Matt Bahr            | 300    |               73 | 0.2433 |
| Fuad Reveiz          | 188    |               45 | 0.2394 |
| Lou Groza            | 264    |               63 | 0.2386 |
| Roy Gerela           | 184    |               43 | 0.2337 |
| Efren Herrera        | 116    |               27 | 0.2328 |
| John Hall            | 203    |               47 | 0.2315 |
| Ben Agajanian        | 104    |               24 | 0.2308 |
| Kevin Butler         | 265    |               61 | 0.2302 |
| George Blanda        | 335    |               77 | 0.2299 |
| Jeff Reed            | 135    |               31 | 0.2296 |
| Rafael Septien       | 180    |               41 | 0.2278 |
| Roger Ruzek          | 120    |               27 | 0.2250 |
| Fred Cox             | 282    |               63 | 0.2234 |
| Neil O'Donoghue      | 112    |               25 | 0.2232 |
| Rich Karlis          | 172    |               38 | 0.2209 |
| Raul Allegre         | 137    |               30 | 0.2190 |
| Michael Husted       | 142    |               31 | 0.2183 |
| Chris Jacke          | 202    |               44 | 0.2178 |
| Paul McFadden        | 120    |               26 | 0.2167 |
| Olindo Mare          | 255    |               55 | 0.2157 |
| Josh Brown           | 116    |               25 | 0.2155 |
| Mark Moseley         | 300    |               64 | 0.2133 |
| Norm Johnson         | 366    |               78 | 0.2131 |
| Don Cockroft         | 216    |               46 | 0.2130 |
| Adam Vinatieri       | 311    |               66 | 0.2122 |
| Scott Norwood        | 133    |               28 | 0.2105 |
| Martin Gramatica     | 149    |               31 | 0.2081 |
| Chris Bahr           | 241    |               50 | 0.2075 |
| Paul Edinger         | 135    |               28 | 0.2074 |
| Dean Biasucci        | 185    |               38 | 0.2054 |
| Bob Thomas           | 151    |               31 | 0.2053 |
| Jeff Jaeger          | 229    |               47 | 0.2052 |
| Gino Cappelletti     | 176    |               36 | 0.2045 |
| Joe Danelo           | 133    |               27 | 0.2030 |
| Lou Michaels         | 187    |               37 | 0.1979 |
| Tony Franklin        | 177    |               35 | 0.1977 |
| Errol Mann           | 177    |               35 | 0.1977 |
| Mike Lansford        | 158    |               31 | 0.1962 |
| Mike Clark           | 133    |               26 | 0.1955 |
| Garo Yepremian       | 210    |               41 | 0.1952 |
| Tom Dempsey          | 159    |               31 | 0.1950 |
| Chester Marcol       | 121    |               23 | 0.1901 |
| David Akers          | 197    |               37 | 0.1878 |
| Brad Daluiso         | 128    |               24 | 0.1875 |
| Mike Mercer          | 102    |               19 | 0.1863 |
| Gary Anderson        | 538    |              100 | 0.1859 |
| Rolf Benirschke      | 146    |               27 | 0.1849 |
| Al Del Greco         | 347    |               64 | 0.1844 |
| Ryan Longwell        | 267    |               49 | 0.1835 |
| Nick Mike-Mayer      | 115    |               21 | 0.1826 |
| Morten Andersen      | 565    |              103 | 0.1823 |
| Steve Christie       | 336    |               61 | 0.1815 |
| David Treadwell      | 135    |               24 | 0.1778 |
| Jim Bakken           | 282    |               50 | 0.1773 |
| Joe Nedney           | 199    |               35 | 0.1759 |
| Phil Dawson          | 182    |               32 | 0.1758 |
| Jay Feely            | 177    |               31 | 0.1751 |
| Mike Hollis          | 200    |               35 | 0.1750 |
| Matt Stover          | 435    |               76 | 0.1747 |
| Pat Leahy            | 304    |               53 | 0.1743 |
| Mick Luckhurst       | 115    |               20 | 0.1739 |
| Doug Brien           | 207    |               36 | 0.1739 |
| Bruce Gossett        | 219    |               38 | 0.1735 |
| David Ray            | 110    |               19 | 0.1727 |
| Rian Lindell         | 175    |               30 | 0.1714 |
| Jim Turner           | 304    |               52 | 0.1711 |
| Mike Vanderjagt      | 230    |               39 | 0.1696 |
| Jason Elam           | 395    |               67 | 0.1696 |
| Jeff Wilkins         | 307    |               52 | 0.1694 |
| Tommy Davis          | 130    |               22 | 0.1692 |
| Curt Knight          | 101    |               17 | 0.1683 |
| John Kasay           | 358    |               60 | 0.1676 |
| Eddie Murray         | 352    |               59 | 0.1676 |
| Jan Stenerud         | 373    |               62 | 0.1662 |
| Nick Lowery          | 383    |               63 | 0.1645 |
| John Smith           | 128    |               21 | 0.1641 |
| Doug Pelfrey         | 153    |               25 | 0.1634 |
| Pete Gogolak         | 173    |               28 | 0.1618 |
| Jason Hanson         | 385    |               62 | 0.1610 |
| Todd Peterson        | 235    |               37 | 0.1574 |
| Chip Lohmiller       | 204    |               32 | 0.1569 |
| John Carney          | 425    |               66 | 0.1553 |
| Jim Breech           | 243    |               37 | 0.1523 |
| Cary Blanchard       | 165    |               25 | 0.1515 |
| Matt Bryant          | 106    |               16 | 0.1509 |
| Sam Baker            | 179    |               27 | 0.1508 |
| Greg Davis           | 224    |               33 | 0.1473 |
| Tony Zendejas        | 186    |               27 | 0.1452 |
| Kris Brown           | 202    |               29 | 0.1436 |
| Chris Boniol         | 128    |               17 | 0.1328 |
| Ray Wersching        | 222    |               29 | 0.1306 |
| Neil Rackers         | 164    |               21 | 0.1280 |
| Shayne Graham        | 152    |               19 | 0.1250 |
| Sebastian Janikowski | 179    |               22 | 0.1229 |
| Mac Percival         | 101    |               12 | 0.1188 |
| Gene Mingo           | 112    |               13 | 0.1161 |
| Horst Muhlmann       | 154    |               17 | 0.1104 |
| Donald Igwebuike     | 108    |               11 | 0.1019 |

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