Will Patriot’s four-win regular season margin over Giants be a repeat curse?

Super Bowl XLII logo

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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

Not only is this year’s Super Bowl a rematch of Super Bowl 42, but another interesting thing about this rematch is that one of the teams playing in the game won four or more games more than their Super Bowl opponent during the regular season. When New England and the Giants met in Super Bowl 42, New England was coming off a perfect 16-0 season, while New York was 10-6 in the 2007 regular season, a difference of six wins. That six-win difference is the biggest between Super Bowl opponents in the history of the game.

This year’s game features the Pats who won 13 games and the Giants who won nine, a difference of four wins.

Will the result of the game be the same, with the team with fewer wins during the regular season coming out on top?

Here’s a look at the Super Bowl match-ups that featured opponents with the largest margin of wins during that regular season.

Season   Teams                                                                        Win diff.

2007         New England 16-0/New York Giants 10-6                       6

1985          Chicago 15-1/New England 11-5                                         4

1967          Oakland 13-1/Green Bay 9-4-1                                           4

2011          New England 13-3/New York Giants 9-7                         4

1972          Miami 14-0/Washington 11-3                                             3

1979          Pittsburgh 12-4/L.A Rams 9-7                                           3

1986          New York Giants 14-2/Denver 11-5                                  3

1989          San Francisco 14-2/Denver 11-5                                       3

2001          St. Louis Rams 14-2/New England 11-5                          3

2003         New England 14-2/New England 11-5                             3

2008         Pittsburgh 12-4/Arizona 9-7                                              3

Note: Of the 10 times previous to this year’s Super Bowl (where one of the Super Bowl teams won three or more games than their opponents during the regular season), seven of the teams with the better record during the regular season won the Super Bowl. The other three times when the team with fewer wins in the regular season won the Super Bowl: the 2007 Giants (10-6) over New England (16-0); 2001 Patriots (11-5) over the St. Louis Rams (14-2); and the 1967 Packers (9-4-1) over the Oakland Raiders (13-1).

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2 responses

  1. By the time you get to the Super Bowl, records often are irrelevant. Often it is the team that has finished the hotest — not sure there is a stat that can measure that. Further, even the record might not indicate which team is “hotest.” The Patriots have ended the season with a lot of wins but for them that is consistency. Most seem to believe that the Giants are at the moment the hotest team. I.e. there seems to be a difference between boring consistency and getting hot at the right time.

    1. Good point, Dave. Look at New Orleans a couple years ago; they lost their last three in the regular seaosn and then went on to win the Super Bowl. I think there are way too many factors that play in to who will win the Super Bowl. If someone figured out the formula, there’d be no need to play the games. Thanks for reading my blog, Dave. I appreciate your interest.

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