Daily Archives: September 14th, 2011

The NFL’s Opening Weekend: A stats recap

Pittsburgh Steelers vs New England Patriots at...

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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.

The 76 combined points by the Packers and Saints in last Thursday night’s opening game of the 2011 NFL season was the 10th time since 1970 that two teams have combined for 75 or more points in an opening weekend NFL contest. The most opening weekend points is 86… in 1971 the Dallas Cowboys defeated Buffalo 49-37.

Dallas and Green Bay have each played in three opening weekend games where the combined total of points scored was 75 or more. The ‘boys have won all three of those games; the Pack is 2-1.

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION: During the past 10 NFL seasons (2002-2011), what percentage of games have been won by the home team on the opening weekend? 51.9%, 54.5%, 60.0% or 61.1%. Answer at end of the blog.

Looking back at the last 25 NFL seasons, how well has your favorite team done on opening weekend? Here’s a look at each NFL team’s opening weekend record in games from 1987-2011.

W-L/PCT      Teams

16-8 .667….. New England

11-6 .647….. Jacksonville

16-9 .640….. San Francisco, Denver

15-10 .600….. Chicago, Green Bay, NY Giants, Pittsburgh

14-11 .560….. Washington

13-11 .542….. Miami

13-12 .520….. Kansas City, Minnesota, New Orleans, Tennessee

8-8 .500….. Baltimore

5-5 .500….. Houston

12-13 .480….. Buffalo, Dallas, Indianapolis, Philadelphia

11-13 .438….. Cincinnati, San Diego

11-14 .440….. Atlanta, Detroit, NY Jets, St. Louis, Tampa Bay

10-15 .400….. Seattle, Oakland

6-11 .353….. Carolina

8-16 .333….. Arizona

6-16 .273….. Cleveland

Did you know? With their 35-7 loss to Baltimore, the Pittsburgh Steelers had their NFL-best streak of eight straight opening weekend wins snapped. The New England Patriots win over Miami now gives them eight straight opening weekend victories, currently the longest streak in the NFL. The Packers are second with five straight on opening day. The longest losing streak on opening weekend belongs to the Cleveland Browns who have now lost on opening weekend for seven straight seasons. The Raiders had lost eight straight opening weekend games, but their 23-20 win over Denver on Monday night ended that streak.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Home teams have won 60% of the opening weekend games over the past 10 years.