“SIX STATS…” is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ and is published every Friday.
In 2002, the NFL realigned into four divisions in each conference. In addition, the playoffs were adjusted to include the four division winners and two wild card teams in each conference. This is the current playoff system in the NFL.
The first weekend of the NFL playoffs feature the two wild card teams in the AFC and NFC playing the division winners with the third and fourth best records of the four division champs. This first weekend is commonly referred to as “Wild Card Weekend” (WCW).
Today’s blog will look back at some stats from “Wild Card Weekend” since that 2002 realignment… a total of 36 games.
1. The home team holds a 19-17 record in WCW play. The only year since 2002 that the home team won all four games the first weekend of the playoffs was in 2006. Home teams are only 7-9 in the last four years of the WCW.
2. Having a better record than your opponent on WCW doesn’t matter. Teams with a better record than the opposition on WCW are 14-14 (there have been eight games between teams with the same record).
3. Sixteen of the 36 Wild Card Weekend games since 2002 have been decided by eight points or less.
4. Teams that won the first weekend went on to win the next week on 14 occasions. In 2008, three teams that won on WCW also won the following week.
5. Teams that scored 30 or more points on WCW since 2002 have won 17 and lost four.
6. Six teams that played on WCW since 2002 have made it to the Super Bowl: Carolina (2003), Pittsburgh (2005), Indianapolis (2006), New York Giants (2007), Arizona (2008), Green Bay (2010). Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, the Giants and Green Bay won the Super Bowl those years.
How well did this year’s 12 playoff teams do against each other? Following are the records of the 12 playoff teams in regular season games against each other.
6-0: Baltimore, Green Bay
5-1: New Orleans
4-1: San Francisco
1-2: New England
1-3: Denver, New York Giants
How well did the teams that did not make the playoffs do against the 12 playoff teams during the regular season?
2-4: Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego
2-5: Chicago, Seattle
2-6: Tampa Bay
1-4: Dallas, Philadelphia
1-6: Carolina, Jacksonville
1-7: Indianapolis, St. Louis
0-5: Miami, New York Jets