NFL Conference Championship Game losers… What happened the following season?
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” published every Friday.
Quick… name the teams that lost in the two conference championship games after the 2010 regular season.
Did you remember?
If you answered the Chicago Bears and the New York Jets, good memory! But the interesting thing about the Bears and Jets is that neither team made the playoffs this year, the fifth time since 1966 that the losers of the conference championship games failed to make the playoffs the following year. The other years: 1985, 1989, 1991 and 2005.
Here’s a few more stats from the teams that lost conference championship games since 1966 (45 seasons, 90 teams):
* Fifty-eight of the 90 conference championship game losers made the playoffs the following year, 32 did not. Of the 32 teams, the Jets have now missed the playoffs three times after losing the conference championship game the prior year. Nine teams have done this twice: Cleveland, L.A. Rams, Chicago, Carolina, Minnestoa, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Miami and Denver.
* Nineteen teams have lost the conference championship game in consecutive seasons. The Jets did it in 2009 and 2010. The last NFC team to lose consecutive NFC title games? The Philadelphia Eagles. They lost NFC title games in 2001, 2002 and 2003. The other teams to lose three straight conference title games are the Los Angeles Rams (1974, 1975, 1976), Dallas (1980, 1981, 1982), Oakland (1968, 1969, 1970) and Oakland (1973, 1974, 1975).
* Eight teams lost a conference title game in a season and then won the Super Bowl the following year: San Francisco (1983), Chicago (1984), Washington (1986), San Francisco (1993), Dallas (1994), Green Bay (1995), Oakland (1975) and Pittsburgh (2004). Four teams lost a conference title game and then lost in the Super Bowl the following season: L.A. Rams (1978), Philadelphia (2003), Pittsburgh (1994) and New England (2006).
* Only once in NFL history did both the teams that lost the conference title game in a season then face off against each other in the Super Bowl the following year: That happened in 1994 when Dallas and Pittsburgh lost conference title games and then played each other in the Super Bowl the following season.
* Six of the last seven teams that lost in the NFC Conference Championship Game failed to make the playoffs the next season.