Seattle Seahawks finally get second road playoff win after 29-year wait

Seattle Seahawks huddle

(Photo credit: Mike Morbeck)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Prior to their 24-14 win over the Washington Redskins last night, the Seattle Seahawks had one of the longest droughts when it came to winning a playoff game on the road. Last night’s win in Washington was the Seahawks first road playoff win since December 31, 1983 when they defeated the Miami Dolphins  27-20 in Miami (and it was only their second road playoff win in franchise history).

Seattle will be one of four road teams when the second round of the 2012 NFL playoffs begin with four games this weekend. The Seahawks will be looking for their third road playoff win in their history, while the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens will each be looking for road playoff win number eight in their histories (since 1966). The fourth road team this weekend, the Houston Texans, have never won a road playoff game.

Here’s a look at how many road playoff games have been won by each of the 32 NFL teams:

Road Playoff wins since 1966, team(s)
9: Dallas
8: New York Giants
7: Baltimore, Green Bay, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tennessee
6: Indianapolis, Minnesota, New England
5: Washington
4: Carolina, Kansas City, Philadelphia, San Diego
3: Atlanta, Buffalo, Denver, Jacksonville, Miami, Oakland
2: Arizona, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle
1: Cleveland, Tampa Bay
0: Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans

In addition to the four teams listed above that have never won a road playoff game, there are nine NFL franchises that have not won a road playoff game this century. The Cleveland Browns have the longest current drought; they have not won a playoff game on the road since 1969. Here are the teams that have not won a road playoff game since the turn of the century.

Team, last road playoff win
Cleveland… 1969
Oakland… 1980
San Francisco… 1989
Buffalo… 1992
Dallas… 1992
Kansas City… 1993
Chicago… 1994
Denver… 1998
Minnesota… 1999

Of the four Wild Card games played this past weekend, only one game was won by the road team, Seattle’s win over Washington. Since 1990, when the NFL went to the current 12-team playoff format, road teams have won 31 of 92 Wild Card weekend games (a .337 winning percentage). Road teams have, however, won 10 of the last 24 Wild Card games (.417 winning percentage) and 16 of the last 36 (.444 winning percentage).

With regards to games this coming weekend, the road teams have won 24 of 88 divisional weekend games (.273 winning percentage) since 1990. In recent history, however, road teams have had pretty good success in these second-weekend games. In each of the last seven years, at least one road team has won one or more of the divisional contests, and in five of those seven years at least two road teams have been victorious. Road teams have won 13 of the last 28 divisional games (.464 winning percentage) and 16 of the last 36 (.444 winning percentage). The last time no road team won on the second weekend of the NFL playoffs was in 2004.

With that history at hand, there’s a good possibility that two road teams could be victorious in this weekend’s games. Which two road teams can you see coming up with wins this weekend?

Follow Jerry @StatsonTapp

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