Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
The NFL Conference Championship Games are set with the Baltimore Ravens going to New England in a rematch of last year’s AFC title game, and the Atlanta Falcons will host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. The Ravens, Patriots and 49ers were each in the conference title game last year.
Here’s a few stats that you may find interesting about this coming weekend’s contests.
(Note: The following stats reflect the NFC and AFC Conference Championship games that have been played since the 1970 merger of the NFL and AFL… 42 years, a total of 84 games.)
1. The home team has won 56 and lost 28 in conference championship games (a .667 winning percentage). In the last six conference championship weekends, the home teams are 9-3. In the 42 seasons, there has been only twice where the home teams have both lost: 1992 and 1997.
2. In 28 of the 84 games (33.3%) the game has been decided by eight points or less. Twelve of the 84 games were decided by three points or less (including both games last year which were decided by a field goal); 15 of the 82 were decided by 20 points or more. In the last six seasons, eight of the 12 conference championship games have been decided by one score (eight points or less).
3. Teams that scored less than 20 points in a conference championship game since 1970 has won only 13 and lost 65 (a .167 winning percentage). Teams that scored 30 or more points have won 30 and lost only 2 (a .938 winning percentage). The only teams to score 30 or more points in a conference championship game since 1970 and lose? Cleveland in 1987 when they scored 33 in their loss to Denver; and in 2006 when the Patriots scored 34 in their loss to the Colts.
4. Teams that had the better regular season record have won the conference championship game 53 times and lost 20 (a .726 winning percentage). In 11 games the teams playing for the conference championship had the same regular season record.
5. Scoring more points in the playoff game the weekend prior to the conference championship is not a big factor in determining who will win the conference title game. The team that scored more points of the two conference championship game foes the previous week won 44 and lost 36 (in four cases the teams scored the exact number of points the previous week).
6. Winning the playoff game the weekend prior to the conference championship by a bigger margin than your conference championship game foe was a little bit more of a determining factor to who wins the conference championship game. The team that won the divisional playoff game by a bigger margin the week before won 53 times and lost 25 (a .679 winning percentage). Note: For the record, New England and San Francisco won by bigger margins this past weekend. In six cases the conference championship game teams won by the same margin the previous week.
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