Super Bowl scoring: What’s the point?

NFL Scoreboard

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

In the 46-year history of the Super Bowl, there have been more games decided by 17 or more points (18 games) than by games decided by seven points or less (16 games). Will Sunday’s game be a close contest? For the record, nine of the last Super Bowls have been decided by 14 points or less, and four of the last five have been decided by six points or less.

Here’s a look at some other stats regarding the points scored in the Super Bowl (through the first quarter, at halftime, and final score):

* No team that has scored less than 14 points in the Super Bowl has won the game. Teams with 13 or fewer points are 0-17.

* Teams that score under 24 points are 13-40 (.245 winning percentage); teams that score 24 or more points in the game are 33-6 (.846 winning percentage).

* Teams that score 30-plus points in the Super Bowl are 23-1. The only team to score 30 or more points in a Super Bowl and lose: Dallas in Super Bowl 13 when they lost 35-31 to Pittsburgh.

* Teams that score under 20 points in the Super Bowl are 5-34 (.128 winning percentage). Teams that score 20 points or more in the big game are 41-12 (.774 winning percentage).

* Teams that hold their opponent scoreless in the first quarter of the Super Bowl have won 24 and lost 12 (.667 winning percentage).

* Teams that hold their opponents to only three points or less in the first quarter are 33-22 (.600 winning percentage).

* Teams that score 13 or more points in the first quarter are 7-2 in the Super Bowl.

* Teams that are scoreless at halftime have never won a Super Bowl game (teams are 0-11).

* Teams that have three points or less at halftime are 3-20 (.130 winning percentage) in the game. The three teams that won Super Bowls after being held to three or fewer points at half: 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1988 San Francisco 49ers and 2007 New York Giants.

* Teams that have scored 16 or more points at halftime are 21-2 in Super Bowls (.913 winning percentage). The two teams that lost the Super Bowl even though they had scored 16-plus points by half: The 1982 Miami Dolphins (they had 17 points at half and lost to Washington 27-17); and the 1984 Dolphins (they had 16 points at half and were held scoreless in the second half in their 38-16 loss to San Francisco).

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


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