99 Stats Until Kickoff: (No. 5) Cowboys best Opening Weekend team since 1970

(From May 30 and every day until September 5 – the start of the 2013 NFL season – Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kick-Off” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)

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 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 76 combined points by the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills on opening weekend last season (the Jets won 48-28) was the 11th time since 1970 that two teams have combined for 75 or more points in an opening weekend NFL contest. The highest opening weekend point total was 86… in 1971 when the Dallas Cowboys defeated Buffalo 49-37.

Dallas and Green Bay have each played in three opening weekend games where the combined total of points scored was 75 or more. The ‘boys have won all three of those games; the Pack is 2-1.

Here’s a quick trivia question for you: During the past five NFL seasons (2008-12), what percentage of games have been won by the home team on the opening weekend? 54.5%, 60.0%, 61.1% or 62.5%. Answer at the end of this item

Looking back to 1970 (the NFL-AFL merger), how well has your favorite team done on opening weekend? Here’s a look at each NFL team’s opening weekend record in games from 1970-2012.

W-L/PCT Teams
Dallas 29-14 .674
Denver 28-14-1 .663
Jacksonville 11-7 .611
Chicago 26-17 .605
New England 26-17 .605

Minnesota 25-18 .581
Pittsburgh 25-18 .581
Atlanta 24-19 .558
Green Bay 24-19 .558
San Francisco 24-19 .558
Washington 24-19 .558
Miami 23-19-1 .547
Houston 6-5 .545
New York Giants 23-20 .535
San Diego 23-20 .535
Baltimore 9-8 .529
Tennessee 22-21 .512

Detroit 21-22 .488
Kansas City 21-22 .488
Indianapolis 20-23 .465
St. Louis 20-23 .465
Cincinnati 19-24 .442
Oakland 19-24 .442
Buffalo 18-25 .419
Philadelphia 18-25 .419
Tampa Bay 15-22 .405

New York Jets 17-26 .395
Arizona 16-27 .372
New Orleans 16-27 .372
Seattle 13-24 .351
Cleveland 14-26 .350
Carolina 6-12 .333

The Patriots begin the 2013 season with the longest current winning streak for games on opening weekend. New England has won their first game of the year for nine straight years. Teams that have won three or more straight on opening weekend: Baltimore (five straight), Arizona (three straight), Chicago (three straight), Washington (three straight).

At the other end are the Cleveland Browns. They have lost their first game of the year in eight consecutive seasons. Teams that have lost three or more straight on opening weekend: St. Louis (six straight), Carolina (four straight), Indianapolis (three straight).

TRIVIA ANSWER: Home teams have won 62.5% of the opening weekend games over the past five seasons.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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