Daily Archives: June 23rd, 2013

Game Sevens: Will the NHL finals series match the NBA and go 7 games?

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

English: Game 3 of the 2006 NBA Finals at the ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs took their NBA Finals series to a Game Seven with the Heat winning their second straight title. Now the question is: Can (or will) the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins take their Stanley Cup series to a seventh and deciding game?

Here’s a trivia question for you: When was the last time the NBA and NHL saw their finals series both go to a deciding seventh game in the same season? Answer to follow…

For the record, this was the 18th Game Seven in NBA Finals history and the first since 2010 when the Lakers beat the Celtics in seven games. If you compare the three professional leagues that have a seven-game finals playoff (major league baseball, the NBA and the NHL), the NHL has had the fewest Game Sevens since 1947 (when all three leagues were in existence at the same time) with 14. Major League Baseball has had the most Game Sevens with 26 since ’47.

Only once since 1947 have all three sports had a Game Seven decide their champion. That happened in 1955. The Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees in seven games to win the ’55 World Series; Syracuse won the NBA title in 1955 winning the championship in a seventh game victory over Ft. Wayne; and Detroit won the ’55 Stanley Cup playoffs over Montreal by winning Game Seven.

Other than 1955, there have been a handful of times when two of the three sports saw their title series go the distance with seven games. Major League Baseball and the NBA have gone seven games in the finals in four seasons (1952, 1957, 1960 and 1962… note it hasn’t happened in over 50 years); the NHL and MLB have gone seven games in the finals in six season (1964, 1965, 1971, 1987, 2001 and 2011).

Trivia answer: The last time the NBA and NHL final series both went seven games in the same year was in 1994. The Houston Rockets won the NBA title with a Game Seven win over the New York Knicks, and the New York Rangers won the NHL title in 1994 by defeating Vancouver four games to three. That’s the only other time other than 1955 that the NBA and NHL have seen their championship series decided in seven games in the same year.

One more stat: Although the NHL has had the fewest Game Seven final series since 1947, they have had the most since 2000. Since 2000 the NHL has had six finals series go the distance with seven games (it could be seven years if this year’s Chicago-Boston finals goes to a seventh game). Both the NBA and Major League Baseball have seen a seventh game finals series in three years.

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99 Stats Until Kickoff: (#25) QB success a key to NFL playoff victories

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 Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)

Rookie # 5 Joe Flacco in Ravens Training Camp ...

Joe Flacco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You don’t have to be a football expert to know that having a quarterback at the top of his game can go a long ways to leading a team to a successful season. In fact, many teams in the past have seen their QB single-handedly lead their team to success in a season.

Case in point: One of the indicators of QB success has been the Passer Rating. The value of this formula has been enthusiastically debated, but for the sake of this blog, let’s assume that Passer Rating is a valuable tool to evaluating NFL quarterbacks. Since 1966, the start of the Super Bowl era, there has been 226 quarterbacks who have had a Passer Rating of 100.0 or higher in a playoff game. Of those 226 games, the QB’s team has won 197 of those games, a winning percentage of .872. You can certainly make the point that a good QB performance (100.0 or better) in a playoff game will lead to victory and advancement in the post-season.

Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers on January 5, 2013 in a Wild Card round game versus Minnesota, became the 15th QB since 1966 to have five or more playoff games with a 100.0 or higher Passer Rating. Rodgers’ Passer Rating was 104.9 in the Pack’s win over the Vikings.

Baltimore’s Joe Flacco became the 16th QB to have five or more playoff games with a 100.0 or higher Passer Rating when he turned the trick in all four of his playoff games this past season. Flacco’s Passer Rating in the four playoff games last season was: 125.6 against Indianapolis, 116.2 against Denver, 106.2 against New England, and 124.2 against San Francisco in the Super Bowl.

Here’s a look at the 16 QB’s since 1966 that have had five or more playoff games with a Passer Rating of 100 or higher.

Playoff games with 100-plus Passer Rating (since 1966), QBs
12: Joe Montana
10: Brett Favre
9: Troy Aikman
8: Tom Brady
7: Terry Bradshaw
6: Roger Staubach
5: Drew Brees, Jake Delhomme, John Elway, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Aaron Rodgers, Ken Stabler, Steve Young

Here’s a few more stats regarding Passer Rating in the playoffs:

* Since 2000, there have been 84 playoff games where a QB had a Passer Rating of 100.0 or higher. Those teams have won 70 of the 84 games, a winning percentage of .833.

* Only two quarterbacks since 1966 have had a Passer Rating of 100 or higher and lost two playoff games: Joe Montana and Warren Moon.

Let’s look at the other end of the scale… QBs that had terrible games, a Passer Rating under 50 in a playoff game. Since 1966, there have been 192 playoff games where the QB had a Passer Rating under 50 in that game. Those teams have won only 24 of the 192 games, a winning percentage of only .125.

The last quarterback to win a playoff game with a Passer Rating under 50 was Ben Roethlisberger. On January 23, 2011 in the Steelers 24-19 win over the New York Jets, Roethlisberger had a Passer Rating of 35.5.

Five quarterbacks have had four or more playoff games with a Passer Rating under 50. Craig Morton tops the list with five such games. Mark Brunell, Pat Haden, Ron Jaworski and Jim Kelly each had four.

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