99 Stats Until Kickoff (#62) NFL playoff seeds: Does it really matter?

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.)

Logo of the National Football League Playoffs,...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back in 1990, the NFL went to a 12-team playoff system with six teams making the post-season from the two conferences; each conference is seeded from the top seed to the #6 seed. So with all this jockeying for playoff position, the question becomes… does it really matter what seed a team is in the playoffs? The obvious answer is “Yes.”

To back up that statement, let’s look at how well each seed has done in the playoffs since 1990 when the current 12-team playoff format was put in place.

Division Seed             1990-99           2000-12           Total

AFC #1                       11-9                 13-12               24-21 .533

AFC #2                       11-10               16-10               27-20 .574

AFC #3                       10-10               14-12               24-22 .522

AFC #4                       15-9                 14-11               29-20 .592

AFC #5                       4-10                 7-13                 11-23 .324

AFC #6                       1-10                 9-12                 10-22 .313

NFC #1                       22-4                 16-12               38-16 .704

NFC #2                       15-8                 12-12               27-20 .574

NFC #3                       5-10                 11-13               16-23 .410

NFC #4                       7-10                 14-12               21-22 .488

NFC #5                       3-10                 8-12                 11-22 .333

NFC #6                       6-10                 9-12                 15-22 .405

Here’s a look at the win-loss records if we combine the seeds for the two conferences.

AFC/NFC combined W-L, Pct

#1 Seed 62-37 .626

#2 Seed 54-40 .574

#3 Seed 40-45 .471

#4 Seed 50-42 .543

#5 Seed 22-45 .328

#6 Seed 25-44 .362

Did you know? Thirty-four of the 46 Super Bowl teams since 1990 have either been a #1 or #2 seed. The NFC #1 seed has won seven Super Bowls since 1990, most during that time. The AFC #2, NFC #2 and AFC #4 have each won three during that time. The NFC #1 seed has played in 12 of the 21 Super Bowls since 1990.

Did you know? (Part 2) The AFC #5 seed and the NFC #3 seed have not won a Super Bowl since 1990; in fact, an AFC #5 seed has not appeared in the Super Bowl since the NFL went to the current playoff format in 1990.

“99 Stats Before Kickoff” (Stats you need to know before the start of the 2013 NFL season) is available from e-book publisher Smashwords. Go to www.smashwords.com to download a copy, including a pdf version which can be viewed on your home computer. Cost is $2.99.

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