99 Stats Until Kickoff (#72) 15 regular season stats that impact the Super Bowl winner

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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.)

Looking for a sure thing when it comes to picking the winner of the Super Bowl? I wish I had some magical formula I could give you (or use myself), but there just doesn’t seem to be such a thing out there.

I can, however, give you a look at some stats that may help you when it comes time to choose the team that will win the Super Bowl. I’ve looked at 15 regular season stats from the past 47 Super Bowl champions. In some cases, there is a strong case for a particular team winning based on how they performed in the regular season. In other cases, the regular season stats don’t reveal much.

Following are 15 regular season stats that may help determine who will win the next Super Bowl.

1. Wins. Thirty-nine of the 47 Super Bowl champs won 11 or more games in the regular season. (The Ravens won last year’s Super Bowl with 10 regular-season wins) Only three times in Super Bowl history did a team with less than 10 regular season victories win the Super Bowl: The first two were in 1967, when the Packers were 9-4-1, and 1982 when the 8-1 Washington Redskins won the title in that strike-shortened season. In case you don’t remember, the 2011 champion New York Giants became the third team in this stat when they defeated the New England Patriots. The Giants only had nine regular-season wins in 2011; they became the first team with less than 10 wins from a 16-game NFL season to ever win a Super Bowl.

2. Turnover Ratio. Forty-one of the 47 Super Bowl champs had a positive turnover ratio; 21 of the 47 had a +10 or more turnover ratio in the regular season. Both teams in last year’s Super Bowl had a regular-season turnover ratio of +9.

3. Offensive rank by points. Forty of the 47 were in the Top 10 in offense based on points. Baltimore ranked 10th in this category last season and became the 40th team in this stat.

4. Offensive rank based on yards. Thirty-six of the 47 were in the Top 10 in offense based on total yards. Both of last year’s teams ranked outside the Top 10; the 49ers were 11th, the Ravens were 16th.

5. Defensive Rank by Points. Thirty-five of the 47 were in the Top 10 in defense based on points. The lowest ranked defense (by points) to win a Super Bowl were the 2011 Giants, who were ranked 25th that year on their way to a title. The Ravens were ranked 12th in this category in 2012.

6. Defensive rank based on yards. Thirty-eight of the 47 ranked in the Top 10 in defense based on total yards allowed. The Giants in 2011 established a new “low” in this stat as they won the Super Bowl with a “D” that was ranked 27th in yards allowed. The Ravens were ranked 17th in this category last season.

7. Offensive yards per play. Thirty-eight of the 47 Super Bowl champs averaged 5.0 or more yards per play during the regular season. Twenty-two of the 47 averaged 5.5 or more yards per play. This past year in the regular season Baltimore was at 5.4 yards per play

8. Three-game losing streak. Only five teams that lost three straight games during the regular season went on to win a Super Bowl that year: Baltimore in 2000, Pittsburgh in 2005, New Orleans in 2009 and the Giants last year. The Ravens did lose three straight in 2012 and became the fifth team in this category. Three of the last four Super Bowl champs lost three straight regular-season games in the year they won the Super Bowl.

9. Winning streak to start season. Thirteen of the 47 won five straight games to start the season; 22 won three straight games to start the season; 30 of the 47 won their first two games. Baltimore in 2012 won their season-opener, but lost the following week.

10. Away wins. Forty-six of the 47 won four or more games on the road in the regular season. The 2011 Green Bay Packers are the only team to win a Super Bowl and win three or fewer games on the road that regular season. Thirty-six of the 47 lost none, one or two away games during the regular season of their Super Bowl year. Baltimore went 4-4 in away games last season.

11. 1,000-yard rusher. Twenty-eight of the 47 had a 1,000-yard rusher during the regular season. Both teams in last year’s Super Bowl had a 1,000-yard rusher in the 2012 season.

12. 1,000-yard receiver. Twenty-five of the 47 had a 1,000-yard receiver during the regular season. The Ravens did not have a 1,000-yard receiver in 2012.

13. More passing TDs than running TDs. Thirty-four of the 47 had more passing TDs than running TDs for the regular season. The last time a team that had more rushing TDs than passing in the regular season won a Super Bowl were the 1995 Dallas Cowboys.

14. Losses by eight points or less. Forty of the 47 lost half or more of their defeats by one score (eight points or less). Baltimore lost six games in 2012, four of them by one score.

15. Point differential rank. Thirty-eight of the 47 ranked in the Top 3 in point differential in the regular season. Only three teams have ranked outside the Top 10 in point differential and won the Super Bowl: the New York Giants of 2007 ranked 13th in point differential when they won the Super Bowl later that year; last year the Giants ranked 17th in point differential in the regular season and won last
year’s championship; this past year’s Super Bowl champs, the Ravens, ranked 11th in this category in the 2012 regular season.

“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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