Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
For the sake of this column, let’s define a “blow out” as a game in which a team loses by 20 or more points. With that established, the Ravens 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos last Thursday night in the 2013 NFL season‘s first game was one of historic proportions: Baltimore‘s 22-point loss was the first time in NFL history that a Super Bowl champ lost their first game of the following season by 20 points or more.
The Raven’s 22-point loss was not the only “blow out” in Week One. The Kansas City Chiefs had the largest margin of victory in Week One with a 28-2 win over Jacksonville.
Since 2000, there have been 40 “blow outs” on Opening Weekend. Here’s a look at the teams which have won the most Opening Weekend blow outs and those teams which have lost the most Opening Weekend blow outs since 2000.
Most Opening Weekend blow out wins since 2000
3: Baltimore, Buffalo, Denver, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego
2: Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, New England, Seattle
1: Green Bay, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New York Giants, New York Jets, San Francisco, Tennessee
Most Opening Weekend blow out losses since 2000
3: Cincinnati, New York Jets, Oakland
2: Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Seattle, St. Louis, Tennessee
1: Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Green Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Minnesota, New England, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Washington
So… is a blow out loss on Opening Weekend a bad omen? Does a blow out win signal great things for the rest of the season? If we look at the 16 games in the last five seasons that were blow outs on Opening Weekend, we can come up with some interesting stats (these stats reflect games from 2008-2012):
* Of the 16 teams that had Opening Weekend blow out wins in the past five years, eight went on to make the playoffs. Of the 16 who started the season with an Opening Weekend blow out loss, only three made the playoffs that year.
* The 16 teams that had Opening Weekend blow out wins since 2008 had a combined record of 143-112-1 (.561 winning percentage) in that season. The 16 teams that suffered Opening Weekend blow out losses since 2008 had a combined record of 103-153 (.402 winning percentage) in that season.
For the record, since the start of the Super Bowl era, three teams lost their Opening Game by 50 points or more: Denver lost 51-0 to Oakland in 1967; New Orleans lost 62-7 to Atlanta in 1973; Pittsburgh lost 51-0 to Cleveland in 1989.
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