Six stats you may not know about the NFL’s conference championship games
Last year’s AFC and NFC Conference Championship Games included the Baltimore Ravens going to New England in a rematch of the 2011 AFC title game, and the Atlanta Falcons hosting the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. The Ravens, Patriots and 49ers were each in the conference title game the previous year.
Here are a few stats that you may find interesting about previous conference championship games.
(Note: The following stats reflect the NFC and AFC Conference Championship games that have been played since the 1970 merger of the NFL and AFL… 43 years, a total of 86 games.)
1. The home team has won 56 and lost 30 in conference championship games (a .651 winning percentage). In the last seven conference championship weekends, the home teams are 9-5. In the 43 seasons, there has been only three times where both the home teams lost: 1992, 1997 and last year. Both home teams (New England and Atlanta) were defeated in the conference title games last year.
2. In 29 of the 86 games (33.7%) the game was decided by eight points or less. Twelve of the 86 games were decided by three points or less; 15 of the 84 were decided by 20 points or more. In the last seven seasons, nine of the 14 conference championship games were decided by one score (eight points or less).
3. Teams that scored less than 20 points in a conference championship game since 1970 has won only 13 and lost 66 (a .165 winning percentage). Teams that scored 30 or more points have won 30 and lost only 2 (a .938 winning percentage). The only teams to score 30 or more points in a conference championship game since 1970 and lose? Cleveland in 1987 when they scored 33 in their loss to Denver; and in 2006 when the Patriots scored 34 in their loss to the Colts.
4. Teams that had the better regular season record have won the conference championship game 53 times and lost 22 (a .707 winning percentage). In 11 games the teams playing for the conference championship had the same regular season record.
5. Scoring more points in the playoff game the weekend prior to the conference championship is not a big factor in determining who will win the conference title game. The team that scored more points of the two conference championship game foes the previous week won 45 and lost 37 (in four cases the teams scored the exact number of points the previous week).
6. Winning the playoff game the weekend prior to the conference championship by a bigger margin than your conference championship game foe was a little bit more of a determining factor to who wins the conference championship game. The team that won the divisional playoff game by a bigger margin the week before won 54 times and lost 26 (a .675 winning percentage). In six cases the conference championship game teams won by the same margin the previous week.
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