Last Thursday the Atlanta Falcons defeated division foes the Tampa Bay Bucs 56-14. Since the beginning of the Super Bowl era in 1966, there have been 113 games played where the final point differential in the game was 40 points or more; that’s an average of about 2.3 games per season.
You would assume that a team that wins a 40-point blowout is on a roll and that they will continue their winning ways the following week after the blowout win. Conversely, you would think that a team that suffers a 40-point blowout loss would take another tumble the following week. That has not been the case, especially in the last couple of years. In fact, of the six blowout games played in 2012 and 2013, the team that won the blowout was only 3-3 in games the next week, while the teams that suffered the blowout loss won four and lost two in those six games the following week.
Here’s a look at the last six blowout games in the NFL (from the 2012 and 2013 seasons) and how well each team did the following week.
October 7, 2012: San Francisco 45, Buffalo 3. The 49ers lost the following week 26-3; the Bills won 19-16 the following week.
December 9, 2012: Seattle 58, Arizona 0. The Seahawks won 50-17 the following week; the Cardinals won 38-10 the following week.
December 16, 2012: New Orleans 41, Tampa Bay 0. The Saints won 34-31 the following week; the Bucs lost 28-13 the following week.
December 23, 2012: Green Bay 55, Tennessee 7. The Packers lost 37-34 the following week; the Titans won 38-20 the following week.
October 27, 2013: Cincinnati 49, New York Jets 9. The Bengals lost 22-20 the following week; the Jets won 26-20 the following week.
December 22, 2013: Philadelphia 54, Chicago 11. The Eagles won 24-22 the following week; the Bears lost 33-28 the following week.
So how will the Falcons and Bucs do in this weekend’s games? Based on their past history of playing in 40-point blowout games, Atlanta, who play the Minnesota Vikings, should win. The Falcons are 3-1 in games the week after a 40-point blowout win. Tampa Bay, who plays at Pittsburgh, are 2-3 in games the week following a 40-point blowout loss. A Bucs victory may not be in the cards.
Note: If we go back to blowout games played in the NFL since 2009, there were 15 40-point blowout games from 2009-13. The teams that won those blowout games were 10-5 the week following their blowout win; the teams that lost those blowout games were 7-8 the week following their 40-point blowout loss.
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