Monthly Archives: December, 2016

10 Stats You May Not Know: NFL playoff games in extreme weather conditions

cold

The playoffs for the 2016 NFL season will begin next weekend. While some games will be held in domed stadiums and weather will not be a factor, there will be games where weather conditions could affect play and potentially the outcome of the game.

Let’s take a look at the history of NFL playoff games in the Super Bowl era (since 1966). Specifically, we’ll note the NFL playoff games since 1966 that were played in “extreme” temperatures… those under 20 degrees, and those games that were played in temperatures above 70 degrees.

  1. There have been 28 NFL playoff games that have been played since 1966 in temperature under 20 degrees.
  2. The last playoff game played under 20 degrees was last season when the Minnesota Vikings hosted the Seattle Seahawks in a games that was played with a temperature of six below. The game was played on January 10, 2016.
  3. There have been four games played in temperatures below zero. In addition to the aforementioned Vikings-Seahawks battle last season, the other three: 1967, Dallas at Green Bay (13 degrees below zero); 1981, San Diego @ Cleveland (nine degrees below zero); and 2007, New York Giants @ Green Bay (one degree below zero).
  4. Of the 28 games, three teams hosted more than half of those games. The Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers have each hosted five playoff games under 20 degrees since 1966. Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City and Philadelphia have each hosted two of those games, while Buffalo, Cincinnati and New England have each hosted one game.
  5. The home team is 19-9 in these games, although in the eight playoff games played since 2000 that were played in temperatures under 20 degrees, the home team is only 3-5.
  6. There have been 14 NFL playoff games that have been played since 1966 in temperatures of 70 degrees and above.
  7. The last playoff game played at 70 degrees or above was after the 2008 season when on January 4, 2009 the Baltimore Ravens played in Miami. Temperature for that game was 78 degrees.
  8. The home team is 9-5 in these “warm” games.
  9. Thirteen of the 14 NFL playoff games since 1966 played in temperatures 70 degrees and above have been hosted by the Miami Dolphins. The other game was hosted by the Tampa Bay Bucs.
  10. Five of these games were played in temperatures of 75 degrees and above. The highest was previously-mentioned games between the Dolphins and Ravens (78 degrees). The others: 1978, Houston @ Miami (77 degrees); San Diego @ Miami (76 degrees); Buffalo @ Miami (75 degrees); and 1990, Kansas City @ Miami (75 degrees).

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Packers hoping history is a good omen in 2016 season finale

pack-lions

It seems appropriate that the final game of the 2016 NFL regular season should come down to a game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. The winner of this game will win the NFC North and secure a home game for the first round of the playoffs. The Lions are looking for their first divisional since 1993 while the Packers are hoping to regain their hold on the NFC North crown that they lost last year to the Vikings.

Last week I wrote about the fact that the Packers have been one of the best teams in the league since 2009 when it comes to games played later in the season. The Pack is 33-13-1 (.713 winning percentage) in Games #11-#16 of the season since ’09. Well, let’s take that stat one step further…

In the last 25 years, the Packers are 20-5 (.800 winning percentage) in the season finale, Game #16. They are the only team to have won 80% of the season-finale games since 1991; in fact, they are the only team to have won 70% of the last games of the season in that timeframe (the Steelers are second with a .680 winning percentage in this category).

So, Green Bay fans are hoping that this analytic will spur their team to victory over the Lions. One advantage for the Lions is that they are the home team in this game. In another bit of “good news” for the Pack, they have an 8-4 record (.667 winning percentage) since 1991 in season finales that were played on the road. That is the second-best record in this category behind the Carolina Panthers who are 10-4 (.714).

If we look at the last 10 seasons, the Packers are 8-2 in season finales… the 49ers and Steelers have the best season-finale record in the last 10 seasons at 9-1.

Following are the winning percentages of each team in the final games of the season since 1991 (the last 25 seasons).

.800 Green Bay
.680 Pittsburgh
.667 Carolina
.640 New England, Tennessee, San Diego
.600 Baltimore, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco
.560 Kansas City, Minnesota
.520 Denver, New York Giants, Seattle, Washington
.500 Houston
.480 Cincinnati, New York Jets
.440 Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans
.400 Buffalo, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay
.381 Jacksonville
.360 Dallas, Detroit
.320 Arizona
.318 Cleveland
.280 Chicago, Oakland
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The worst (and best) pro teams this century

prosports

Have the New England Patriots been the best NFL team this century? Which NHL team has been the best since in the beginning of the 21st century? Which NBA team has the best winning percentage since the 1999-2000 season began? Which baseball franchise has won the highest percentage of games since 2000?

The answers to the above questions in a second.

As we get ready to close the book on 2016, I started thinking about which franchises in the four pro sports (MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL) have the worst winning percentages since 2000, or in this century… 17 years’ worth of seasons.

If we go based strictly on winning percentages, the NFL’s Cleveland Browns are the “worst” pro sports franchise this century. The Browns, through games of December 21 (their recent victory over San Diego is not included in these totals) were 85-185, a .315 winning percentage.

Following are the two franchises in each of the four pro sports leagues with the lowest winning percentages since 2000 (for the NHL and NBA, I started with the 1999-2000 seasons).

NFL: Cleveland 85-185, .315; Detroit 96-174, .356.
NBA: Washington 579-827, .412; Minnesota 594-812, .422
MLB: Kansas City 1233-1521, .448; Pittsburgh 1247-1503, .453
NHL: Atlanta .428; Columbus .432.

So how about those with the best winning percentages? As you might have expected, the New England Patriots have been pro sports best team this century, based on winning percentage, compiling a 199-71 record (through games of December 21), a .737 winning percentage. The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs are the only other sports franchise over .700… they are 1002-404, .713.

Here’s a look at the two franchises in each of the four pro sports leagues with the highest winning percentages since 2000.

NFL: New England 199-71, .737; Indianapolis 175-95, .648.
NBA: San Antonio 1002-404, .713; Dallas 886-521, .630.
MLB: New York Yankees 1592-1158, .579; St. Louis 1550-1203, .563.
NHL: Detroit .586; San Jose .557
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Packers Numbers Crunches-Week 16 win over Minnesota

arod-jordy

Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 38-25 win over the Minnesota Vikings on December 24.

  1. With their win in Game #15 this season, the Packers are now 33-13-1 (.713 winning percentage) in Game #11 through Game #16 since 2009. They are one of only two teams to have a winning percentage over .700 in Game #11 through Game #16 since 2009. The other is the New England Patriots who are 36-11 (.761).
  2. The Packers are in the midst of a five-game winning streak. Here’s a few stats from the last five wins:
    1. The Packers have outscored opponents 154-85 in the five victories, averaging 30.8 points scored and allowing an average of 17 points per game.
    2. In the five games, the Packers have had only one turnover; they have 14 takeaways in the last five contests.
    3. Aaron Rodgers is 115-for-161 (71.4%) in pass attempts in the last five games. He has 11 TD passes and no interceptions.
    4. Jordy Nelson has caught 38 passes for 528 yards in the five wins with five TDs.
  3. Green Bay has now won nine of their last 10 December games. They are 33-13 in December since 2006 and 21-3 at home since ’06, Mike McCarthy’s first season as head coach.
  4. The game temperature was 37 degrees. Since 2010, the Pack is 21-7-1 in games that were played in temperatures under 40 degrees; they are 18-3-1 at home in those games.
  5. Jordy Nelson caught a pair of TD passes and now has 14 for the season. He has caught 10 or more TD passes in three seasons since 2011. Rob Gronkowski has four seasons with 10 or more TD passes since 2011 to top the league.
  6. Jordy has had 13 or more TD pass receptions in his career in three different seasons and is one of only seven players in NFL history to have three or more seasons with 13+ TD receptions.
  7. Green Bay scored 14 points in the first quarter. They have now won 21 straight when they tally 14 or more points in the first quarter and they are 33-4 since 2000 in those games.
  8. Jordy had nine receptions for 154 yards in the game with two TDs. It was his third career game with 150 or more receiving yards and two TDs in the same game. Jerry Rice tops the NFL with 17 games with two or more TD receptions and 150+ receiving yards in the same game. Antonio Freeman tops the Packers with five games while Carroll Dale follows with four games. Jordy is next with three games.
  9. Minnesota’s Adam Thielen had 12 catches for 202 versus the Pack in the game. He was the second player this season to have two or more TD receptions and over 200 yards receiving in the same game against the Packers.
  10. The Pack had a 28-13 lead at halftime. They have now won 16 straight when they score 28 or more points in the first half. Their last loss was to Indianapolis in 1997.
  11. The Packers defense had two takeaways. The team is 42-9 since 2010 when they have two or more takeaways in a game.
  12. After a scoreless third quarter, the Packers held a 28-13 lead going into the fourth quarter. They are 37-0 in the Mike McCarthy era (since 206) when they have a 15 point or larger lead going into the final period.
  13. Aaron Rodgers had four TD passes in a regular season game for the 19th time in his career. The Pack is 16-3 in those games. His QBR was 136.6… Green Bay is 25-1 when Rodgers has a QBR of 130 or higher in a game. It was the 19th game in his career that he had four or more TD passes and no interceptions in a game. That is good enough for sixth place on the all-time list. Peyton Manning leads QBs with 35 games with four or more TD passes and no interceptions.
  14. Green Bay did not have a turnover and is now 48-9-1 since 2006 when they do not turn the ball over in a contest. They are 27-3-1 at home in turnover-less games since ’06.
  15. The Vikings had 446 total yards in the game. In games since 2000 when the Packers allowed their opponents 400 or more total yards, they are 33-28-1.
  16. Nick Perry had a pair of sacks in the game. Since 2013, there have been 15 times when a Packers player had two or more sacks in a game… Perry has five of those games, tops on the team.
  17. The Packers have now won 60 straight games at home when they score 35 or more points in a game. Their last loss was in 1971 to the New York Giants, 42-40.

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The NFL’s best teams in Games #11 through #16 since 2009

arodtable

About a month and a half ago, the Green Bay Packers were sitting outside of the NFL playoff race with a 4-6 record. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, he of the “R-E-L-A-X” mantra a year ago, decided that the Packers faithful needed some encouraging words of wisdom from their leader. He told reporters after their loss to the Washington Redskins that he believed the team could “run the table” and salvage their season.

Five weeks later, Rodgers and the Packers have the sixth playoff spot in the NFC and, if they win their final two games against the Vikings and Lions, will win the NFC North. The “run the table” statement needs only two more victories to come true.

Maybe Rodgers was confident the Pack could “run the table” based on previous late-season games during his time with the team. In fact, if we take a trip back to 2009 and look at the last six games of that season and also the last six games of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and Games #11, #12, #13, and #14 of this season, we see that the Packers have been one of the best teams in the league. It helps give credence to the confidence Rodgers had in his team running the table in the last six games of the 2016 season

Each of the 32 NFL teams have played 46 games that represent Games #11 through #16 each season since 2009 (obviously we have not played Games #15 and #16 this season). The Packers have the second best winning percentage of the 32 NFL teams in Games #11-#16 since 2009 at 32-13-1 (a 707 winning percentage). The only other team that has won over 70% of their Games #11 through #16 since 2009 are the New England Patriots… they top the league with a 35-11 record (.761 winning percentage).

Here’s a look at the winning percentage of the 32 NFL teams in Games #11 through Games #16 since 2009.

New England .761, Green Bay .707.

Pittsburgh .696, Carolina .652, Baltimore .630, Indianapolis .630, Seattle .630, Cincinnati .609, San Diego .609.

Atlanta .565, Denver .565, New Orleans .565, San Francisco .543, Dallas .522, New York Jets .522, Philadelphia .522, Arizona .500.

Minnesota .489, Houston .478, Kansas City .478, New York Giants .478, Buffalo .435, Miami .435, Detroit .413.

Tennessee .391, Chicago .370, Oakland .370, Washington .370, Los Angeles Rams .326.

Jacksonville .261, Tampa Bay .261, Cleveland .239.

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