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
.640 New England, Tennessee, San Diego
.600 Baltimore, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco
.560 Kansas City, Minnesota
.520 Denver, New York Giants, Seattle, Washington
.480 Cincinnati, New York Jets
.440 Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans
.400 Buffalo, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay
.360 Dallas, Detroit
.280 Chicago, Oakland
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