How many points will a team need to score to win the AFC or NFC title game?
We’re down to the final three games of the NFL season: In the AFC, the New England Patriots will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs; in the NFC, the New Orleans Saints will host the Los Angeles Rams. The winners will square off in the Super Bowl.
Since the NFC-AFC merger back in 1970, it appears that if a team scored 20 or more points in a conference championship game, they had a pretty good chance of winning the game and advancing to the Super Bowl. Since 1970, teams that scored 20 or more points were 82-25 (.766 winning percentage) in the conference title game. In the AFC Championship Games since ’70, teams that scored 20 or more were 43-11 (.796) while NFC teams playing in the title game were 39-14 (.736) when they scored 20+ points in the title contest.
Here’s a breakdown of record of teams in each conference championship game based on the number of points they scored in the contest.
Points scored AFC NFC Total
0-9 0-10 1-16 1-26 .037
10-19 5-27 8-18 13-45 .224
20-29 26-9 21-14 47-23 .671
30-39 12-2 14-0 26-2 .929
40 or more points 5-0 4-0 9-0 1.000
As you can see, only two teams that scored 30 or more points in a championship game since 1970 lost the title game: Indianapolis defeated the New England Patriots 38-34 in 2006 and the Denver beat Cleveland in a 1987 season title game, 38-33. The only team to win a conference title game by scoring fewer than 10 points were the Rams in 1979; they defeated Tampa Bay 9-0.
Following are 10 stats you may not know concerning the AFC and NFC Championship Games since the 1970 merger:
Most appearances: AFC (Pittsburgh, 16), NFC (San Francisco, 15)
Most wins: AFC (New England, 10), NFC (Dallas, 8)
Most losses: AFC (Pittsburgh, 8), NFC (San Francisco, 9)Last title: AFC (NY Jets, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Kansas City have never won an AFC Championship Game; Miami has the longest drought of teams that have previously won a title since 1970… they last won in 1984/ NFC (Detroit has never won an NFC Championship Game since 1970; Minnesota has the longest drought of teams that have previously won a title since 1970… they last won in 1976.
Most home games: AFC (Pittsburgh, 11), NFC (San Francisco, 9)
Most home wins: AFC (New England, 7), NFC (Washington, 5)
Most home losses: AFC (Pittsburgh, 5), NFC (San Francisco, 5)
Most away games: AFC (New England & the Raiders, 6 each), NFC (Dallas, 9)
Most away wins: AFC (New Englland, 3), NFC (Dallas, 4)
Most away losses: AFC (Raiders, 5), NFC (Dallas and Minnesota, 5 each)
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NFL 2018 regular season leftovers: 1,000-yard rushers, young receivers, ARod record
While we are in the midst of the NFL playoffs, here is a trio of interesting stats that you may not know…
Up until the 2018 regular season, 31 of the 32 NFL teams had at least one runner who had amassed 1,000 or more yards rushing in a season this decade (2010-17). The only team without a 1,000-yard rusher this decade was the Carolina Panthers.
That changed after this past season; all-purpose running back Christian McCaffrey had 1,098 yards rushing for the Panthers in 2018. All total, there were eight teams that had a 1,000-yard rusher this past season: Saquon Barkley (N.Y. Giants), Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas), Todd Gurley (L.A. Rams), Joe Mixon (Cincinnati), Chris Carson (Seattle), Christian McCaffrey (Carolina), Derrick Henry (Tennessee), Adrian Peterson (Washington), Phillip Lindsay (Denver).
Cincinnati and Denver have had the most different players reach 1,000 yards rushing in a season from 2010-18 with four each. Here is a look at how many different 1,000-yard rushers each team has had since 2010 (a player who has had multiple 1,000-yard seasons this decade is counted only once; this is the number of individual players).
Four different 1,000-yard rushers: Cincinnati, Denver
Three different 1,000-yard rushers: Dallas, Miami, New England, Tennessee
Two different 1,000-yard rushers: Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, L.A. Chargers, L.A. Rams, N.Y. Giants, N.Y. Jets, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Washington
One 1,000-yard rusher: Carolina, Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco
Does it seem to you that the elite receivers in the NFL are becoming younger and younger? Well, there are some numbers to back that up.
There were 74 players who had 50 or more receptions during the 2018 regular season. Of those, 41 (55%) were age 25-29. Twenty-one of the 74 (28%) were age 20-24; and 12 of the 74 (16%) were age 30 and older.
Of the 74, 33 (almost half… 45%) were between the ages of 24-26. Fifteen of the 74 players with 50 or more receptions in 2018 were age 25, the most of any age group.
If we bump the stat to players who caught 80 or more passes in 2018, 15 of the 21 players (71%) who caught 80 or more passes were age 25-29; five (24%) were age 20-24, and only one was over the age of 30.
Finally, if we just look at the 11 players who caught 100 or more passes in 2018, there were eight (73%) who were age 25-29, two age 20-24 and only one that was in his thirties.
Just in case you were wondering, here are the 12 players in their 30’s who caught 50 or more passes in 2018: Larry Fitzgerald (age 35), Jordy Nelson (33), Danny Amendola (33), Julian Edelman (32), Jimmy Graham (32), Emmanuel Sanders (31), Jared Cook (31), Demaryius Thomas (31), Michael Crabtree (31), Antonio Brown (30), Golden Tate (30), Doug Baldwin (30).
Aaron Rodgers sets interesting mark
If you are a Packers fan, you know that QB Aaron Rodgers had only two interceptions in the 2018 regular season. You may also know that Rodgers was sacked a total of 49 times last season.
Here’s the stat: Of all QBs who have been sacked 40 or more times in a season, Rodgers becomes the first in NFL history to have less than three interceptions in the same season.
Following are the five QBs with 40 or more sacks and five or fewer interceptions in the same season.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 2018: 49 sacks, 2 INT
Jim Harbaugh, Indianapolis, 1997: 41 sacks, 4 INT
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo, 2017: 46 sacks, 4 INT
Steve Bartkowski, Atlanta, 1983: 51 sacks, 5 INT
Alex Smith, San Francisco, 2011: 44 sacks, 5 INT.
Rodgers also becomes the first QB in NFL history to have 25 or more TD passes, less than five interceptions and 40 or more sacks in a season.
If we adjust the numbers a bit and look at how many QBs were sacked 40 or more times and had fewer than 10 interceptions in a season, that has happened 38 times in league history by 27 different QBs… six of them have reached these two numbers in a season multiple times. The six who reached these numbers multiple times: Aaron Rodgers (four seasons), Russell Wilson (four seasons), Alex Smith (three seasons), Ken O’Brien, Neil O’Donnell and Tyrod Taylor (two seasons each).
Six QBs in 2018 were sacked 40 or more times and had fewer than 10 interceptions: Rodgers, Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, Dak Prescott and Marcus Mariota.
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Eight teams remain in the quest to crown the NFL champion for the 2018 season. With four games this weekend, a win will put teams in the AFC Championship or NFC Championship game.
Of the eight teams remaining (Dallas, Indianapolis, Kansas City, L.A. Chargers, L.A. Rams, England, New Orleans and Philadelphia), two of those teams, Dallas and Kansas City, have not played in a Championship Game this century. The Cowboys last played in the NFC Championship Game in 1995, while the Chiefs were last in the AFC Championship Game in 1993.
There are 24 NFL teams whose 2018 season has already ended. Of those 24 teams, the Cincinnati Bengals have the longest drought since a Championship Game appearance. The Bengals last appeared in the AFC Championship Game in 1988, a span of now 30 seasons without playing in a championship contest. The NFC teams with the longest championship drought are the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins… they last appeared (and faced off against each other) in the 1991 NFC title game.
All but one of the current 32 NFL teams has played in an AFC or NFC championship game in their franchise history. The Houston Texans have never played in an AFC Championship Game in their history that began in 2002.
Following is a list of the last season each NFL franchise appeared in either an AFC Championship Game or NFC Championship Game (teams are noted by current franchise city).
Never: Houston Texans (franchise began in 2002)
1988: Cincinnati Bengals
1989: Cleveland Browns
1991: Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins
1992: Miami Dolphins
1993: Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs
1995: Dallas Cowboys
2001: L.A. Rams
2002: Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Bucs, Tennessee Titans
2007: L.A. Chargers
2009: New Orleans Saints
2010: Chicago Bears, New York Jets
2011: New York Giants
2012: Baltimore Ravens
2013: San Francisco 49ers
2014: Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks
2015: Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos
2016: Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers
2017: Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles
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Written and Compiled by Jerry Tapp
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 31-0 loss to the Detroit Lions on December 30.
- So much for the best record in the final game of the regular season… the Packers were a league-best 20-5 in the final regular season game of the season (Game #16) entering yesterday’s contest.
- Prior to the game, the Packers were 13-2 all-time versus the Lions in games in Green Bay in December. They had won nine straight versus the Lions in December in Green Bay dating back to 1992.
- Prior to yesterday’s game, Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford had a 6-10 record versus the Packers with a career 88.6 Passer Rating and 32 TDs and 19 interceptions. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers had a career record of 13-4 against the Lions with a career 109.3 Passer Rating and 37 TD passes and only six interceptions.
- Game time temperature was 26 degrees. The Packers are now 37-17 (.685) in home games in December when the temperature is below 30 degrees. They are only 3-3 in their last six games in this stat.
- The Packers will finish in third place in their division for the second consecutive year. It is the first time they finished below second place in the division in back-to-back seasons since 1999 (fourth out of five teams) and 2000 (third out of five teams).
- Detroit scored first in the game. The Packers scored first in nine of their 16 games in 2018. They were 4-5 in those contests. They were 2-4-1 in the games when the opposition scored first.
- The Packers were behind 21-0 at halftime. The last time the Packers were down by 20 or more points at halftime at Lambeau was Dec. 3, 2006 against the New York Jets (they were down by 31 at half in that game). Green Bay is now 1-11 all-time in games where they were behind by 20 or more points at halftime at Lambeau. Their only win? They were down 23-0 at Lambeau at halftime to the Rams in a game in 1982 and ended up winning that game 35-23.
- Kyler Fackrell ended the season with 10.5 sacks. He is the first Packers player with 10 or more sacks since Nick Perry had 11 in 2016. He is the 12th Green Bay player in team history to have 10 or more sacks in a season (since 1982).
- Green Bay was behind 24-0 entering the fourth quarter. It was only the 18th time in team history that the Pack was behind by 24 or more points at home entering the fourth quarter. The worst deficit entering the fourth quarter at Lambeau was 38 points; in a game in 1950, the Rams were leading the Packers 38-0 at Lambeau entering the fourth quarter.
- Obviously the Packers were scoreless entering the fourth quarter. They are now 2-56 all-time in games where they have not scored through three quarters.
- The Packers have now been shutout at home in three of their last nine games at Lambeau.
- The 31-point defeat is tied for the ninth worst defeat the Packers have suffered at Green Bay in their history. The worst defeat at home in team history is 46 points to the New York Giants in 1948 (the Packers lost 49-3).
- Mason Crosby did not attempt a field goal in the game. The Packers are 12-14 in such games in Crosby’s career. This was the only game this season where Crosby did not attempt a field goal.
- Green Bay had only 175 total yards in the game. They are 0-7 since 2000 in games where they are held under 200 total yards.
- The Packers had only 46 yards rushing in the contest. They are 10-44-1 (.191) in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) in games where they have less than 50 yards rushing in a game.
- Green Bay had the ball for only 23:06 in the game. Since 2000, the Pack is now 5-17 (.227) in games where they have fewer than 24 minutes time of possession in a game.
- The Packers are 4-18 (.182) since 2014 (the last five seasons) when the opposition scores 30 or more points in a game.
- Aaron Rodgers was 3-for5 for 26 yards passing before he left the game due to a concussion. It was the 14th game in his career (regular season games) where he did not throw a TD pass in a game he started. The Packers are 4-10 in those games.
- Rodgers ended the season with 25 TD passes and only two interceptions. He becomes only the third QB in NFL history to have 25 or more TD passes in a season with two or fewer interceptions. The others: Nick Foles in 2013 (27 TD passes and two interceptions) and Tom Brady in 2016 (28 TD passes and two interceptions).
The Green Bay Packers will end their 2018 season on Sunday December 30 with a game against the Detroit Lions. This will be the 16th and final game of the season.
If you were a betting man (or woman) you might place a little wager on the Packers in this game… over the past 25 seasons (from 1993-2017) the Packers have been the NFL’s best team in the 16th and final game of the season. Since ’93, the Pack is 20-5 in the 16th game of the year, tops in the league.
Detroit, on the other hand, is in the bottom 10 of winning percentages in the final game of the season since 1993. They are 9-16, a .360 winning percentage.
Following are the records of each NFL team in the final game of the regular season from 1993-2017.
.800 Green Bay (20-5)
.720 New England (18-7)
.680 Pittsburgh, Tennessee (17-8)
.640 Indianapolis (16-9), L.A. Chargers (16-9)
.609 Carolina (14-9)
.600 Minnesota (15-10)
.560 Kansas City (14-11), N.Y. Giants (14-11), Philadelphia (14-11), San Francisco (14-11)
.545 Baltimore (12-10)
.520 Atlanta (13-12), Cincinnati (13-12), Denver (13-12), Seattle (13-12), Washington (13-12)
.480 N.Y. Jets (12-13)
.440 Buffalo (11-14)
.438 Houston (7-9)
.400 Arizona (10-15), Miami (10-15), Tampa Bay (10-15)
.360 Detroit (9-16), L.A. Rams (9-16), New Orleans (9-16)
.348 Jacksonville (8-15)
.320 Dallas (8-17)
.318 Cleveland (7-15)
.280 Chicago (7-18)
.240 Oakland (6-19)
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