When was the last time your team won a division title?
Of the eight NFL teams that won divisional titles in 2012, six of them also won that division title in 2011. The two teams that went to the top of their division in 2012 (but not in 2011) were the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins.
The Falcons last won the NFC South in 2010. For the Redskins, this past season’s divisional title was a long time coming. The Redskins last won a division in 1999; that drought was tied for the fourth longest in the league.
There’s a good chance the Redskins and Falcons will not be repeating their division title in 2013 since the Redskins are five games out of first place with three games remaining, and the Falcons find themselves seven games back with three weeks left on the schedule.
Back in 2002, the NFL went to the current four division format in each of the two conferences. Of the 32 NFL teams, 28 have won at least one division title since ’02. The four that are still looking for their first division championship this century are: Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit and Jacksonville. Browns‘ fans have been waiting the longest as their team has not won a division championship since 1989.
The Lions are currently tied for first place in the NFC North with the Bears and may finally break that long drought without a division title.
Following is a look at when each NFL team last won a division title.
Year of last division title, team(s)
2002: N.Y. Jets, Oakland
2003: St. Louis
2007: Tampa Bay
2008: Carolina, Miami, Tennessee
2009: Arizona, Cincinnati, Dallas, Minnesota, San Diego,
2010: Chicago, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle
2011: New Orleans, N.Y Giants
2012: Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Green Bay, Houston, New England, San Francisco, Washington
Packers defense pitches second half shutout in win over Atlanta
Down 21-10 to Atlanta at halftime, things did not look good for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Fortunately, the defense held the Falcons scoreless in the second half and the Pack came away with a 22-21 win.
With the win on Sunday, the Packers are now 54-1 since 1990 in games when they hold their opponents scoreless in the second half. The last time the Pack lost a game where they held their opponents to zero points in the second half was September 25, 2005. The Tampa Bay Bucs won that game 17-16. Since that contest, Green Bay has won 18 straight games when they pitch a shutout in the second half.
If we look at the numbers of all NFL teams when they hold opponents scoreless in the second half since 2000, teams are 681-100 (a .872 winning percentage). The Minnesota Vikings have played in only six of those games, but they have won all of them, giving them a 1.000 winning percentage. The Packers are 31-1 (.969 winning percentage) in games when they hold opponents scoreless in the second half since 2000, the second best winning percentage in the league. Going back to 1966, the start of the Super Bowl era, the Packers are 88-14-3 in such games (a .852 winning percentage).
Let’s take it a step further… the Packers surrendered 21 points to the Falcons in the first half of last Sunday’s game. It was only the sixth time since 1966 that the Packers have won a game where they gave up 20 or more points in the first half and then allowed zero in the second half. Their other win was in 1982 against the Rams. The Rams on September 12, 1982 were leading 23-0 at halftime of that contest; the Packers scored 35 unanswered points in the second half in route to a 35-23 win.
Here’s a look at the six games (since 1966) where the Pack allowed 20-plus points in the first half and allowed zero in the second half.
December 8, 2013 vs. Atlanta: Pack losing 21-10 at halftime; they won the game 22-21.
December 10, 1989 vs. Kansas City: Pack losing 21-3 at halftime; they lost the game 21-3.
September 18, 1988 vs. Miami: Pack losing 24-14 at halftime; they lost game 24-17.
September 14, 1986 vs. New Orleans: Pack losing 24-3 at halftime; they lost game 24-10.
September 12, 1984 vs. Los Angeles Rams: Pack losing 23-0 at halftime; they won game 35-23.
December 7, 1975 vs. Minnesota: Pack losing 24-3 at halftime; they lost game 24-3.
Note: The two games above that they won were both played in Green bay; the other four games were played on the road.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Winning an overtime game on the road in the NFL
Week 13 had two games go into overtime: The Vikings beat the Bears 23-20, and the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Buffalo Bills 34-31. For the Falcons, it was their first overtime win on the road since September 26, 2010.
Through games of December 1, there have been 13 overtime games in the NFL this season. One ended in a tie, and the home team has won nine of the other 12 OT contests.
In 2012, there 21 regular-season overtime games in the NFL. Of those 21, the home team won 11 of them. There was also an overtime game in the playoffs; that was won by the away team (Baltimore) as they knocked the Denver Broncos out of the playoffs on their home field on a Justin Tucker 47-yard field goal in double overtime.
One of the more interesting overtime games last season was on December 2. The Seattle Seahawks were on the road facing the Chicago Bears. The Seahawks won the game 23-17 in Chicago in overtime. It was the first victory in a five-game winning streak that propelled the Seahawks to an 11-win season and a spot in the playoffs.
But another reason that game was noteworthy was that it was the first overtime win on the road for the Seahawks in almost 10 years. Prior to that win in Chicago, the last time Seattle won an overtime game on the road was December 29, 2002 when they beat the Chargers 31-28 in an overtime game in San Diego.
The current longest drought for a road overtime win belongs to the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona has not won an overtime game on the road since December 2, 2001.
With that in mind, here is the last time each team won an overtime game on the road.
Last overtime game won on the road, team
10-23-2003: New England
11-27-2005: St. Louis
10-29-2007: Green Bay
12-9-2007: San Diego
9-14-2008: San Francisco
1-22-2012: New York Giants
9-23-2012: Kansas City
9-23-2012: New York Jets
11-18-2012: Tampa Bay
12-23-2012: New Orleans
Of the three teams that have this season won OT games on the road, two of those road OT victories came at the expense of the Buffalo Bills (both Cincinnati and Atlanta beat Buffalo in OT on the Bills’ home field). The Bills became the 11th team since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to have lost two overtime games at home in a season. Following are those teams:
Lost two overtime games at home in a season
2003: Tampa Bay
2002: Minnesota, Oakland
1993: New England
1987: New England
1983: Green Bay, Houston Oilers, Tampa Bay
1979: New England
2013 World Series: Same record; best record; last-to-champs journey for Sox
With the World Series getting started tonight in Boston, here are a couple of interesting stats to ponder before the first pitch. Depending on your team allegiance in the series, you may be happy (or sad) to read these facts.
Same record. The World Series this year features two teams that had the same regular season record, 97-65. This is the first World Series in over a half-century where the opposing teams had the same regular season record. Last time it happened was in 1958 when the 92-62 New York Yankees faced the 92-62 Milwaukee Braves. This is also only the fifth time it has happened in the 108-year history of the Fall Classic. It also happened in 1951, 1949 and 1903. Think about this: In the previous four times it occurred, the American League won the World Series. Good omen for the Red Sox?
Question: Does it really matter which World Series team had a better record in the regular season? The World Series team with the better record has won 24 of the 52 World Series dating back to 1960.
Best record in league. Back in 1995 MLB went to the current format of three divisions in each league. Since 1995, this is only the third time that the team with the best record in the American League will face the team with the best record in the National League in the World Series. Both St. Louis and Boston had the best regular season records in their respective league. The other times it happened: 1999 World Series (Atlanta versus the New York Yankees) and 1995 (Cleveland versus Atlanta). In 2007, World Series foes Boston and Colorado tied for the best record in their leagues.
From last to the World Series: The Red Sox this year become the sixth team in MLB history to go from last place to the World Series in the following season. In 2012, Boston finished fifth in the five-team A.L. East, 26 games out of first place. Here’s a look at the teams that went from last place to the World Series in consecutive years.
Atlanta, 1990: Finished sixth in six-team division, 26 games out of first. Lost the World Series in 1991.
Minnesota, 1990: Finished fifth in five-team division, 29 games out of first. Won the World Series in 1991.
Philadelphia, 1992: Finished sixth in six-team division, 26 games out of first. Lost the World Series in 1993.
San Diego, 1997: Finished fourth in four-team division, 14 games out of first. Lost World Series in 1998.
Tampa Bay, 2007: Finished fifth in five-team division, 30 games out of first. Lost World Series in 2008.
Boston, 2012: Finished fifth in five-team division, 26 games out of first. ????????????????????????
You noticed that only one team (of the five) above won the World Series after being in last place the previous year, right? Bad omen for the Red Sox?
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp.
St. Louis Cardinals hope 2013 NLCS is repeat of 2004 NLCS scenario
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
The St. Louis Cardinals won Games One and Two of their 2013 NLCS at home versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. The series now shifts to Los Angeles for games three and four.
The Cardinals, in winning the first two games of the LCS as the home team, became the 13th team since 1985 (when MLB went to a seven-game LCS series format) to win the first two games of an LCS as the home team. The last time it happened was in 2011 when the Texas Rangers won Games One and Two of the ALCS at home. The Rangers went on to win the ALCS that year in six games.
The Cardinals in 2004 won the first two games of the NLCS as the home team against the Houston Astros. The Cards went on to win that series in seven games.
Of the 12 previous times since 1985 that a home team won the first two games of either an ALCS or NLCS, that team went on to win the LCS series nine times and lost three times. Ironically, two of the three losses occurred in 1985 as both home teams won the first two games of their respective LCS that season but then lost the series. The last time this happened was in 2004 when the Yankees won the first two games of the ALCS at home against the Red Sox but then lost the series in seven games to Boston.
Following are the 12 times when the home team won the first two games of an LCS.
American League Championship Series
Year, Home team wins first two games of series, series result
1985, Toronto (Kansas City won series in seven games)
1987, Minnesota (Minnesota won series in five games)
1989, Oakland (Oakland won the series in five games)
1999, New York Yankees (Yankees won series in five games)
2004, New York Yankees (Boston won series in seven games)
2009, New York Yankees (Yankees won series in six games)
2011, Texas (Texas won series in six games)
National League Championship Series
Year, Home team wins first two games of series, series result
1985, Los Angeles Dodgers (St. Louis won series in six games)
1992, Atlanta (Atlanta won series in seven games)
1999, Atlanta (Atlanta won series in six games)
2004, St. Louis (St. Louis won series in seven games)
2008, Philadelphia (Philadelphia won series in five games)
2013, St. Louis (?????)
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp