There are a lot of new faces in the NFL playoffs this season. In the AFC, three teams that played in last year’s playoffs made it back this year: Kansas City, New England and Pittsburgh. New this year to the AFC playoffs are Buffalo, Jacksonville and Tennessee. In the NFC, only one team repeats from last season: Atlanta. The other five teams, Carolina, L.A. Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans and Philadelphia, did not play in last year’s post-season.
Of the 12 playoff teams this year, all have won a playoff game this century except for the Buffalo Bills. The last time Buffalo won a playoff game was in 1995 when they defeated the Miami Dolphins 37-22 in a Wild Card contest.
Here’s a look at the last season each of this year’s 12 playoff teams won a post-season game.
2004: L.A Rams
2013: New Orleans
2015: Carolina, Kansas City
2016: Atlanta, New England, Pittsburgh
Buffalo has the fourth longest drought in the league when it comes to last playoff win. The Cincinnati Bengals hold that distinction as they have not won a playoff game since 1990. They are followed by the Detroit Lions, who last won a post-season game in 1991, and the Cleveland Browns who last won a playoff game in 1994. The Bengals, Lions, Browns and Bills are the only four NFL teams that have not won a playoff game this century.
Stats on Tapp
With their defeat of the Golden State Warriors in this year’s NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavs avoided becoming the 34th franchise in pro sports history to lose the title in their sport in consecutive years. The last pro sports team to lose consecutive titles were the Texas Rangers… they lost the World Series in 2010 to the San Francisco Giants and then lost the following year to the St. Louis Cardinals.
In the NBA, the last team to lose back-to-back NBA Finals were the New Jersey Nets. They lost the finals in 2002 and 2003. It’s a close race for the most back-to-back title losses in pro sports: There have been 11 in the NHL, 10 in MLB and nine in the NBA. There has been only three teams that lost back-to-back Super Bowls.
Here’s a look at the franchises that lost consecutive title games/series in the four major pro sports.
Toronto, 1935, 36
Toronto, 1938, 39, 40 *
Detroit, 1941, 42
Detroit, 1948, 49
Montreal, 1951, 52
Montreal, 1954, 55
Boston, 1957, 58
Toronto, 1959, 60
Detroit, 1963, 64
St. Louis, 1968, 69, 70 *
Boston, 1978, 79
Detroit, 1907, 08, 09 *
NY Giants, 1911, 12, 13 *
NY Yankees, 1921, 22
NY Giants, 1923, 24
NY Giants, 1936, 37
Brooklyn Dodgers, 1952, 53
NY Yankees, 1963, 64
L.A. Dodgers, 1977, 78
Atlanta Braves, 1991, 92
Texas Rangers, 2010, 2011
NY Knicks, 1951, 52, 53 *
Ft. Wayne Pistons, 1955, 56
St. Louis hawks, 1960, 61
L.A. Lakers, 1962, 63
L.A. Lakers, 1965, 66
L.A. Lakers, 1968, 69, 70 *
L.A. Lakers, 1983, 84
Utah Jazz, 1997, 98
New Jersey Nets, 2002, 2003
Minnesota Vikings, 1974, 75
Denver Broncos, 1987, 88
Buffalo Bills, 1991, 92, 93, 94 *
- Lost three or more consecutive title games/series
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
The Kansas City Chiefs are the only undefeated team in the NFL at 9-0. Not only is that a surprise to many NFL experts and fans, but the Chiefs seem to be winning games with a less-than-powerful offense and an opportunistic defense that is not only shutting teams down, but their “D” is putting points on the board.
Last Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills was a perfect example. The Chiefs offense had nine possessions; they scored three times, but each score was a field goal. They did not have an offensive TD in the game. They did, however, have two defensive TDs; one an interception return, the other a fumble return for six points.
Kansas City’s win without an offensive TD was only the second time that has happened this season. The New York Giants on October 27 defeated the Eagles 15-7 behind five field goals. Since 2000, teams that did not score an offensive TD in a game have won only 93 games and lost 590, a dismal .136 winning percentage. This season, it has happened 22 times with the Giants and Chiefs gaining the only wins. Last season there were 49 times when a team did not have an offensive TD; those teams won seven and lost 42.
Here’s a look at the numbers of times NFL teams have
won a game since 2000 when they did not score an offensive TD.
6: Detroit, Tampa Bay
5: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh
4: Chicago, Cleveland, Green Bay, Tennessee
2: Buffalo, Carolina, Dallas, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Minnesota, NY Jets, Seattle
1: Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia
0: New Orleans, San Diego
The Cleveland Browns had the most games since 2000 with no offensive TDs with 51. The closest team to them were the Bills with 35. The Indianapolis Colts have had the fewest games with no offensive touchdowns since 2000 with seven. They are followed by San Diego with eight, New Orleans with nine and the Packers with 10.
Here’s another interesting tidbit about Kansas City’s win over Buffalo on Sunday: The Chiefs defensive unit scored on an interception and fumble return. It was the fourth time this season that has happened in the NFL (the Cowboys, Rams and Bears each scored on an interception and fumble return in a game this year) and the 109th time since 1970 that a team had at least one interception return and a fumble return in a game. Teams that have scored in this manner in a game were 97-12 in those games, an .890 winning percentage. The last time a team has lost when they scored defensive TDs via an interception and fumble return in a game was in 2003 when Tampa Bay lost to Indianapolis 38-35 in overtime despite those two defensive scores.