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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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.
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In the 48-year history of the Super Bowl, 17 of those games (35.4%) were decided by one score (eight points or less). Unfortunately, last year’s Seattle win over Denver, 43-8, finished at the other end of the spectrum with a blowout that was the third largest margin in the game’s history.
Three teams have lost multiple Super Bowl games by eight points or less: Dallas (lost three) and New England and Cincinnati (each lost two). For Dallas, they lost their three Super Bowls by three, four and four points. The Cowboys have, however, won five Super Bowls, which makes those close losses a little easier to take. The Bengals, on the other hand, lost two Super Bowls by four and five points in their only two appearances in the big game. New England has three Super Bowl victories and two losses by three and four points. It’s interesting to note that the Patriots won each of their three championships by three points each.
Here’s a look at the games in Super Bowl history that were decided by one score.
Point Differential, Super Bowl Games (Date of Game)
1: N.Y. Giants over Buffalo (1991)
3: Baltimore over Dallas (1971); New England over St. Louis (2002); New England over Carolina (2004); New England over Philadelphia (2005); N.Y. Giants over New England (2008); Baltimore over San Francisco (2013)
4: Pittsburgh over Dallas (1976); Pittsburgh over Dallas (1979); San Francisco over Cincinnati (1989); Pittsburgh over Arizona (2009); N.Y. Giants over New England (2012)
5: San Francisco over Cincinnati (1982)
6: Green Bay over Pittsburgh (2011)
7: Miami over Washington (1973); Denver over Green Bay (1988); St. Louis over Tennessee (2000)
Note: Six of the 17 one-score Super Bowls have happened in the past 10 years.
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Five teams that made the playoffs in 2012 had a quick exit from last season’s postseason. Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Minnesota and Washington each played only one game in the playoffs last season because they lost their first playoff game… a “one and out” experience. For the Bengals, it was the second consecutive season they lost their first playoff game.
Playoff seasons with ‘One & Out”
13 Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts, Minnesota
11 Kansas City
10 Miami, Tennessee/Houston Oilers
9 Denver, Detroit, St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams
8 Cincinnati, Cleveland, New England, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
7 Buffalo, Chicago
6 Atlanta, Green Bay, New York Giants, New York Jets, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Washington
5 New Orleans, San Diego, Seattle
3 Arizona/St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
2 Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville
0 Houston Texans
Did you know? Three NFL franchises experienced three straight “One & Out” postseasons. Detroit went one and out in the playoffs in 1993, 1994 and 1995; the Baltimore Colts went one and out in 1975, 1976 and 1977; and Philadelphia went one and out in 1988, 1989 and 1990.
The Indianapolis Colts have the most “one and out” appearances in the NFL playoffs since 2000. The Colts have been one and out seven times since 2000. The Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Bucs have each been one and out four times since 2000.
This coming weekend four games highlight the first round of the 2013 NFL playoffs. Here’s a snapshot of the four games and some numbers from the previous head-to-head matchups between the teams.
Kansas City @ Indianapolis
All-time series: Indianapolis leads the series 15-8.
Last meeting: The Colts defeated the Chiefs 23-7 on December 22, 2013.
All-time playoff series: Indianapolis has won all three playoff meetings.
Last playoff meeting: The Colts won 23-8 in a 2006 AFC First Round game.
Noteworthy: Indianapolis is 12-2 against the Chiefs since 1990… Indy had won five of the last six against the Chiefs at home… The Chiefs have scored under 14 points in five of the last six games against the Colts.
New Orleans @ Philadelphia
All-time series: Philadelphia leads the series 16-12.
Last meeting: The Saints defeated the Eagles 28-13 on November 5, 2012.
All-time playoff series: The teams have each won one playoff games in the series.
Last playoff meeting: The Saints won 27-24 in a 2006 NFC Divisional game.
Noteworthy: New Orleans has won the last two and four of the last five against the Eagles… The Eagles have won three of the last four home games against the Saints… The Saints have scored 23 or more points in five straight games against Philadelphia.
San Diego @ Cincinnati
All-time series: San Diego leads the series 19-14.
Last meeting: The Bengals defeated the Chargers 17-10 on December 1, 2013.
All-time playoff series: The Bengals won the only playoff game played between the teams.
Last playoff meeting: The Bengals won 27-7 in the 1981 AFC Championship Game.
Noteworthy: Cincinnati has won the last three games in the series… The Chargers have won three of the last four games played in Cincinnati… Five of the last six games in the series were decided by eight points or less.
San Francisco @ Green Bay
All-time series: Green Bay leads the series 34-29-1.
Last meeting: The 49ers defeated the Packers 34-28 on September 18, 2013.
All-time playoff series: The Packers have won four of the six playoff games between the two franchises.
Last playoff meeting: The 49ers won 45-31 in a 2012 NFC Division game.
Noteworthy: The 49ers have won the last three games against the Packers… The Packers have won eight of the last nine at home against San Francisco… Green Bay has scored 20-plus points in 19 games versus the 49ers.
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