Tag Archives: National Football League playoffs

NFL playoff seeds: Does it really matter?

Created by Jason R Remy (Jayron32)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With one week left in the 2013 regular season, there is still a lot of uncertainty about which teams will make the playoffs and which seed they have.

Back in 1990, the NFL went to a 12-team playoff system with six teams making the post-season from the two conferences; each conference is seeded from the top seed to the #6 seed. So with all this jockeying for playoff position, the question becomes… does it really matter what seed a team is in the playoffs? The obvious answer is “Yes.” To back up that statement, let’s look at how well each seed has done in the playoffs since 1990 when the current 12-team playoff format was put in place.

Division Seed 1990-99     2000-12         Total
AFC #1                     11-9               13-12       24-21 .533
AFC #2                    11-10             16-10       27-20 .574
AFC #3                    10-10            14-12        24-22 .522
AFC #4                    15-9              14-11         29-20 .592
AFC #5                     4-10              7-13         11-23 .324
AFC #6                     1-10              9-12         10-22 .313

NFC #1                   22-4              16-12         38-16 .704
NFC #2                   15-8              12-12         27-20 .574
NFC #3                    5-10             11-13          16-23 .410
NFC #4                    7-10             14-12         21-22 .488
NFC #5                    3-10               8-12         11-22 .333
NFC #6                    6-10               9-12         15-22 .405

Here’s a look at the win-loss records if we combine the seeds for the two conferences.

AFC/NFC combined W-L, Pct
#1 Seed 62-37 .626
#2 Seed 54-40 .574
#3 Seed 40-45 .471
#4 Seed 50-42 .543
#5 Seed 22-45 .328
#6 Seed 25-44 .362

Did you know? Thirty-four of the 46 Super Bowl teams since 1990 have either been a #1 or #2 seed. The NFC #1 seed has won seven Super Bowls since 1990, most during that time. The AFC #2, NFC #2 and AFC #4 have each won three during that time. The NFC #1 seed has played in 12 of the 21 Super Bowls since 1990.

Did you know? (Part 2) The AFC #5 seed and the NFC #3 seed have not won a Super Bowl since 1990; in fact, an AFC #5 seed has not appeared in the Super Bowl since the NFL went to the current playoff format in 1990.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

99 Stats Until Kickoff (#68) SIX STATS you might not know about… the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend

The NFL Green Bay Packers in the shotgun forma...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)

In 2002, the NFL realigned into four divisions in each conference. In addition, the playoffs were adjusted to include the four division winners and two wild card teams in each conference. This is the current playoff system in the NFL.

The first weekend of the NFL playoffs feature two wild card teams from the AFC and two from the NFC playing the division winners in their conference with the third and fourth best records of the four division champs. This first weekend is commonly referred to as “Wild Card Weekend” (WCW).

Let’s look at some stats from “Wild Card Weekend” since that 2002 realignment… a total of 44 games.

1. The home team holds a 26-18 (a .591 winning percentage) record in WCW play. The only two years since 2002 when the home teams won all four games the first weekend of the playoffs were in 2006 and 2011. Home teams are 7-1 in the last two years of the WCW.

2. Having a better record than your opponent on WCW doesn’t matter. Teams with a better record than the opposition on WCW are 19-17 (there have been eight games between teams with the same record).

3. Eighteen of the 44 Wild Card Weekend games since 2002 have been decided by eight points or less.

4. Teams that won the first weekend went on to win the next week 16 of 44 times. In 2008, three teams that won on WCW also won the following week, most of any year.

5. Teams that scored 30 or more points on WCW since 2002 have won 19 and lost four, an .826 winning percentage.

6. Eight teams that played on WCW since 2002 have made it to the Super Bowl: Carolina (2003), Pittsburgh (2005), Indianapolis (2006), New York Giants (2007), Arizona (2008), Green Bay (2010), New York Giants (2011) and Baltimore (2012). Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, the Giants (in both 2007 and 2011) Green Bay and Baltimore won the Super Bowl those years. The last three Super Bowl champs have come from teams that played on Wild Card Weekend.

“99 Stats Before Kickoff” (Stats you need to know before the start of the 2013 NFL season) is available from e-book publisher Smashwords. Go to www.smashwords.com to download a copy, including a pdf version which can be viewed on your home computer. Cost is $2.99.

NFL playoff seed history points to an Atlanta-New England Super Bowl

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Logo of the National Football League Playoffs,...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The final piece of the 2012 NFL playoff puzzle was completed last night when the Washington Redskins defeated the Dallas Cowboys 28-18 to win the NFC East title and the fourth seed in the NFC.

With the 12 playoff teams set on the journey for this year’s Super Bowl, the big question is: Who will face off in Super Bowl XLVII? (Super Bowl 47 for those of you who might be Roman-numerally challenged) Based on a few stats from the past 22 NFL playoffs, it  wouldn’t seem too far-fetched to see an Atlanta Falcons-New England Patriots Super Bowl. Before you start throwing things at your screen, let me explain:

Back in 1990, the NFL went to a 12-team playoff system with six teams making the post-season from the two conferences; each conference is seeded from the top seed to the #6 seed (it is the system that is currently in place). As teams jockeyed for playoff position and seeding yesterday on the final week of the 2012 season, the question ultimately needs to be asked… does it really matter what seed an NFL team is when the playoffs begin?

The obvious answer is “Yes!” Let’s take a look at how well each seed has done in the NFL playoffs since 1990 when the current playoff format was put in place.

Division Seeds win-loss in playoffs from 1990-2011

AFC #1 seed: 24-20 .545
AFC #2 seed: 26-19 .587
AFC #3 seed: 23-21 .523
AFC #4 seed: 25-20 .556
AFC #5 seed: 11-22 .333
AFC #6 seed: 10-21 .323

NFC #1 seed: 37-15 .712
NFC #2 seed: 25-19 .568
NFC #3 seed: 15-22 .405
NFC #4 seed: 21-21 .500
NFC #5 seed: 10-21 .323
NFC #6 seed: 15-21 .417

The best winning percentage in the AFC is the #2 seed (good news for the Patriots), while the best winning percentage in the NFC and also best in the league is the #1 seed (good news for the Falcons).

Let’s take it a step further by combining the seeds for the two conferences:

#1 seed: 61-35 .635
#2 seed: 51-38 .573
#3 seed: 38-43 .469
#4 seed: 46-41 .529
#5 seed: 21-43 .328
#6: seed: 25-42 .373

Did you know? Thirty-three of the 44 Super Bowl teams since 1990 have either been a #1 or #2 seed. The NFC #1 seed has won seven Super Bowls since 1990, most during that time. The AFC #2 seed and NFC #2 seed have each won three during that time. The NFC #1 seed has played in 12 of the 22 Super Bowls since 1990; the AFC #1 seed is second with nine Super Bowl appearances in the last 22 years.

Bad news for Green Bay and Indianapolis. The NFC #3 seed and the AFC #5 seed have not won a Super Bowl since 1990; in fact, an AFC #5 seed has not appeared in the Super Bowl since the league went to the current format in 1990.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

SIX STATS you might not know about… NFL’s divisional playoff weekend

English: SAN DIEGO (January 6, 2008) The color...

Image via Wikipedia

“SIX STATS…” is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ and is published every Friday.

(Note: In 1990, the NFL went to a playoff system that allowed 12 teams to play in the postseason. The following stats reflect playoff games from 1990 through 2010 [21 postseasons… 84 games] during the Divisional Playoff Weekend (DPW), which is after Wild Card Weekend and prior to the conference championship games. Divisional Playoff Weekend is this weekend!)

1. Fifty-four of the 84 DPW games (64.3%) were decided by nine points or more. Nineteen games were decided by three points or less (22.6%); 11 games were decided by four to eight points (13.1%). Twenty-five games (29.8%) were decided by 20 or more points.

2. On 11 of the 21 DPW the number one seeds from both conferences won advancing to the conference championship games. In the last six postseasons, however, 2009 was the only year that the two number one seeds both won on DPW.

3. Teams that scored under 20 points during DPW won 10 games and lost 58 (a .147 winning percentage). Teams that scored 30 or more points on DPW were 36-4 (a .900 winning percentage).

4. Home teams were 62-22 on DPW, a winning percentage of .738. In the last six postseasons, however, home teams are 12-12 on divisional playoff weekend.

5. The last time all four home teams won on DPW was in 2004. Since 1990, all four home teams have won on DPW only seven times in 21 postseasons.

6. In the last three DPW, the team that scored the most points on DPW of the eight teams has gone on to win the Super Bowl: last year, Green Bay, 48; in 2009, New Orleans, 45; in 2008, Pittsburgh, 35.

SIX STATS you might not know about… the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend

The NFL Green Bay Packers in the shotgun forma...

Image via Wikipedia

“SIX STATS…” is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ and is published every Friday.

In 2002, the NFL realigned into four divisions in each conference. In addition, the playoffs were adjusted to include the four division winners and two wild card teams in each conference. This is the current playoff system in the NFL.

The first weekend of the NFL playoffs feature the two wild card teams in the AFC and NFC playing the division winners with the third and fourth best records of the four division champs. This first weekend is commonly referred to as “Wild Card Weekend” (WCW).

Today’s blog will look back at some stats from “Wild Card Weekend” since that 2002 realignment… a total of 36 games.

1. The home team holds a 19-17 record in WCW play. The only year since 2002 that the home team won all four games the first weekend of the playoffs was in 2006. Home teams are only 7-9 in the last four years of the WCW.

2. Having a better record than your opponent on WCW doesn’t matter. Teams with a better record than the opposition on WCW are 14-14 (there have been eight games between teams with the same record).

3. Sixteen of the 36 Wild Card Weekend games since 2002 have been decided by eight points or less.

4. Teams that won the first weekend went on to win the next week on 14 occasions. In 2008, three teams that won on WCW also won the following week.

5. Teams that scored 30 or more points on WCW since 2002 have won 17 and lost four.

6. Six teams that played on WCW since 2002 have made it to the Super Bowl: Carolina (2003), Pittsburgh (2005), Indianapolis (2006), New York Giants (2007), Arizona (2008), Green Bay (2010). Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, the Giants and Green Bay won the Super Bowl those years.

BONUS STAT

How well did this year’s 12 playoff teams do against each other? Following are the records of the 12 playoff teams in regular season games against each other.

6-0: Baltimore, Green Bay

5-1: New Orleans

4-1: San Francisco

3-2: Houston

3-4: Pittsburgh

1-2: New England

1-3: Denver, New York Giants

1-4: Atlanta

1-5: Detroit

0-7: Cincinnati

How well did the teams that did not make the playoffs do against the 12 playoff teams during the regular season?

2-2: Washington

2-3: Buffalo

3-5: Tennessee

2-4: Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego

2-5: Chicago, Seattle

2-6: Tampa Bay

1-4: Dallas, Philadelphia

1-5: Arizona

1-6: Carolina, Jacksonville

1-7: Indianapolis, St. Louis

0-5: Miami, New York Jets

0-7: Minnesota

0-8: Cleveland