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
Does it matter if an NFL team is the only team in their division to win 10 or more games? Does it matter if a team wins a divisional title by five or more games? If a team is one of three in their division to win 10 or more games, do they have a better chance to reach the Super Bowl? Do teams that win their division by one game or less (or tie for the divisional title) have a better chance of winning the Super Bowl than say a team that wins their division by five or more games?
Let’s try to answer these questions. Back in 2002, the NFL went to a four-division format in each conference. That gives us 11 years of past history to analyze divisional races and how they affect the Super Bowl teams (and winners). The following stats reflect the past 11 NFL seasons, 88 different divisional races.
1. In 43 of the 88 divisional races since 20002, the race ended with only one team in the division winning 10 games or more. In 33 races, two teams in the division won 10-plus games; in nine races, none of the teams win 10-plus games; and in three races, three different teams won 10 or more games.
2. Of the 22 teams that played in the Super Bowl since 2002, exactly half (11) came from a division that had only one team with 10-plus wins; nine of the 22 came from a division with two 10-plus win teams. Two teams came from a conference that had no team winning 10 or more games. Since 2002, none of the three divisions that had three teams with 10-plus wins has made it to the Super Bowl.
3. Seven of the 11 Super Bowl champs since 2002 came from a division with two teams with 10 or more wins.
4. Fifty-six of the 88 division races since 2002 (63.6 percent) finished in a tie or the first place team won the division by two games or less over the second place team. Eighteen teams since 2002 won their division by five games or more over the runner-up.
5. The last three Super Bowl champs came from divisions that were decided by one game or less.
6. Teams that won their division by one game or less are 5-2 in the Super Bowl since 2002. Teams that won their division by 1.5 to four games are 6-3 in the Super Bowl. Teams that won their division by five or more games are 0-6 in the Super Bowl in the last 11 years.
With four weeks left in the 2013 NFL regular season, there is more and more conversation about the playoffs and which teams will not only make the playoffs, but which teams might have home field advantage throughout the duration of the post-season.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that having the home field is a benefit during the season and also in the playoffs. For the record, from the 2010 season through Week #13 of this year, home teams have won .572 of the games with road teams at .428, a difference of .144. (In the last three NFL playoffs, home teams have an 18-12 record, a .600 winning percentage.)
For some teams, however, the difference between their regular season home and road winning percentage is much greater than the league average of .144 since 2010. The Arizona Cardinals since 2010 are 19-11 (.633) at home and 6-24 (.200) on the road. That .433 difference is the largest of all NFL teams in that time period.
After looking at the records below, you will notice that:
* Two teams, Philadelphia and Washington, have actually played better on the road than at home since 2010. Only two teams, New England (.700) and Philadelphia (.600) have won 60 percent or more of their regular season road games since 2010.
Here’s a look at each NFL teams winning percentage at home and on the road since 2010.
Difference, Team (Home win pct/Road win pct)
+.433 Arizona (.633/.200)
+.400 Baltimore (.867/.467)
+.334 Seattle (.767/.433)
+.317 Green Bay (.850/.533)
+.250 Minnesota (.500/.250)
+.247 Cleveland (.419/.172)
+.245 Buffalo (.452/.207)
+.233 Indianapolis (.633/.400)
+.217 San Francisco (.750/.533)
+.200 New England (.900/.700)
+.200 New Orleans (.767/.567)
+.200 New York Jets (.600/.400)
+.166 Atlanta (.733/.567)
+.150 St. Louis (.433/.283)
+.142 Pittsburgh (.690/.548)
+.134 Oakland (.467/.333)
+.133 San Diego (.552/.419)
+ .102 Kansas City (.516/.414)
+.100 Chicago (.633/.533)
+.100 Dallas (.533/.433)
+.100 Denver (.633/.533)
+.100 Detroit (.500/.400)
+.100 New York Giants (.600/.500)
+.087 Jacksonville (.345/.258)
+.068 Cincinnati (.552/.484)
+.067 Tennessee (.467/.400)
+.066 Carolina (.433/.367)
+.033 Houston (.516/.483)
+.000 Miami (.433/.433)
+.000 Tampa Bay (.400/.400)
-.066 Washington (.367/.433)
-.233 Philadelphia (.367/.600)
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Let’s go back a couple of weeks in the NFL season… October 27 to be exact. The Cincinnati Bengals put a major beat-down on the New York Jets, 49-9. It was the first game with a 40-point margin in the 2013 NFL campaign.
You would assume that after winning a game by 40 points one week that victory would be almost a certainty the following week for the Bengals. You might also think that after losing by 40 points one week that the next game played by the Jets would more than likely be another defeat.
Fast forward to last weekend. The Bengals, hot off their blowout win over the Jets, stumble to a 22-20 loss at the hands of the Miami Dolphins. The Jets, on the other hand, host the New Orleans Saints and come away with a surprise 26-20 win.
Since the 2000 NFL season, there have now been 32 games where the final margin of victory was 40 points or more. It was only the fourth time since that season that the team that won a 40-point blowout lost the following week and the team that lost the 40-point blowout won the next week.
Here’s a quick look back at those four games.
2013: Cincinnati over NY Jets, 49-9. Cincinnati lost the following week; the Jets won the following week.
2012; Green Bay over Tennessee, 55-7. Green Bay lost the following week; Tennessee won the following week.
2012: San Francisco over Buffalo, 45-3. San Francisco lost the following week; Buffalo won the following week.
2009: Seattle over Jacksonville, 41-0. Seattle lost the following week; Jacksonville won the following week.
Of the 28 times when the two teams involved in a blowout played the following week, both teams won the next week on nine occasions, while 12 times the team that won the blowout won the following week and the team that lost the blowout also lost the next week. Both teams lost the week following a 40-point blowout three times.
Here’s a look at how well the two teams involved in a 40-point (or more) blowout did the following week
40-point blowout winner the following week (since 2000 season)
Won the following week: 22 times
Lost the following week: 7 times
Had a bye the following week: 2 times
The 40-point blowout game was the end of the season: 1 time
40-point blowout loser the following week (since 2000 season)
Won the following week: 14
Lost the following week: 16
Had a bye the following week: 1 time
The 40-point blowout game was the end of the season: 1 time
So which team have won the most 40-point blowout games in the NFL since 2000? Which team has lost the most 40-point blowout games this century? The New England Patriots have won five blowout games since 2000 to top that list; the Arizona Cardinals have been on the receiving end of a 40-point blowout four times, most in the league since 2000.
Most 40-point blowout wins since 2000
5: New England
3: Kansas City, San Francisco, Seattle
2: Baltimore, Green Bay, Jacksonville, New Orleans
1: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, NY Jets, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee
Most 40-point blowout losses since 2000
3: NY Jets
2: Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Tennessee
1: Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington