For the first time in franchise history the Cincinnati Bengals made the playoffs in three straight seasons (2011, 2012, 2013). Going into the 2013 season, there were five franchises — including the Bengals — that had never made the playoffs in three straight seasons
This season’s 12 playoff teams consist of seven teams that played in the playoffs in 2012 and five that did not.
Here’s a look at this year’s 12 playoff teams, their recent playoff appearance history and the last time they made the NFL playoffs in three straight years.
2013 playoff repeaters
Green Bay: Their fifth straight playoff appearance.
New England: Fifth straight playoff appearance.
Cincinnati: Third consecutive playoff appearance. This is their first time making the playoffs in three straight seasons.
Denver: Third consecutive playoff appearance. The last time they made the playoffs in three straight years was 2003-05.
San Francisco: Third straight year in the playoffs. Last time they made the playoffs in three straight seasons was 1996-98.
Indianapolis: Their second straight playoff appearance.. The last time they made the playoffs in three straight years was 2008-10.
Seattle: Second straight playoff appearance. Last time they made the playoffs in three straight seasons was 2005-07.
2013 playoff teams that did not make playoffs in 2012
Carolina: This is their first playoff appearance since 2008. They have never made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons.
Kansas City: This is their first playoff appearance since 2010. The last time they made the playoffs in three straight seasons was 1993-95.
San Diego: First playoff appearance since 2009. The last time they made the playoffs in three straight years was 2007-09.
Philadelphia: This is their first playoff game since 2010. The last time they made the playoffs in three straight seasons was 2008-10.
New Orleans: First playoff contest since 2011. Last time they made the playoffs ion three consecutive years was 2009-11.
As mentioned above, there are now four franchises which have never made the NFL playoffs in three consecutive years. Those franchises are: Arizona, Carolina, Houston and the New York Jets.
Here’s a look at the remaining 17 franchises and the last time each of them made the NFL playoffs in three consecutive seasons (starting with the team that has had the longest wait):
Team, last time they made playoffs in three straight years
St. Louis: 1999-2001
Tampa Bay: 2000-02
N.Y. Giants: 2009-11
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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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.
If you’re a defensive coordinator in the NFL, you’ve got to feel pretty good if your team heads into the locker room at halftime of a game and your opponents do not have any points on the scoreboard. But does pitching a shutout in the first half equate to ultimate success (read: victory) in that game?
Let’s put some numbers to that question. First, there have been nine games so far in 2013 where a team has held their opponents to zero points in the first half. In those games, those teams that pitched the first-half shutout won nine and lost two. Two teams, Green Bay and Seattle, have held their opponents to zero points at half in two games in 2013.
If we take a look back to 2004, teams that held the opposition scoreless in the first half have won 357 and lost 64, an .848 winning percentage. The Patriots and Steelers have each held their opponents scoreless in 22 games from 2004-2013, most in the NFL.
Here’s a look at the number of games each NFL team held opponents scoreless in the first half from 2004-2013. The win-loss record in those games is noted in parenthesis.
Games where opponents were scoreless at halftime (record in those games)
22: New England (21-1); Pittsburgh (20-2)
19: Cincinnati (17-2); New York Giants (18-1); Baltimore (18-1)
18: Green Bay (15-3); Tampa Bay (14-4)
17: New York Jets (15-2); Seattle (16-1)
15: Atlanta (14-1); San Diego (13-2)
14: Carolina (12-2); Chicago (11-3); Denver (14-0); Houston (12-2); San Francisco (13-1)
13: Jacksonville (11-2)
12: Cleveland (5-7); Miami (5-7); Washington (10-2)
11: Buffalo: (9-2); Kansas City (9-2); Tennessee (8-3)
10: Detroit (9-1); Minnesota (7-3)
9: Indianapolis (8-1); Arizona (7-2); Philadelphia (9-0)
7: Dallas (5-2)
5: Oakland (4-1); St. Louis (4-1)
4: New Orleans (4-0)
You probably noticed that three teams, Denver, Philadelphia and New Orleans, are undefeated in games since 2004 when they held opponents scoreless in the first half. The last time these teams lost a game when they held their foes scoreless at half were: Eagles (12/28/2002); Broncos (12/2/2001), Saints (10/17/1999).
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The Cincinnati Bengals had a chance this past year to end a 21-year drought with a win in the playoffs when they faced off against the Houston Texans in an AFC Wild Card game. The Bengals have not won a playoff game since 1990.
The Texans beat the Bengals in that Wild Card contest, thus extending Cincinnati’s streak of consecutive seasons without winning a playoff game to 22 years, the longest current wait for a post-season win in the NFL.
There are now nine teams that have not won a playoff game in 10 years or more. The Tennessee Titans joined that list this past season when they failed to make the 2012 playoffs. Their last playoff win was after the 2003 season.
Here’s a look at the last time each of the 32 NFL teams won a playoff game.
Last season they won a playoff game, team
1993: Kansas City
2002: Oakland, Tampa Bay
2004: St. Louis
2005: Carolina, Washington
2008: Philadelphia, San Diego
2009: Arizona, Dallas, Minnesota, Indianapolis
2010: Chicago, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh
2011: Denver, New Orleans, N.Y. Giants
2012: Atlanta, Baltimore, Green Bay, Houston, New England, San Francisco, Seattle
“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.