Tag Archives: NFC

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.

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SIX STATS you might not know about… the first score in the Super Bowl

NFL legend Jerry Rice at CTIA Wireless in Las ...

Jerry Rice... Image via Wikipedia

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

How important is it to be the first team to score in the Super Bowl? In the previous 45 Super Bowl games, the team that scored first has won 29 times (64.4% winning percentage). Here’s a few more stats regarding the first score in the Super Bowl.

1. The first score in the Super Bowl has been either a field goal or touchdown pass in 82.2% of the games (37 of 45).

2. The first score has been a field goal in 22 games (48.9%). Of those 22, nine have been field goals of 40 yards or more. The first score has been a touchdown pass in 15 of the 45 Super Bowls (33.3%). Only four of those 15 TD passes were of 40 yards or more.

3. The first score has been a TD run in only five Super Bowl games. None of those five TD runs were longer than five yards. The last time a rushing TD was the first score in a Super Bowl was 1993 when Buffalo’s Thurman Thomas scored on a two-yard run. The first score has been a safety, blocked punt for TD and kick return for TD once apiece.

4. The NFC has been the first team to score in 24 of the 45 games and in 12 of the last 17.

5. The first score in the Super Bowl has happened in the first quarter in 39 of the 45 games (86.7%) and in 15 of the last 17 contests. No Super Bowl game has been scoreless at halftime The lowest scoring Super Bowl game was Super Bowl IX between Pittsburgh and Minnesota. Pittsburgh scored a safety in the second quarter on their way to a 2-0 lead at halftime.

6. Three different players have scored the first points in two different Super Bowls. Kicker Mike Clark of Dallas did it with field goals in Super Bowl 5 and Super Bowl 6; the 49ers Jerry Rice put the first points on the board in Super Bowls 24 and 29 with TD receptions (in Super Bowl 24 from Joe Montana and in Super Bowl 29 from Steve Young); and Rams kicker Jeff Wilkins made field goals in Super Bowl 34 and Super Bowl 36 for the first scores in those games.

SIX STATS you might not know about… Super Bowl host cities, states

Super Bowl XLVI

Image via Wikipedia

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

Super Bowl XLVI will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. It will be the first Super Bowl in Indianapolis and the state of Indiana. Here’s a “SIX STATS…” look at Super Bowl host cities and states.

1. Miami is the city that has hosted the most Super Bowls with 10. They are followed by New Orleans with nine. The other cities to host three or more times are Pasadena (5), Tampa (4) and San Diego (3). The state of Florida has hosted 15 Super Bowls followed by California with 11 and Louisiana with nine.

2. The NFC is 7-4 in Super Bowl games in California… the AFC is 10-5 in Florida-hosted Super Bowls… the NFC is 5-4 in Louisiana… the NFC is 19-11 in Super Bowls outside of Florida… The NFC is 5-0 in Super Bowls played in either Minnesota, Georgia  or Arizona.

3. The NFC has won six of the last seven Super Bowls played in California… the AFC has won five of the last six Super Bowls held in Florida… the NFC has won three of the last four Super Bowl games played in Louisiana.

4. In 15 of the 45 Super Bowls, the final score was a margin of eight points or less. Seven of those 15 games were played in Florida.

5. In 17 of the 45 Super Bowls, the two teams combined for 50 or more points. Seven of those games were played in California. The highest scoring Super Bowl was Super Bowl XXIX when San Francisco and San Diego combined for 75 points. That game was played in Miami.

6. How well have teams done in specific time zones? Glad you asked. The NFC is 8-11 in Super Bowl games played in the Eastern Standard Time; the NFC is 7-6 in Central Standard Time Super Bowl games; the NFC is 2-0 in games played in Mountain Standard Time; and the NFC is 7-4 in games played in Pacific Standard Time. This year’s game in Indianapolis will be played in an Eastern Standard Time zone city.

NFL playoff seeds: Does it really matter? (Part One)

Created by Jason R Remy (Jayron32)

Image via Wikipedia

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

As we get ready to close the book on the 2011 NFL regular season, there are still a handful of questions that are not answered concerning the playoffs: Who will get the number one seed in the AFC? Who will win the NFC East? Who will win the AFC West? Will San Francisco or New Orleans get a first-round bye as the number two seed in the NFC?

The one thing we do know is that the Green Bay Packers will enter the playoffs as the top seed in the NFC. And it’s a good thing… for them (more on that in a minute).

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           2000-10                   Total

AFC #1                                      11-9                     11-10                    22-19 .537

AFC #2                                     11-10                   14-8                      25-18 .581

AFC #3                                     10-10                  12-10                    22-20 .524

AFC #4                                     15-9                      9-10                    24-19 .558

AFC #5                                      4-10                     7-11                      11-21 .344

AFC #6                                      1-10                     9-10                     10-20 .333

NFC #1                                     22-4                    15-10                     37-14 .725

NFC #2                                     15-8                      9-10                    24-18 .571

NFC #3                                      5-10                     9-11                     14-21 .400

NFC #4                                      7-10                    10-11                    17-21 .447

NFC #5                                      3-10                     7-10                    10-20 .333

NFC #6                                      6-10                     9-10                    15-20 .429

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                                                      59-33 .641

#2 Seed                                                     49-36 .576

#3 Seed                                                     36-41 .468

#4 Seed                                                     41-40 .506

#5 Seed                                                     21-41 .339

#6 Seed                                                     25-40 .385

Did you know? Thirty-two of the 42 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 and NFC #2 have each won three during that time. The NFC #1 seed has played in 12 of the 21 Super Bowls since 1990; the AFC #1 seed is second with eight Super Bowl appearances since 1990.

Did you know?(Part 2) The AFC #5 seed, NFC #3 seed and the NFC #4 seed have not won a Super Bowl since 1990; in fact, an AFC #5 seed has not appeared in the Super Bowl in the last 21 years.

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