Here’s a quick trivia question: The New England Patriots on Sunday January 21 will appear in their seventh consecutive AFC Championship Game. That means they have appeared in seven championship games since 2011. Which NFL team has appeared in the second most championship games since 2011? (Answer at the end of this column.)
Following are a few “leftover” stats from last week’s NFL playoff games.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers last week became seventh team to lose two playoff games in their history when they scored 30 or more points (the Steelers lost to Jacksonville 45-42 last Sunday). The other teams on this list: Cleveland, Dallas, Green Bay, Kansas City, Miami and New Orleans.
- The Steelers also have now lost 10 home playoff games in their history (since the start of the Super Bowl era in 1966), most in the NFL. Dallas is second with nine home playoff losses followed by Minnesota and San Francisco with eight.
- Teams that are scoreless at halftime in a playoff game have not had much success. Teams that are scoreless at half in a playoff game are 17-88 (.162 winning percentage) since 1966.
- Turnovers are another important part of the NFL’s post-season. Since the 2010 post-season, NFL teams that do not commit a turnover in a playoff game are 29-12 (.707 winning percentage). Teams that have turned the ball over three or more times in a playoff game since 2010 are 5-28 (.152).
- Tom Brady had another playoff game (in the Pats win over Tennessee) where he had three or more TD passes and more than 300 yards passing. That was the seventh time Brady reached those stats in a playoff game in his career, most in league history. Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers have had three or more TD passes and 300 or more yards passing in five different playoff games, tied for second on this list.
- Jacksonville rookie running back Leonard Fournette had three TDs in his team’s big win over Pittsburgh, making him only the fourth rookie in history to score three or more TDs in a playoff game. The others: Craig Baynham (Dallas, 12-24-1967), William Floyd (San Francisco, 1-7-1995) and Ryan Grant (Green Bay, 1-12-2008).
- Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski had a TD reception in New England’s win last week over the Titans. That was his 10th playoff TD in his career. Those 10 playoff TDs since 2010 are the most of any player; Gronkowski also became the 18th player in NFL history to score 10 or more TDs in the post-season. Jerry Rice tops the list with 22 playoff TDs.
- With their 10-3 win over Buffalo in the Wild Card Game and their 45-42 win over Pittsburgh in the divisional round, the Jacksonville Jaguars became the first team in NFL history to win two playoff games in one season…one with 10 or fewer points scored and one with 40 or more points scored.
- With their game tomorrow against the Jacksonville Jags, the Patriots will have appeared in seven championship games since 2011. They are followed by the San Francisco 49ers with three title game appearances since 2011. The Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks have each appeared in two conference title games since 2011. Eight teams will have appeared in one conference championship game from 2011-17 (Arizona, Carolina, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh). Did you get the San Francisco 49ers right in the answer to the trivia question?
Stats on Tapp
The total of 87 combined points was nine short of the record of 96 scored by Arizona and Green Bay on January 10, 2010 when the Cardinals defeated the Packers 51-45.
Here are the five highest scoring playoff games in league history:
96: Arizona 51, Green Bay 45, January 10, 2010
95: Philadelphia 58, Detroit 37, December 30, 1995
89: Indianapolis 45, Kansas City 44, January 4, 2014
87: Jacksonville 45, Pittsburgh 42, January 14, 2018
86: St. Louis Rams 49, Minnesota 37, January 16, 2000
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The Jacksonville Jaguars have advanced to the AFC Championship Game with two very different wins: A 10-3 win over the Buffalo Bills in their Wild Card contest; and a 45-42 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Divisional Round game.
In looking at the playoff games played in the NFL since the start of the Super Bowl era (since 1966), teams have a 90% chance of winning a post-season game if they can score 30 or more points. Playoff teams are 208-24 (a .897 winning percentage) when they scored 30 or points in a playoff games since 1966.
Here’s a look at the combined records of playoff teams from 1966 through the first two rounds of the playoffs this season based on how many points they scored.
0-9 points 3-113 .026
10-19 points 68-231 .227
20-29 points 217-128 .629
30-39 points 149-21 .876
40 or more points 59-3 .952
Note: Teams that score under 20 points in a playoff game since 1966 are 71-344 (.171 winning percentage).
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For the Chiefs, it was their sixth “one-and-done” in the playoffs this century. That is not, however, the most of the 32 teams. Both the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts each have had seven “one-and-done” playoffs since 2000.
Following are the number of “one-and-done” for each NFL franchise since 2000.
7: Cincinnati, Indianapolis
6: Kansas City
5: Denver, Green Bay, New York Giants
4: Dallas, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay
3: Atlanta, Carolina, Detroit, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee, Washington
2: Baltimore, Chicago, New Orleans, New York Jets, Seattle
1: Arizona, Buffalo, Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, New England, Oakland, San Francisco
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Here are some of the numbers that helped define the NFL Wild Card Weekend playoff games played January 6-7
- A pair of teams got their first playoff wins in over a decade. The Tennessee Titans defeated the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday for their first playoff win since Jan. 3, 2004; the Jacksonville Jaguars got their first playoff win since January 5, 2008 with their win Sunday over Buffalo. The New Orleans Saints’ win over Carolina was their first post-season win since January 4, 2014. Atlanta’s win over the Rams was their second straight year with a playoff win. Of the four home teams in this coming week’s NFL playoff games, both New England and Pittsburgh won playoff games last season. The Eagles have not won a playoff game since the 2008 season while the Vikings’ last playoff win was after the 2009 regular season.
- Tennessee’s running back Derrick Henry had 23 carries for 156 yards in his team’s playoff win over Kansas City. It was the 48th time a running back gained 150 or more yards rushing in a playoff game (he became the 38th player to accomplish this feat). Eric Dickerson holds the NFL record for most rushing yards in a playoff game with 248 (he did it January 4, 1986 versus the Cowboys). Terrell Davis holds the record for most playoff games with 150 or more yards rushing with four. Marcus Allen, Le’Veon Bell, Dickerson, Franco Harris, John Riggins and Thurman Thomas each had two such games in their careers.
- The Kansas City Chiefs had a 21-3 halftime lead over the Titans in their playoff game yet did not score a point in the second half as the Titans rallied to secure a 22-21 victory. The Buffalo Bills also this weekend did not score in the second half of their playoff game. Playoff teams that have not scored in the second half of a post-season game are 12-117 (.093 winning percentage) in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).
- The New Orleans Saints beat Carolina 31-26 in their playoff contest. Teams that score 30 or more points in a playoff game have won 20 of the last 22. Teams that have scored 30 or more points in a playoff game since 1966 are 206-23 (a .900 winning percentage).
- Saints’ QB Drew Brees passed for 376 yards in his team’s win over the Panthers. It was the seventh playoff game where Brees has passed for 300 or more yards in a playoff game. That places him third on this list. Tom Brady tops the list with 12 playoff games with 300 or more yards passing. He is followed by Peyton Manning with nine games. Joe Montana, Aaron Rodgers, and Kurt Warner each have six such games in their careers and Dan Fouts has five.
- Brees had a 115.2 Passer Rating in the game. It was his sixth career playoff game with a Passer Rating over 100. Brady and Montana top this stat with 12 games, followed by Brett Favre with 10 playoff games with a Passer Rating above 100.
- Jacksonville defeated Buffalo 10-3 in their Wild Card game. The last time a team won a playoff game with 10 or fewer points was on January 10, 2016 when the Seattle Seahawks beat Minnesota 10-9. There have been eight playoff games since 1970 where the winning team had 10 or fewer points.
- Tennessee Titans’ QB Marcus Mariota had the unique distinction of throwing a TD pass to himself when he caught one of his deflected passes and ran it in for a TD in Saturday’s game. It happened one other time in an NFL game when QB Brad Johnson caught one of his own passes for a TD in a regular season game. It was the 68th time in NFL history that a player had a TD pass and a TD pass reception in the same game. Last to do so was Dez Bryant last season on December 26, 2016 when he had two TD receptions and threw a TD pass in a regular game versus the Lions. Frank Gifford holds the NFL record with most games where a player had a TD reception and a TD pass in the same game; he did it four times in his career.
- Tennessee’s 22-21 win over Kansas City was the first one-point playoff game since the 2015 season when Seattle beat Minnesota 10-9 (game was played on January 10, 2016). It was the 17th one-point playoff game in the Super Bowl era. The San Francisco 49ers have the most one-point playoff wins with three; the Chiefs now have the most one-point playoff losses with three.
- The Chiefs also now have the most home playoff losses since 1995 with six. They are followed by Green Bay and Pittsburgh with five, and Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and the Chargers each with four. The Packers have the most home playoff losses since 2000 with five; Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh each have four.