Now that the Philadelphia Eagles have won their first Super Bowl, when will they win their second one? Could they go back-to-back? Or, will they sit on one Super Bowl victory for many years?
Let’s take a look with a little historical perspective to try to explore the above questions. First, the Eagles, by winning Super Bowl #52, became the 20th NFL franchise (of the 32) to win a Super Bowl. Of those 20, 12 have won two or more Super Bowls and eight have won just one. That means that 12 of the current franchises have never won a Super Bowl; of those 12, four have never even made it to the Super Bowl… Cleveland, Detroit, Houston and Jacksonville.
Of the 12 franchises that have won two or more Super Bowls, let’s focus on when they won their first Super Bowl and when they won their second:
- Four teams won their first and second Super Bowls in back-to-back years… Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Denver and Miami.
- Five teams won their first and second Super Bowls within six years of each other… New England (two years), San Francisco (three years), New York Giants (four years), the Raiders (four years), Washington (five years), Dallas (six years).
- Two teams won their first and second Super Bowls more than 10 years from each other… Colts (36 years), Ravens (12 years).
It was mentioned above that the Eagles are now one of eight franchises that has won one Super Bowl. Here’s a look at when the other seven franchises won their one and only Super Bowl.
New York Jets (won Super Bowl #3)
Kansas City Chiefs (won Super Bowl #4)
Chicago (won Super Bowl #20)
Rams (won Super Bowl #34)
Tampa Bay (won Super Bowl #37)
New Orleans (won Super Bowl #44)
Seattle (won Super Bowl #48)
What does all this mean? The 12 teams that have won multiple Super Bowls won their first and second Super Bowls within an average of about six years. Take away the Rams 36-year wait for their second Super Bowl title and the average wait for Super Bowl win #2 averages just over three years.
The Eagles could, however, go the route of the Jets and Chiefs and spend nearly a half-century waiting for their second Super Bowl crown.
When will the Eagles win (or will they ever win) their second Super Bowl? There is no secret formula we can plug in. As someone once said, “That’s why they play the games.”
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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?
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Tomorrow begins the last full month of the 2017 NFL regular season. Thirty of the NFL’s 32 teams will each play five games in December this year (the Cowboys and Redskins played Thursday night kicking off Week #13 and will each play four December games this season).
Looking back over the past seven seasons, it’s not surprising to see that the New England Patriots have been the NFL’s best December team since 2010. They have a 25-5 record in the last seven seasons in December, a .833 winning percentage. The woeful Cleveland Browns have the worst December winning percentage at .172 (a 5-24 win-loss record).
Following are the December winning percentages for each of the 32 NFL teams from 2010-16.
.833: New England
.759: Green Bay, Pittsburgh
.700: Carolina, Seattle
.600: Cincinnati, Denver
.586: New Orleans
.567: Arizona, Kansas City
.517: Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore
.500: Minnesota, N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia, San Francisco
.484: N.Y. Jets
.400: Buffalo, Houston
.233: Tampa Bay
If we shorten the years to the past three seasons (2014-16) a different team holds the top spot. The Steelers have been the NFL’s best December team the past three seasons with an 11-1 record (.917 winning percentage). They are followed by Green Bay at .833, and Carolina, Kansas City, New England and Seattle, each at .750. The worst December teams over the past three seasons? The Chargers and Bears, each at 2-10 (.167).
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At the unofficial midpoint of the 2014 NFL season, the AFC North Division has all four teams sporting winning records: Cincinnati (5-2-1), Pittsburgh (6-3), Cleveland (5-3) and Baltimore (5-4). If all four remain above .500 at the end of the season, it would be the first time in NFL history that all of the teams from one division finished with a winning record.
Since 2002 when the NFL went to the current four-team, four-division format in each conference, there have been six times when all of the four teams in the division finished the year at .500 or above. The last time was in 2008 when each of the four teams in both the NFC East and NFC South finished the year at .500 or above.
Here’s a look at the six times since 2002 when all the teams in the division finished the season at .500 or above.
2002: AFC East (New England 9-7; Miami 9-7; N.Y. Jets 9-7, Buffalo 8-8)
2002: AFC West (Oakland 11-5; Denver 9-7; Kansas City 8-8; San Diego 8-8)
2007: AFC South (Indianapolis 13-3; Jacksonville 11-5; Tennessee 10-6; Houston 8-8)
2007: NFC East (Dallas 13-3; N.Y. Giants 10-6; Washington 9-7; Philadelphia 8-8)
2008: NFC East (N.Y. Giants 12-4; Philadelphia 9-6-1; Dallas 9-7, Washington 8-8)
2008: NFC South: (Carolina 12-4; Atlanta 11-5; Tampa Bay 9-7; New Orleans 8-8)
Interesting to note that when four teams from a division finished a season at .500 or better that it happened twice in the same year. If the AFC North finishes with all four at .500 or above, is there another division that could also have the same finish? Looking at the standings we see that both the NFC Central and NFC West have their fourth place teams with records of 3-5.
Prior to 2002, there were three times when all the teams in a division finished at .500 or better. Two of those times it happened with five teams in the division. Here are those three times.
1989: AFC Central (Cleveland 9-6-1; Houston 9-7; Pittsburgh 9-7; Cincinnati 8-8)
1995: AFC West (Kansas City 13-3; San Diego 9-7; Oakland 8-8; Denver 8-8; Seattle 8-8)
1999: AFC East (Indianapolis 13-3; Buffalo 11-5; Miami 9-7; N.Y. Jets 8-8; New England 8-8)
Only twice in NFL history has a team that made the Super Bowl from a division that had all of its teams at .500 or above: Oakland in 2002 and the New York Giants in 2007. The Raiders lost in the championship game; the Giants won the Super Bowl that year.
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Through games of Week #11, teams that have scored 27 or more points in the NFL in 2013 have won 79.5% of their games. So you’d figure that when the Detroit Lions put 27 points on the scoreboard in the second quarter alone in last weekend’s contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, that victory was a cinch…
Unfortunately for the Lions, the 27 points they scored in the second quarter were the only points they scored in the game. The Steelers shutout the Lions 17-0 in the second half and went on to defeat the Lions 37-27.
By scoring 27 or more points in a quarter and losing the game, the Lions became only the ninth team in NFL history to “accomplish” this rare feat. In fact, teams that scored 27-plus points in a quarter are now 170-8 (a winning percentage of 95.5) in those games. The last team to lose a game after scoring 27-plus points in a quarter were the Houston Texans on October 21, 2007. They scored 29 in the fourth quarter of a game against the Tennessee Titans although they eventually lost the contest 38-36. The last team to lose a game after scoring 27-plus points in the second quarter (prior to the Lions) was Baltimore on December 21, 1980; they scored 28 points in the second quarter of a 38-28 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here’s a look at the record of teams that scored 27-plus points in a quarter.
First Quarter: 19-0 (last team were the Chicago Bears on 11/4/2012)
Second Quarter: 94-3 (last team were the Detroit Lions on 11/17/2013)
Third Quarter: 12-0 (last team were the Carolina Panthers on 9/10/1995)
Fourth Quarter: 45-5 (last team were the New England Patriots on 11/3/2013)
The Lions also became only the seventh team in league history to score 27 or more points in a quarter and have those points be the only points they scored in a game. The seven teams:
Detroit, 11/17/2013: Scored 27 points in the second quarter for their only points in the game)
Green Bay, 12/20/1992: Scored 28 points in the second quarter for their only points in the game)
Minnesota, 12/1/1985: Scored 28 points in the fourth quarter for their only points in the game)
Atlanta, 9/13/1981: Scored 31 points in the fourth quarter for their only points in the game)
Baltimore, 12/21/1980: Scored 28 points in the second quarter for their only points in the game)
Houston, 11/23/1980: Scored 28 points in the fourth quarter for their only points in the game)
San Diego, 11/15/1964: Scored 28 points in the second quarter for their only points in the game)
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