Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Super Bowl leads after the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters

sb51

Okay… let’s say you are watching the Super Bowl on Sunday and the Patriots score a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter and take a 14-3 lead going into the second quarter. With an 11-point lead after the first quarter, are the Pats assured of a victory? How well have Super Bowls teams done with a lead of 10 points or more in the first quarter?

Or… let’s say New England has the lead at halftime after scoring 17 or more points in the first half. Are they on their way to a victory?

Or… finally, the Falcons surprisingly go scoreless in the first half (something that would definitely be a big deal, especially considering their high-powered offense). How many Super Bowl teams have gone on to win the big game after going scoreless in the first half?

Well… I have some answers for you. Let’s start with the lead margin after each of the three quarters. Teams with a 10-point or bigger lead after the first quarter have gone on to win eight of 10 Super Bowls (a .800 winning percentage). Even just having the lead after the first quarter is a good omen; teams with the lead after the first quarter in the Super Bowl are 27-11 (.711 winning percentage).

The chart below breaks down the leads after each of the three quarters in the previous 50 Super Bowls. There are five categories: leads of one point or more, leads of three points or more, leads of seven points of more, and those of 10 or more and 14 points or more.

SUPER BOWL LEADS 1 point or more 3 points or more 7 points or more 10 points or more 14 points or more
Lead after the 1st quarter 27-11 .711 27-11 .711 17-4 .810 8-2 .800 3-0 1.000
Lead at halftime 37-10 .787 35-7 .833 29-3 .906 24-0 1.000 15-0 1.000
Lead after the 3rd quarter 40-9 .816 40-6 .870 33-3 .917 29-1 .967 21-0 1.000

Let’s answer the other two questions from the beginning of this column. Super Bowl teams that have scored 17 or more points in the first half are 19-1. The only loss was in 1982 when the Miami Dolphins had a 17-10 lead at halftime over Washington and lost that contest 27-17.

Super Bowl teams that have held their opponents scoreless in the first half have gone 12-0. If a Super Bowl team has held their opponents to three points or less in the first half of the big game, those teams are 21-3.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Good news/bad news for the Denver Broncos

Peyton

Okay Broncos fans… do you want the good news first or the bad news?

Let’s assume you want the good news first: The 2015 Denver Broncos became the first team in 38 years to win a Super Bowl after losing the Super Bowl either the previous year or two years back. The Broncos lost Super Bowl #48 to the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 but won the title two years later.

Here’s a look at the five teams in Super Bowl history to win a Super Bowl within two years of losing the title contest.

Baltimore Colts: Lost Super Bowl #3… won Super Bowl #5
Dallas Cowboys: Lost Super Bowl #5… won Super Bowl #6
Miami Dolphins: Lost Super Bowl #6… won Super Bowl #7
Dallas Cowboys: Lost Super Bowl #10… won Super Bowl #12
Denver Broncos: Lost Super Bowl #48… won Super Bowl #50

That’s the good news; now for the not-so-good news. Can the Broncos return to the Super Bowl next year to defend their title? Past history indicates there is about a one in five chance they will be back in the Super Bowl in 2017 representing the AFC.

Of the previous 49 Super Bowl champs, only 11 of them returned to the Super Bowl the following year. Following is a list of those teams.

Green Bay Packers: won Super Bowl #1… won Super Bowl #2
Miami Dolphins: Won Super Bowl #7… won Super Bowl #8
Pittsburgh Steelers: Won Super Bowl #9… won Super Bowl #10
Dallas Cowboys: Won Super Bowl #12… lost Super Bowl #13
Washington Redskins: Won Super Bowl #17… lost Super Bowl #18
San Francisco 49ers: Won Super Bowl #23… won Super Bowl #24
Dallas Cowboys: Won Super Bowl #27… won Super Bowl #28
Green Bay Packers: Won Super Bowl #31… lost Super Bowl #32
Denver Broncos: Won Super Bowl #32… won Super Bowl #33
New England Patriots: Won Super Bowl #38… won Super Bowl #39
Seattle Seahawks: Won Super Bowl #48… lost Super Bowl #49

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Broncos can’t let Panthers get off to a quick start

SB2016

One of the talking points in the time leading up to the Super Bowl this Sunday has been how can the Denver Broncos prevent the Carolina Panthers from getting off to a fast start. Over their previous two playoff games, the Panthers have jumped off to a 14-point lead at the end of the first quarter in their playoff contest against the Seahawks, and to a 17-point first-quarter lead in the NFC Championship Game two weeks ago versus Arizona.

Let’s take a look at the previous Super Bowls and how well teams did when they had substantial leads after each of the three quarters.

10-point or more lead after the first quarter
There have been nine Super Bowl games where one team had a lead of 10 points or more after the first quarter. Those teams won seven of the nine games. The two teams that lost: Indianapolis had a 10-point lead in the 2009 Super Bowl games versus New Orleans; the Saints came back to win that game 31-17… Denver had a 10-point lead over Washington in their 1988 Super Bowl contest; the Redskins came back to overwhelm the Broncos and won the game 42-10. The biggest first quarter lead in the Super Bowl was 14 points; that was accomplished by three teams (Miami, 1973, Oakland, 1981, and Green Bay, 2011).

14-point or more lead at halftime
There have been 15 Super Bowls where one team had a lead of 14 points or more at halftime. Those teams went on to win all 15 of those games. The last time a team had a 14-point or greater lead at halftime was in 2014 when the Seahawks had a 22-point lead over the Broncos. The biggest halftime lead was in 1988 when the Redskins had a 25-point lead over the Broncos at half.

17-point or more lead after three quarters
There has been 14 Super Bowls where one team had a lead of 17 points or more going into the fourth quarter. All 14 of those teams went on to win the Super Bowl. The last time a team had a 17-point or greater lead after three quarters was in 2014 when Seattle had a 28-point lead over Denver. The biggest lead going into the fourth quarter of any Super Bowl was in 1986 when the Chicago Bears had a 41-point lead over New England. There has been only one time in Super Bowl history that a team lost the game after having a lead of 10 points or more going into the final period. It happened last year when Seattle led the Patriots by 10 points after three quarters but lost the game 28-24.

The takeaway from this piece: You certainly don’t want to get behind in the Super Bowl, especially by two touchdowns or more.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Top QBR numbers for the Super Bowl

Phil Simms: The highest QBR in Super Bowl history

Phil Simms: The highest QBR in Super Bowl history

With more than half of the MVPs in the Super Bowl being quarterbacks, it’s not surprising that the performance of each team’s QB plays an important role in a team’s chances to win a Super Bowl title.

Over the past several years football has used a QB Rating to help us quantify how well a QB has played in a game. The QBR can range from 0 to a “perfect” score of 158.3. While we have not had a “perfect” QBR in the 49-year history of the Super Bowl, there have been a couple of performances that came close.

New York Giants QB Phil Simms in 1987 had a QBR of 150.9 in the Giants 39-20 win over the Denver Broncos. That is the highest QBR of any QB in Super Bowl history. The Top Five QBRs in the Super Bowl after Simms: Joe Montana, San Francisco, 1990 (147.6), Jim Plunkett, Oakland, 1981 (145.0), Troy Aikman, Dallas, 1993 (140.7), Steve Young, San Francisco, 1995 (134.8).

There have been four QBs that had a Super Bowl QBR over 100 that lost the championship game. They are:

Jake Delhomme, Carolina, 2004… 113.6
Kurt Warner, Arizona, 2009… 112.3
Russell Wilson, Seattle, 2015… 110.6
Roger Staubach, Dallas, 1979… 100.4

The quarterback with the lowest QBR to win a Super Bowl was Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger in 2006. He had a 22.6 QBR in the Steelers’ 21-10 Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks. Next lowest is Denver’s John Elway in 1998 versus Green Bay; his QBR in that win was 51.9.

One final stat: There have been 99 quarterbacks that have attempted 10 or more passes in a Super Bowl game. Here’s the breakdown of each QB’s QBR and the record of the teams in those QBRs.

QBR over 100: 28 wins-4 losses (.875)
QBR 80-99.9: 14-9 (.609)
QBR 50-79.9: 5-21 (.192)
QBR under 50: 1-17 (.056)

  • QBR of 90 or above: 36-8 (.818)
  • QBR of 80 or above: 42-13 (.764)
  • QBR under 80: 6-38 (.136)
  • QBR under 60: 3-24 (.111)

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Regular season losses help determine the Super Bowl winner?

SuperBowl50

This year’s Super Bowl will feature the Carolina Panthers, who lost one game this season, and the Denver Broncos, who lost four games in 2015. The three-loss difference is the 12th time in the 50 years of the Super Bowl that one team had three or more regular season losses than their Super Bowl opponent.

The greatest loss difference in Super Bowl history was in 2008 when the undefeated Patriots faced off against the six-loss Giants. Twice there was a four-loss difference between the Super Bowl teams: 2012 (New England, three losses versus vs. the Giants, seven losses) and in 1986 (one-loss Bears versus the five-loss Patriots).

Here’s a look at the 12 times there was a three-loss (or greater) difference in Super Bowl opponents (the team that won the Super Bowl that year is noted in bold).

2016: Carolina (1 loss) vs. Denver (4 losses)
2012: New England (3 losses) vs. New York Giants (7 losses)
2009: Pittsburgh (4 losses) vs. Arizona (7 losses)
2008: New England (0 losses) vs. New York Giants (6 losses)
2004: New England (2 losses) vs. Carolina (5 losses)
2002: St. Louis (2 losses) vs. New England (5 losses)
1990: San Francisco (2 losses) vs. Denver (5 losses)
1987: New York Giants (2 losses) vs. Denver (5 losses)
1986: Chicago (1 loss) vs. New England (5 losses)
1980: Pittsburgh (4 losses) vs. Los Angeles Rams (7 losses)
1973: Miami (0 losses) vs. Washington (3 losses)
1968: Oakland (1 loss) vs. Green Bay (4 losses)

In 12 of the 50 Super Bowls we have had two teams that had the same number of losses in the regular season; in the other 38 games one team had fewer losses than the other.

In the previous 10 Super Bowls prior to this year’s game, there have been eight times when one team has more regular season losses than their Super Bowl opponent (in the last two Super Bowls, in 2014 and 2015, the two teams had the same number of losses). That team has won seven times. That’s a good omen for the Broncos for this year’s game, although in the 37 Super Bowls where one team had more losses than their opponent, those teams were 15-22 in the big game (they were 8-21 from 1968 to 2005, 7-1 from 2006-13).

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp