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  • 10 Things To Remember For ‘12


    The league’s 93rd season (and 47th of the Super Bowl Era) is less than two weeks away and once again, we’ll keep an eye on a few things that may or may not occur, as well as trends that have made the modern-day NFL so unpredictable (or is it predictable?)…

    --In 2011, we saw the Packers (560), Saints (547) and Patriots (513) all score 500-plus points, the first time in NFL history three teams reached that mark in the same season. But Green Bay and New Orleans were eliminated the same weekend in the NFC Divisional Playoffs and New England fell to the Giants in the Super Bowl. That brings the total number of teams to score 500 or more points to 15 during the Super Bowl Era and only 4 of those teams went onto win the Big Game...

    --We’ve not only not seen a team repeat as Super Bowl champions since the Patriots in 2003 and ’04, they were also the last club to make consecutive appearances in the Big Game. The 8-year gap between a team making back-to back Super Bowl appearances is the longest in the history of the game regardless if the Giants reach New Orleans. And Tom Coughlin’s club is looking to become the first NFC team to win consecutive NFL titles since the 1992 and ’93 Cowboys…

    --The team or teams with the best win-loss record in the league has not won the Super Bowl each of the last 8 seasons and 13 of the last 15 seasons, the last club to achieve that feat being the 2003 Patriots. This latest trend seems to infer that the regular-season is meaningless and that figure is bolstered by the fact that 5 Wild Card teams have also won the Super Bowl over that span, as well as the 9-7 Giants in 2011…

    --The NFC has given us 10 different conference champions in the last 11 seasons, meaning it’s easier to name the 6 clubs that haven’t been to the Big Game (Cowboys, Redskins, Lions, Vikings, Falcons and 49ers) over that span rather than the teams that have. In the AFC, it’s been just 4 different teams over the same time frame (Patriots, Raiders, Steelers and Colts) and just New England, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis the last 9 seasons. Will we make it 11 of 12 in the NFC and will we have a breakthrough club in the other conference?

    --We’re all anxious to see Peyton Manning play football again and he has a chance to move up on the all-time touchdown pass list, with a twist. The former Colts’ quarterback ranks third in NFL history behind Brett Favre (508) and Dan Marino (420), his 399 scores coming in 13 seasons on the field with Indianapolis. But it’s also worth noting that the Broncos’ franchise record for TD passes in a season is 27, co-owned by John Elway (1997) and Jake Plummer (2004). During his playing time with the Colts, Manning never threw fewer than 26 touchdown passes in any of those 13 campaigns…

    --Under head coach John Harbaugh and QB Joe Flacco, the Ravens are 4-for-4 making the playoffs, the longest current active streak in the league. Last season, Baltimore both swept the Steelers and captured the AFC North for the first time since 2006. Can the Ravens not only fend off Pittsburgh and Cincinnati within the division, but break the Patriots, Steelers and Colts’ stranglehold of the conference for the last decade or so…

    --Meanwhile, we haven’t seen the Buffalo Bills in the playoffs since 1999 (the league’s longest-active postseason drought) and they haven’t enjoyed a winning season since finishing 9-7 in 2004. Will one or both happen in 2012 for a franchise that went to a record 4 consecutive Super Bowls from 1990-93? There are high hopes in Orchard Park for Chan Gailey’s team, one that looks improved on defense via the additions of DEs Mario Williams and Mark Anderson…

    --Since the division was formed in 2002, the last-place team in the NFC South always rebounds with a strong showing. In 6 of the 9 instances, the fourth-place club rallied to win the division the following season, another season saw the Falcons finish 11-5 and capture a wild card berth in ’08 and a year ago, the Panthers tripled their wins from 2-14 to 6-10. But perhaps the most amazing number is the fact that of the 8 current divisions in the NFL, the NFC South is the only one minus a repeat champion…

    --Last season, the Lions reached the playoffs for the first time since 1999 and won at least 10 games for the first time since ’95. The Texans not only reached the playoffs, they won a division title and at least 10 games for the first time in franchise history, while the Falcons reached the postseason for the second straight year, a team first. Now the Cincinnati Bengals have a chance to kill a few birds with one stone. Off last year’s 9-7 Wild Card appearance, the franchise has the chance to return to the playoffs for the first in two straight seasons since 1981 and ’82. And if by chance Marvin Lewis’ club comes up a winner in the postseason for the first time since 1990, it will ended the league’s longest current drought in that department…

    --Dating back to realignment in ’02, 27 of the 32 teams have captured at least 1 division title. That means the Bills, Browns, Jaguars, Redskins and Lions have yet to wear the crown in their current homes, but could that change this season? While all of these teams have their work cut out for them just reaching the playoffs, is one or more capable of walking away with their respective top spot?...

    Website: www.profootballguru.com
    Follow me on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru

    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Docta's Avatar
      The Lions and Bills are the best out of those 5, but the cruddy thing is that they also have the Patriots and Packers in their divisions. Maybe if Rodgers gets injured the Lions could sneak into the top spot. Harrell's going to need a couple bodyguards if that happens.

      Another great article. Good read.
    1. darvon's Avatar
      That brings the total number of teams to score 500 or more points to 15 during the Super Bowl Era and those teams record in the Big Game is just 4-11…
      You are grouping those teams that don't make the SuperBowl with those that lose the SuperBowl in that "11" in the 4-11. Winning all the games to and thru the Superbowl is hard, the 4-11 number seems telling.

      The playoffs had about 32 teams over the 40 odd years, so let's say 1200 team seasons. Out of that 15 hit 500, i.e. about 1.3%

      Of the 15 that did it, 4 team-seasons won the Superbowl, i.e. about 27%. Remembering that if two teams had over 500 in the same year, they both couldn't win the Superbowl.

      So a 1.3%-occurring indicator predicts the Superbowl winner 27% of the time, more if you include same season pairs?

      Sounds like causal correlation to moi.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Russ is here with the stats. I love them.

      Bucs are a cinch to ahe a good year
    1. Russell S Baxter's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by darvon View Post
      You are grouping those teams that don't make the SuperBowl with those that lose the SuperBowl in that "11" in the 4-11. Winning all the games to and thru the Superbowl is hard, the 4-11 number seems telling.

      The playoffs had about 32 teams over the 40 odd years, so let's say 1200 team seasons. Out of that 15 hit 500, i.e. about 1.3%

      Of the 15 that did it, 4 team-seasons won the Superbowl, i.e. about 27%. Remembering that if two teams had over 500 in the same year, they both couldn't win the Superbowl.

      So a 1.3%-occurring indicator predicts the Superbowl winner 27% of the time, more if you include same season pairs?

      Sounds like causal correlation to moi.
      That was a little confusing on my part. But the point that high-scoring offenses haven't fared well in terms of winning Super Bowls remain. It's not often that more than one team actually scores 500-plus points in a season and it should be noted that the 6 highest scoring teams in terms of total points in a season didn't win a championship. And go back to the 1950 Rams, which still owns the record for most points per game in the season on their way to losing the NFL title game that season to the Browns...
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      I wouldn't be surprised if the Bengals ended their playoff win drought this season; I think they have the team and leadership for it. Games won't be easy & they have to act like they've been there before with multiple national games this year. Keeping Lewis in place is the right move and necessary to stay on course.