• Of Note (AFC-NFC Championship Games)

    Every Tuesday, we’ll recap the previous week with a few things of note. Sometimes the obvious is the most interesting, while we’ll try and mix in a surprise or two along the way…

    Home teams were 6-2 entering last Sunday’s conference championship game weekend. But that meant nothing as both the 49ers and Ravens rallied from halftime deficits and scored exactly 28 points in besting the Falcons and Patriots, respectively. It marked the first time since 1997 (Broncos and Packers) that both road teams won the same weekend in the conference round…

    With Denver bowing out in the Divisional Playoffs and Atlanta losing at home, Super Bowl XLVII will feature the AFC’s No. 4 seed Ravens and the NFC’s No. 2 seed 49ers. It also means that the team with the best win-loss record in the NFL during the regular season (co-owned by the Broncos and Falcons at 13-3) will not win the Super Bowl for the ninth consecutive year. That distinction still belongs to the 2003 Patriots, who finished 14-2 and won Super Bowl XXXVIII…

    San Francisco’s 28-24 win over the Falcons featured a 17-point comeback by Jim Harbaugh’s team, the biggest ever in an NFL or NFC Championship Game. But it’s not even the biggest in team history. That happened 10 years earlier at Candlestick, when Jeff Garcia and company rallied from a 24-point deficit to stun the Giants, 39-38, in the Wild Card Round. The 17-point rally is tied for the seventh-largest in a postseason game in league history…

    Think this is still a quarterback driven/offensive driven league? That may be so but it doesn’t mean that it will add up to a championship. With the Patriots’ 28-13 loss to the Ravens in the AFC title game, the team with the third-highest point total in NFL history (557) won’t be going to the Super Bowl. That means seven times in league annals a team has scored at least 540 points and none of them have walked away with an NFL title…

    Free agency has certainly brought variety to the Super Bowl and while the focus is usually on the winners and rightfully so, getting to the Big Game is still an accomplishment. And it is interesting to note that be it the Ravens or 49ers who come up short at the Superdome, a total of 17 different teams would have lost the last 20 Super Bowls, with the Patriots (3) and Steelers (2) the only 2 teams on the list more than once…

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Wow, some great stuff here Mr. Baxter.

      It marked the first time since 1997 (Broncos and Packers) that both road teams won the same weekend in the conference round…
      Fascinating. A very rare event. And yet not totally unexpected for some. Lots of folks called either the 9ers or the Ravens to win (not I, tho!)

      the team with the third-highest point total in NFL history (557) won’t be going to the Super Bowl.
      And were held to a miserly 13 points! That game reinforces the old adage that defense wins titles.

      It also means that the team with the best win-loss record in the NFL during the regular season (co-owned by the Broncos and Falcons at 13-3) will not win the Super Bowl for the ninth consecutive year.
      A great stat, thank you. A couple of thoughts here. One, this reflects the inherent nature of knock-out competitions. College football, beware! I wonder how often baseball's best regular season team doesn't win the Series?

      Two, John Fox and Mike Smith are similar coaches. Both are clearly excellent man-managers and get good results from their teams. But both have been accused of poor big-game management; essentially losing by being too conservative at key moments.

      Think this is still a quarterback driven/offensive driven league? That may be so but it doesn’t mean that it will add up to a championship.
      What I found interesting is that three rookie QB's, all running some form of the read-option, got to the NFC playoffs. Two of them won their first playoff game. And one of them is going to the Super Bowl. They may be unique talents and it may not signal a trend, but it sure is impressive.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      As a traditional-minded football guy, I love that the seven best scoring offenses in league history have no won the Super Bowl. Of course, the 1977 Falcons did not, either. But still.......
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