• ANIMALS AND THE SUPER BOWL

    When one spends a lot of time poring over NFL stats trying to create forecasts, it is a continuing search for the major clues, the ones that can consistently lead to a fairly reliable prediction.

    A check of winning and losing NFL teams over several years produces four notable statistics to combine for predicting outcome. They are: average yards per pass attempt, turnovers, sacks and TDs by return.

    The “where’s the run game” question is easily answered. If you are running the ball well, the passing game gets much easier. When you are forced to throw, disaster lurks.

    Testing the formula with year-end stats or individual game stats, it delivers a favorable percentage of 80% or better, a number most gamblers would like to work with.

    I am not a real gambler (small pools but nothing substantial) but I stumbled across another strange NFL fact that has no real logical base. Maybe it’s pay back like Babe and the Red Sox or something that happened when George Halas dropped the Staleys name and changed to the Bears. It makes no sense but the numbers are hard to believe.

    Let’s call it ‘ANIMALS AND THE SUPER BOWL”

    An “animal” team is defined as any team that features an animal as its nickname or logo. Each conference in the NFL has 8 “animal” teams and 8 “non-animal” teams.

    The 16 “animal” teams are the Broncos, Dolphins, Colts, Rams, Bears, Ravens, Bills, Bengals, Eagles, Cardinals, Chargers, Falcons, Panthers, Seahawks, Jaguars and Lions. The Bills get in on the city name and the matching logo. Houston does not get in despite the helmet insignia because Texans are Texans first.

    The numbers are very spooky. Over the 45 Super Bowls, “animal” teams have made 34 appearances resulting in 9 wins and 25 losses, a win percentage of 26%. The Ravens (1-0) are the only “animal” team with a winning record.

    The 16 “non-animal” teams have 56 Super Bowl invitations (62% of the total) with 36 wins and 20 losses, a win percentage of 64%
    The Titans (0-1) and Vikings (0-4) are the only “non-animal” teams with losing records.
    The Steelers (6-2), Cowboys (5-3) and 49ers (5-0) are 16-5 combined. That’s 7 more wins than all the “animal” teams.

    The last 10 years shows little change: “animal” teams had 8 appearances with 1 win (over another “animal” team). The “non-animal” teams made 12 appearances and went 9-3.

    As I said before, I am not a gambler – but – I looked at those Vegas preseason odds for the 2012 Super Bowl, Packers 7-1, Patriots 7.5-1, Steelers 10-1, Saints, Jets and Giants at 14-1 – geez, you could bet all seven and break even if any of them won the big game – and the best “animal” odds were Chargers 12-1, Colts and Ravens 14-1. No, not an ounce of logic here but strangely interesting.

    Comments 14 Comments
    1. darvon's Avatar
      I may not have majored in Biology, but I thought "Brown" wasn't an animal. Maybe a Color?
    1. darvon's Avatar
      And I sorta thought Bronco was an animal.
    1. darvon's Avatar
      No wonder the NFC West is so bad. 3 Animals and Alex Smith.
    1. Mordeci's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by darvon View Post
      I may not have majored in Biology, but I thought "Brown" wasn't an animal. Maybe a Color?
      He's talking about the Super Bowl, Browns aren't irrelevant in that conversation (sorry Browns fans, couldn't resist).
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Still have nightmares about the animals (Bengals) Super Bowl XVI loss 26-21 to the 49ers. That game boiled down to turnovers as most games usually do. The bigger the game , the more important ball security is. We had 4 turnovers, they had one. Can't win a championship game going -3 in the turnover ratio. I wonder what that stat is...how many times has a team with a negative turnover rario won the Super Bowl? The pitiful "animal" winning % is a strange animal to say the least.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Additional animal teams with losing records:

      Panthers are (0-1)
      Broncos are (2-4)

      Chargers = Lightning Bolts, right?

      Paul Brown was an animal? OK, I'll buy that. Maybe not. And the Brown Spots don't factor into the SB equation, anyway...

      The Bills were named after William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

      Teams with zero SB appearances are 2 animal teams (Lions/Jags) and 2 non-animal teams (Browns/Texans).

    1. Jerry Jones's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by darvon View Post
      And I sorta thought Bronco was an animal.
      My typo - Broncos replace Browns (although some animals are Brown). JJ
    1. Jerry Jones's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrGoHome View Post
      Additional animal teams with losing records:

      Panthers are (0-1)
      Broncos are (2-4)

      Chargers = Lightning Bolts, right?

      Paul Brown was an animal? OK, I'll buy that. Maybe not. And the Brown Spots don't factor into the SB equation, anyway...

      The Bills were named after William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

      Teams with zero SB appearances are 2 animal teams (Lions/Jags) and 2 non-animal teams (Browns/Texans).

      GoBig.
      Hedged a little on the Chargers since a Charger could also be a war horse. Move them to the other side and the "animal" teams lose one appearance and one loss. Still no "animal" but the 1-0 Ravens with a winning Super Bowl record. (I think)
      Good research on Buffalo Bill. NFL histories report that it was the name of an All-American Conference team and was restored through a newspaper contest vote when the city got an AFL franchise.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Jones View Post
      GoBig.
      Hedged a little on the Chargers since a Charger could also be a war horse. Move them to the other side and the "animal" teams lose one appearance and one loss. Still no "animal" but the 1-0 Ravens with a winning Super Bowl record. (I think)
      Good research on Buffalo Bill. NFL histories report that it was the name of an All-American Conference team and was restored through a newspaper contest vote when the city got an AFL franchise.
      JJ -- you are really onto something here.

      Ravens are the only animal team batting 1.000 in the SB.

      Broncos have most animal team SB appearances (6) with a record of (2-4).

      Dolphins have 2nd most animal appearances (5) with a record of (2-3).

      Colts are next animal team with (4) trips going (2-2) - also Colts are only team to represent both the pre-merger-NFL and the post-merger-AFC in the SB.

      Rams (the freaking Rams!!) are next animal team with (3) trips and a record of (1-2).

      Bengals & Eagles are the only animal teams with multiple SB appearances (2 each) with a win % of .000.

      Of the ten teams with singular SB appearances, the only animal team with a win are the Ravens. Four of the six (0-1) SB teams are animal teams (Panthers, Cards, Seahawks, Falcons)

      Bird teams are (1-5) in SB (Ravens 1-0, Eagles 0-2, Cards 0-2, Seahawks 0-1)

      Cat teams are (0-3) in SB -- (Benagls 0-2, Panthers 0-1)

      I have too much time on my hands.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      People teams (Steelers, Cowboys, Patriots, 49ers, Packers, Redskins, Raiders, Giants, Vikings, Bills, Chiefs, Bucs, Saints, Titans) are a combined (35-24) in the SB. Take the winless Vikes, Bills, & Titans out of the equation and people teams are a whopping (35-15) -- .650 winning %.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Love this stuff. It does make you think. I've also noticed that the last decade had teams that had previously made appearances and didn't win in the 90's (Patriots, Steelers) and teams Brand New to winning at all (Ravens, Saints) and that kinda sums up the 2000's.
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      Time to find another sport to watch, as it has now been scientifically proven that there is absolutely no hope for any team in my pathetic little hierarchy. Panthers, Bengals, Colts, Rams...when does curling season start??????
    1. Jerry Jones's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrGoHome View Post
      People teams (Steelers, Cowboys, Patriots, 49ers, Packers, Redskins, Raiders, Giants, Vikings, Bills, Chiefs, Bucs, Saints, Titans) are a combined (35-24) in the SB. Take the winless Vikes, Bills, & Titans out of the equation and people teams are a whopping (35-15) -- .650 winning %.

      GoBig,
      Maybe I shouldn't have started this bit. Now that you are in all the way, do you have a theory on what caused the "animal" curse?
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Jones View Post
      GoBig,
      Maybe I shouldn't have started this bit. Now that you are in all the way, do you have a theory on what caused the "animal" curse?
      When in doubt, blame The Curse of Bobby Layne.