Daily Blog • February 4, 2010
Let’s take a look at some interesting situations about Super Bowl matchups.

THE LOWEST SEEDED TEAMS EVER! The play-offs expanded in 1990 and the NFL seeded teams 1 thru 6. This year is only the second time in 13 years that a #1 seed has failed to make the Super Bowl and the only time with a matchup between the #2 and #6 seeds. A team ranked as the #5 or #6 seed has only reached the SB twice but they did win both times as Giants (#5) beat the Patriots (#1) in Super Bowl 42 and Pittsburgh (#6) beat Seattle (#1) in Super Bowl 40.

What is the outcome when a road team and a home team advance from the Conference Championships? Prior to this year in the last 4 seasons 7 of the 8 teams that advanced to the Super Bowl won at home in the Conf Championships. If I go back further and look at the last 10 seasons there have been 7 occurrences in which a team that won on the road faced a team that won at home. Surprisingly 6 of the 7 teams that won the Conf Championship on the road went on to win the SB. FYI: Since the expanded play-offs in 1990 only twice have both Conf Champ road teams gone onto play in the SB (‘92 & ‘97 seasons).

How do teams perform if they’ve appeared in the Super Bowl in the last 2 seasons? A team is certainly among the leagues elite is they are making a second SB appearance within 3 years. Pittsburgh of course beat Arizona after the 2008 season. Here are the most recent teams that are making a repeat appearance in a 3 year span (PIT TY, NE in ‘05, NE in ‘04, STL in ‘00, DEN in ‘99, GB in ‘98, DAL in ‘96). Of the 6 teams S/1995 they have gone 4-2 when making a 2nd SB appearance in a 3 yr span. 

Thinking about a record? The most combined total points in a Super Bowls came in SB29 as SF and SD combined for 75 pts followed by 69 total pts twice as Dallas defeated Buffalo and TB beat Oakland. The fewest points scored all were prior to 1975 as Pittsburgh and Minnesota combined for 22 points in SB9 while Miami and Washington combined for 21 points in SB7. In the 35 years since, the 2 lowest scoring SB’s have occurred in the last 5 years as the NYG beat NE 17-14 and Pittsburgh beat SEA 21-10.

THE FINAL CAN BE DECEIVING Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers played similar games last week as they jumped out to halftime leads and held on to win the game. Let’s compare halftime numbers. Green Bay led Chicago 14-0 as the half with 17-6 FD and 252-103 yard edges. Pittsburgh meanwhile led the NYJ 24-3 at halftime with 16-5 FD and a 231-50 yard edges. 

Quick starts? The final thing I’ll look at is how teams have started and scored in the 1Q. It has been slow going as in the last 12 Super Bowls only ONCE have the teams combined for over 10 total points in the opening period. When Indianapolis met Chicago 4 years ago the Bears led 14-6 after 1Q but were outscored 23-3 the rest of the way. Five times in the last 11 years there has been a 3-0 score after 1Q and twice the teams have failed to score.

Let’s take at look at the combined scoring for each quarter the last 5 SB’s. There is no surprise that the 4Q has been the highest scoring as the teams have totaled 73 pts. The teams have combined to score 51 points in the 2Q followed by 43 pts in the 3Q and the opening quarter has been the lowest scoring over the last 5 SB’s as the teams have scored a combined 39 points. In the last 12 SB’s the 2H has been the higher scoring half 11 of 12 times.