Daily Blog •July 25, 2011

The NFL lockout looks like it finally may be over with today so with that in mind I am going to switch the blog topic up a little bit with an article that is featured in our NFL Magazine. Normally by now our NFL magazine has hit the newsstands but with the lockout in place, I have decided to postpone the magazine because I want to be the most accurate NFL magazine on the market that takes into consideration all the free agency moves that are about to occur.

You should be able to find my NFL Magazine on the newsstands in late August. However, with this being just the 3rd year I have put the magazine on the newsstands it will only have about half of the distribution that my College Magazine has. If you cannot find my Pro Football Preview anywhere near you, try ordering thru the PhilSteele.com store or call our offices at 1-866-918-7711. The cost is just $12.70 (includes priority shipping) and we will ship it out of our offices within 24 hours unless ordered on the weekend and in that case it will get shipped 1st thing on Monday.

In the inaugural Phil Steele’s Pro Football Preview, I made a forecast for each division and I am very pleased to announce that I correctly forecasted 7 of the 8! I was the ONLY major magazine to pick the Super Bowl winning New Orleans Saints to win the NFC South. I followed that performance up by picking three of last years first place teams for an impressive 2 year record of 11 of 16 division winners or 69%.

The NFL is certainly a league of parity and in fact going back to 1998 only 31% of the time has a team repeated as a division winner. In 2002 the NFL went four divisions of four teams each, making it much easier to repeat. Taking those 9 seasons plus the previous two, only 27 of the 72 division winners or 38% repeated. Those numbers include both New England and Indianapolis who have dominated the AFC East & AFC South as each has repeated 5 times and were the ONLY 2 teams to repeat again last season.

Since the start of this decade there have been 78 division winners but ONLY 11 of the NFL’s 32 teams have been consistent enough to bag B2B division titles. I mentioned NE & Indy and they are followed by San Diego, Philadelphia and Seattle with 3 repeats. Oakland and Green Bay each have 2 while Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Chicago and Arizona each have 1 repeat.

While I wrote earlier that with eight 4 team divisions it was easier to have a repeat winner, it must still be noted that only 3 of the divisions have had multiple B2B division winners and the NFC North is the only division to have 3 B2B winners as GB won the title in ’03 & ’04, CHI in ’05 & ’06 and MIN won it in ’08 & ’09. With New Orleans winning the NFC South it is sill is the only division to have not had a repeat winner since the new format in 2002. The NFC South is also 1 of 3 divisions since 2002 to have all 4 members win the division title along with the AFC West & the NFC West.

At the start of the decade I could easily attribute that to the fact the NFL made the first place teams play a first place schedule or take on the division winners and runner ups from the previous year while the last place teams did the opposite. That scheduling philosophy changed a few years back but the trends have continued.

Here are all the NFL division Champs from 1998-2009.

One last thing which is common knowledge but often forgotten this time of year is the Super Bowl loser jinx. Here are the last 12 Super Bowl losers listed the year they lost the Super bowl and after their team name is how they fared the next season.

1998 Atlanta - In 1999, the Falcons went 5-11. (no playoffs)
1999 Tennessee - In 2000, the Titans went 13-3 but lost their 1st playoff game .
2000 NY Giants - In 2001, the Giants went 7-9 .
2001 St Louis - In 2002, the Rams went 7-9 .
2002 Oakland - In 2003, the Raiders went 4-12 .
2003 Carolina - In 2004, the Panthers went 7-9 .
2004 Philadelphia - In 2005, the Eagles went 6-10 .
2005 Seattle - In 2006, the Seahawks went 9-7 and WON a playoff game when Tony Romo fumbled the snap on the game winning FG. (lost next week).
2006 Chicago - In 2007, the Bears went 7-9 .
2007 New England - In 2008, the Patriots went 11-5 but missed the playoffs.
2008 Arizona - In 2009, the Cards won the division and WON a playoff OT shootout when the ball bounced off Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers foot and the Cards caught it and returned it for a TD. (lost next week).
2009 Indianapolis- In 2010 the Colts went 10-6 and won the AFC South but saw their streak of 7 straight seasons with at least 12 wins come to an end and lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
2010 Pittsburgh-In 2011 the Steelers ?

The last 12 Super Bowl losers have combined for 2 playoff wins with EIGHT of them missing the playoffs and there were a combined 7 losing records.

Only 38 Days Until the First College Football Game!!!