NFL Divisional Round Trends, Teams and History
The following information comes from the NFL:
VIEW FROM THE TOP: Since the NFL moved to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, No. 1 seeds in the NFC are 18-4 (.818) in the Divisional Playoffs. In the AFC, the No. 1 seed has compiled a 13-9 (.591) record.
Both No. 1 seeds are in action this weekend when the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons host the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC and the No. 1-seed Denver Broncos face the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC.
The No. 1 seeds in Divisional-round play since 1990:
AFC NO. 1 SEED
NFC NO. 1 SEED
Defeated Miami 44-34
Defeated Washington 28-10
Defeated Kansas City 37-14
Defeated Atlanta 24-7
Lost to Buffalo 24-3
Defeated Washington 20-13
Defeated L.A. Raiders 29-23
Defeated Green Bay 27-17
Defeated Cleveland 29-9
Defeated Chicago 44-15
Lost to Indianapolis 10-7
Defeated Philadelphia 30-11
Lost to Jacksonville 30-27
Defeated San Francisco 35-14
Lost to Denver 14-10
Defeated Minnesota 38-22
Defeated Miami 38-3
Defeated Arizona 41-21
Defeated Miami 62-7
Defeated Minnesota 49-37
Lost to Baltimore 24-10
Defeated Philadelphia 20-10
Defeated Baltimore 27-10
Defeated Green Bay 45-17
Defeated N.Y. Jets 30-10
Defeated Atlanta 20-6
Defeated Tennessee 17-14
Defeated Green Bay 20-17 (OT)
Defeated N.Y. Jets 20-17 (OT)
Defeated Minnesota 27-14
Lost to Pittsburgh 21-18
Defeated Washington 20-10
Lost to New England 24-21
Defeated Seattle 27-24 (OT)
Defeated Jacksonville 31-20
Lost to N.Y. Giants 21-17
Lost to Baltimore 13-10
Lost to Philadelphia 23-11
Defeated Baltimore 20-3
Defeated Arizona 45-14
Lost to N.Y. Jets 28-21
Lost to Green Bay 48-21
Defeated Denver 45-10
Lost to N.Y. Giants 37-20
FIRST-ROUND BYES: The top seeds – ATLANTA (13-3, NFC No. 1 seed), DENVER (13-3, AFC No. 1 seed), NEW ENGLAND (12-4, AFC No. 2 seed) and SAN FRANCISCO (11-4-1, NFC No. 2 seed) – earned first-round byes and will be featured in this weekend’s Divisional Playoffs.
Three of the four top seeds rank among the teams with the most first-round byes since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990. New England (eight) and San Francisco (eight) are tied with PITTSBURGH (eight) for the most such byes, while Denver (five) is tied with DALLAS (five)for the fourth-most since 1990.
The teams with the most first-round byes since 1990:
NUMBER OF FIRST-ROUND BYES SINCE 1990
New England Patriots
San Francisco 49ers
HOME SWEET HOME: The AFC’s top two seeds – DENVER (13-3, AFC No. 1 seed) and NEW ENGLAND (12-4, AFC No. 2 seed) – will host Baltimore and Houston, respectively, in this weekend’s Divisional Playoffs.
Denver and New England each have a 13-3 (.813) all-time record at home during the playoffs, tied for the highest winning percentage in postseason history (minimum 10 games).
The teams with the highest home winning percentage all-time in the postseason (minimum 10 games):
HOME WINNING PERCENTAGE, POSTSEASON
*Play this weekend at home
ROAD WARRIORS: AFC North champion BALTIMORE (No. 4 seed)will travel to Denver on Saturday to face the AFC’s No. 1 seeded Broncos following a 24-9 victory over Indianapolis on Wild Card Weekend.
Baltimore owns a 7-5 (.583) all-time road record in the postseason, the highest winning percentage in postseason history (minimum 10 games). GREEN BAY, which travels to San Francisco on Saturday, owns the second-highest road winning percentage in the postseason (.455, 10-12).
CHAMPIONSHIP GOAL: This Saturday, SAN FRANCISCO (11-4-1, NFC No. 2 seed) will host Green Bay(12-5, No. 3 seed) in a rematch of their Kickoff Weekend matchup when the 49ers defeated the Packers 30-22 at Lambeau Field.
With a victory against Green Bay, San Francisco would advance to its 14th NFC Championship Game, which would tie DALLAS (14) for the second-most appearances in a Conference Championship Game since 1970.
The teams with the most appearances in a Conference Championship Game since 1970:
MOST APPEARANCES IN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
San Francisco 49ers*
L.A./St. Louis Rams
*Host Green Bay Saturday
WHEN IT COUNTS: New England quarterback TOM BRADY owns a 16-6 (.727) career postseason record as a starter. His 16 wins are tied for the most by any starting quarterback in NFL postseason history with Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE MONTANA (16).
With a win against Houston on Sunday, Brady would surpass Montana for the most playoff wins all-time.
The starting quarterbacks with the most playoff wins in NFL history:
New England Patriots
San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs
Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings
MANNING THE END ZONE: Denver quarterback PEYTON MANNING led the AFC and ranked third in the NFL this season with 37 touchdown passes. Manning has thrown for 29 touchdowns in his postseason career, which ranks seventh all-time.
With four touchdown passes this weekend against Baltimore, Manning (29) would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famers DAN MARINO (32) and TERRY BRADSHAW (30) and KURT WARNER (31) for the fourth-most postseason TD passes in NFL history.
New England quarterback TOM BRADY (38) ranks third on the all-time list, trailing Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE MONTANA (45) and BRETT FAVRE (44).
The quarterbacks with the most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history:
POSTSEASON TD PASSES
*Active this weekend
FOSTER FOLLOW-UP: Houston running back ARIAN FOSTER rushed for 140 yards in the Texans’ 19-13 Wild Card victory over Cincinnati, becoming the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 100 yards in each of his first three playoff games.
With 100 or more yards this Sunday against New England, Foster would join TERRELL DAVIS (seven) and Pro Football Hall of Famers JOHN RIGGINS (six) and THURMAN THOMAS (four) as the only players in NFL history to rush for 100+ yards in at least four consecutive playoff games.
Foster (425) could also challenge for the most rushing yards in a player’s first four postseason games in NFL history. With 91 rushing yards, he would surpass Davis(515) for the most rushing yards in a player’s first four postseason games.
The players with the most consecutive 100-yard rushing games in NFL postseason history:
CONSEC. 100-YARD RUSHING GAMES, POSTSEASON
The players with the most rushing yards in their first four postseason games in NFL history:
MOST RUSH YARDS IN FIRST FOUR POSTSEASON GAMES
*Through three postseason games
PLAYOFF MOSS: San Francisco wide receiver RANDY MOSS has 10 postseason touchdown catches, tied for the third-most in NFL playoff history.
With a touchdown catch against Green Bay on Saturday, Moss (10) would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer FRED BILETNIKOFF (10), ANTONIO FREEMAN (10) and HINES WARD (10) for the third-most postseason touchdown catches all-time. He currently trails Pro Football Hall of Famers JERRY RICE (22) and JOHN STALLWORTH (12).
In his only playoff game against Green Bay (with Minnesota, Wild Card, 1/9/05), Moss had two touchdown catches.
The players with the most postseason touchdown receptions in NFL history:
San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle
Minnesota, New England
Green Bay, Philadelphia
HEAD OF THE CLASS: New England Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK has compiled a 17-7 (.708) record in his postseason career. Belichick (17) is tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE GIBBS (17) for the third-most playoff wins in NFL history, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers TOM LANDRY (20) and DON SHULA (19).
With a win against Houston on Sunday, Belichick would surpass Gibbs (17) for sole possession of third place all-time.
The head coaches with the most playoff wins in NFL history:
Baltimore Colts, Miami Dolphins
Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots