Stat-packed title-game team releases
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 14, 2009
We published these team releases last year to great response. They're full of tons of great info and, quite frankly, they're better than most of the stuff you read in the mainstream sports media, which has the misfortune and being butchered all to hell. But you're smart enough to draw your own conclusions from these releases, which are pretty neat.
In fact, we don't know why they're not published in more places to begin with. But that's why you have us to cuddle with around the postseason cheese-steak making stove top.
We don't think of Arizona-Philly as much of a rivalry these days. But these two old-school franchises began playing each other in 1935 and played twice almost every year from 1947 through 2001. They've also met twice in the NFL championship game, with the Cardinals winning in 1947 (the pathetic organization's only victory in a league or conference championship game) and the Eagles taking the rematch in 1948 (the Cardinals organization's last appearance in a league or conference title game). The teams have split their 113 meeting, 54-54-5. (The release says the Eagles lead the series, 55-54-5, but the NFL itself disputes that figure.)
Notice how everybody is using Defensive Passer Rating as a stat these days? Even NFL teams are starting to tout it in their releaseas, as Baltimore does here with its league-leading 60.6 Defensive Passer Rating this year. However, the Ravens, as we pointed out the other day, have not been as stout here in the postseason, with a 66.3 Defensive Passer Rating.
Only the Patriots have appeared in as many conference title games over the past decade as the Eagles (five). Philly is 6-1 since their 48-20 win over the Cardinals back on Thanksgiving and went 4-0 against the NFC West this year.
Mike Tomlin is the first coach in team history to win division (or conference in the olden days) titles in his first two years at the helm. The Steelers are playing in an AFC record 14th conference championship game and hosting their 10th. However they are 6-7 in the previous 13, just 4-5 at home and 0-2 at Heinz Field.
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