Super Bowl Super Study Says Patriots, Broncos Built Like Champs
11. Point Margin
Teams with a strong point margin last the test of 60 minutes or more in each game. Some experts believe point margin to be more reliable than record, simply because the point differential involves a much larger sample size. In a football game, only one team wins while an unlimited amount of points can be scored.
If playoff teams don’t possess a strong point margin, it suggests that those teams are not as good as their records say. Furthermore, it suggests they aren’t able to hang with the playoff teams that outscore their opponents as well as their records say. The table below supports this theory.
|XV||80 Raiders||+58||XV||80 Eagles|
The threshold for the outlier in this part of study is an average scoring margin less than +5.0 points per game (PPG). The 2011 Giants set a new precedent by becoming the first team with a negative scoring margin to make (and win) the Super Bowl. However, anything under a +80 margin normally will fall short of the Super Bowl.
This postseason has a quintet of teams looking to break the trend. The 2012 Colts are the only playoff team to finish the regular season with a negative margin, as they were outscored by 30 points. A big part has to do with their seven one-possession victories against non-quality teams and their three blowout losses. Meanwhile, the 2012 Redskins (+48) and 2012 Vikings (+31) both have an average scoring margin of +3.0 PPG for or worse. The Redskins can blame their defense for failing to fully support the dominance of Robert Griffin III, while the Vikings can look at their average passing game on both sides of the ball. Finally, the 2012 Ravens (+54) and 2012 Bengals (+71) also fail to reach the threshold. Both teams can look at their losing streaks to blame.
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