Super Bowl Super Study Says Patriots, Broncos Built Like Champs

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 06, 2013

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.










I66 Packers


 I66 Chiefs


II67 Packers


 II67 Raiders


III68 Jets


 III68 Colts


IV69 Chiefs


 IV69 Vikings


V70 Colts


 V70 Cowboys


VI71 Cowboys


 VI71 Dolphins


VII72 Dolphins


 VII72 Redskins


VIII73 Dolphins


 VIII73 Vikings


IX74 Steelers


 IX74 Vikings


X75 Steelers


 X75 Cowboys


XI76 Raiders


 XI76 Vikings


XII77 Cowboys


 XII77 Broncos


XIII78 Steelers


 XIII78 Cowboys


XIV79 Steelers


 XIV79 Rams


XV80 Raiders+58 XV80 Eagles


XVI81 49ers


 XVI81 Bengals


XVII82 Redskins


 XVII82 Dolphins


XVIII83 Raiders


 XVIII83 Redskins


XIX84 49ers


 XIX84 Dolphins


XX85 Bears


 XX85 Patriots


XXI86 Giants


 XXI86 Broncos


XXII87 Redskins


 XXII87 Broncos


XXIII88 49ers


 XXIII88 Bengals


XXIV89 49ers


 XXIV89 Broncos


XXV90 Giants


 XXV90 Bills


XXVI91 Redskins


 XXVI91 Bills


XXVII92 Cowboys


 XXVII92 Bills


XXVIII93 Cowboys


 XXVIII93 Bills


XXIX94 49ers


 XXIX94 Chargers


XXX95 Cowboys


 XXX95 Steelers


XXXI96 Packers


 XXXI96 Patriots


XXXII97 Broncos


 XXXII97 Packers


XXXIII98 Broncos


 XXXIII98 Falcons


XXXIV99 Rams


 XXXIV99 Titans


XXXV00 Ravens


 XXXV00 Giants


XXXVI01 Patriots


 XXXVI01 Rams




 XXXVII02 Raiders


XXXVIII03 Patriots


 XXXVIII03 Panthers


XXXIX04 Patriots


 XXXIX04 Eagles


XL05 Steelers


 XL05 Seahawks


XLI06 Colts


 XLI06 Bears


XLII07 Giants


 XLII07 Patriots


XLIII08 Steelers


 XLIII08 Cardinals


XLIV09 Saints


 XLIV09 Colts


XLV10 Packers


 XLV10 Steelers


XLVI11 Giants


 XLVI11 Patriots


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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