Super Bowl Super Study Says Patriots, Broncos Built Like Champs

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 06, 2013



2. Divisional Dominance

Not only should championship teams consistently win both at home and on the road, but they should dominate against their divisional foes.

After all, teams spent more than two decades playing half of their games against divisional opponents. If a team can’t clobber their most hated foes, how can they prevail against the best in other divisions?

True, divisional games generally play to tighter scoring margin, but that doesn’t translate to losses for the championship-caliber teams. They normally control the roost in the division.

The chart below examines the divisional record for each Super Bowl combatant after the AFL-NFL merger. The chart also examines the conference record for each AFL team before the merger and 1966 Packers, as those teams did not play in a division. The conference record acts a rough equivalent to divisional record.

Winners

Losers

SB

Team

W-L

 

SB

Team

W-L

I66 Packers

10-2

 I66 Chiefs

5-1

II67 Packers

4-1-1

 II67 Raiders

6-0

III68 Jets

7-1

 III68 Colts

6-0

IV69 Chiefs

5-3

 IV69 Vikings

6-0

V70 Colts

6-1-1

 V70 Cowboys

5-3

VI71 Cowboys

7-1

 VI71 Dolphins

5-3

VII72 Dolphins

8-0

 VII72 Redskins

7-1

VIII73 Dolphins

7-1

 VIII73 Vikings

6-0

IX74 Steelers

4-2

 IX74 Vikings

4-2

X75 Steelers

6-0

 X75 Cowboys

6-2

XI76 Raiders

7-0

 XI76 Vikings

5-1

XII77 Cowboys

7-1

 XII77 Broncos

6-1

XIII78 Steelers

5-1

 XIII78 Cowboys

7-1

XIV79 Steelers

4-2

 XIV79 Rams

5-1

XV80 Raiders

6-2

 XV80 Eagles

6-2

XVI81 49ers

5-1

 XVI81 Bengals

4-2

XVII82 Redskins

6-1

 XVII82 Dolphins

6-1

XVIII83 Raiders

6-2

 XVIII83 Redskins

7-1

XIX84 49ers

6-0

 XIX84 Dolphins

8-0

XX85 Bears

8-0

 XX85 Patriots

6-2

XXI86 Giants

7-1

 XXI86 Broncos

5-3

XXII87 Redskins

7-1

 XXII87 Broncos

7-1

XXIII88 49ers

4-2

 XXIII88 Bengals

4-2

XXIV89 49ers

5-1

 XXIV89 Broncos

6-2

XXV90 Giants

7-1

 XXV90 Bills

7-1

XXVI91 Redskins

6-2

 XXVI91 Bills

7-1

XXVII92 Cowboys

6-2

 XXVII92 Bills

5-3

XXVIII93 Cowboys

7-1

 XXVIII93 Bills

7-1

XXIX94 49ers

6-0

 XXIX94 Chargers

6-2

XXX95 Cowboys

5-3

 XXX95 Steelers

6-2

XXXI96 Packers

7-1

 XXXI96 Patriots

6-2

XXXII97 Broncos

6-2

 XXXII97 Packers

7-1

XXXIII98 Broncos

8-0

 XXXIII98 Falcons

7-1

XXXIV99 Rams

8-0

 XXXIV99 Titans

9-1

XXXV00 Ravens

8-2

 XXXV00 Giants

7-1

XXXVI01 Patriots

6-2

 XXXVI01 Rams

7-1

XXXVII02 Bucs

4-2

 XXXVII02 Raiders

4-2

XXXVIII03 Patriots

5-1

 XXXVIII03 Panthers

5-1

XXXIX04 Patriots

5-1

 XXXIX04 Eagles

6-0

XL05 Steelers

4-2

 XL05 Seahawks

6-0

XLI06 Colts

3-3

 XLI06 Bears

5-1

XLII07 Giants

3-3

 XLII07 Patriots

6-0

XLIII08 Steelers

6-0

 XLIII08 Cardinals

6-0

XLIV09 Saints

4-2

 XLIV09 Colts

6-0

XLV10 Packers

4-2

 XLV10 Steelers

5-1

XLVI11 Giants

3-3

 XLVI11 Patriots

5-1

As history shows, playing in a division with fewer teams will result in fewer divisional wins. However, it should not translate to a middling 3-3 or 5-3 record against divisional foes. While the recent string of unlikely champions again cloud the result, this part of the study clearly illustrates the champions must control the divisional roost.

This year’s teams see a strange mix of teams that struggled against the division. The NFC West clearly had a spoiler in the St. Louis Rams, who owned a 2-1-1 record against the Seahawks and 49ers. This showed in both team’s divisional struggles.

The 2012 Seahawks, along with the 2012 Falcons and 2012 Bengals, are the three teams to finish with a 3-3 divisional record. The 2012 49ers, meanwhile, finished 3-2-1 against the NFC West. Who knows where the 49ers will fit in this study. Meanwhile, the Falcons and Bengals likely have to worry the most, as they split against each of their three divisional opponents.

 

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