The Chief Troll interviews someone he loves
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 18, 2007
The Chief Troll sat all alone in a dark corner of the cardboard-box world headquarters this week and asked himself a series of questions about the conference title games this year.
Question: What's the problem with Tony Dungy's teams in the playoffs?
Answer: They score about as often as John Clayton at a Victoria's Secret photo shoot.
Dungy has made nine playoff appearances with two different teams. And he's in the midst of a remarkable eight consecutive postseason appearances, dating all the way back to his 1999 Buccaneers squad. No active coach is close to that mark.
But, famously, he's gone just 7-8 in those playoff appearances. It's his offenses that always let him down.
- Dungy's Buccaneers scored 59 points in six playoff games (9.8 PPG).
- Dungy's Colts have scored 201 points in nine playoff games (22.3 PPG).
In both cases, the postseason scoring rate is well below the regular-season scoring rate. And even those numbers are deceiving: The Colts, for example, scored 121 of their 201 playoff points in just three games.
In his eight playoff losses, Dungy's offenses have simply gone in the tank with embarrassing performances:
- The Buccaneers scored 25 points in four playoff losses (6.25 PPG).
- The Colts have scored 35 points in four playoff losses (8.75 PPG)
Among the lowlights: Back in 1999, Dungy's Tampa club held the "Greatest Show on Turf" Rams to 11 points in the NFC title game. They lost, 11-6.
In his first playoff game with the Colts, Dungy's squad was smoked, 41-0, by the 9-7 Jets.
Question: Is New Orleans linebacker Scott Fujita a bad omen?
Answer: Yes. Just ask Greg Brady, who wiped out on his surfboard after finding Fujita lying on the beach in Hawaii.
Fujita has the rare distinction of being a member of two of the very worst run defenses of our time. Our enduring image of Fujita is Edgerrin James racing past the linebacker as he failed to fight off blockers 15 yards downfield in the 2003 divisional playoffs.
- Fujita played linebacker for the 2003 Chiefs, who ranked among the very worst run defenses of all time, surrendering 5.17 YPA.
- Fujita plays linebacker for the 2006 Saints, who surrendered 4.94 YPA and nearly joined the list of worst run defenses of all time.
Note to Sean Payton: Find a new linebacker in the offseason.
Question: Are the Gridiron Gods vengeful and angry?
Answer: Yes, which is why we pray to them every night. We want to stay on their good side.
Need proof? Consider the case of Wade Phillips and the Buffalo Bills. Phillips, you might remember, is the moron who, as Buffalo's head coach, benched Doug Flutie before the 1999 playoffs.
You might remember that Flutie led Buffalo to a 10-5 record before Phillips sat him to "rest" in the season finale, opting for backup Rob Johnson. Phillips then gave Johnson the start in their wild-card game at Tennessee. The Gridiron Gods roiled the seas of Planet Pigskin in anger. Buffalo and Phillips have suffered their wrath since.
Here's a short list of punishments the Gridiron Gods have meted out since that day:
- Immediately after Flutie was benched, the Bills suffered one of the most crushing losses in playoff history, courtesy of the "Music City Miracle" in Tennessee.
- The Bills have never won more than nine games in a season since Flutie won 10 games in 1999.
- The Bills have never been back to the playoffs.
- Phillips has never had a head coaching job since leaving the Bills.
- Phillips has twice suffered crushing 3-point upset losses since joining San Diego as its defensive coordinator in 2004.
Hey, Wade, you shoulda started Flutie.
Question: Are the Patriots the best big-game team of all time?
Win or lose Sunday, it's hard to ignore the team's track record in big games – especially against teams that were, at least on paper, better.
The issue came up the other day when our friends Dale & Holley at WEEI up in Boston were discussing a column by an ass-hat columnist who said that previous dynasties like Joe Montana's 49ers faced tougher competition.
Here's a look at the cumulative record of the playoff teams New England faced in its three Super Bowl seasons and Montana faced in his four Super Bowl seasons:
2004 Patriots: 40-8 (.833) (toughest postseason schedule ever)
2001 Patriots: 37-11 (.771)
2003 Patriots: 35-13 (.729)
1988 49ers: 35-13 (.729)
1981 49ers: 33-15 (.688)
1984 49ers: 33-15 (.688)
1989 49ers: 32-16 (.667)
In Montana's four Super Bowl season, he faced just one team with a record better than 12-4 – that was the 14-2 Dolphins in the 1984 Super Bowl.
New England has faced and defeated four teams better than 12-4 in its Super Bowl seasons. Should the Patriots win this week and then beat Chicago in the Super Bowl, they'll have overcome six teams better than 12-4 ... clearly a tougher gauntlet than the schedule overcome by Montana and the 49ers.
We rated the every single Super Bowl champion's postseason schedule here last year.
Forearm Shiver: the CHFF Blog
- Hockey Announcer Gone Wild: You Want To Party (Maybe) With This Guy
- Best Pass Defense Ever: Ronde Barber And The 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Reese Witherspoon Arrest Video: Hot, Bothered And Handcuffed
- Sam Adams In A Can, Just In Time For Summer Drinking Season
- Live From Radio City: Reporter Punks NFL Draft Fans
- The 5.0 Club: Best Rushing Teams in NFL History
- Sieves: The Worst Run Defenses In NFL History
- Monsters of the Midway: We Need The Chicago Bears More Than Ever
- Boston, Sports, Patriotism And Terror
- The 100 Stingiest Defenses In Football History
- NFL Crown Rule: Will It Dethrone Rushing King Adrian Peterson?
- Year Of The Offensive Tackle: Not Always The 'Safe' Draft Bet
- Draft Habits: NFL Teams Covet LBs, Duped By False Temptress WRs
- Big Tease: 2012 New England Patriots And NFL's History Of Offensive Failures
- Epic Fail: The Wide Receiver Draft Class Of 2012
Must See Videos