Friday’s Den: Notes on NFL teams’ playoff histories

Since winning Super Bowl 10 years ago, they’re 2-4 in playoff games, 0-2 at home. Ravens also won the Super Bowl in 2000. Lamar Jackson is 1-3 in playoff games, scoring 13 ppg.

Went WL in playoffs the last two years; before that, they went 0-5 in playoff games from 1996-2019. Bills are 0-4 in Super Bowls, with their last appearance in 1993.

Before winning AFC title last year, Bengals went 0-7 in playoff games from 1991-2020. Cincinnati won playoff games at Tennessee/Kansas City LY; before that, in their entire history, Bengals were 0-7 in road playoff games.

All-time record in playoff games: 7-7, 4-6 on the road. Made the playoffs seven times in their history, went 5-2 in their first playoff game those years.

Should also be noted that Doug Pederson won a Super Bowl coaching the Eagles.

Kansas City
Last three seasons, Chiefs are 7-2 in playoff games. From 1994-2018, Kansas City was 2-11 in playoff games.

Andy Reid has a 19-16 record in playoff games.

LA Chargers
Chargers have an 11-13 record in NFL playoff games, getting to one Super Bowl, in 1994. Bolts went WL in the playoffs, three of last four times they got in.

In their AFL days, Chargers played for the title five of the first six years, but went 1-4 in those title games, winning the AFL championship in 1963.

Dolphins haven’t won a playoff game since 2000, going 0-4 in last four playoff games, outscored 104-23 in those games. Dolphins last made the playoffs in 2016; before that, 2008.

Dallas— Cowboys are probably going to open on the road in the playoffs this year; since 1993, Dallas is 0-8 in road playoff games. Their last road playoff win was 30-20 in San Francisco, 30 years ago.

Minnesota— Since 1997, Vikings have been in playoffs 11 times; they went WL in playoffs in 8 of those 11 years, lost in first round the other three times. Vikings are 0-4 in Super Bowls, with their last appearance in 1976.

NJ Giants— Haven’t been in playoffs since 2016; they’ve won four Super Bowls, last one in 2011. Nine of their last 11 playoff games were either on road/neutral field games.

Philadelphia— Won their first Super Bowl title five years ago; since then, they’re 1-3 in playoff games, scoring 13.5 ppg. Eagles are 2-3 in last five home playoff games. 

San Francisco— Since 2012, 49ers have been in playoffs four times; they went WWL all four times, losing Super Bowls to Ravens/Chiefs, losing NFC title games at Seahawks/Rams.

49ers have won five Super Bowls, but last one was in 1994.

Tampa Bay— Buccaneers won Super Bowls in 2002/2020; in between, they went 0-2 in playoff games. Obviously, Tom Brady has won seven Super Bowls in his career, one with the Bucs.

Washington— Redskins won a playoff game 17-10 in Tampa in 2005; since then, they’re 0-5 in playoff games. Last three times Washington made the playoffs, they lost first round home games, all by 8+ points.

Playoff notes on other NFL teams:
Arizona— 4-0 in home playoff games, 2-8 in road playoff games, 0-1 in Super Bowls.

Atlanta— Hasn’t made playoffs since 2017, year after they blew that 28-3 lead in Super Bowl. 

Carolina— Lost Super Bowl seven years ago; they’re 0-1 in playoff games since then.

Chicago— Last made Super Bowl in 2006; since then, they’re 1-2 in playoff games, with lone win in 2010.

Cleveland— Old Browns became the Baltimore Ravens; the new Browns are 1-2 in playoff games, with lone win in 2020, when Baker Mayfield was their QB.

Denver— Won Super Bowl in 2015 with Peyton Manning; haven’t been in playoffs since.

Detroit— This year will be the 57th Super Bowl; during that time, Lions are 1-12 in playoff games, with lone win 31-6 against the Cowboys in 1991.

In fairness, back in the 50’s, Lions won three NFL titles in a six-year span, but that was before the AFL even existed, way before there was a Super Bowl.

Green Bay— Packers won Super Bowl in 2010; since then, they’re 7-9 in playoff games.

Houston— In their history, Texans are 4-2 in home playoff games, 0-4 on road.

Indianapolis— Haven’t made playoffs since 2018; they’ve won two Super Bowls, in 1970 and 2006.

Las Vegas— Lost Super Bowl in 2002; since then, they’re 0-2 in playoff games. They’ve won three Super Bowls, last of which was in 1983. 

LA Rams— 7-3 in playoffs under Sean McVay, winning Super Bowl last year- they also won a Super Bowl under Dick Vermeil in 1999. 

New England— Bill Belichick is 31-13 in playoff games; his last playoff win was in 2018.

NJ Jets— Lost AFC title game in 2009 and 2010, haven’t been in playoffs since then.

New Orleans— Lost their last three playoff games, all at home.

Pittsburgh— Haven’t won a playoff game since 2016; they’ve won six Super Bowls, last of which was in 2008.

Seattle— From 1985-2004, went 0-5 in playoff games; are 14-11 in playoffs since then.

Tennessee— Lost 20-13/19-16 in playoffs the last two years, which is why they drafted Malik Willis last spring. 

Thursday’s Den: In a perfect world, where I made the decisions……….

 In a perfect world, where I made the decisions……….
— Higher-seeded NFL teams would choose their opponents for playoff games.

Eagles are the #1 seed in the NFC right now; they would get a first round bye, which leaves Minnesota as the #2 seed. They would get the choice of playing the 5-6-7 seed in their first playoff game, then San Francisco would get their choice of the two remaining teams to play.

This would be a tremendous TV show, when teams announce who they choose to play. Great TV means more $$$ and we know NFL owners love $$$.

Second round of the playoffs would be the same thing; #1-seed would get to choose which of the two lowest-remaining teams they’d like to play.

They used to do this in the G-League; we do it in our fantasy baseball league now— it is fun.

— Long time ago, in the early 70’s, NBA had a 1-on-1 tournament; this would be an awesome idea for the offseason, to raise $$$ for the charities of the players’ choice.

Imagine a 64-player bracket, with games on national TV in the summer; it would be excellent. Would be fun to sit in a sportsbook and watch people who bet on these games.

Two players per team would get in, and then you could have fan voting for the last four spots. It would create a lot of interest.

— Major League Baseball has to have a salary floor; we pretty much know there will never be a salary cap, but for the love of God, if you own a big league team and you don’t try to win, why do you own the freakin’ team?!?!?! 

A site called Spotrac estimates that the Mets will wind up paying a luxury tax of $84.2M on next year’s payroll. $84.2M tax on a payroll of $353,900,339. With Carlos Correa’s signing, the salary tax goes up to the $100M level.

Here are the bottom five estimated payrolls in MLB
26) Royals $96,280,809
27) Reds $86,491,989
28) Orioles $81,787,001
29) Pirates $72,965,709
30) A’s $61,930,158

Mets’ payroll TAX will be higher than five teams’ entire payrolls. Awesome.

So let’s suggest a $100M salary floor; you’re not up for that, then sell your team. Competitive balance is what makes the NFL great; baseball could use more of it.

— You know how they have four play-in games at the start of the NCAA Tournament? Those eight teams should all be at-large teams, not conference champs from cruddy conferences. Reward the conference champs by letting them all get to the first Thursday/Friday round.

Let the last teams eight who survive the bubble have to play in Dayton.

— Once a quarterback gets past the line of scrimmage running with the ball, he should lose his special quarterback protection. You see a guy run, then he slides down when he seems a tackler coming, and whines to the ref if he gets touched. You pass the line of scrimmage, you’re just another player.

— With USC/UCLA bolting the Pac-12 for a midwestern league (the Big 16?), Pac-12 will be back to Pac-10, unless they listed to us and add two teams:

UNLV, and either San Diego State/Boise State. BYU would’ve made sense, but they’re bolting to the Big X instead. Adding both San Diego State/Boise State would help the football side a decent amount, but how do you add teams and ignore Las Vegas?

— NFL should scrap Thursday games (except Week 1/Thanksgiving) and go to doubleheaders on Monday nights, that’s the better idea. Amazon Prime could still show a game every week, and the players wouldn’t have to play games on three days’ rest.

— One week every season, NBA games would use the red, white and blue ball the ABA had back in the day; the four former ABA teams that still exist (Pacers, Nuggets, Spurs, Nets) would play each other that week. A good way to honor the sport’s past.

— If I ran an NFL team and we had a good quarterback, I’d let him call plays and use no-huddle offense. Teams have all week to work up a game plan; let Sunday be the players’ day. Think that defenses would have harder time defining trends and they couldn’t substitute as much.

— Baseball should re-align geographically; the five California teams could be in one division, the two New York City teams should be division rivals, it would just be more fun.

Cubs-White Sox, A’s-Giants, Dodgers-Angels would be good division rivalries.

— High school basketball players should be able to jump right from high school to the pros; they used to do this. Lebron James, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant; none of them played in college.

This would help the college game; people would become more familiar with the players who play college ball.

— There are readers out there who just LOVE IT when I talk about politics, so let’s do that for a minute. My idea: once any politician turns 72 years old, he/she cannot run for office again. We need younger people more invested in our government; having 80-year old senators makes zero sense. Who would be against this idea?

— When a college football/basketball coach takes more $$$ and moves up the coaching ladder, his new team should have to play a road game at the coach’s old school, to compensate them for poaching the coach.

Last spring, Shaheen Holloway bolted from Saint Peter’s to Seton Hall; under my plan, Seton Hall would have to come to Jersey City and play a road game against the Peacocks. Big money teams don’t like to play true road games.

— There is absolutely no need for baseball managers/coaches to wear uniforms; let them dress like football coaches, with pullovers/khakis.

— College basketball has no official starting point; they should bring back the 24-hour college basketball marathon that used to be on TV. It was awesome; it was actually 28 or 29 straight hours of college hoop, with a game from Hawai’i at 4am, then small college East Coast games at 6am/8am. Maybe the night before Election Day, so we have a solid TV option instead of results of elections.