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. 

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up Week 16 in the NFL

Packers 26, Dolphins 20
— Dolphins lost their last four games, after a 5-0 streak.
— Miami in first half: 6 drives: 26 plays, 229 yards, 20 points.
— Miami in 2nd half: 4 drives: 22 plays, 100 yards, 3 INT’s, no points.
— Last four games, Dolphins are 10-39 on third down.
— Miami leads four teams by game each for last playoff slot.

— Packers won last three games, after a 1-7 skid.
— Green Bay had 12-yard advantage in field position.
— Packers’ last five drives: one TD, three field goals.
— Packers won despite converting only 2-14 on third down.
— Packers led at halftime once in last eight games.

Rams 51, Broncos 14
— Performances like this get head coaches fired.
— Denver lost 10 of their last 12 games (4-7-1 ATS)
— Rams led 31-6 at halftime.
— Broncos scored 16 or fewer points in 11 of 15 games.
— Denver is 0-7 SU in true road games TY; they won game in England.

— Rams scored on every drive (5 TD’s/3 FG’s); they took knee with 0:06 left.
— Rams’ first two TD drives were only 34-11 yards.
— Akers ran ball 23 times for 118 yards, three TD’s.
— Higbee caught nine passes for 94 yards, two TD’s.
— Rams won two of Mayfield’s three starts for them. 

Buccaneers 19, Cardinals 16 OT
— Cardinals led 16-6 with 9:00 left in regulation.
— Tampa Bay tied game on a FG with 2:31 left in regulation.
— 7-8 Buccaneers lead NFC South by a game.
— Tampa Bay is 7-1 allowing less than 20 points, 0-7 giving up 20+.
— Buccaneers are 5-9 ATS last 14 games as road favorite (2-4 TY)

— Cardinals’ last four drives: 20 plays, 71 yards, 2 turnovers, no points.
— McSorley was 24-45/217 passing, in his first NFL start.
— Last three games, Arizona converted 11-45 third down plays.
— Arizona is 1-11 SU when it scores less than 29 points.
— Cardinals lost five in row, nine of their last 11 games SU.

— Since 1950, only two NFL QB’s have started their careers 3-0 with 2+ passing TD’s in each game………49ers’ QB Brock Purdy and Hall of Famer Kurt Warner.

Hawai’i 58, SMU 57
Host Rainbows win Diamond Head Classic on 3-pointer at buzzer.
SMU led by 12 with 14:30 left in game.
Mustangs missed front end of two 1&1’s in last minute.

Utah State 82, Washington State 73
Aggies made 11-17 3-pointers.
Good win for everyone in Mountain West Conference.
Mountain West is 6-5 SU/ATS vs Pac-12 this season.

Creighton 80, DePaul 65
Since 2008, DePaul is 49-222 in Big East conference games.
Bluejays made 16-29 3-point shots in this game.
DePaul scored 55 ppg in its last three games.  

Bengals 22, Patriots 18
— Bengals led this game 22-0 at halftime.
— First half stats: Bengals ran 48 plays for 303 yards.
— First half stats: Patriots ran 15 plays for 60 yards.
— Patriots fumbled on Cincinnati’s 6-yard line with 0:55 left.
— New England missed two PAT’s and a 2-point conversion.

— Patriots’ last eight games: 11 TD’s, 23 FGA’s, 31 3/outs on 88 drives.
— Patriots lost four of their last five games SU.
— Cincinnati won/covered last seven games (12-1 ATS last 13).
— Cincy  is 6-3 SU on road TY, 6-2 ATS as a road favorite.
— Bengals are 14-7 ATS last 21 games as a road favorite.

Vikings 27, Giants 24
— Joseph kicked a 61-yard FG at the gun for the win.
— Vikings scored TD on a 29-yard drive after a blocked punt.
— Vikings won 11 of their last 13 games SU.
— Minnesota is 10-0 when it scores 24+ points, 2-3 when it does not. 
— Despite being 12-3, Vikings have outscored foes only 378-373.

— Giants converted 3-11 on third down, Minnesota 6-13.
— Big Blue outgained Vikings, 445-353.
— Barkley ran for 84 yards (6.0 yards/carry) and a TD.
— Giants are 11-4 ATS this season, 5-1 as a road underdog.
— Giants are 2-5-1 SU last eight games, after a 6-1 start.

Ravens 17, Falcons 9
— Atlanta was in red zone four times, scored only nine points.
— Falcons lost six of last seven games SU, are 0-9 ATS in last nine.
— In 2 games with Ridder, Atlanta scored 2 TD’s on 18 drives, with 4 FG’s.
— Falcons averaged only 3.5 yards/pass play.
— Atlanta is 1-5 SU outdoors this season, scoring 16 ppg.

— Ravens’ only TD came on 70-yard drive near end of first half.
— Baltimore is 9-1 giving up 20 or less points, 1-4 if they give up 20+.
— Last three games, Ravens ran ball for 215-198-184 yards.
— Last four weeks, Ravens converted 16-50 (32%) on 3rd down.
— Baltimore won eight of its last eleven games SU.

Saints 17, Browns 10
— Saints’ winning TD came on 15-yard drive after a 3rd quarter INT.
— This was Saints’ first win in six outdoor games this year.
— Dalton was only 8-15/92 passing for the whole game.
— Saints held last seven opponents under 6.0 yards/pass attempt.
— Seven of last eight New Orleans games stayed under the total.

— Cleveland’s only TD came on a 30-yard drive after an INT.
— Watson’s four games: Browns scored 3 TD’s on 38 drives, with 16 3/outs.
— Cleveland was in red zone three times, scored only 10 points.
— Browns averaged only 3.8 yards/pass attempt.
— Browns are 7-12-1 ATS last 20 games as a home favorite (2-3 TY).

Panthers 37, Lions 23
— Carolina ran for 240 yards in first half, most of any team since 2006.
— Panthers’ first six drives: 42 plays, 428 yards, 31 points.
— You’re reading armadillosports com
— Only nine of Carolina’s 65 plays came on third down.
— Carolina had seven plays of 30+ yards.
— Panthers won four of last six games, covered seven of last nine.

— Lions ran ball 17 times for only 45 yards.
— Carolina ran for 320 yards, averaged 11.4 yards/pass play.
— Panthers outgained Detroit, 570-381.
— Detroit had two empty trips to the red zone.
— Under Campbell, Lions are 10-21-1 SU, 21-10-1 ATS.

Bills 35, Bears 13
— Buffalo ran ball for 254 yards (8.2 yards/carry).
— Bills were 6-11 on 3rd down, Chicago 2-12.
— Buffalo outgained the Bears, 426-209.
— Last five games, Bills converted 32-66 (48.5%) on third down.
— Bills won their last six games, scoring 28.3 ppg.

— Bears were in red zone four times, scored only 13 points.
— Chicago lost eight in row, 11 of last 12 games SU (3-8-1 ATS).
— Last eight games, Chicago gave up 32.6 ppg.
— Opponents scored TD’s on 30 of last 74 drives.
— Over is 9-1-1 in their last eleven games.

Texans 19, Titans 14
— Texans snap their nine-game losing streak.
— Houston outgained the Titans, 285-272.
— Under is 6-3 in Houston’s last nine games.
— With loss, Titans fall behind Jacksonville in AFC South.
— Tennessee scored 19 or less points in nine of last 11 games. 

— Titans turned ball over 3 times, averaged only 3.3 yards/pass attempt.
— Tennessee lost last five games, scoring 16-10-22-14-14 points.
— Henry ran ball for 126 yards and a TD.
— Last five weeks, Titans were outscored 60-28 in second half.
— Titans are 0-5 SU since OC got a DUI coming home from road trip.  

Chiefs 24, Seahawks 10
— Seattle’s first five drives: 20 plays, 22 yards, 1 first down, no points.
— Seahawks were 2-14 on third down, Chiefs 3-11.
— Seattle averaged only 4.8 yards/pass attempt.
— Seattle is 1-5 SU/0-6 ATS in their last six games.
— Geno Smith is 20-28 as an NFL starter.

— Chiefs were in red zone three times, scored three TD’s.
— Chiefs won 10 of last 12 games (5-7 ATS).
— Chiefs have 79 plays of 20+ yards; opponents have 48.
— Kansas City had 9-yard edge in field position.
— Chiefs were held under their team total in 6 of last 8 games.

49ers 37, Commanders 20
— Game was 7-7 at halftime.
— 49ers scored 3 TD’s, 3 FG’s on seven second half drives.
— 49ers outscored last seven opponents 117-37 in second half.
— 49ers are 9-0 when they score 24+ points, 3-4 when they don’t.
— San Francisco won its last eight games (7-1 ATS)

— Former starter Wentz replaced Heinicke at QB late in third quarter,
— Washington was 7-13 on third down, 49ers 4-11.
— Commanders ran for 79 yards, first time since Week 8 they ran for less than 100 yards.
— Washington is 4-1 when it scores 23+ points, 3-6-1 if they don’t.
— Washington is still hanging on to the #7-seed in the NFC. 

Cowboys 40, Eagles 34
— Cowboys are 10-5 ATS last 15 games as home favorite (5-2 TY)
— Dallas is +14 in turnovers in its wins, minus-2 in losses.
— Cowboys won 11 of their last 14 games (9-5 ATS).
— Last eight games, Dallas scored 36 TD’s on 85 drives.
— Dallas is 14-4 ATS last 18 NFC East home games.

— Eagles turned ball over four times (minus-3).
— DeVonta Smith caught eight passes for 112 yards, two TD’s.
— Over is 6-1-1 in last eight Eagle games.
— Under Sirianni, Eagles are 4-7 ATS as an underdog.
— Philly is now 7-1 SU on road this year, 2-6 ATS.

Steelers 13, Raiders 10
— Steelers drove 76 yards, scored game-winning TD with 0:46 left.
— Pittsburgh is 5-2 since its bye week, with +8 turnover ratio.
— Steelers have one turnover (+12) in their wins, 17 (-11) in losses.
— In seven post-bye games, opponents are 26-79 (32.9%) on third down
— Under is 8-3 in their last eleven games.

— Raiders drove 72 yards for a TD on their first drive.
— Rest of game: 39 plays, 109 yards, 7 first downs, 3 points.
— Raiders averaged only 4.3 yards per pass attempt.
— Raiders are 3-7 SU in games decided by 5 or less points, or in OT.
— Raiders have lost five games they led by 7+ points at halftime.

— Pitt QB Kedon Slovis is transferring to BYU; Slovis started his college career at USC.

Middle Tennessee 25, San Diego State 23
Blue Raiders kicked 37-yard FG with 2:05 left for the win.
San Diego State led 14-0 after the first quarter.
Aztecs outgained Middle Tennessee 364-170.
San Diego State turned ball over five times (minus-4)

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.