Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Best Post-Season Team In The Superbowl Era!

Well, another NFL Season has come and gone and save for the Superbowl there's not much to do this week. But fear not turf-loving brothers and sisters!! Our Boredom = Your Knowledge! We got to wondering, "Who is the greatest post-season NFL team of the Superbowl Era?" Of course, while millions of armchair coaches have contemplated this question, none have ever bothered to answer it with more than a beery, "MY TEAM!!" So we got out our trusty slide rule, a piece of string and a box of paperclips and set ourselves to task! (Hold onto your vodka kids, this is gonna be a long one!)

After some thought we came to the conclusion that the laurels would rest on three statistics:
1 - percentage of post-season games played
2 - post-season depth
3 - post-season win/loss record.

Post Season Appearance Percentage:
This is simply a percentage of how many post-season games a team has played versus the amount of post-season games they could have actually played in. Most NFL teams have been around since Superbowl I and could have played in 167 post-season games. This includes all wildcard, divisional and conference championship rounds, and of course, the Superbowls. The Following table uses the following abbreviations:

PPSG = possible post-season games
APSG = actual post-season games played
PSG% = percentage of post-season games played
Rnk = Ranking of teams by percentage

Note: Some teams have bounced around the league a bit so I used the NFL's rule of thumb for stats. The Raiders, Rams, Cardinals and Colts retain all stats played under their respective team name regardless of city. The Browns retain all stats from Cleveland and the Titans retain all stats from the Houston Oilers. The Ravens and Texans start fresh from when they entered the league. Also, the Packers and Steelers have not yet played in SB 45, so each teams stats includes a loss for that game. I checked the numbers, giving each team a preliminary win, and it doesn't really move them up or down in any category. After the game, I'll edit the stats to reflect the winner.


Team Seasons PPSG APSG PSG% Rnk
DAL Cowboys451675834.73%1
PIT Steelers451675231.14%2
MIN Vikings451674526.95%3
OAK Raiders451674325.60%4
SF 49ers451674225.15%5
BAL Ravens15601525.00%6
MIA Dolphins451673923.40%7
STL Rams451673621.56%8
IND Colts451673621.56%8
GB Packers451673520.96%10
PHI Eagles451673420.36%11
NE Patriots451673420.36%11
WAS Redskins451673319.76%13
DEN Broncos451673219.16%14
TEN Titans451673017.96%15
JAC Jaguars16641117.19%16
NY Giants451672716.17%17
CAR Panthers16641015.63%18
BUF Bills451672615.57%19
NY Jets451672514.97%20
CHI Bears451672313.77%21
SEA Seahawks351381913.76%22
CLE Browns421552012.90%23
SD Chargers451672112.58%24
KC Chiefs451672112.50%25
TB Buccaneers351381510.87%26
ATL Falcons451671609.58%27
CIN Bengals431621408.64%28
NO Saints441651207.27%29
DET Lions451671005.99%30
ARI Cardinals451671005.99%30
HOU Texans936000.00%32

Who's amazing? Well, clearly Dallas and Pittsburgh shine here with over 50 post-season appearances apiece but what really caught my eye was the Baltimore Ravens… while they only have 15 appearances, that's out of 60 possible games!! That's a better percentage than New England or Green Bay! But then look at San Francisco in fifth place… behind Minnesota and Oakland? Seriously? Well, that's why we have the other categories…

Depth:
Depth is calculated by adding the points for each post-season win or loss, by round, and dividing that number by the total post-season games played. Essentially, depth reflects how far a team goes once it makes the playoffs. For teams with a full 45 seasons, the depth score tops out at around 3.61. This is due to the first 12 years of the NFL having less than four post-season rounds.

The following table shows post-season games played, (PSPG), depth score, number of byes, wildcard wins, divisional wins, conference championship wins, superbowl wins, post-season losses and depth ranking. Points are scored as follows: bye (2), wilcard (2), divisional (3), conference (4), Superbowl (5) and loss (1). Byes score the same as wildcard wins because that's essentially what they are.

Team PSGP Depth Bye Wild Div CC SB Loss Rnk
SF 49ers423.071241255161
PIT Steelers523.041241586192
DEN Broncos322.9191862153
NE Patriots342.8583763154
NY Giants272.7455443115
CHI Bears232.7492521135
DAL Cowboys582.67951585257
WAS Redskins332.6146653138
OAK Raiders432.53551253189
CAR Panthers102.5022310410
GB Packers352.49376531411
TB Buccaneers152.4741311912
BUF Bills262.42635401413
MIA Dolphins392.41667521914
NO Saints122.3321211715
BAL Ravens152.3315311515
STL Rams362.31729312117
SD Chargers212.29644101218
IND Colts362.28546422019
ATL Falcons162.12432101020
CIN Bengals142.0721220921
MIN Vikings452.07669402621
CLE Browns202.05515001423
KC Chiefs212.05322211423
PHI Eagles342.03576201925
NY Jets251.92164111326
JAC Jaguars111.9114200527
TEN Titans301.87474101828
SEA Seahawks191.84252101129
ARI Cardinals101.8003110530
DET Lions101.6020100931
Hou Texans00.0000000032

Now that looks a little more like a list of World Champions. Granted Dallas falls to seventh because even though they have five Rings, they also have 25 post-season losses which really hurts their depth score. But don't worry, we still have one more category…

Wins and Losses:
The last category is a simple percentage of post-season wins and losses. I don't think that needs much more explanation, so here we go…

Team PSGP PSGW PSGW% Rnk
BAL Ravens151066.67%1
PIT Steelers523363.46%2
SF 49ers422661.90%3
WAS Redskins332060.61%4
CAR Panthers10660.00%5
GB Packers352160.00%5
NY Giants271659.26%7
OAK Raiders432558.14%8
DAL Cowboys583356.90%9
NE Patriots341955.88%10
JAC Jaguars11654.55%11
DEN Broncos321753.12%12
MIA Dolphins392051.28%13
ARI Cardinals10550.00%14
NY Jets251248.00%15
BUF Bills261246.15%16
IND Colts361644.44%17
PHI Eagles341544.12%18
CHI Bears231043.48%19
SD Chargers21942.86%20
MIN Vikings451942.22%21
SEA Seahawks19842.11%22
NO Saints12541.67%23
STL Rams361541.67%23
TB Buccaneers15640.00%25
TEN Titans301240.00%25
ATL Falcons16637.50%27
CIN Bengals14535.71%28
KC Chiefs21733.33%29
CLE Browns20630.00%30
DET Lions10110.00%31
HOU Texans0000.00%32

So, now that we've ranked our teams by categories, all we need to do is average those rankings for an overall score and see just who is the best post-season NFL team in the Superbowl Era!

OA Avg Team PSA Depth W/L
102.00PIT Steelers222
203.00SF 49ers513
305.67DAL Cowboys179
407.00OAK Raiders498
507.33BAL Ravens6151
608.33NE Patriots11410

08.33WAS Redskins1384
808.67GB Packers10115
909.67DEN Broncos14312

09.67NY Giants1757
1111.00CAR Panthers18105
1211.33MIA Dolphins71413
1314.67IND Colts81917
1415.00CHI Bears21519

15.00MIN Vikings32121
1616.00BUF Bills191316

16.00STL Rams81723
1818.00JAC Jaguars162711

18.00PHI Eagles112518
2020.33NY Jets202615
2120.67SD Chargers241820
2221.00TB Buccaneers261225
2322.33NO Saints291523
2422.67TEN Titans152825
2524.33SEA Seahawks222922
2624.67ARI Cardinals303014

24.67ATL Falcons272027
2825.33CLE Browns232330
2925.67CIN Bengals282128

25.67KC Chiefs252329
3130.67DET Lions303131
3232.00HOU Texans323232

And there you have it! Is our reasoning sound? Pittsburgh, with six World Championships and another possibly on the way, places at the top followed by the two teams with five WC's. San Fran over Dallas? Yep, they're undefeated in the Superbowl and they got their five rings in less games than the Cowboys. The Raiders in fourth? Damn right! They have three rings and have been to a quarter of the post-season games they could have played in and they won 58% of those! Baltimore in fifth? One ring and an amazing 67% W/L record in the playoffs in just 15 years!

About the only surprise we found was that the Detroit Lions were not the team in last place. That spot goes to the Houston Texans who have never made a post-season appearance, but take heart Texans fans… it took some teams over twenty years to reach the post season, (SF and NO come to mind,) and you guys have only been at it for nine!

So, questions? Comments? Advice on the numbers? Be our guest and rattle off a comment! We'd love to hear from you!

-M Styborski

2 comments:

termite said...

nothing much to add - but that i'm only pulling for the steelers coz of you.

the end.

:)

M Styborski said...

Yay Miss Termite!! Glad to have you on board. (I won't tell Maitre!)