By JERRY TAPP
Twelve of the 14 NFL teams that made the playoffs this year will begin the post-season with games this weekend. Fourteen of the league’s 32 teams made the playoffs this year, up from 12 that made the playoffs in recent years. The Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers are the No. 1 seeds in this season-ending tourney and are the favorites to reach this year’s Super Bowl.
Each of these 14 playoff teams played at least four of their 16 regular season games this season against fellow playoff teams. The Chiefs, who had the best record this year at 14-2, played four games against teams that made the playoffs this year, going 4-0.
Here’s a look at the record of the 14 playoff teams in games this season versus other playoff teams on their schedule.
Kansas City, 4-0
Green Bay, 4-2
L.A. Rams, 4-2
New Orleans, 4-2
Tampa Bay, 1-5
Let’s take this stat a little further … here’s a look at how the 18 teams that did not make the playoffs did this season against the 14 teams that did make the playoffs. Notice that the Houston Texans played a league-high 10 of their 16 regular season games this year against teams that eventually made the playoffs. Their record in those 10 games? 0-10.
N.Y. Jets, 2-5
San Francisco, 2-6
L.A. Chargers, 1-4
New England, 1-5
Las Vegas Raiders, 0-7
* Here’s one more quick stat about the upcoming NFL playoffs: The Packers and Chiefs were the only teams to receive a bye in this year’s playoff format as their conference’s #1 seed. Obviously there is a benefit to being the number seed, but that #1 seed does not come with a free pass to the Super Bowl.
Since 2000, there have been 40 #1 seeds (20 each in the AFC and NFC). Of those 40 #1 seeds, only 21 of the 40 reached the Super Bowl that year. And when those 21 #1 seeds did reach the Super Bowl, only seven #1 seeds won the Super Bowl.
* In the last 20 years, at least one #1 seed has made the Super Bowl in 16 of those seasons.
* Since 2000, both #1 seeds played in the Super Bowl in 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.