Good Thing Momentum Going Into the Playoffs Means Nothing

20
Joe Flacco is No. 1

Joe Flacco is No. 1

The one thing we will agree with Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy about is that it’s a new season. With the playoffs beginning, the previous 16 games don’t matter.

All that matters is if you’re in or out.

That’s really the biggest positive the Green Bay Packers have going for them after limping to the finish line.

After starting 6-0, the Packers finished the season 4-6. They were 3-3 in the final six games.

Nobody is picking the Packers to do anything in the playoffs. At least, no one who’s seen them play recently, but that’s thing.

It isn’t about being hot coming into the playoffs, despite what every analyst would have you believe. It’s about getting hot (or staying hot) once you’re there.

Seven times since 2003, teams that were 3-3 or 2-4 in their final six regular season games made the Super Bowl. Five of them won the game. One of those was the 2010 Packers.

Here’s the list.

Year Team Seed W-L W-L ATS
2003 Carolina 3 3-3 1-5
2006 Indianapolis 3 3-3 2-4
2007 Giants 5 3-3 4-2
2008 Arizona 4 2-4 2-4
2010 Green Bay 6 3-3 3-3
2011 Giants 4 3-3 4-2
2012 Baltimore 4 2-4 2-4

The five winners in there are Indianapolis, the Giants, Green Bay, the Giants and Baltimore.

So in a 12-season sample size, more than half of those seasons ended with a team that limped into the playoffs playing in the Super Bowl. And in nearly half of those 12 seasons, the Super Bowl winner was a team that wasn’t very good down the stretch.

The Big Lead came up with a formula to determine how teams that were “hot” coming into the playoffs fared versus how teams who were “cold” fared.

The cold teams actually fared better overall.

COLD TEAMS (24 total): 26-21 in the playoffs, 30-17 ATS, 5 Super Bowl Appearances, 3 Titles

HOT TEAMS (23 total): 22-21 in the playoffs, 16-26-1 ATS, 3 Super Bowl Appearances, 2 Titles

Do this year’s Green Bay Packers have a shot? They certainly don’t pass the eye test, but history seems to suggest they do.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

20 Comments on "Good Thing Momentum Going Into the Playoffs Means Nothing"

  1. PackAttack

    The only team without a shot to win in the NFL Playoffs is the Minnesota Vikings.

    It’s amazing how fucking bad Minnesota is especially offensively. When it takes an absolutely epic meltdown from Green Bay to barely win the NFC North — you know youre that fucking bad. A good team would have blown the Packers out by 20 last Sunday, instead the Vikes took it down to the last second thanks to their finely tuned offense.

    Teddy Bridgewater might be the worst starting QB in the NFL today. He has no arm strength, he’s not a precision passer, he can’t run, he makes bad decisions (like throwing the ball left-handed) but hey — at least he doesn’t get charged with domestic assault on 4-year olds, that’s about as much as you can say for him. Seattle is going to absolutely destroy him (again) this weekend and all you’ll hear all winter/spring is how the Vikings won the NFC North crown. As if anyone will be intimated by Teddy and the 33 yr old AP next season — if anyone thinks the Division runs anywhere but through Green Bay in 2016 you’re delusional.

    • MMK

      I said essentially the same thing about Teddy in another thread and was dismissed. I agree, their offense is terrible. If they don’t sort out a real QB in this short window they have before AP is gone they will be back in the toilet.

  2. ay hombre

    I would like to see the same statistical analysis of teams that have lost two straight coming in. I bet the outlook wouldn’t be quite so rosy.

  3. shawn

    I agree that I don’t think momentum means a lot. However, those stats include division winners who didn’t have a lot to play for in the final weeks and wildcard teams that werent’ very good but got in thanks to a winning streak right at the end of the year.
    The division winners beat the wildcard teams in the playoffs, and thus, the “cold” teams beat the “hot” ones.
    Unfortunately for the Packers, they are the worst of both worlds. They are just a wildcard team that is cold on top of it.

  4. PF4L

    Want proof McCarthy is a fool?

    “They’re very good and we played poor,” McCarthy said after the game. “It starts with me. When a team plays poorly, the head coach is poor. But with that, it’s a 15-game season up to this point. We have the opportunity to play a division opponent in Minnesota, and we’ll go out and win the game.

    #38 written by PF4L
    12/28/2015 – 9:43 pm
    REPLYQUOTE
    Getting back to the topic, as i watched his presser, i thought he was crazy for saying that, especially considering the beat down that just happened. His guarantee of a win is curious, what’s the payoff to say that? If they win, then it’s just a win against the Vikings at home, if they lose he looks like a total fool. Which i’m starting to think is a serious possibility.

  5. jtmax

    Bottom line is alot of these teams have talent but struggle with injuries until the playoff. A team can get very good quickly by simply getting healthy. If our Oline can get healthy then we have a chance

  6. The only team that may be close to a comparison is the Ravens. Even though they were division winners they lost 4 out of their last 5 regular season games. That is about as cold as you can get. The Raven D was about like the current Pack D, however the Raven O was performing at a higher level.

    At this point all you can hope for is to win the next game no matter how ugly the win may appear. That is the only way you get hot in the playoffs. GO PACK!!

  7. jtmax

    AR needs to score in the redzone. He tends to hold on to the ball forever and get sacked there or not see wide open receivers.

    • icebowl

      Yup – Redzone scoring has been a problem for most of the season ….

      Opponents D-coordinators have figured this boring shit out …

      Typical GB first and goal ..

      Play 1 – Hand-off to Lacy up the middle
      Play 2 – Hand-off to Lacy sweep
      Play 3 – Pass Play – empty backfield
      Play 4 – FG or Pass Play – corner of endzone

Comments are closed.