Brads’ Breakdown: 26 key stats for the NFL Playoffs

By Alan Brads

Michigan, Pete Carroll, Nick Saban, Bill Belichick.

What a week in football.

But the fun has only just begun with wildcard weekend around the corner.

The NFL’s format gives us enough consistency to find trends and stats to predict how things might go down between now and Super Bowl Sunday. 

For example, before you pick Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce to usher in another Super Bowl era, did you know no team has won back-to-back Super Bowls since 2004? The defending champs have a target on their back, but if anyone can shake it off and prevent a cruel summer for their fanbase, it would be Mahomes & Co.

Before we take the plunge into facts and stats, here’s a reminder of the matchups and schedule for Wildcard Weekend

#2 Cowboys vs. #7 Packers

#3 Lions vs. #6 Rams

#4 Buccaneers vs. #5 Eagles

#2 Bills vs. #7 Steelers

#3 Chiefs vs. #6 Dolphins

#4 Texans vs. #5 Browns

Top seeded 49ers and Ravens get byes in the first round.

And now here are 26 stats that every fan, whether a diehard or a Swiftie, needs to know.

  1. 7 seeds are 0-6 all-time in the playoffs
  2. 7 seeds lost their past 6 games by an average of 12.2 points. The average margin of victory for a regular season NFL game is 11.3 points
  3. At least one wildcard has won a playoff game every year since 2016
  4. 6 seeds are 14-6 in wildcard weekend over the last ten years
  5. The last seven Super Bowl winners each had a scoring offense in the top six. This year, that would include the Cowboys, Dolphins, 49ers, Ravens, Lions and Bills.
  6. The last 15 Super Bowl champions each had a positive or even turnover differential. This year’s Chiefs, Eagles, Browns and Rams are in the red.
  7. Since expanding the playoffs to six teams, 1 seeds met in only 8 out of 33 Super Bowls.
  8. Of 49 possible Super Bowl matchups, 11 would be Super Bowl rematches. The Cowboys and Steelers could play in their fourth Super Bowl.
  9. Of the last 50 Super Bowl losers, only one team came back to win the Super Bowl the next year. The Eagles are this year’s reigning Super Bowl losers.
  10. Only two of the last 16 Super Bowl Winners had a losing record in the preseason. This year’s Cowboys, Eagles, Rams, Browns and Dolphins all finished the preseason below .500.
  11. Just one of the last 23 NFL MVPs won the Super Bowl (Mahomes 2022). Lamar Jackson is the heavy favorite to win league MVP.
  12. The Dolphins went 1-5 against playoff teams, and finished those games with an average score of an 18-33 loss.
  13. The Steelers are 1-10 when TJ Watt doesn’t play since drafting him. Watt will miss at least one game, likely more, for an injury.
  14. The Lions are 8-1 this year when Jared Goff doesn’t throw an interception.
  15. 11,694 days have passed since the Lions last won a playoff game (1992). Detroit is favored by 3.5 points over the Rams.
  16. The 49ers are 7-0 when Deebo Samuel records three rush attempts
  17. The 49ers are 2-3 when Brock Purdy attempts 30+ passes.
  18. The Steelers are 6-1 when they force 2+ turnovers.
  19. The Packers are 9-1 in their last 10 meetings with the Cowboys.
  20. The Dolphins have lost their last 10 games played in <40 degree weather. The wind chill in Kansas City could reach -30 degrees on Saturday night.
  21. The Chiefs are 7-1 when Patrick Mahomes takes fewer than five hits. The Dolphins will play without starting edge rushers Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb.
  22. The Dolphins are 9-0 when Tyreek Hill records 90+ receiving yards, and 1-6 when he records fewer.
  23. The Cowboys are 9-1 when CeeDee Lamb scores a TD and 3-4 when he doesn’t.
  24. Jaire Alexander, who will guard Lamb on Sunday, has allowed 4 TDs in his last 23 starts.
  25. The Bills are 9-3 when Josh Allen has one or fewer turnovers, and 2-3 when he has two or more.
  26. Rookie quarterbacks are 11-20 in the playoffs. CJ Stroud is the only rookie starter this year. No rookie QB has ever made it to the Super Bowl.

 Alan Brads is a senior journalism student and sports editor for Cedars. He enjoys playing the drums, speaking Spanish and watching Buckeye football like his life depends on it.

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