Beyond the spin on late-season momentum

January, 11, 2010
1/11/10
9:17
AM ET
Roger Goodell doesn’t like the way things finished in the regular season, with the Colts easing up in their final two games and the Bengals walking through their finale. Those finishes helped get the Jets in to the playoffs.

Those were the big examples, but the league would love to help minimize or erase the possibility for any such thing at the end of the 16-game schedules.

So the NFL is anxious to push the importance of momentum.

Sunday night, one of its public relations people was pushing this via the @NFLfootballinfo Twitter account:

Importance of finishing strong...4 WC winners were 9-3 combined in final 3 weeks of reg season

Such a momentum test comes Saturday night for Indianapolis, which finished 1-2 and hosts Baltimore in the divisional round after enjoying a bye.

But counter point to the league spin from us here @espn_afcsouth:

Unimportance of finishing strong?...4 WC losers were 7-5 combined in final 3 weeks of reg season.

A two-game swing in a 12-game sample is not a big deal to me.

Of the weekend losers, only Cincinnati limped into the playoffs at 1-2. Philly, New England and Green Bay were all 2-1, just like Baltimore, the Jets and Arizona.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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