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Food for thought: NFL playoffs edition

1/4/2011

Notes, stats and nuggets, on this year's postseason.

• A lot is being made of the NFC West winner (the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks) hosting a playoff game. But this season, the team with the “poorer” win-loss record is actually hosting three of the four wild card games. The 10-6 Indianapolis Colts are hosting the 11-5 New York Jets, and the 10-6 Kansas City Chiefs are hosting the 12-4 Baltimore Ravens.

• For the first time since 1991, a pair of 10-6 teams will miss the playoffs -- the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New York and Tampa Bay are the seventh and eighth teams since 1990 (when the current 12-team playoff format began) to win 10 or more games and stay home for the postseason.

• It's the first time that a pair of 10-win teams didn't make the postseason since 1991 (Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers). It doesn't make Tom Coughlin nor Raheem Morris any happier to know that the Giants and Buccaneers combined to beat the Seahawks this season by a 79-22 score.

• Think this is a star-studded playoff field in terms of success? Five NFL franchises have a .600 or better postseason winning percentage. Four of those teams (the Steelers, Ravens, Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots) are in this year’s postseason tournament.

Most Consecutive Postseason Defeats
NFL History

• Dating to 1997, eight teams have reached the Super Bowl without a first-round bye (1997 Broncos, 1999 Titans, 2000 Ravens, 2003 Panthers, 2005 Steelers, 2006 Colts, 2007 Giants and 2008 Cardinals). The Broncos, Ravens, Steelers, Colts and Giants won the Super Bowl in those respective postseasons.

• The Chiefs are making their first playoff appearance since 2006. They've dropped six consecutive postseason games. With a loss to the Ravens this weekend, Kansas City will set a new NFL record for most consecutive postseason setbacks. The Chiefs currently share the mark with six other teams.