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Stats: Compelling but not indicative

Numbers tend to lie, but that won't stop us from crunching them to predict the outcome of the playoffs.

Updated: January 2, 2004, 12:03 PM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

Numbers, of course, can lie. Still, certain truths can be found in the long columns of digits the NFL produces each season.

In the interest of public service, we offer the following number, courtesy of Steve Hirdt, executive vice president of the Elias Sports Bureau: 6.

In the 25 years since the bye was instituted in the NFL playoffs, only six teams that played in the first round advanced to the Super Bowl. That means New England, Kansas City, Philadelphia and St. Louis -- who ...

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