Super Bowl Super Study

Super BowlEvery NFL season, 32 teams begin a journey with hopes of becoming the Super Bowl champions. Upon the opening kickoff, it seems apparent for a few teams that those super aspirations are merely a pipe dream. Meanwhile, others use the regular season to not only earn a postseason berth but build a resume fit for a Super Bowl champion. Only one of these teams will eventually come to recognize these dreams, going through capable contenders in the process of the postseason journey.

So what’s makes a team fit to become a champion? In January and February 2014, we used a formula that involved the “Four Postseason Factors” to match up the respective teams in each postseason game. Last year, we correctly predicted 10 of the 11 postseason games simply by using those factors. Those factors clearly work when put into the context of a match-up, so this system should provide a strong foundation for future postseasons. We’d be best served analyzing these factors in deeper detail.

One factor we didn’t fully analyze the 2013-14 NFL postseason was the “playoff team precedence.” Therefore, we’re going to do just that over a two-week span. Our very own Adam Dobrowolski first tested the key factors of “precedence” for Cold, Hard Football Facts before the 2012-13 NFL postseason. It was a nice basis to explore, but we definitely need to tweak the process for the study here at TABMathletics. Overall, we came up with 13 key factors for “playoff team precedence” in this Super Bowl Super Study.

Below, we have a list for each of the 13 factors, showing how EVERY Super Bowl team fared in those respective statistical areas. Also, we highlighted the most unlikely Super Bowl teams. This study was originally competed in mid-to-late February 2014.

Part 1: The Home-Away Split
Part 2: Divisional Success
Part 3: Season Starts and Finishes
Part 4: Maximum Losing Streaks
Part 5: Single-Season Improvements
Part 6: Starting Quarterback Experience
Part 7: Success Against Non-Quality Opponents
Part 8: Success Against Playoff Teams
Part 9: Blowout Losses
Part 10: Turnover Margin per Game
Part 11: Point Differential per Game
Part 12: Passer Rating Differential
Part 13: Yards per Play Differential
Bonus: The Most Unlikely Super Bowl Teams