Week 1 Win Equals Long-Term Success
Finally, we're "back to football." There has been much speculation leading into this past weekend's games as to which teams will make the playoffs, win their division, and win the Super Bowl. Now with Kickoff Weekend under our belt we can take a look at the first true litmus test of the entire league's chances for the postseason.
Since 1978 when the NFL went to a 16-game schedule (not including the strike-shortened '82 season) 251 of the 474 teams which won their opener went to the playoffs. A total of 147 of those teams actually won their division. Conversely, of the 474 teams who lost the first game of the season only 106 advanced to the playoffs and a mere 63 won their division.
There is a popular saying that "one game does not make a season," but analyzing the Kickoff Weekend efforts of all NFL teams seems to prove otherwise.
How about all the Super Bowl teams? How many of them won their season-opener? Let's take a look both teams that made it to the yearly big game.
|Super Bowl||Winner||Opener Result||Loser||Opener Result|
|I||Green Bay||win||Kansas City||win|
|XXIX||San Francisco||win||San Diego||win|
|XXXI||Green Bay||win||New England||loss|
|XXXVI||New England||loss||St. Louis||win|
|XLII||N.Y Giants||loss||New England||win|
When looking at the numbers it is quite evident if you want to make it to the Super Bowl, you want to win the first game of the season. Of the 45 Super Bowl winners, only seven lost in Week One. Interestingly, one less or six of all the Super Bowl runners-up lost the first game of the season.
Airing it out
Kickoff Weekend 2011 also set a new bar in terms of passing yardage. There was a total of 8,419 gross passing yards logged by all 32 NFL teams during this past weekend's action which represents an all-time high for any single week in NFL history.
NFL offenses have become more and more pass oriented since the league was founded in 1920. Anyone can easily see proof of that by looking at the total yards compiled by all teams each decade.
Go back to all blog listings