Let’s Put a Bow on it…

To keep (any) integrity with picking/predicting, one should reflect on passed selections.  For my season predictions, I went through the entire schedule grid for each team, picking each winner thus counting it as a loss for those other teams that, well, lost.  In doing so I correctly selected 10 of the 14 playoff participants.  I missed three in the AFC: Pittsburgh; Cincinnati; Las Vegas.  I only missed one in the NFC: Philadelphia.

As for the Super Bowl, I had Cincinnati finishing last in the AFC North with a record of 4-13.  The Los Angeles Rams were picked to go 9-8, get the 6th seed and lose to the 3rd seeded Packers at Lambeau Field in the Wild Card round. 

Speaking of those Green Bay Packers, I missed their overall record by 1 game, concluding 12-5 (instead of 13-4, although if needed, they likely win Week 18 and go 14-3).  I missed by 2 seeds.  The odd thing is I did have them losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round- had I gone back and looked prior to the matchup, I still likely pick the Packers in my weekly pick, but that’s a pretty close hit.

All in all, I fared better than I initially thought once the playoffs commenced and especially once the Super Bowl match up was determined.

Reags | Barstool Sports

I’ve been close before on picking Super Bowl participants, but this year was filled with much parody – it’s resulted in us living in a world where “Going For It” or “All In” carries more weight than every before…oh, and Matthew Stafford is now a Super Bowl Champion.  Very odd.

Typical “Strength” of a Super Bowl Champion

What does the typical Super Bowl champion resemble?  Let’s take a dive into what it takes to win a World Championship.  Since the NFL has 2 to 3 different timelines, let’s use the most-recent one; Free Agency (1993 season). 

What happened to the NFL's Super Bowl logo?
YearSB ChampionOffDefPt. Diff.Seed
1993Dallas Cowboys2221
1994San Francisco 49ers1611
1995Dallas Cowboys-23321
1996Green Bay Packers1111
1997Denver Broncos1614
1998Denver Broncos-22821
1999St. Louis Rams1411
2000Baltimore Ravens14124
2001New England Patriots6672
2002Tampa Bay Buccaneers18122
2003New England Patriots-212112
2004New England Patriots-34212
2005Pittsburgh Steelers9452
2006Indianapolis Colts32393
2007New York Giants1417135
2008Pittsburgh Steelers-220152
2009New Orleans Saints12011
2010Green Bay Packers-210226
2011New York Giants-2925194
2012Baltimore Ravens-21012114
2013Seattle Seahawks9121
2014New England Patriots-44811
2015Denver Broncos-3194101
2016New England Patriots-53111
2017Philadelphia Eagles3411
2018New England Patriots-64752
2019Kansas City Chiefs5742
2020Tampa Bay Buccaneers-23845

Since the beginning of the 1993 NFL season, the eventual Super Bowl Champion has ranked 7th in scoring offense, 7th in scoring defense, 4th in point differential, and has had an average postseason seed of 2nd – a bye.

Including this season, 70% of Super Bowl champions had a bye from the wild car round, which makes sense for two reasons: 1. Better teams earn a bye; 2. A full game less chance to be eliminated.

Again, the most indicative ranking of team strength is the point differential ranking; 4th.  Including the 2021 season, 66% of eventual champions, or roughly 2 of every 3 are ranked 4th or better. 

Aaron Rodgers' surprising request as he looks to win another Super Bowl |  Marca
Clay Matthews and Aaron Rodgers celebrate their only Super Bowl victory on Feb. 6, 2011.

How does Green Bay compare?  The Packers have ranked 7th or better in scoring offense 18 times.  The defense has ranked 7th or better on eight occurrences since 1993.  The opportunities have been there for the Packers to capitalize on their True Team Strength, yet this has led to heartbreak after countless heartbreak.  Green Bay has lost on the final play in the postseason 8 times since the 1998.

What does this all mean?  The Packers have had a “good enough” defense to win more than 2 Super Bowls in this time frame, assuming Quarterback is as important as everyone says it is – meaning either the Quarterbacks Green Bay has had since 1993 aren’t nearly as good as many have claimed OR the position really isn’t that important.  It can’t be both, or can it?