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Countdown to Kickoff: Stats and Facts from the NFL

Official release from the NFL

THE NFL... HOPE IS ALIVE!

Every year the NFL is full of excitement and surprise. Take the 2009 season, for example.

Passing records broken...historic rushing milestones reached... the Colts and Saints flirting with perfection...new teams making the playoffs... impact rookies... and it all came down to Week 17 with 17 teams still in Super Bowl XLIV contention!

The 2010 season should be no different.  Every team enters the new year with hope!

"Any time you get a win in this league, it's big," says Indianapolis Colts head coach JIM CALDWELL, whose club opened the 2009 season with a 14-game winning streak.

Last season, six teams - Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans and the New York Jets- made the playoffs that were not in the postseason the year before.  That marked the 14th consecutive season in which at least five teams (out of 12) accomplished the feat.

SEASON

PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON'S PLAYOFFS

1996

5  (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)       

1997

5  (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)

1998

5  (Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)

1999

7  (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)

2000

6  (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)

2001

6  (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)

2002

5  (Atlanta, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)

2003

8  (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)

2004

5  (Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego)

2005

7  (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)

2006

7  (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)

2007

6  (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)

2008

7  (Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)

2009

6  (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)

New Orleans rebounded to win the NFC South after a last-place finish in 2008. This marked the NFL-record seventh consecutive season that a team went from "worst-to-first" in its division. Of the 32 teams to go from "worst-to-first" in NFL annals, 15 of them have done so in the past 10 years (2000-2009).

  

THE NFL IS SO UNPREDICTABLE THAT IN 2009...

 

 

 

 

Nothing exhibits the unpredictability of the NFL more than the tightness of NFL games: 

  • "You only get 16 games and you never know what can happen in the National Football League," saysMonday Night FootballanalystJON GRUDEN. In 2009, 34 percent were decided in the last two minutes or overtime. In 14 percent of the games, apotentialgame-winning/tying drive oractualgame-winning drive reached the red zone with two minutes to go.

Games continued to be this close.  Nearly 65% were within one score in the fourth quarter:

GAMES DECIDED BY ONE SCORE

 

GAMES WITHIN ONE SCORE

AT ANY POINT IN 4TH QUARTER

POINTS

GAMES

PCT.

 

POINTS

GAMES

PCT.

8 or Less

120 of 256

46.9%

 

8 or Less

 166 of 256

64.8%

7 or Less

110 of 256

42.9%

 

7 or Less

 160 of 256

62.5%

3 or Less

54 of 256

21.1%

 

3 or Less

 113 of 256

44.1%

  • There werefive new division winners- Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, New England, and New Orleans - on the heels of the recording-tying six from 2008 (since realignment in 2002).

"It's so funny how things can change in a week in this league," says running back THOMAS JONES of the Kansas City Chiefs.

  • The outstanding competition on the field kept fans tuning in on TV. ESPN, FOX, NBC and NFL Network each had its most-viewed NFL season ever, while CBS had its most-watched season ever with the AFC package.
  • Super Bowl XLIV reached atotal audienceof 153.4 million viewers, making it themost-watched show in U.S. television historyaccording to Nielsen Media Research.

KICKOFF WEEKEND RECORDS OF NFL TEAMS

 

 

 

 

 

   Longest Streaks

 

 

 

 

 

   Longest Streaks

AFC

W

L

T

Pct.

Win

Loss

Current

NFC

W

 L

T

Pct.

Win

Loss

Current

Denver

32

17

1

.653

  4

4

W-3

Dallas

34

15

1

.694

17

5

W-3

Jacksonville

  9

  6

0

.600

  6

3

L-3

N.Y. Giants

48

32

5

.600

  4

3

W-2

San Diego

29

21

0

.580

  6

6

W-1

Chicago

50

35

5

.588

  9

6

L-1

Pittsburgh

39

32

4

.549

  7

3

W-7

Minnesota

28

20

1

.583

  5

3

W-1

Miami

23

20

1

.535

11

5

L-4

Green Bay

50

36

3

.581

  5

6

W-3

Indianapolis

34

31

1

.523

  8

8

W-1

Atlanta

24

20

0

.545

  5

3

W-2

Kansas City

26

24

0

.520

  7

4

L-4

Detroit

42

36

2

.538

10

4

L-2

New England

26

24

0

.520

  6

3

W-6

St. Louis

38

34

0

.528

  5

6

L-3

Tennessee

26

24

0

.520

  4

3

L-1

San Francisco

31

28

1

.525

  5

3

W-1

Oakland

24

26

0

.480

  5

7

L-7

Washington

37

37

4

.500

  6

5

L-2

Cleveland

27

30

0

.474

  5

6

L-5

Philadelphia

31

44

1

.413

  5

9

W-2

Cincinnati

19

23

0

.452

  4

4

L-2

Arizona

35

52

2

.402

  6

7

L-1

N.Y. Jets

22

28

0

.440

  3

5

W-2

Carolina

  6

 9

0

.400

  3

4

L-1

Baltimore

  6

  8

0

.429

  2

4

W-2

Tampa Bay

13

21

0

.382

  3

5

L-4

Buffalo

20

30

0

.400

  6

5

L-1

Seattle

12

22

0

.353

  3

8

W-1

Houston

  3

  5

0

.375

  2

3

L-2

New Orleans

15

28

0

.349

  2

6

W-2


 

  

FROM WORST TO FIRST

Competitive balance in the NFL is so strong that a team going from "worst-to-first" in its division is becoming an annual tradition.  For the seventh consecutive season - an NFL record - at least one team has finished in first place in their division the season after finishing in last place. In fact, out of the 32 teams in NFL annals to go from "worst-to-first," 15 of them have done so in the past 10 years (2000-09), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2006.

One of the teams to make the remarkable turnaround in 2006 did so again in 2009...all the way to a Super Bowl victory. The New Orleans Saints, whose 8-8 record saw them finish last in the NFC South in 2008, improved by five wins en route to a 13-3 record and a division title for the second time in four seasons.  The Saints also became just the third to go from "worst-to-first" and cap the season with a win in the Super Bowl, following the 1999 St. Louis Rams and 2001New England Patriots.

"One of your early goals is to win your division and generally that's the first way to get in the playoffs," says New Orleans Saints head coach SEAN PAYTON.  "So we were pleased with that."

The teams to go from "worst-to-first" in their division since 2000:

SEASON

TEAM

RECORD

PRIOR SEASON RECORD

2000

New Orleans

10-6

3-13

2001

Chicago

13-3

5-11

2001

New England**

11-5

5-11

2003

Carolina

11-5

                   7-9

2003

Kansas City

13-3

8-8*

2004

Atlanta

11-5

5-11

2004

San Diego

12-4

 4-12*

2005

Chicago

11-5

5-11

2005

Tampa Bay

11-5

5-11

2006

Baltimore

13-3

 6-10*

2006

New Orleans

10-6

3-13

2006

Philadelphia

10-6

6-10

2007

Tampa Bay

9-7

4-12

2008

Miami

11-5

1-15

2009

New Orleans**

13-3

                   8-8

* Tied for last place  ** Won Super Bowl

 

  

KICKOFF WEEKEND RECORDS OF NFL HEAD COACHES

AFC HEAD COACHES

NFC HEAD COACHES

Team

Coach

W-L

Team

Coach

W-L

Baltimore

John Harbaugh

2-0

Arizona

Ken Whisenhunt

1-2

Buffalo

Chan Gailey

2-0

Atlanta

Mike Smith

2-0

Cincinnati

Marvin Lewis

2-5

Carolina

John Fox

4-4

Cleveland

Eric Mangini

2-2

Chicago

Lovie Smith

2-4

Denver

Josh McDaniels

1-0

Dallas

Wade Phillips

5-3

Houston

Gary Kubiak

1-3

Detroit

Jim Schwartz

0-1

Indianapolis

Jim Caldwell

1-0

Green Bay

Mike McCarthy

3-1

Jacksonville

Jack Del Rio

3-4

Minnesota

Brad Childress

3-1

Kansas City

Todd Haley

0-1

New Orleans

Sean Payton

3-1

Miami

Tony Sparano

0-2

N.Y. Giants

Tom Coughlin

9-5

New England

Bill Belichick

9-6

Philadelphia

Andy Reid

5-6

N.Y. Jets

Rex Ryan

1-0

St. Louis

Steve Spagnuolo

0-1

Oakland

Tom Cable

0-1

San Francisco

Mike Singletary

1-0

Pittsburgh

Mike Tomlin

3-0

Seattle

Pete Carroll

3-1

San Diego

Norv Turner

5-7

Tampa Bay

Raheem Morris

0-1

Tennessee

Jeff Fisher

9-6

Washington

Mike Shanahan

12-4