Sunday, January 16, 2011

Upset Special, How Significant was it?

The first sub-.500 team ever to be in the NFL playoffs, The Seattle Seahawks beat the defending Super Bowl Champions, The New Orlean Saints Sunday. Besides from this being yet another playoff upset in the NFL how big was this?

After 44 Super Bowl, and all 44 reigning Super Bowl champions' next season being completely determined, it is more likely that the reigning Super Bowl champion completely miss the playoffs then lose in the first round of next year's playoffs. 15 reigning Super Bowl champions have missed the playoffs completely, while only eight have lost in the first round they played in.
Remember, the wildcard was not invented until 1970, and some of these teams that lost in the first round of the playoffs lost in the divisional playoff round because they clinched a first round bye.
There have been eight repeat Super Bowl champions in NFL history, the Packers, the Dolphins, the Steelers, the Steelers again, the 49ers, the Cowboys, the Broncos, and the Patriots. This ties the amount of reigning champions to lose in the first playoff game they play in. So the reigning Super Bowl champion has the same chance at repeating a Super Bowl victory as losing in their first game of the playoffs.

Neither the Saints nor the Seahawks are new to beating a defending Super Bowl champion, they have both done it before this year, the Seahawks to the Raiders in 1985, and the Saints to the Rams in 2000.
Next, There have only been five wild card teams to win the Super Bowl, the Raiders, the Broncos, the Ravens, the Steelers, and the Giants. Three of those five teams have won in the past decade (2000, 2005, and 2007).
Also, The Seahawks are the worst team ever to make the NFL playoffs, with a final regular season record of 7-9. Today, they face the Chicago Bears, and they have a chance at becoming one step closer to a Super Bowl.
If the Seahawks win today, they will face the Packers, and they will have home field advantage in the NFC Championship.

So, will the Seahawks continue to make NFL history, or will they become just another banner in a stadium?

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