December 31, 2007

Bad News for the Cowboys, Colts, Steelers, Jags, Bucs, Giants and Seahawks: Teams that drop their last regular season game almost never win the Super Bowl; the all-time record, in fact, is 34-7 for the future champion, a winning percentage slightly over .829. Over a sixteen game schedule, that would be a little better than a 13-3 record. The exceptions are the 1967 Packers (who dropped their last two games), the '69 Chiefs, '75 Steelers, '88 Niners, '91 Skins, '94 Niners, and the '99 Rams. Of those teams, only the '67 Packers and '88 Frisco lost at home, and only Green Bay, Washington and St. Louis lost to non-playoff teams. The '88 49'ers are the only team to have lost to a team needing a win to make the playoffs.

In all regular season games, the winning percentage for the future Super Bowl winner is .810, or just under 13 wins a season. In other words, the last game of the season is a slightly better indicator of who will win the Super Bowl than, say, any other game of the regular season, but I suspect that differential will be all but wiped out if the Pats run the table undefeated. Happy New Year.

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