Divisional round road teams have a puncher’s chance to win

PFT Live

In 1990, the NFL expanded the playoff field from 10 to 12 teams, resulting in four (not two) teams earning a bye. More often than not, the home team that has had a week off wins. But the road teams still have a chance to get lucky.

For the 29 postseasons since the change was made, the home teams have swept the divisional round eight times. That’s 27.5 percent of the years utilizing the 12-team format. So in 72.5 percent of the years since the current formula was adopted, at least one road team has won in the divisional round.

Specifically, 13 times the home teams have gone 3-1 in the divisional round. Seven times, there has been a split. Once, in 2008, the visiting teams won three of the four games.

In the 10 seasons from 2005 through 2014, the road teams had a remarkably good stretch, winning 16 of 40 games (40 percent). Over the past four postseasons, however, the home teams have gone 13-3 collectively.

All four home teams are favored to win this weekend, as they usually are. In the 30th year of the current format, chances are at least one will lose. One of these years, all four will.

Regardless, the home teams are more likely to feel the pressure. Some could be feeling a little rusty. And one lucky punch early in the contest could turn a potential blowout into a close game, and if the game stays close into the fourth quarter, anything can happen.

39 responses to “Divisional round road teams have a puncher’s chance to win

  1. -packers have no punch. Unless the refs are in on it. Otherwise, they’re frauds.
    -The titans have a Manchild in Henry. Plus, they’re a team that knocked off bellycheat. Nice.
    -the Vikings are historically tied w/the niners. Doesn’t mean anything. Just a pointed out fact. Anyway, people forget that jimmie little “g” hurts himself when playing Minnesota.
    -who was the other two teams playing? Oh well. Doesn’t matter.

  2. There is always the potential for at least one upset….
    This weekend, I see the best chance for an upset being the Titans…

    If they game plan as well a against the Patriot and keep the opposing offense on the sidelines, the Titans will have earned a spot in the AFC game…

    NFC: 49ers vs Packers
    AFC: Chiefs vs Titans

  3. “Puncher’s”chance? Is that a regional thing? I’ve never heard that before in my life (and I’m not exactly young).

    /from the NW

  4. Fact check time. From 1978 to 1989 all 6 division winners had byes and there were 4 wildcards.

  5. Vikings are a dangerous team and deserve their respect but, it’s hard to ask of them to pull off win. Considering short rest and emotional win vs Saints. 9ERS win and 27-17 in hard fought match

    Titans battle hard but don’t have passing threat to upkeep with Baltimore.

    Chiefs beat Texans convincingly

    Packers Seattle matchup is anybody’s guess. Lambeau field in playoffs is tough as they come but Russell Wilson is the only reason why Seattle is considered.

    What’s there to over think and drum up??

  6. At this time it makes little difference to me or The Green Bay Packers who they play next week. Just win today. Ugly is OK.

  7. Maybe this will be the year all the home teams lose. That would be pretty funny. Go road teams.

  8. In 1988 the Vikings had the #1 rated defense and the 9ers slaughtered them. Jerry Burns was on a 3 game winning streak vs Walsh. I think Zimmer is on a mission because he knows his defensive play calls usually remained the same against certain formations. Put a man in motion to clear out an area, then have your RB or TE go into that open area being followed by a LB is usually a completion and when the Vikings corners cover people too long they slow down and look back because they feel the play is done and that’s when they were getting burned for TD’s. Zim is going to have a defense they haven’t seen before, hope it works. Or it could be like that 90 plus yd TD the chiefs got.

    If the defensive line plays well, they slow the 49ers to punt or only a FG on the first couple drives, then keep pressure on the QB.

    Vikings get their run game going, even though they should play action pass first play and try to go deep. And work the short medium passes then take shots they will win.

    If the 49ers easily stop Cook, Mattison then Cousins will return to the sniveling bowl of jelly we all are hoping doesn’t show up but we are afraid will make an appearance. They will win easy.

    Vikings are going to pressure Jimmy G and win

  9. I find it interesting that nobody has brought up the beat down Houston gave KC earlier in this year at Arrowhead. Texans had 200 yards rushing and almost doubled the time of possession. And this whole KC has a defense now narrative is a joke when looking at the offenses they faced the past 2 months. This game is gonna be close.

  10. Even if they slow down our running game, which is doubtful, the Vikings will have no answer for the greatness that is George Kittle. 31-14 Niners.

    I would be happy with playing the Seachickens or the Packers at home next week and watching us destroy either of them to cruise into Miami. Then we can have the dream match-up of hopefully getting revenge on the Ravens for SB XLVII.

  11. 31-24 is a beatdown? Yeah, not so much.

    Oh, and if you’d watched them the last 6 weeks, you would know that the improvement in the Chiefs D is much more than a narrative. They’re for real, but don’t take my word for it.

    Watch it for yourself.

  12. Did you watch the Texans/Chiefs game? 1st downs was 35-20. Outgained by 160 yards. And Houston had scores taken off the board by bad calls. Yes. It was a beat down.

  13. catchanotherpassadams says:
    January 11, 2020 at 9:19 am
    Wilson doesn’t do well at Green Bay. 0-3 will become 0-4. With the running game a non factor, Russ will be looking for a place to hide

    Different HC and a very different ARod those last three games. His passing has deteriorated each of last FOUR years.

    As for the run, plenty successful VS Niners. Sell out to stop it like Eags and bombs away.

    I think Wilson carves out a tough win.

  14. Jimmy G a fraud, only being carried by a Very good defense. Even if thye win today the Ravens will trounce then in the SB.

  15. Typically the home team is the home team because they are the better team. And that typically gets more true the deeper you get in the playoffs as the division winners who were weaker than the wild card teams from the other divisions have been eliminated. I don’t discount the value of home team, but it is not the only variable in play.

  16. AKA: #dangeruss leads the Hawks to a dominant win yet again against the hapless Packers!
    Yet again? Wilson has never won a game in Lambeau.

  17. Each team should play a 15 game on a 17 week schedule giving them 2 bye weeks during the season. 8 home games and 7 away. This would help with players health specially seeing that a lot of the guys are getting hurt toward the end of the season. With that being said, Add two more teams to the playoffs. The two #1 seeds would be the only ones to get the first week off.

  18. Maybe one road team wins this weekend. The easiest place to make that happen is in green bay. Because and I will quote a long time packer fan ” The packers are the most unimpressive 13-3 team I have ever seen.”

  19. Are these calculations adjusted for the Vikings bring their own refs to the games? The Vikings can’t win without help from the refs.

  20. socalbirdfan says:
    January 10, 2020 at 10:46 pm
    Viking beat the overrated 49ers Book it

    Too bad this is the net and not a pub, I’d be happy to “book” that bet

  21. Packers should find some comfort in the Ravens destruction. When the Hawks dismantle Erin and the rest of his boys at least they won’t be the biggest disgrace of the weekend,,, well, aside from like 5 seasons they have been disgraceful every season so I guess that’s not true…

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