Friday, January 20, 2012

NFL: Home games in the Championship round

I did the records of all home teams in the divisional round of the playoffs since 1970, so here is the corresponding table for the Conference Championship round:

YearsHome WinsHome Losses%
  • It may look like there's a lot of 6-4 and 5-5 records in the list, but the overall total is 54-26 (67.5%), which is only a few points lower than for the Divisional round.

  • There's only been two seasons (1992 and 1997) where both home teams lost in the Championship round.

  • Both home teams have won in the Championship round 16 times; the last time was 2009 (that was also the last time both #1 seeds advanced to the Super Bowl).

  • The 9 year period from 1997 to 2005 (inclusive) is the longest stretch (so far) where at least one home team lost in the Championship round.

  • Super Bowls are played (for the most part) on neutral fields. And while one team is designated the "home team" for various rule purposes (the coin flip, choice of jerseys, etc.), you can see from the "home teams" record (20-25) that this designation confers no special benefit.

  • The closest occurrence to a true "home team" in the Super Bowl came in Super Bowl XIV, when the (then) Los Angeles Rams faced the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game was in the Rose Bowl, just 15 miles from the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Rams' home stadium at the time. The Rams lost, 19-31.