Tuesday, January 10, 2012

NFL: Home games in the divisional round

Over on profootballtalk.nbcsports.com, Florio posted this article about how home field in the divisional round is no longer a lock for a win. He points out that, since 2005, home teams in the divisional round of the playoffs are 12-12.

But he picked 2005 advisedly—the trend prior to that year is very much the home teams winning. In fact, if you look at the win-loss totals by 5 year periods, they are (with the exception of the early 1990s and late 2000s) fairly consistent:

YearsHome WinsHome Losses%
1970-197415 575%
1975-197912 860%
1980-198413 765%
1985-198915 575%
1990-199418 290%
1995-199915 575%
2000-200416 480%

You can see there's been a fair amount of variation—the late 70s came very close to a 50% win rate for the home team as well, and in the early 90s, the home team had a virtual lock in the divisional round.

The WL totals for all home teams in the divisional rounds since 1970 (and including the 2010 games) is 116-48 (70.7%).