Preseason Importance

Think preseason games don't really matter in the whole scheme of things? You may want to think again.

Ask the average football fan the level of importance they place on preseason games and the general answer will fall somewhere between little and nothing.

Ask the the average NFL statistician the same question and the answer may surprise you.

As a barometer of regular-season success, preseason records are a remarkably accurate gauge. In fact, the past 10 Super Bowl champions had a combined 30-12 (.714) preseason record in the year they won the Super Bowl.  Nine of those 10 teams posted .500 or better preseason records.  Last summer, the eventual Super Bowl teams, New England and Carolina, were unbeaten (8-0) in the preseason.

 Preseason success has translated to Super Bowl victories throughout NFL history.  Of the 38 Super Bowl champions, 30 (78.9%) posted a preseason winning percentage of .500 or higher.  Overall, the 38 Super Bowl winners have a combined 115-65-2 (.637) preseason record.

Preseason records of the past 10 Super Bowl Champions:

YEAR

TEAM

 RECORD

 

YEAR

TEAM

 RECORD

2003

New England

4-0

 

1998

Denver

3-1

2002

Tampa Bay

3-1

 

1997

Denver

3-2

2001

New England

3-1

 

1996

Green Bay

3-1

2000

Baltimore

4-0

 

1995

Dallas

2-3

1999

St. Louis

2-2

 

1994

San Francisco

3-1

TOTAL: 30-12 (.714)


Stats aside, NFL coaches have their own reasons for the value of preseason games.

"As a coaching staff, preseason games are an important part of our evaluation process, said Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan. "Not only do they give our veteran players a good opportunity to work together in a game situation, but they give us a great chance to take a look at our rookies and younger players, to see how they respond in a game setting. Any time you can see how a guy responds and how he handles himself in that situation, it helps your evaluation that much more.

"I think the fans get excited about seeing these new players for the first time.  You're seeing guys competing and playing their hearts out to try to earn a spot on the roster."

The Broncos opportunity for preseason success and evaluation takes it's first steps this Monday, Aug. 9th when they face the Washington Redskins in the NFL's annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.


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