NFL Kickoff 2004

<b>THE NFL? UNPREDICTABLE!</b> When it comes to predicting playoff teams in the National Football League, the proposition can be downright impossible. Eighteen different teams have played in conference championships since 1997.

Every Sunday you get great games, says Atlanta Falcons head coach Jim Mora. Everything is so close. Its crazy to be involved in this. Three of the past four Super Bowl champions had never won the game before, and three of them weren't even in the playoffs the year before. You never know in this league, says Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre.

NFL KICKOFF 2004 SCHEDULE THURSDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 12-13 (All times local PM)

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
Indianapolis at New England (Thurs., 9:00) Detroit at Chicago (12:00)
Jacksonville at Buffalo (1:00) Seattle at New Orleans (12:00)
Baltimore at Cleveland (1:00) Arizona at St. Louis (12:00)
San Diego at Houston (12:00) Tampa Bay at Washington (1:00)
Tennessee at Miami (1:00) Dallas at Minnesota (3:15)
Cincinnati at N.Y. Jets (1:00) N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia (4:15)
Oakland at Pittsburgh (1:00) Atlanta at San Francisco (1:15)
Kansas City at Denver (6:30) Green Bay at Carolina (Mon., 9:00)
 

THE NFL? UNPREDICTABLE! When it comes to predicting playoff teams in the National Football League, the proposition can be downright impossible. Eighteen different teams have played in conference championships since 1997. Every Sunday you get great games, says Atlanta Falcons head coach JIM MORA. Everything is so close. Its crazy to be involved in this. Three of the past four Super Bowl champions had never won the game before, and three of them weren't even in the playoffs the year before. You never know in this league, says Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre.

BREAKDOWN OF PAST FOUR SUPER BOWLS

SUPER BOWL SUPER BOWL TEAMS PREVIOUS SEASONS RECORD
XXXV Baltimore defeats N.Y. Giants Baltimore 8-8*; N.Y. Giants 7-9
XXXVI New England defeats St. Louis New England 5-11*; St. Louis 10-6
XXXVII Tampa Bay defeats Oakland Tampa Bay 9-7; Oakland 10-6
XXXVIII New England defeats Carolina New England 9-7*; Carolina 7-9*
 

*Missed playoffs the year before THE NFL IS SO UNPREDICTABLE THAT IN 2003

Thirteen teams won at least 10 games, the most ever to do so in a season in NFL history. 

Eight teams made the playoffs that were not in the playoffs the year before, the seventh consecutive season in which at least five teams (out of 12) accomplished the feat. 

One division the NFC West had its eighth new division champion (St. Louis) in the past eight seasons. There were 23 games that went into overtime (second-most all-time), a year after the record of 25 overtime games was set in 2002. Almost half the games (48 percent) were decided by seven points or less, and almost a quarter (23 percent) were decided by three points or less. Twenty-two percent of NFL games were decided in the last two minutes or in overtime. Since 1978, when the NFL went to a 16-game schedule, and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, teams that are victorious on Kickoff Weekend are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game:

Of the 362 teams which won openers188 went to the playoffs (103 won division titles)

Of the 362 teams which lost openers 88 went to the playoffs (50 won division titles)

In 2003, six of the 12 playoff teams Carolina, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Seattle and Tennessee -- were victorious on Kickoff Weekend. 

OPENING GAME RECORDS OF NFL TEAMS

Longest Streaks Longest Streaks
AFC W L T Pct. Win Loss Current NFC W L T Pct. Win Loss Current
Houston 2 0 0 1.00 2 0 W-2 Dallas 30 13 1 .698 17 4 L-4
Jacksonville 6 3 0 .667 6 2 L-2 N.Y. Giants 40 27 4 .597 5 3 W-1
Denver 28 15 1 .651 5 4 W-3 Chicago 40 30 1 .571 9 7 L-1
Miami 22 15 1 .595 11 6 L-1 Minnesota 24 18 1 .571 6 3 W-1
San Diego 25 19 0 .568 6 7 L-1 St. Louis 36 30 0 .545 5 7 L-2
Kansas City 25 19 0 .568 8 4 W-2 Green Bay 37 31 3 .544 5 7 L-1
Oakland 24 20 0 .545 5 6 L-3 San Fran. 28 25 1 .528 6 3 W-3
Cleveland 26 25 0 .510 5 6 L-6 Detroit 36 33 2 .522 8 4 W-1
Tennessee 23 21 0 .523 5 3 W-2 Washington 34 33 4 .507 7 5 W-2
Indianapolis 30 29 1 .508 9 8 W-5 Atlanta 19 19 0 .500 6 3 W-1
Pittsburgh 33 32 4 .500 5 3 L-4 Tampa Bay 12 16 0 .429 4 5 W-1
New England 20 24 0 .508 6 4 L-1 Arizona 27 42 1 .391 6 8 L-4
Cincinnati 16 20 0 .444 4 5 L-2 Philadelphia 27 42 1 .391 5 10 L-3
Baltimore 3 5 0 .375 2 4 L-2 Carolina 4 5 0 .444 3 4 W-3
N.Y. Jets 18 26 0 .409 3 6 L-1 New Orleans 11 26 0 .297 2 7 L-1
Buffalo 18 26 0 .409 7 5 W-1 Seattle 8 20 0 .286 4 8 W-1

Steel City Insider Top Stories