2012 NFL Playoffs: Wildcard Weekend By The Numbers
With the NFL’s Wildcard playoff weekend looming, I thought we could take a little look at some numbers that may give insight into how the games will shake out.
Let’s break the opening round down:
Bengals (10-6) @ Texans (12-4):
20: The number of points both defenses gave up (per game) in 2012. Okay, Bengals=20.0; Texans=20.7, but close enough, right? That’s good for 8th and 9th, respectively, in the NFL. I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of points in this one. So the way this year has been, maybe we should expect a 37-34 game?
5: The Bengals only rushed for over 100 yards in 5 of their 10 wins. Conversely, the Texans rushed for over 100 yards in 10 of their 12 wins. The Bengals have gotten by with a less than dominant rushing attack, but I think they will need to pack it with them in Houston.
18: Percentage of TD passes from Schaub that went to Andre Johnson. 40% of Dalton’s TDs went to AJ Green. Johnson may be the epitome of today’s WR, but the Texans simply have more offensive weapons than the Bengals.
3-3: all-time regular season record between these two teams. Texans are 1-0 in the playoffs against the Bengals. And that was last year…in their only playoff win…ever. Of course, it was their first playoff game…ever.
1: The number of playoff starts Matt Schaub will have after this game. This may be the Texans second go around, but it’s his first. So that makes Andy Dalton the more experienced QB in this situation.
Colts (11-5) @ Ravens (10-6):
1: Number of Championships that the Colts have won since leaving Baltimore. Also, the number that the Ravens have won since re-inventing themselves in Baltimore. I know it doesn’t really mean anything for this game, but it’s hard to ignore to whole Colts-Baltimore history. What time are those trucks leaving?
15: Number of turnovers the Colts had in their 5 losses. They had 12 turnovers in their 11 wins. It’s a cliché, but it’s still true. It’s hard to win in the NFL when you turn the ball over. It’s even harder in the playoffs.
4: Losses the Ravens had in December. Also the number of wins the Colts had. These two teams are trending in opposite directions. I suspect that will continue this weekend.
28.7: Percentage of Ravens offense that went through Ray Rice in 2012. It’s simple, really…limit Ray Rice and you can effectively ruin the Ravens game plan.
26: The longest rush for the Colts all season was 26 yards. The Colts are not going to beat the Ravens with an explosive ground game. If I was the Ravens D coordinator, I might just play nickel for most of the game.
Vikings (10-6) @ Packers (11-5):
54-48-1: The all-time record of this matchup, in favor of Green Bay; however these two teams have only met once in the playoffs…with the Vikings being the winner. It’s a pretty even matchup, historically, but can the Vikings do it again this week? After spending all that emotion last week and going on the road?
409: The number of yards AP ran for against the Packers in two games this season. If he could play Green Bay every week, he would have had his 2,000 yards after ten games. Expect a lot of Peterson in this one.
433: The number of points scored by the Packers in 2012 (the Vikings scored 379), also the number of rush attempts by Green Bay (Minnesota ran the ball 486 times). The Packers running game of late has not been too bad; it might not be a bad idea to try to control the clock and keep AP on the sideline.
3: Number of wins the Vikings had against current playoff teams. The Packers had 2. In fact one win for each team came against each other, but still…The Vikings have fared better against the better teams.
24: The number of players the Packers have on their injury report. The Vikings have 7. This includes players on IR. The Packers have been fighting injuries all season. The Vikings are relatively healthy…except for Harvin.
Seahawks (11-5) @ Redskins (10-6):
1: The number of times two rookie QBs faced off in a playoff game, and that was last season (Bengals-Texans). Does it mean the entire structure of the NFL is about to come crashing down? Is this the NFL apocalypse? No, these two guys are just playing really good football. Their teammates believe in them and they believe in themselves.
3: The number of points that Seattle is favored by…on the road…also the number of wins they had on the road in 2012. Not that the Redskins were dominant at home: they lost 3. I honestly have no idea how this game will play out. I will not be surprised if it is the best game of the weekend.
100.0: Russell Wilson’s QB rating this season. ..pretty impressive. RGIII beat that at 102.4. Again…good football. It’s a shame that one of them will not be playing next week.
1613: Alfred Morris’ rushing total for the season. Marshawn Lynch finished with 1590. Add in RGIII’s 815 yards and Wilson’s 489…and we could see a whole lot of running the football. We could see 700 yards of offense, combined, and have 400 of it be on the ground.
50: The number of receptions that Sydney Rice had to lead Seattle. The Redskins’ Josh Morgan had 48 to top his team. Both these teams have relied on well-timed big pass plays; most often generated off of a believable play action fake. There will be a few of these during the game.