Every year during the NFL playoff games the broadcasters throw all types of past statistics and results at you so we decided to put it all together for you. This Wildcard weekend has as much to look at as any playoff weekend.
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs
These two teams don’t have a lot of playoff history together but they do have quite a few numbers working against both of them.
To start Tennesse had to fight for every yard to get into the playoffs following a three-game skid. This is their first playoff appearance sine 2008. At least a quarter of the starters haven’t seen the playoffs before; neither has head coach Mike Mularkey since he has only been in blue for six seasons.
On the flip side of the field, Kansas City clinched their second AFC West Championship two weeks ago and got some rest. This team is filled with vets and is largely unchanged from the team that went down last season. While the Titans are battling in experience, the Chiefs are fighting a 24-year playoff winless straight at Arrowhead Stadium. Both Alex Smith and Mularkey downplayed these things.
The latest game between the two was Week 15 of the 2016 season. The Titans struggled early until overcoming a 17-7 fourth-quarter deficit in rallying for a 19-17 win. Neither team will be sure to forget that game.
Atlanta Falcons at LA Rams
This is another case of the Rooks vs Vets this NFL Playoff, as the young LA Rams host the Atlanta Falcons.
With a young Sean McVay and Goff at the helm, this LA team doesn’t remember the dismantling Atlanta put on the Rams back in 2004, the final tally sitting at 47- 17. With a new face, confidence and home-field advantage (technically) this team isn’t letting the past nor the inexperience hinder their plan as it looks to follow in Atlanta footsteps, all the way to the big game.
28-3 Atlanta, the halftime score of Superbowl LI. How can one forget that disaster? Well, that’s exactly what Atlanta will look to put in the rear view coming into these playoffs. Atlanta has many of the same faces that went to the Superbowl last year and they all seem set to forget and move on from the past.
This is the first time the Rams have made the playoffs since the meeting with Atlanta in 2004 and the first home playoff game in 24 years, but is it really an advantage? The Rams have been haunted all year by lack of hometown support and with an established contender in Atlanta, we could see some red in LA on Saturday, something the Atlanta vets will thrive on.
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars
Now there isn’t a lot of on-field history here but let’s just start by saying, these teams are just happy to be here.
The Jags won the AFC South title for the first time and made the playoffs for the first time since 2007, first game at home since ’99. This comes after an NFL-worst 17-63 five year stretch.
Now the Bills just squeaked into the playoffs with a regular season finale win and broke a playoff drought stretching back to 1999. Sunday’s winner will bring a town joy not felt for years in either city.
These teams have only met once in the NFL Playoff, way back in 1996. It was Jacksonville’s first ever trip to the playoffs and they bested Buffalo 30-27 in a game Buffalo was heavily favored, the elders of Bills Mafia surely won’t forget that year.
Carolina Panther at New Orleans Saints
Now every NFL playoff game is important, but some feel like they mean just that much more to a fanbase. The kind of game where even if you lose next week you still hear “Well at least we knocked them out.” For me it is the Cowboys, for the state of Carolina it’s the New Orleans Saints.
Now even with their history and the fact they meet twice a year, these teams have never met in the playoffs. Looking to recent times the Saints beat Carolina twice this year including a week 3 blowout 34-13 to kick off an 8 game win streak.
Carolina does have the more recent playoff success, reaching the Superbowl in 2015 as well as the playoffs in ’14 and ’13. The Saints haven’t seen playoff action since 2013, but the Saints do hold a few advantages in the numbers.
First off they’ve already beat Carolina twice this year, teams that have swept the season series have won 13 of 20 times. Drew Brees is also 4-1 at home in the playoffs while Cam lost his only road playoff game, getting smother by Seattle in 2014.