Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Super Bowl mismatch note of the day

One of the good indicators of team strength is point differential. It has been determined many times that good teams tend to win games in which the final result is lopsided, while close games are more "random" in who wins. No one was going to blow this year's Patriots team out, for example. So point differential is indicative of team strength.

In the previous 41 Super Bowls, the biggest point differential ratio belonged to the 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers. They outscored their opposition by 154 points, 11 times greater than the 14 point differential of the 9-7 Rams*. That was the only game in Super Bowl history where the point differential ratio between the two teams was greater than 6.

That statement won't be true on Monday.

The New England Patriots outscored their opposition by an NFL record 315 points**.
The New York Giants outscored their opposition by 22 points.

The point differential ratio between these two teams is 14.32.

* - That Rams team was probably the worst team ever to make the Super Bowl, just ahead of this year's Giants. They were one of only two teams (the 2003 Panthers being the other) with a smaller point differential than the Giants' 22, and the only team with a worse record than 10-6 (the 1988 49ers were the only other 10-6 team to reach the Super Bowl).

** - In the Super Bowl era, the previous best was the 1999 St. Louis Rams ("greatest show on turf") at 284.

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