Repeating as NFL Division Winner
The Pro Magazine should be hitting newsstands across the country within the next couple of days. However, with this being just the 2nd year I have put the magazine on the newsstands it will only have about half of the distribution that my College Magazine has. If you cannot find my Pro Football Preview anywhere near you, try ordering thru the PhilSteele.com store or call our offices at 1-866-918-7711. The cost is just $12.70 (includes priority shipping) and we will ship it out of our offices within 24 hours unless ordered on the weekend and in that case it will get shipped 1st thing on Monday.
Last year, in the my Pro Football Preview inaugural magazine, I made a forecast for each division and I am very pleased to announce that I correctly forecasted 7 of the 8! The only division I missed was the AFC North in which I choose the Steelers but I was also the ONLY major magazine to correctly predict the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints to win the NFC South. As in my college conference forecast I put a great deal of time and effort into my projections and hope that I can match last year’s success on this seasons forecasts.
The NFL is a certainly a league of parity and in fact going back to 1998 only 31% of the time has a team repeated as a division winner. In 2002 the NFL went four divisions of four teams each, making it much easier to repeat. Taking those 8 seasons plus the previous two, only 25 of the 64 division winners or 39% repeated. Those numbers include both New England and Indianapolis who have dominated the AFC East & AFC South as each has repeated 4 times.
Since the start of this decade there have been 70 division winners but ONLY 11 of the NFL’s 32 teams have been consistent enough to bag B2B division titles. I mentioned NE & Indy and they are followed by San Diego, Philadelphia and Seattle with 3 repeats. Pittsburgh and Green Bay each have 2 while Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Green Bay, Chicago and Arizona each have 1 repeat.
While I wrote earlier that with eight 4 team divisions it was easier to have a repeat winner, it must still be noted that only 3 of the divisions have had multiple B2B division winners and the NFC North is the only division to have 3 B2B winners as GB won the title in ’03 & ’04, CHI in ’05 & ’06 and MIN won it in ’08 & ’09. With New Orleans winning the NFC South it is sill is the only division to have not had a repeat winner since the new format in 2002. The NFC South is also 1 of 3 divisions since 2002 to have all 4 members win the division title along with the AFC West & the NFC West.
At the start of the decade I could easily attribute that to the fact the NFL made the first place teams play a first place schedule or take on the division winners and runner ups from the previous year while the last place teams did the opposite. That scheduling philosophy changed a few years back but the trends have continued.
Here are all the NFL division Champs from 1998-2009.
One last thing which is common knowledge but often forgotten this time of year is the Super Bowl loser jinx. Here are the last 12 Super Bowl losers listed the year they lost the Super bowl and after their team name is how they fared the next season.
1998 Atlanta – In 1999, the Falcons went 5-11. (no playoffs)
1999 Tennessee – In 2000, the Titans went 13-3 but lost their 1st playoff game .
2000 NY Giants – In 2001, the Giants went 7-9 .
2001 St Louis – In 2002, the Rams went 7-9 .
2002 Oakland – In 2003, the Raiders went 4-12 .
2003 Carolina – In 2004, the Panthers went 7-9 .
2004 Philadelphia – In 2005, the Eagles went 6-10 .
2005 Seattle – In 2006, the Seahawks went 9-7 and WON a playoff game when Tony Romo fumbled the snap on the game winning FG. (lost next week).
2006 Chicago – In 2007, the Bears went 7-9 .
2007 New England – In 2008, the Patriots went 11-5 but missed the playoffs.
2008 Arizona – In 2009, the Cards won the division and WON a playoff OT shootout when the ball bounced off Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers foot and the Cards caught it and returned it for a TD. (lost next week)
2009 Indianapolis- In 2010 the Colts ?????
The last 11 Super Bowl losers have combined for 2 playoff wins with EIGHT of them missing the playoffs and there were a combined 7 losing records.
34 DAYS UNTIL THE FIRST COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME!!