BATSBY Sports offers 11 cool facts for Conference Championship Weekend, a collection of past and present-day nuggets which could help determine the individual results/team outcomes with Sunday’s super matchups.
Why 11 fun facts? This classic movie clip from ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ should explain the rationale here.
FUN FACT #1
Let’s start with an offensive nugget:
Dating back to the 1970 campaign, no NFC club has ever eclipsed the 30-point mark on Conference Championship Sunday … and not advanced to the Super Bowl.
The highest-scoring losing teams? It’s a tie between the 1994 Cowboys (fell to the 49ers, 38-28) and 2009 Vikings (lost to the Saints in overtime, 31-28).
FUN FACT #2
There’s a bad news/good news proposition to the Chiefs’ current losing slide versus the Titans, in advance of Sunday’s heavyweight bout:
Since the NFL-AFL merger, Kansas City has endured three four-game losing streaks against Tennessee (formerly the Houston Oilers), covering 1975-79, 1990-93 and 2014-19.
On the plus side, the Chiefs’ losing ways with the Oilers/Titans have never extended to five consecutive games; and dating back to the AFL days of the early 1960s, Kansas City owns the longest winning streak (seven games) between the clubs.
FUN FACT #3
For the first 11 NFC title games in history (1970-80), the losing club never scored more than 13 points.
Speaking of scoring droughts … from 1984-89, the losing teams from the NFC championship scored a grand total of 16 points.
That figure includes back-to-back-to-back shutouts (1984-86).
FUN FACT #4
During their eight home games during the regular season, the Chiefs surrendered robust averages of 127 total yards and 0.9 touchdowns to the opposing club’s No. 1 rusher (Mark Ingram, Marlon Mack, Josh Jacobs, Phillip Lindsay, Melvin Gordon, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, Carlos Hyde) … and that included a 32-yard, zero-TD clunker from the Broncos’ Lindsay.
On the bright side, Hyde’s 62 total yards from last week had little impact with the Texans offense, despite Houston rolling for 31 points in its Divisional Playoff round defeat.
FUN FACT #5
Last week, Titans tailback Derrick Henry established an NFL record for most consecutive games (three) of at least 180 rushing yards.
However, his dominance for essentially carrying the Tennessee offense goes even further.
Charting his last nine outings (including the playoffs), Henry reached the elite-level threshold of 100 total yards and/or one touchdown eight times; and during this prodigious stretch, the former Heisman Trophy winner enjoyed supreme averages of 160 total yards and 1.7 touchdowns.
FUN FACT #6
Come Sunday, the Niners likely won’t replicate their 37-8 trouncing from November, given the Packers’ modest improvements with run defense since then.
That said, it’s still a bad matchup on paper. During the regular season, Green Bay ranked 30th in rushing touchdowns allowed and 26th in rushing yards surrendered.
What’s more, opposing tailbacks averaged 4.9 yards per carry this year … which sounds even scarier upon realizing the Niners crafted the league’s No. 2 rushing offense (144 yards per game).
(NOTE: San Francisco produced 112 rushing yards and two rushing scores in its first encounter with Green Bay.)
FUN FACT #7
Since the NFL-AFL merger (1970), only two clubs have won their conference title game by scoring 10 points or less — the 1979 Rams (9-0 winners over the Buccaneers) and 1991 Bills (10-7 over the Broncos).
FUN FACT #8
On the down side, the Packers quarterback has never beaten the Niners in playoff action (0-2 lifetime).
FUN FACT #9
Niners tight end George Kittle enjoyed a rock-solid close to the regular season, despite being hampered by injuries around that time.
For his final 11 games, the Iowa product averaged 6.2 catches and 81 yards, while also finding the end zone five times.
Here’s another thing to celebrate: For that 11-game stretch, Kittle proffered a robust catch-to-target rate of 79 percent … which ticks eight points higher than the Packers’ catch-to-target allowance with opposing tight ends during the regular season (71 percent).
FUN FACT #10
Joe Flacco (then with the Ravens) and Eli Manning (Giants) share the NFL record for most playoff road wins by a starting quarterback (six).
And in case you’re wondering, Tom Brady merely has a lifetime postseason mark of 4-4 on the road … despite owning the NFL record for most playoff starts, among quarterbacks (41).
In fact, how’s this for quirky: Brady’s Patriots notched 12 playoff berths from 2007-19; and yet, New England only played three road games during this prolific stretch (1-2 record).
And last but not least …
FUN FACT #11
Packers wideout Davante Adams (83 catches, 997 yards, 5 TDs, despite missing four outings) has been a PPR dynamo for fantasy owners this season, whenever healthy.
Citing his last 10 complete games, Adams avereaged 7.6 catches, 96 yards and 0.7 touchdowns, while collecting double-digit targets nine times.
Here’s another cool nugget: In two career meetings with the Niners, Adams has amassed 17 catches, 275 yards and three scores.