BATSBY Sports offers eight cool facts for Divisional Playoff Weekend, a collection of past and present-day nuggets which could help determine the individual results/team outcomes with this week’s matchups:
FUN FACT #1
Forget about the Week 15 outing (versus the Chargers) that involved an early exit, due to injury.
Charting his last 14 complete games, Vikings tailback Dalvin Cook is a perfect 14 for 14 in collecting 100 total yards and/or one touchdown; and for this prolific stretch, the fantasy/real-world dynamo owns excellent averages of 124.4 total yards and one score.
Here’s something else to celebrate: Citing his last two complete games played on natural grass, Cook has stealthily averaged 131 total yards and one TD.
FUN FACT #2
Since 1981, the 49ers franchise has enjoyed a superb 16-3 record for Divisional Playoff Weekend, with two of those defeats occurring on the road.
San Francisco’s only home setback during this round, dating back to the arrivals of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana?
For the 1987 playoffs, Minnesota walked out of Candlestick Park with a resounding 36-24 win, a landmark upset in which Anthony Carter accounted for 227 of the Vikings’ 298 receiving yards.
For that strike-affected season, the Niners entered postseason play with a 13-2 record and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
However, none of that mattered against the Vikings defense, which played a major part in Montana (109 yards passing, zero TDs, one INT) getting benched for future Hall of Famer Steve Young.
On the plus side … the Niners own a 3-1 lifetime advantage over the Vikings during the playoffs.
FUN FACT #3
There’s a good news/bad news/good news proposition when it comes Derrick Henry’s impending matchup with the Ravens; so let’s present it as a classic Compliment Sandwich (hat tip to TV’s Family Guy).
COMPLIMENT #1: Henry, this year’s NFL rushing champion (1,540 yards), boasts staggering averages of 163 total yards and 1.6 TDs in his last seven games (including the playoffs).
BAD NEWS: Citing his seven career meetings with the AFC North, Henry failed to clear 55 total yards six times.
COMPLIMENT #2: Henry has racked up 27 touchdowns in his last 20 outings (including the postseason); and when counting his last 17 games played on natural grass, the former Heisman Trophy winner absurdly averaged 124 total yards and 1.4 TDs.
FUN FACT #4
Two cool things stand out with the Ravens-Titans rivalry, dating back to 1996:
a) Charting all 20 meetings between the clubs, Baltimore has never been shut out by Houston/Tennessee.
b) These teams have squared off three times during the postseason … with the home team going 0-for-3 overall.
FUN FACT #5
The Texans endured bottom-10 rankings with opposing quarterbacks this season, citing the crucial categories of completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns allowed.
This all bodes well for Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, who has tallied 300 yards passing and/or multiple touchdowns in 11 of his last 13 home outings (including the postseason).
FUN FACT #6
Check this out: For their eight home games this 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 includes a 32-yard, zero-TD clunker from the Broncos’ Lindsay.
FUN FACT #7
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has notched multiple touchdowns in seven of his last eight postseason outings, with the lone clunker being Green Bay’s come-from-ahead overtime loss to Seattle in the 2014 NFC title game.
Of course, for that infamous defeat, the Packers didn’t need more production from Rodgers … just a better Hands Team plan with onside kicks.
And last but not least …
FUN FACT #8
For Sunday’s Seahawks-Packers showdown, the over/under for tailback touchdowns stands at 2.5, given the following factoids/nuggets:
a) During the regular season, Seattle and Green Bay both ranked in the bottom five with rushing touchdowns allowed to opposing backs.
b) Packers tailback Aaron Jones holds stellar averages of 105 total yards and 1.1 touchdowns in his last 10 games; and this includes three near-invisible efforts of fewer than 40 yards.
c) Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark just once in his last eight games (last week vs. Philly).
d) The weather forecast for Sunday in Green Bay: Low 20s with a chance of snow.