Numbers Game: Peering into the Playoff Crystal Ball

Dallas Cowboys, Numbers game, Tremaine Hill

NFC East (The Race)

What is your lucky number? Cause most would say Lucky # 7, but in the case of the NFC East Division it is 10. If I were to tell you since 1970 that no team who has won the NFC East had less than 10 wins, would you believe me?  Well believe it; what’s the significance of that you ask.  Well, if you lose 4 or more of your first 8 games you’re pretty much out of the running for the division and playoffs unless you run the table in the last 3 months. With the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, and Washington Redskins all sitting at 3-4, history is not in their favor.

Winning in the division since 2002

If you want to be a playoff team you have to win games in your division. As the NFL Season comes into the month of November, you will start to see a lot of Divisional games and these games are important as they help determine who’s in and out of the playoffs. Consistent play within the division is a staple of successful teams down the stretch.  So let me show you the teams I’m talking about.  Since 2002 the teams with the highest winning percentage within their division from November till the end of the season are as follows: 

Team W-L Record Win Pct Playoff APP
NE Patriots 24-7 .774 7
SD Chargers 24-7 .774 5
IND Colts 23-7 .767 9
GB Packers 23-10 .697 6
PIT Steelers 23-10 .697 6

Currently 4 of these 5 teams are either tied or leading their division through Week 8.

I know I shouldn’t give the teams with the worst divisional win-loss any love, but I am going to just so you can see a comparison for yourself :

Team W-L Record Win Pct Playoff APP
DET Lions 5-23 .179 0
CLE Browns 6-23 .207 1
HOU Texans 9-24 .273 0
WAS Redskins 11-25 .306 2
STL Rams 11-21 .344 2

Mr. November

While going through the numbers for November, I noticed a trend in Dallas home games while going through my notes. I quickly picked up a pen and started jotting a few things down and what I came up with is amazing. I found out that in November for his  career, Tony Romo as a starter is 10-0 at home, which is by far his best winning pct at home in any month. With the Seattle Seahawks coming into the “Big D” look for Romo to continue to put up big numbers as the Seahawks are 1-3 on the road this season. For his career in November, Romo is completing 65.8 pct of his passes, thrown 27TD to just 6INT and has a passer rating of 115.1. So be on the lookout for Tony Romo to put up some big numbers and get back to winning, because it just so happens that 3 of the Cowboys next 4 games are at home.

Here’s a list of the starting Quarterbacks with the highest winning pct in NOV (at home) since 1950:

QB W-L Winning Pct
Frank Ryan 14-0-1 1.00
Jim McMahon 13-0 1.00
Tony Romo 10-0 1.00
Mike Phipps 10-0 1.00
Otto Graham 14-1 .933
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