Does the NFL Preseason Really Matter? Hmmm…

DISCLAIMER: This posting does not have any particular spiritual worth and will probably only interest the NFL fan.

So far in the 2014 NFL preseason, my beloved San Francisco 49ers are 0-2. They have been outscored 57-3. And this is a team that is a legitimate contender for the Super Bowl this year?

I have said many times that the NFL preseason rarely reflects the outcome of the Super Bowl winner, because preseason games are not necessarily meant for wins & losses but trying out players, practicing plays in real game time scenarios, etc.

The starters of NFL teams never play an entire game (regardless of the score). And often in the last game or two, the key players won’t even suit up.

But, c’mon! 0-2! What is this?

My curiosity could not be satisfied without looking at some raw data of Super Bowl winners in recent history and how they faired in the NFL preseason. Here are my findings going back to 2000, for those who are interested:

  • 2000 Super Bowl Winner: Baltimore Ravens – 4-0 in the preseason
  • 2001 Super Bowl Winner: New England Patriots – 3-1 in the preseason
  • 2002 Super Bowl Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 3-1 in the preseason
  • 2003 Super Bowl Winner: New England Patriots – 4-0 in the preseason
  • 2004 Super Bowl Winner: New England Patriots – 1-3 in the preseason
  • 2005 Super Bowl Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers – 3-1 in the preseason
  • 2006 Super Bowl Winner: Indianapolis Colts – 1-3 in the preseason
  • 2007 Super Bowl Winner: New York Giants – 1-3 in the preseason
  • 2008 Super Bowl Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers – 3-1 in the preseason
  • 2009 Super Bowl Winner: New Orleans Saints – 3-1 in the preseason
  • 2010 Super Bowl Winner: Green Bay Packers – 2-2 in the preseason
  • 2011 Super Bowl Winner: New York Giants – 2-2 in the preseason
  • 2012 Super Bowl Winner: Baltimore Ravens – 2-2 in the preseason
  • 2013 Super Bowl Winner: Seattle Seahawks – 4-0 in the preseason

So does performing well in the preseason guarantee Super Bowl success? Not really, but it doesn’t hurt either.

  • In the 14 NFL preseasons examined, 6 of the 14 teams had a losing or .500 record in the NFL preseason and went on to win the Super Bowl.
  • In the 14 NFL preseasons examined, only 2 teams have gone through the preseason undefeated and then won the Super Bowl (last year’s Seahawks and the 2000 Ravens).
  • The total combined preseason record of the Super Bowl winners from the last 14 years 36-20 (.642 winning percentage).

To be honest, I was hoping the statistics would be a little more favorable towards keeping me from panicking about my 0-2 49ers, but “it is what it is.”

Go Niners!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s