Sunday, January 31, 2016

Super Bowl notes/oddities

By Rick Morris

^ This Super Bowl marks the first time that each team’s most recent appearance was a loss to one of the two teams from the previous year (Denver lost to Seattle in Super Bowl 48 and Carolina lost to New England in Super Bowl 38).

^ Likewise, there has never been a Super Bowl with a team, Denver, who qualified for the Super Bowl by beating the team, New England, who took out their opponent, Carolina, in their most recent Super Bowl.

^ Denver has tied New England and Pittsburgh with eight Super Bowl appearances out of the AFC.  Half of their appearances have now come in California Super Bowls, with them being 1-2 in the Golden State previously.  No team has played four Super Bowls in one state before; the closest teams to this mark are New England, 2-1 in Super Bowls contested in Louisiana and Dallas, 0-3 in Super Bowls contested in Florida.

^ The only previous Super Bowl on February 7 featured Peyton Manning’s first Super Bowl loss, 31-17 to New Orleans in Super Bowl 44 in 2010.

^ Denver’s doing something for the 8th time and something they’ve done before, returning to the Super Bowl after a year away.  Such teams are 3-4 and here’s the examples: Pittsburgh won 43, lost 45, New England won 36 and 38, St. Louis won 34, lost 36, Dallas won 28 and 30, Denver lost 22 and 24, Minnesota lost 9 and 11 and Baltimore won 3 and 5.  Even worse for the Broncos, is that they and the Vikings are the only teams ever to make it back two years later after a loss and both squads lost again.

^ Carolina has become the 5th team this decade to reach the Super Bowl after more than a decade away.  Results for such teams are mixed.  Denver lost Super Bowl 48, Baltimore beat San Francisco in Super Bowl 47 in a battle of two such teams and Green Bay beat Pittsburgh in Super Bowl 45, so the record is 2-2 in making that big return count.

^ 12 different teams have represented the NFC in Super Bowls held in the 21st century and only Carolina, Seattle, the New York Giants and the formerly St. Louis Rams have had repeat appearances.  Only seven have represented the AFC and out of those, only Oakland and Tennessee have not had repeat appearances.

^ We all remember that the NFC won 13 straight Super Bowls from the 1980s into the ‘90s and then the AFC took nine of the next 12.  The latest streak is that that NFC has won four of the last six.

^ Call it the curse of 15-1 or Better: the Panthers have become the 7th member of this club and the last four have failed to win the Super Bowl.  Of those teams, all but the 2007 Patriots were 15-1 in the regular season.  Super Bowl winners included the 1984 49ers (who played in the only other Super Bowl in the Bay Area) and the 1985 Bears.  The aforementioned Pats of course lost in the Super Bowl and the 1998 Vikings, the 2004 Steelers and 2011 Packers didn’t even make it there.  The Pack came up the shortest of all of these teams, falling in the divisional round.

^ Both #1 seeds are in the Super Bowl for the third consecutive year, an occurrence which is surprisingly rare.  Out of the first 47 Super Bowls, it only happened nine times.

^ The last Super Bowl to be played on the West Coast also featured an AFC West/NFC South battle; it was Super Bowl 37, the Chucky Bowl in San Diego, where Tampa Bay blew out Oakland, 48-21.

^ This Super Bowl has not only a battle of former #1 overall picks (Manning in 1998, Newton in 2011), but a battle of the top two picks from Newton’s draft, as Von Miller went #2.

^ With Manning going up against Russell Wilson two years ago and Wilson against Tom Brady last year, this Manning-Cam Newton clash marks the third consecutive one involving New School and Old School QBs.

^ Denver and Charlotte have no real sports history with each other in any sport.

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