Super Bowl Talk

Posted: June 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 20 Comments »

I remember seeing a Super Bowl formula in the Sporting News about 20 years ago.  Former Chiefs coach Hank Stram had put it together and it worked pretty well.  About 10 years ago I remember stumbling across a study of Super Bowl teams that focused on one simple stat – yards per passing attempt.

As the game of football has continued to evolve, so have Super Bowl winners.  There is no definitive trend that I’m aware of.  For my SB Nation Philly column I decided to take a look at some recent winners and look for some trends.  I then compared the Eagles to those trends.

My goal wasn’t to argue that the Eagles are going to win because they did A, B, or C.  I wanted to see if the Eagles are anything like the recent winners.  Obviously you can’t judge a team until the season actually starts and you can see them in action.  I think you can make some general comparisons.

One strange trend is regular season records.

2011 Giants – 9-7 … won NFCE, but only hosted 1 playoff game

2010 Packers – 10-6 … Wildcard team, no home games

2009 Saints – 13-3, #1 seed

2008 Steelers – 12-4 … #2 seed, 2 home games

2007 Giants – 10-6 … Wildcard team, no home games

2006 Colts – 12-4 … #3 seed, 2 home games

Based on this…do you really want the Eagles to go 14-2 and be the #1 seed?  I guess I’d have to do a study of why #1 seeds have lost in the playoffs to really understand this.

I’m sure a few of you will say this is all very premature.  Why even think of the Super Bowl in June?  My mind wanders from time to time and I can help but think of Super Bowl winners.  What is it they do?  What helped those teams get over the hump?  I just hope one day we’re asking these questions about our beloved Eagles.

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A reminder about my buddy’s charity, Hell Walk.  Josh is walking 100 miles around LA over the next 30 or so hours.  He began at 8am PST.  Help him out with a donation if you can.  If not, just check out the site and help spread the word.

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Mike Vick is getting married today.  Congrats to him.

Andy Reid is reportedly a guest.  I bet Big Red is pretty wild on the dance floor.


20 Comments on “Super Bowl Talk”

  1. 1 iskar36 said at 6:45 PM on June 30th, 2012:

    From the list you provided, I think the only conclusion you can make is that we want the Eagles to make the playoff and they will have a chance to win. I’m not sure you can conclude that #1 seed is something we would not want the Eagles to get. The Saints managed to win as the #1 seed and in such a small sample size, 1 team winning from that position suggests it certainly isn’t a disadvantage (i’m obviously ignoring all the obvious advantages because that’s the point of your comment). .

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 6:51 PM on June 30th, 2012:

    Like I said about 1 seeds, I need to study how/why they lost so that I’m not going off casual memory. Maybe there is a trend. Maybe random.

    As you say…one definite we know…get in and you’ve got a chance.

  3. 3 Kevin_aka_RC said at 9:52 AM on July 3rd, 2012:

    Keep in mind that many #1 seeds have LOST in the Super Bowl. Eagles (2004), Pats (2011), Colts (2009 to another #1 seed in the SB), Pats (2007), Chicago (2006). The two most recent Steeler SB appearances had them as the #2 seed.

    Bottom line: it’s always better to get home-field advantage and the first-round bye. You’re more likely to win.

  4. 4 the guy said at 7:39 PM on June 30th, 2012:

    In response to the issues you raised, yes, I would like the Eagles to win a Super Bowl.

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 7:53 PM on June 30th, 2012:

    Or is that what you just want us to think…Mr. Spy!!!

  6. 6 austinfan said at 7:44 PM on June 30th, 2012:

    Beware of small sample bias.

    Two of the top seeds that lost were the Patriots against the Giants, twice. Maybe that just means don’t get matched up against the team that has your number (i.e., the Giants had better hope someone else knocks the Eagles out of the playoffs).

    If I were putting the factors together for a SB run:

    1) defense, defense, defense, but not just defense, but aggressive attacking defense with speed that forces mistakes, not a physical defense that grinds teams down. Why? Because you’re gonna face a couple top QBs, and you don’t stop these guys, you pressure them into mistakes. A solid defense like the one we had in 2008 is vulnerable to those guys, the one we had in 2001 almost beat the greatest show on turf despite DMAC spotting them 7 points.

    2) Pass blocking, they can shut down your running game (and will, that’s why their defense got to the playoffs) but if you can limit the pressure they put on your QB, you have a chance to win. We couldn’t run a lick in 2004, but if McNabb doesn’t blow the first couple drives and the defense played better we’d have won that game – because the OL gave McNabb time to put up almost 400 yards of passing offense.

    3) The right matchups, unless you have a great team, you will have some weakness that certain opponents can exploit. Don’t draw those opponents. Colts always lost to the Patriots, Patriots lose to the Giants, Giants lose to the Eagles, Dallas loses to everyone in the playoffs.

    These three factors cover the big games, pressure their QB, protect yours.
    But you have to get to those big games.

    4) Depth/stay healthy – injuries are inevitable, but if you have a little luck and the right depth, you can overcome them. Giants have lots of pass rushers, but wouldn’t have rings if Tuck didn’t get healthy for the post season twice. But they could survive losing other DL.

    5) The right mix – coaches have a game plan, but you need the right players to make it work, you can have a talented team that doesn’t mesh (Eagles in 2011, any team Turner coaches, and so on). When JJ had a vision of what he wanted he built a defense from 2000 to 2004 that could survive Trotter leaving, Moore blowing out his knee, Vincent and BT aging, Hollis getting hurt. When he changed up with Jenkins, JJ struggled to make his old system work and Sean couldn’t do it at all, and the FO was confused about what they needed. With Mudd and Washburn, they have a clear vision of what they want, as do MM/AR when it comes to skill players. If Juan/Bowles have decided on their back seven scheme, it’ll be easier to fit everyone in. And once everyone is settled in a role and know their teammates’ roles, they can play better together.

    6) Intangibles – a team needs an identity that allows it to play with confidence. It can be Raider swagger, Cowboy arrogance, 49er confidence, Bronco sense of dominance, Bear macho, Steeler toughness. There’s no “right” identity, only wrong ones (the ones that don’t win). What’s the Eagle identity?
    a) hard work, take it to the limit, Mudd and Washburn push their guys with extremely colorful language at high decibels, Juan will out work anyone, AR likes to push his teams as hard as he can.
    b) Tora, Tora, Tora, both Washburn and Mudd like to attack, Mudd is probably the most aggressive OL coach I’ve evet seen in terms of scheme, while Washburn tells his guys to meet at the QB. And they’ve really started to emphasize speed on both sides of the ball, stretching the field on offense, and swarming on defense.
    So maybe it’s “psychotic boy scout” “rabid wolverines” or something like that.

  7. 7 TommyLawlor said at 9:43 PM on June 30th, 2012:

    Matchups are the x-factor. Can’t judge that angle in the preseason, but it is critical. Giants lucky to draw the Pats in both SBs.

  8. 8 Matthew Verhoog said at 8:43 AM on July 3rd, 2012:

    “cowboys lose to everyone” 😉

  9. 9 P_P_K said at 7:45 PM on June 30th, 2012:

    I bet Big Red is pretty wild on the dance floor.

    Not compared to the buffet table, I’d bet.

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 7:52 PM on June 30th, 2012:

    He’ll have to fight me for room in the buffet line.

  11. 11 A_T_G said at 8:27 PM on June 30th, 2012:

    Come on, read the link! This place is too posh for buffet tables- plated dinner.

  12. 12 P_P_K said at 8:37 PM on June 30th, 2012:

    That explains why we weren’t invited.

  13. 13 TommyLawlor said at 9:42 PM on June 30th, 2012:

    A wedding reception without paper plates is like a day without sunshine.

  14. 14 Midnight_Greenville said at 7:06 PM on July 1st, 2012:

    Being a #1 seed may not be predictive of a SB for most teams, but it is absolutely the path the Eagles need to take to have a shot. AR is undefeated as a coach following a bye week if the other team doesn’t have a bye as well. Their equation for making it to the SB is: bye, home win, and not implode in the NFCCG. They tend to struggle with the last part, but I like their chances if they get to that point.

    As far as identity goes, I’ll take the identity of the luckiest team in the league. The more I watch, the more I’m convinced that it takes several lucky breaks at the right time to win a SB. You have to be good and put yourself in a position to win, but it really is a few breaks that often make the difference. Do the Giants win without those fumbles in the NFCCG? Or previously without Tyree’s unbelievable catch or Asante’s unbelievable drop? Or previously without Scott Norwood’s wide right? And the list goes on and on for almost every SB winner.

    Meanwhile, our luck seems to always be bad when it’s most needed. Last year’s list has been rehashed to death. But, what about Akers’ daughter getting diagnosed with a tumor the week of their 2010 playoff game against GB, and him missing two makable FG’s in a 5 point loss? What about Jim Johnson getting debilitated with spinal metastases from melanoma the week of the NFCCG in 2008? Jamaal Jackson getting injured the week before the game against the Cowboys that would have won the Division in 2009? A snowstorm postponing a game until a Tuesday that would have paved the way to a bye in 2010? McNabb getting speared by a Panthers DT (I forget which one) and leaving the NFCCG with broken ribs (or Emmons not playing at all when he was our defensive MVP) in 2003? Buckhalter coming out of the NFCCG when we were controlling the game by running the ball against the Rams in 2001? I would go on, but I’m getting too depressed.

    Anyhow, I know I remember the bad breaks and we certainly must have gotten some good ones as well, but at this point, I’ll take lucky over any other identity.

  15. 15 Jack Waggoner said at 2:38 PM on July 2nd, 2012:

    Justrelax has been posting a lot on the Wide 9 this offseason. Worth reading

    On the last one look at the three posts following as well.

  16. 16 D3Keith said at 8:33 PM on July 2nd, 2012:

    Is there some kind of deal where we have to reach 20 comments before you’ll write a new post? Or just enjoying some well-earned vacation time?

  17. 17 D3FB said at 9:35 PM on July 2nd, 2012:

    Its almost time to send the cops to check out Mortons basement to make sure Tommy isn’t locked up down there.

  18. 18 Ben Hert said at 9:55 PM on July 2nd, 2012:

    I thought everyone knew Morton is Tommy’s evil side. He comes out when the local store runs out of PBR and marshmallows.

  19. 19 Mac said at 2:22 PM on July 3rd, 2012:

    If Tommy has locked himself in his basement, then how will he ever get out?

  20. 20 A_T_G said at 6:50 AM on July 3rd, 2012:

    A guy starts working on his podcast and all of a sudden he is all celebrity and doesn’t have time for us little people any more.