2011 NFL Playoffs - A Preview Of The NFL's Super Season

Anything and everything you need to know about the 2011 NFL Playoffs

The NFL playoffs begin on Saturday and Sunday, January 8-9, with Wild Card Weekend.  On Saturday, the New Orleans Saints play at the Seattle Seahawks (NBC, 4:30 PM ET) and the New York Jets visit the Indianapolis Colts (NBC, 8:00 PM ET).  Wild Card Weekend continues Sunday with the Baltimore Ravens at the Kansas City Chiefs (CBS, 1:00 PM ET) and the Green Bay Packers traveling to face the Philadelphia Eagles (FOX, 4:30 PM ET).

The following week (January 15-16), the New England Patriots (Sunday, CBS, 4:30 PM ET) and Pittsburgh Steelers (Saturday, CBS, 4:30 PM ET) in the AFC and Atlanta Falcons (Saturday, FOX, 8:00 PM ET) and Chicago Bears (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET) in the NFC host the Divisional Playoffs.  The Patriots and Falcons own homefield advantage for the Conference Championship Games (January 23) if they win their Divisional contests. 

The postseason will conclude with the 2011 Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 30 in Honolulu, Hawaii and Super Bowl XLV on February 6 at Cowboys Stadium in North Texas. 

"Playoff football is single elimination football," says Pittsburgh head coach MIKE TOMLIN.  "I think that says it all."

FRESH FACES & CONSISTENT WINNERS HIGHLIGHT PLAYOFF FIELD 

For the 15th consecutive season, at least five teams qualified for the playoffs that were not in the postseason the year before.  Five clubs - Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Seattle - did not make the playoffs in 2009 but have done so this season.

The teams since 1996 to make the playoffs a season after failing to qualify:

SEASON

PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON'S PLAYOFFS

1996

5  (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)       

1997

5  (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)

1998

5  (Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)

1999

7  (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)

2000

6  (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)

2001

6  (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)

2002

5  (Atlanta, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)

2003

8  (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)

2004

5  (Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego)

2005

7  (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)

2006

7  (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)

2007

6  (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)

2008

7  (Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)

2009

6 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)

2010

5 (Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)


A record-tying 13 teams won 10+ games - New England (14), Atlanta (13), Baltimore (12), Pittsburgh (12), Chicago (11), New Orleans (11), N.Y. Jets (11), Green Bay (10), Indianapolis (10), Kansas City (10), N.Y. Giants (10), Philadelphia (10) and Tampa Bay (10).  Thirteen teams also did so in 2003 and 2005.

Six of the NFL's eight divisions featured new division champions from last season.  Only New England (AFC East) and Indianapolis (AFC South) were repeat division champions. 

 

AFC NORTH

AFC WEST

NFC EAST

NFC NORTH

NFC SOUTH

NFC WEST

2010

Pittsburgh

Kansas City

Philadelphia

Chicago

Atlanta

Seattle

2009

Cincinnati

San Diego

Dallas

Minnesota

New Orleans

Arizona

Kansas City rebounded to win the AFC West after a last-place finish in 2009.  This marked the NFL-record eighth consecutive season that a team went from "worst-to-first" in its division

The teams to go from "worst-to-first" in their divisions since 2003:

SEASON

TEAM

PRIOR SEASON RECORD

RECORD

ADVANCED TO

2003

Carolina

                   7-9

11-5

Super Bowl XXXVIII

2003

Kansas City

8-8*

13-3

Divisional Playoffs

2004

Atlanta

5-11

11-5

NFC Championship

2004

San Diego

4-12*

12-4

Wild Card Playoffs

2005

Chicago

5-11

11-5

Divisional Playoffs

2005

Tampa Bay

5-11

11-5

Wild Card Playoffs

2006

Baltimore

6-10*

13-3

Divisional Playoffs

2006

New Orleans

3-13

10-6

NFC Championship

2006

Philadelphia

6-10

10-6

Divisional Playoffs

2007

Tampa Bay

4-12

9-7

Wild Card Playoffs

2008

Miami

1-15

11-5

Wild Card Playoffs

2009

New Orleans

                   8-8

13-3

Won Super Bowl XLIV

2010

Kansas City

4-12

10-6

???

* Tied for last place 

The 2010 field also showcases teams that have enjoyed recent postseason success.  Since the start of the 2000 season, the Indianapolis Colts have been to the playoffs an NFL-best 10 times.  The Philadelphia Eagles are second with nine postseason appearances in that span.  The top six teams with the most playoff berths since 2000 are in this year's playoff field.

Following are the teams with the most playoff appearances since 2000 (includes 2010):

TEAM

POSTSEASON APPEARANCES

Indianapolis Colts

10

Philadelphia Eagles

9

New England Patriots

8

Baltimore Ravens

7

Green Bay Packers

7

Pittsburgh Steelers

7


Five of this season's 12 playoff teams have won at least one Super Bowl in the past decade, capturing eight of the past 10 Vince Lombardi Trophies.  Those teams are Baltimore (XXXV), Indianapolis (XLI), New England (XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX), New Orleans (XLIV) and Pittsburgh (XL and XLIII).

SUPER BOWL

SEASON

WINNER

XXXV

2000

Baltimore*

XXXVI

2001

New England*

XXXVII

2002

Tampa Bay

XXXVIII

2003

New England*

XXXIX

2004

New England*

XL

2005

Pittsburgh*

XLI

2006

Indianapolis*

XLII

2007

New York Giants

XLIII

2008

Pittsburgh*

XLIV

2009

New Orleans*

                                                       *In 2010 postseason

ALL-TIME PLAYOFFS

The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will participate in the playoffs for the 26th time, tied for the fourth-most postseason appearances in NFL history. 

The teams with the most seasons participating in the playoffs (includes 2010):

TEAM

PLAYOFF BERTHS

Dallas Cowboys

30

New York Giants

30

St. Louis Rams

27

Green Bay Packers*

26

Minnesota Vikings

26

Pittsburgh Steelers*

26

                                                        *In 2010 playoffs

The 12 playoff teams and their postseason records:

TEAM

WINS    LOSSES

PCT.

Pittsburgh Steelers

31

 

19

 

.620

Baltimore Ravens

8

5

 

.615

Green Bay Packers

25

 

16

 

.610

New England Patriots

21

 

14

 

.600

Philadelphia Eagles

19

 

19

 

.500

Indianapolis Colts

19

 

19

 

.500

Chicago Bears

16

 

17

 

.485

New York Jets

New Orleans Saints

10

5

 

12

6

 

.455

.455

Seattle Seahawks

7

 

10

 

.412

Atlanta Falcons

6

 

9

 

.400

Kansas City Chiefs

8

 

13

 

.381


WILD CARD RECORDS

TEAM

WINS

LOSSES

PCT.

Baltimore Ravens

4

1

.800

Green Bay Packers

6

4

.600

Philadelphia Eagles

7

6

.538

Indianapolis Colts

4

4

.500

New York Jets

5

5

.500

Seattle Seahawks

4

4

.500

Kansas City Chiefs

2

5

.286

New Orleans Saints

1

4

.200

DIVISIONAL RECORDS

TEAM

WINS

LOSSES

PCT.

Pittsburgh Steelers

14

8

.636

New England Patriots

8

5

.615

Chicago Bears

5

8

.385

Atlanta Falcons

2

4

.333


THE TEAMS

WINNING FEELING:  The Green Bay Packers have won 12 NFL championships, the most in league history.  Of the 12 2010 playoff teams, 10 have won at least one championship. 

NFL championships won by the 2010 playoff teams:

TEAM

NFL CHAMPIONSHIP(S)

YEAR(S)

Green Bay Packers

12

1929-31, 1936, 1939, 1944, 1961-62, 1965-67, 1996

Chicago Bears

9

1921, 1932-33, 1940-41, 1943, 1946, 1963, 1985

Pittsburgh Steelers

6

1974-75, 1978-79, 2005, 2008

Indianapolis Colts

4

1958-59, 1970, 2006

New England Patriots

3

2001, 2003-04

Philadelphia Eagles

3

1948-49, 1960

Baltimore Ravens

1

2000

Kansas City Chiefs

1

1969

New York Jets

1

1968

New Orleans Saints

1

2009

Atlanta Falcons

0

--

Seattle Seahawks

0

--

PLAYOFF SUCCESS:  The Pittsburgh Steelers have won 31 postseason games, the most among 2010 playoff teams and the second-most in NFL history.  The Green Bay Packers have 25 postseason victories, the second-most among 2010 playoff clubs and tied for the third-most all-time.  The teams with the most playoff victories in NFL history:

TEAM

PLAYOFF WINS

Dallas Cowboys

33

Pittsburgh Steelers*

31

Green Bay Packers*

25

Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

25

San Francisco

25

                                                     *2010 playoff team

Postseason victories for the 2010 playoff teams:

TEAM

PLAYOFF WINS

Pittsburgh Steelers

31

Green Bay Packers

25

New England Patriots

21

Indianapolis Colts

19

Philadelphia Eagles

19

Chicago Bears

16

New York Jets

10

Baltimore Ravens

8

Kansas City Chiefs

8

Seattle Seahawks

7

Atlanta Falcons

6

New Orleans Saints

5

SIX RINGSThe Pittsburgh Steelers have won an NFL-record six Super Bowl titles.  The franchise captured its sixth championship in the Steelers' 27-23 victory over Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII.  The clubs with the most Super Bowl titles in NFL history:

TEAM

SUPER BOWL TITLES

Pittsburgh Steelers

6

San Francisco 49ers

5

Dallas Cowboys

5

Five teams tied

3


HOME SWEET HOME...MAYBE:  While homefield advantage throughout the playoffs is a coveted prize, it has been no guarantee of a trip to the Super Bowl.  And like so much about the NFL, an unpredictable result is seemingly the only predictable outcome.

Since the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format in 1990, only 20 of the 40 (50.0 percent) No. 1 seeds have advanced to the Super Bowl, with nine No. 1 seeds being crowned champions (22.5 percent). 

How the No. 1 seeds have fared since 1990:

SEASON

AFC NO. 1 SEED

SEASON RESULT

 

NFC NO. 1 SEED

SEASON RESULT

1990

Buffalo

Lost Super Bowl XXV

San Francisco

Lost NFC Championship

1991

Buffalo

Lost Super Bowl XXVI

Washington

Won Super Bowl XXVI

1992

Pittsburgh

Lost Divisional

San Francisco

Lost NFC Championship

1993

Buffalo

Lost Super Bowl XXVIII

Dallas

Won Super Bowl XXVIII

1994

Pittsburgh

Lost AFC Championship

San Francisco

Won Super Bowl XXIX

1995

Kansas City

Lost Divisional

Dallas

Won Super Bowl XXX

1996

Denver

Lost Divisional

Green Bay

Won Super Bowl XXXI

1997

Kansas City

Lost Divisional

San Francisco

Lost NFC Championship

1998

Denver

Won Super Bowl XXXIII

Minnesota

Lost NFC Championship

1999

Jacksonville

Lost AFC Championship

St. Louis

Won Super Bowl XXXIV

2000

Tennessee

Lost Divisional

New York Giants

Lost Super Bowl XXXV

2001

Pittsburgh

Lost AFC Championship

St. Louis

Lost Super Bowl XXXVI

2002

Oakland

Lost Super Bowl XXXVII

Philadelphia

Lost NFC Championship

2003

New England

Won Super Bowl XXXVIII

Philadelphia

Lost NFC Championship

2004

Pittsburgh

Lost AFC Championship

Philadelphia

Lost Super Bowl XXXIX

2005

Indianapolis

Lost Divisional

Seattle

Lost Super Bowl XL

2006

San Diego

Lost Divisional

Chicago

Lost Super Bowl XLI

2007

New England

Lost Super Bowl XLII

Dallas

Lost Divisional

2008

Tennessee

Lost Divisional

New York Giants

Lost Divisional

2009

Indianapolis

Lost Super Bowl XLIV

New Orleans

Won Super Bowl XLIV

2010

New England

???

 

Atlanta

???


DIVISION DOMINANCE:  Since 2000, the New England Patriots have won eight division titles, the most in the NFL during that span.  The Indianapolis Colts rank second with seven division titles since 2000.  In the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles top the conference with six division crowns over that time period. 

The teams with the most division titles since 2000:

TEAM

DIVISION TITLES

New England Patriots*

8

Indianapolis Colts*

7

Philadelphia Eagles*

6

Pittsburgh Steelers*

6

Seattle Seahawks*

5

San Diego Chargers

5

                                                      *2010 division winner

SUPER ENCORE:  The AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts became the 11th Super Bowl runner-up since 1990 to qualify for the playoffs the following year.

Since 1990, the Super Bowl runner-ups to advance to the postseason:

YEAR

TEAM

RECORD

RESULT

1991

Buffalo

13-3

Won division; Advanced to Super Bowl XXVI

1992

Buffalo

11-5

Wild Card; Advanced to Super Bowl XXVII

1993

Buffalo

12-4

Won division; Advanced to Super Bowl XXVIII

1995

San Diego

9-7

Wild Card; Advanced to Wild Card

1996

Pittsburgh

10-6

Won division; Advanced to Divisional

1997

New England

10-6

Won division; Advanced to Divisional

1998

Green Bay

11-5

Wild Card; Advanced to Wild Card

2000

Tennessee

13-3

Won division; Advanced to Divisional

2006

Seattle

9-7

Won division; Advanced to Divisional

2009

Arizona

10-6

Won division; Advanced to Divisional

2010

Indianapolis

10-6

Won division; ???


POINT PRODUCTIONThe New England Patriots scored an NFL-high 518 points this year, the seventh-most points scored by a team in a single season in NFL historyThe highest-scoring teams all-time:

YEAR

TEAM

POINTS

FINAL RECORD

ADVANCED TO

2007

New England Patriots

589

16-0

Super Bowl XLII

1998

Minnesota Vikings

556

15-1

NFC Championship

1983

Washington Redskins

541

14-2

Super Bowl XVIII

2000

St. Louis Rams

540

10-6

Wild Card

1999

St. Louis Rams

526

13-3

Won Super Bowl XXXIV

2004

Indianapolis Colts

522

12-4

Divisional

2010

New England Patriots

518

14-2

???


UNDEFEATED AT HOME:  The New England Patriots finished the 2010 regular season undefeated at home.

Since 2000, only 16 teams have posted a perfect regular-season record at home.  Of the previous 15 teams, five have gone to the Super Bowl (33.1 percent).

The teams (since 2000) to finish with 8-0 records at home and their final season result:

SEASON

TEAM

OVERALL

RESULT

2002

Green Bay Packers

12-4

Advanced to Wild Card

2003

Kansas City Chiefs

13-3

Advanced to Divisional

2003

New England Patriots

14-2

Won Super Bowl XXXVIII

2003

St. Louis Rams

12-4

Advanced to Divisional

2003

Seattle Seahawks

10-6

Advanced to Wild Card

2004

New England Patriots

14-2

Won Super Bowl XXXIX

2004

Pittsburgh Steelers

15-1

Advanced to AFC Championship

2005

Denver Broncos

13-3

Advanced to AFC Championship

2005

Seattle Seahawks

13-3

Advanced to Super Bowl XL

2006

Indianapolis Colts

12-4

Won Super Bowl XLI

2006

San Diego Chargers

14-2

Advanced to Divisional

2007

New England Patriots

16-0

Advanced to Super Bowl XLII

2008

Carolina Panthers

12-4

Advanced to Divisional

2009

New England Patriots

10-6

Advanced to Wild Card

2009

Minnesota Vikings

12-4

Advanced to NFC Championship

2010

New England Patriots

14-2

???


MODEL OF CONSISTENCYThe Indianapolis Colts have advanced to the postseason in nine consecutive seasons, tying the Dallas Cowboys (1975-83) for the longest such streak in NFL history

TEAM

YEARS

CONSECUTIVE SEASONS

Dallas Cowboys

1975-1983

9

Indianapolis Colts

2002-present

9

Dallas Cowboys

1966-1973

8

Pittsburgh Steelers

1972-1979

8

Los Angeles Rams

1973-1980

8

San Francisco 49ers

1983-1990

8

The Colts have also notched their ninth consecutive 10-win season, the second-longest streak in league annals (16, San Francisco, 1983-98)

 

TEAM

YEARS

CONSECUTIVE SEASONS

San Francisco 49ers

1983-1998

16

Indianapolis Colts

2002-present

9*

New England Patriots

2003-present

  8*

Dallas Cowboys

1975-1981

7

                                      *Active

ROAD TESTED:  This Sunday marks the 14th playoff game in Ravens' history and the club's 10th on the road.  Baltimore holds a 6-3 playoff record away from home, which is tied for the best road winning percentage (.667) in NFL playoff history (minimum five games)The best road winning percentages in playoff history (minimum five games):

TEAM

RECORD

PCT.

Baltimore Ravens

6-3

.667

Carolina Panthers

4-2

.667

New England Patriots

7-9

.438

Pittsburgh Steelers

7-9

.438

Dallas Cowboys

9-14

.391

 

STINGY AGAINST THE RUN:  The Pittsburgh Steelers have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 14 consecutive postseason games, the longest current streak among teams in the playoffs this year.  The Baltimore Ravens rank second among teams in the 2010 playoffs with 13 consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard rusher.  The longest current postseason streaks of not allowing a 100-yard rusher:

TEAM

CURRENT STREAKS

Washington Redskins

17

Pittsburgh Steelers*

14

Baltimore Ravens*

13

Minnesota Vikings

11

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

9

                                           *2010 Playoff participant

STEELY RESOLVEThe Steelers allowed an NFL-low 62.8 rushing yards per game this season, the fifth-fewest rushing yards allowed per game in NFL history.

TOP RUSH DEFENSES IN NFL HISTORY

TEAM

YEAR

GAMES

YDS/GAME

Chicago Bears

1942

11

47.2

Philadelphia Eagles

1944

10

55.8

Baltimore Ravens

2000

16

60.6

Minnesota Vikings

2006

16

61.6

Pittsburgh Steelers

2010

14

62.8

 

 



OT & PLAYOFFS - WINNING COMBINATION:  Overtime games and the NFL playoffs have gone hand-in-hand for several years, with thrilling football the certain conclusion.  The playoffs have featured at least one overtime game in nine of the past 10 postseasons, including two last year. 

This season, the NFL has adopted a modified sudden-death system for the playoffs.  The new system guarantees each team a possession or the opportunity to possess, unless the team that receives the opening kickoff scores a touchdown on its initial possession.  Play continues in sudden death until a winner is determined, and the game automatically ends upon any score or when a score is awarded by the referee for a palpably unfair act. 

A look at NFL overtime playoff games since 2000:

SEASON

ROUND

TEAMS

GAME-WINNING SCORE

2000

WC

Miami 23, Indianapolis 17

RB Lamar Smith scores on 17-yard TD run.

2001

Div.

New England 16, Oakland 13

K Adam Vinatieri connects on 23-yard FG.

2002

Div.

Tennessee 34, Pittsburgh 31

K Joe Nedney wins it with 26-yard FG.

2003

WC

Green Bay 33, Seattle 27

CB Al Harris returns INT 52 yards for TD.

2003

Div.

Carolina 29, St. Louis 23 (2 OT)

QB Jake Delhomme connects with WR Steve Smith on 69-yd TD.

2003

Div.

Philadelphia 20, Green Bay 17

K David Akers wins game with 31-yard FG.

2004

WC

NY Jets 20, San Diego 17

K Doug Brien converts 28-yard FG.

2004

Div.

Pittsburgh 20, NY Jets 17

K Jeff Reed connects on 33-yard game-winner.

2006

Div.

Chicago 27, Seattle 24

K Robbie Gould converts game-winning FG from 49 yards out.

2007

Champ.

NY Giants 23, Green Bay 20

K Lawrence Tynes wins it with 47-yard FG.

2008

WC

San Diego 23, Indianapolis 17

RB Darren Sproles scores on 22-yard TD run.

2009

WC

Arizona 51, Green Bay 45

LB Karlos Dansby scores on 17-yard FR-TD.

2009

Champ.

New Orleans 31, Minnesota 28

K Garrett Hartley converts 40-yard game-winning FG.


An overtime history of the 2010 playoff participants:

TEAM

2010 OT RECORD

ALL-TIME REGULAR-SEASON OT RECORD

PLAYOFF OT RECORD

Atlanta Falcons

1-1

13-19-2 (.412)

 

1-0

Baltimore Ravens

2-1

9-7-1 (.559)

 

0-0

Chicago Bears

0-0

22-15-0 (.595)

 

1-0

Green Bay Packers

0-2

11-15-4 (.433)

 

2-3

Indianapolis Colts

0-1

12-10-1 (.543)

 

1-4

Kansas City Chiefs

1-1

12-17-2 (.419)

 

2-1

New England Patriots

1-0

17-20-0 (.459)

 

1-0

New Orleans Saints

0-1

8-11-0 (.421)

 

1-0

New York Jets

2-0

18-16-2 (.528)

 

1-2

Philadelphia Eagles

0-0

11-16-4 (.419)

 

1-0

Pittsburgh Steelers

2-0

20-14-2 (.583)

 

2-2

Seattle Seahawks

0-0

8-17-0 (.320)

 

0-3


THE PLAYERS

HITTING THE MARK:  An NFL single-season record 22 quarterbacks passed for at least 3,000 yards this year.  The previous record was 19 in 2001 and 2009.   All 12 playoff teams have a 3,000-yard passer:

PLAYER

TEAM

YARDS

Peyton Manning

Indianapolis

4,700

Drew Brees

New Orleans

4,620

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay

3,922

Tom Brady

New England

3,900

Matt Ryan

Atlanta

3,705

Joe Flacco

Baltimore

3,622

Mark Sanchez

New York Jets

3,291

Jay Cutler

Chicago

3,274

Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh

3,200

Matt Cassel

Kansas City

3,116

Michael Vick

Philadelphia

3,018

Matt Hasselbeck

Seattle

3,001

 

Eleven quarterbacks passed for at least 25 touchdowns in 2010, the second-most in a single season in NFL history (12 in 2009).  Seven of the 11 quarterbacks with 25+ touchdown passes led their teams to the postseason.

PLAYER

TEAM

TD PASSES

Tom Brady*

New England

36

Drew Brees*

New Orleans

33

Peyton Manning*

Indianapolis

33

Eli Manning

New York Giants

31

Philip Rivers

San Diego

30

Aaron Rodgers*

Green Bay

28

Matt Ryan*

Atlanta

28

Matt Cassel*

Kansas City

27

Carson Palmer

Cincinnati

26

Joe Flacco*

Baltimore

25

Josh Freeman

Tampa Bay

25

*Led team to 2010 playoffs

A PROVEN WINNERNew England's TOM BRADY is one of four quarterbacks in NFL history to win at least three Super Bowls. 

Only 10 QBs in NFL history have won multiple Super Bowls and two of them - Brady and Pittsburgh's BEN ROETHLISBERGER - are participating in the 2010 postseason.  Of the 10, two are active and seven have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Following are the starting quarterbacks to win multiple Super Bowls:

QUARTERBACK

SUPER BOWL WINS

Terry Bradshaw*

4

Joe Montana*

4

Troy Aikman*

3

Tom Brady

3

Bob Griese*

2

Bart Starr*

2

Roger Staubach*

2

Jim Plunkett

2

John Elway*

2

Ben Roethlisberger

2

                                                         *Member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

POSTSEASON SUCCESS:  New England quarterback TOM BRADY has an NFL-best 14-4 (.778) postseason record (minimum 15 starts). 

The quarterbacks with the best records in playoff history (minimum 15 starts):

QUARTERBACK

RECORD

WIN PCT.

Tom Brady*

14-4

.778

Terry Bradshaw

14-5

.737

Troy Aikman

11-4

.733

Joe Montana

16-7

.696

John Elway

14-7

.667

                                    *Active

AIMING FOR NO. 1 SPOT:  Indianapolis quarterback PEYTON MANNING ranks third in postseason history in completions (435), attempts (692) and passing yards (5,164).  The All-Star quarterback is also tied for sixth with New England's TOM BRADY for the most touchdown passes (28) in the playoffs.  Manning can move up the charts this postseason.   

Following are the playoff leaders in completions, attempts, passing yards and touchdowns:

PLAYER

COMP.

 

PLAYER

ATTEMPTS

Brett Favre

481

Brett Favre

791

Joe Montana

460

Joe Montana

734

Peyton Manning*

435

 

Peyton Manning*

692

Tom Brady*

395

Dan Marino

687

Dan Marino

385

John Elway

651

                                  *Active                                                         *Active

PLAYER

PASS YARDS

 

PLAYER

PASS TDs

Brett Favre

5,855

Joe Montana

45

Joe Montana

5,772

Brett Favre

44

Peyton Manning*

5,164

Dan Marino

32

John Elway

4,964

Kurt Warner

31

Dan Marino

4,510

Terry Bradshaw

30

*Active

 

Tom Brady*

28

 

Peyton Manning*

28

                                                                                                  *Active

MANNING FOR 300:  Indianapolis quarterback PEYTON MANNING has eight career 300-yard passing games in the postseason, the most in NFL history. 

The players with the most career 300-yard passing games in the playoffs:

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

GAMES

300-YARD GAMES

Peyton Manning*

Indianapolis

18

8

Joe Montana

San Francisco, Kansas City

23

6

Kurt Warner

St. Louis., Arizona

13

6

Dan Fouts

San Diego

7

5

Five Tied

--

--

4

                              *Active

COOL BREES:  New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES led the Saints to the franchise's first Super Bowl championship last year and was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV.  In six career playoff games, Brees ranks as one of the top postseason quarterbacks in NFL history. 

His 103.7 passer rating in the playoffs is the second-highest mark in NFL history (minimum 150 attempts), behind Pro Football Hall of Famer BART STARR (104.8).  The quarterbacks with the highest postseason passer rating (min. 150 attempts):

QUARTERBACK

ATT

COMP

YARDS

TD

INT

RATING

Bart Starr

213

130

1,753

15

3

104.8

Drew Brees*

225

150

1,648

13

2

103.7

Kurt Warner

462

307

3,952

31

14

102.8

Joe Montana

734

460

5,772

45

21

95.6

Ken Anderson

166

110

1,321

9

6

93.5

                                    *Active

Brees has completed 150 of 225 attempts in his postseason career for a 66.7 completion percentage, the highest in NFL playoff history (minimum 150 attempts).  The quarterbacks with the highest postseason completion percentage (min. 150 attempts):

QUARTERBACK

ATT

COMP

PCT

Drew Brees*

225

150

66.7

Kurt Warner

462

307

66.5

Ken Anderson

166

110

66.3

Warren Moon

403

259

64.3

Rich Gannon

240

154

64.2

                                                     *Active

Brees has thrown only two interceptions in 225 playoff attempts (0.89 percent).  That mark is the lowest percentage of passes intercepted in NFL postseason history (minimum 150 attempts).  The quarterbacks with the lowest postseason interception percentage (min. 150 attempts):

QUARTERBACK

ATT

INT

PCT

Drew Brees*

225

2

0.89

Bart Starr

213

3

1.41

Phil Simms

279

6

2.15

Tom Brady*

637

15

2.35

Matt Hasselbeck*

325

8

2.46

                                                     *Active

MATTY ICE:  Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN has won 33 games as a starter in his first three NFL seasons, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO for the most wins by a starting quarterback in his first three seasons among players who began their careers after the 1970 merger. 

Baltimore's JOE FLACCO ranks third with 32 wins in his first three NFL seasons and led the Ravens to a playoff berth.

PLAYER

TEAM

FIRST THREE YEARS

WINS

Dan Marino

Miami

1983-1985

33

Matt Ryan

Atlanta

2008-2010

33

Joe Flacco

Baltimore

2008-2010

32

Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh

2004-2006

29

John Elway

Denver

1983-1985

27


MR. RODGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD:  Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS threw for a franchise postseason record 423 yards in his first playoff start last year (1/10/10 at Arizona).  Rodgers' 423 yards are the second-most in NFL postseason history for a quarterback making his first ever playoff start (KELLY HOLCOMB, 429 yards, 1/5/03 at Pittsburgh).

Rodgers can become the first player in NFL postseason history to throw for 400+ yards in consecutive playoff games.  PEYTON MANNING and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for at least 400 yards in two playoff games. 

The 14 400-yard passing performances in NFL postseason history:

QUARTERBACK

TEAM

OPPONENT

DATE

PASS YARDS

Bernie Kosar

Cleveland

New York Jets

1/3/87

489

Peyton Manning

Indianapolis

Denver

1/9/05

458

Dan Fouts

San Diego

Miami

1/2/82

433

Kelly Holcomb

Cleveland

Pittsburgh

1/5/03

429

Jeff George

Minnesota

St. Louis

1/16/00

423

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay

Arizona

1/10/10

423

Dan Marino

Miami

Buffalo

12/30/95

422

Dan Marino

Miami

Pittsburgh

1/6/85

421

Kurt Warner

St. Louis

Tennessee

1/30/00

414

Randall Cunningham

Philadelphia

Chicago

12/31/88

407

Jim Kelly

Buffalo

Cleveland

1/6/90

405

Don Strock

Miami

San Diego

1/2/82

403

Peyton Manning

Indianapolis

San Diego

1/13/08

402

Daryle Lamonica

Oakland

New York Jets

12/29/68

401


VICK-TORY:  Philadelphia quarterback MICHAEL VICK became the first player in NFL history to have at least 3,000 passing yards (3,018), 20 touchdown passes (21), 500 rushing yards (676) and seven rushing touchdowns (nine) in a single season.  He also became the second quarterback to pass for at least 3,000 yards, post a passer rating of at least 100.0 (100.2) and rush for 500 yards in a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer STEVE YOUNG (1992).  That year, Young led the 49ers to a 14-2 regular-season record as San Francisco advanced to the NFC Championship Game. 

FIRST-TIMERS:  Quarterbacks MATT CASSEL of the Kansas City Chiefs and JAY CUTLER of the Chicago Bears will each make their playoff debut this postseason.  The players with the most passing yards in their first career postseason start:

PLAYER

TEAM

PASSING YARDS

Kelly Holcomb

Cleveland Browns

429

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers

423

Randall Cunningham

Philadelphia Eagles

407

Kurt Warner

St. Louis Rams

391

Neil Lomax

St. Louis Cardinals

385


ROOKIE RECEIVERS:  Three rookies in the 2010 playoff field recorded at least 40 receptions this season - Kansas City's TONY MOEAKI (47) and New England's AARON HERNANDEZ (45) and ROB GRONKOWSKI (42).  All three players are tight ends.  The rookie records for the most receptions and receiving yards in a single postseason by a tight end are held by STEVE JUNKER, who had 13 catches for 201 yards for Detroit in 1957. 

The rookies with the most receptions and receiving yards in a single postseason:

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR

RECEPTIONS

Joseph Addai

Indianapolis

2006

22

Torry Holt

St. Louis

1999

20

Austin Collie

Indianapolis

2009

17

Chad Morton

New Orleans

2000

15

Steve Junker

Detroit

1957

13

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR

RECEIVING YARDS

Torry Holt

St. Louis

1999

242

Austin Collie

Indianapolis

2009

241

DeSean Jackson

Philadelphia

2008

207

Steve Junker

Detroit

1957

201

Ricky Nattiel

Denver

1987

171


PEAK PICKOFFS:  Philadelphia cornerback ASANTE SAMUEL has seven career playoff interceptions for an NFL-record 227 yards and has returned four for touchdowns, the most in playoff history.  Samuel's seven interceptions are tied for the fifth-most in NFL postseason annals.  The players with the most INTs, INT-return yards and INT-TDs in the playoffs:

PLAYER

INTs

 

PLAYER

INT-RETURN YARDS

 

PLAYER

INT-TDs

Charlie Waters

9

 

Asante Samuel*

227

 

Asante Samuel*

4

Bill Simpson

9

Willie Brown

196

Willie Brown

3

Ronnie Lott

9

Ronnie Lott

187

Seven players tied

2

Lester Hayes

8

*Active

 

*Active

 

Asante Samuel*

7

 

 

Ed Reed*

7

 

 

Three others tied

7

 

 

            *Active                                                                       

GREEN AKERS:  Philadelphia kicker DAVID AKERS led the NFL with 143 points.  He has made 30 field goals in his postseason career, the third-most by a player in NFL history.  Akers also holds the NFL playoff record with 19 consecutive field goals made (2000-04, 2006, 2008). 

MOST PLAYOFF FG MADE

 

MOST CONSECUTIVE FG MADE IN POSTSEASON

Adam Vinatieri

NE, IND

42

David Akers

PHI

19

2000-04, 2006, 2008

Gary Anderson

PIT, PHI, SF, MIN, TEN

32

Gary Anderson

PIT, PHI

16

1989-1995

David Akers

PHI

30

Rafael Septien

DAL

15

1978-1982

He has currently scored a point in 18 consecutive playoff games, the third-longest streak in NFL history. 

MOST CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF GAMES SCORING

Adam Vinatieri

NE, IND

23*

1996-present

George Blanda

CHI, HOU, OAK

19

1956-1975

David Akers

PHI

18*

2000-present

                                              *Active streak

CLUTCH RECEIVER:  Indianapolis wide receiver REGGIE WAYNE posted a career-best 111 receptions this season with 1,355 receiving yards.  The Pro Bowl wide receiver ranks fourth in postseason history with 82 receptions and is sixth with 1,127 playoff receiving yards.  Wayne also has nine career postseason touchdowns, tied for the sixth-most in playoff history.  The players with the most playoff receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions:         

PLAYER

RECEPTIONS

 

PLAYER

REC. YARDS

 

PLAYER

REC. TD

Jerry Rice

151

Jerry Rice

2,245

 

Jerry Rice

22

Michael Irvin

87

Michael Irvin

1,315

 

John Stallworth

12

Andre Reed

85

Cliff Branch

1,289

 

Fred Biletnikoff

10

Reggie Wayne*

82

Andre Reed

1,229

 

Antonio Freeman

10

Thurman Thomas

76

Fred Biletnikoff

1,167

 

Randy Moss

10

Hines Ward*

76

Reggie Wayne*

1,127

 

Reggie Wayne*

9

*In 2010 playoffs                         

 

*In 2010 playoffs

 

 

Larry Fitzgerald

9

 

 

 

 

Lynn Swann

9

 

 

 

 

Andre Reed

9

                                                                                                                              *In 2010 playoffs                        

SUPER BOWL MVPNew York Jets wide receiver SANTONIO HOLMES will play in his first postseason game since being named Super Bowl XLIII MVP with Pittsburgh.  Holmes is one of only six wide receivers to earn Super Bowl MVP honors.  Three of the six Super Bowl MVP wide receivers are in the playoffs this season. 

Following are the wide receivers who were named Super Bowl MVP

PLAYER

SUPER BOWL

TOTALS IN GAME

Lynn Swann

X

4 catches for 161 yards with 1 TD

Fred Biletnikoff

XI

4 catches for 79 yards

Jerry Rice

XXIII

11 catches for 215 yards with 1 TD

Deion Branch*

XXXIX

11 catches for 133 yards

Hines Ward*

XL

5 catches for 123 yards with 1 TD

Santonio Holmes*

XLIII

9 catches for 131 yards with 1 TD

                                              *In 2010 playoffs

SPECIAL DELIVERY:  There have been only 20 punt-return touchdowns in playoff history.  The last player with a punt-return touchdown in the postseason was New Orleans' REGGIE BUSH in last year's Divisional round (83 yards, the third-longest in NFL playoff history).  No player has ever recorded more than one in a career. 

There have been 21 playoff kickoff-return touchdowns.  The last player with a kickoff-return touchdown in the postseason was Chicago's DEVIN HESTER in Super Bowl XLI (92 yards).  RON DIXON of the New York Giants (2000-02) is the only player with two such touchdowns in a career. 

Hester set the NFL career regular-season record for the most combined kick-return touchdowns earlier this year. 

PLAYER

PR-TDs

KR-TDs

COMBINED KR-PR TDs

Devin Hester

10

4

14

Brian Mitchell

9

4

13

Dante Hall

6

6

12

Eric Metcalf

10

2

12

Joshua Cribbs

2

8

10

Seattle's LEON WASHINGTON had three kickoff-return touchdowns this season, already setting the franchise career record.  Washington, who had three kickoff-return touchdowns with the Jets in 2007, is the only player in NFL history with at least three kickoff-return touchdowns in two different seasons.  Washington has seven career kickoff-return touchdowns, the second-most in NFL history. 

PLAYER

KR-TDs

Joshua Cribbs

8

Leon Washington

7

Dante Hall

6

Ollie Matson

6

Gale Sayers

6

Travis Williams

6

Atlanta's ERIC WEEMS was one of only two players this season to return both a punt and kickoff for a touchdown. 

PLAYER

TEAM

PR-TD, OPPONENT, WEEK

KR-TD, OPPONENT, WEEK

Marc Mariani

Tennessee

87 yards vs. Washington, Week 11

98 yards vs. Denver, Week 4

Eric Weems

Atlanta

55 yards vs. Carolina, Week 17

102 yards vs. Tampa Bay, Week 13


SACK ATTACK:  Green Bay linebacker FRANK ZOMBO had four sacks this season, the most among rookies in the 2010 playoff field. 

Following are the rookies with the most sacks in a playoff game and entire postseason:

MOST SACKS IN PLAYOFF GAME, ROOKIE

PLAYER, TEAM

SACKS

OPPONENT

DATE

Garin Veris, New England

3

N.Y. Jets

December 28, 1985

Many players

2

MOST SACKS IN A POSTSEASON, ROOKIE

PLAYER, TEAM

SACKS

SEASON

Greg Townsend, L.A. Raiders

4.5

1983

Garin Veris, New England

4

1985

Eric Dorsey, N.Y. Giants

3

1986

Jevon Kearse, Tennessee

3

1999

Cornelius Griffin, N.Y. Giants

3

2000


ROOKIE DEFENDERS:  New England cornerback DEVIN MC COURTY, the team's first-round selection in 2010, led all NFL rookies with seven interceptions.  Seattle's EARL THOMAS, another first-round pick, led NFC rookies with five INTs. 

The rookies with the most interceptions in a playoff game and entire postseason:

MOST INTERCEPTIONS IN PLAYOFF GAME, ROOKIE

PLAYER, TEAM

INT

OPPONENT

DATE

Vernon Perry, Houston

4

San Diego

December 29, 1979

Ricky Manning, Jr., Carolina

3

Philadelphia

January 18, 2004

Many players

2

MOST INTERCEPTIONS IN A POSTSEASON, ROOKIE

PLAYER, TEAM

INT

SEASON

Vernon Perry, Houston

5

1979

Ricky Manning, Jr., Carolina

4

2003

Jim Marsalis, Kansas City

3

1969

Roynell Young, Philadelphia

3

1980


BEST NFL PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES

(Single postseason)

PASSING YARDS

Player, Team

Season

Comp.

Att.

YARDS
TD
INT

Kurt Warner, Arizona

2008

135

92

1,147
 
11
3

Kurt Warner, St. Louis

1999

77

121

1,063
 
8
4

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis

2006

153

97

1,034

 

3

7

Dan Marino, Miami

1984

71

116

1,001

 

8

5

Jake Delhomme, Carolina

2003

59

102

987

 

6

1

RUSHING YARDS

PLAYER, TEAM

SEASON

ATT.

YARDS

TD

John Riggins, Washington

1982

136

 

610

4

Terrell Davis, Denver

1997

112

 

581

8

Terrell Davis, Denver

1998

78

 

468

3

Marcus Allen, L.A. Raiders

1983

58

 

466

4

Eddie George, Tennessee

1999

108

 

449

3

RECEIVING YARDS

PLAYER, TEAM

SEASON

REC.

YARDS

TD

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

2008

30

546

7

Jerry Rice, San Francisco

1988

21

409

6

Steve Smith, Carolina

2003

18

404

3

Charlie Brown, Washington

1983

14

401

1

Anthony Carter, Minnesota

1987

23

391

1

 

RECEPTIONS

PLAYER, TEAM

SEASON

REC.

YARDS

TD

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

2008

30

546

7

Steve Smith, Carolina

2005

27

335

3

Wes Welker, New England

2007

27

213

2

Anthony Carter, Minnesota

1987

23

391

1

Dan Ross, Cincinnati

1981

22

244

2

Tony Nathan, Miami

1984

22

217

0

Joseph Addai, Indianapolis

2006

22

118

0

SCRIMMAGE TOUCHDOWNS

PLAYER, TEAM

SEASON

TOTAL TDs

RUSH TD

REC. TD

Terrell Davis, Denver

1997

8

8

0

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

2008

7

0

7

Larry Csonka, Miami

1973

6

6

0

Franco Harris, Pittsburgh

1974

6

6

0

John Riggins, Washington

1983

6

6

0

Jerry Rice, San Francisco

1988

6

0

6

Gerald Riggs, Washington

1991

6

6

0

Ricky Watters, San Francisco

1993

6

6

0

Emmitt Smith, Dallas

1995

6

6

0


THE COACHES

HEAD OF THE CLASS:  New England Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK has compiled a 15-5 (.750) record in his postseason career.  Belichick ranks fifth all-time with 15 playoff victories, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers TOM LANDRY, DON SHULA, JOE GIBBS and CHUCK NOLL.

With a win in the Divisional Playoffs, Belichick will tie Noll (16) for the fourth most playoff wins.

The head coaches with the most playoff wins in league history:

HEAD COACH

TEAM(S)

PLAYOFF WINS

Tom Landry

Dallas Cowboys

20

Don Shula

Baltimore Colts, Miami Dolphins

19

Joe Gibbs

Washington Redskins

17

Chuck Noll

Pittsburgh Steelers

16

Bill Belichick

Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots

15*

                   *Active

DANDY ANDY:  Since taking over as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999, ANDY REID has guided the club to seven Divisional Playoff appearances and five NFC Championship Games. 

Following are the teams with the most Divisional and Championship Game appearances since 1999:

TEAM

DIVISIONAL

 

TEAM

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Indianapolis

7

New England

5

New England

7*

 

Philadelphia

5

Philadelphia

7

Pittsburgh

4

         *Includes 2010 as New England will host AFC Divisional

2010 PLAYOFF HEAD COACHES & THEIR PLAYOFF WINNING PERCENTAGES

COACH, TEAM

W

L

PCT.

Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints

4

1

.800

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

15

5

.750

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

3

1

.750

Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts

2

1

.667

Rex Ryan, New York Jets

2

1

.667

John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

3

2

.600

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles

10

8

.556

Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears

2

2

.500

Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks

1

2

.333

Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers

1

2

.333

Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons

0

1

.000

Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs

0

0

.000

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