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Luck's Colts won big early in the year, but are small favorites today

Luck’s Colts won big early in the year, but are small favorites today

In week 7, the Bengals lost 27-0 to Indianapolis. What does that mean? I looked at all playoff rematches where:

  • The teams only played once during the regular season (as, I think, division rivals represent a different equation)
  • The rematch occurred in the same location as the original game
  • The home team won the regular season meeting

This happened once last year, where the Saints also lost by 27 points on the road to the Seahawks during the regular season, and then revisited Seattle in the playoffs. Obviously Seattle won that rematch, too, which is not unusual. There have been 11 situations where the home team won by at least 27 during the regular season, and the home teams went 9-2 in the rematch. (And, it’s worth noting, that one of the wins came with Joe Montana starting the playoff game for the Chiefs, after Dave Krieg started the regular season loss.) The table below shows all playoff rematches between teams that met the above criteria.

Here’s how to read the second entry. In 1991, the Lions traveled back to Washington for the Conference Championship Game. Detroit was a 14-point underdog, and point spread data is included for all games since 1978. In the game, Detroit lost, 41-10. In the regular season, the teams met in Washington (remember, all games in this table were rematches at the same site) in week 1, and Detroit lost 45-0 (remember, all games in this table occurred from the perspective of the road team, and the road team lost in the first game). That -45 points differential was the 2nd most ever; the table is sorted by points differential in the regular season.

TmYearOppRdLineW/LPFPAPO BoxscoreReg WkReg PFReg PAReg PDReg Boxscore
CLE1969MINCLoss727Boxscore8351-48Boxscore
DET1991WASC14Loss1041Boxscore1045-45Boxscore
ATL1991WASD11.5Loss724Boxscore111756-39Boxscore
MIN1977RAMDWin147Boxscore6335-32Boxscore
SEA2006CHID8.5Loss2427Boxscore4637-31Boxscore
DAL1981SFOC-3Loss2728Boxscore61445-31Boxscore
KAN1993HOUD7Win2820Boxscore2030-30Boxscore
HOU2012NWED9.5Loss2841Boxscore141442-28Boxscore
CIN2014INDW3.5Boxscore7027-27Boxscore
NOR2013SEAD7.5Loss1523Boxscore13734-27Boxscore
TEN2002OAKC9Loss2441Boxscore42552-27Boxscore
PIT1989DEND10Loss2324Boxscore9734-27Boxscore
SDG2007NWEC14Loss1221Boxscore21438-24Boxscore
DAL1991DETD0Loss638Boxscore91034-24Boxscore
RAM1979DALD8.5Win2119Boxscore7630-24Boxscore
GNB1944NYGCWin147Boxscore7024-24Boxscore
SEA2003GNBW7.5Loss2733Boxscore51335-22Boxscore
GNB1993DALD13.5Loss1727Boxscore51436-22Boxscore
NYG1984RAMW4.5Win1613Boxscore51233-21Boxscore
PIT2005INDD8.5Win2118Boxscore12726-19Boxscore
STL2004ATLD6.5Loss1747Boxscore21734-17Boxscore
KAN1994MIAW3Loss1727Boxscore152845-17Boxscore
CIN1990RAID6Loss1020Boxscore15724-17Boxscore
HOU2011BALD8Loss1320Boxscore61429-15Boxscore
RAM1979TAMC-3.5Win90Boxscore4621-15Boxscore
DET2011NORW10.5Loss2845Boxscore131731-14Boxscore
NWE2004PITC-3Win4127Boxscore82034-14Boxscore
RAI1990BUFC7Loss351Boxscore52438-14Boxscore
BUF1988CINC4Loss1021Boxscore132135-14Boxscore
PIT1977DENDLoss2134Boxscore8721-14Boxscore
CHI1946NYGCWin2414Boxscore5014-14Boxscore
WAS1990SFOD8Loss1028Boxscore21326-13Boxscore
DAL1978RAMCWin280Boxscore31427-13Boxscore
CLE1957DETCLoss1459Boxscore11720-13Boxscore
MIN1968BALDLoss1424Boxscore11921-12Boxscore
GNB1938NYGCLoss1723Boxscore9315-12Boxscore
MIN2004PHID8Loss1427Boxscore21627-11Boxscore
NYJ2004PITD9Loss1720Boxscore14617-11Boxscore
DEN1997PITC1Win2421Boxscore152435-11Boxscore
MIN1997SFOD11.5Loss2238Boxscore151728-11Boxscore
GNB1994DALD10Loss935Boxscore133142-11Boxscore
CAR2005CHID3Win2921Boxscore11313-10Boxscore
TAM2002PHIC4Win2710Boxscore71020-10Boxscore
DAL1999MINW7Loss1027Boxscore91727-10Boxscore
GNB1995DALC9Loss2738Boxscore62434-10Boxscore
SFO1993DALC3Loss2138Boxscore71726-9Boxscore
NWE2005DEND3Loss1327Boxscore62028-8Boxscore
TEN2003NWED6Loss1417Boxscore53038-8Boxscore
PIT2002TEND4.5Loss3134Boxscore112331-8Boxscore
NYG2011SFOC2Win2017Boxscore102027-7Boxscore
DAL1994SFOC7Loss2838Boxscore111421-7Boxscore
NWE1994CLEW3Loss1320Boxscore10613-7Boxscore
NWE1986DEND4Loss1722Boxscore42027-7Boxscore
NYG1981SFOD6Loss2438Boxscore131017-7Boxscore
BAL2009NWEW4Win3314Boxscore42127-6Boxscore
NYJ2002OAKD5.5Loss1030Boxscore132026-6Boxscore
OAK1972PITDLoss713Boxscore12834-6Boxscore
TAM1982DALW8Loss1730Boxscore3914-5Boxscore
GNB1972WASDLoss316Boxscore111621-5Boxscore
ARI2008CARD10Win3313Boxscore82327-4Boxscore
NYG1990SFOC8Win1513Boxscore1337-4Boxscore
HOU1969OAKDLoss756Boxscore11721-4Boxscore
CHI1940WASCWin730Boxscore937-4Boxscore
GNB2010ATLD1.5Win4821Boxscore121720-3Boxscore
PHI2006NORD4.5Loss2427Boxscore62427-3Boxscore
IND2004NWED1Loss320Boxscore12427-3Boxscore
ATL2002GNBW6.5Win277Boxscore13437-3Boxscore
JAX1996NWEC7.5Loss620Boxscore42528-3Boxscore
SFO1996GNBD5Loss1435Boxscore72023-3Boxscore
MIN1988SFOD3.5Loss934Boxscore92124-3Boxscore
BUF1981CIND6Loss2128Boxscore42427-3Boxscore
PIT1976OAKCLoss724Boxscore12831-3Boxscore
NYG1961GNBCLoss037Boxscore121720-3Boxscore
BAL1958NYGCWin2317Boxscore72124-3Boxscore
SDG2008PITD6.5Loss2435Boxscore111011-1Boxscore
WAS2005TAMW2.5Win1710Boxscore103536-1Boxscore
SFO1988CHIC-2Win283Boxscore8910-1Boxscore

Some thoughts:

  • Teams that lost by at least 27 the first time around are 2-9 in the rematch, but in only one of those games (The Catch), was Vegas higher on the home team than the books are on the 2014 Bengals.
  • Regardless of the score in the initial meeting, the road teams are 23-53 in this situation.
  • Teams have lost two straight in this situation: the 2013 Saints in Seattle and the 2012 Texans in New England, but road teams are also 4-5 since 2008.
  • The Colts lost to the Steelers in 2005 in this situation, which is the last time Indianapolis was in this spot.

Other notes: If Andy Dalton loses, he’ll tie Y.A. Tittle as the only quarterbacks to lose their first four playoff starts. Meanwhile, Marvin Lewis has already gone 11 straight seasons in Cincinnati without winning a playoff game; with a loss today, he becomes the first to go 12 straight years.