The Value of Momentum heading into Playoffs : Packers Insider

The Value of Momentum heading into Playoffs

January 1, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Jan 1, 2010, by Kevin Seifert, ESPN.com

~When someone mentions “Big Mo,” I always think of a former baseball slugger. In football, however, it refers to another opaque entity: momentum.

You’re hearing that word bandied about regularly as we approach the NFL playoffs, perhaps in no division more than the NFC North. Our two playoff teams are going in opposite directions, and the debate is on as to whether their late-season performances will impact their postseason run. How much importance should we place on Minnesota’s 1-3 record in December? What does Green Bay’s 3-1 mark over the same stretch indicate?

If you’re talking about the ultimate goal of reaching the Super Bowl, however, recent history gives the Packers a much better chance than the Vikings.

If you’re talking about the ultimate goal of reaching the Super Bowl, however, recent history gives the Packers a much better chance than the Vikings.

Conventional wisdom suggests teams playing well at the end of the regular season are more likely to experience postseason success. In this ESPN Insider piece, Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders terms that notion “a crock,” noting examples from both sides of the equation — hot teams that failed in the playoffs (Atlanta, 2008) and cold teams that marched through the postseason (Indianapolis, 2006).

If you’re talking about the ultimate goal of reaching the Super Bowl, however, recent history gives the Packers a much better chance than the Vikings.

I took a somewhat arbitrary look at each of the 18 teams that have reached the nine Super Bowls during this decade, measuring their records in December/January regular-season games. Of that group, 16 had winning records over that time period. The 2006 Colts were

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