Tuck: Expect A Blowout In NFL Wild Card Weekend

Only once since the NFL expanded it’s Wild Card round in 1990 has there not been a game decided by at least two touchdowns.  That was in 1991-92.

Even if you go back to the introduction of the Wild Card into the NFL in 1978 (at that point it was one wild card game per conference), there have only been 3 times in the last 33 years where every game was decided by less than 10 points.

Since 1990-91, when the extra wild card game was added to each conference, the average margin of victory in the biggest blowout of the weekend has been 23.3 points per game!

The victories have been by 27, 7, 17, 18, 21, 28, 25, 15, 17, 15, 17, 18, 22, 41, 31, 25, 25, 21, 21, 18, 20, and 23.

That is just the biggest blowout of the weekend.  It does not factor in the other lopsided games that may take place that same weekend.

Games each year decided by 10 points or more: 3, 0, 3, 1, 2, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 4, 2, 2, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, 3, 1.

So that is just 3 times in 21 years that there was only one blowout.

Expanded playoffs have been great for the NFL.  It keeps the majority of teams in the playoff hunt until the final few weekends of the season, adding drama and intrigue.  The reality though is that in most years, it invites some average, and most likely inconsistent teams in the tournament.  Those teams are often exposed in embarrassing fashion.

I am not saying that this is a bad thing at all.  I am just saying temper your expectations if you are thinking you’ll be seeing 8 good football teams this weekend play 4 good playoff games.  It’s been 20 years since that happened.