Does strength of victory matter in AFC Championship?

Street Talk Does strength of victory matter in AFC Championship?

Posted in Street Talk
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The
differences between the Ravens and Patriots really couldn’t be more clearly
defined. We have the better defense and they have the better offense. The
Ravens QB is solid with a blue collar playing style, while the Patriots QB is
nearing the status of deity. The Ravens have the star running back in Ray Rice
and the Patriots don’t have a single RB that could be viewed as a legitimate
starter.

So
what does it really come down to when you get beyond the obvious comparisons?

One
barometer commonly used is comparing strength of schedule (SOS). The Ravens SOS
for the regular season was .476, while the Patriots came in at .449. In games
against teams with a winning record the Ravens are 7-1, including the playoff
win over Houston;
and the Patriots are 0-2.

While
SOS can be used when breaking down two teams, recent history shows it’s not a
major factor in the outcome of the AFC Championship game. Over the last 5 AFC
title games the team having the higher SOS is only 3-2. The road teams over
that same span have gone winless….yes 0-5. The recent trend has the home team
with the higher ranked offense advancing to the Super Bowl. 

Last Five AFC
Championship Games

Year

Teams

Off. Rank (PPG)

Def. Rank (PPG)

Strength of
Schedule

Result

2010

NY
Jets – 19

13th

6th

.492

Loss

Steelers
– 24

12th

1st

.500

Win

2009

NY
Jets – 17

17th

1st

.516

Loss

Colts – 30

7th

8th

.473

Win

2008

Ravens
– 14

11th

3rd

.516

Loss

Steelers
– 23

20th

1st

.519

Win

2007

Chargers
– 12

5th

5th

.500

Loss

Patriots
– 21

1st

4th

.469

Win

2006

Patriots
– 34

7th

6th

.496

Loss

Colts
– 38

T-2nd

21st

.500

Win

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Scot Kleinfeld

About Scot Kleinfeld

Scot is a Baltimore native, a Towson University graduate, and has followed sports since the early 1980's. Scot likes to go inside the numbers and get the real "411" on the wins and losses,  hence his Behind The Numbers column.   Besides being an avid sports fan, Scot has been involved with televison sports production as an Associate Producer since 1993 for WMAR, ESPN, ESPNU,ESPN2, and the former Home Team Sports network.  In addition to his television work Scot has written articles for Baltimore Magazine, Lacrosse Magazine and Patuxent Publishing.  These experiences make him a natural as the creator of the Media Watchdog, another of SK's fine contributions.   More from Scot Kleinfeld

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