Thursday, January 14, 2021

NFL Playoffs—#1 Scoring Team Versus #1 Scoring Defense

By John Turney
Since the AFL-NFL merger, this matchup (top-scoring team versus team allowing fewest points) has occurred in the Super Bowl a few times. Pro Football Reference has posted on that. 

Via Twitter, we asked if they ever posted on teams in the same conference meeting and they responded with a Tweet saying they would have to look that up. So, we did it ourselves. 

It turns out it has happened but not too often—only eight times since 1970. 
  1. The first time was 1970 when the 49ers beat the Vikings 17-14.
  2. The next year the Cowboys were number one in scoring and also beat the Vikings.
  3. In 1976 the defense got its revenge as the Steelers beat the top-scoring Colts 
  4. Defense reigned again in 1980 when the Eagles beat Dallas in the NFC Championship game. 
  5. In 1993 the 49ers beat the Giants #1 ranked scoring defense.
  6. The Broncos, in 1997,  put down the Chiefs top defense
  7. Then, in 2014, the Packers lost to the Seahawks Legion of Boom.
  8. The next year the Panthers top O beat the Seahawks top D
So, in the matchups, it's four of the offense and four for the defense. 

This brings us to 2020 with the Packers leading offense versus the Rams defense which ranks first in fewest points allowed.

Clearly, it can go either way. Even if there had been some advantage for the offense or defense, historically, it wouldn't tell us anything about this weekend—it could go either way.


  1. Its time for Rodgers to join the elite list of multiple championship QBs. Can he do it ?

    With home-field advantage, there should be no excuses but fans still remember the 2011/12 postseason and that crazy 2014/15 NFC Championship game. Blowouts in the 2016/17, and last years NFC Championship games, didnt help either. Its one thing beating the bad teams, another beating good teams and the Packers record has been 6-4 against winning teams the last two seasons counting the postseason.

    Can the Rams win in cold weather ?
    Though I think it will be around 30 temp for kickoff. Not exactly the Ice Bowl.

    1. Sorry, thats Rodgers record. The Packers as a team I think are 7-4, against winning teams.