Julio's historic average & New Orleans' road woes - NFL Divisional Playoffs in Opta facts
As the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots start their postseason campaign, we look at the best Opta facts for the divisional playoffs.
History has already been made in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.
Missing star quarterback and MVP candidate Carson Wentz, the Philadelphia Eagles are the first top seed to go into their opening playoff matchup as underdogs.
That is perhaps the greatest illustration of the lack of faith in Wentz's replacement Nick Foles as he leads the Eagles into a matchup with an Atlanta Falcons team that produced an excellent defensive effort to knock off the Los Angeles Rams in their Wild Card matchup.
There figures to be a similar lack of belief in Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots despite their stunning comeback against the Kansas City Chiefs last week.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will be out to replicate their 30-9 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers from October when they visit Heinz Field again for a place in the AFC Championship Game.
A place in history could also beckon for the Minnesota Vikings, whose bid to become the first team to play in the Super Bowl in their home stadium resumes as they take on the New Orleans Saints.
Here we look at some of the best Opta facts for this weekend's second-round matchups.
Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles
- Philadelphia have totalled under 220 yards of offense in their last two home games, the first time they have done so since September 12-19, 1999. They have not done so in three straight home games since October 10-31, 1971.
- Since the start of Week 15, the Eagles are averaging 17.7 points and 258.9 yards of offense per game, which rank as the 12th and fourth-worst, respectively, in the NFL over that time. Prior to that, they averaged 31.1 points and 390.4 yards of offense per game, good for the best and the third-best in the league.
- Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is averaging 104.7 receiving yards per game in the postseason, the best average in league history (minimum six games).
- The Falcons have won three of their last four road games after their victory in Los Angeles last weekend. They have now forced at least one turnover in six straight away games after failing to force a single one in their previous three.
Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots
- New England are 9-1 at home in the playoffs since the 2011 season. No other team has more than five home wins in the postseason in that time.
- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has caught nine touchdowns in the playoffs. Since 1999, only one other tight end has more than four in the postseason (Vernon Davis – 7).
- Last week, Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota became the first quarterback in league postseason history to catch a touchdown pass. He is also just the fifth quarterback since 1999 to record a touchdown pass and reception in the same game.
- Titans running back Derrick Henry finished with 156 rushing yards and a touchdown against Kansas City last week, becoming the second player in team history to record 150+ rushing yards in a playoff game.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers
- The Steelers are 12-2 all time at home in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the best record in the league (min. five games). Additionally, they are 5-1 at home in the postseason since the 2008 season, the second-best record in the NFL in that time (min. five games).
- Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has thrown multiple interceptions in six of his nine playoff games at home in his career.
- Jacksonville had 11 interceptions on the road during the regular season, tied for the second most in the league.
- The Jaguars won four road games this season. They won five between 2013 and 2016. Jacksonville has lost five of their last six road playoff games, though the one win came in Pittsburgh.
New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings
- The Vikings are 4-3 in their last seven home playoff games, but have lost two of their last three. They have not lost two straight home playoff games since doing so in 1988 against the Washington Redskins and 1993 against the Chicago Bears.
- The Vikings allowed just 15.8 points per game during the regular season, the fewest in the league. They also allowed just 13 passing touchdowns, also the fewest in the NFL.
- New Orleans are 1-6 all time on the road in the playoffs. In their seven road playoff games, they have 18 turnovers and just three takeaways.
- The Saints allowed the Panthers to gain 413 total yards in the Wild Card game. It was the first time this season that the Saints won a game in which the opponent gained 400+ yards in regulation. They are now 2-4 in games in which they allowed at least 400 yards this year, including their Week 1 loss to Minnesota.
#Saints QB Drew Brees needs 38 yards and two TDs to move into 9th place on both the postseason career passing yards and passing touchdowns leaderboards. h/t @OptaJerry #NOvsMIN pic.twitter.com/qdT8D1gLsJ— Omnisport US News (@OmnisportUS) January 11, 2018