McCoy crucial to Bills, dome sweet dome for Saints - Wild Card weekend in Opta facts
Ahead of the start of the playoffs, we look at some of the best Opta facts going into the Wild Card round.
The race for Super Bowl LII is down to 12 teams, and will be reduced to eight this weekend as the playoffs get underway with Wild Card weekend.
Four teams - the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings - will be able to relax and play the role of spectator having sealed first-round byes.
But for the rest it is do or die and, ahead of the start of the postseason, we look at some of the best Opta facts surrounding the four wild card games.
Tennesee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs
- Tennessee have won four of the last six games against Kansas City dating back to 2007. The Titans are 4-1 all-time in Kansas City. This will be the first time the two teams have met in the playoffs.
- Kansas City have won their last three home games while having just one turnover. Over that same span, they have forced nine turnovers.
- Tennessee safety Kevin Byard had eight interceptions, tied for the most in the NFL this season. The rest of the Titans combined for four interceptions in 2017.
- Kansas City have lost 10 of their last 11 playoff games, including their last five home playoff games. They have not won a home playoff game since beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-24, on January 8, 1994.
Atlanta Falcons @ Los Angeles Rams
- Atlanta have won six of the previous seven matchups (including playoffs) with the Rams, including a current four-game winning streak. Prior to those seven games, the Rams had won seven straight matchups with the Falcons.
- Los Angeles finished the season with a point differential of +60 at home, eighth best in the NFL. Last season, they finished with a point differential of -86 at home, second worst in the NFL.
- Atlanta finished the regular season with a 5-3 road record. In the five wins, they averaged 27.2 points per game. In the three losses, they averaged just 12.3 points per game.
- The Falcons are looking for their first playoff victory away from home since a 27-7 win over the Green Bay Packers on January 4, 2003 – a span of five games. That five-game stretch is the longest in franchise history.
In case you were wondering how important LeSean McCoy is to #GoBills … he leads the NFL in rushing since joining Buffalo in 2015. h/t @OptaJerry #WildCardWeekend #NFLPlayoffs #JAXvsBUF pic.twitter.com/l0qlaL4dXH— Omnisport US News (@OmnisportUS) January 5, 2018
Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars
- The Bills are playing in their first playoff game since the 1999 season. They have lost their last three games away from home in the playoffs and have never lost four straight playoff games on the road.
- Jacksonville are 2-1 in playoff games at home in franchise history. In their two wins, they have forced 10 turnovers while only giving the ball away twice. This is their first home playoff game since January 23, 2000.
- Jacksonville forced 33 turnovers during the regular season, second best in the NFL. In 2016, they forced just 13 turnovers, second-to-last in the NFL.
- Bills running back is a doubt for the game with an ankle injury. Since joining Buffalo in 2015, McCoy leads the NFL in rushing with 3,300 yards.
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints
- The Saints are 5-0 at home in the postseason since 2000, tied for the best record in such games in that time. They have averaged 35.8 points per game in those contests. This will be their first home playoff game since their 45-28 Wild Card victory over the Detroit Lions at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 7, 2012.
- The Panthers are 4-3 on the road in the playoffs since joining the NFL in 1996. Their 57.1 win percentage in such games is the third highest in the league in that time. However, they have lost their last two road playoff games.
- New Orleans running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara had 12 and 14 touchdowns, respectively, this season. They are just the third pair of teammates to each have 12+ touchdowns in the same season.
- Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has seven rushing touchdowns against the Saints in his career, tied for the second most he has against any team.
2000 - Cam Newton and Russell Wilson each led their respective teams in rushing in 2017, the first quarterbacks to do so since Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb in 2000. Dual-Threat. pic.twitter.com/isX4rO2fyy— OptaJerry (@OptaJerry) January 1, 2018