Top 10 Super Bowl Matchups by Pythagorean Record

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This is a list for combined pythagorean record for the two Super Bowl teams.  Updated through SB48.

10. (tie) Super Bowl 45 Packers d. Steelers
                                   37 Bucs d. Raiders
                                   25 Giants d. Bills
                                   20 Bears d. Patriots
20 isn't really within the spirit of the list, as its value is driven by the Bears 14.1 pythagorean regular season wins, as opposed to being a close matchup.  So you could drop it were you looking for a tiebreaker in an attempt to limit the list to 10 games.  25 is Scott Norwood missing the field goal at the gun, so were you evaluating the best games in SB history, thinking about quality of play+closeness of game, you'd rank it high, as the Bills/Giants were essentially equal teams.  Tampa's the 14th best regular season Super Bowl winner ever, and the Raiders weren't bad either; 45 was only the third flat footed, dead even pythagorean matchup in SB history.

9. Super Bowl 31 Packers d. Patriots
A slightly less aggressive version of the Bears/Patriots matchup as the Packers were solidly better in the regular season with 13.8 pythagorean wins. 

8. Super Bowl 48 Seahawks v. Broncos
As you'll soon see as you move through the list, this is the best matchup in over two decades.

7. Super Bowl 24 Niners d. Broncos
This was a tight game on paper, but the biggest blowout in SB history on the field.  The '89 Niners were the most dominant postseason team in NFL history.

6. Super Bowl 3 Jets d. Colts
Now, what's interesting here is this is the opposite of SB20 - here, the Colts, with their 14.7 pythagorean wins were the equivalent of the '85 Bears, and should have blown the Jets all over the field.  They did not.

5. Super Bowl 8 Dolphins d. Vikings
Not the perfect Dolphins, it's the following year's team, which was actually the better of the two by pythagorean record. 

4. Super Bowl 26 Redskins d. Bills
The Bills were good, with an over 11 win pythag, but it was the Mark Rypien Skins that were the best Redskin team of all time, with 13.8 pythagorean regular season wins.

3. Super Bowl 13 Steelers d. Cowboys
This is probably the greatest game in SB history, considering the margin of victory, the numbers of Hall of Famers on the field, and the tightness of the two teams, within a tenth of a pythagorean win.

2. Super Bowl 19 Niners d. Dolphins
The Niners have the 8th best pythag in SB history, but on my subjective list (which you can get to through yesterday's post linked above) I have them (and by them, I mean us) second - and this is why, the Dolphins were really good, with 12 and a half pythagorean wins - and the Niners owned them in this matchup.

1. Super Bowl 4 Chiefs d. Vikings
Like the previous year, the Vikes are an all time dominant SB loser, with 14.7 pythagorean wins - it's an upset not far behind the Jets beating the Colts - had SB 3 and 4 played out as the regular season records would have suggested, one wonders if the two leagues (note, the teams both years with the powerhouse records were from the NFL, which supposedly had superior top to bottom talent) would have merged as they did.

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