The NFL, like most sports leagues, has increasingly involved the use of stats for more than just analysis. These days, stats are used as a way of upping entertainment value and further developing story lines.

As focus has become more and more stat-centric, some of the stats that have emerged are pretty fun. Even just this year’s Conference Championship weekend alone has brought with it a number of wild and whacky stats.

With the help of TSN stat guy Kevin Gibson, we’ve isolated some of the whackier stats heading into what we hope to be a very entertaining couple of games.


Joe Burrow is the first ever 1st overall pick to make a Conference Championship in his first two seasons

Joe Burrow is fantastic, and he’s certainly proving that he’s got a promising career ahead of him. While he wasn’t necessarily expected to have the Cincinnati Bengals where they currently are, the true whackiness is about how it has literally never happened.


The Bengals are 2-0 in the AFC Championship, but they’ve never won three playoff games in a row

Despite their AFC Championship triumphs in 1981 (over the Chargers) and 1988 (over the Bills), the Bengals have never won three straight playoff games while also never having won a Super Bowl.

They are one of just two teams to be undefeated in Conference Championship games, along with the New York Giants.


No regular season NFL passing leader has ever won the Super Bowl that same season 

If you gave an NFL team the choice to have their quarterback lead the league in regular season passing yards, it would be a no-brainer… right?

Well, not so fast. It seems there is some bad juju that comes with the accomplishment. Quarterbacks that lead the league in passing during the regular season have gone a combined 0-5 in the Super Bowl. With regular season passing leader Tom Brady falling to the Los Angeles Rams last weekend, the year’s Conference Championship weekend marks the continuation of the trend.

0-56 in total.


Mahomes has as many playoff wins as the other three quarterbacks combined, and half the playoff losses.

Patrick Mahomes is entering his 4th consecutive Conference Championship, becoming just the 6th quarterback all-time to do that. Being only 26 years old, that subsequently means that he’s got a pretty good playoff record.

In fact, Mahomes’ 8 playoff wins matches the 8 combined playoff wins between Matt Stafford, Jimmy Garappolo, and Joe Burrow. His two playoff losses are also half of the other three QB’s combined four playoff losses.


Joe Burrow is the most sacked quarterback to enter a Conference Championship game

Burrow was sacked an outrageous 62 times this year, which is 7 sacks more than the next highest sack total on a Conference Championship bound quarterback (Jay Cutler was sacked 55 times in 2010.

Unfortunately for Burrow and the Bengals, the list of heavily-sacked QBs to make it to the Conference Championship didn’t fare so well. The 5 quarterbacks behind him on this undesirable list went 0-5 in their Conference Championship games, with four of those teams failing to score an offensive touchdown.

Playoff Result

2021 Joe Burrow                               62                         ?

2010 Jay Cutler                                  55           L, Conf Champ

1996 Mark Brunell                            54           L, Conf Champ >>

1985 Dieter Brock                             52           L, Conf Champ >>

2003 Donovan McNabb                 51            L, Conf Champ >>

1973 Roger Staubach                       50           L, Conf Champ >>

>> Indicate teams that didn’t score an offensive touchdown.

(via Elias Sports Bureau)


Jimmy Garappolo has the 2nd worst passing yards/playoff game of anyone with at least four playoff wins

While the San Francisco 49ers have been relatively successful in playoffs with Jimmy G under centre, it hasn’t been because of Jimmy G lighting it up in the passing game. In fact, only one other quarterback has fewer passing yards per playoff win than Garappolo (127.8) with at least four playoff wins.

That quarterback would be Craig Morton, who averaged 124.6 passing yards over his five career playoff wins.

A win is a win, right?


If the Niners beat the Rams this weekend, they will become just the 3rd 6-seed to make it to the Super Bowl

Everyone loves a good underdog story. To make this stat even better, the other two teams (the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers and the 2010 Green Bay Packers) both won the Super Bowl that year.

The Niners are also just the 8th team to make a Conference Championship after holding a losing record through nine weeks (4-5). Of the other seven teams, only the 1979 Rams made it to the Super Bowl (where they then lost).


The Niners have been embarking on an unprecedented Cinderella story

After starting the season with a 4-5 record, the odds of San Fran making the Super Bowl was 0.4%. Those odds have now improved to 40.6%.

Additionally, the Niners had to pull off two playoff wins in which their win probability was lower than 15% at some point. Before their wins over Dallas and Green Bay, the Kyle Shanahan-led Niners were a combined 2-41 in games in which their win probability was sub-15%.

The Niners are also the 1st team in NFL history to win three straight road games against 12-win teams, dating back to Week 18’s victory over the Rams.


Matt Stafford has almost as many wins against 10-win teams with the Rams as he did in 12 years with the Lions

The narrative that has been following Stafford around is that he can’t compete against good teams. He’s now won four straight against 10-win teams (two against Tampa Bay, two against Arizona), nearly matching his total of 5 wins against 10-win teams that he started over 12 years with the Lions.


Matt Stafford has the 2nd most regular season touchdowns for a quarterback that has never started a Super Bowl

Stats surrounding Matt Stafford’s time with the Lions continue to be a white elephant in the NFL. While he was undoubtedly a productive passer while playing with Detroit, the Lions were never able to field a team even close to contention.

Only Philip Rivers has more passing touchdowns in the regular season (421) while never having started a Super Bowl. Stafford’s looking to get himself off that list, in which he sits 2nd at (323). Next up are Carson Palmer (294) and Warren Moon (291).