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Is Playoff Experience an Indicator of Future Success?

Every postseason, young teams are counted out from contention because they don't have "playoff experience," but does that really matter?

To answer that question we first, we compared Super Bowl wins and playoff appearances. There are 9 teams that have made the playoffs at least 8 times since 2002. All but one of the teams won at least one Super Bowl. The only team missing was the Falcons and we all know how that turned out. 

Secondly, we compared Super Bowl Wins and Playoff Win Percentage. All of the teams that have won the Super Bowl since 2002 have won 50% or more of their postseason games, regardless of the number of playoff appearances they've had.

While it may not be the perfect indicator, Playoff Experience is certainly a strong metric for predicting the Super Bowl winner.

The graphic below compares the number of Playoff Appearances and Postseason Win percentage for each team, also indicating whether or not they've won a Super Bowl since 2002. Hover over the graph to split into 4 quadrants, revealing the number of teams, and the percent of Super Bowl winners.

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Martin Chandler
Martin is a data analyst that has been applauded for his ability to make the complex simple. He grew up on a farm in northern Vermont and spent his summers helping his mom lead llama treks at Smugglers' Notch Resort. Martin graduated from University of Vermont with a degree in Mathematics. After graduation he left Vermont to work for an educational nonprofit called City Year for two years, and followed that up by attending the data science immersive program at Galvanize in Denver. He is an avid Green Bay Packer fan, and spends his free time playing football and soccer.

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Cleveland +5.5 -110

Tennessee -5.5 -110

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Indianapolis -3.5 -110

Houston +3.5 -110

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Detroit +3 -110

Chicago -3 -110

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Jacksonville +10.5 -110

Minnesota -10.5 -110

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Las Vegas -9 -115

NY Jets +9 -115

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

New Orleans -3 -120

Atlanta +3 -120

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Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati +11.5 -110

Miami -11.5 -110

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Dec 6th, 4:05 PM

NY Giants +10 -110

Seattle -10 -110

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Dec 6th, 4:05 PM

LA Rams -3 -120

Arizona +3 -120

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Dec 6th, 4:25 PM

New England -1 -110

LA Chargers +1 -110

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Dec 6th, 4:25 PM

Philadelphia +8.5 -110

Green Bay -8.5 -110

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Dec 6th, 8:20 PM

Denver +14 -110

Kansas City -14 -110

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Dec 7th, 5:00 PM

Washington +8 -110

Pittsburgh -8 -110

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Dec 7th, 8:15 PM

Buffalo 0 -110

San Francisco 0 -110

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Dec 8th, 8:05 PM

Dallas +7.5 -110

Baltimore -7.5 -110

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Dec 10th, 8:20 PM

New England +6.5 -110

LA Rams -6.5 -110

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Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Houston -1.5 -110

Chicago +1.5 -110

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Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Tennessee -9.5 -110

Jacksonville +9.5 -110

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Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Denver +4 -110

Carolina -4 -110

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Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Minnesota +6 -110

Tampa Bay -6 -110

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Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Arizona -3 -110

NY Giants +3 -110

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Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Kansas City -7.5 -111

Miami +7.5 -111

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Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Dallas -3 -110

Cincinnati +3 -110

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Dec 13th, 4:05 PM

NY Jets +14.5 -110

Seattle -14.5 -110

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Dec 13th, 4:05 PM

Indianapolis -2 -110

Las Vegas +2 -110

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Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

Green Bay -7.5 -110

Detroit +7.5 -110

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Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

Washington +4 -110

San Francisco -4 -110

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Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

Atlanta +1 -110

LA Chargers -1 -110

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Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

New Orleans -6.5 -110

Philadelphia +6.5 -110

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Dec 13th, 8:20 PM

Pittsburgh -2.5 +100

Buffalo +2.5 +100

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