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Steelers Beating Long Odds in Playoffs and Super Bowl Trips

Ever play the lottery? More than that, ever realize how little a chance you have of winning a lottery? Well, someone has to win it, right? In NFL terms, if the Steelers were like those old people at the Supermarket that wait in line early in the morning to play the lottery, they would probably be considered the luckiest person in the world.

ESPN has put together some numbers on just how nuts it is that, once again, the Steelers are about to play in the biggest game of the season on February 6th in Dallas.

Not only that, the team has also beaten rather long odds in just how many times they have made the postseason in general. Get a load of these numbers.

The Steelers have made the Divisional Playoffs 22 times since 1970…the odds of that taking place is approximately 4 in 10,000.

They have made the Conference Championship 15 times since 1970…those odds of that are approximately 2 in 10,000.

They are entering the Super Bowl for the 8th time, and the odds of that is approximately 6 in 1,000.

They have won 6 Super Bowls times (so far), and those odds are approximately 3 in 1,000.

If the Steelers do beat the Pack, the odds again go way up. The chance of the same team winning seven (or more) Super Bowls in 41 seasons under these assumptions is a miniscule 0.000464, or less than five in 10,000.

The numbers basically prove it once again – the Steelers are truly in a league of their own when it comes to success in the NFL.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. DrGeorge

    January 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Articles like this remind me of a wonderful little book every American should own: “How to Lie with Statistics,” by Darrell Huff. First written in 1954, it remains in print — that fact in itself validates its worth.

    In the instant case, the statistics are arithmetically accurate, I will assume, but the resulting odds are based on an assumption that all teams are equal. In fact, since 1970, all teams are far from equal in the resolve and consistency of management and their understanding of how football organizations are built. Equal opportunity will never result in equal outcomes when there is a big disparity in management talent.

    What these statistics really show is how valuable the Rooney management has been to the success of the Steelers versus other franchises that keep a turnstyle in the coach’s office and throw mad money at high profile positions while ignoring the offensive and defensive lines. The Steelers have beat the odds for a reason. And some teams are so badly managed, they don’t stand a chance.

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