What’s in a Seed?


The Carolina Panthers enter the playoffs as a number 2 seed in the NFC.  We wanted to get an idea of how the seedings impacted the playoffs so we did a little research.

Since seeding began in 1975, there have only been eight Super Bowls that matched up a pair of number one seeds.  It hasn’t happened since 1993 when Dallas played Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVIII.

What follows is a break down by seed of the playoff results from the last ten years.

Number One Seed

AFC: 11-6 overall

NFC: 16-4 overall

Super Bowl: 3-7

As you can see, number one seeds have fared better in the NFC than in the AFC since 1998.  In the last decade there have been no matchups of number one seeds in the Super Bowl but ten teams carrying their conference’s top seed have made it to the big game.  Only three came out with the trophy.

Number Two Seed

AFC: 9-8 overall

NFC: 9-8 overall

Super Bowl: 3-1

It appears that number two seeds, when they make it to the Super Bowl, do pretty well.  Only once in the last ten years, has a number two seed lost when playing for the Lombardi Trophy.

Number Three Seed

AFC: 12-9 overall

NFC: 9-9 overall

Super Bowl: 1-1

The teams with the third best record in their conference seem to advance more often in the AFC than they do in the NFC.  Only twice in ten years have we seen a number three seed advance to the title game.

Number Four Seed

AFC: 11-8 overall

NFC: 7-10 overall

Super Bowl: 1-1

As you might imagine, the lower your seed the worse your chances become to advance.  The fourth seeded team in each conference has had little success in the last ten years only making the Super Bowl twice.

Number Five Seed

AFC : 4-10

NFC: 6-9

Super Bowl: 1-0

Things drop off even more here.

Number Six Seed

AFC: 4-9

NFC: 4-10

Super Bowl: 1-0

Maybe it pays off to win more games in the regular season after all.