99 Stats Until Kickoff: (No. 13) Patriots Own the Last 5 Weeks of the NFL Season

Jerry TappSenior Analyst IIIJune 11, 2013

May 21, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) under center during organized team activities at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

From May 30 and every day until September 5the start of the 2013 NFL seasonSports Stats "on Tapp" will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff," a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.

With three Super Bowl titles, five appearances in that game since 2001 and a league-leading record of 151-57 since 2000, it is pretty obvious that the New England Patriots have been the NFL’s best franchise this century.

So what has been the reason for their success? Bill Belichick taking over as head coach in 2000? Tom Brady becoming the team’s starting quarterback in the 2001 season?

There are probably a handful of other reasons in addition to the above two men, who have led the team in the past decade plus. But let me offer another reason for New England’s success: The Patriots have been great finishers.

If you look at the last five games of each season since 2003 (10 seasons times the last five games of each season equals 50 games), the Patriots have compiled a 43-7 record in those 50 games, by far the best record in the league. This .860 winning percentage in the final five games of the season from 2003-12 shows that the Patriots have been a team that finishes the season on a high note.

Following are the number of wins for each NFL team in the last five games of the season over the past 10 years (50 games).

43: New England Patriots

37: San Diego Chargers

34: Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts

32: Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles

30: Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers

28: Seattle Seahawks

26: Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints

25: Chicago Bulls, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans

23: Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Washington Redskins

22: New York Giants

21: Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs

19: Buffalo Bills

17: St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

15: Cleveland Browns

14: Detroit Lions

12: Oakland Raiders

Here’s a few more stats regarding the last five games of the season over the past 10 years:

* Seventeen different teams have gone 5-0 in the last five games of the season since 2002. As you might expect, the Patriots accomplished this four times (2003, 2007, 2010 and 2011). The other teams: San Diego (2006, 2007 and 2009), Miami (2005 and 2008), Indianapolis (2008), Denver (2012), New Orleans (2011), Philadelphia (2006), Pittsburgh (2004), Seattle (2012), Washington (2005 and 2012). Sixteen of these teams made the playoffs the year they went 5-0. The only exception was in 2005, when the Miami Dolphins went 5-0 to end the season but did not make the playoffs.

* Of the 20 teams that have played in the Super Bowl in the last 10 years, three went 5-0 in their last five games, six went 4-1, seven went 3-2, three went 2-3 and one went 1-4. The team that went 1-4? Just last season when the Baltimore Ravens ended their season losing four of their last five contests.

* The three Super Bowl teams that went 5-0 were the New England Patriots of 2003, 2007 and 2011.


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