There are fans who simply ignore the past, especially when it comes to the NFL, but there is some truth behind trends in certain situations. As the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos prepare themselves for the AFC Divisional round of the AFC Playoffs, there are plenty of historical trends to analyze which could possibly point a finger towards what is about to come reality this Sunday in Denver.
Time to take a look at some trends in this huge AFC showdown, courtesy of PredictionMachine.com:
Denver Broncos (-7 vs. PIT)
- Peyton Manning with the Broncos in the playoffs is 2-3 straight-up and 1-4 against-the-spread.
- In his postseason career, Manning as a touchdown or greater favorite is 3-4 straight-up and 2-5 against-the-spread.
- In the last ten years, the Broncos as home favorites in the playoffs are 3-3 straight-up and 2-4 against-the-spread.
- All-time, as the top seed in the AFC, Denver is 4-2 straight-up and 2-4 against-the-spread in its first game of the playoffs.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+7 vs. DEN)
- As an underdog in the playoffs, Ben Roethlisberger has gone 3-2 against the spread (ATS) (2-3 straight-up).
- Roethlisberger has been a touchdown or greater underdog once in the postseason and he won that game outright (21-18) vs. the Colts in 2005-06.
- The Steelers have covered five straight as touchdown or greater dogs in the playoffs.
- Pittsburgh is 4-2 ATS (3-3 straight-up) all-time vs. Denver in the playoffs, though the last they met Tim Tebow beat the Steelers with an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play in overtime.
Will the Steelers be able to pull off the upset in Denver on Sunday night? Only time will tell, but these trends show there is a chance for the heavily favored Broncos to have issues with this game in the AFC Divisional round, even without Antonio Brown.