Vince Lombardi

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THE CHALKBOARD

Cover Like A Rock Star

Like Dr. Alan Grant who inspected Jurrasic Park for John Hammond, @fbgchase is a digger. Nobody excavates in cyberspace excavates better NFL stats than he does. After Atlanta (28-3) and New England (31-0) combined two blowouts into one scintillating overtime game in Super Bowl 51, @fbgchase posted a table showing the Patriots to be the best ATS team in the NFL (16-3) since the 1989 49ers demolished Denver 55-10 in Super Bowl 24. Here is a look at the best 11 ATS teams per @fbgchase through the prism of coaching statistics. The head coach of all of the teams on this list that also won the Super Bowl in a year of covering plentifully either is or will be in the Hall of Fame except perhaps the Rams Dick Vermeil and the Bears Mike Ditka (who was inducted as a player). Going into 2017, there is no shortage of teams that look like most of these teams did the year before they covered like a rock star. (BOLD indicates Super Bowl winner.)

Year

Team

Prior YR
Record

Prior YR
Playoff Performance

Prior YR
Play Design +/-

Prior YR TO +/-

What Changed?

1982

Redskins
11-2 ATS

8-8

Did Not Qualify (DNQ)

-0.71%

-2

Replaced both CBs; NFL MVP K Mosely made 20/21 FGs afte making only 19/30 FGs in 1981

2016

Patriots
16-3 ATS

12-4

Lost AFCC to Broncos, 20-18

+2.94%

+7

Played first 4 games without starting QB Tom Brady; D faced an embarrasing queue of awful opposing QBs.

1989

49ers
16-3 ATS

10-6

Won Super Bowl over Bengals, 20-16

+3.05%

+12

George Seifert replaced Bill Walsh as HC; TE Brent Jones & WR John Taylor cracked starting lineup; D replaced both CBs.

2015

Vikings
13-3 ATS

7-9

DNQ

-1.69%

-1

RB Adrian Peterson returned from injury; WRs Stafon Diggs and Mike Wallace and LB Eric Kendricks arrived.

1985

Bears
15-3-1 ATS

10-6

Lost NFCC to 49ers, 23-0

+1.87%

+3

LB Wilber Marshall made Buddy Ryan's 46 D too much too handle.

2004

Chargers
13-3-1 ATS

4-12

DNQ

-2.87%

-11

With 5 new O-line starters, QB Drew Brees TD/INT ratio improved from 11/15 to 27/7.

2003

Patriots
15-4 ATS

9-7

DNQ

-0.13%

+5

3 new starters at DB included Rodney Harrison.

1981

49ers
15-4 ATS

6-10

DNQ

-5.06%

-6

QB Joe Montana took over the offense and 3 new DBs led by Ronnie Lott took over the D.

2015

Bengals
12-3-2 ATS

10-5-1

Lost AFC-WC to Colts, 26-10

+1.46%

0

TE Tyler Eifert returned from injury and emerged as deadly red zone target.

1999

Rams
14-4-1 ATS

4-12

DNQ

-2.30%

-10

New OC Mike Martz opened offense for new HOF QB Kurt Warner, new HOF RB Marshall Faulk & new WR Torry Holt and WR Isaac Bruce returned from injury.

1991

Redskins
14-4-1 ATS

10-6

Lost Divisional Round to 49ers, 28-10

+1.11%

+5

Replaced both starting safeties on D; T Joe Jacoby returned from injury and addition of G Mark Schlereth made O-line dominant.

2017

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