It's Championship Wednesday in the NFL, and the Colts are still involved - which is a pretty great feeling. The Colts will face the Patriots this Sunday evening in the AFC Championship game. Most people are taking the Patriots it seems, and it makes sense considering the Patriots have dominated the Colts recently. But there are a couple of numbers that, while they don't mean much, give Colts fans some hope.
The first one is this stat from NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano on the Patriots' side of things - coach Bill Belichick is 19-8 in the playoffs with the Patriots, and every single one of those losses came in a rematch from earlier that year.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Bill Belichick is 19-8 in the playoffs as Patriots coach. All 8 losses were in rematches from the regular season.</p>— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) <a href="https://twitter.com/AndrewSiciliano/status/555396861486723072">January 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Overall, Belichick is 10-8 in the playoffs when going up against a team that he played in the regular season, while he is 9-0 against teams that he didn't play in the regular season. Since the Patriots' three Super Bowl wins (with the last one coming in the 2004 season), however, Belichick's Patriots are just 5-8 in playoff rematches. And it really doesn't matter what the original result was - Belichick's teams won four games and lost five in the regular season against those teams that later beat him in the playoffs (in eight games, as one of the playoff losses was to a divisional opponent that the Patriots played twice in the regular season).
So that's a stat that could be encouraging to Colts fans. Furthermore, however, is this stat about Andrew Luck. In his three years with the Colts, Luck has never lost a rematch game in the same season. In other words, the Colts have not lost a single game with Luck at quarterback when they're playing the team for the second time that season, going 12-0.
Of course, a lot of those wins came against the AFC South - nine of the twelve, to be exact - and it's not quite the same thing to win the second game of the season against a relatively week division. At the same time, however, in the last two postseasons Luck's Colts have won all three of their playoff rematches, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs last season and the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos this season.
None of this is to say that the Colts should be favored or anything like that, and neither stats have a huge bearing on this weekend's games, but they should at least provide some encouragement for Colts fans as we get closer to Sunday.