Super Bowl Wins and League Leading Rushers

A while back (like, back in 2005) I first reported that I had discovered a moderate correlation between Super Bowl wins and League-leading rushers. To refresh your memory…

In 28 of the past 42 years (66%), the Super Bowl winner has come from the same conference as the league-leading rusher. There is a .344051 correlation.

Obviously that is a weak correlation, but the numbers indicate that there is moderate evidence against randomness.

In addition, there have only been three instances in the last 42 years when the league-leading rusher was on the Super Bowl winning team. Strange, but true. Emmitt Smith’s Cowboys did it twice and Terrell Davis’ Broncos did it as well. Last year LaDainian Tomlinson’s Chargers made it all the way to the AFC Championship game but lost to the eventual runner-up Patriots. Were the Chargers destined to lose that game? Hmmmm……

Check out these charts.

This year…looks to me like an NFC rushing champ and an AFC Super Bowl winner. Regression to the mean, all the time. How do Adrian Peterson and the Pittsburgh Steelers sound?

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