Does preseason matter? A look at the history of Broncos rematches vs. preseason opponents

The Broncos and Seahawks are set to battle it out in the 2014 preseason and regular season. - Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos are set to play two teams, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, in the 2014 preseason and regular season. See how they've fared over history in similar situations.

The Denver Broncos' preseason schedule has been released, and along with two games against the two Texas teams, Dallas and Houston, the Broncos are set to play two of the toughest teams in the league, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. The full preseason schedule looks like this:

All times Mountain
Wk Day Date Opponent Time TV
1 Aug. 7-10 SF Seattle Seahawks TBD
2 Aug. 14-18 SEA at San Francisco 49ers TBD
3 Aug. 21-24 STL Houston Texans TBD
4 Thu Aug. 28 DAL at Dallas Cowboys TBD

Denver played both Seattle and San Francisco in last year's preseason, but this year they will be playing them in both the preseason and regular season; something that's only happened to the Broncos once in the last seven seasons, when they played the Bills in the preseason and in Week 15 of the 2011 season.

Bronco Mike hit the nail on the head, mentioning in his post that the preseason game against the Seahawks will probably mean little more than nothing, considering that the starters will only see a couple series at most. In other words, it's going to be backups vs. backups (or guys fighting for bubble spots on the team).

However, it's still interesting to take a look back at trends, and how the Broncos have fared against teams they played in both the preseason and regular season over history. In the last 15 seasons, the Broncos have played opponents in both the preseason and regular season 13 times.

Year

Team

Preseason

Regular Season

1999

San Diego Chargers

(W) Broncos 20 @ Chargers 17

(W) Broncos 33 @ Chargers 17

1999

San Diego Chargers

(W) Broncos 20 @ Chargers 17

(L) Broncos 6 vs. Chargers 12

1999

Green Bay Packers

(L) Broncos 12 @ Packers 27

(W) Broncos 31 vs. Packers 10

2000

San Francisco 49ers

(W) Broncos 28 @ 49ers 24

(W) Broncos 38 @ 49ers 9

2001

Dallas Cowboys

(W) Broncos 20 @ Cowboys 6

(W) Broncos 26 @ Cowboys 24

2002

San Francisco 49ers

(L) Broncos 7 vs. 49ers 12

(W) Broncos 24 @ 49ers 14

2002

Seattle Seahawks

(W) Broncos 31 vs. Seahawks 0

(W) Broncos 31 @ Seahawks 9

2002

Arizona Cardinals

(W) Broncos 19 @ Cardinals 13

(W) Broncos 31 vs. Cardinals 7

2003

Chicago Bears

(W) Broncos 15 @ Bears 10

(L) Broncos 10 vs. Bears 19

2003

Indianapolis Colts

(L) Broncos 23 vs. Colts 28

(W) Broncos 31 @ Colts 17

2004

Houston Texans

(W) Broncos 31 vs. Texans 17

(W) Broncos 31 vs. Texans 13

2006

Arizona Cardinals

(W) Broncos 29 @ Cardinals 23

(W) Broncos 37 @ Cardinals 20

2011

Buffalo Bills

(W) Broncos 24 vs. Bills 10

(L) Broncos 14 @ Bills 40

When the Broncos have played a team in the regular season whom they already faced in the preseason, their record is 10-3-0. Against teams that they beat in the preseason, they're 7-3-0 in the regular season; against teams they've lost to in the preseason, they have been a perfect 3-0-0 since 1998. In 2002, the last time Denver played both SF and SEA in the preseason and regular season, they won both games that mattered (the regular season games).

This isn't meant to be a prediction post, because preseason football is not necessarily too telling about how a team will fare in the regular season. Since 1999, the Super Bowl winning teams have combined for a preseason record of 43-23 in their SB winning season. In fact, only 8 of the past 15 Super Bowl winning teams have had winning records in the four game preseason. Further, since 2006, Super Bowl winners have a combined record of only 18-14 in the preseason, and the 2013 Seahawks were the first team to have a perfect preseason record and win the Super Bowl since the 2003 Patriots. To sum that up again, the preseason as of late really seems to mean nothing.

One trend that might should be noted though is the trend that occurs when teams who play in the Super Bowl played each other in the preseason of the same season. Since 1998 this has occurred five times:

2000: The Baltimore Ravens beat the New York Giants in the preseason and Super Bowl.

2004: The New England Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason and Super Bowl.

2007: The New York Giants lost to the New England Patriots in the preseason (and regular season), but won the Super Bowl.

2011: The New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in the preseason, regular season, and Super Bowl.

2013: The Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos in the preseason and Super Bowl.

Teams who've won the eventual Super Bowl matchup in the preseason have a 4-1 record in the big game. This may not have any impact on this season; however, the Broncos, Seahawks, and Niners are all considered to be Super Bowl contenders, so we may see a sixth occurrence of this in 2014.

It should also be noted that since 1999, the two teams that have faced off in the Super Bowl have played each other in the preseason and regular season just twice; teams who played each other in the regular season have played each other in the Super Bowl just four times.

SB Winners Preseason records: 43-23 (.652 winning %)

Denver Broncos preseason record: 40-26 (.606 winning %)

SB Winners vs. preseason teams in regular season: 13-4 (.765 winning %)

Denver Broncos vs. preseason teams in regular season: 10-3 (.769 winning %)

*all stats since 1998*

Does a preseason game matter more when you're facing that team later in the year? The 10-3 record suggests it might. What do you think?

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