Every NFL fan has heard this cliché. A simple Google search finds it from Atlanta Falcons’ center Todd McClure after his team’s latest loss in Carolina. Apparently coach Mike Smith has told his team this before.
Maybe that's why the Falcons are 0-3 in the playoffs under Smith. They expect their best a month too soon.
The New York Giants are poster boys for the getting-hot-late strategy with their two championships (2007 and 2011). Exactly how hot they got late in the season can be revisionist history, as there was a bad home loss to the Washington Redskins in December both times.
There is something to be said for peaking too soon. Fourteen of the last 15 NFL teams with the best regular-season record have failed to win the Super Bowl.