Your typical bye-week post for the statistically curious. I have posted before that I consider 1950 kind of a demarcation year for the modern NFL as it is post WW2, and there were major rule changes prior to that season which made the game resemble the sport we all know and love; as prior to that, there were rules that made it look very different than what it is today. I also consider 2002 another demarcation year as that is the first season that the NFL played with 32 teams -its present configuration, with the introduction of the Houston Texans.
Below is a table of the 32 teams' wins, losses and ties (there have been two tie ball games: a Falcons-Steelers tie, and the infamous McNabb "I didn't know there are ties in the NFL" game between the Eagles and Bengals) for the past ten seasons, including this year. There are a few interesting conclusions to draw: some franchises are really, really good, and have sustained success for a ten year period and others are deep studies in absolute ineptitude. Parity? Bah! No freakin' parity...
Please see the table below the jump.
First off, the fact that the Patriots have averaged 12+ wins a season for ten straight years is almost beyond belief. And even with their absolute abysmal season, Indy is second with 111 wins. Just shows how much Peyton is like Jordan, in that he is that team; and what an incredible run that quarterback has had. And of course, there is the team that everybody around here loves to hate, the Steelers, who average 10+ wins a season. The Ravens aren't too shabby with a very respectable 94 wins, only two behind the Chargers. Chargers? Boy the AFC West is profoundly weak...
And then there are the examples of just- you have to actually work at it be this bad. These are the teams hovering around .400 and below. First you have the Bills and Redskins. Two teams that at one point, were the class of their respective conferences- the Redskins with three SuperBowl victories relatively close together and the Bills who went to four straight SuperBowls. How the mighty have fallen. Then you have the Cardinals and the Rams who, even with some sporadic success have overall been downright lousy. Chronic five win seasons will do that to you.
Texans and Browns both kind of get a pass, because they are/were essentially the last two expansion teams. And expansion teams in the NFL are severally handicapped. Panthers and Jaguars were somewhat of an exception, but prior to them the previous two were Seattle and Tampa -both pretty bad for a long time; and Tampa was legendary bad. Their first Head Coach, John McKay, was always good for a great quote. Two of my favorites: after a loss, McKay was asked what he thought of his team's "execution." He replied, "I'm all for it.". The other: after they beat the Saints in '77 on their way to a 2-12 season he said, "Three or four plane crashes and we're in the playoffs".
While the Raiders may have been the glory of the old AFL and had some success in their early NFL existence, the prolonged machinations of Al Davis eventually takes their toll. And that toll for the last ten years is averaging about five and half wins a season. Which brings us to the absolute bottom- the Lions. Yes, they made the playoffs this year (yippee), but this is the franchise that has the only 0 -16 record. Ever. Not even the Peyton-less Colts could match that. Even if you throw out the Lions 0 - 16 season, they are still a sub .400 team. Heck they are barely a .300 team without the sixteen loss season...
So for those of you who aren't Ravens fans or have secondary rooting interests, take gander at where your team is. Fascinating that the J-E-T-S-JETS-JETS-JETS are a perfectly symmetric 80 - 80.