Friday, August 05, 2005

CLOSE GAMES ARE THE NORM IN THE NFL

Lions fans keep the faith each season by point to the close games the team lost during any given season.
What they don't realize is the NFL is a giant tease because nearly half of games are decided by seven points or less. Last season 116 of 256 games (45.3 percent) ended within a touchdown margin.
Fans point to these close calls and say the Lions should have won. Instead of being 6-10 last season the Lions could have finished 12-4 if they'd won those close games. People never include close wins as near misses. We always assume our home team should win every close game.
But football is not just about the Lions. I used fan thinking to apply their formula to every NFL team. If teams had won every game decided by seven points or less here are how teams would have finished.

NFC
EAST DIVISION
Philadelphia Eagles 13-3
Washington Redskins 13-3
New York Giants 11-5
Dallas Cowboys 9-7

NORTH DIVISION
Minnesota Vikings 13-3
Green Bay Packers 12-4
Detroit Lions 12-4
Chicago Bears 9-7

SOUTH DIVISION
Tampa Bay Bucs 13-3
Atlanta Falcons 13-3
Carolina Panthers 12-4
New Orleans Saints 11-5


WEST DIVISION
Arizona Cardinals 11-5
Seattle Seahawks 11-5
St. Louis Rams 9-7
San Francisco 49ers 5-11




AFC
EAST DIVISION
New England Patriots 15-1
New York Jets 14-2
Buffalo Bills 13-3
Miami Dolphins 10-6

NORTH DIVISION
Pittsburgh Steelers 15-1
Cincinnati Bengals 13-3
Baltimore Ravens 12-4
Cleveland Browns 8-8

SOUTH DIVISION
Indianapolis Colts 14-2
Jacksonville Jaguars 12-4
Houston Texans 10-6
Tennessee Titans 8-8

WEST DIVISION

San Diego Chargers 15-1
Denver Broncos 13-3
Kansas City Chiefs 13-3

Oakland Raiders 11-5

7 Comments:

Blogger hitman said...

Right on T. I always find it amuzing when somebody uses that logic.

8:29 AM

 
Blogger Tom said...

The talent in the NFL is very high. The great thing is, no matter how bad a team is, there is always a chance they can win on any given sunday. It's not like college where the games end in blow outs all the time. Look at the Lions, they shut down Atlanta pretty good last year and Atlanta had a great record. And then there are the games where the first stringers come out at the end of the 4th when the losing team keeps their starters in, and score meaningless tds at the end of the game. Those close wins are deceiving.

8:53 AM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

Clerical Issue
The show is not as good when Mike is missing in action or when Terry is missing in action. Drew Sharp is a very good infact one of the few columnist who takes the teams to task and I think he deserves a show but he is not mike. Fair substitute but not Mike and his extreme self.

Losers say would of could of what if and should of. The lions are a losing organization for a reason. Prime example the lions have gone 16 and 48 ( got this stat from a caller on JT the brick ) but gives Millen another 5 years. Top flight organizations don;t do moves like that and they win the close games.

9:13 AM

 
Blogger Jack Fu said...

Well Terry, you have to remember to take into account - and has co-host of a sportsradio talk show, you should know this better than just about anybody - that the majority of fans of any particular team are, when talking about their team, at least, complete morons. Deeply and unapologetically stupid.

9:22 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone else think Kwame Kilpatrick looks like Big Boi from Outkast?

12:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, he does all right.

1:08 PM

 
Blogger SportPsych Detroit said...

Terry,
I agree that it is not practical to say, "if only we had won ALL of those close games..."

However, it is appropriate to make a prediction of wins in a year based on last year's performance + improvements in the offseason, adding a victory or two if the team had a particularly poor record in close games. Unless the team is poorly coached(which I don't believe to be the case with Mooch), you can expect close games to balance out from year to year. That's why I have the Lions pegged this year at 10-6 (see my blog for the game-by-game account)

Go Lions!!!

5:47 PM

 

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