NFL 2009 Win – Loss Records: A Look At The Schedule Excuse

Donna CavanaghCorrespondent IOctober 16, 2009

DENVER - OCTOBER 11:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots directs the offense as center Dan Koppen #67 prepares to snap the ball as the offensive line readies for pass protection against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 11, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Patriots 20-17 in overtime.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

It does not seem to matter if your team has a good record or a bad record. Why? Because, fans, sportscasters and writers will point to your team’s schedule and tell you if their record is either the beneficiary of an easy schedule or the victim of a difficult one.

We are not going to belabor the point, but as of now we would say that there are only seven teams in the league who based on their schedule should be looking in the mirror and feeling especially proud or upset with themselves.

We have heard the schedule excuse relative to the Vikings, Giants and Redskins. Well, in the Redskins’ case, we hear how they have been responsible for the first win for three teams, and they have a 2-3 record to prove it. In fact, it is pointed out by various sources that they have not faced a team that has a win on their record at the time the Redskins played them.

Since is a “data analysis” company, we decided to look at all 32 teams and the win-loss records of their opposition to date to see where everyone’s record and performance truly stacks up in relation to their schedule.

The results were interesting. Fifteen teams have played opposition whose current combined record is over .500. Of those teams, only three of them - the Patriots, Bengals and 49ers - have a winning record. None of the five currently unbeaten teams have played teams whose combined record is over .500.

That leaves seventeen teams to have played opposition whose current combined record is under .500. Of those teams, only four of them - the Jaguars, Bills, Texans and Redskins - have a losing record. None of the four currently winless teams have played a teams with a combined record below .500.

Does it sound too obvious to state that if you have played tough teams you have a tough time winning while if you play lesser teams you have a tough time losing?

The table below shows all the teams sorted by their past opponents’ winning percentage. The Lions and Browns have faced pretty tough competition, but at least the Browns’ future opponents have a sub .500 record. The Patriots, Bengals and 49ers, who we highlighted before, also face future competition with a sub .500 record. On the flip side, the going gets tough for the Giants, Eagles, Vikings, Ravens and Bears (unfortunately it’s no picnic for the Redskins either) as they all face future competition whose combined record is well above .500.