We usually like to wait until there are four weeks of games behind before we start doing intense schedule analysis based on this season’s results. However, we took a sneak peak at some of the tables we generate each week, and there are already some interesting things showing up.
First, let’s look at the current win-loss records sorted by the opponents’ past winning percentage.
We highlight in green the teams that are over 0.500 and the combined record of their opponents that are over 0.500. That is especially tough this early in the season but take note of the 3-0 Steelers. Their opposition’s record is 6-3 this season which means the only game their opposition has lost is in games with the Steelers. This fact is equally true of the 2-1 Falcons whose opponents have a combined 7-2 record.
We highlight in brown the teams with a sub 0.500 record who have played teams whose combined record is sub 0.500. Unlike the situation we described with the Steelers and Falcons, there are no teams with a losing record whose opponents have only beaten them and nobody else.
At the start of the season, many publications show a “strength of schedule” which compiles a team’s opponents’ records for last season. The chart below compiles the “future” schedule with team’s opponents’ records so far this season.
It doesn’t look good for three of the 0-3 teams. The Bills, Browns and Panthers all have to face competition over their next 13 games whose current combined records are 23-16 for a 0.590 winning percentage. The future doesn’t look as daunting for two of the other 0-3 teams: the Lions’ future opponents are currently 20-19 while the 49ers future competition is 19-20. Going into 2010 these teams were looking at the following Strength of Schedule (SOS) ranks Browns – 10, Bills – 16, Panthers – 26, Lions – 12 and 49ers – 28.
On the flip side, the future looks bright for the 3-0 Bears, Steelers and Chiefs. The Bears’ future competition is currently 16-23 while the Steelers and Chiefs face teams who are currently a combined 17-22. Going into 2010 these teams were looking at the following SOS ranks Bears – 14, Steelers – 22, and Chiefs – 16.
As we said at the start, it is still a little early to draw too many conclusions from this data, but it was interesting to note how many teams with good current records are facing weak future competition while teams who have losing records are facing some of the toughest future competition.