Thursday, March 26, 2015

NFL Wrapup: Pythagorian Projection vs. Reality

As usual, the "Projected Wins" value is used as a baseline, so a positive difference means the team exceeded their projected win value, a negative difference means they fell short.

Teams are sorted by the magnitude (absolute value) of the difference; teams that came close to their projected wins are near the top, teams farthest away from their projection are at the bottom.

This is a follow-up to a post from last summer. See this post for background details.

TeamActual Proj. Diff. Note
Jaguars 3 3.1 -0.1
Falcons 6 5.9 0.1
Chargers 9 9.2 -0.2
Broncos 12 11.7 0.3
Giants 6 5.6 0.4
Dolphins 8 7.5 0.5
Eagles 10 9.4 0.6
Bengals 10 11.1 -0.6
Seahawks 12 12.8 -0.8
Washington 4 4.8 -0.8
Vikings 7 6.1 0.9
Jets 4 5.4 -1.4
Patriots 12 10.5 1.5Healthy Gronk
Cardinals 11 9.5 1.5Carson Palmer was actually having a pretty good season before he got hurt.
Browns 7 5.5 1.5Brian Hoyer
Colts 11 9.4 1.6
Rams 6 7.6 -1.6Bradford injured
Raiders 3 4.9 -1.9
Chiefs 9 11.1 -2.1
Bears 5 7.3 -2.3Offense collapsed
Bills 9 6.7 2.3Defense much better
Lions 11 8.5 2.5Defense much better
Steelers 11 8.2 2.8 Le'Veon Bell? The Steelers definitely had a rollercoaster season...
Ravens 10 7.1 2.9Flacco playing better
Buccaneers 2 5.3 -3.3No offense
49ers 8 11.5 -3.5Injuries
Saints 7 10.8 -3.8Drew Brees did not have a good year, weak defense didn't help.
Cowboys 12 8.2 3.8Defense better, running game
Panthers 7 11.6 -4.1 Defense struggled, offense wasn't able to take up the slack.
Packers 12 7.8 4.2Rodgers plays whole season
Texans 9 4.2 4.8Last year's team was probably not as bad as their record.
Titans 2 7.5 -5.5Injuries. Also Ken Whisenhunt's resume as a HC is mostly pretty ugly when he doesn't have Kurt Warner as his starting QB.


  • Four teams over the 4.0 threshold, but unlike last year, none over 5.5. Which gives a final scoring of 18 reasonably close, 10 moderately close, 4 wrong, and 0 "yikes".

  • Remember last year when I speculated that the Titans and Jets might have a chance to contend for a playoff spot? Yeah, leave us never speak of that again.

  • On a related note, it's been since 94-95 that the Lions have had back-to-back winning seasons, so it's probably advisable to hold off declaring the Lions have turned the corner. If they can come out and contend again in 2015, it'll be a solid sign that 2014 wasn't another fluke season for them like 2011 (and the first half of 2007).

  • The Texans rebounded pretty nicely from their 2-14 season, especially considering they started three different guys at quarterback. But I think they're gonna have to find a solid quarterback before they're gonna do much better than 9 wins.

  • The Saints have another tough season, but this time they can't blame it on the absence of Sean Payton. Maybe most surprising was 5 home losses for a team that had mostly done very well in the Superdome for many years.