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NFL Team Records in Non-Divisional Games (2011 - 2018) (1 Viewer)

Anarchy99

Footballguy
There has been a lot of chatter lately about the Patriots getting gifted a playoff spot each year based on "gift victories" playing in the AFC Least division. So I went back and researched 8 years worth of non-divisional games. Why 8 years? Because the rotating NFL schedule calls for each team to have played every other franchise in the league at least twice in that time.

For those that are not aware, the league has a preset schedule that it follows. Each year, every team will play the other teams in its division twice (6 games), an entire division from the opposite conference (4 games), and an entire division in its own conference (4 games). The teams in a division share 14 common opponents each year. The remaining 2 games are based on that team's finish the season before. The first place team in a division will face the other 2 remaining first place teams in its conference. Second place finishers face the other second place finishers. And so on for third and fourth place teams.

So over an 8 year cycle, each team will face every out of conference team twice (home and away). It's a little trickier in conference, as teams will face all other teams a minimum of 2-3 times (plus other games based on year end finish). The concept of "playing a first place schedule" only involves playing 2 different (and theoretically tougher) opponents each year.

Some interesting notes . . .

- The Patriots were the clear team to beat, winning .763 of the time, and it had nothing to do with the division they play in. Remember, in this scenario they did not play any AFC East teams . . . yet every team from the 7 other divisions did. And they got the 2 toughest opponents they could draw each year (the other first place teams).
- NE was the only team to have a winning record in non-divisional games every year.
- SEA finished 7 games behind NE (out of 80 games played).
- Raise your hand if you had any idea the team with the third best non-divisional record was CIN. You could have given me 20 guesses and I still would not have come up with that.
- 3 teams ran the table and went 10-0 in non-divisional games in a season ATL 2012, CAR 2015, and DAL 2016.
- 4 teams took the collar and went 0-10 in non-divisional games in a season: IND 2011, JAX 2012, SFO 2016, and CLE 2017.
- The AFC South was the definition of bad. No team had a winning record and the division as a whole only won at a .394 clip.
- The results show the rest of the AFC East weren't that great, but NE still played better football than the rest of the league. And they cheat better than everyone else.

Team, Wins, Loses, Winning %, Team Ranking

Code:
SEA	 	54	26	0.675	2
ARI	 	42	38	0.525	T-12
SFO	 	41	39	0.513	16
LAR	 	34	46	0.425	T-26
Division	171	149	0.534	1

GBP	 	48	32	0.6	T-4
MIN	 	43	37	0.538	T-10
CHI	 	40	40	0.5	T-17
DET	 	38	42	0.475	19
Division	169	151	0.528	2

NEP		61	19	0.763	1
MIA	 	37	43	0.463	T-20
BUF	 	37	43	0.463	T-20
NYJ	 	33	47	0.413	28
Division	168	152	0.525	3

DEN	 	48	32	0.6	T-4
KCC	 	45	35	0.563	9
LAC	 	42	38	0.525	T-12
OAK	 	32	48	0.4	29
Division	167	153	0.522	4

NOS	 	47	33	0.588	7
CAR	 	46.5	33.5	0.581	8
ATL	 	43	37	0.538	T-10
TBB	 	26	54	0.325	30
Division	162.5	157.5	0.508	5

CIN	 	49	31	0.613	3
PIT	 	48	32	0.6	T-4
BAL	 	42	38	0.525	T-12
CLE	 	21	59	0.263	31
Division	160	160	0.5	6

DAL	 	42	38	0.525	T-12
PHI	 	40	40	0.5	T-17
NYG	 	37	43	0.463	T-20
WAS	 	34.5	45.5	0.431	25
Division	153.5	166.5	0.48	7

HOU	 	37	43	0.463	T-20
TEN	 	36	44	0.45	24
IND	 	34	46	0.425	T-26
JAC	 	19	61	0.238	32
Division	126	194	0.394	8
 

Long Ball Larry

Footballguy
interesting to see Cincy at 3.  I guess their overall record has been decent during that time, but I doubt it is close to 3. 

 

dutch

Footballguy
Counting NE there are 19 teams better than the next best teams in the AFCE.   All divisions except the AFC south(none) and AFCE(NE) have at least two teams above .500 and all have three above except NFCE.  

Conclusion, AFCE has been pretty weak for the last 8 years.  NE still plays better than all others in the NFL but they do have Indiana and Rutgers on their schedule twice a year to rest up for the other games.

 

zftcg

Footballguy
I know this wasn't necessarily the point you were going for, but I'd be curious to see the major outliers when you compare non-divisional record vs. overall record. In other words, like @Long Ball Larry points out, the Bengals were No. 3 in non-divisional games, but I doubt they've had the third best overall record during that time. By contrast, I know it's been awhile since Tampa was good, but I'm pretty sure they haven't had the 30th worst overall record, which suggests that their performance has been somewhat inflated by beating up on other NFC South teams. And I'm positive that Indy has benefited from a similar dynamic. There was some stat after the Colts recorded three straight 11-5 seasons to start Luck's career that they had gone something like 17-1 vs. the AFC South and .500 against everyone else.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
zftcg said:
I know this wasn't necessarily the point you were going for, but I'd be curious to see the major outliers when you compare non-divisional record vs. overall record. In other words, like @Long Ball Larry points out, the Bengals were No. 3 in non-divisional games, but I doubt they've had the third best overall record during that time. By contrast, I know it's been awhile since Tampa was good, but I'm pretty sure they haven't had the 30th worst overall record, which suggests that their performance has been somewhat inflated by beating up on other NFC South teams. And I'm positive that Indy has benefited from a similar dynamic. There was some stat after the Colts recorded three straight 11-5 seasons to start Luck's career that they had gone something like 17-1 vs. the AFC South and .500 against everyone else.
Here's the full breakdown. First set is overall record, second grouping is non-divisional record, last column is divisional record.

Code:
Team	W	 L	Win%	Rank		W	L	Win%	Rank		W 	L	Win%	Rank
NEP	99	29	0.773	1		61	19	0.763	1		38	10	0.792	1
SEA	82.5	45.5	0.645	T-2		54	26	0.675	2		28.5	19.5	0.594	11
PIT	82.5	45.5	0.645	T-2		48	32	0.6	T-4		34.5	13.5	0.719	2
GBP	80	48	0.625	4		48	32	0.6	T-4		32	16	0.667	3
DEN	78	50	0.609	5		48	32	0.6	T-4		30	18	0.625	T-5
NOS	76	52	0.594	6		47	33	0.588	7		29	19	0.604	T-8
KCC	74	54	0.578	7		45	35	0.563	9		29	19	0.604	T-8
CIN	72	56	0.563	T-8		49	31	0.613	3		23	25	0.479	T-18
BAL	72	56	0.563	T-8		42	38	0.525	T-12		30	18	0.625	T-5
DAL	72	56	0.563	T-8		42	38	0.525	T-12		30	18	0.625	T-5
CAR	71.5	56.5	0.559	11		46.5	33.5	0.581	8		25	23	0.521	T-14
ATL	69	59	0.539	12		43	37	0.538	T-10		26	22	0.542	13
PHI	68	60	0.531	13		40	40	0.5	T-17		28	20	0.583	12
MIN	66	62	0.516	T-14		43	37	0.538	T-10		23	25	0.479	T-18
HOU	66	62	0.516	T-14		37	43	0.463	T-20		29	19	0.604	T-8
ARI	65.5	62.5	0.512	16		42	38	0.525	T-12		23.5	24.5	0.49	T-16
IND	65	63	0.508	17		34	46	0.425	T-26		31	17	0.646	4
DET	63	65	0.492	T-18		38	42	0.475	19		25	23	0.521	T-14
LAC	63	65	0.492	T-18		42	38	0.525	T-12		21	27	0.438	T-20
SFO	61.5	66.5	0.48	20		41	39	0.513	16		20.5	27.5	0.427	22
MIA	58	70	0.453	21		37	43	0.463	T-20		21	27	0.438	T-20
LAR	57.5	70.5	0.449	22		34	46	0.425	T-26		23.5	24.5	0.49	T-16
CHI	57	71	0.445	T-23		40	40	0.5	T-17		17	31	0.354	T-28
BUF	57	71	0.445	T-23		37	43	0.463	T-20		20	28	0.417	23
NYG	56	72	0.438	25		37	43	0.463	T-20		19	29	0.396	T-24
TEN	54	74	0.422	26		36	44	0.45	24		18	30	0.375	T-26
WAS	53.5	74.5	0.419	27		34.5	45.5	0.431	25		19	29	0.396	T-24
NYJ	50	78	0.391	28		33	47	0.413	28		17	31	0.354	T-28
OAK	48	80	0.375	29		32	48	0.4	29		16	32	0.333	T-30
TBB	42	86	0.328	30		26	54	0.325	30		16	32	0.333	T-30
JAC	37	91	0.289	31		19	61	0.238	32		18	30	0.375	T-26
CLE	31.5	96.5	0.246	32		21	59	0.263	31		10.5	37.5	0.219	32
 
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