A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
Game 12 - Philly. No biggie. Just a season in the balance ...

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  1. #1
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    Default The NFL's era of Average

    I had a long-ish post mostly written out on this topic a couple of years ago, but never got around to polishing it up. It had a metric for dividing out the teams into sets and showed how there is a big bunch of B or B+ teams. In my organization, I think one of they key factors to delineate the sets was the number of simple 50/50 plays they were deciding a team's ability to make it into the playoffs consistently. At that level, you kind of want to look at teams that play with the 8-8 threshold.

    Anyway, I had just looked at the concept for an hour or so, and meant to come back to it, but forgot about it. I saw an article on ESPN today that reads very similarly so thought I'd share it. I think we can all see this phenomenon playing out, but it's good to take a deeper dive sometimes and look at some of the numbers that bear out what our eyes are telling us.

    From Good to Not Great: The Cowboys, Raiders and why mediocrity reigns in the NFL

    Part of my premise (as a Redskins fan) was to say that if we beat the Packers last year in the playoffs, we'd have proven that we're ready for consideration as a tier-2 team; one that should be expected in the playoffs annually and is ready to contend for the Super Bowl. As it stands, we are in the giant 50/50 mix that is in the conversation for the playoffs (2 years isn't enough to say annually, if we even make it this year) - and that is a giant group - but it wasn't too long ago we were in a sad tier below so things are moving in the right direction. That is my take right now.
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    James Madison

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    Hard to argue. I hate to say it, but the Patriots have been good for NFL business - they give other teams a target as well as a villian for the fans. If/when they sink back to mediocrity when Brady and/or Belichick decide enough is enough, the league will suffer, imo.

    As it is, mediocrity has prevented the Pats from winning two other Super Bowls in the past 10 years. The Giants are the blueprint definition of getting hot at the right time and going on a roll in the playoffs.
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    OLine. DLine. Secondary.

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    Default

    I think this is part of the ratings issue the league has this season. Not the whole, mind you, but a contributing factor for sure.
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  4. #4
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    Navy

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    I looked at last years team as over achieving. Down NFC east and we won enough games to win it. This year we are right where we are supposed to be vying for a playoff spot. We finally have a GM with a plan. When Scott came here he said it would be 4-5 drafts before we were competitive I'm thinking he meant in the playoffs but who knows?
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  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Neophyte View Post
    I think this is part of the ratings issue the league has this season. Not the whole, mind you, but a contributing factor for sure.
    I think it is contributing too. There are fewer "marquee" matchups when you have this kind of structure.


    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    Hard to argue. I hate to say it, but the Patriots have been good for NFL business - they give other teams a target as well as a villian for the fans. If/when they sink back to mediocrity when Brady and/or Belichick decide enough is enough, the league will suffer, imo.

    As it is, mediocrity has prevented the Pats from winning two other Super Bowls in the past 10 years. The Giants are the blueprint definition of getting hot at the right time and going on a roll in the playoffs.
    I think the Pats have been good for business. Supposedly, the Cowboys having success is good for business (probably true, just hard to admit). I will say that while "mediocrity" has kind of been in the NFL air for years, this year seems especially bad. Teams that are generally considered to be on that B+ level, are playing in the big clump of B. This is where I think my originally planned post had a bit more meat to it.

    I think the "elite" was pretty much Patriots, Seahawks, and maybe the Broncos at this point too; those are guys who annually considered top contenders for a SB appearance.

    The Packers and the Steelers would be in that B+ level, but they have not been playing at it. There are only a handful of teams at that "near-elite" level, and when they fall down, they make the big clump of B teams even bigger, which leads to fan malaise. Every game has a similar vibe, a bit less excitement spread around perhaps. In that B level, you get excited for your own team's games because they're your team, but you don't get as excited to watch other B level teams play. It goes without saying that if you go below that level, you're just not interested in the game unless you're a fan, or something "special" is happening, like RG3's 105th opportunity to prove himself as an NFL QB.
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  6. #6
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    Army

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    How'd you like to be in the AFC East instead of the NFC East? Anyway Skins look like a better team this year than last but it may not be as noticeable because the gAnts & Cowgirls have improved themselves immensely more. IDK that Washington could ever be as perennially dominate in their division as NE or Sea simply because their competition year to year is better. Hawks' are kinda in that spot the Redskins were last year; yeah they'll win their division but the West isn't that good either. Sometimes they look very good but against good teams not so consistent.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnssBass View Post
    How'd you like to be in the AFC East instead of the NFC East? Anyway Skins look like a better team this year than last but it may not be as noticeable because the gAnts & Cowgirls have improved themselves immensely more. IDK that Washington could ever be as perennially dominate in their division as NE or Sea simply because their competition year to year is better. Hawks' are kinda in that spot the Redskins were last year; yeah they'll win their division but the West isn't that good either. Sometimes they look very good but against good teams not so consistent.
    Total agreement, and this doesn't get said enough.

    The real team of the 80s, objectively (ha), was the Redskins. The 9ers just did not have any competition in the NFCW. So, to do what the Skins did in the 80s, in that division? Much more impressive than being handed as many Ws as the 9ers were. The Pats have been dominant too, but again, they've been handed a lot of wins because for many years NYJ, MIA, BUF... maybe you'd get 1 year when one of those three would put up a fight, but generally all 3 were horrible. This year is probably the best year in MANY years, just because MIA looks a bit stronger and BUF is hovering at 500. But I'd argue that teams are almost as scared to play the Eagles as they are the Bills.
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