How Teams Records Change by the Month

The Giants dominate October while the Panthers shine in December. In Green Bay, the Pack has winning records in September, October, December, and January, but drop to 50% in November. The Raiders and Broncos steadily decline throughout the season. It could be weather, or playoff situation, or injury issues but the month of the year seems to have a considerable effect on some teams success. 

Of course, there are teams that are immune like the Patriots and Browns, obviously for different reasons. 

We compiled all NFL records since 2002 by month to create the graph below. You can view the results as either totals or percents. Use the drop down to change teams.


How the Super Bowl Odds Changed Through the Off Season

Super Bowl odds change as recreational and sharp bettors back their favorite team. This is a look at how the odds to win Super Bowl 53 have changed over the course of the last six months. See how the odds have shifted from post Super Bowl, to the draft and now through the preseason. The Cardinals have slid from 50/1 in February to 150/1 now, while the Chargers have improved to 16/1 after being posted at 35/1 initally. See how the rest of the teams stand:

Data provided by Bovada.


Is Playoff Experience an Indicator of Future Success?

Every postseason, young teams are counted out from contention because they don’t have “playoff experience,” but does that really matter?

To answer that question we first, we compared Super Bowl wins and playoff appearances. There are 9 teams that have made the playoffs at least 8 times since 2002. All but one of the teams won at least one Super Bowl. The only team missing was the Falcons and we all know how that turned out. 

Secondly, we compared Super Bowl Wins and Playoff Win Percentage. All of the teams that have won the Super Bowl since 2002 have won 50% or more of their postseason games, regardless of the number of playoff appearances they’ve had.

While it may not be the perfect indicator, Playoff Experience is certainly a strong metric for predicting the Super Bowl winner.

The graphic below compares the number of Playoff Appearances and Postseason Win percentage for each team, also indicating whether or not they’ve won a Super Bowl since 2002. Hover over the graph to split into 4 quadrants, revealing the number of teams, and the percent of Super Bowl winners.


Teams That Can't Buy Success – A Look at the NFL's Longest Droughts

Days before Super Bowl III, Joe Namath famously guaranteed his New York Jets would defeat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. His guarantee came true, and New York fans rejoiced. 49 years later, the Jets faithful have had little to celebrate, apart from their postseason win over the Patriots in January of 2011. It’s been a tough go of it, but maybe things will turn around for them soon.

The last time the Browns won their division, it was called the AFC Central, and the year was 1989. Since then, they’ve had only 3 winning seasons.

For most fans, it’s bad news to hear the term Drought and their favorite team in the same conversation. We’ve compiled data on each team, and how long it’s been since their last:

  • Divisional Title
  • Playoff Appearance
  • Playoff Win
  • Super Bowl Appearance
  • Super Bowl Win

Use the drop down menu to change categories.


Answering the Fantasy Football Players Injury Dilemma

All fantasy football players have had this dilemma:

Player X is my best option at WR 2 but he’s coming off of that groin injury and took limited reps in practice this week… should I start him or go with my backup who averages a couple less points?

The real question being asked is: what effect does being on the injury report have on average weekly performance when a player is still active for game day?

To analyze this question in an objective way, we need to look at the numbers. Specifically – we need to contrast the average or expected output of Player X when healthy (defined here as not-listed on injury report or full-participant in weekly practice) vs average or expected output of Player X when injured (defined here as listed on official injury report for the week and/or limited practice reps). But Player X is a pretty small sample size so lets aggregate the differences across the league by position and injury type. The goal is to get a better overall understanding of whether certain positions are affected more by injuries, or if certain types of injuries have a more noticeable impact on fantasy football performance.

For this information – I downloaded the full offensive stat list for each team from and grabbed what I could for injury report data from which, unfortunately, was limited to the 2017 season only. As you’ll see from the data, even an entire NFL season boils down to a pretty small sample size but there are still relevant insights to be gained.

The criteria which we used for the analysis is as follows:

Hurt: Injury listed on injury report but player active and took snaps in game

Healthy: Full practice participant with no injury specified, or not listed at all on injury report

Aggregated by player average points (standard league) when healthy vs player average points when hurt. (weeks that a player left game early and did not return the following week were removed so as not to distort the ‘healthy’ averages)

Since different players obviously average different hauls in points, we need to look at the average difference in points, isolated by player. We can then combine these across the league by position group and injury type to get a better look at the overall picture.

I’m working on creating an unbiased metric for opposing defenses so that we can more fairly drill down to how different injuries may affect specific players, however for now this will serve as a good overall indicator in the average change in production (points) between healthy vs hurt – as it would be highly improbable that all weeks when players ‘played hurt’ aligned with weaker defenses and/or all weeks when players ‘played healthy’ aligned with better ones (or vice versa).

You might have noticed that I refrained from using the word ‘drop’ or ‘decrease’ when referencing the average change week-to-week when healthy vs. hurt … and the reason for that is the available evidence is inconclusive that you should expect any change as long as said player is listed as active.

The overall distribution is pretty normal (both positive and negative) and most of the data are well within the standard margin of error week to week for each position type (about 4.18 points overall). Additionally, in most cases the higher frequency injuries (larger sample size) were closer to the healthy averages when aggregated – meaning there’s a correlation between less data and a greater deviation from the norm, and vice versa.

Avg Standard Deviation of weekly Fantasy Points by position: (Standard League, from this dataset)

QB  +-  6.49
RB  +-  4.64
TE   +-  3.08
WR +-  4.01

This further suggests that the more extreme deviations (in the data) may just be one-offs. In fact every data point outside of the 4-point margin had only 1 or 2 occurrences in 2017 to draw from and probably don’t qualify as hard evidence of any trends.

I think that may be  interesting in and of itself. This suggests that there shouldn’t be any expected change in production as long as a player is active. This also makes sense from the team’s standpoint, if you consider that by the time they allow a player to participate on gameday they expect his performance to be close-to-par. We also know that essentially every player is ‘hurting’ somewhere (from normal wear-and-tear) so ‘playing hurt’, as defined here, may be closer to the norm than most fans realize.

The net was about a 0.40 point overall reduction on average, but again with plenty of examples where players performed better than normal. It’s certainly not conclusive, however, and would be very interesting to see if this holds true over a 10 year period or more – or if the NFL has gotten better over time at diagnosing when a player is ready to come back.

Avg Change in Standard League Points (Healthy -> Inj) by Position, 2017 season

Position FantasyPoints SampleSize
RB -1.19 25
TE -0.65 18
WR -0.13 51
QB +2.74  4

Avg Change in Standard League Points (Healthy -> Inj) by Injury, 2017 season

Injury FantasyPoints SampleSize
Right Shoulder -4.66 1
Foot -4.23 1
Neck -3.97 3
Illness -3.08 2
Rib -2.92 2
Shoulder -2.80 8
Thumb -2.79 1
Groin -2.35 6
Knee -1.75  16
+0.43 1


Stay tuned for the other side of this as we take a look at defensive players in a future post. One thing I’m curious of is the potential case that offenses attack a defensive player (or his side of the field) more often when they are known to be injured – which may lead to an increase in opportunities to make plays and accumulate points.

For reference, here is a link to the NFL’s official personnel injury report policy for the 2017 season.

NFL Arrests by Year Since 2000

This is part two of our series comparing how different factors have influenced the arrest rate in the NFL over the years. Part one looked at crimes by month committed. With this post you can see things like how DUI’s have gone down dramatically since the rise of Uber and Lyft and how drug offenses increased after the NFL strengthened the steroid policy in 2005. 

When looking at this data it is important to remember that the crime rate in the NFL is typically less than the overall crime rate for men from ages 20-39, according to a study by the University of Texas. Mess around with the data and see what inferences you can draw, then let us know on our Twitter

Wild Card Appearances (2002-2018)

Since the NFL was restructured in 2002, there are four teams that have not played in the postseason as a wild card. The Patriots, Bears, Texans and Buccaneers have either won their division or missed the playoffs completely.

In the same time frame, the Patriots have made 14 postseason appearances. Combined, the Bears, Bucs and Texans have made 10 appearances. 

Amount of wild card appearances is a good metric for the continued strength of a division as a whole. The graphic below displays each division and the number of wild card appearances since 2002. The AFC North comes out on top, boasting five consecutive seasons from 2008-2012 in which they sent at least two teams to the postseason. The AFC East and NFC West each finished with only six appearances.


2017 Wins and Losses

Following a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 31st 2017, the Cleveland Browns completed their perfect 0-16 season. On the same day, the Baltimore faithful watched in anguish as the Ravens gave up a last-minute touchdown to the Bengals, essentially handing their wild card spot to the Buffalo Bills.

After starting the season with 4 consecutive losses, the Los Angeles Chargers finished the season with 9 wins (and almost nabbed themselves an AFC wild card spot). The 49ers started the season in a similar fashion, but finished on a 5-game winning streak, defeating three playoff teams.

You may not be a fan of any of the aforementioned teams, but the information probably sounded a bit familiar. That’s because wins and losses tend to be the only stats that anyone remembers. The graphic below reveals the wins and losses for each team in 2017, ranked from greatest to least. It also allows you to filter based on divisional and conference games.


NFL Arrests by Month

Since the turn of the century there have been 1,010 arrests of NFL players. While that number may seem high, it’s actually less than the US average for men ages 20-39. Because they are constantly in the spotlight, the general public hears about these arrests frequently. After collecting the data and categorizing it in a variety of ways, the National Football Post will be releasing a series of visualizations starting with NFL arrests by month. 

You can play around with the data to sort by type of crime and see what inferences you can draw. Some categories have a lot of arrests, like drug crimes, which dramatically increase in the offseason, when tests become sporadic. Some categories only have a single arrest in the last 18 years. 

Mobile users click here

Comparing Team vs Divisional Wins

It’s no secret that the New England Patriots have pretty much owned the AFC East for the past decade. However, did you know that the rest of the AFC East have averaged fewer than 8 wins in the same time frame? If the goal is to make the playoffs, it certainly helps when the rest of your division tends to produce losing records. The flip side of the AFC East is the AFC North. The Bengals, Steelers, and Ravens have had many strong seasons, often sending two of the three teams to the playoffs (in 2011, all three teams advanced to the playoffs).
The graphic below allows you to choose a division and a team, and it displays the wins for the selected team vs. the average wins for the rest of the division.