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NFL Records After N Games

Posted by Neil on September 19, 2012

This is a re-posting of an entry I made back in May, but it seems useful to dredge up again now that we're in the early stages of the NFL season. To quote myself:

Tangotiger asked me to do some research for him with regard to predicting end-of-season records from a team's current record. Since it took a little time to put together, I figured I'd post the complete findings here.

The table below is based on every NFL season from 1988-2011 -- it lists every "season start" that a team had over that span (i.e., 4-1 through 5 games, etc.), and the average end-of-season winning percentage (counting ties as half-wins) for teams that started that way. I also showed the number of wins per 16 games to make it a little more understandable than a raw winning percentage.

As an added bonus this time around, I also included the number of instances of each record to start a season since 1988. Many of these will have more predictive power than others, since the sample sizes for some of the more unique late-season combinations can be quite small.

Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
1 1 0 0 364 0.573 9.2
1 0 1 0 365 0.427 6.8
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
2 2 0 0 197 0.621 9.9
2 1 1 0 333 0.510 8.2
2 0 2 0 199 0.364 5.8
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
3 3 0 0 119 0.668 10.7
3 2 1 0 246 0.569 9.1
3 1 2 0 247 0.443 7.1
3 0 3 0 117 0.306 4.9
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
4 4 0 0 69 0.704 11.3
4 3 1 0 193 0.616 9.8
4 2 2 0 220 0.496 7.9
4 1 3 0 167 0.399 6.4
4 0 4 0 80 0.267 4.3
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
5 5 0 0 40 0.756 12.1
5 4 1 0 133 0.667 10.7
5 3 1 1 1 0.531 8.5
5 3 2 0 193 0.553 8.8
5 2 3 0 198 0.441 7.1
5 1 3 1 1 0.281 4.5
5 1 4 0 113 0.346 5.5
5 0 5 0 50 0.233 3.7
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
6 6 0 0 29 0.791 12.7
6 5 1 0 87 0.698 11.2
6 4 2 0 174 0.592 9.5
6 3 2 1 1 0.531 8.5
6 3 3 0 158 0.509 8.1
6 2 4 0 163 0.401 6.4
6 1 4 1 1 0.281 4.5
6 1 5 0 86 0.301 4.8
6 0 6 0 30 0.178 2.9
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
7 7 0 0 18 0.837 13.4
7 6 1 0 57 0.737 11.8
7 5 2 0 146 0.637 10.2
7 4 3 0 156 0.538 8.6
7 3 3 1 1 0.531 8.5
7 3 4 0 141 0.463 7.4
7 2 5 0 124 0.354 5.7
7 1 5 1 1 0.281 4.5
7 1 6 0 60 0.273 4.4
7 0 7 0 25 0.164 2.6
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
8 8 0 0 12 0.859 13.8
8 7 1 0 43 0.769 12.3
8 6 2 0 105 0.671 10.7
8 5 3 0 136 0.598 9.6
8 4 3 1 1 0.531 8.5
8 4 4 0 147 0.499 8.0
8 3 5 0 127 0.409 6.5
8 2 6 0 95 0.318 5.1
8 1 6 1 1 0.281 4.5
8 1 7 0 45 0.239 3.8
8 0 8 0 17 0.138 2.2
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
9 9 0 0 12 0.859 13.8
9 8 1 0 31 0.800 12.8
9 7 2 0 72 0.706 11.3
9 6 3 0 111 0.632 10.1
9 5 3 1 3 0.594 9.5
9 5 4 0 145 0.550 8.8
9 4 5 0 127 0.449 7.2
9 3 6 0 108 0.373 6.0
9 2 7 0 74 0.287 4.6
9 1 7 1 1 0.281 4.5
9 1 8 0 36 0.197 3.2
9 0 9 0 9 0.104 1.7
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
10 10 0 0 10 0.875 14.0
10 9 1 0 23 0.807 12.9
10 8 2 0 54 0.744 11.9
10 7 3 0 98 0.658 10.5
10 6 3 1 1 0.594 9.5
10 6 4 0 121 0.588 9.4
10 5 4 1 3 0.594 9.5
10 5 5 0 115 0.499 8.0
10 4 6 0 121 0.420 6.7
10 3 7 0 86 0.339 5.4
10 2 8 0 64 0.258 4.1
10 1 8 1 2 0.281 4.5
10 1 9 0 24 0.156 2.5
10 0 10 0 7 0.107 1.7
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
11 11 0 0 7 0.893 14.3
11 10 1 0 19 0.822 13.2
11 9 2 0 44 0.776 12.4
11 8 3 0 70 0.690 11.0
11 7 3 1 2 0.594 9.5
11 7 4 0 121 0.612 9.8
11 6 4 1 1 0.656 10.5
11 6 5 0 104 0.543 8.7
11 5 5 1 2 0.563 9.0
11 5 6 0 104 0.462 7.4
11 4 6 1 3 0.448 7.2
11 4 7 0 104 0.387 6.2
11 3 8 0 71 0.305 4.9
11 2 8 1 1 0.281 4.5
11 2 9 0 48 0.234 3.8
11 1 9 1 1 0.281 4.5
11 1 10 0 22 0.151 2.4
11 0 11 0 5 0.075 1.2
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
12 12 0 0 6 0.896 14.3
12 11 1 0 14 0.839 13.4
12 10 2 0 32 0.801 12.8
12 9 3 0 67 0.719 11.5
12 8 3 1 1 0.594 9.5
12 8 4 0 86 0.643 10.3
12 7 4 1 3 0.635 10.2
12 7 5 0 106 0.573 9.2
12 6 5 1 2 0.563 9.0
12 6 6 0 100 0.508 8.1
12 5 6 1 3 0.490 7.8
12 5 7 0 108 0.425 6.8
12 4 7 1 1 0.406 6.5
12 4 8 0 79 0.352 5.6
12 3 8 1 1 0.281 4.5
12 3 9 0 58 0.276 4.4
12 2 10 0 39 0.210 3.4
12 1 10 1 1 0.281 4.5
12 1 11 0 18 0.135 2.2
12 0 12 0 4 0.078 1.3
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
13 13 0 0 6 0.896 14.3
13 12 1 0 10 0.863 13.8
13 11 2 0 30 0.810 13.0
13 10 3 0 46 0.749 12.0
13 9 4 0 73 0.678 10.8
13 8 4 1 1 0.594 9.5
13 8 5 0 104 0.602 9.6
13 7 5 1 4 0.625 10.0
13 7 6 0 99 0.532 8.5
13 6 6 1 4 0.500 8.0
13 6 7 0 91 0.470 7.5
13 5 8 0 88 0.395 6.3
13 4 8 1 1 0.406 6.5
13 4 9 0 72 0.319 5.1
13 3 9 1 1 0.281 4.5
13 3 10 0 48 0.259 4.1
13 2 11 0 32 0.191 3.1
13 1 11 1 1 0.281 4.5
13 1 12 0 15 0.108 1.7
13 0 13 0 3 0.063 1.0
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
14 14 0 0 2 0.938 15.0
14 13 1 0 10 0.881 14.1
14 12 2 0 24 0.833 13.3
14 11 3 0 43 0.766 12.3
14 10 4 0 53 0.706 11.3
14 9 5 0 93 0.633 10.1
14 8 5 1 4 0.625 10.0
14 8 6 0 90 0.568 9.1
14 7 6 1 3 0.552 8.8
14 7 7 0 102 0.500 8.0
14 6 7 1 2 0.469 7.5
14 6 8 0 81 0.436 7.0
14 5 8 1 1 0.406 6.5
14 5 9 0 75 0.363 5.8
14 4 9 1 1 0.281 4.5
14 4 10 0 63 0.293 4.7
14 3 11 0 40 0.242 3.9
14 2 11 1 1 0.281 4.5
14 2 12 0 28 0.170 2.7
14 1 13 0 12 0.083 1.3
14 0 14 0 1 0.000 0.0
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
15 15 0 0 1 1.000 16.0
15 14 1 0 5 0.913 14.6
15 13 2 0 26 0.841 13.5
15 12 3 0 28 0.792 12.7
15 11 4 0 54 0.730 11.7
15 10 5 0 71 0.662 10.6
15 9 5 1 3 0.635 10.2
15 9 6 0 90 0.599 9.6
15 8 6 1 2 0.594 9.5
15 8 7 0 85 0.535 8.6
15 7 7 1 3 0.531 8.5
15 7 8 0 99 0.469 7.5
15 6 8 1 2 0.406 6.5
15 6 9 0 72 0.398 6.4
15 5 10 0 64 0.336 5.4
15 4 10 1 1 0.281 4.5
15 4 11 0 57 0.271 4.3
15 3 11 1 1 0.281 4.5
15 3 12 0 36 0.214 3.4
15 2 13 0 18 0.142 2.3
15 1 14 0 10 0.075 1.2
15 0 15 0 1 0.000 0.0
Thru N Games W L T Count Final WPct Per 16 G
16 16 0 0 1 1.000 16.0
16 15 1 0 3 0.938 15.0
16 14 2 0 14 0.875 14.0
16 13 3 0 33 0.813 13.0
16 12 4 0 46 0.750 12.0
16 11 5 0 59 0.688 11.0
16 10 5 1 2 0.656 10.5
16 10 6 0 81 0.625 10.0
16 9 6 1 3 0.594 9.5
16 9 7 0 86 0.563 9.0
16 8 7 1 3 0.531 8.5
16 8 8 0 87 0.500 8.0
16 7 9 0 75 0.438 7.0
16 6 9 1 2 0.406 6.5
16 6 10 0 70 0.375 6.0
16 5 11 0 59 0.313 5.0
16 4 11 1 2 0.281 4.5
16 4 12 0 53 0.250 4.0
16 3 13 0 26 0.188 3.0
16 2 14 0 15 0.125 2.0
16 1 15 0 8 0.063 1.0
16 0 16 0 1 0.000 0.0

By the way, based on this data, here's what we would expect for each team this season from their record so far:

Actual Predicted
Team W L W L
49ers 2 0 9.9 6.1
Bears 1 1 8.1 7.9
Bengals 1 1 8.1 7.9
Bills 1 1 8.1 7.9
Broncos 1 1 8.1 7.9
Browns 0 2 5.8 10.2
Buccaneers 1 1 8.1 7.9
Cardinals 2 0 9.9 6.1
Chargers 2 0 9.9 6.1
Chiefs 0 2 5.8 10.2
Colts 1 1 8.1 7.9
Cowboys 1 1 8.1 7.9
Dolphins 1 1 8.1 7.9
Eagles 2 0 9.9 6.1
Falcons 2 0 9.9 6.1
Giants 1 1 8.1 7.9
Jaguars 0 2 5.8 10.2
Jets 1 1 8.1 7.9
Lions 1 1 8.1 7.9
Packers 1 1 8.1 7.9
Panthers 1 1 8.1 7.9
Patriots 1 1 8.1 7.9
Raiders 0 2 5.8 10.2
Rams 1 1 8.1 7.9
Ravens 1 1 8.1 7.9
Redskins 1 1 8.1 7.9
Saints 0 2 5.8 10.2
Seahawks 1 1 8.1 7.9
Steelers 1 1 8.1 7.9
Texans 2 0 9.9 6.1
Titans 0 2 5.8 10.2
Vikings 1 1 8.1 7.9

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 at 4:53 pm and is filed under Announcement, Data, Pro-Football-Reference.com. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “NFL Records After N Games”

  1. I like this analysis, but I don't understand how your counts for 1-0 and 0-1 are not the same number. Same for 2-0 and 0-2.

  2. Tony > He used data ranging from 1988 to 2011. From 1999 to 2001, there were an odd number of teams (31) due to the NFL allowing the Browns back in prior to adding an expansion team to make it a nice even number.

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