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  • In-the-Hunt Futility Stats, Week 6, Bengals v. Colts
    • psychostats (Login psychostats)
      Approved Members
      Posted Oct 13, 2011 9:55 PM

      I know. This is getting monotonous. The point was made and hammered home. But let's carry this thing through and get a league-wide picture. This week Indianapolis comes to town to serve as a positive benchmark.

      Presently the 0-5 Colts are uncharacteristically out of the hunt and not looking to climb in. We know the reason. After luxuriating for 13 seasons with Peyton Manning, their spoiled fans must endure a 1-year down cycle. Try not to melt into a whimpering pool of sympathy, OK?

      More interesting for our purposes is what happened before the Manning era. The up-and-down Colts suffered a few really bad years from 1991-1997, but they were never Bunglesque for long.

      So let's take a closer look: Week 6, Bengals versus Colts, 1991-2010.

      Standard Preamble/Overview

      - Weeks "in the hunt for a winning season" serves as a rough proxy for playoff contention. And thus for fans' hopes and happiness. We ultimately want a championship, right?

      - To be in the hunt, a team can be no more than one game below .500 with no more than seven losses.

      - During the season, a team can fall out of the hunt and then climb back in.

      - An example running won-loss record for five weeks: 1-0, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 2-3. This team was in the hunt after Weeks 1, 2, 3, and 5 (total = 4).

      - Bye weeks are counted like any other week in the season. For example, the Bungs get a freebie if a bye comes while they're still in it. Why? This is all about the fans' experience. (By the way, there were two byes in '93.)

      - Adjusted "percent weeks in the hunt" throws out the first week, as all teams get an automatic freebie.

      - The time period covers Mike Brown's ownership on the Cincinnati Bengals franchise, counting only complete seasons (1991-2000).

      - Tables compiled from data on

      Bengals versus Colts

      Bengals (repeat of graph shown in earlier posts):

      [linked image]


      [linked image]

      Quick Comments

      - The Colts were "in the hunt" 76% of the time overall (based on adjusted percentage). Compare to a paltry 30% for the Bengals.

      - Since 1999, the Colts are at an astronomical 96%. You won't find even a 3-year period for the Bengals that barely approaches that level.

      - The Colts before Payton Manning (1991-1997) were in the hunt 53% of the time (adjusted). That covers seven years. The Bengals best 7-year cycle (2003-2009) is marginally better at 56%.

      - How many times have the Colts hit 0% (adjusted)? Only three times in 20 seasons. How many times for the Bengals? Seven.

      - Aside from those three terrible seasons, the worst the Colts ever sank was eight games in the hunt (twice). The Bengals have been better than eight games in the hunt only five times.

      Previous posts

      Week 1 Browns:

      Week 2 Broncos:

      Week 3 49ers:

      Week 4 Bills:

      Week 5 Jaguars:

      A Note on the Game

      What a strange reversal of fortune. The Bungs will frolic in the hunt this season far more often than the Colts. It's a done deal, barring a miracle run for Indianapolis. Maybe that's why I have this unshakable premonition -- the Bungs will lose on Sunday. Irrational as it is, I can just feel it. I know.
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