Here we are at Week 7 and the bye. So which franchise should we select for the In-the-Hunt stats comparison? I was thinking of Detroit like Falc suggested. But with the Carson Palmer trade going off just a few days ago and the recent death of Al Davis, the timing feels right for the Raiders. The Lions will have to wait until Week 12 when the Bengals encounter a division foe for the second time.
This should be a good match-up between two franchises considered to be among the league's worst in recent years. Of course this will cover the past 20. Let's get started then -- Week 7, Bengals versus Raiders, 1991-2010.
- 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 pro-football-reference.com.
Bengals versus Raiders
Bengals (repeat of graph shown in earlier posts):
- Over the course of the past 20 seasons, The Raiders were in the hunt 56% of the time (adjusted). Even with their terrible run from 2003 to 2009, they netted-out comfortably above the Bengals 30%.
- For the last decade (2001-2010) the Bengals were better: 48% versus 38%. For the previous decade (1991-2000) the Raiders were astronomically better: 74% v. 12%. All percentages are adjusted.
- The Raiders were never in the hunt, 0%, only once. (Based on adjustment that throws out the first week.) The Bengals were never in the hunt seven times.
- The Raiders were always in the hunt, 100%, five different times. (Adjustment doesn't matter.) The Bengals managed that feat twice.
- Al Davis's worst stretch, the aforementioned 2003-2009, was still better than Mike Brown's first ten years: 15% v. 12%.
A Note on the Raiders
Reviewing the season records, one by one, served as a good reminder of Raiders mediocrity. Besting Mike Brown is very faint praise indeed. It gets worse when you expand the time frame to the previous 25 years. During that span, the Raiders managed 10 or more regular season wins only five times. That's right, The Great Al Davis -- the man currently being lionized to death post-death -- generated all of five strong seasons in the past quarter century.
I love to blow raspberries at Paul Brown and show how he ceased to be "legendary" after 1955. Big Al's final chapters look even worse after 1985. There was that nice little run from 2000 to 2002 and a few other blips earlier on. And that's it for impressive achievement. The man fell off his pedestal long before the last seven or eight down years.
And so Carson Palmer escapes the Bungs... for what?
Week 1 Browns:
Week 2 Broncos:
Week 3 49ers:
Week 4 Bills:
Week 5 Jaguars:
Week 6 Colts: