Last season Seattle demonstrated how badly off the criteria for these stats can be. The Seahawks were truly "in the hunt" all season long. They made it to the playoffs. Won their division. Won a playoff game! All with a 7-9 record in the regular season.
As shown in the table below, the adopted criteria says the Seahawks were in the hunt only 14 weeks. It just goes to show that genuine competitiveness depends on many factors. More than can be captured by two simple rules. (Can't be more than one game below .500; can't have more than seven losses.) Yet to compare across seasons, we need criteria that are consistent. Across 20 years everything should average out, hopefully giving us a fair comparison between teams.
Now on to this week's match-up: Week 8, Bengals versus Seahawks, 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? [For 2010 and Seattle, it's very rough indeed.]
- 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 Seahawks
Bengals (repeat of graph shown in earlier posts):
- The Seahawks were "in the hunt" 63% of the time overall (based on adjusted percentage). Compare to a paltry 30% for the Bengals.
- For each decade the Seahawks were much better: 71% versus 48% (2001-2010) and 55% v. 12% (1991-2000). All percentages are adjusted.
- The Seahawks enjoyed a 7-year run with 100% in-the-hunt results. The Bengals of course never managed back-to-back seasons with 100% results.
- How many times did the Seahawks hit 0% (adjusted)? Once. How many times did the Bengals? Seven.
A Note on the Game
At 2-4, the Seahawks are trying to climb back into the hunt with a win against the Bengals. The Bengals will be there for awhile at 4-2. Another reversal of fortune in this strange season.
Week 1 Browns:
Week 2 Broncos:
Week 3 49ers:
Week 4 Bills:
Week 5 Jaguars:
Week 6 Colts:
Week 7 (Bye) Raiders: