Of all the teams we have looked at so far, the Rams provide the most interesting comparison with the Bengals. For most of the 90's they were neck-and-neck with Brown's Bunch for worst overall record. Then the Rams won a Superbowl in 1999 as part of a nice 8-year run, only to follow that with horrifically Bungle-like seasons. And that takes us to the present. Take a look below.
Bengals and Texans Stats
- Once upon a time, the Bengals and Rams were thought of as something like the Futility Twins. That was in the 90's before the Rams won their Super Bowl. The Rams did indeed have terrible won-loss records in the preceding part of the decade as we can see in the table. (1990 is omitted as it came before Mike Brown's control of the team.) But when you look at how long both teams were "in the hunt" it's a very different story. From 1991-1998, the Rams were in the hunt an average of 36% of the time versus 15% for the Bengals. (All percentages are adjusted.) This example nicely demonstrates the purpose of the futility stat. Relevance is not just about the final won-loss record. Did you win any games while you were still in contention? Did the fans have any hope?
- The Rams had a nice run from 1999-2006. Their adjusted average is 77%, even with the one bad season thrown in (2002) The longest the Bengals managed to sustain that kind of success is a whopping total of three years: 2004-2006. That's just in-the-hunt status, of course.
- Both team are tied at 48% for the 2001-2010 decade.
- The Rams somehow managed a 3-year run that was worse than anything the Bengals put together. I'm referring to those three goose eggs from 2007-2009. That's 0% in the hunt, or complete non contention. The Bengals have done no worse than two straight goose eggs in a row throughout Mike Brown's ruinous reign. Wow. I bet our favorite guy looks with fondness toward the West.
Overview of "In the Hunt" Futility Stats
- Each week we parallel the regular season and compare the Bengals one-on-one to the current 2011 opponent. The exceptions are the bye week and the rematch weeks against divisional foes when we pick other teams to benchmark.
- 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.
Week 1 Browns:
Week 2 Broncos:
Week 3 49ers:
Week 4 Bills:
Week 5 Jaguars:
Week 6 Colts:
Week 7 (Bye) Raiders:
Week 8 Seahawks:
Week 9 Titans:
Week 10 Steelers:
Week 11 Ravens:
Week 12 Lions (Browns Rematch Week):
Week 13 Panthers (Steelers Rematch Week):
Week 14 Texans: