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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Sep 2005

    N.F.L. Preseason Games Are Meaningful for Some

    [size=18px]N.F.L. Preseason Games Are Meaningful for Some [/size]

    New York Times

    Published: July 30, 2006

    When it comes to the National Football League, you will rarely see the words important and preseason in the same sentence. Although the N.F.L. tries to promote the significance of the preseason, only the most casual fan believes that those games have any impact on the regular season.

    Last year, the Indianapolis Colts were 0-5 in the preseason, then won the first 13 games of the regular season. Kansas City, which went 0-4, just missed the playoffs with a 10-6 record. Of the nine teams that finished the preseason 3-1 or 4-1, seven did not reach the playoffs, including four that were coming off playoff seasons (St. Louis, Minnesota, Atlanta and the Jets).

    Despite those results, the preseason can be an indicator of how well teams will do in the regular season, if the sample is limited.

    The key, according to research by the Web site, is to look only at average teams — that is, those with seven to nine victories in the previous season. From the 1996 to the 2004 seasons, 96 teams fit that description. The next year, 29 of these teams won fewer than two preseason games, and they went on to average 6.7 wins in the regular season. The 23 of those teams that won three preseason games followed with an average of 8.8 wins in the regular season, and the 11 that went undefeated in the preseason finished with an average of 9.9 wins.

    When published this research before the 2003 season, it drew attention to two teams that went undefeated in the preseason after average won-lost records in 2002. Those teams, New England and Carolina, went on to meet in the Super Bowl.

    But there have been exceptions. Two teams that won seven to nine games in the 1999 season met in the Super Bowl the next season. Baltimore went undefeated in the 2000 preseason, while the Giants did not win a game. But other than the Chiefs and the Colts last season, the Giants are the only team since 1999 to win at least 10 games after a winless preseason.

    For teams coming off good or bad seasons from 1996 to 2004, the preseason has much less value as an indicator. Those with winning preseason records average half a win more than those with losing preseason records.

    A second preseason indicator is more limited. A study by the researcher Patrick Allison showed that the score of the first regular-season game between division rivals will help predict the outcome of the second. With this in mind, Allison looked only at preseason games from 2000 to 2005 between teams that also met again in the regular season. He also looked only at the first half of these preseason games, when the first- and second-stringers were most likely on the field.

    Allison’s study showed a significant correlation between the score at halftime of the preseason game and the final score of the regular-season rematch. In fact, the halftime score of a preseason game predicts the result of a regular-season rematch better than the final score of a regular-season game between division opponents will predict the result of their second meeting. Over the past four years, there were 24 of these preseason games in which a team led by at least 7 points at halftime.

    In 17 of those cases, the team leading the preseason game at halftime also won the regular-season matchup against the same opponent. There are 12 pairings in the coming preseason that will be repeated in the regular season. That is a relatively large number because the American and National Football Conference West teams tend to schedule each other in the preseason to cut down on travel costs, and those divisions will also face off during this regular season.

    The “average team” indicator, however, will be less useful this year. Despite the N.F.L.’s reputation for parity, only five teams finished the 2005 season with seven to nine wins: Miami, San Diego, Dallas, Minnesota and Atlanta. Only two of them will meet this preseason.

    Could the Vikings’ game against the Cowboys on Aug. 31 be the most important game of the preseason?

    E-mail: [email protected]

    N.F.L. Preseason Games Are Meaningful for Some

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    NordicNed is offline Jersey Retired
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    Dec 1969

    Re: N.F.L. Preseason Games Are Meaningful for Some

    I've always enjoyed the Pre-Season.

    It's a chance to see your Draft picks and FA pickups for the first time on the field playing against someone other than your own team.

    I never did though, put much weight into the Win and Lose record of ones preseason games.

    I'm not really sure every Coach our their, goes onto the field with his team to WIN preseason games... I know Coach Green put alot of weight into winning during the preseason, thats why we always had great preseason records while he was the coach, but some coaches use the time for more evaluation type of play, giving their backup players more playing time while not over using their starters..

    Overall, I enjoy watching the games, and can't wait to see a few of our own this season while trying to get a feel for what our New Look Vikings are going to bring to the field...


  3. #3
    Vikes_King's Avatar
    Vikes_King is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: N.F.L. Preseason Games Are Meaningful for Some

    important to some? its the most important thing in the world to the back ups and rookies to prove themself early on - for some its their last chance

    that, and its majorly important to us fans! if they werent televised and we had to wait until september..... pretty sure i'd kill some one, that and even those the starters play for maybe a quarter, its fun seeing the players buried in the depth chart play

    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

    - Dan Calabrese

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