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I was struck by a BloggingTheBoys article asking Who Were The Luckiest NFL Teams In 2011? I encourage you all to read the article if you haven’t already. The short answer is that comparing predictions based on a teams points scored and points allowed versus actual wins and losses indicates that teams like the , , and were fortunate in that they amassed more wins than their on-field performance would predict. It also suggests that, conversely, teams like the , , and were not in Lady Luck’s good graces this season. Our Fair Cowboys were in the middle of the pack, as the 11th unluckiest team with a -0.6 variance. But beyond 2011, one of the other statistics mentioned by BTB writer One.Cool.Customer really caught my eye.
For most teams, these numbers tend to change from year to year. But not for all. The Cowboys have had a negative variance for the last three years in a row. No team has had more successive years of ‘bad luck’, with theand the only other teams to also have had three consecutive years with a negative variance.
On a personal level, I have long felt that the Giants are the luckiest teams in sports and 2011 was certainly no exception. The Giants finished with a positive variance for the seventh year in a row. The next closest teams are thewith four consecutive years and the with three consecutive years. Only once in the last ten years (2004) did the Giants have a negative variance. The Giants are lucky on a metaphysical level that transcends rational numbers.
These statistics raise an interesting question. Is there anything more to these trends in “luck” than just random chance? Is there a reason why the Cowboys have been so consistently unlucky according to this formula when the Little Boys Blue have been so fortunate?
Here are five possible answers to that question.