Friday, November 16, 2012

Inter-Divisional NFL Games, Part I

Peter King talks today about how the Patriots and Colts have played the past 10 seasons.  To do this they had to have finished in the same spot in the standings the previous year except in years where the divisions were matched up.  What is amazing is that it is not primarily luck that has accounted for this result, as the Colts and Patriots have finished in the same position all but last year.  Here is the how they finished in their division the year before:

Year Patriots  Colts Divisions Play?
2002 1 Not 1 No
2003 2 2 Yes
2004 1 1 No
2005 1 1 No
2006 1 1 Yes
2007 1 1 No
2008 1 1 No
2009 2 2 Yes
2010 1 1 No
2011 1 1 No
2012 1 4 Yes

The finish in the division refers to the year before.  2002 uses the three division set-up of 2001, so the results are not as obvious.  The two teams have been so closely tied together.  Usually this is because they are both good.

There is a second match-up of inter-divisional foes who have played almost as much.  They have played 9 out of the 11 years of the current arrangement.  However, they are not matched up because of consistently being good or bad.  I will discuss that combination in a post on Monday.

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