Do good teams in August win in September?
Posted Aug. 28 at 09:08 AM
San Diego, Philadelphia and Seattle are on the verge of going undefeated in the preseason. Hurray? That’s something that doesn’t happen often.
But is there any correlation between undefeated in August and winning games in January?
In the last 10 years, 18 teams have gone undefeated in exhibition games. Of that group, half made the playoffs. But plenty of dud teams in there as well.
For this year’s batch (and they haven’t completed undefeated preseasons yet), I don’t see San Diego finishing with a winning record. Too many holes and injuries – particularly on the offensive line.
The Eagles certainly have a chance. If they can keep Michael Vick healthy and get hot at the end, they’ll be a team to be reckoned with.
And the Seahawks look legit. It will be tough for them to get by the 49ers in the NFC West, but a wild-card spot certainly looks possible.
On the chart below, I’ve got the playoff teams in bold. The ultimate year for undefeated preseason teams was 2003. That was the season that the Patriots beat the Panthers in the Super Bowl. Both of those teams were undefeated in August.
The all-time preseason champs would be the 1974 Steelers. They went 6-0 in the preseason (and looking back, six preseason games really seems ridiculous now) and went on to win their first Super Bowl.
Undefeated in preseason, last 10 years
9 7 2002 NY Jets
9 6 1 2002 Atlanta
4 12 2003 Arizona
14 2 2003 New England
12 4 2003 Tennessee
11 5 2003 Carolina
7 9 2004 Carolina
13 3 2005 Denver
8 8 2006 NY Giants
8 8 2006 Cincinnati
8 8 2006 Carolina
0 16 2008 Detroit
9 7 2009 Baltimore
7 9 2009 Miami
5 11 2009 Seattle
6 10 2010 San Francisco
2 14 2011 St. Louis
10 6 2011 Detroit
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