“Strength of Victory” shows up in the NFL’s tiebreaking procedures. It’s like Strength of Schedule but is designed to better paint a picture of how good a team might be. It’s a measure of strength of schedule, but looking at only games that teams won.
The idea is that you don’t get credit simply for playing teams that went 8-5 or whatever. We’re looking for teams that have been able to beat good opponents.
I had actually never composed these before. With a bunch of NFC teams in a cluster, fighting for playoff spots, I thought it might be worth looking at these numbers to see if they told us anything.
When you run them, it looks like this …
|STRENGTH OF VICTORY (Weeks 1-14)|
The Bears, surprisingly, come out on top. They’ve won only four games, but three of them are against teams that might end up in the playoffs – Steelers, Ravens, Panthers. They also came close, by the way, to winning another pair of home games against postseason contenders (Atlanta, Minnesota).
Only two other teams have won their games against teams that (combined) have a winning record – Kansas City and Carolina. (While the Panthers can go toe-to-toe against good opponents, I don’t find this to be telling – the Saints and Falcons from the NFC South are close by on this list.)
At the other end of the scale, you’ve got mostly the crappy teams. The Colts have won only three games, and they’ve all come against lesser opponents – Houston, Cleveland, San Francisco.
Note that four teams hoping to get into the playoffs are down in the underbelly – Cowboys, Chargers, Lions, Packers.
Anyway, there’s “Strength of Victory”. I don’t find it to be super compelling. Not sure I’ll be running those numbers again anytime soon.
For traditional Strength of Schedule, I’ve got it listed below.
According to my figures, the Titans, Bengals, Eagles and Cowboys have played the easiest schedules so far.
Chicago, Washington, Miami and the three NFC South contenders (Saints, Panthers, Falcons) have played the league’s hardest schedules.
|STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE (Weeks 1-14)|