2010 NFL Week 5 Beatpath Graph

Wow! We’ve got a couple of zombie teams this week, a rare occurrence. Who knows what San Diego and Washington will turn into, although it seems San Diego is already historically bad on special teams.

Last week’s rankings performed a little better at 9-5, although it felt more surprising than that. It’s a different league than last season. I think the most fascinating teams in this graph are the NY Giants and Chicago. I’d bet something in TEN->NYG->CHI is going to bust soon, but it’s hard to say what will break first. DEN->TEN could easily disappear next week when Tennessee travels to Jacksonville.


7 Responses to 2010 NFL Week 5 Beatpath Graph

  1. The MOOSE says:

    While two detached teams is pretty rare, it’s not quite as rare as you’d think. I looked back at the history of Week 5 and found two teams completely detached in 2005 and 1999. Two were also separated from the others in 1995, but had a relationship to each other. (Check my historic graphs) It’s rather funny that it has happened almost like clockwork every 5 years, considering that before the 1995 occurrence, it hadn’t happened ever. Again, this is specifically for week 5.

  2. ThunderThumbs says:

    That’s awesome! I think it’s really cool you have the historic graphs.

  3. The MOOSE says:

    Yeah they’re pretty helpful for understanding the long-term behavior of the graphs. You’ve only been doing this for about 6 years or so and it’s hard to see how things trend in such a small sample. I used the data from Pro-Football-Reference.com to record all of the games from 1970 (the merger) onwards.

  4. Thurhame says:

    Baltimore has a rather tenuous position. Over 60% of its paths come from its win over #2 Pittsburgh, which not only was a close game, but was without the Steelers’ starting quarterback. I expect the Ravens will drop dramatically after their next game against Pittsburgh.

    Kansas City finally loses their perfect record. To emphasize their not-as-good-as-it-sounded status, Indianapolis doesn’t get much from defeating them.

    While we don’t have any 5-0 teams left, we do have three 0-5 teams. I wonder why the perfect record teams always seem to disappear before the winless teams?

  5. JT says:

    @Thurhame: I expect it’s a lot easier to loose every game than it is to win every game.

    I see two divisions with a straight path hierarchy, the AFC East and the NFC West. I wonder how early that shows up at this point in the season in the historical graphs. I may have to browse through them a bit.

    As for the floaters, San Diego seems to be having trouble on the road. In both home games, they’ve scored 38 points or more, while on the road their best showing was 27 put up against Oakland. Washington is generally sticking around in games, 4 out of 5 games have been decided by 7 points or less, and two were overtime games decided by field goals (1 win, 1 loss).

  6. The MOOSE says:

    @Thurhame: I don’t know why it seems that way, but it’s simply not true. IND made three separate runs at perfection, losing their first games in week 11, week 15, and week 16 of those years, several weeks after the last winless team was gone. NE had their perfect regular season. PHI went 7-0 in 2004 and KC went 9-0 in 2003. So that’s 6 times in the last 11 seasons where the undefeated teams lasted longer than the winless teams, more than half.

    In fact, after this year and DET’s winless campaign of 2008, you have to go all the way back to 2002 to get to the next time the winless team lasted longer.

    Also, BAL’s position isn’t tenuous at all. They have direct wins over the #2, #4 and #7 teams on this site. That’s better than PIT’s wins over #5, #6, and #14. Even if you take away BAL’s win over PIT they will be a top team, and possibly still #1.

    @JT: I haven’t looked it up myself yet, but I’m pretty sure by this point there is usually at least one or two divisions with a clear hierarchy. If you do browse through the historical graphs, let me know what you find.

  7. JT says:

    I took a quick look back a few years (I made it to 2000 before I got distracted), and by the 5th week it seemed most seasons had 1-3 divisions with a clear hierarchy. I didn’t do an exhaustive search, but 2002 and 2005 seemed to be the outliers. I didn’t spot any in those seasons. Probably by coincidence, 2005 also had two floater teams.

    The 2001 Week 5 standard graph was one of the most vertical I’ve ever seen.

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