Street Talk Behind The Numbers: One Game in September Carries a Lot of Weight in Playoff Race

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Although it’s only September, it’s never too early to start talking about the playoffs. The first three games of the season are a true barometer of a team’s chances of making a run to the post season and at 1-1 the Ravens are already at a fork in the road.  Based on a team’s record in the first three games, going 1-2 vs. 2-1 or better makes a huge difference.

Since 2000, teams that started the season at 1-2 or worse made the playoffs only 16% of the time while a team with 2-1 record or better record made the playoffs 58% rate.  You might not think a game this early in the season carries a lot of weight, but don’t be fooled.  If the Ravens improve to 2-1 you can be fairly certain they will be playing in January. 

Playoff percentage based on record in first three games since 2000

Year

Teams with 2-1 or better record

Playoffs (%)

Teams with 1-2 or worse record

Playoffs (%)

2000

16

62.5% (10)

15

13.3% (2)

2001

19

52.6 (10)

12

16.7% (2)

2002

16

50.0% (8)

16

25.0% (4)

2003

16

56.2% (9)

16

18.7% (3)

2004

16

56.2% (9)

16

18.7% (3)

2005

16

62.5% (10)

16

12.5% (2)

2006

16

62.5% (10)

16

12.5% (2)

2007

16

62.5% (10)

16

12.5% (2)

2008

16

50.0% (8)

16

25.0% (4)

2009

16

68.7% (11)

16

6.2% (1)

Avg.

 

58.4%

 

16.1%

Check back for more BTN later this year.

 

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Scot Kleinfeld

About Scot Kleinfeld

Scot is a Baltimore native, a Towson University graduate, and has followed sports since the early 1980’s. Scot likes to go inside the numbers and get the real “411” on the wins and losses,  hence his Behind The Numbers column.
 

Besides being an avid sports fan, Scot has been involved with televison sports production as an Associate Producer since 1993 for WMAR, ESPN, ESPNU,ESPN2, and the former Home Team Sports network.  In addition to his television work Scot has written articles for Baltimore Magazine, Lacrosse Magazine and Patuxent Publishing.  These experiences make him a natural as the creator of the Media Watchdog, another of SK’s fine contributions.
 

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