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Yesterday, I looked at the Pythagenpat records for all teams since 2000. Since I crunched all that data, I thought it would be fun to look at the biggest outlier teams.

The 2003 Steelers were not very good. Pittsburgh went 6-10, scoring 200 points and allowing 327 points. Because of regression to the mean, the ’04 Steelers were expected to be a little better, and finish with 7.2 wins. Instead, behind a rookie Ben Roethlisberger and an outstanding running game and defense, the Steelers went 15-1, exceeding expectations by 7.8 wins.

Last year’s Panthers also went 15-1, and have a similar story. Cam Newton, the AP MVP, was more of the driving force, of course, but a great running game and defense powered the team. But based on a mediocre ’14 season, Carolina was expected to win only 7.8 games, so the 2015 Panthers exceeded expectations by 7.2 wins.

The third biggest outlier? That would be the ’07 Patriots, who went 16-0 with a projection of just 9.5 wins. The next year, New England was projected to win 10.99 games, and… went 11-5.

The table below shows each team since 2000, and their number of projected and actual wins. The table is sorted by the difference column:

RkTeamYrExp WinsAct WinsDiff
1PIT20047.2157.8
2CAR20157.8157.2
3NWE20079.5166.5
4GNB20118.7156.3
5CHI20016.9136.1
6SFO20117.2135.8
7BAL20067.2135.8
8MIA20085.4115.6
9SDG20068.4145.6
10NWE20038.4145.6
11SDG20046.5125.5
12KAN20135.7115.3
13IND20125.7115.3
14NWE20108.7145.3
15STL20018.7145.3
16DEN20128.0135.0
17NOR20098.0135.0
18SDG20098.0135.0
19GNB20078.0135.0
20KAN20038.0135.0
21SFO20017.2124.8
22ATL20108.4134.6
23DAL20078.4134.6
24SEA20058.4134.6
25PIT20018.4134.6
26ATL20086.5114.5
27IND20099.5144.5
28IND20059.5144.5
29CAR20137.6124.4
30CAR20087.6124.4
31STL20037.6124.4
32NYG20007.6124.4
33ATL20128.7134.3
34TEN20088.7134.3
35DEN20058.7134.3
36BAL20086.9114.1
37CHI20056.9114.1
38TAM20056.9114.1
39ATL20046.9114.1
40NWE20016.9114.1
41PHI20006.9114.1
42DAL20148.0124.0
43BAL20008.0124.0
44OAK20008.0124.0
45MIN20126.1103.9
46TAM20106.1103.9
47NOR20066.1103.9
48NOR20006.1103.9
49ARI20159.1133.9
50SEA20139.1133.9
51NOR20119.1133.9
52CHI20069.1133.9
53GNB20148.2123.8
54GNB20097.2113.8
55NYG20057.2113.8
56DEN20007.2113.8
57NWE200410.2143.8
58PIT20108.4123.6
59BAL20108.4123.6
60JAX20058.4123.6
61TAM20028.4123.6
62GNB20018.4123.6
63NYJ20156.5103.5
64PHI20136.5103.5
65KAN20106.5103.5
66CLE20076.5103.5
67NYJ20066.5103.5
68IND20079.5133.5
69PHI20049.5133.5
70MIN20157.6113.4
71DET20147.6113.4
72NOR20137.6113.4
73SEA20127.6113.4
74CHI20107.6113.4
75CAR20057.6113.4
76CAR20037.6113.4
77TEN20027.6113.4
78CIN20096.7103.3
79HOU20145.793.3
80HOU20128.7123.3
81MIN20098.7123.3
82PIT20088.7123.3
83NYG20088.7123.3
84NWE20068.7123.3
85IND20038.7123.3
86ARI20136.9103.1
87WAS20126.9103.1
88DAL20036.9103.1
89DEN20139.9133.1
90TEN20009.9133.1
91CIN20158.9123.1
92PIT20148.0113.0
93JAX20078.0113.0
94CIN20058.0113.0
95TEN20039.1122.9
96PHI20029.1122.9
97HOU20117.2102.8
98DET20117.2102.8
99PHI20067.2102.8
100WAS20057.2102.8
101NYJ20047.2102.8
102IND20027.2102.8
103NWE201110.2132.8
104SFO20139.3122.7
105KAN20158.4112.6
106NYJ20108.4112.6
107DAL20098.4112.6
108MIA20008.4112.6
109WAS20156.592.5
110CIN20116.592.5
111NYJ20086.592.5
112TAM20076.592.5
113MIA20056.592.5
114NWE20159.5122.5
115DEN20159.5122.5
116NWE20149.5122.5
117NWE20139.5122.5
118BAL20119.5122.5
119PIT20119.5122.5
120IND20049.5122.5
121PHI20039.5122.5
122GNB20029.5122.5
123PHI20098.6112.4
124KAN20057.6102.4
125BAL20037.6102.4
126SEA20037.6102.4
127NYG20027.6102.4
128CIN20035.782.3
129ARI20148.7112.3
130CIN20138.7112.3
131OAK20028.7112.3
132MIN20008.7112.3
133WAS20076.992.1
134JAX20046.992.1
135SEA20149.9122.1
136DEN20149.9122.1
137NWE20129.9122.1
138IND20089.9122.1
139BAL20148.0102.0
140CHI20128.0102.0
141NYG20108.0102.0
142MIN20088.0102.0
143PIT20078.0102.0
144NYG20078.0102.0
145TEN20078.0102.0
146BUF20026.181.9
147ATL20027.69.51.9
148IND20149.1111.9
149IND20139.1111.9
150PHI20019.1111.9
151MIA20019.1111.9
152STL20125.77.51.8
153BUF20147.291.8
154TEN20117.291.8
155DAL20057.291.8
156BUF20047.291.8
157MIN20037.291.8
158SEA20017.291.8
159PIT20007.291.8
160IND200610.2121.8
161STL20105.471.6
162CAR20025.471.6
163CIN20128.4101.6
164ARI20098.4101.6
165SEA20078.4101.6
166DEN20038.4101.6
167MIA20038.4101.6
168NYJ20018.4101.6
169SFO20129.911.51.6
170DEN20116.581.5
171GNB20066.581.5
172TEN20066.581.5
173PHI20088.09.51.5
174SDG20137.691.4
175CHI20087.691.4
176NOR20027.691.4
177CLE20027.691.4
178CIN20149.110.51.4
179PHI20148.7101.3
180DEN20048.7101.3
181GNB20048.7101.3
182ARI20116.981.1
183OAK20106.981.1
184ARI20076.981.1
185SDG20026.981.1
186NOR20109.9111.1
187HOU20098.091.0
188ARI20088.091.0
189MIN20058.091.0
190DEN20028.091.0
191GNB20008.091.0
192NYJ20008.091.0
193DET20008.091.0
194OAK20156.170.9
195DET20076.170.9
196CLE20016.170.9
197ARI20016.170.9
198PIT20159.1100.9
199GNB20109.1100.9
200PHI20109.1100.9
201NWE20099.1100.9
202TAM20009.1100.9
203ATL20157.280.8
204NYJ20137.280.8
205DAL20117.280.8
206MIN20077.280.8
207HOU20077.280.8
208STL20067.280.8
209KAN20027.280.8
210SDG200710.2110.8
211HOU20158.490.6
212SDG20148.490.6
213NYG20128.490.6
214NYJ20098.490.6
215TAM20088.490.6
216DAL20068.490.6
217PIT20029.910.50.6
218CLE20146.570.5
219DET20136.570.5
220TAM20126.570.5
221SFO20066.570.5
222CHI20036.570.5
223ATL20016.570.5
224SEA20159.5100.5
225GNB20159.5100.5
226BAL20129.5100.5
227GNB20039.5100.5
228SFO20029.5100.5
229OAK20019.5100.5
230BAL20019.5100.5
231MIA20137.680.4
232JAX20107.680.4
233SFO20097.680.4
234NOR20087.680.4
235DEN20087.680.4
236GNB201210.6110.4
237PIT200510.6110.4
238TAM20155.760.3
239CAR20115.760.3
240DET20105.760.3
241HOU20065.760.3
242NYG20118.790.3
243KAN20068.790.3
244BAL20048.790.3
245SEA20048.790.3
246NYJ20028.790.3
247TAM20018.790.3
248SEA20106.970.1
249JAX20096.970.1
250SFO20086.970.1
251BUF20066.970.1
252HOU20046.970.1
253ATL20119.9100.1
254IND20009.9100.1
255STL20009.9100.1
256MIA20148.080.0
257PIT20138.080.0
258DAL20138.080.0
259DAL20128.080.0
260OAK20118.080.0
261DEN20098.080.0
262HOU20088.080.0
263CIN20048.080.0
264NOR20048.080.0
265WAS20018.080.0
266NWE200811.0110.0
268MIN20147.070.0
269KAN20149.19-0.1
270BAL20099.19-0.1
271ATL20099.19-0.1
272MIA20029.19-0.1
273NWE20029.19-0.1
274STL20157.27-0.2
275TEN20137.27-0.2
276CAR20127.27-0.2
277MIA20127.27-0.2
278IND201010.210-0.2
279NWE200510.210-0.2
280SDG20015.45-0.4
281BUF20158.48-0.4
282SDG20118.48-0.4
283WAS20088.48-0.4
284MIN20048.48-0.4
285NOR20038.48-0.4
286ATL20146.56-0.5
287BUF20116.56-0.5
288WAS20106.56-0.5
289CLE20056.56-0.5
290ARI20046.56-0.5
291NYG20046.56-0.5
292CIN20016.56-0.5
293SFO20006.56-0.5
294PIT20099.59-0.5
295SDG20059.59-0.5
296NOR20157.67-0.6
297SEA20117.67-0.6
298MIA20107.67-0.6
299BUF20087.67-0.6
300BUF20077.67-0.6
301GNB20139.18.5-0.6
302CHI20138.78-0.7
303BAL20138.78-0.7
304PHI20118.78-0.7
305PHI20078.78-0.7
306WAS20008.78-0.7
307STL20137.87-0.8
308CHI20156.96-0.9
309WAS20046.96-0.9
310DET20046.96-0.9
311MIN20026.96-0.9
312SDG20109.99-0.9
313DAL20089.99-0.9
314DEN20069.99-0.9
315SEA20069.99-0.9
316SDG20128.07-1.0
317CIN20078.07-1.0
318CAR20078.07-1.0
319ATL20068.07-1.0
320WAS20028.07-1.0
321CAR20008.07-1.0
322JAX20156.15-1.1
323DET20036.15-1.1
324IND20159.18-1.1
325NYJ20119.18-1.1
326CHI20119.18-1.1
327SDG20089.18-1.1
328CIN20069.18-1.1
329PIT20069.18-1.1
330NYG20069.18-1.1
331CAR20069.18-1.1
332ATL20059.18-1.1
333DEN20019.18-1.1
334BUF20009.18-1.1
335NYG20157.26-1.2
336BUF20137.26-1.2
337BUF20127.26-1.2
338JAX20027.26-1.2
339NYG20138.47-1.4
340CHI20098.47-1.4
341DEN20078.47-1.4
342SEA20028.47-1.4
343KAN20008.47-1.4
344CLE20126.55-1.5
345SEA20096.55-1.5
346CLE20096.55-1.5
347OAK20086.55-1.5
348OAK20046.55-1.5
349HOU20036.55-1.5
350SFO20149.58-1.5
351PIT20129.58-1.5
352CAR20099.58-1.5
353NYG20099.58-1.5
354JAX20069.58-1.5
355STL20049.58-1.5
356NYG20147.66-1.6
357STL20147.66-1.6
358MIA20117.66-1.6
359BUF20097.66-1.6
360JAX20017.66-1.6
361KAN20017.66-1.6
362JAX20135.74-1.7
363KAN20095.74-1.7
364OAK20075.74-1.7
365SFO20055.74-1.7
366PHI20158.77-1.7
367KAN20118.77-1.7
368NOR20078.77-1.7
369SFO20038.77-1.7
370BAL20028.77-1.7
371NOR20018.77-1.7
372CLE20106.95-1.9
373OAK20096.95-1.9
374ARI20066.95-1.9
375DAL20026.95-1.9
376DAL20016.95-1.9
377TEN20099.98-1.9
378MIA20158.06-2.0
379NYJ20128.06-2.0
380TEN20108.06-2.0
381SFO20108.06-2.0
382STL20058.06-2.0
383BUF20038.06-2.0
384CAR20149.57.5-2.0
385WAS20146.14-2.1
386DET20159.17-2.1
387NOR20149.17-2.1
388MIA20099.17-2.1
389CAR20049.17-2.1
390WAS20117.25-2.2
391ARI20057.25-2.2
392DET20057.25-2.2
393JAX20037.25-2.2
394CHI20007.25-2.2
395TEN20128.46-2.4
396HOU20108.46-2.4
397MIA20068.46-2.4
398MIN20068.46-2.4
399BAL20058.46-2.4
400NYJ20038.46-2.4
401SEA20008.46-2.4
402OAK20136.54-2.5
403CIN20006.54-2.5
404TAM20039.57-2.5
405NYG20019.57-2.5
406SFO20077.65-2.6
407TAM20047.65-2.6
408CHI20047.65-2.6
409WAS20037.65-2.6
410ARI20027.65-2.6
411TEN20155.73-2.7
412DET20025.73-2.7
413CLE20005.73-2.7
414DAL20048.76-2.7
415IND20018.76-2.7
416CLE20136.94-2.9
417CLE20116.94-2.9
418OAK20056.94-2.9
419TEN20056.94-2.9
420CLE20046.94-2.9
421ARI20036.94-2.9
422ATL20006.94-2.9
423NOR20129.97-2.9
424CHI20079.97-2.9
425KAN20049.97-2.9
426TEN20019.97-2.9
427PIT20038.96-2.9
428DET20095.02-3.0
429SFO20158.05-3.0
430CHI20148.05-3.0
431ARI20128.05-3.0
432JAX20118.05-3.0
433NWE20008.05-3.0
434DAL20008.05-3.0
435CIN20087.64.5-3.1
436DAL20109.16-3.1
437BUF20107.24-3.2
438CLE20067.24-3.2
439MIN20138.75.5-3.2
440STL200210.27-3.2
441JAX200010.27-3.2
442BUF20058.45-3.4
443CLE20038.45-3.4
444JAX20146.53-3.5
445OAK20146.53-3.5
446MIN20109.56-3.5
447ATL20038.65-3.6
448TAM20137.64-3.6
449ATL20077.64-3.6
450BAL20158.75-3.7
451ARI20108.75-3.7
452WAS20068.75-3.7
453DET20066.93-3.9
454GNB20089.96-3.9
455PHI20059.96-3.9
456NYJ20148.04-4.0
457OAK20128.04-4.0
458PHI20128.04-4.0
459DEN20108.04-4.0
460WAS20098.04-4.0
461SDG20038.04-4.0
462STL20086.12-4.1
463JAX20089.15-4.1
464MIN20019.15-4.1
465MIN20117.23-4.2
466ARI20007.23-4.2
467SDG20158.44-4.4
468KAN20078.44-4.4
469TAM20146.52-4.5
470KAN20086.52-4.5
471OAK20066.52-4.5
472TEN20049.55-4.5
473CLE20157.63-4.6
474STL20095.71-4.7
475DET20128.74-4.7
476TAM20118.74-4.7
477CIN20108.74-4.7
478SEA20088.74-4.7
479CLE20088.74-4.7
480NYJ20078.74-4.7
481GNB20058.74-4.7
482NYJ20058.74-4.7
483MIA20048.74-4.7
484NYG20038.74-4.7
485JAX20126.92-4.9
486BAL20079.95-4.9
487STL20078.03-5.0
488NOR20058.03-5.0
489BUF20018.03-5.0
490TAM20069.14-5.1
491OAK20039.14-5.1
492CIN20027.22-5.2
493TAM20098.43-5.4
494DAL20159.54-5.5
495TEN20147.62-5.6
496KAN20127.62-5.6
497STL20117.62-5.6
498HOU20057.62-5.6
499SFO20047.62-5.6
500WAS20138.73-5.7
501ATL20139.94-5.9
502CHI20029.94-5.9
503CAR20108.02-6.0
504MIA20077.21-6.2
505DET20018.42-6.4
506CAR20017.61-6.6
507IND20118.72-6.7
508SDG20008.01-7.0
509HOU20139.52-7.5
510DET20087.60-7.6

Unsurprisingly, the 2008 Lions are at the bottom of the list. Going 0-16 doesn’t help matters, but even at 1-15 the Lions still would have ranked in the bottom five. That’s because Detroit was pretty decent in 2007, and was projected for 7.6 wins in 2008. The 2013 Houston Texans had one of the biggest collapses in recent memory, falling from 12-4 to 2-14; they rank as the second biggest disappointing team since 2000.

  • sacramento gold miners

    The 2003 Steelers were a bad team, but it should be remembered, the 2001 and 2002 editions were in the playoffs, so there was talent on the roster. In 2003, Tommy Maddox put up plenty of passing yards, but managed only a 18-17 TD/INT ratio, and it was obvious he wasn’t the long term solution. Jerome Bettis had injury problems, and I think the Steelers finished dead last in the NFL in rushing. Defensively, the team uncharacteristically struggled.

    In 2004, the plan was to bring Big Ben along slowly, but Maddox was hurt in the season opener, and that idea was tossed out the window. While the playbook had to be simplified for the unexpected rookie QB, Roethlisberger was anything but a game manager. Four fourth quarter comeback wins, three of which were on the road, and a convincing win over New England, snapping the Pats’ NFL record regular season winning streak.

    Helping the major upgrade at QB was the defense, which played more like the 2001-2002 units. The running game roared back, with Deuce Staley averaging a 100 yards per game in his first seven, then after he went down, Bettis went on a rampage, running for six 100 yard games over his last eight contests. Few HOF backs ever equaled that kind of production in their next to last season(s).

    Looking at the table, the addition of Randy Moss really boosted the 2007 Patriots.

  • Richie

    The 07-08 Dolphins are interesting in the way they overshot expectation both years. The 2007 team that went 1-15 was actually expected to win 7.2 games, while the following year they were expected to only win 5.4 but ended up winning 11.