## Yes, NFL Parity Is Greater Than Ever (At Least Through 6 Weeks)

Through six weeks, the 49ers and Browns were both 0-6, while the Giants were 1-5. That’s bad, but it’s notable because those were the only three teams in the NFL with a record that was worse than 2-4. And on the flip side, only two teams — the 5-1 Chiefs and 5-1 Eagles — had a record that was better than 4-2. In other words, 27 of the 32 teams in the NFL were within two games of .500; or thought of differently, 84% of the NFL teams had a winning percentage between 0.333 and 0.667.

That… is… unusual. The graph below shows the percentage of NFL teams that had a record between 0.333 and 0.667 after six weeks in each year since 1970. As you can see, 2017 has set a new mark for parity:

There’s another way to measure how bunched the standings are, and that’s by calculating the standard deviation in team winning percentage. In 2017, through six weeks, the standard deviation in winning percentage among the 32 teams was 0.198. That may not mean much to you in the abstract, but in context, it’s jarring. That’s also the smallest standard deviation among NFL teams in winning percentage through six weeks since 1970.

So yes, if you think parity exists in the NFL season, you are right.

{ 9 comments }
• Mark Growcott

What is also interesting at this point in the season is the success of Road teams. Heading into Week 7 Road teams were 46-45. The last time Road teams were above .500 at this stage of the season was back in 2000 (45-41).

The Raiders won last night to even it up but there are more Road teams favoured this week too so we shall see if the trend continues or whether Home teams start to exert their dominance as you would expect.

• I sort of miss not having a dominant team, but I’m sure one will emerge at some point. It’s interesting that what looks to be the former standard-bearer of parity, 1989, produced a rather predictable Broncos vs. 49ers Super Bowl.

I also probably would have guessed that 2004 was the opposite of parity. It was obvious from about Week 7 on that the Patriots, Colts, or Steelers were going to play the Eagles in the Super Bowl.

• LightsOut85

I love seeing “feelings” (ie: that there’s more parity) mapped out like this. It’d be interesting to see them again at season’s end.