Daily Archives: August 18th, 2012

Could a poor pre-season signal disaster for the Packers 2012 regular season?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy. Ph...

Packers Coach Mike McCarthy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay Packers fans, is it time to panic yet?

I think you know what I’m talking about… an 0-2 record in the pre-season, a rash of injuries, uncertainty regarding the back-up quarterback position, and on and on.

For some people, the pre-season record doesn’t mean much; that is probably the company line that Coach Mike McCarthy, General Manager Ted Thompson and their players would give if you asked them about their 0-2 start in the exhibition season.

But let me throw out a few numbers that might make you wonder. Did you know:

* Since 2002 the Packers have gone 24-24 (.500 winning percentage) in the regular season when they won only one pre-season game that year?

* Since 2002 the Packers have gone 37-27 (.578) winning percentage) in the regular season when they won two pre-season games that year?

* Since 2002 the Packers have gone 38-10 (.792 winning percentage) in the regular season when they won three pre-season games that year?

Obviously based on the numbers above, you see that the more pre-season wins over the past 10 years, the better the regular season record. Say what you want about the pre-season and what it does (and doesn’t) mean, but these are the numbers. Take it for what they’re worth. Again, it’s food for thought.

In looking at the past 1o seasons, we discover that of the 120 teams that made the playoffs since 2002, 95 (79.2 percent won two or more pre-season games). Here’s the breakdown of pre-season wins by the playoff teams from 2002-2011.

Pre-Season Wins, Playoff Teams

0 pre-season wins: 5 playoff teams (Indianapolis, 2005; Arizona, 2009; Chicago, 2010; Indianapolis, 2010, Atlanta, 2011)

1 pre-season win: 20 playoff teams

2 pre-season wins: 54 playoff teams

3 pre-season wins: 31 playoff team

4 pre-season wins: 10 playoff teams

If we look at the teams that made it to the Super Bowl since 2002, 15 of the 20 Super Bowl teams won two or more pre-season games that season. Of the 10 Super Bowl champs, seven of the 10 won two or more pre-season games that year. The last team to win the Super Bowl after winning four pre-season games were the 2003 New England Patriots.

Is it time to panic? There’s still two pre-season games left on the schedule. Chances are, you probably aren’t going to hear that word come out of Green Bay. But just keep in mind these numbers, especially if the Packers lose one or both of their last two pre-season contests.

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