Luck or skill?

Advanced NFL Stats wonders how many wins each year can be chalked up to randomness?  They’ve done a bit of work and have a somewhat surprising answer:

Put simply, 42% of an NFL team’s regular season record can be accounted for by randomness, otherwise known as sample error. The short 16-game season is too small of a sample to provide much confidence that team records accurately reflect their ‘true’ level of ability. The more games in a season, the smaller the sample error, and the more certain we could be that the teams with the better records are truly the better teams. (Please note I am not advocating a longer season. The purpose of the NFL is not a scientific experiment to clinically determine the best team.) 

Todd Smith

About Todd Smith

Todd Smith is a part-time sportswriter who spends too much time arguing on Twitter. What he really loves is eating poorly and watching football. He got his first Colts t-shirt in 1984 shortly after the Mayflower trucks arrived and has never given up on his hometown team. He also still holds to the belief that Kordell Stewart stepped out of the end zone and thus cheated the Colts.