No, this isn’t a lesson in geometry despite the reference to Pythagoras. Hefty math is involved however. You’ve been warned.
Let’s start with an explanation:
The concept is simple, even though the math is tricky. The idea is that over time, a team’s point differential (points scored minus points allowed) is a better indicator of how that team will perform in the future than their record is.
For example, a team that is 6-2 but has been outscored by five points on the season because of a couple of blowout losses is more likely to play like a 4-4 team going forward than like a 6-2 team.
Simple right? Some would say a team is “hot” or “getting lucky” or “has a knack for winning close games” but the math doesn’t lie. If you’re interested in the math click here.
Nate shows us just how good Peyton Manning was during this stretch by discussing the good years.
The Colts outperformed their expected win total every year from 2002 to 2010. The odds of this being just luck are extraordinary. Under Peyton Manning, the Colts could be counted on to pull out an extra game or two more each year than what a normal team with the same talent would. It was a remarkable run that is unlikely to be matched.
I won’t ruin the surprise but you can guess what happened in 2011. Nate’s article highlights just how good a certain former Colt was during his time in Indy.