Which Team Is Which?
47% of you, who I will presume did not cheat, but are just the awesome, knowledgeable football fans we have on this site, answered correctly. 53% of you now have what is referred to as a "teachable moment". And if you ever wonder why the editorial bent on this site is skewed toward analytics and delving into mathematical evaluation of data sets, this is an example.
The correct answer in the poll is #3.
Team A is the Minnesota Vikings, currently at 7-3 and atop the NFC North.
Team B is in fact, Brady's Bunch in New England, unbeaten through 10 weeks despite being in top teams in the NFL in "Man Games Lost".
Team C is our own beloved Bolts, tied for the worst record in the league at 2-8 and right in the middle of the pack for Man Games Lost. I would also add that they have one of the worst defenses in the league, without ONE SINGLE DEFENSIVE STARTER out on IR.
Team D is the 8-2 Denver Broncos, who have been a mess on offense all season, but despite losing their two projected starting tackles (including a Pro-Bowl Left Tackle) are winning on a regular basis. They were doing that even with the 32nd rated QB in the league, before he was benched and the team sewed together a fig leaf of a torn fascia for a future hall of famer that has nothing left in the tank.
Team E is the Arizona Cardinals, also at 8-2 and one of the healthiest teams in the league.
Team F is the Carolina Panthers, also unbeaten with comparable Man Game Lost numbers to the Chargers.
Team G is the 5-5 Houston Texans, still very much alive for a division title in an awful AFC South. They also have an outside shot at a Wildcard, despite having (on average) 4 more players out injured per week than the Bolts.
For a more in depth review on this subject, please see the Man Games Lost website, which is certainly informative. Current Injury information is available on the Pro-Football Reference site. All records and injury information for these articles was effective Wednesday, 11/25.
Beelzu-Bill in New England is a hell of coach, but that is hardly a revelation. What is a revelation is that Man Games Lost to injury does not really seem to have any correlation to wins and losses in the NFL.
I could have made the mental exercise from yesterday much more difficult. The Steelers (6-4) and Giants (5-5) are both doing better than the Bolts. Pittsburgh is more banged up than Houston and the Giants are actually more injured than New England. Of course, Coughlin is also a hell of a coach, and Tomlin is no slouch himself.
On the other end of the spectrum are Cleveland and Washington. Cleveland is vying for the worst record in the league with the Bolts and Washington is not doing too much better. The data points for Man Games Lost compared to a team record in any given season seem to be weakly correlated at best; realistically, there is no statistically significant correlation.
If there is any team that has cause to complain about the injuries, it would be Pittsburgh. Measuring the AV (average value) of the individual Man Games Lost, they lead the league with a 1.538 AV. The games that Roethlisberger and Bell lost really pushed that number up, but if the season ended today, the Steelers are a Wild Card team.
There are many things contributing to the Chargers having an awful season. And yes, injuries are a part of it, but in terms of AV of the Man Games Lost, injuries are only a small part of it. It is clear to me from looking at how different teams are dealing with (or failing to deal with) their own injury issues, which in many cases much worse than the one for the Chargers, that this is a huge part of effective coaching and player personnel management.
It seems, yet again, that this is an aspect of competing in the NFL that Chargers are lacking. Just one more piece of information which points to only one conclusion: The need for a full cleaning of the stable filled with horse-pucky masquerading as professionals that currently compose this team's management in the football operations segment.