Sunday, August 2, 2015

Reminder: Preseason results are meaningless

Over the last 10 seasons, the Eagles have finished the preseason with a winning record twice. The first was in 2011, when the "Dream Team" Eagles began the season 4-8 before winning four meaningless games to close the season at 8-8. The second was in 2012 when the Eagles finished 4-12, resulting in the firing of Andy Reid.

Reminder: Preseason results are meaningless

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Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. (Matt Rourke/AP)
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Over the last 10 seasons, the Eagles have finished the preseason with a winning record twice. The first was in 2011, when the "Dream Team" Eagles began the season 4-8 before winning four meaningless games to close the season at 8-8. The second was in 2012 when the Eagles finished 4-12, resulting in the firing of Andy Reid.

Conversely, over the last 10 seasons, the Eagles have finished the preseason with a losing record three times. In the corresponding regular seasons, they averaged 10.7 wins, including a trip to the Super Bowl. Here's the Eagles' preseason / regular season history over the last 10 years:

League-wide, preseason success has a similar lack of correlation to regular season success. Over the last 10 seasons, 16 teams finished the preseason undefeated. Here are those teams:

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Those teams' combined record in the regular season: 114-142 (0.445). You can also see the extremes in the chart above. The 2013 Seahawks won the Super Bowl, while the 2008 Lions went 0-16.

Going winless in the preseason also isn't a sign that teams are destined for failure in the regular season. Here are the teams who went winless in the regular season, and what they did when the games mattered:

While the overall combined record of the above teams wasn't good, at 165-187 (0.469), it was better than the teams that went undefeated in the preseason.

When watching preseason games, it's worthwhile seeing whether the Eagles' corners adjust to the officials' over-aggressiveness in throwing flags, how Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper look in their first preseason action, what rookies stand out, etc etc. And you certainly don't want to see the first teamers look like pure unadulterated crap.

But good or bad (especially good), preseason records are basically meaningless.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski 

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