FanPost

Seahawks Schedule Analysis - What's That Smell?

So - as a math/computer/sports geek I've been kicking around the internet since very near the start. I was hanging out in Usenet in rec.sports.baseball when all the good new sabermetric stuff was being discussed. I was just reading, mind you, I wasn't one of the titans of analysis. But I thought it would be cool to be one of those guys. Then one day I was hanging out on rec.sport.basketball, and I was thinking about how unfair it was that NBA teams made the Pacific Northwest swing, they played the Sonics first (after 3 or 4 days of rest), and then they played the Blazers, who got to play their opponent on the second day of back-to-back games.

So, I developed a truly original (if not particularly meaningful) bit of NBA schedule analysis - the Opponent's Days Of Rest Index, or the ODOR index, where I calculated how rested the opponents were for all of each team's games and added them up for an ODOR index. I don't think it was a particularly revealing statistic, but the name ODOR index is topnotch.

Fast forward to NFL week 8. I'm watching the Seahawk/Lion Game, and I hear the announcer (I think it was Mike Mayock) whine about how Detroit was getting hosed, because they were coming off of a MNF game (6 days of rest) and Seattle had played on Thursday the previous week (10 days of rest), and so Seattle had a big, huge, enormous advantage. I specifically remember him using the phrase "unfair advantage".

All you have to do to incense a long-suffering Seahawk fan (at least this fan) is suggest that the ‘Hawks have an unfair advantage. And I was incensed. Did Mayock really think this was some unparalleled scheduling abnormality? Surely with all the Thursday night games this must happen all the time now, and surely the Seahawks are on the receiving side of schedule screwing far more than the dishing out side. So, I decided to take a look at their schedule. (OK, I know we have some foreshadowing of me doing a full NFL ODOR analysis, but I wasn't there yet, and I'm doing this as sort of a timeline. Bear with me.)

So I looked at the first 10 weeks of the schedule, and Lo and Behold! We are the Seahawks, and the schedule hates us:

Team

Week

DR

Opp

ODR

ODOR Idx

Seattle

Week 1

0

Ari

0

0

Seattle

Week 2

7

Dal

11

-4

Seattle

Week 3

8

GB

11

-3

Seattle

Week 4

6

Stl

7

-1

Seattle

Week 5

7

Car

7

0

Seattle

Week 6

7

NE

7

0

Seattle

Week 7

4

SF

4

0

Seattle

Week 8

10

Det

6

4

Seattle

Week 9

7

Min

10

-3

Seattle

Week 10

7

NYJ

14

-7

DR - Seattle's Days of Rest before the game

Opp - Seattle's opponent

ODR - The Opponent's days of rest

ODOR Idx - (DR- ODR)

Note that in the first 10 weeks, 5 of our opponents were playing on more days of rest (or days of preparation) than we were, and that damned Lion game was the only game where we had more days than our opponent. Ironically we lost that game, and went 4-1 in the games we were at a disadvantage, so once again perhaps this isn't a statistic for the ages - but ignore all that.

So that got me thinking - Seattle is getting screwed, but how badly? How can I tell unless I calculate and compare the same statistics for all of the NFL teams? So once again fate draws me inexorably back to my small and insignificant sabermetric legacy - I calculated the ODOR index for each NFL team.

I did this by taking the ... No, I'm kidding. Nobody wants to know my process. In fact I suppose very few even want the results. But I do have the results, and I'll share them with you now.

The ODOR index listed below for each team is sum of the ODOR index for each game for that team.

Team

ODOR Index

Team

ODOR Index

Philadelphia

-25

Baltimore

2

Atlanta

-13

San Francisco

2

Buffalo

-10

St. Louis

2

Seattle

-10

Arizona

3

Oakland

-8

Pittsburgh

3

Detroit

-7

Jacksonville

4

Tampa Bay

-5

NY Giants

4

Kansas City

-3

Indianapolis

6

Cleveland

-2

New England

6

Green Bay

-2

New Orleans

6

Miami

-2

Washington

6

Chicago

-1

Carolina

7

Houston

-1

Cincinnati

7

Dallas

1

Tennessee

7

Denver

1

San Diego

10

NY Jets

1

Minnesota

11

Looking at this data I have two thoughts. One, as usual the Seahawks are getting screwed, having the third highest ODOR index in the NFL. Second, Holy Crap! What did the Eagles do to the schedule makers to make them so mad? Their ODOR index is almost double the second worst ODOR - that really stinks! (ODOR joke). They play 4 different teams that are coming off of their BYE week, and the play two other teams coming off a previous Thursday night game. Now THAT'S a hose job.

Final Seahawk note - for the rest of the season, we play our games with the same days of rest as our opponent, except for the upcoming Miami game, where the 'Hawks have a 4 day advantage coming off of our BYE week (and Miami coming off of a Thursday game).

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