Margin of Defeats

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Margin of Defeats
Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:59 am
  • The Seahawks have been in every game this year and haven't lost by more than a touchdown. Being impressed by this, I did a little research to find out how many other teams could boast the same claim.

    We're one of only 6 teams that haven't lost by more than a touchdown (or one of 9 if you count 8 points as being within a TD). Below is a list of each team, and the number next to them is the largest amount by which they lost.


    ATL -3
    NE 2
    SEA 7
    TB 7
    NYG 7
    WAS 7
    GB 8
    DET 8
    NO 8
    DEN 10
    MIN 12
    PIT 12
    CHI 13
    ARI 14
    CLE 14
    STL 17
    HOU 18
    DAL 20
    MIA 20
    PHI 21
    SF 23
    SD 24
    IND 26
    KC 28
    TEN 28
    CAR 29
    BAL 30
    OAK 31
    CIN 31
    NYJ 34
    JAX 38
    BUF 42

    Is this an indicator of a really good team? I'd like to think so. Even if it isn't, its still nice to know we're capable of winning any game we play. The only teams better are either undefeated or a consistently great team.
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Re: Margin of Defeats
Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:02 pm
  • Very interesting...nice post.

    It's a frustrating angle, for now. On one hand, it's much better having a shot to win every week - I think about to the Mora season and how I just knew we were going to get steamrolled every week. On the other hand, it's very maddening waiting to get over the hump.

    It's such a narrow margin in the NFL. One score losses literally end up coming down to a few plays at the most.
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Re: Margin of Defeats
Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:05 pm
  • I love that we still have yet to play two teams near the bottom of this list. How the hell do you LOSE by 42???
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Re: Margin of Defeats
Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:06 pm
  • KARAVARUS wrote:I love that we still have yet to play two teams near the bottom of this list. How the hell do you LOSe by 42???


    Both those teams (Buf and NYJ) are playing much better.
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Re: Margin of Defeats
Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:07 pm
  • Unfortunately both of those defeats came at the hands of the 49ers.
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Re: Margin of Defeats
Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:12 pm
  • signs of a team on the verge for sure...I felt the same way last season, most of our losses were within a score late in the game w/ the outlier being the Pittsburgh game.
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Re: Margin of Defeats
Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:24 pm
  • We care about margin of defeat because it tells us something about the underlying probability of winning, and that underlying probability is how we judge the strength of our team and predict future wins. Losing 42-0 is upsetting because it makes us think that our team had a very low chance of winning. That tells us that our team is worse than the opponent and that makes us think we are less likely to win games in the future than we thought before the game. On the other hand, the silver lining of a narrow defeat is that the probability of winning was better and wins in the future are still possible with better luck or minor improvements.

    If what we really care about is the probability of winning than the approach here is too blunt for two reasons.

    1. Point differential is heavily impacted by the quality of the defense.

    A lopsided game between two top defenses will have a much smaller margin of defeat than a lopsided game between two top offenses, even if the probability of winning was exactly the same.

    2. Choosing the worst defeat is much less meaningful than taking the average of all defeats (and wins).

    This is partly a matter of sample size, and partly an issue of consistency. A significant amount of how we react to events is based on how we think it will impact the future. If your computer crashes for the first time ever and you lose some work, it is momentarily upsetting but not a huge deal as long as you view it as an aberration. If it crashes a second time later on you may be much more unhappy because you are now implicitly considering a trend and considering a future in which your computer crashes from time to time and you lose work.

    The 49ers loss to the Giants was a lopsided game that sucked for 49er fans, but we tend to view single events as outliers and not weight them too heavily in our overall fan happiness. Despite one bad loss, 49ers fans certainly do not believe that they are in the bottom half of the NFL in terms of future wins. Total point differential including every win and every loss is much more meaningful in this context.
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Re: Margin of Defeats
Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:46 pm
  • I wouldn't call Tampa a good team.

    Still, this shows that overall, we are in every game, and we really only have to work on a few things.

    It's going to be hard to improve our defense much more. We're going to get some improvement on individual player development, since a lot of our guys are still young. I theorized at the end of last year and the beginning of this year that Browner could still improve as last year was tantamount to a rookie season in terms of him playing in the NFL. In the same vein, Sherman could also improve, as well as Wagner, Wright, and Chancellor. Thomas is playing at a very high level, and has more experience than most guys, so I'm thinking we could be close to the ceiling on him. We will see improvement with Irvin, as we already have as the season progresses.

    That leaves the offense. Wilson shows progression, but I still think we're weak on high end WR talent. Wilson's improvement will also improve production from out TE's.

    But then again, we already knew we had to improve our passing game, and that is our achilles heel.
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Re: Margin of Defeats
Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:13 pm
  • AgentDib wrote:We care about margin of defeat because it tells us something about the underlying probability of winning, and that underlying probability is how we judge the strength of our team and predict future wins. Losing 42-0 is upsetting because it makes us think that our team had a very low chance of winning. That tells us that our team is worse than the opponent and that makes us think we are less likely to win games in the future than we thought before the game. On the other hand, the silver lining of a narrow defeat is that the probability of winning was better and wins in the future are still possible with better luck or minor improvements.

    If what we really care about is the probability of winning than the approach here is too blunt for two reasons.

    1. Point differential is heavily impacted by the quality of the defense.

    A lopsided game between two top defenses will have a much smaller margin of defeat than a lopsided game between two top offenses, even if the probability of winning was exactly the same.

    2. Choosing the worst defeat is much less meaningful than taking the average of all defeats (and wins).

    This is partly a matter of sample size, and partly an issue of consistency. A significant amount of how we react to events is based on how we think it will impact the future. If your computer crashes for the first time ever and you lose some work, it is momentarily upsetting but not a huge deal as long as you view it as an aberration. If it crashes a second time later on you may be much more unhappy because you are now implicitly considering a trend and considering a future in which your computer crashes from time to time and you lose work.

    The 49ers loss to the Giants was a lopsided game that sucked for 49er fans, but we tend to view single events as outliers and not weight them too heavily in our overall fan happiness. Despite one bad loss, 49ers fans certainly do not believe that they are in the bottom half of the NFL in terms of future wins. Total point differential including every win and every loss is much more meaningful in this context.


    Point differential by team:

    Houston 88
    Chicago 84
    NY Giants 68
    San Francisco 65
    Atlanta 58
    New England 54
    Minnesota 36
    Denver 32
    Green Bay 29
    Baltimore 13
    Tampa Bay 12
    San Diego 11
    Seattle 10
    Pittsburgh 8
    Arizona 6
    Miami 3
    Washington 1
    New Orleans -6
    St. Louis -11
    NY Jets -11
    Detroit -17
    Dallas -20
    Cincinnati -21
    Philadelphia -22
    Cleveland -33
    Carolina -38
    Indianapolis -41
    Buffalo -56
    Oakland -58
    Jacksonville -76
    Kansas City -79
    Tennessee -89
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Re: Margin of Defeats
Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:17 pm
  • Hopefully this isnt also a sign that we cant really separate ourselves from other teams. IE: put them away.

    Our defense will usually keep us in games. Our offense seams to be keeping us close but that is about it.
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Re: Margin of Defeats
Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:19 pm
  • manders2600 wrote:Point differential by team:

    Houston 88
    Chicago 84
    NY Giants 68
    San Francisco 65
    Atlanta 58
    New England 54
    Minnesota 36
    Denver 32
    Green Bay 29
    Baltimore 13
    Tampa Bay 12
    San Diego 11
    Seattle 10
    Pittsburgh 8
    Arizona 6
    Miami 3
    Washington 1
    New Orleans -6
    St. Louis -11
    NY Jets -11
    Detroit -17
    Dallas -20
    Cincinnati -21
    Philadelphia -22
    Cleveland -33
    Carolina -38
    Indianapolis -41
    Buffalo -56
    Oakland -58
    Jacksonville -76
    Kansas City -79
    Tennessee -89


    Best part about this list is that -20 for the Cowboys is exactly how many points we beat them by :) take that game out of the equation, they sit at zero....
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Re: Margin of Defeats
Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:34 pm
  • Sorry to revive an old thread, but Tampa's recent emergence as a playoff contender got me thinking about this thread. This could have been an indicator that they were a team on the verge and they eventually broke out.
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