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???
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.
manders2600 wrote:Point differential by team:
NY Giants 68
San Francisco 65
New England 54
Green Bay 29
Tampa Bay 12
San Diego 11
New Orleans -6
St. Louis -11
NY Jets -11
Kansas City -79