Reading Nate Silver’s post was painful. He proved the Seahawks are a woefully bad playoff team (although they’re improved from last year). But should we be surprised that a 7-9 team made the playoffs?
Yes, a 7-9 playoff team should only make the playoffs every 32 years.
I looked at all division champions since the league expanded to 8 divisions in 2002. Since then, only 1 team with 8 wins won the division (San Diego in 2008). The average is 11.5 wins, and the standard deviation is 1.7…
A team making the playoffs with 7 wins is very far from the mean. Its Z score is 2.6, meaning a probability of 0.4%. Pretty rare.
But why didn’t people make a stink about the Chargers making the playoffs in 2008? Well, it’s just not that surprising. Eight wins is only 2 standard deviations from the mean, meaning a 3% chance of making the playoffs (or once every 4 years). Since it hadn’t happened in the previous 6 years since the divisions had been expanded, it was bound to happen.
But 7 wins? That’s just crazy. It should happen only 1 time every 32 years. Too soon!
Either way, go hawks!