View Full Version : The late bye

snarky

11-01-2011, 10:26 AM

With the Steelers having a late bye this year, I became interested in how teams with byes late in the season have done in the playoffs. I figured I might as well post what I found here.

I went back to 2002 and looked at how many teams with a bye on week 9 or later did in terms winning the SB.

Teams with late byes have won the SB in 4 of the 9 years I looked at. But assuming late byes had no impact on a team's chances of winning the SB. the expected collective win share of teams with late byes would be about 2.37 SBs.

Thinking there might have been some sort of selection bias, I checked if there were more late bye teams than would be mathematically expected making the playoffs. In fact, slightly fewer teams than expected actually make the playoffs (23 actuals vs. 25.5 expected).

So (mathematically speaking) it appears there might be a slight edge in terms of winning the SB for teams that have byes late in the season. Then again, this could be statistical noise due to a small sample size (one would need to look at data over a couple decades to really 'prove' something like this).

BradshawsHairdresser

11-01-2011, 10:54 AM

Man, we coulda used a bye this week.

ROLROC

11-01-2011, 11:36 AM

With the Steelers having a late bye this year, I became interested in how teams with byes late in the season have done in the playoffs. I figured I might as well post what I found here.

I went back to 2002 and looked at how many teams with a bye on week 9 or later did in terms winning the SB.

Teams with late byes have won the SB in 4 of the 9 years I looked at. But assuming late byes had no impact on a team's chances of winning the SB. the expected collective win share of teams with late byes would be about 2.37 SBs.

Thinking there might have been some sort of selection bias, I checked if there were more late bye teams than would be mathematically expected making the playoffs. In fact, slightly fewer teams than expected actually make the playoffs (23 actuals vs. 25.5 expected).

So (mathematically speaking) it appears there might be a slight edge in terms of winning the SB for teams that have byes late in the season. Then again, this could be statistical noise due to a small sample size (one would need to look at data over a couple decades to really 'prove' something like this).

Interesting stuff. Where did you go to retrieve the data out of curiosity? I assume 2002 is when additional divisional and WC teams were introduced? I can't remember off the top of my head.

Starlifter

11-01-2011, 11:38 AM

I think our bye is perfectly timed. If we win the next 2 games, we get to get healthy knowing we are in total control of the division and possibly the AFC. If we struggle the next 2 weeks we get the time off to prepare for a late season surge that will hopefully have us peaking in January.

It's aaaallllllll good right now....... :tt1 :tt1

snarky

11-01-2011, 11:58 AM

With the Steelers having a late bye this year, I became interested in how teams with byes late in the season have done in the playoffs. I figured I might as well post what I found here.

I went back to 2002 and looked at how many teams with a bye on week 9 or later did in terms winning the SB.

Teams with late byes have won the SB in 4 of the 9 years I looked at. But assuming late byes had no impact on a team's chances of winning the SB. the expected collective win share of teams with late byes would be about 2.37 SBs.

Thinking there might have been some sort of selection bias, I checked if there were more late bye teams than would be mathematically expected making the playoffs. In fact, slightly fewer teams than expected actually make the playoffs (23 actuals vs. 25.5 expected).

So (mathematically speaking) it appears there might be a slight edge in terms of winning the SB for teams that have byes late in the season. Then again, this could be statistical noise due to a small sample size (one would need to look at data over a couple decades to really 'prove' something like this).

Interesting stuff. Where did you go to retrieve the data out of curiosity? I assume 2002 is when additional divisional and WC teams were introduced? I can't remember off the top of my head.

I went to ESPN. There were no new WC teams introduced, but it was the initial year of the 32 team, 8 division NFL.

By the way, 3 of the 9 winners had byes in week 10 or later (although the 'or later' part is a misnomer because there were no week 11 byes). This is well over the expected win share of 0.875 but also even more subject to error due to sample size.

Shawn

11-01-2011, 12:29 PM

With the Steelers having a late bye this year, I became interested in how teams with byes late in the season have done in the playoffs. I figured I might as well post what I found here.

I went back to 2002 and looked at how many teams with a bye on week 9 or later did in terms winning the SB.

Teams with late byes have won the SB in 4 of the 9 years I looked at. But assuming late byes had no impact on a team's chances of winning the SB. the expected collective win share of teams with late byes would be about 2.37 SBs.

Thinking there might have been some sort of selection bias, I checked if there were more late bye teams than would be mathematically expected making the playoffs. In fact, slightly fewer teams than expected actually make the playoffs (23 actuals vs. 25.5 expected).

So (mathematically speaking) it appears there might be a slight edge in terms of winning the SB for teams that have byes late in the season. Then again, this could be statistical noise due to a small sample size (one would need to look at data over a couple decades to really 'prove' something like this).

You had me at statistical noise...you had me at statistical noise. :cry:

lol...very nice write up. The overintellectualization of a bye week just does it for me on multiple levels. :D

snarky

11-01-2011, 01:20 PM

Interesting stuff. Where did you go to retrieve the data out of curiosity? I assume 2002 is when additional divisional and WC teams were introduced? I can't remember off the top of my head.

Using football-reference, I was able to look at the seasons going back to 1990 when the bye was instituted.

Over 20+ years, teams with byes in week 9 or later have won 7 SBs vs. an expected win share of 5.36. During the 3 years that the league had an odd number of teams (and, therefore, a bye every week), the SB winners had byes in weeks 2, 14 and 16.

Hopefully the late bye does provide a little advantage simply by allowing players to heal up and coaches to retool a little bit.

RuthlessBurgher

11-01-2011, 01:22 PM

You had me at statistical noise...you had me at statistical noise.

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