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What does finishing strong really mean?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Pack93z, May 31, 2007.

  1. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Recent history doesn't paint a pretty picture... however I hope we reverse this trend.

    Finishing Strong

    May 29, 2007) -- Just because a team finished up strong, it doesn't always mean that team can carry that momentum into the next season. I talked with a head coach this week who said his 4-0 finish last year should go a long way to getting this season rolling. I hate to rain on the parade, but here's a look at the 2005 and 2004 teams that finished up their regular season 4-0 in the last month and what their records looked like the following year. It isn't very encouraging.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, these six teams who finished their final months undefeated looked like they were all headed for a fine season the next year, but the results were not what the coaches, fans or players expected. The six teams who swept the final four games of the 2004 or 2005 seasons never created momentum for the upcoming year. In fact, not one team had a better record after finishing up strong. Never assume that one season is connected to the next season in the volatile world of the NFL. Each and every year is a brand-new start for all 32 teams.

    This year, there are three teams who are trying to build some momentum off their 4-0 finishes in 2006. San Diego, Philadelphia and Green Bay all swept their final four opponents and would like to believe it will carry over to 2007. Should they be shocked if the season doesn't work out as they planned?

    Here's an even more fascinating phenomenon about the NFL when looking at closing records as an indicator of what the next season might hold in store for a team. In 2004 and 2005, four teams finished up their seasons with 0-4 records and appeared to carry absolutely no momentum into the next season. Well, professional football players have pride, and it turns out going 0-4 might better indicate success the following year than going 4-0.

    In 2004, Chicago and Tampa Bay finished up 5-11 seasons by dropping their last four games each. The next season, both teams flipped their records and went 11-5. In 2005, the Raiders finished 0-4 and didn't turn their fortunes around ... but the Saints sure did. New Orleans had both scenarios happen to it in a two-year span.

    As shown above, the Saints went 4-0 to wrap up 2004 and came back with a 3-13 record in 2005. To wrap up that awful 2005 season, they were on the losing end in their last four games but stormed back in 2006 with a 10-6 record.

    Every coach likes to say they build on one season to the next, but the numbers say teams usually respond better to the insult of losing rather than carrying late success into the next season. Roster changes and a resolve to fix a problem may be better motivators than to think finishing strong is helpful. A Green Bay Packers player told me his team's 4-0 finish was really going to help for the 2007 season. I told him to be really careful with that kind of thinking.
     
  2. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    agreed the numbers dont look good, but there are several several qualifiers to look at... including Pitts superbowl hangover and what each team may have lost in the following offseason.

    We didnt lose much this year, and seemed to have gotten stronger in the offseason (according to coaches) . So finishing 4-0 and hopefully getting better will be a positive note to go into the season with.

    of course it doesnt mean we are superbowl bound. but it also doesnt mean we are headed for a terrible season. every team, every season is different... just got to look at our team and the current NFL climate come september.
     
  3. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    I think it was the 2000 season where Tausher and Clifton came in and the season started bad but ended up good and the "0" line became about the best in football.

    Hopefully, that is the type scenario we see again.

    They talk about luck and where I see that being involved is in areas like injuries and how you draw teams. Are the hot or not when you play them, or, are they coming to your place with a big rival the following week? Schedule type things that can work for or against you.

    The first part of our schedule is not really doing us any favors. If we hit the break at even or better we should be fine. Expecting much more than that with who we play early is asking alot.
     
  4. Lare

    Lare Cheesehead

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    One factor in this is that the NFL is set up to assist the poorer teams the most in the following year, so a team on an 0-4 skid at the end of one season significantly improves their chances of improving the next year by getting a much better draft position and an easier schedule. Conversely, a team ending up 4-0 makes it that much harder on themselves to improve by getting a worse draft position and a harder schedule.

    Personally, I put much more stock in the wins and losses of teams based on the caliber of the competition. In other words, I think a team has a much better chance of success following up a 2-2 run against really good teams than they do having a 4-0 run against really bad teams.
     
  5. retiredgrampa

    retiredgrampa Cheesehead

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    Wow! This is sobering, indeed. But it's best to see the truth from history rather than assuming something from it. I can understand how the players would use a fast finish to build up their hopes for the future. But if we, as fans, want to avoid a crushing disappointment later on, we'd best see both sides. Thanks for posting, Pack93z.
     
  6. Timmons

    Timmons Cheesehead

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    Why are the numbers only from one year? Show me decades of data and I'll believe it.

    And, I rather finish strong than weak.
     
  7. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    I don't think Pack93z is saying the Packers will be bad because of this stat.

    Regardless, it is a very interesting stat you found Pack93z, it is somewhat a cause for concern.

    Perhaps you have the players becoming too complacent or overconfident after a stretch of 4 wins, and it shows the following year.

    There are a lot of variables for each team's performance though, but still you raise a very interesting stat.
     
  8. Raider Pride

    Raider Pride Cheesehead

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    Stats are stats and one can manipulate them any way one wants.

    I have heard coaches say we have to win the divisional games.

    Last year the Packers had the highest winning percentage in the NFL in divisional games. Not one team in the NFL had a better divisional record.

    The Packers were golfing come playoff time.

    The bottom line is the 2007-08 Packers are a better team than last year. They are more experienced, still young, know their coach better, know the system better, are much better on the Defensive side of the ball and coming off a 4 game winning streak is not going to change that.

    Bring on the season! I personally am pumped!

    RP
     
  9. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    I found it to be an interesting read with all the talk of building momentum and such going into the offseason. RECENT data was compiled and the facts over the past two seasons were laid out. Basically saying the 4-0 finish last year can't be banked on to point to success this year.

    Nothing more, this team is its own team, seperate from last years team. People point to the strong finish as proof that the Pack is heading in the right direction. All I want is to watch this team this year, judge how this team does, and hopefulling correct any shortcommings we have next offseason.
     
  10. packedhouse01

    packedhouse01 Cheesehead

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    The run at the end of the season means only one thing, they got better as the season went on. I also saw signs of the coaching improving as the season went on and the confidence the players seemed to have in the coaching staff. That's all it means. They beat the Bears, and despite what the Bears fans might say, they didn't lay down for the Packers. The Packers kicked their butts which leads me to believe that the talent is there to win.

    Now having said that, let's talk about the of Greene. Although I wouldn't have paid him that kind of money, they didn't do anything in the off season to pick up a veteran back. I'm sorry but I don't think Brandon Jackson is going to be the answer. He may turn out to be adequate, but I don't think you improve your record with Vernand Morency as your main back. Just my opinion. In conclusion, we ended strong, but I don't think we did enough in the off season to offer a lot of hope of beginning strong this season.
     
  11. Popcynical

    Popcynical Cheesehead

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    Might be more scheduling than anything.
     

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