We all know the story: the preseason games means nothing, but fans nevertheless believe in them like they were the real deal (they’re paying for it like its the real deal, for sure). A 4-0 record in the preseason has got to mean something, right?
Wrong. If the Colts have proven anything, it’s that 4-20 (16%) preseason record somehow correlates to a 75-21 (78%) regular season record since 2005. Obviously Peyton Manning has something to do with this (or a lot to do with this); but the fact remains, predicting regular season success based off of preseason results is like drafting JaMarcus Russell: one party is going to be laughing all the way to the bank while the other is going to be wondering how they got robbed.
Perhaps the most famous example from last year was the Dallas Cowboys. With Super Bowl XLV being held at “Jerry World”, owner Jerry Jones confidently predicted that his Cowboys were going to be the first team to ever play (and win) a Super Bowl in their own stadium. Going into the preseason, head coach Wade Phillips assumed they already had the Super Bowl in the bag and so did the players, as they were SO talented, after all. Preseason practices were held like a travelling circus. And it showed. The preseason games were lackluster with many mistakes and mental errors, but perhaps more importantly, you could tell the team was coasting through the preseason.