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New York Times’ Fifth Down Blog, post week-1

Posted by Chase Stuart on September 14, 2011

Once again, will be teaming up with the New York Times and the New York Times' Fifth Down Blog. Every Tuesday on the Fifth Down blog and every Wednesday in print, we'll be running a weekly article discussing trends and statistical in the NFL.

Today's article looks at how we should predict the rest of the season for the Bills and Chiefs. I wrote a similar article this time last year here on the blog, when I wondered if the Seattle Seahawks were in for a huge year after throttling the 49ers. My conclusion?

As good as Seattle looked on Sunday, the evidence isn't very compelling that they're going to look more like they did in week 1 than they did for most of 2009. It's tempting to think that this is the sign of a new era in Seattle, but it's more likely a sign of the same old era in San Francisco.

But I'm slightly more optimistic about the Bills, in part because they really weren't that bad last season. As I wrote for the Fifth Down:

Buffalo had the hardest schedule in the A.F.C. last season, while the Chiefs had the conference’s most forgiving slate of opponents. According to Pro-Football-Reference, the difference between the Bills’ and the Chiefs’ schedules was worth, on average, 7.5 points per week. Consider this: both franchises went winless in 2010 against teams with 10 or more wins (Buffalo, 0-9; K.C. 0-2, including playoffs). Each team won 75 percent of its games against teams with six or fewer wins (Buffalo 3-1; K.C. 6-2). Against teams with seven to nine wins, the Bills went 1-1 with Fitzpatrick at quarterback (1-2 over all), while the Chiefs went 4-3.

You can read the full article here.