Browns

Poll Results: What are the Browns chances week by week for 2012?

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The poll is still open, but I figured with over 500 responses it was enough of a sample to do some math, calculate some results and run some trials. I know that the stats don’t work 100% and that when you try to apply math to an equation as large as an NFL season encompassing coaches, players, weather, stadiums, fans, referees, front offices and much more. At the same time, I figured it might be interesting to see if you apply a little bit of expectations (even really pessimistic ones) to an NFL schedule how the percentages would come out. So here goes. Based on your votes this is the percentage chance the Browns have in each game this year.

Week Base Case
1 Sun., Sept. 9 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – FOX 1:00 p.m. 38%
2 Sun., Sept. 16 at Cincinnati Bengals – CBS 1:00 p.m. 50%
3 Sun., Sept. 23 BUFFALO BILLS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 60%
4 Thur., Sept. 27 at Baltimore Ravens – NFLN 8:20 p.m. 26%
5 Sun., Oct. 7 at New York Giants – CBS 1:00 p.m. 30%
6 Sun., Oct. 14 CINCINNATI BENGALS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 59%
7 Sun., Oct. 21 at Indianapolis Colts – CBS 1:00 p.m. 71%
8 Sun., Oct. 28 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 48%
9 Sun., Nov. 4 BALTIMORE RAVENS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 35%
10 Sun., Nov. 18 at Dallas Cowboys – CBS 1:00 p.m. (After Bye) 44%
11 Sun., Nov. 25 PITTSBURGH STEELERS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 39%
12 Sun., Dec. 2 at Oakland Raiders – CBS 4:15 p.m. 55%
13 Sun., Dec. 9 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 60%
14 Sun., Dec. 16 WASHINGTON REDSKINS – FOX 1:00 p.m. 64%
15 Sun., Dec. 23 at Denver Broncos – CBS 4:05 p.m. 37%
16 Sun., Dec. 30 at Pittsburgh Steelers – CBS 1:00 p.m. 28%

Now, I would say that Browns fans were a bit optimistic in spots and equally pessimistic in others.  For example, Browns fans were a little juiced about the prospects of playing the Bills at home in week three giving the Browns a 60% chance of winning. Even more excitedly, you guys gave the Browns a resounding advantage against the Indianapolis Colts with 71%. You also like the Browns’ chances against the Redskins and Bengals.

What I did next was I created 100 trials of running this season at these chances. Out of 100 trials the average number of wins was 4.3, meaning that even with some pretty confident numbers in a few games, you guys, on average think the Browns will win four games this year. That doesn’t seem totally crazy considering what we know today and the inherent risks in the draft.  Here’s the distribution of trials. The Browns win eight games just five times in the 100 trials and win nine games three times at random. In no circumstances do the Browns win ten or more games in my trials given current Browns’ confidence intervals.

0 Wins 1 1%
1 Wins 3 3%
2 Wins 16 16%
3 Wins 14 14%
4 Wins 26 26%
5 Wins 13 13%
6 Wins 15 15%
7 Wins 4 4%
8 Wins 5 5%
9 Wins 3 3%
10 Wins 0 0%
100

 

So, what if you take it down to an even worse case? What if you take it down to the worst possible case? In order to play with those numbers I assumed that the Cleveland Browns were an NFL team with a mere 10% chance to win easy games this year and 5% in what we think will be more difficult games. I made some of my own assumptions just for fun.

Week Worst Worst
1 Sun., Sept. 9 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – FOX 1:00 p.m. 5%
2 Sun., Sept. 16 at Cincinnati Bengals – CBS 1:00 p.m. 10%
3 Sun., Sept. 23 BUFFALO BILLS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 10%
4 Thur., Sept. 27 at Baltimore Ravens – NFLN 8:20 p.m. 5%
5 Sun., Oct. 7 at New York Giants – CBS 1:00 p.m. 5%
6 Sun., Oct. 14 CINCINNATI BENGALS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 10%
7 Sun., Oct. 21 at Indianapolis Colts – CBS 1:00 p.m. 10%
8 Sun., Oct. 28 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 5%
9 Sun., Nov. 4 BALTIMORE RAVENS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 5%
10 Sun., Nov. 18 at Dallas Cowboys – CBS 1:00 p.m. (After Bye) 5%
11 Sun., Nov. 25 PITTSBURGH STEELERS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 5%
12 Sun., Dec. 2 at Oakland Raiders – CBS 4:15 p.m. 10%
13 Sun., Dec. 9 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 10%
14 Sun., Dec. 16 WASHINGTON REDSKINS – FOX 1:00 p.m. 10%
15 Sun., Dec. 23 at Denver Broncos – CBS 4:05 p.m. 5%
16 Sun., Dec. 30 at Pittsburgh Steelers – CBS 1:00 p.m. 5%

 

This is what that schedule looks like. Even with those numbers plugged in where the Browns have this low a percentage chance, the average number of wins over that time period is 0.82 or rounded up to 1 win per season. The distribution of trials looks like this.

0 Wins 43 43%
1 Wins 38 38%
2 Wins 14 14%
3 Wins 4 4%
4 Wins 1 1%
5 Wins 0 0%
6 Wins 0 0%
7 Wins 0 0%
8 Wins 0 0%
9 Wins 0 0%
10 Wins 0 0%
100

 

The Browns go winless in this scenario 43% of the time and only have a 1% chance of getting four wins. What this should say to you though is that with such measly chances to win, the Browns still have a 57% chance of winning one or more games in a season.

So finally, just because I am an optimist, I figured I go ahead and take everyone’s predictions and just add 10% to every one to see how well this season could go for the Browns if everyone’s expectations for the games was right, but if the Browns were better and more prepared in each one of them than we might expect right now.

Game Best Case
1 Sun., Sept. 9 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – FOX 1:00 p.m. 48%
2 Sun., Sept. 16 at Cincinnati Bengals – CBS 1:00 p.m. 60%
3 Sun., Sept. 23 BUFFALO BILLS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 70%
4 Thur., Sept. 27 at Baltimore Ravens – NFLN 8:20 p.m. 36%
5 Sun., Oct. 7 at New York Giants – CBS 1:00 p.m. 40%
6 Sun., Oct. 14 CINCINNATI BENGALS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 69%
7 Sun., Oct. 21 at Indianapolis Colts – CBS 1:00 p.m. 81%
8 Sun., Oct. 28 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 58%
9 Sun., Nov. 4 BALTIMORE RAVENS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 45%
10 Sun., Nov. 18 at Dallas Cowboys – CBS 1:00 p.m. 54%
11 Sun., Nov. 25 PITTSBURGH STEELERS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 49%
12 Sun., Dec. 2 at Oakland Raiders – CBS 4:15 p.m. 65%
13 Sun., Dec. 9 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – CBS 1:00 p.m. 70%
14 Sun., Dec. 16 WASHINGTON REDSKINS – FOX 1:00 p.m. 74%
15 Sun., Dec. 23 at Denver Broncos – CBS 4:05 p.m. 47%
16 Sun., Dec. 30 at Pittsburgh Steelers – CBS 1:00 p.m. 38%

 

Given those percentages, here’s how the season shakes out. The average number of wins is still just 5.6 putting the Browns just about smack dab in the middle of five and six wins on the year. Here’s how the distribution of trials worked out.

0 Wins 0 0%
1 Wins 0 0%
2 Wins 1 1%
3 Wins 9 9%
4 Wins 17 17%
5 Wins 26 26%
6 Wins 13 13%
7 Wins 21 21%
8 Wins 7 7%
9 Wins 5 5%
10 Wins 1 1%
100

 

So there you have it. A somewhat scientific (yet decidedly flawed) proof of how difficult it is to go winless in a season from a probability standpoint. More importantly it goes to show how difficult it truly is to attempt to make sense of an NFL season before the draft and multiple months before the games will actually be played. Stocks rise and fall consistently and considerably throughout every single year.

Still, it was a fun exercise just to see how everyone rated this schedule today. I’ll be looking forward to looking back on it later. Maybe we can do these going into every week of the season or at least do it after the pre-season? Maybe at the bye week?

Even in its flaws, I think this was more valuable than just blindly talking about “hunting for the W” in the schedule like NFL.com did.

Just let me know in the comments. Was this fun?

  • dwhit110

    You see, I ranked the Broncos much higher, because I expect Manning to be hurt by season’s end

  • MrCleaveland

    Craig, that is an impressive amount of work on your part.

  • MS Excel + Macros helped a lot. It still encompassed three spreadsheets though. It was fun!

  • mgbode

    nfl.com only said it was possible, and you do have at least 1 out of 100 proving their case
    #pedantic

  • mgbode

    in all seriousness, good show.  truly puts into perspective the amount a team has to almost “try” to go winless.

  • DontbringLBJback

    Well, it’s never FUN to detail how miserable September through December will be… but I think it was a very interesting concept.  Thanks for thinking of it.

  • I wonder what the results would be if you did this same poll with Packer fans or Patriots fans, using their schedule?  My guess:  they are ALWAYS confident in their players and coaches to secure the “W” for them.

    Must be nice.

  • So, using a best case scenario (based on our collective expecations) we win between 4 and 7 games.  Yeesh!  No Kool-Aid drinking here.

  • MallaLubba

    I’ve voiced my displeasure with this speculation in the past but I will concede this: You took this to its ultimate, logical, mathematical, extreme. For that, I applaud you.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Oh contraire I would say thinking the current Browns will win 7 games on that schedule is most definitely after “drinking the Kool Aid!!!”

    4 maybe 5 is much more realistic based on today, IMO.

  • Lucas Vaas

    very fun continue to do on a weekly basis! it would also be fun to do this right after the draft and right before the season again…. just to see if perceptions are changing…

  • Mike Bogucci

    Yes, this was a fun exercise, Craig.  I love this kind of stuff.

    Of course, I am predicting 11-5 this year…as I do EVERY year.  (7-9 would be very nice though)

    Thanks!

    Mike in Seattle

  • hutch058

    i liked it! wouldn’t mind seeing it before every week to track our confidence level in the team as the season progresses

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    agreed. Let’s start compiling data pre-draft, post-draft, and week-to-week so we can see how good the Browns Backers are at crowd-sourcing.  Eventually we should be able to use that in a meaningful way.

  • But seriously, 7 wins is the most optimistic situation?  That’s my point – it’s not like there’s anyone out there thinking “Hey, if everything breaks their way, the Browns can win 10 games and sneak into a wild card.”  They’re saying “Hey, if everything breaks their way, the Browns can still finish under .500.”  

    I guess that doesn’t fit my definition of “Kool Aid.”  

  • NoVA Buckeye

    i ranked the giants the highest due to the streak

  • I’m sorry to say I don’t see them winning more than four games all season…

  • LOL I see them winning 1 game against indy, after that the only other chance they have for a win is Washington, Other then that. They would need a lot of breaks to go there way in any of the other games to get LUCKY to win 1, They stink they always have stunk, and they always will. Cleveland sports teams are her to fleece money out of all you, But give you nothing in return but spin, Fact is Cleveland sports is dead and will always remain dead as long as people continue to support all the teams in Cleveland,