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All 256 Regular-Season NFL Games, Ranked According To Watchability

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I really root for only one NFL team, and that NFL team plays 16 games in the regular season. I watch way more games than that, though, because I am an American, damn it, and football games are awesome. Unfortunately, ...

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:44 PM   #1
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All 256 Regular-Season NFL Games, Ranked According To Watchability

I really root for only one NFL team, and that NFL team plays 16 games in the regular season. I watch way more games than that, though, because I am an American, damn it, and football games are awesome. Unfortunately, not every game is equally watchable—for every wild Colts-Lions finish you have a Cardinals-Jets snoozefest. So what were the best games of the 2012 regular season, regardless of rooting interest? To investigate, I put together a very simple model to measure "watchability." Feel free to quibble in the comments, but to me the best NFL games are close, high-scoring, meaningful, and have an unexpected result. Each game was scored (out of 25) in these four categories:
  • Closeness: Based on score differential entering the fourth quarter. Differentials greater than three possessions (24 points) netted a game zero points, a tie game entering the fourth was worth 25.
  • Scoring: Based on total number of points squared. The highest-scoring game of the year got a 25, the lowest scoring got a zero.
  • Meaningfulness: Based on the playoff chances of each team entering the game, courtesy of coolstandings.com. The closer the teams' odds were to 50 percent, the higher the score. No credit was given to clinched teams playing for byes.
  • Result: Based on the difference between the final result and the Vegas spread. True upsets got a significant bonus, while underdogs beating the spread received a small bonus.
These four scores were then combined into a Watchability Rating (out of 100 points). No games were strong in all four of these categories, so the highest Watchability Rating was a 70, and the average was a 42. For a list of these ratings for all 256 games, broken down by category, click here.
On to some superlatives!


All 256 Regular-Season NFL Games, Ranked According To Watchability

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:24 PM   #2
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Re: All 256 Regular-Season NFL Games, Ranked According To Watchability

#256 made me smile
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:53 PM   #3
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Re: All 256 Regular-Season NFL Games, Ranked According To Watchability

Sunday Night football was definitely the thing to watch this season.
Monday Night Football was again a bastion of boring blow-outs. I have to admit, the Packers/Seahawks game officiating thing slapped the wind out of me with all the Saints-bounty garbage going on. That was the worst.

Even-though I have NFL network, I found myself watching Thursday Night Football the very least this season.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:26 PM   #4
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Re: All 256 Regular-Season NFL Games, Ranked According To Watchability

How does 28-27 translate into 22 out of 25 for closeness?
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:16 PM   #5
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Re: All 256 Regular-Season NFL Games, Ranked According To Watchability

Originally Posted by Shoe. View Post
#256 made me smile
Me too.
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