What history tells us about Washington Football Team’s chances of reaching .500

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LANDOVER, MD – OCTOBER 20: Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Football Team celebrates after the team scored a touchdown in the second half during an NFL game against the Chicago Bears at FedExField on October 20, 2013 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Think the Washington Football Team can make it to .500 this season? It would take an improvement of five wins over 2019’s performance. What are the odds?

Well, the broadest possible math puts those odds at 4.5 percent. In its previous 88 seasons, WFT has improved by five games four times. I suppose I should rule out the first year, since there was nothing upon which to improve. But there are a bunch of other caveats to consider that make the 4.5 number suspect.

For one thing, throughout much of that history, the team played fewer games in a season – either 12 or 14. That makes attaining the five-game improvement harder. And maybe more significantly, two of those five-win improvements have come within the last decade. That’s known as “trending up.”

So I put the odds of getting to .500 this season at 18.5 percent. And you should be aware that I base that on absolutely nothing. I mean, if I were any good at this, I would be running the table on over/under win total bets and dining at the Bellagio buffet this coming Sunday – instead of hunkering down at home with Colonel Sanders and Papa John, getting ready for the return of the WFT to active duty.

(Please don’t interpret that as any endorsement of any fried poultry or melted cheese delivery system. They just fit into the sentence pretty well.)

What I can do though, is offer a brief recap of those four magical seasons, when fortune smiled on our beloved franchise and the wins came aplenty.

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