Seattle's opponent win percentage this year is the third-lowest in the past five years (I've only compiled data back through the 2001 season). Washington, on the other hand, is tied with six other teams for the 16th toughest schedule over the same span. The tables below include Washington, Seattle, and several other 2005 teams.
The first table lists teams with the lowest opponent win percentages (easiest schedules). Notice that six of this year's playoff teams are on the list.
Over the past five years teams with an opponent win percentage of .400 to .449 averaged 11.2 wins. Teams with an opponent win percentage of .450 to .474 averaged 10.1 wins.
The second table lists teams with the highest opponent win percentages (toughest schedules). It includes two 2005 teams whose coaches were fired this year (Oakland and Houston), and one team whose coach would likely have been fired this year if he wasn't in the first year of his contract (San Francisco). The list also includes one of the best teams not to make the playoffs this year (San Diego) and another team that barely edged into the playoffs by winning its last five games (Washington).
Teams with an opponent win percentage of .550 to .599 averaged just 5.1 wins, and teams with an opponent win percentage of .525 to .549 averaged only 6 wins over this period.
Some other offhand observations: In 2003 Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Reeves was replaced with three games to go as the Falcons finished 5-11. Too bad for Reeves. He not only lost Michael Vick that year, but also drew one of the toughest schedules in the league. In 2004 Reeves's replacement Jim Mora, Jr. was hailed as the NFL's next great genius--after getting back his star quarterback and drawing the fourth easiest schedule in the past five years.
Fortunately for Redskins fans, Buffalo unceremoniously dismissed Gregg Williams in 2003 after he led his team to a 6-10 record against the fourth toughest schedule on the list below.
And then there's Tony Dungee who was dimissed from Tampa Bay after a 9-7 down year in 2001--against opponents with a win percentage of .535. Good thing for young genius Jon Gruden that Tampa Bays' schedule strength dropped to .480 in 2002, helping his team lock up home field advantage through the playoffs.
Oh, and remember that uncharacteristically bad 6-10 record Indianapolis compiled in 2001? Yep, they had an even tougher schedule than Tampa Bay that year, which led to the firing of Jim Mora (Senior) and the hiring of Tony Dungee. And round and round we go!
I didn't include win-loss records but Washington is the only team on the toughest-schedules list to win 10 games and reach the playoffs. The Redskins may have improved more this year than is readily apparent: Last year's 6-10 record and dismal offensive performance were achieved against a much weaker schedule (.477 opponent win percentage) than this year's 10-6 mark.
Current Washington Post Redskins stories: Seattle to Washington; Seattle all Smiles; Taylor Trial Update; Uneasy Truce; Yes, Taylor Brazen Liar; Seattle Waiting; Holmgren Loser; Getting D; Prioleau Grabs Chance; Brunell Odd; Kicking Bad Habits; Focus on Offense; Kornheiser; Griffin Difference Maker; City Powerless
Lowest Opponent Win Percentages Since 2001
|Rank||Year||Team||Opp Win Pct|
Highest Opponent Win Percentages Since 2001
|Rank||Year||Team||Opp Win Pct|