For every week of NFL season going back to 2009, this site includes a page that lists games, with each team’s record going into that week, so you can choose games the way you would during the current season (no spoilers). For each week, there’s also a parallel page that has that same information, plus an indication of whether a game is “good”, “bad”, or (usually) neither of the above, based on some “very scientific” heuristics.
Why did I make this page?
I am totally dependent on football for my fitness, in that I don’t inherently like exercising, but I really f’ing love football. So, I build my world around watching football on the treadmill (and only on the treadmill). I’m never watching games live, always on NFL Game Pass (or NFL+, or whatever it’s called now).
During the NFL season, on Saturday, I’ll typically pick out the 4-5 games from the coming week that I really want to watch, based mostly on records: I’m only interested in games where both teams are playoff contenders. This is 100% of games in week 1, but dwindles to maybe two or three games in week 17. And when there are lots of choices, I’m using other context to pick games: I like high-flying, big-scoring football, and I like some broadcast crews more than others. And I listen to the Around the NFL Podcast’s weekly preview show for advice as well. Game times matter too: you’re likely to find out scores from early games when you’re watching late games, so I try to pick out one or two morning games, one or two late games, plus all the prime time games.
But during the offseason, this is tricky. I started by watching the playoffs going back to 2009 (the earliest year available on Game Pass), but as of the time I’m writing this, I’m about to catch up to present-day playoffs. So now I want to watch the best regular-season games going back to 2009, but there isn’t a source of historical game information that doesn’t show you the results of each game, so I can’t use the same approach I use in real-time. Plus, with the benefit of hindsight, I should be able to avoid watching terrible blowouts, right?
Enter this page…
What’s on this page?
For every week of NFL season going back to 2009, there’s a page showing you each team’s record going into that week, along with game time information. This is enough to do for historical seasons what I typically do in real-time.
For each week, there’s also a parallel page that has that same information, plus an indication of whether a game is “good”, “bad”, or (usually) neither of the above. “Bad” games are games that finished with more than a two-score differential, where the winning team was also leading at halftime. “Good” games combine a few heuristics:
- The game finished as a one-score game, or…
- The winning team was losing at halftime (a team that comes from behind at halftime to win by 20 points is still a good game IMO), or…
- It was a two-score game with an absurd amount of scoring (a 51-33 game is at least worth watching IMO).
I’m still going to only watch games that seemed worth watching based on team records: a late-season Jags/Texans game that doesn’t matter (sorry, AFC South, but you know what you are) could finish in double-overtime, and I’m not going to watch it. But if I have lots of choices, especially in week 1 when all the games matter the same, I will choose the “good” games and avoid the “bad” games.
Idea for other heuristics are welcome!
NFL seasons from 2009-present
Each of these links will take you to a page for the season, where each week will have a link that shows you the team records going into that week, and a link that also includes “good game” indicators for that week.
One thing I don’t capture well is late-season games that are de facto playoff games: two losing teams might still be in contention for a playoff spot. I’d like to track this better. It’s relatively easy to determine from the season history, it’s just a bunch of code I haven’t written.