With the NFL exhibition season in full swing starting Thursday, most fans dont have to be reminded just how meaningless preseason results are. The most important thing is that your best players get enough work in to be sharp for the regular season and that no one gets hurt.
In recent years, the biggest example we had of the preseason record not correlating to the regular season was the Lions in 2008. They went 4-0 in exhibition games, then put up a winless regular season.
Lets look at how the undefeated and winless preseason teams have fared in the regular season over the past five years:
Seven teams have gone 4-0. Of those, two posted winning records and made the playoffs that season. Counting those woeful Lions, three of the exhibition unbeatens failed to win six games once it counted.
Twelve teams have put up 0-4 preseason marks. Four of them made the playoffs, but only four had losing records.
One of those winless squads was the 2010 Bears, who recorded the best record among the 0-fer bunch at 11-5.
Besides those 2008 Lions, last year the Rams were 4-0 in preseason and then went 2-14 for real.
The Ravens posted a 4-0 record in 2009 and went to the playoffs with a 9-7 mark.
So what is the lesson? Maybe the NFL shouldnt keep score in exhibition games.