We consider the question of how important winning the first game of the season is to making the playoffs for an NFL team. We analyze this question both statistically and probabilistically. First we examine historical data from past NFL seasons to consider whether the first week of the season is any more important than other weeks of the season. Secondly, we attempt to explain probabilistically how winning in any given week changes the probability of that team making the playoffs.
The purpose of the research in this paper was to determine if the first week of the NFL season is more significant than other weeks in terms of whether or not the team in question makes the playoffs. We used data of games from past seasons to analyze each week across all seasons. Week One was shown to be no more significant than any other week.
Boyd, Peter; Kidd, Brian; and Vincent, Christopher
"Reaching the NFL Playoffs Based on Week One Results: A Probability Model with Simulation,"
Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Journal: Vol. 20:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://scholar.rose-hulman.edu/rhumj/vol20/iss1/1