The Jacksonville Jaguars finished 10 games last year within a single score of winning.
They lost eight of them.
And according to Setting The Edge, two wins out of 10 single-score games is an incredibly unlucky finish that will almost assuredly mean an improved record in 2017.
Last year, Jacksonville went 2-8 in single-score games — three wins under .500. Of the 15 teams which finished more than two games under .500 in single-score games between 2006-2015, all 15 improved the next season in overall record.
2006 Detroit Lions (1-8 in close games, 3-13 record to 7-9 record in 2007)
2006 Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7 in close games, 8-8 record to 10-6 in 2007)
2007 Miami Dolphins (1-6 in close games, 1-15 record to 11-5 record in 2008)
2008 Green Bay Packers (1-7 in close games, 6-10 record to 11-5 record in 2009)
2008 San Diego Chargers (2-7 in close games, 8-8 record to 13-3 record in 2009)
2009 Washington Redskins (2-7 in close games, 4-12 record to 6-10 record in 2010)
2010 Dallas Cowboys (3-8 in close games, 6-10 record to 8-8 record in 2011)
2010 Cincinnati Bengals (2-7 in close games, 4-12 record to 9-7 record in 2011)
2011 Minnesota Vikings (2-9 in close games, 3-13 record to 10-6 record in 2012)
2012 Carolina Panthers (1-7 in close games, 7-9 record to 12-4 record in 2013)
2012 Detroit Lions (3-8 in close games, 4-12 record to 7-9 record in 2013)
2013 Houston Texans (2-9 in close games, 2-14 record to 10-6 record in 2014)
2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8 in close games, 2-14 record to 6-10 record in 2015)
2015 New York Giants (3-8 in close games, 6-10 record to 11-5 record in 2016)
2015 San Diego Chargers (3-8 in close games, 4-12 record to 5-11 record in 2016)
Now, if there’s anything I know about the Jaguars it’s that they can definitely break this trend. They can be the lone team to not improve or (gulp!) get worse.
But odds are they’ll improve in the win column. Why? Because even one or two games on the wrong side of a coin flip means several slots higher in the draft, extra priority given to free agency investment and short-term success, and a coaching shake up that undoubtedly helps the underlying culture of an underperforming team that would have gone untreated for another season or two.
The average improvement in the 15 above teams is just under five additional wins. That means 7-9 with the arrow pointing up at the end of the season. But it could be as little as last year’s San Diego Chargers — just one extra win.
Take solace, Jaguars fans, a one-game improvement only happened once. The most frequent improvement was five wins. Eight wins in 2017? I’ll take it.