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The Trends Support Arguments File: Bengals Have 50% of Making Playoffs Just By Playing In Hall of Fame Game

It's hard not to get caught up with trends and streaks. They are arguments for the sports minded, mostly used to support an argument or, in some cases, appease those that fret about things yet to pass. If anything, they're interesting, if not entertaining.

So we took a small sample of the previous 10 Hall of Fame games and tracked how well those teams did during the regular season. By our count, only one team made it to the Super Bowl after playing in the Hall of Fame game -- the 2001 St. Louis Rams who finished the season 14-2 and lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI. Aside from that, from 2001 until 2008, there was a streak of at least one team from the Hall of Fame game making the playoffs the same year; 50% of all participants made the playoffs. It didn't matter who won or lost. Five winning teams made the playoffs and five losing teams did as well; though only three of the ten victors recorded a losing record on the season whereas four of the ten losers recorded a losing record.

Season Result Winner's Record Loser's Record
2009 Tennessee Titans 21, Buffalo Bills 18 8-8 6-10
2008 Washington Redskins 20, Indianapolis Colts 16 8-8 12-4*
2007 Pittsburgh Steelers 20, New Orleans Saints 7 10-6* 7-9
2006 Oakland Raiders 16, Philadelphia Eagles 10 2-14 10-6*
2005 Chicago Bears 27, Miami Dolphins 24 11-5* 9-7
2004 Washington Redskins 20, Denver Broncos 17 6-10 10-6*
2003 Kansas City Chiefs 9, Green Bay Packers 0 13-3* 10-6*
2002 New York Giants 34, Houston Texans 17 10-6* 4-12
2001 St. Louis Rams 17, Miami Dolphins 10 14-2* 11-5*
2000 New England Patriots 20, San Francisco 49ers 0 5-11 6-10
* Made the playoffs

While still working towards our prophesy master, we've yet to find the boldness to predict the playoffs from a simple Hall of Fame game. Accounting trends and streaks as a method of maddening predictions is rather silly. But still, we like to take trends to support our arguments. And this is a good one to start with.