Since 2008 FO have been listing an Adjusted Games Lost metric, which is a sum of games lost by players with adjustments up for starters, players replacing starters (ie losing Wallace last year when he was replacing Delhomme), situational players (they quote Reggie Bush for this, worth more than a regular backup RB). They don't give the formula but it's not the actual AGL I'm looking at, it's rank in the NFL over the last 5 years.
For several seasons we've been complaining on here about our bad luck with injuries. Now football is a rough sport and injuries are part and parcel of an NFL season for every club, but have we been unluckier than most, and is there a trend? Football Outsiders now has a metric to assess this in some way, but my first introduction to this idea was in the 2007 preview, when they noted that the Patriots had a very high DB mortality rate- and so did the Crennel coached Browns. Though there was no obvious reason for this- in tactical/coverage terms- the Patriots connection did make you wonder. So onto this years FO Almanac, and their numbers.
As I said in an earlier post, our ranks over the last 5 years are (Offense/ Defense):
2006: 27/32 2007: 5/25 2008: 26/23 2009: 25/27 2010: 31/32
No two ways about it, that is really bad. 2007 was of course our winning season when Anderson/ Lewis/ Edwards/ Winslow all stayed upright. The D is generally worse, and DQ must be a contributor to that. We've placed last in defensive AGL twice in the last five years.
So, how does this compare? Is it something that happens to losing teams? Stats are listed team by team so here's half-dozen teams I've picked out;
2006: 7/2 2007: 13/14 2008: 2/5 2009: 1/12 2010: 4/23. Looks pretty good to me. But not much to do with Mangini.
2006: 12/26 2007: 7/10 2008: 25/28 2009: 19/10 2010: 23/27. Slightly below average, so nothing to do with winning.
2006: 20/30 2007: 10/31 2008: 10/15 2009: 4/26 2010: 3/2. A steady improvement, as they get more relevant
2006: 30/6 2007: 11/18 2008: 32/6 2009: 29/19 2010: 24/20. Much better on defense!
2006: 2/4 2007: 32/24 2008: 30/21 2009: 27/23 2010: 32/4. That's just a wide spread between seasons
2006: 22/13 2007: 2/12 2008: 6/26 2009: 15/16 2010: 28/29. Proof you can win whilst your starters are in the clinic.
So, injuries are pretty random. But of these ten rankings we've fallen in the top half ONCE, and in the bottom quarter EIGHT times.
That is a bad injury record.