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An Amazing Stat

Dec 22, 2005, 8:09 AM EDT

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An Amazing Stat

The Redskins are coming into a situation identical to one following a Monday night game. They will have a short week to prepare as played on Sunday and the Giants will have the normal full week having played on Saturday.

Joe Gibbs has mentioned that more than a couple of times, starting minutes after the Dallas game. However, there is scant evidence that this is anything that Gibbs should worry about. Keeping in mind that this situation is similar to a Monday night game setup, with Gibbs’ team on short rest and preparation compared to the opponent, chew on this stat:

On games following Monday night football, Joe Gibbs is 20-3.

That’s just amazing. He’s won coming off of the short week 87% of the time, and the statistical sample covers just less than a season and a half and it’s over a period of 11 seasons (Washington didn’t play on MNF in either of Gibbs’ first two seasons). That, my friends, is a trend.

I’ve heard a lot about the disadvantage of teams playing on a short week, so assume that the average record of teams coming off of MNF is a little under .500. That means that Gibbs’ advantage over the field is 400 percentage points. That’s money.

It was my impulse to say that Gibbs obviously had a much better idea as to how to prepare his team on a short week than other coaches did. But wait, his opponents were always coming off of a regular week. So he did better in what is commonly a disadvantageous situation. He was the one-legged man who won the butt-kicking competition 20 out of 23 times.

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