Injuries are often cited by both coaches and fans as a reason for the Redskins’ 5-11 record in 2011. According to statistics compiled by the folks at Football Outsiders, that excuse holds water to an extent but there are some major leaks in it.
FO calculates a metric called adjusted games lost (AGL), which weighs injuries to key starters more heavily than it does games missed by reserves. The game missed by the backup guard does not count the same as the loss of the starting quarterback.
The Redskins adjusted games lost was 67.5. That was 20th in the NFL, meaning that 19 teams had better injury luck than they did and 12 had worse luck. So, the Redskins were more banged up than the average team.
However, looking further down the list we see that the Giants’ AGL was 78.3 and the won the division and the Super Bowl. The Patriots made it to the title game despite losing 97.5 games, third-worst in the league.
This does some damage to the old adage that the teams that has the fewest injuries has a better chance of winning it all. It appears that the teams who can best handle the inevitable injuries from a 16-game season also have a good shot at the title.
The Ravens were the NFL’s healthiest team with just 18.8 AGL and the Eagles were right behind them at 21.9. The Rams were the second-most injured team since FO started calculating the metric in 2002 with 110.0 AGL.
The Eagles finished 8-8 despite ranking second in AGL with 21.9. Dallas also went 8-8 as they were slightly more healthy than the Redskins with 62.5 AGL.