Top turnarounds in NFL history

Alex Trevelyan

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Do you realize how many "strategies" (I find it quite hilarious that they call "winning less than 3 games" a strategy to begin with) we can apply this kind of logic to and still get the same results?

Im not going to go very deep here because Im just effectively wasting time. ie. Fins have finished with pretty much every imaginable record during the last 30 years, and amazingly, they still havent won a SB...

What I'd really like to know is how the "4 wins or less" strategy working out? or the 5 or less? Wait! No... What I really want to know is what record should we root for in order to have the best of shots? 8-8? 9-7?

Just one more reason to stop wasting YOUR time on espn...
We should stop wasting our time with math I suppose. Understand this, when your team ends up winning 3 or fewer games, whether it's a deliberate tank, like the Fins are doing, or the result of long-term incompetence, the result is as follows: It takes you an average of 8 years to win a playoff game, period. That's what the empirical evidence says. Logic says it's easier to turn around a mediocre team then an historically awful one since most teams that turn it around are not in fact rosters completely void of talent, they're usually imperfect collections of poorly coached players that require a handful of improvements to succeed. This is literally why whenever the "tank for Tua" brigade is challenged to give even a solitary example of success the only example they can come up with is a Cowboys team from 1989 that isn't analogous to this one in any sense and in any event represents an outlier result juxtaposed next to a mass of failures.
 

NBP81

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That's what the empirical evidence says.
So in your opinion, the number/quality of picks the team in question has is not relevant? Does the average change if they end up drafting a Good QB as opposed to a bad one? What if they hit on 75% of their draft picks or just 25%? does that change the average? How about the quality of the GM? or the coaching staff? Is that calculated in your math?

Your 8 years average is filled randomness...

The correlation coefficient from one year winning% to the next in the NFL is around .350
lag this an extra year and its .220
add another year of lag and you get .120 which is barely significant...
After that you could toss a coin and do just as well
 
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ANUFan

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Baker Mayfield ? Like seriously, What's up with this QB?

Year 1, He was going to the HOF. What happened?

How does Tua compare to Mayfield?

In terms of turn around and using the Browns as a model.

What's holding them back? Coaching?
 

Kyndig

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ESPN did an analysis of the Dolphins strategy about a month ago on their website. It doesn't work. Teams that finish with fewer than 3 wins take an average 8 years to win a playoff game and some still haven't won a playoff game many more years later. And none of those teams deliberately stripped their rosters. You're cherry-picking the few successes and ignoring the far more common disasters. You also failed to mention that the Chiefs fired everybody after 2012 and hired Andy Reid and traded for Alex Smith.
I did look for the greatest turnarounds in the past 30 years.

my point-is only to stir up thought, and debate. Maybe more interesting is to study why these teams were able to turn around so quickly?Were there any common themes? Etc.
 

Kyndig

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With the exception of the Cowboys, those so-called turnarounds were ephemeral. The Colts didn't get to a Super Bowl until 2006 and only after a coaching change and in any case no one gutted their roster to turn it around. The Cowboys roster Johnson inherited had Michael Irvin, Nate Newton, Mark Tuinei, Bill Bates, Kelvin Martin, Jim Jeffcoat, Ken Norton, Jack Del Rio and Kevin Gogan already on the roster and in his first year, with picks that had nothing to do with Walker, they drafted Aikman, Wisniewski, Daryl Johnston, Mark Stepnoski and Tony Tolbert. Why people keep comparing this situation to the Cowboys is mystifying, it's dishonest.
It’s not dishonest. It’s a situation that has similarities that maybe we can study and learn from. I never said we are the next 93 cowboys. I simply pointed out some incredible turnarounds with some teams that only won 1-3 games. Nothing dishonest, you can see what u like from the comparisons.

for example, we have something in common with that team in that there were blockbuster trades that returned a number of high round picks over a two year period. That’s not a dishonest comparison is it?
 

SoCal Finatic

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Lot’s have people have said ”Tanking doesn’t work”. I say there is ample history of teams that won a max of 3 games one year and then turned it around the next. Whether those teams were tanking or not, they took advantage of their high draft position and turned things around quickly. Below is a list of some of them lest we forget.

2017 Jacksonville Jaguars 3-13 to 10-6 AFC Championship game. They drafted Leonard Fournette and had Miles Jack

2011 Indianapolis Colts (suck for Luck), went 2-11, then drafted Andrew Luck and in 2012 went 11-5 Lost AFC Wild Card

2012 Kansas City Chiefs went 2-11, then in 2013 turned it around and went 11-5, lost in Wildcard round

2007 Miami Dolphins went 1-15, 2008 went 11-5 lost in AFC Wildcard

1998 Indianapolis Colts went 3-13, Drafted Peyton Manning and then went 13-3 in 1999, lost divisional round

1989 Dallas Cowboys went 1-15, then in 1990 went 7-9, then in 1991 11-5 made divisional playoffs, 1992 13-3 SuperBowl Champions

For those of you who think this tank is stupid, a bad idea, and we are doomed to fail I say to you, that Is possible, but there is plenty of evidence of teams that were just about as crappy as us, or that were just as crappy as us that turned things around quickly by rebuilding, drafting high, and cleaning up their roster. The colts were an outright tank just like us and you can see what happened. Whilst Luck was a higher rated prospect than Tua, Tua is also very highly rated and could potentially have that kind of impact on a team.
:..Now do the Browns. HAHA. I really hope we have the right people in place to draft the right pieces, otherwise we'll be the Browns.
 

meatpardle

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The original tank team. That team IIRC was 10-6 the year before with Manning, then Manning got hurt and they Sucked for Luck, and then went 11-5 the following year. It was an absolute tank job that no one seams to talk about.
Everyone talks about it.
 

The Goat

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I just wish that there was a Luck or Manning in this draft.
Um...hang on a sec here.

There was legitimate debate not only with Luck, but also particularly with Manning, as to whether they were even the best QB in their own *draft class*.

Tua’s probably the most anticipated QB coming out since Luck, and we’ll see how the hype grows closer to draft day...but suggesting this isn’t a strong QB class is a little odd.
 

Kyndig

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:..Now do the Browns. HAHA. I really hope we have the right people in place to draft the right pieces, otherwise we'll be the Browns.
So true. It’s all about the players they select and sometimes who they don’t.
We’ve drafted top 3 twice the past several years and one time we passed up Aaron Rodgers for Ronnie Brown and we needed a qb Then. The other time we passed up Matt Ryan for Jake Long. Of course with Wandstache we passed up Drew Brees for this horrible Linebacker.

our track record isn’t good. My only hope is that there is a different group of influencers around Grier this time, and some cats who will look to mimic the patriot way. We shall see...
 

Alex Trevelyan

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It’s not dishonest. It’s a situation that has similarities that maybe we can study and learn from. I never said we are the next 93 cowboys. I simply pointed out some incredible turnarounds with some teams that only won 1-3 games. Nothing dishonest, you can see what u like from the comparisons.

for example, we have something in common with that team in that there were blockbuster trades that returned a number of high round picks over a two year period. That’s not a dishonest comparison is it?
Here's how it's vastly dissimilar. The Cowboys had an abundance of talent on the roster when he arrived. It was not stripped bare like this roster is, the Dolphins will be the worst team in NFL history, our point differential is currently -160, the record is -220. We are a worse team than the 1976 Buccaneers, the 1999 Browns, expansion teams! I don't think anyone has grappled with how transcendently awful this team is, that 3-13 Colts team that turned it around had a bunch of good players on it already: Faulk, Marvin Harrison, Ken Dilger, Tarik Glenn, Adam Meadows, Chris Gardocki, Marcus Pollard and it still took Manning 9 years to get to a Super Bowl.

Secondly the Walker trade was one man for a bunch of picks. That's why it was an historical outlier, the only deal of its kind ever. We didn't trade one guy, we traded a bunch of quality players for a bunch of picks. We traded the known for a couple extra chances at the unknown. We now must replace the talent we got rid of. It just doesn't make any sense on any level.
 

Kyndig

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Here's how it's vastly dissimilar. The Cowboys had an abundance of talent on the roster when he arrived. It was not stripped bare like this roster is, the Dolphins will be the worst team in NFL history, our point differential is currently -160, the record is -220. We are a worse team than the 1976 Buccaneers, the 1999 Browns, expansion teams! I don't think anyone has grappled with how transcendently awful this team is, that 3-13 Colts team that turned it around had a bunch of good players on it already: Faulk, Marvin Harrison, Ken Dilger, Tarik Glenn, Adam Meadows, Chris Gardocki, Marcus Pollard and it still took Manning 9 years to get to a Super Bowl.

Secondly the Walker trade was one man for a bunch of picks. That's why it was an historical outlier, the only deal of its kind ever. We didn't trade one guy, we traded a bunch of quality players for a bunch of picks. We traded the known for a couple extra chances at the unknown. We now must replace the talent we got rid of. It just doesn't make any sense on any level.
you make some good points. However, Jimmy did strip that team down the year he got there. He got rid of tons of players, mostly older ones. And both teams have tons of draft picks in early rounds with which to rebuild.

look, I’m not saying the tank we did will or won’t be successful. It still depends upon a number of things, such as will Tua be as good of a QB as he looks like he will? Will we be able to actually land him? And will we be able to select the right players to put around him to set him up to succeed? Is this coaching staff good at developing players? This almost more than anything else is the most important thing.

free agency didn’t exist when JJ built the Cowboys. It is possible that we can turn around this team quickly just like it’s possible what we did will take us years to rebuild or recover from.

However, if you said what we have done is unprecedented, then there really isn’t any historical reference we can point to to that will predict success or failure of this strategy one way or another.

In any case, it will be interesting to watch and see historically where this team ends up the next two seasons. If it is successful then you will see many teams attempt to copy it, and if it is not then it could be a warning to teams in the future.
 
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LoneStarPhin

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I was ready to post “ one thing all those have in common: theyre NOT MIAMI.”
But I see even Miami did it.

Good post, OP!
 

meatpardle

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Maybe on this website but the media certainly didn't call out the Colts like they have the Dolphins. They didn't asked why the Colts didn't sign a veteran QB instead of Curtis freakin Painter.
Probably because we have gone way further than the Colts ever did, and the Colts did sign veterans - Kerry Collins and Dan Orlovsky.
 

LoneStarPhin

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Although I havent studied those turnaround teams cited by OP,I imagine they looked NOTHING like the current Fin team where almost all talent was jettisoned.

I suspect they had great continuity, had some bad breaks the prior year, and showed signs of a decent team if they could just find those few missing ingredients and avoid some bad breaks.

That doesnt appear to fit the Dolphins picture currently.
 
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