WASHINGTON–The NFL prides itself on perpetual parity.
In a 16-game season, with so much riding on each game, a team can go from worst to first, or vice versa, faster than you can say Deflategate.
However, as with any sports league, there are always perennial bottom-feeders.
In the NFL in recent years, those teams have been Cleveland, Jacksonville, Oakland, Tampa Bay, and Washington.
Sunday, for the first time ever, fans of all five teams were left with smiles on their faces. Not only did all five cellar-dwellers notch their first wins of the 2015 season, they ALL won on the same weekend for the first time in history.
In order to truly appreciate the absurdity of that fact, we must look a little deeper into the numbers.
Since Jacksonville’s debut in the league in 1995, there have been 341 weeks of regular-season football.
The five teams have come close to simultaneous victories a handful of times, even going 4-0 with the fifth team on its yearly bye-week a handful of times. But until Sunday, all five hadn’t won on the same day in 341 opportunities.
Over the past 20 years, the five teams have amassed a combined win-loss record of 646-905-1, a winning percentage of .416.
While a .416 winning percentage over 20 years is not the type of number that any fan wants to see, the teams have been even worse in recent years.
Since 2007, the five teams were 184-376, a .329 winning percentage that averages out to barely five wins per team per season.
In that time, the five teams combined for a single playoff berth: Washington’s Robert Griffin III-led NFC East title in 2012. And playoff victories? Zero.
Even in 2002, when three of the five teams made the playoffs and Tampa Bay defeated Oakland in the Super Bowl (the five teams’ only two Super Bowl appearances in the past two decades), the five teams never won in the same week.
The fact that the five teams won last on Sunday is even more impressive given the level of competition. Even though four of the five teams played at home, all five were underdogs, by an average of more than five points per game.
If a confident gambler had placed a five-team bet on our five lucky teams that Sunday morning, the odds were about 241-1. With those odds, a simple $100 bet that all five teams would win would have paid off $24,116.
Now that all five teams have won in the same weekend, when will we see the feat again? Don’t bet on a repeat occurrence.
In fact, the odds are actually longer that all five teams will win in Week 3 than they were in Week 2: 327-1.
So there’s really only one question: do you feel lucky?
We’ll see if the five-team-win possibility even makes the weekend. On Thursday, Washington travels to New York to take on the Giants. The game starts at 8:25 p.m. on CBS.