The 2017 NFL regular season is more than 41 percent complete as we enter Week 8, and yet 26 of the league’s 32 teams are either in first place or within two games of first place.
All but three teams have at least two wins and everybody except the 6-1 Philadelphia Eagles has at least two losses.
Basically, the Eagles are really good (but extremely injured and not without flaws), the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants are bad (although all three are probably better than their records) and the rest of the league is just sort of floating along. Nobody is healthy, nobody is running away, nobody is fading away.
The Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams lead the NFC’s four divisions, despite the fact that those teams all missed the playoffs with a combined record of 26-38 in 2016. It’s just weird, and parity on crack.
But is it unprecedented?
Here’s a look at how many teams have had either one or zero losses or either one or zero wins after seven weeks since the league expanded to its current 32-team alignment in 2002.
Parity tweet! This is the first time in modern NFL history that 28 teams have at least two wins and at least two losses through seven weeks.
— Brad Gagnon (@Brad_Gagnon) October 25, 2017
On average, eight or nine (8.5) teams still have yet to win or lose for a second time entering Week 8. This year, only four teams meet that criteria. That’s lowest mark of this era and only one other season (2005) is even close.
And in modern NFL history, this is the second-highest percentage of NFL teams with at least two wins and at least two losses entering Week 8:
1983: 89% (one unbeaten team, two winless teams)
2017: 88% (no unbeaten teams, two winless teams)
2005: 84% (one unbeaten team, one winless team)
1985: 82% (two unbeaten teams, one winless team)
1980: 82% (no unbeaten teams, one winless team)
So this is the first time we’ve had more than 85 percent of the league with two-plus wins and two-plus losses while having no undefeated teams through seven weeks, excluding the weird 1982 strike year.
In 2017, we appear to be witnessing sports parity history.