Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano and defensive end Cory Redding (90) celebrate. Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports.

Colts overcame 1/100 odds in victory over Chiefs

Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL Insider, tweeted an astonishing statistic about the Colts’ win.

The computers gave the Colts a 0.9% chance of winning with just under 29 minutes left in the game.  The Colts beat the 1/100 odds, and beat the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44.

I have a  problem with statistics because stats fail to factor in the competitive spirit of the athlete.  It was a playoff game, and the Indianapolis Colts weren’t heading home without putting up a fight.  In addition, the Colts had about 29 minutes to complete their comeback win.

Why would a professional athlete rely solely on statistics?  Statistically, an American male has about a (you guess) chance of becoming an NFL player.  The men who make it to the NFL do it because they meet the test, physically and mentally, not because they look at the stats and give up.

Athletes don’t give up, so as impressive as overcoming 1/100 odds may be, it is something that happens more than the stats dictate.



Tags: Adam Schefter Indianapolis Colts Kansas City Chiefs

  • Josh

    Yeah, but those odds are historically based upon how many years of football? And in all of those games, in all of those years, we can assume that the players all had that same “competitive spirit”, right?

    So, if we are comparing apples to apples — football games to football games — the “competitive spirit” is constant among all games. You can’t disregard the stat because the Colts today had some extra competitiveness: can’t we assume that all football players — especially in playoff games — have had the same competitiveness?

    So, the stat is actually accurate. It is, historically, what has happened, right?

    And, I don’t know how you can say “it’s something that happens more than the stats dictate”…doesn’t it happen exactly as often as the stats dictate?

    Isn’t that what a stat is? A probability based upon historical results? I think it happens exactly as often as the stats dictate…

    • Bernie D’Amato

      Thanks for your response. I understand it historically happens one out of every 100 times, but I don’t think you can compare this Colts team to every team down 28 with 29 minutes to go. The Colts overcame the odds for a reason, which separates them from the 99 other teams. It is my opinion that teams/players that overcome great odds aren’t a statistical anomaly, but rather have the mental edge to succeed. The Colts’ chances were low, but they had better odds than 1/100.