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Friday, January 29, 2010
Bills were NFL's most battered in '09


Stats frequently tell us something we already knew.

How the data is presented is what turns the information from obvious to insightful.

Football Outsiders analyst Bill Barnwell has produced an interesting look at how each NFL team was impacted by injuries in 2009.

Lo and behold, nobody had it worse than the Buffalo Bills.

Football Outsiders created a metric known as "adjusted games lost," which takes not only missed games into consideration, but also playing hurt. The formula assigns a value to each time a player appears on an injury report as out, doubtful, questionable or probable.

Barnwell writes:

AGL is more accurate than simply counting "starter games lost" because, by counting appearances on the injury report, it also accounts for the fact that playing hurt means playing at less than full strength.

The league average was 53.9 AGL.

Buffalo had a whopping 97.7 AGL. Twenty players who, if healthy, would have started missed games.

The other three AFC East teams ranked in the bottom half of the league in AGL.

The Miami Dolphins finished with 48.1 AGL, which ranked 21st in the league. They had the fourth-largest differential from 2008, when they had a minuscule 25.6 AGL.

Due to their monstrous AGL, the Bills had the largest differential at plus-49.6 AGL.

One slot behind the Dolphins for 2009 were the New England Patriots with 46.8 AGL, a drop of 31.6 from the year before (the fourth-largest improvement).

The New York Jets ranked 24th with 38.4 AGL. That was up 15.2 games from 2008.