clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The 5 O'Clock Club: Traveling west

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere...

The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

MedPage Today, a site devoted to medical issues, published an article last year that says teams traveling across country east-to-west have a disadvantage measured in the win-loss columns.

An analysis of 5 years of game data from the NFL, NBA, and NHL showed that basketball teams travelling from western to eastern time zones had a significantly greater winning percentage than teams traveling in the opposite direction. There were also trends in the same direction for football and hockey teams, although they fell short of statistical significance.

And a separate examination of the impact of turnovers and injuries on winning percentage over a single season in the NFL also found pro football teams based in the west to have a winning advantage when crossing the country to play, after adjusting for other factors.

"Accumulating evidence suggests that, in the same way home field advantage influences the probability of success, so too does the circadian advantage and its direction with an advantage for teams traveling eastward," said researcher Dominique Dagenais, BSc, of the Université du Quebec en Outaouais, Gatineau.

Dagenais told MedPage Today that athletic performance tends to peak in the late afternoon and that players traveling from the west to the east appear to play more games closer to their circadian peaks.

NFL: teams travelling from west to east had a winning percentage of 46.54% compared with 37.98% for teams traveling from east to west.

What do you think?

Is this effect real?

Is it likely to affect the outcome of the Redskins-Rams game this week?


What factor is most likely to have a real effect on the outcome of this week’s game against the Rams?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Traveling east to west
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Home field advantage for the Rams
    (0 votes)
  • 32%
    The potential of Aaron Donald on the field & a Wade-Phillips coached defense
    (62 votes)
  • 38%
    Jay Gruden’s & Kirk Cousins’ notoriously slow starts each season
    (73 votes)
  • 2%
    The overall roster of the Rams
    (5 votes)
  • 5%
    The Redskins’ offensive weaponry
    (11 votes)
  • 6%
    Redskins D-E-F-E-N-S-E
    (12 votes)
  • 0%
    The place kickers (Hopkins v. Zeurlein)
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 6%
    (13 votes)
  • 3%
    The distraction of the "Alex Smith should start for the Redskins in 2018" buzz that raged across the globe yesterday
    (6 votes)
  • 3%
    something else entirely
    (7 votes)
191 votes total Vote Now