Flying across the country isn't the chore it was back in the day, but there's still a bit of stress associated with long flights. Sure the chartered flights the NFL teams use are designed with a larger athlete in mind, but some of these flights are still quite lengthy. A comfy chair and a fabulously prepared in-flight meal are nice, but a 5 hour (or longer) flight still can take a toll on even the most physically fit body.
A few years ago Grantland took at look at the winning percentages of teams that had traveled more than 2,000 miles for a game, and from 1997-2011 they only won 39.8% of the time. Teams that traveled 1,000-1,999 miles won 40.3% of the time and teams that traveled less than a thousand miles won 43% of the time.
CBSSports.com looked at the teams that traveled more than 2,000 miles for a game and the percentage of times won was even lower than the Grantland study at 33.3%. Part of this is just the simple fact that winning on the road is tough in the NFL, but the travel-time factor can't be dismissed.
According to CBSSports.com, in the 2016 season the newly relocated Los Angeles Rams will travel further than any other team at 37,072 miles. The Chicago Bears are actually way down the list at 29th, with only 8,750 miles to traverse. The centrally located Chicago Bears don't have a single trip this year over 2,000 miles.
What do you guys think about the jet lag theory? Do longer flights affect the winning percentage enough to think the Bears have a slight edge in 2016?