With the NFL calendar set to release tomorrow, teams are keenly awaiting to hear exactly how their travel schedule will shape up. One may think that this is trivial or not important, but they would be mistaken. There is clearly a difference between the teams that travel the most and least total miles that goes beyond just the time spent on a plane.
After looking at schedules between 2015 and 2021, we charted which teams traveled the most and least to dissect their season.
On average, the teams traveling furthest won 7.57 games per season. Meanwhile, the teams who traveled the least won 9.86 games. This is the difference between making and missing the playoffs.
Looking solely between 2015 and 2019, the team that traveled farthest won 6.2 games, while the team traveling least won an average of 9 games. During this span, none of the teams that traveled the most total miles made the playoffs.
There has been a shift in recent seasons looking specifically at 2020 and 2021. In those two seasons, the teams that traveled the least (Ravens and Packers) made the playoffs both seasons. So did the teams that traveled the most, however (Seahawks and 49ers).
The Seahawks will travel over 2,000 miles more than any other team in the NFL this season, and it will be hard for them to replicate their previous success as the most traveled team in their first year without Russell Wilson.
Meanwhile, the Steelers will have an easier time maintaining their playoff success in their first year without Ben Roethlisberger, traveling less than 25% of the miles that Seattle will.
Here is the full list of how far each team will travel this season:
|Team||Total Mileage||Time Zones|
|New Orleans Saints||24,976||30|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23,764||26|
|San Francisco 49ers||20,792||22|
|Las Vegas Raiders||20,734||26|
|New York Giants||20,614||22|
|New England Patriots||18,944||14|
|Green Bay Packers||17,794||22|
|Kansas City Chiefs||16,746||22|
|New York Jets||16,154||14|