2016 NFL Schedule: Rams will travel the most miles, Steelers the fewest
The Rams' move to Los Angeles means they're going to fly more than any other team in 2016
The Rams' official airline might end up being the biggest winner of the team's move to Los Angeles, because the Rams are going to spend some serious time in the air this year. Thanks in large part to their relocation, the Rams are going to fly farther than any other NFL team during the 2016 regular season.
The Rams will travel a total of 32,072 miles this season, which is more than the Packers, Browns, Ravens and Bears will travel combined in 2016 (30,948 miles).
It's not a shock that the Rams will be the NFL's most-traveled team in 2016: Not only did they move to L.A., but they'll also be traveling to London in Week 7. A one-way flight from London to Los Angeles is roughly 5,440 miles, which is more than the Steelers will travel the entire season (5,138 miles).
Of course, if the Rams weren't playing in London this year, they'd still travel the fifth-most miles in 2016, and that's because West Coast teams rack up frequent flyer miles faster than anyone. Of the eight teams that will travel the farthest in 2016, six of them come from one of the NFL's western divisions (the other two come from Florida.)
Cincinnati also knows that a trip to London adds some major travel miles. The Bengals will almost travel as far on their trip to London (7,900 miles roundtrip) as they will for all their away games combined (8,966 miles)
As for the Rams, after the 2016 season they might start wishing they had stayed in St. Louis. They're getting four of the dreaded long-haul flights that call for a team to travel over 2,000 miles.
Although traveling is pretty simple for NFL teams these days -- they get a chartered flight, and I mean, look at that menu below -- flights of over 2,000 miles still seem to have a negative effect on a team.
Good eats on this flight pic.twitter.com/eDogLIBjf8— Michael Bonner (@BroncosGuyinRio) January 31, 2016
In the 15-season period from 1997-2011, teams that traveled 2,000 miles or more for a road trip won only 39.8 percent of their games, according to Grantland.com. That's worse than the 43 percent of games won by teams that went on road trips that were 1,000 miles or less.
The numbers were actually worse in 2015 for teams that went on a road trip of 2,000 miles or more. Last season, road teams went 8-16 in games where they traveled 2,000 0r more miles. (London games don't count in this total, since both teams in London had to travel over 2,000 miles and therefore were basically on equal footing.)
That means road teams only won 33.3 percent of the time on long-haul trips last season. On the other hand, teams that traveled 1,999 miles or less won 47.6 percent of their games in 2015 (109-120), which is a huge difference.
If you're on a 2,000-mile flight, you're looking at about five hours in a plane, which isn't very exciting. You can only play so many games of UNO with your teammates before you start to get antsy and/or bored.
The Rams better invent some card games before the season starts because they're going to be flying a lot.
The bad news for the Rams is that the five teams that traveled the most in 2015 -- 49ers, Dolphins, Raiders, Seahawks and Chargers -- combined to go 14-26 on the road last season. Overall, the five most traveled teams have combined to go 31-49 on the road over the past two seasons.
Here's a look at each team's travel miles for the upcoming season:
|2016 NFL Travel Miles|
|Road games where team travels over 2,000 miles, excluding international games|
* = Team plays an away game in London.
** = Team plays an away game in Mexico City.
Note: The three London "home" teams all have a second number, which is what their travel miles would've been if they had hosted the game at home rather than in London. Also, the Rams will be flying from Detroit to England for their London game, which was factored in.
Note II: The Rams' travel total in 2016 would've been 25,406 miles if they had stayed in St. Louis with a "home" game in London, and their travel total would've been 17,026 miles if they had stayed in St. Louis with no London game.
Note III: Several teams could see their total mileage change. For instance, the Raiders play at Jacksonville and Tampa Bay in consecutive weeks and could stay in Florida for both games. This chart assumes that each team flies home after each away game.
Here's a more visual representation to give you an idea of how NFL teams stack up to one another in terms of 2015 distance traveled.
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