A year ago, the St. Louis Rams were scheduled to play a fifth exhibition game. The lockout wiped out that game.
With Arizona scheduled for a fifth exhibition game this year, I've gone back through my notes from last year and will reproduce highlights here:
Three of the last 10 teams to play five exhibition games in a season posted winning records during the corresponding regular season. Those 10 teams went 2-8 in regular-season openers, including 0-6 over the three most recent seasons in question. Did those teams have camp legs to start the season? Impossible to know. That 2-8 record includes 0-2 in home openers and 2-6 in road openers.
The Rams went 14-2 in 2001 after playing five exhibition games. They had great players.
Regular-season records for the 10 most recent teams to play a fifth exhibition game: Cincinnati (4-12) and Dallas (6-10) in 2010; Buffalo (6-10) and Tennessee (8-8) in 2009; Washington (8-8) and Indianapolis (12-4) in 2008; Pittsburgh (10-6) and New Orleans (7-9) in 2007; and Oakland (2-14) and Philadelphia (10-6) in 2006.
These are a few things to keep in mind as Arizona heads toward an Aug. 5 matchup with New Orleans in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game.