Hard Knocks is back! We are going to get an up close and personal look at the Rams’ first season as the franchise returns to Los Angeles.

This is the 11th installment of HBO’s popular behind-the-scenes series. Each season focuses on stars, journeymen and rookies as they compete for valuable roster spots. A common concern with Hard Knocks following an NFL team is the distraction of the cameras. However, each of the last six teams to appear on the program have equaled or improved their record and four have made the playoffs.

Debate settled. Hard Knocks is not a distraction. Not so fast.

Of course the cameras won’t distract teams during the regular season, the HBO crews are gone by the time the first game kicks off. The distraction occurs during the preseason and there is some evidence to support this claim.

Going back to 2007, teams featured on Hard Knocks have gone 12-20 against-the-spread in the preseason, down 8.86 units. Those same teams in the year before participating on the series, when there weren’t distractions of the tv crews, went 17-15 ATS (+1.51 units) combined in the preseason.

Admittedly, this is a small sample and there is a lot of variance in preseason results but one could make a case that Hard Knocks is a distraction for participating teams in the preaseaon. The truth, this article was just an excuse for me to watch the trailer for Hard Knocks and get jacked up about the return of one of my favorite shows on HBO.

Against-the-Spread Record Before/After Hard Knocks

SeasonTeamHard Knocks PreseasonPrevious Preseason
2015Houston Texans2-22-2
2014Atlanta Falcons2-21-3
2013Cincinnati Bengals3-12-2
2012Miami Dolphins0-43-1
2011No Season
2010New York Jets2-23-1
2009Cincinnati Bengals2-22-2
2008Dallas Cowboys1-32-2
2007Kansas City Chiefs0-42-2