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View Full Version : Postseason possibilities: Handicapping the field as playoff race hits full stride


Donger
11-29-2005, 02:17 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers/don_banks/11/29/playoff.odds/index.html?cnn=yes

As December in the NFL beckons, exactly half the league (16 teams) is above .500, and half is below the break-even mark. There are eight winning teams in each conference, and we're pretty confident those will be the teams to fill all 12 playoff spots.

Who's going to be there in January and who's going to see their drive for Detroit come up short in the season's final five weeks? Here's a look at the 16 playoff contenders, with a projection of their chances to participate in the post-season:

AFC

1. Indianapolis (11-0) -- Even Colts head coach Tony Dungy looked ahead after Monday night's win over Pittsburgh, saying he liked the game's "electric atmosphere,'' because that's how "it's going to be in the playoffs.'' We like Indy's chances to make the postseason, too, T.D. Playoff probability: 100 percent

2. New England (6-5) -- Pretty lofty ranking for a team barely breaking .500, right? Not when Miami and Buffalo (both 4-7) are the only teams chasing the Patriots. Playoff probability: 95 percent

3. Denver (9-2) -- The Broncos hold a two-game lead over both San Diego and Kansas City, and have beaten them both at INVESCO Field. Even a 2-3 finish would get them into the AFC field. Playoff probability: 85 percent

4. Cincinnati (8-3) -- If the Bengals can win this week at Pittsburgh, they'll rise to near-lock status -- and end their 15-year streak of non-winning seasons. If they lose, they're back in the AFC wild-card scramble. Playoff probability: 65 percent

5. Pittsburgh (7-4) -- The same applies for the Steelers, who have dropped two in a row. Beat the Bengals and they own the division lead by virtue of their two-game series sweep. Lose and they'll be fighting it out with Jacksonville, San Diego and Kansas City for the two wild-card slots. Playoff probability: 60 percent

6. Jacksonville (8-3) -- The Jaguars only face one team with a winning record (Indianapolis), but they're also playing without starting quarterback Byron Leftwich (broken ankle) for the next month. That makes them something of a tricky calculation. Playoff probability: 60 percent

7. San Diego (7-4) -- The Chargers should be 9-4 when they head into their brutal season-ending three-game stretch: at Indy, at Kansas City, Denver. But at that point, it might still take 11 wins to be absolutely sure of making it to the dance. Playoff probability: 40 percent

8. Kansas City (7-4): No contender has a tougher road to the playoffs: Denver, at Dallas, at Giants, San Diego and Cincinnati. Four first-place teams and the best second-place team in football (the Chargers). Playoff probability: 30 percent

NFC

1. Seattle (9-2) -- The Seahawks are on the verge of clinching their third consecutive playoff berth and have the inside track for the NFC's top seed. Playoff probability: 100 percent

2. Carolina (8-3) -- With two games remaining against Atlanta, a trip to Baton Rouge, plus home dates with Tampa Bay and Dallas, the Panthers haven't won anything yet. But we're still bullish on John Fox's bunch. Playoff probability: 70 percent

3. Chicago (8-3) -- Ten wins should punch the Bears ticket, but it's not going to be easy to get there with games at Pittsburgh, at Minnesota and home against Atlanta coming up. It could all come down to their Jan. 1 game at the Metrodome. Playoff probability: 60 percent

4. New York (7-4) -- When I play out the rest of the Giants and Cowboys schedules, I get 11 wins for New York and 10 for Dallas. But one of the Giants' victories must come this week against the visiting Cowboys. Playoff probability: 60 percent

5. Dallas (7-4) -- See above. If the Cowboys can pull the upset this week at Giants Stadium, their two-game series sweep of New York might end up giving them the NFC East title. Playoff probability: 55 percent

6. Tampa Bay (7-4) -- Two games against the Saints helps Tampa Bay's cause, but at Carolina, at New England and home against Atlanta is nothing to sneeze at. We flipped a coin and the Bucs got the nod over the Falcons by virtue of their three-point win at Atlanta. Playoff probability: 50 percent

7. Minnesota (6-5) -- Don't snicker. The Vikings have won four in a row. They only have two games remaining against winning teams, and they're both at home: versus Pittsburgh and Chicago. To repeat, New Year's Day against the Bears could be for the NFC North title. Playoff probability: 40 percent

8. Atlanta (7-4) -- The Falcons have it tough: Two games against Carolina, and trips to Chicago and Tampa Bay. To have a chance to win a tie-breaker over the Bucs, Atlanta needs to win at Raymond James Stadium on Christmas Eve. Playoff probability: 35 percent

Mark M
11-29-2005, 02:41 PM
The Chiefs have one bitch of a schedule to end the season.

The only hope we have is that most are home games.

MM
~~:grovel:

cdcox
11-29-2005, 02:51 PM
These are complete crap. AT LEAST MAKE SURE WHEN YOU SUM YOUR TOTALS THAT IT COMES TO 600% for 6 playoff spots

Sum of AFC = 535

Sum of NFC = 465

Jeeze, he's getting paid for this?

siberian khatru
11-29-2005, 02:55 PM
The Chiefs have one bitch of a schedule to end the season.

The only hope we have is that most are home games.

MM
~~:grovel:


At least we're not alone. Check out some of the other remaining skeds -- especially Atlanta's. Holy crap.

Mile High Mania
11-29-2005, 02:56 PM
The %'s may be off, but I think the comments are dead on regarding the 16 teams.

morphius
11-29-2005, 02:58 PM
The %'s may be off, but I think the comments are dead on regarding the 16 teams.
I don't know, Denver going 2-3 and still getting in might be pushing it a bit.

Count Zarth
11-29-2005, 02:59 PM
And probably one or even two teams may come out of nowhere to steal a berth. Happens every year.

Mile High Mania
11-29-2005, 03:09 PM
I don't know, Denver going 2-3 and still getting in might be pushing it a bit.

That would give them 11 wins... I just don't think it's possible for KC to go 5-0 with their schedule. 4-1 is more realistic, but still tough. 4 wins ties them with Denver, then you're looking at tiebreakers. Same issue with SD going 5-0 or 4-1.

Then throw in the other teams with a potential 11 win record... I think it's still safe. But, no need to worry about that as Denver will go 3-2 worst case down the stretch.

:clap:

cdcox
11-29-2005, 03:12 PM
I don't know, Denver going 2-3 and still getting in might be pushing it a bit.

Not really. That would put them at 11-5, they be better than 90% sure of making it even then. It would take 4 losses to put the Bronco's chances in serious doubt. 85% is way too low. I call it 98%.


I agree that his comments are fine, but if you don't have ability to make it quantitiative, you should just stick with the basic verbal analysis. What if the weather man said there is a 60% chance of precipitation tomorrow, and a 20% chance there won't be precipitation. It is just irritating.

cdcox
11-29-2005, 03:18 PM
And probably one or even two teams may come out of nowhere to steal a berth. Happens every year.

Nah, it happens with one team every 2 or 3 years. The only real possibilites of the teams he didn't mention are Buffalo or Miami in the AFC east, and Washington, Phili, or St Louis doing some kind of miricle in the NFC. Of these, Washington has the best shot at 14%. None of the others have better than a 5% shot.

Count Zarth
11-29-2005, 03:20 PM
I don't give a shit about percentages. It will happen.

cdcox
11-29-2005, 03:34 PM
I don't give a shit about percentages. It will happen.

It didn't happen last year. Sure there were some 8-8 teams that made it in the NFC, but I was calling that as a probablility before Halloween last year. No real suprises.

In 2003, Green Bay managed to win thier last 4 to go from 6-6 to 10-6. At this point in that seaon, Minnesota looked like the favorite. That wasn't really coming from nowhere though.

Not an every year occurance.

chiefs4me
11-29-2005, 04:14 PM
:cuss: :banghead: