Blog Entry

Looking Toward Week 13

Posted on: November 30, 2009 2:47 am
Let's get an early start on Week 13.

First, to recap Week 12, we had the following occur:
- INDY CLINCHED THE AFC SOUTH division title with their win and JAX loss.
- NEW ORLEANS could not clinch the NFC South title since ATL won and can still catch the Saints in the division even with a Saints win this Monday Night.

MINNESOTA CAN CLINCH the NFC NORTH division title with:
- WIN at Arizona + GB loss vs. Balt

NEW ORLEANS CAN CLINCH the NFC SOUTH division title with:
- Two WINS (this week and next)
- One WIN + One TIE (over this week and next)
- One WIN (either week) + ATL loss or tie vs. Phil

(still looking at N.O. clinching a playoff berth with One Win + ATL win...and MINN clinching with win + GB win...will confirm either way after game tomorrow or sooner)

Quick look shows INDY CAN CLINCH a FIRST-ROUND PLAYOFF BYE with a WIN + SD loss + CIN loss + DEN loss/tie + NE loss to MIA (will confirm in the a.m.)
- WIN gets Indy to 12-4 at worst and 8-4 at worst in conference.
- INDY needs DEN loss or tie since they play DEN in 2 weeks and Broncos could have conf record advantage as well w/o loss or tie.
- SD and CIN both losing gets rid of one of them since they play each other...but keep in mind CIN can still beat INDY since they could still get to 9-3 in conference and beat Indy on that basis.
- INDY would have common opponents advantage over SD (4-1 vs. 3-2)
- NE loss to MIA is key since it would be a conference loss getting NE to 8-4 at best AND would give INDY the common games tiebreaker among INDY, NE and SD (4-1 vs. 3-2 for others). 
- If there is a 3-way tie among IND, CIN and NE, CIN would have to win out after losing this week to tie Indy at 12-4 and that would make them #1 with 9-3 conf record and would pit INDY vs NE for #2 and Bill Belichick helped decide that for Indy.  ;-)



Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: December 11, 2009 5:27 pm

Looking Toward Week 13

Hey Joe I was just wondering being a Steelers fan how they can still make the playoffs if they win out and finish 9-7. I know the only 2 teams they own head to head tiebrakers over are the Broncos since they beat them head to head and the Dolphins since they still play them at seasons end. I know the Jags MUST lose 3 out of their 4 and the Ravens must lose another game to either the Lions,Bears,or Raiders other then the Steelers to finish ahead of them. I was just wondering how the Jets factor in as well and even Houston and Tenneesse still, and every possible scenario with every team still alive that can get the Steelers in the playoffs if they win out and finish at 9-7??

Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: December 4, 2009 12:05 am

Looking Toward Week 13

that was very informative and thoroughly detailed. I appreciate it, thanks!

Since: Dec 16, 2007
Posted on: December 3, 2009 12:28 pm

Looking Toward Week 13


For future reference, you will be much more likely to get your questions answered if you ask them in the most recent post rather than a previous one.

Since divisional ties are always broken first, we'll look at where the Giants could end in the division if they lose, and PHI and GB both win this week.

Under these circumstances, DAL would be 9-3 and 3-1 in the division, PHI would be 8-4 and 3-1 in the division, and NYG would be 6-6 and 2-2 in the division.  However, they are not necessarily even out of the division at this point.  DAL plays NO, PHI, and SD, and thus has three games that have a decent chance of being losses.  PHI also plays NYG, SF, DEN, and DAL, so they don't have a simple win on their schedule.

For the Giants, if they were to win their last 4 games, then they would have given PHI a loss.  If DAL were to beat PHI in week 17, then PHI could fall to 10-6 with NYG, and the Giants would win the divisional tiebreaker to finish second in the division.  If PHI were to beat DAL, things become a little murky, but there are still ways to finish 2nd in the division.  The Giants chances are drastically higher if they finish second in the division.

Now, assuming that NYG finishes 2nd in the division, then since we are looking at a "win out" situation for the Giants, we can say they would be 8-4 in conference.  If we assume PHI beats SF, then SF is eliminated from contention.  Otherwise, SF could techncially throw a wrench into the whole scenario.  ATL would be eliminated from all tiebreakers involving NYG by conference record alone (if not by head to head).  Thus, GB would be the only remaining team in contention for a wildcard berth, so NYG would get at least the 6 seed.

If the Giants finish 3rd in their division, then they would need a tiebreak victory over GB.  In a 2-way tiebreak at 10-6, they would indeed win the tiebreak, either by conference record (if GB's 2 losses come from CHI/SEA/ARI), or by common games (if GB loses to PIT).  Still, ATL would be eliminated on conference record if not via H2H (depending on which teams are in the tiebreak).  Finally, SF could throw a wrench into things by winning out, as they would win the tiebreak on conference record, but in doing so, they would beat PHI, which makes NYG less likely to finish 3rd in their division.

Putting all this together, if NYG loses this week, and PHI and GB win, then NYG could make the playoffs with
1) NYG win out + GB loses at least 2 games + SF loses at least 1 game OR
2) NYG win out + DAL beats PHI + SF loses at least 1 game OR
3) NYG win out + DAL beats PHI + GB loses at least 2 games

Of course, that result requires the Giants to all win their last four games.  The tables could turn quickly.  If NYG were then to lose to PHI in week 14, then the Giants would be eliminated from divisional contention, and would be all but eliminated from contention for 2nd seed (it would fall to a SoV tiebreaker if DAL were to lose their last 4 games).  If GB were to win in week 14 as well, then NYG could only make the playoffs by having DAL lose out + lose the SoV tiebreaker to NYG or having GB lose out plus also having ATL lose a conference game, and having SF lose 2 games.

The earliest the Giants could actually be officially eliminated is week 15.  The Giants would be eliminated in week 15 under the following results:
DAL beats NYG week 13 + PHI beats ATL week 13 + GB beats BAL week 13 + PHI beats NYG week 14 + DAL beats SD week 14 + GB beats CHI week 14 + (EITHER GB beats PIT week 15 or WAS beats NYG week 15).

Thus, in summary, if NYG loses this week, and PHI and GB both win, then the Giants still have a reasonable shot at the playoffs as long as they win out.  However, if the Giants also lose to PHI next week, then they are all but eliminated.  I hope this answers your question.

Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2009 10:47 pm

Looking Toward Week 13

hey guys I was just wondering what the Giants official playoff hopes would be if they lost this game and if the Eagles and Packers both won. what is the earliest week the giants could be eliminated? I know the Giants are not doing well, so please only give official details and not "well they need to win first" type of info. Thanks!

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2009 1:32 pm

Looking Toward Week 13

jmmj05 - thanks for clearing that up about overall records. So, winning percentages are used in tie-breaking steps, but NOT with overall records. Thus 10-4-2 is in fact no better than 11-5. The two records are equal. Thanks!

Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2009 12:29 pm

Looking Toward Week 13

consider 11-5-0 vs. 10-4-2These two records are considered to be identical, even though the winning percentages are different. A tie counts as half a win and half a loss.

I agree with you about "Common games sweeps". They should be used if they aren't currently.

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 1, 2009 1:55 pm

Looking Toward Week 13

This question is for Joe (anyone else feel free to respond as well).

In the Common Games tie-breaking step between 3 or more teams for a Wild Card, can a team win the Wild Card by "sweeping" Common Games? or likewise be eliminated from the Wild Card by being "swept" in Common Games?

This makes perfect sense to me. Since we know about Head-2-Head sweeps, why not have Common Games sweeps?

The Common Games step makes no stipulation about the the games being common among all the tied teams - although I believe this is what is usually inferred.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about...

Suppose Baltimore, Jacksonville, and San Diego finish with identical overall records and identical conference records. The next tie-breaking step is Common Games. However, Kansas City and Cleveland are the only common opponents among all three teams. The minimum requirement of 4 common games is not met and the tie-breaking step, therefore, is skipped over.

However, suppose Baltimore has a better common games record vs. Jacksonville AND a better common games record vs. San Diego. Wouldn't it make sense to award the Wild Card to Baltimore? Likewise, if Jacksonville and San Diego each have a better common games record vs. Baltimore, does it not make sense to eliminate Baltimore at this tie-breaking step?

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 1, 2009 1:31 pm

Looking Toward Week 13

Steelers, Thanks for the compliment.

As a Baltimore fan I tried explaining to people that it was better to lose to Indy than to Green Bay, however losing to both teams would be, by far, worse! I definitely would have rather beaten Indy than lost to Indy!

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 1, 2009 1:26 pm

Looking Toward Week 13

Juleswallet said: Everything is so symmetrical in a full 16 game season under the current scheduling format that you'd never have a case where two teams have an uneven number of games in any tiebreak subset from a full season.

I forget the teams involved and the exact totals but last year it was possible going into the last week of the season that Strength of Victory records for teams could have ended something like 71-88-1 for one team and 70-87-3 for another. I think because of the Philadelphia vs. Cincinnati tie. where one team had beaten Cincinnati twice and Philadelphia once, while the other team had beaten Cincinnati once.

Anyways, the point is that a single regular season tie could make S.oV. or S.oS. records come down to winning percentages. And of course, multiple ties could affect overall standings: consider 11-5-0 vs. 10-4-2.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: December 1, 2009 11:37 am

Looking Toward Week 13

pjdonald, in answer to the question of who would win the tiebreak between Minnesota and New Orleans you said:
Technically Minn, since they'll be 8-0 in conf games, while NO will be 7-0.its obviously moot in this case now since final conference record will be decisive in the Vikings favor in any tied scenario between these two. But for a minor point of clarification in general:  total game count is irrelevant since all the W-L-T based tiebreakers are explicitily defined as "best W-L-T percentage". I realize it only comes into hypothetical play in "If The Season Ended Today" breakdowns of an incomplate season.  Everything is so symmetrical in a full 16 game season under the current scheduling format that you'd never have a case where two teams have an uneven number of games in any tiebreak subset from a full season.

But I just wanted to point that out since strikes have been known to happen. 1-0, 8-0, 16-0, etc. are all the exact same thing as far as tiebreakers are concerned. 

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