Blog Entry

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Posted on: December 29, 2010 12:30 pm

Well, we made it through another tiebreaker season.  Thanks to all for your participation, well-thought out comments and feedback.   Atlanta losing on Monday night certainly made for an interesting group of scenarios for the #1 seed in the NFC, but Philadelphia laying an egg on Tuesday night simplified many things in the NFC.   Full scenarios are listed below.

- ATL will be #1 seed UNLESS they lose and either NO or CHI wins
- ATL will be #2 seed if they lose and NO loses and CHI wins
- ATL will be #5 seed if they lose and both NO and CHI win
- NO can only be a #1 or #5 seed and will be #1 if they win and ATL loses
- If NO not #1 seed, they will be #5 and play AT NFC West winner (STL or SEA) Wild Card weekend (Saints beat both teams this year at home)
- CHI is the #2 seed unless ATL and NO both lose and CHI wins...then CHI would be #1 seed
- PHI is the #3 seed and will host the #6 seed (either GB, NYG or TB) on Wild Card weekend
- The STL-SEA winner (or STL in case of a tie) will host ATL or NO (whichever doesn't win the South) on Wild Card weekend
- GB will know by game time if their opponent (CHI) is locked into #2 seed (CHI would need ATL and NO losses in 1pm ET games to have chance at #1 seed).
- If GB wins, they will play at PHI on Wild Card weekend as the #6 seed.
- If TB wins early, GB knows they will need to win to get into playoffs and TB will root for GB and NYG losses to get a trip to PHI.
- TB game only matters to NYG if the Giants tie WAS.
- NYG can only get in as #6 seed and would play at PHI for a third game this season against the Eagles with a WIN and GB loss
- If TB, GB and NYG all win or all lose, GB will play at PHI on Wild Card weekend based on GB winning strength of victory tiebreaker among the three teams at 10-6 or 9-7.   At 10-6, GB would have a minimum wins by defeated opponents of 74 while NYG and TB would have maximums of 65 and 59 wins respectively.  At 9-7, GB would have a minimum wins by defeated opponents of 63 while NYG and TB would have maximum of 61 and 49 wins respectively. 


  CLINCHED:    Atlanta - playoff spot.
               Chicago - NFC North division and a first-round bye.
               Philadelphia - NFC East division.
               New Orleans - playoff spot.
  ELIMINATED:  Carolina, Detroit, Washington, Dallas, Minnesota, Arizona,
               San Francisco.

 ATLANTA Falcons
  Atlanta clinches NFC South division and a first-round bye:
   1) ATL win or tie
   2) NO loss or tie
  Atlanta clinches homefield advantage:
   1) ATL win or tie
   2) NO loss or tie + CHI loss or tie

  Chicago clinches homefield advantage:
   1) CHI win + ATL loss + NO loss or tie

  New Orleans clinches NFC South and homefield advantage:
   1) NO win + ATL loss

 GREEN BAY Packers
  Green Bay clinches a playoff spot:
   1) GB win
   2) GB tie + NYG loss or tie + TB loss or tie
   3) NYG loss + TB loss

  NY Giants clinch a playoff spot:
   1) NYG win + GB loss or tie
   2) NYG tie + GB loss + TB loss or tie

 TAMPA BAY Buccaneers
  Tampa Bay clinches a playoff spot:
   1) TB win + NYG loss or tie + GB loss or tie
   2) TB tie + NYG loss + GB loss

  St. Louis clinches NFC West division:
   1) STL win or tie

 SEATTLE Seahawks
  Seattle clinches NFC West division:
   1) SEA win


Since: Nov 27, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2010 3:44 pm

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Look Chili,this is the last time I post to you on this subject. I tried to have an reasonable conversation about this, and it didn't work out.  It started off fun, but just got frustrating (see fist line of last paragraph).  I'll say it one more time..when I say it doesn't matter, it is because IN THE PLAYOFFS, the better team wins.  If you aren't even the third best non division winner, how can you be a legit Super Bowl contender.  You say logic and facts support that it matters, but except for your NFC South record fact, you never use facts.  Ever.  And if your facts are about how it is affecting playoff teams, why do you include Carolina in your NFC South record.  They are the worst team in the league.  Take out there record, and I'm guessing the NFC South (the three teams in playoff contention) have a winning record.
I looked at the SOS and SOV for the wild card race.  You say this is where it is affected most.  Three out of the four current wild card teams have SOS above 500.  I think schedule could have an impact on wild card race and sometimes does, but the facts aren't holding true to that this year.  Although having four divisions would avoid situations like the NFC West this year, you can't artificially create rivalries.  Rivalries stand the test of time.  And rivalries aren't special if EVERY game (or almost every game) is a rivalry.
If your best defense is "your facts don't support your argument" (you never state how), or "maybe the AFC West is bad too" (no facts used whatsoever), you have nothing in the way of a reasonable argument.  I'll leave you with this one last thought.  The NFL is the most popular far.  Not even close.  21 of the the top 45 most watched broadcasts of all time are NFL games.  The Super Bowl is the most watched single day sporting event in the world.  The sport is at it's most popular ever.  The rating for Sunday and Monday night football smashed the competition this year.  I'm not sure what's not working when its popularity is at an all-time high.  Good luck with "fixing" whatever you think is "broke".  If it makes you feel better to have your two cents made clear to the league, go ahead.  You shouldn't let anyone stop you if that's what you want to do.  I'm sure the NFL loves to hear from its fans.  If it makes you feel better about watching the sport, than go for it.  You just need to realize that when you have a few people writing long posts with what they see wrong with your argument (you have more posts in response to your idea on the first NFC scenario thread as well as this one), you probably need to change your argument.  It might not be that you are wrong.  It might just be the way you are presenting your views (talking about how terrible the AFC South has been and going to 8 divisions caused 12 playoff teams really didn't help your credibility).  I look forward to more of your posts because you do present some interesting ideas.  But I'm done on this idea.  I'll let the other guys run with it if they choose.  You have had posts that I agree with.  This is not one of them.

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 3:41 pm

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios


13-3 in the games bewtween the South and the West is a "massive benefit"

Ask the New York Giants if they would like to trade one tough opponent for a weak opponent - it would get them out of losing the tiebreaker

Any person can look at the numbers and see significant disparities since 2002

A good number of teams have gotten easier schedules

If Tampa beat Detroit this year, we would be looking at them getting the wildcard ahead of Green Bay - with a low SoV

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 3:34 pm

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios


one can take the bad teams out of any division comparison

The NFC South is 13-3 against the West     &
nbsp; nothing compares to that

In this league, one or two games means the wildcard  -  many times it is the tiebreaker


If compares Conference wins for this season

East  21

North  24

South   27

West  16

All the wins got transferred to the NFC South from the NFC West

That is a swing of 40% off the average


The logic and the facts say that the 8-divisions are not working

I guess going back to 6-divisions or even 4-divisions would improve the situation.    &

I see some people are comfortable with always having a DOG DIVISION.    I don't like it.    These small divisions magnify the issues.   Larger divisions would more often always have strong teams.    And the differences in the strengths of the divisions would not be magnified in the schedules and distort the wildcard races the way they have.

It is the distortion 

It affects the scheduling of the games and the playoff races and the seeding of the playoffs.

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 2:33 pm

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

NFC South is 11-13 in those select games... yes, ... because CAR is 0-6!  ATL & NOR both split with BAL & PIT (all the home teams won).  And I don't see a "massive benefit" from those six games in the schedule.  The Giants for example in those six games play four cupcakes (DET, MIN, SEA, CAR).

In other words, if WAS, DAL, DET, or MIN were in the NFC West the division would still be awful... there are bad teams in every division.  And there's no argument that can be made as to why ATL or NOR wouldn't have gone 5-1 or 6-0 in their conference non-division games even if they played the full NFC East or North divisions this year.

Also, you can make the case that San Diego missed the playoffs due to the NFC West schedule.  They were 2-2 while Kansas City was 4-0 against the NFC West.

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 1:05 pm

Rethinking the 8 Division Structure

"As Jeff pointed out, playing 7 teams H2H home and away leaves very little left on the schedule."


I know that is a valid consideration but maybe its better

Maybe the fans would enjoy the RIVALRIES more if each team had to play 7 teams a year twice.   It is worth thinking about.

It makes little sense to play teams clear across the country once every three or four years.

I would rather see the Giants play Green Bay twice a year.   The Bears twice a year.    Let the rivalries develop.


So, yea, I would "war game" a 4-Division Structure with 7 H2H rivalries for each team.

I think the fans would like it better in the long run.


Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 12:41 pm

NFC South

Vito and

Take a look at this

NFC South is 34 - 26 on the year

 Take out the NFC West games (13-3) and the Division games in which they play themselves

And the NFC South is 11-13 OUTSIDE their Division.    That is a losing record

and one game in Detroit almost led to the NFC South getting homefield advantage and BOTH wildcard

And this guy is saying "it doesn't matter"    
;  LOGIC and FACTS say it does matter.

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 11:46 am

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios


This whole question deserves thought and examination

My post below got cut off.    The NFC West is .250 with the rest of the NFC 6-18.

and you said it, those wins are sitting in the NFC South

Maybe the AFC West is bad too


The point is the NFC South received a massive benefit    Six games with the NFC West and Carolina

When one or two wins makes all the difference, this is important and it does matter

This is happening all the time with the 8 division structure and this rotation.


Remember, when these teams are playing their easy games, the teams with the tough schedules are getting banged-up in tough games

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 11:34 am

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

I have to disagree.    The logic and fact clearly show that every year there are issues.    Playoff teams get thrown off, and the seedings would be different under a more balanced situation.    I said more balanced because nothing is perfect  games)

That is 6-18.     That means there are 12 "extra wins" around the NFC.     Those extra wins are in the NFC South.

That DISTORTS the wildcard race and the seedings.     It does matter.   And the differences are there.    We spend so much time on tiebreakers, what does one or two extra wins do to the tiebreakers?


Another example, Atlanta, New Orleans and Tampa All have

1)   one game with each NFC West team

2)   two games with Carolina

That is SIX games

Atlanta has 12 wins,  New Orleans has 11 wins, and Tampa has 9 wins.     
AND 6 of the m are those teams (5 for Atlanta)   Then these teams are getting compared for the wildcard.     It really would be a situation if Tampa had beaten Detroit and we were looking at both wildcards coming out of the South with these six games on their schedule.

Green Bay AND the Giants could easily have been left out.



The point is that it seems that these situations are developing all the time with the 8-Division structure

There has to be a better way

I never got the impression that the 6-Division structure did strange imbalances and distortions.    And yes, I have wondered if a 4-Division structure would have so much flexibility that little of this would happen.

It is happening

The issue of RIVALRIES comes up and clearly a 4-Division structure would yield far more rivalries.   I think the fans would like more rivalries, instead of the spread-out situation we have now

I think we should experiment with something radically different.


Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 11:18 am

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Others have touched on some points I was going to make, but let me add a few more.

1.  If the NFC West is that bad, how come more wins didn't end up in the AFC West?  They also played that division round-robin.  Furthermore, I would argue that ATL and NOR may have done very well against whatever NFC division they were up against.  So really only Tampa may have capitalized on playing a weaker division, and they are still a longshot at the playoffs.

BTW, the NFC West wasn't a complete disaster... ARZ beat NOR, SEA won at CHI.  Of course, they did give CAR both their wins.

For the record, against divisions, NFC West was:
3-13 vs. NFC South
7-9 vs. AFC West
2-2 vs. NFC East (all home games)
1-3 vs. NFC North (all road games)

2.  There are other factors that make a schedules imbalanced between teams, more than just who you play.  I'm referring to whether you play a team at home vs. on the road, who is injured when you play them, even weather conditions.  But mostly this controversy is due to the large number of teams in the league vs. comparably few games a team plays, and I don't see any fix to that.

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 11:09 am

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Thank you for your comments

But helicopters have little to do with this

My point is that since 2002, it appears that the 8-division structure has led to major imbalances which are unnecessary.

And the points you make really do not support your position


Having one strong team and three weak teams is not a good situation for anyone - the fans do not get competitive games.

Ironically, having three strong teams and one weak team doesn't work well either.    Everyone gets dragged down with a difficult schedule and then compared to teams with easy schedules


The other thing you are missing is one has to pull out the Division games to compare how a Division is doing with the rest of the Conference.

The NFC West is .250 on the year against the rest of the NFC.    That is quite a disparity.   And yes, the benefits of that are in the NFC South.


I'm really not complaining about this year.   I'm using these as examples.    It just seems that since 2002, the 8-Division structure is ALWAYS creating some kind of issue.

It is the sum total of all these issues.    The 8-Division structure is always up to something.

The key is the structure and the rotation is SUPPOSED to create some kind of balance.    It doesn't, it throws things OUT OF BALANCE.


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