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.

NOTES:
- 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. 

 NFC

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

 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
  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

 NEW YORK GIANTS
  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 Rams
  St. Louis clinches NFC West division:
   1) STL win or tie

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

Comments

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 10:38 am
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios




I'm just saying that we spend so much time with the tiebreakers in the wildcard race, we forget that the Strength of Schedules have created vastly different situations for these teams.


And sometimes the differencea are stark.





Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2010 10:32 am
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Ok thank you gwsmith. I looked at it wrong and thought they would tie. But now I see. Thanks!!!



Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2010 10:28 am
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

geerock:

Chicago would win the common opponents tiebreaker over Atlanta if Chicago wins and Atlanta loses.  CHI would be 4-1 while ATL would be 3-2.  New Orleans would also need to lose for Chigago to get the #1 seed, as NO has the conference record tiebreaker over CHI.



Since: Nov 27, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2010 10:27 am
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Chili,

I understand your point.  I liked six division better myself.  However, it only dilutes the seeding a little bit.  Not the playoff teams.  When I said it didn't matter, I meant it.  When it comes to the playoffs, the best team wins.  It is just hard to take your points to heart when your theories are debunked by things like logic and fact.

I took your advice and looked at the numbers. I looked up SOS and SOV to see if the men in the black suits and black helicopters were indeed involved in an elaborate cover up to make the teams look better.  I suggest you look at the numbers yourself, although I don't think you will like what you see. SOS is pretty even.  HALF the teams in the league (16 out of 32) have a SOS of 500 +/- .016.  HALF!!!! (and that does include the Falcons) The disparity you keep complaining about in SOS just isn't there.  Looking at SOV, the disparity just isn't there.  For teams in the playoffs (or at least currently would be), the only ones with low SOV is St. Louis (which is to be expected with how poor they are) and Kansas City(who was a last place team last year, therefore have a softer schedule).

I also took a look back at the whole entire history of the AFC South.  Only ONE time in its entire history were the Colts the only team with a winning record.  ONCE.  The AFC East and NFC East also have only had that happen only once since the 8 division format.  EVERY other division has had only one winning team on multiple occasions.  I'm not sure what time you were talking about, but again that was during the whole entire history of having 8 divisions.

The Falcons only got the 1 seed because they played the NFC West??????  If that were true, there SOS and SOV victory would be dragged down by the West. (And Carolina as well) But Falcons SOS and SOV victory are both higher than the Bears. By 53 points.  And that is with 5 really weak teams (the West and Carolina) on their schedule.  The Falcons also beat teams like the defending Super Bowl champion Saints (although I'm sure they are only good because they played the NFC South this year), Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Green Bay.  But they aren't really good, they just played the west this year.  

The Falcons playing the West cost the Bears HFA?  Not there losses to Seattle and Washington?  That couldn't have had anything to do with it?

The Falcons playing the West cost Philadelphia a bye?  Not that blown fourth quarter lead to Tennessee? Not losing at home to a 5-9 team with a very inexperienced starter at QB?

Listen, your main complaint is based somewhat in truth.  8 divisions does mess with playoff seeds, and fewer divisions would be more accurate.  However, you are greatly exaggerating the situation.  You need to present your case with a logical argument.  Facts help.  When you just spew emotions out, it often times falls when examined closer.  That is why your arguments are not holding up when you use evidence and facts.  




Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 10:20 am
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios



Vito


Thank you for your thoughts


I'm not saying any structure is perfect, I'm just saying that the 8-Division structure creates major issues


A 4-Division structure would even out the schedule, AND it would create MORE RIVALRIES.


I see little benefit to teams playing teams halfway across the nation once every three or four years.


Rivalries are far better


__________________________________



The wildcard races are where the real competition is, and yet that is where the greatest swings in Strength of Schedule is.



If you look at the average, the average Division would have two losing teams.    Of the teams over 500, half who do not win the Division get a wildcard.   It makes little sense to balance the schedules within the divisions, because the wildcards are there for half the second-place teams.


The wildcard race is where the balance is needed



Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2010 10:02 am
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Can someone please tell me how Chicago has the tiebreaker over Atlanta?



Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 9:33 am
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Im sorry the right numbers for the NFC West


IN Conference, they are 16 - 28.    


Take out the Division games, and they are 6-18 with all the other teams in the NFC




So there are 12 "extra" wins floating around the NFC as a result of the weakness of the NFC West - and the point is those extra wins are concentrated in the NFC SOUTH.     
; This has distorted the wildcard race AND the homefield advantages in the playoff seedings.



The 8 Division structure ends up causing some kind of distortion almost every year.



The strengths of the teams may change, but the structure almost always leads to some kind of distortion.
.     



Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 9:15 am
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios

Chili-
I also do not understanding the hang up between 8 divisions vs. 4 divisions.  Perhaps you can further explain how you think a 4-division NFL would work.  Would there be 2 divisions in a conference?  Would conferences still exist?  And what would a 16 or 18 game schedule look like?  As Jeff pointed out, playing 7 teams H2H home and away leaves very little left on the schedule.
The NFL schedule right now is set up to determine division champions.  I don't have a problem with this.  There has to be some reason behind determining opponents, when there are 32 teams and 16 games per team.  I like the way the rotations work.  It prevents what happened in the 80's, when the Dolphins (Marino) vs. Broncos (Elway) matchup rarely occurred.
Anyway, each division member plays the round-robin home/away schedule, plus 8 common games.  So the schedule provides a good measuring stick to rank the teams within a division.  For wild cards, it is less perfect, as schedules can be dissimilar, etc.  But it is true that for any non-divisional pairing of two teams, either they play H2H or the have at least 5 common games.
In terms of SOV/SOS, I addressed this in a previous post, but I don't think you can look at these values across the league and make judgement from them.  You can compare these values for teams with identical records and come to a rational conclusion.  But teams with extremely good or bad records skew the values.
It is true that with less teams in a division, the likelihood of a division with all bad teams increases.  But these things are cyclical so I don't think any reaction should be made based on one year.  Keep in mind that the NFC West has produced 3 different NFC champs in the past 10 years, while from the NFC North, only Green Bay & Chicago have won the NFC in the last 30 years.
Bottom line, do the playoffs include the best team?  Yes, no doubt.  Do they include the best 12 teams?  No, and I think that might be a rarity rather than the rule.  But short of everyone playing a full round-robin, which is obviously impractical, you could never definitively rank all the teams.




Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 9:12 am
 

Weak Divisions



The problem with weak 4-team Divisions is there when the Division is strong too



However, let's take a closer look at the NFC West


IN Conference, they are 18 - 28.    


Take out the Division games, and they are 8-18 with all the other teams in the NFC


That has created a SCHEDULE DISTORTION

_______________________



Who has gotten hurt?


1)   The Chicago Bears didn't get an even chance at the number 1 seed

2)   The Philadelphia Eagles probably lost a bye

3)    The Giants and the Packers are trying to get one playoff spot, when clearly they have had tougher schedules



The point is that the weakness of the NFC West has put extra wins into the NFC South, and that has distorted the entire process.

In addition, the easier games throughout the year makes it easier to prepare and handle the tougher games throughout the season.   The teams with tough schedules end up with tough games week after week.

Then after all the tough games, the records are compared with teams which had easy schedules.    Its a double hit.



Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 7:51 am
 

FINAL Week 17 NFC Playoff Scenarios






I trying to respond to you, but you really are not addressing the central point:  the diparities in the schedules and how this is made worse with 4-team divisions.


It would be far better to have less divisions which would result in more even schedules.



___________________



The question is whether the 8 Division structure is making the situation worse.







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