Blog Entry

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios

Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:18 am
 
So week 13 has come and gone and we now have 4 games left in the playoff race.   We only eliminated one team (JAC on Monday night), but we did get two teams into the Playoffs.   Congrats to the Green Bay Packers for winning the NFC North division title and to the San Francisco 49ers for securing the NFC West division title.  Somehow I don't think Mike Singletary is celebrating much this week...but don't tell him I said that.  ;-)

Week 13 saw some separation in the AFC with the top teams (BAL, PIT, NE, HOU) all winning to get to 9-3.  The Denver Tebows keep on rolling and now control their own destiny in the West with Oakland's loss to Miami.  

In the NFC, Dallas tripped up against Arizona and gave life to the Giants as both teams still control their own destiny for the division title.  GB and SF look like they are headed for bye weeks, but New Orleans will give the Niners a run for their money with a relatively weak schedule.  And Detroit and Chicago both look like teams that are not headed in the right direction.

Here's the PLAYOFF PICTURE for WEEK 14:

AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

CLINCHED:  None
ELIMINATED:  INDIANAPOLIS (Wk 12), JACKSONVILLE (Wk 13) 

NEW ENGLAND clinches AFC East division title with:
1) WIN + NYJ loss.

HOUSTON clinches AFC South division title with:
1) WIN + TEN loss

PITTSBURGH clinches playoff berth with:
1) WIN + CIN loss + NYJ loss + TEN loss
2) WIN + CIN loss + TEN loss + OAK loss + DEN loss
3) WIN + CIN loss + NYJ loss + OAK loss + DEN loss


NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

CLINCHED: GREEN BAY (NFC NORTH), SAN FRANCISCO (NFC WEST)
ELIMINATED: MINNESOTA (Wk 12), ST. LOUIS (Wk 12) 

GREEN BAY clinches a first-round bye with:
1) WIN
2) TIE + NO loss/tie
3) NO loss

NEW ORLEANS clinches NFC South division title with:
1) WIN + ATL loss

NEW ORLEANS clinches playoff berth with:
1) WIN + CHI loss
2) WIN + DET loss

Comments

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 10, 2011 10:46 am
 

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios

@noob

Regarding ARZ possible elimination at 8-8, I think your gut reaction that ARZ can win SOV is correct.  To restate the scenario, is ARZ eliminated w/ a loss + CHI win + DET win + ATL win?  That would give ARZ min 8 losses, while the other have a min of 8 wins.  Assume, for the moment, that those are the only 4 teams tied.  DET defeats CHI by div rec.  Then DET-ATL-ARZ are in a 3 way tie, with no h2h, all 6-6 conf, common games NA.  Any of the 3 teams could win via SOV (I verified this through analysis and using the ESPN playoff machine).

Since ARZ is still alive in this scenario, we can stop here.  However, if they were eliminated in this scenario, other things to consider would be ties including other teams at 8-8, including DAL, NYG, PHI, WAS, TB, and/or SEA.  TB could jump over ATL at 8-8 via h2h.



Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 10, 2011 10:36 am
 

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios

@brett

Really appreciate your analysis of this SOV tiebreaker.  When I did my analysis, I looked at each team (NE, BAL, HOU) in a bubble.  I decided to do this since analyzing common wins among the three teams is so difficult.  What my method admittedly doesn't take into account is how one team (NE) reaching their max SOV wins affects another team's (BAL) min SOV wins.

I ran into this on the fly while posting, in my note about the KC/NYJ game.  NE has defeated both KC and NYJ, so they are guaranteed 1 win from this game.  However, if NYJ win, they get 2 victories (NE has defeated NYJ 2x).  BAL, on the other hand, has defeated NYJ and did not play KC, so they would get nothing from a KC win but 1 from a NYJ win.  So the way I calculated the ranges (in a bubble) did not account for NE giving BAL another win by maximizing their SOV wins.

I did not look into this for future weeks, but I think the NYJ/PHI game also falls into this category - NE has defeated both, BAL defeated NYJ.  We would theoretically also have to see if NE can "steal" games from BAL the same way, but since NE lost to PIT I don't think this is possible.

The other common wins are IND and SD.  So IND/TEN or IND/JAX, BAL min goes up w/ IND win or NE max goes down w/ IND loss.

Maybe we're in agreement w/ Joe that BAL has clinched SOV in the NE-BAL-HOU 13-3 tiebreak?!?!

Changing topics, your posting of the common games spreadsheet inspired me to add common games calculations to my cheat sheet.  You had asked for help in updating the data... I have data I could provide, but I'm not sure how to get it to you.



Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2011 11:36 pm
 

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios

To Joe and all other fellow tiebreaker gurus,

To Joe specifically as our fearless leader.  That post about Miami and their elimination process was a most awesome read.  I totally enjoyed reading that whole thing from start to finish.  Simply great analysis.  Thank you very much.

And to all the other tiebreaker gurus.  Thank you for the many other postings about the many other potential knock out scenarios this week.  Great stuff guys.  It was most appreciated.  It is indeed weird that Lensova hasn't been here so far this year.  I indeed hope all is well with him.  He always had great postings and was awesome at the who controls what seeds musings. 

Here's to a fun rest of week 14 and to a great final 3 weeks of the season. 

Jeff    Wink



Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:07 pm
 

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios

Brett,

Vito's analysis was correct, as it included 4 wins for HOU required for the scenario to exist in the first place.



Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2011 9:33 pm
 

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios

All,

An interesting development from this week, is that it is possible that THREE teams will have  clinched AFC play-off spots (NE/PIT/HOU), but it would still be another team (BAL -- that has not yet clinched) that controls its own destiny for HFA.




Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2011 5:33 pm
 

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios

Brett...

I may be reading your post wrong, but assuming the whole premise of your analysis is a 3-way tie with BAL-NE-HOU leading to SOV, that would REQUIRE HOU to win out.

In your list of games where any ONE of those results occur and give BAL SOV advantage...THREE games have HOU winning (which of course is needed for this analysis).  So...i'm guessing if your full analysis is correct, you have surmised that BAL has indeed already clinched tiebreaker advantage over NE and HOU in a 3-way tie at 13-3.



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2011 3:27 pm
 

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios

Sorry about the fomatting. Hope this is better:

re: NE-Bal-Hou tie at 13-3.

Earlier this week we were talking about a potential 3-way tie at 13-3 between New England, Baltimore, and Houston. We know this tie comes down to Strength of Victory (SoV) and we seem to all agree Houston cannot catch Baltimore. Most people agreed that New England still had an outside shot at catching Baltimore but there seemed to be disagreement over how many results needed to go in their favor.


Here's what I found (and I feel pretty good about it).

I found 27 remaining games that affect the SoV tiebreaker between Baltimore and New England. Of these 27, all must go in New England's favor (or 26 in their favor plus 1 tie game). Last night's Pit-Cle game was not one of the 27. If New England gets 26 of the 27 in their favor (or 25 in their favor plus 2 tie games), they tie Baltimore in Sov, causing Houston to drop out of the 3-way tie. Once Houston drops out, Baltimore wins the 2-way tiebreaker over New England in common games, 5-0 to 4-1.
This means that Baltimore clinches the 3-way tiebreaker with New England and Houston (at 13-3) if they get any one of the following 27 results (or if they get 2 tied games out of the 27).

Week 14
Mia loss (vs. Phi)
Den loss (vs. Chi)
Oak loss (at GB)
Dal loss (at NYG)
Cin win (vs. Hou)
SD win (vs. Buf)*
StL win (at Sea)

Week 15
Mia loss (at Buf)
KC loss (vs. GB)
Oak loss (vs. Det)
Was loss (at NYG)
Dal loss (at TB)
Pit win (at SF)
Cin win (at StL)
Cle win (at Ari)
Hou win (vs. Car)

Week 16
NYJ loss (vs. NYG)
Ind loss (vs. Hou)*
Was loss (vs. Min)
Pit win (vs. StL)
Cin win (vs. Ari)
SF win (at Sea)

Week 17
Dal loss (at NYG)
NYJ win (at Mia)*
SD win (at Oak)*
Hou win (vs. Ten)
Ari win (vs. Sea)

*You could cancel out Ind and SD, and partially cancel out NYJ, since NE and Bal share these teams in their SoV. However, the four games marked with an '*' would still show up on the list of 27 games. For example, instead of having

[SD win (vs. Buf)], you would have
[Buf loss (at SD)].

The reason I did it the way I did is because technically SD's win affects Bal's SoV, but Buf's loss does not affect NE's SoV. (NE will have beaten both Buf and SD.) The only reason [Buf loss (at SD)] is relevant is because it gives a win to Bal's SoV.


Side notes

The above analysis means there were very likely scenarios last week (and possibly the week before) in which Baltimore could have clinched the 3-way tiebreaker with New England and Houston at 13-3.

Amazingly, none of the 27 games count for more than a single result. None are double, triple, or quadruple counted.
- For example, if Pittsburgh were scheduled to play Miami, this game would be quadruple counted (twice for New England and twice for Baltimore).


Here (below) is some explanation for the few people who also attempted the SoV analysis between NE and Bal.

Currently: NE 66-90, Bal 78-78.
- This does not include last night's Pit-Cle game, but includes the current records of teams NE and Bal would beat in weeks 14-17.

Factoring in 7 future losses to NE's SoV and 6 future losses to Bal's SoV: NE 66-97, Bal 78-84.
- This counts SD and Ind losses to Bal in NE's SoV. Also, Mia loss (to NE) counts twice for NE, while Cin and Cle losses (to Bal) count twice for Bal.

There are 12 future games that are guaranteed to give NE 13 wins and 13 losses. NE 79-110
- [NYJ at Mia] yields two of each.

There are 11 future games that are guarenteed to give Bal 13 wins and 13 losses. Bal 91-97
- [Cle at Pit] and [Pit at Cle] yield two of each. The first technically is no longer "future", but since it was not counted above, it must be counted here.

If any of the games just factored in were to end tied, it would yield 2 ties (or 4 ties) to the SoV record, equivalent to adding 1 win and 1 loss (or 2 wins and 2 losses). Thus all potential tied games are accounted for.

This leaves 19 games left for NE and 20 games left for Bal. However, 6 are the same for each, and in each of these 6 games, Bal and NE's SoV benefit from the same team winning. We can therefore ignore these 6 games.

This leaves:
- 13 games left for NE, meaning their best possible SoV record (ignoring the 6 common games) is 92-110.
- 14 games left for Bal, meaning their worst possible SoV record (ignoring the 6 common games) is 91-111.

Thus, if any one of these 27 games (13 for NE, 14 for Bal) go in Baltimore's favor, Bal clinches a tie with NE in SoV.
- The same is true if any two of the 27 games  go "half-way" in Bal's favor (any two end tied).
- Remember, clinching a tie with NE in SoV is sufficient for clinching the 3-way tiebreaker with NE and Hou.

As Joe has pointed out in the past, you can do the same analysis counting only the "wins" in a team's SoV.
I, however, feel like I am less likely to make a mistake if I include the losses.



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2011 3:17 pm
 

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios

re: NE-Bal-Hou tie at 13-3.<br /><br />Earlier this week we were talking about a potential 3-way tie at 13-3 between New England, Baltimore, and Houston. We know this tie comes down to Strength of Victory (SoV) and we seem to all agree Houston cannot catch Baltimore. Most people agreed that New England still had an outside shot at catching Baltimore but there seemed to be disagreement over how many results needed to go in their favor.<br /><br /><br />Here's what I found (and I feel pretty good about it).<br /><br />I found <strong>27 remaining games</strong> that affect the SoV tiebreaker between Baltimore and New England. Of these 27, <strong>all</strong> must go in New England's favor (or 26 in their favor plus 1 tie game). Last night's Pit-Cle game was not one of the 27. If New England gets 26 of the 27 in their favor (or 25 in their favor plus 2 tie games), they tie Baltimore in Sov, causing Houston to drop out of the 3-way tie. Once Houston drops out, Baltimore wins the 2-way tiebreaker over New England in common games, 5-0 to 4-1.<br />This means that Baltimore clinches the 3-way tiebreaker with New England and Houston (at 13-3) if they get any one of the following 27 results (or if they get 2 tied games out of the 27).<br /><br /><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Week 14</span><br />Mia loss (vs. Phi)<br />Den loss (vs. Chi)<br />Oak loss (at GB)<br />Dal loss (at NYG)<br />Cin win (vs. Hou)<br />SD win (vs. Buf)*<br />StL win (at Sea)<br /><br /><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Week 15</span><br />Mia loss (at Buf)<br />KC loss (vs. GB)<br />Oak loss (vs. Det)<br />Was loss (at NYG)<br />Dal loss (at TB)<br />Pit win (at SF)<br />Cin win (at StL)<br />Cle win (at Ari)<br />Hou win (vs. Car)<br /><br /><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Week 16</span><br />NYJ loss (vs. NYG)<br />Ind loss (vs. Hou)*<br />Was loss (vs. Min)<br />Pit win (vs. StL)<br />Cin win (vs. Ari)<br />SF win (at Sea)<br /><br /><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Week 17</span><br />Dal loss (at NYG)<br />NYJ win (at Mia)*<br />SD win (at Oak)*<br />Hou win (vs. Ten)<br />Ari win (vs. Sea)<br /><br />*You could cancel out Ind and SD, and partially cancel out NYJ, since NE and Bal share these teams in their SoV. However, the four games marked with an '*' would still show up on the list of 27 games. For example, instead of having<br /><br />[SD win (vs. Buf)], you would have<br />[Buf loss (at SD)].<br /><br />The reason I did it the way I did is because technically SD's win affects Bal's SoV, but Buf's loss does not affect NE's SoV. (NE will have beaten both Buf and SD.) The only reason [Buf loss (at SD)] is relevant is because it gives a win to Bal's SoV.<br /><br /><br /><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Side notes</span><br /><br />The above analysis means there were very likely scenarios last week (and possibly the week before) in which Baltimore could have clinched the 3-way tiebreaker with New England and Houston at 13-3.<br /><br />Amazingly, none of the 27 games count for more than a single result. None are double, triple, or quadruple counted.<br />- For example, if Pittsburgh were scheduled to play Miami, this game would be quadruple counted (twice for New England and twice for Baltimore).<br /><br /><br /><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Here (below) is some explanation for the few people who also attempted the SoV analysis between NE and Bal.</span><br /><br />Currently: <strong>NE 66-90, Bal 78-78</strong>. <br />- This does not include last night's Pit-Cle game, but includes the current records of teams NE and Bal would beat in weeks 14-17.<br /><br />Factoring in 7 future losses to NE's SoV and 6 future losses to Bal's SoV: <strong>NE 66-97, Bal 78-84</strong>.<br />- This counts SD and Ind losses to Bal in <em>NE's</em> SoV. Also, Mia loss (to NE) counts twice for NE, while Cin and Cle losses (to Bal) count twice for Bal.<br /><br />There are 12 future games that are guaranteed to give NE 13 wins and 13 losses. <strong>NE 79-110</strong><br />- [NYJ at Mia] yields two of each.<br /><br />There are 11 future games that are guarenteed to give Bal 13 wins and 13 losses. <strong>Bal 91-97</strong><br />- [Cle at Pit] and [Pit at Cle] yield two of each. The first technically is no longer "future", but since it was not counted above, it must be counted here.<br /><br />If any of the games just factored in were to end tied, it would yield 2 ties (or 4 ties) to the SoV record, equivalent to adding 1 win and 1 loss (or 2 wins and 2 losses). Thus all potential tied games are accounted for.<br /><br />This leaves 19 games left for NE and 20 games left for Bal. However, 6 are the same for each, and in each of these 6 games, Bal and NE's SoV benefit from the same team winning. We can therefore ignore these 6 games.<br /><br />This leaves:<br />- 13 games left for NE, meaning their <em>best</em> possible SoV record (ignoring the 6 common games) is <strong>92-110</strong>
.<br />- 14 games left for Bal, meaning their <em>worst</em> possible SoV record (ignoring the 6 common games) is <strong>91-111</strong>
.<br /><br />Thus, if any one of these 27 games (13 for NE, 14 for Bal) go in Baltimore's favor, Bal clinches a tie with NE in SoV.<br />- The same is true if any two of the 27 games  go "half-way" in Bal's favor (any two end tied).<br />- Remember, clinching a tie with NE in SoV is sufficient for clinching the 3-way tiebreaker with NE and Hou.<br /><br />As Joe has pointed out in the past, you can do the same analysis counting only the "wins" in a team's SoV.<br />I, however, feel like I am less likely to make a mistake if I include the losses. <br /><br />




Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:45 am
 

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios

Eric K.  

Good job on this.  One tweak to your analysis is that JAC would beat TEN in your scenario on H2H vs. division as TEN winning out would give them a sweep of JAC.  

Good to see SD winning that SOV/SOS over DEN in that scenario and I agree with the numbers you have.


SO....we have CLEVELAND ELIMINATED now.  More to come this Sunday.    



Since: Dec 17, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:22 pm
 

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios

Here's the message I posted to the Week 13 comments by mistake, with some edits.

For this week, I have CLE and CAR as the only two teams that are automatically eliminated with a loss this week. CLE would effectively clinch last place by losing any of their remaining games. CAR would be unable to surpass CHI or DET in any tiebreaking step.

MIA would not be completely eliminated with a loss this weekend. Here's how they could still qualify for the postseason:

1. MIA must win the other three remaining games.
2. NYJ, CIN, TEN, DEN, and OAK lose all their remaining games.
3. JAX wins all remaining games.
4. BUF loses to SD and MIA, then beats DEN and NE.
5. SD beats BUF, loses to BAL and DET, and beats OAK.
6. NE, BAL, PIT, HOU, and KC all clinch playoff berths.
7. CLE loses at least one more game.

Thus, MIA, NYJ, BUF, CIN, JAX, TEN, SD, DEN, and OAK are all tied at 7-9.
In the AFC East, BUF is eliminated in the H2H among those teams. MIA would have a better division record than NYJ (4-2 to 3-3), so MIA gets second place.
In the AFC South, JAX advances ahead of TEN based on division record (4-2 to 1-5).

In the AFC West, each of SD, DEN, and OAK split their series amongst themselves. OAK is eliminated because of worse division record (2-4). SD and DEN are tied in H2H, division record, common games (explaining SD win over BUF), conference record (explaining SD loss to BAL). In SOV, among non-common victories, SD has victories over DEN, BUF and JAX, while DEN has victories over SD, CIN and NYJ, all of whom have 7 wins. (This is why I need JAX to win all their games, and BUF to beat NE). So DEN and SD are tied in SOV. So it comes down to SOS. The only differences are SD played BAL and JAX, while DEN played CIN and TEN. TEN and JAX each have 7 wins, while BAL has more wins than CIN. Thus SD gets 2nd place in the AFC West.

So then we compare MIA, CIN, JAX, and SD for the 2nd wild card spot. H2H doesn't apply, but JAX has worse conference record (5-7) than the others (6-6). Among MIA, CIN, and SD, the SOV tiebreaker (and the 2nd wild card) could go to MIA.

Some notes: in a two-way tie between MIA and CIN, CIN would advance (3-2 to 2-3 in games against BUF, CLE, HOU, DEN). So MIA needs a third team from another division to finish 7-9 and 6-6 in conference. Only SD or DEN could do so, but DEN already has wins over CIN and MIA and would advance H2H. Thus SD must finish 2nd in AFC West. KC must finish with at least 7 wins since they need to beat NYJ and either DEN or OAK. If DEN clinches the AFC West with SD, KC, and OAK all finishing 7-9, then KC gets 2nd place based on H2H (KC sweeps OAK).

The only possible variant I could find is OAK to win AFC West, and KC to beat NYJ and DEN and lose to GB and OAK. SD still clinches 2nd place over KC (based on conference record) and DEN (based on SOS).



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