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Blog Entry

WEEK 15 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:20 am
 

Week 14 brought us some separation as the top teams in the AFC (NE, BAL, HOU, PIT) all won and the Jets grabbed a Wild Card spot for now with a badly needed win since all 5 of NYJ's losses are conference losses.  And then there's DEN-BOW.  Seriously?  This story just keeps on getting more and more incredible each week!

On the NFC side, NYG pulled out a huge late win at DAL and secured the lead in the NFC East (DAL could have clinched division title in wk 15 if they had won).  GB and NO continued their positive push forward with NO gaining a playoff berth and GB getting a first round bye, but the field goal happy 49ers stumbled against ARI.  DET and ATL kept up their Wild Card positions, but the Tebow-ed CHI squad is now on the outside looking in.

Playoff clinching scenarios for Week 15 are below.  Looked at DET and ATL potential clinching scenarios, but since both teams are playing AFC opponents they could still end up with 6-6 conference records (not typical for playoff teams) and DET can still be caught by CHI and lost to ATL H2H and ATL lost to CHI H2H...both teams have to wait at least another week for playoff qualification.

Also...since the only scenario keeping PIT from having already clinched a playoff berth is a PIT-TEN-DEN Wild Card tie at 10-6 that goes to Strength of Victory, we looked at whether any combination of game results during Wk 15 could clinch that SOV for PIT and there is none.  So PIT must rely on the scenarios below.

Joe

AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

Clinched: HOUSTON (AFC South Champ)
Eliminated: IND (Wk 12), JAC (Wk 13), BUF (Wk 14), CLE (Wk 14), MIA (Wk 14)  

NEW ENGLAND clinches division title with:
1) WIN
2) TIE + NYJ loss/tie
3) NYJ loss

NEW ENGLAND clinches playoff berth with:
1) TIE
2) CIN loss/tie + TEN loss/tie + OAK loss/tie

BALTIMORE clinches playoff berth with:
1) WIN or TIE
2) NYJ loss + TEN loss/tie
3) NYJ loss + OAK loss/tie
4) TEN loss/tie + OAK loss/tie

PITTSBURGH clinches playoff berth with:
1) WIN or TIE
2) NYJ loss
3) TEN loss/tie
4) OAK loss/tie
5) DEN loss

NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

Clinched: GREEN BAY (NFC North Champ + 1st Round Playoff Bye), SAN FRANCISCO (NFC West Champ), NEW ORLEANS (Playoff)
Eliminated: MIN (Wk 12), STL (Wk 12), CAR (Wk 14), TB (Wk 14), WAS (Wk 14) 

GREEN BAY clinches home-field advantage with:
1) WIN or TIE
2) SF loss/tie

NEW ORLEANS clinches division title with:
1) WIN + ATL loss/tie
2) TIE + ATL loss

Comments

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 17, 2011 11:53 am
 

WEEK 15 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Jerry (database),
Welcome back! Literally the day before you posted I was thinking of asking you for a job at NASA. I'm graduating this week with a B.S. in mechanical engineering (my 2nd degree - I used to be a math teacher). I happened to have excelled in control theory this semester and seemed to recollect that you did controls for the space shuttles.

re: Noob's head-to-head records scenario
I was ready to proclaim, "Noob for the win!", but then I saw Jerry's counter to Noob's argument and thought it was equally effective.

Noob,
You said:
database,

but then I still find it illogical, that within the division in a three-way tie, a 3-0-1 H2H record, counts as a tiebreaker. Whereas, within the conference a 1-0-1 (best among the tied teams) record does not count even, if all three games are played.

We all think that is illogical, including Jerry. Jerry was not saying the 1-0-1, 1-1-0, 0-1-1 case should not qualify. He was saying your hypothetical 4-way case with [2-0-1, ...] with an incomplete set of head-to-head games should not qualify.






Since: Nov 21, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 10:21 am
 

WEEK 15 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Brett, I challenged the official review and I get 1/100000. My method is too complicated to post here right now but basically I found the odds of divisional game tie in a year, then the odds of another team tying a game, multiplied by the odds of all 3 teams tying. I guess it's a moot point though, as it's obviously not 40



Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 17, 2011 9:58 am
 

WEEK 15 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Along with Joe weighing in on his thoughts on the matter, is there anyone else in this forum that feels like they've been mislead, duped, or plain thrown for a loop on this H2H sweep stuff. I love to here other people's thoughts on this too.
@database
I recall being really surprised last year when it came up that h2h winning pct might be employed if all teams involved have played a full round robin.  There's simply no mention of this in the tiebreaking text.  In my mind it would be hard for the NFL to justify deciding to use it, and there would be some very angry owners potentially missing out on playoff revenue.

Based on Joe's comments, when I look at my scenarios, I am going to apply h2h sweep (I think the definition is clear) only and ignore h2h winning pct, even for round robins.  The case where this came up was CHI - ATL - SEA all tied at 8-7-1 given ATL loss or tie this week and CHI/SEA tie.  CHI would be 1-0-1, ATL 1-1, SEA 0-1-1.  ATL won so it is moot for this particular scenario.  In any event, h2h sweep is not applicable so the process moves to conf rec.

Now, if you ask me, "Should the NFL add 'h2h winning pct' (when a full round robin has been played) to the multiple team wc tiebreak procedure?", I would probably say yes.  I can't think of a good reason to say no.

Regarding @noob's scenario where 5 of 6 possible games occurred between 4 tied teams:  This is a clever scenario.  It could come up if the league expands the schedule.  But even though Team A 2-0-1 has "clinched" the best h2h pct, it does not fit sweep criteria, and does not fit round robin criteria.  Therefore, all 4 teams would advance to next step.  To catch this case, I think there would need to be new explicit language in the tiebreaker text.

I would be remiss to not mention that I really like the way playoffrace.com explains the tiebreakers.  It does not skip a single detail.  Well done!



Since: Dec 26, 2009
Posted on: December 17, 2011 9:40 am
 

WEEK 15 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

database,

but then I still find it illogical, that within the division in a three-way tie, a 3-0-1 H2H record, counts as a tiebreaker. Whereas, within the conference a 1-0-1 (best among the tied teams) record does not count even, if all three games are played.



Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 17, 2011 9:25 am
 

WEEK 15 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

I think I missed something in SD elim scenario 3.  It should read:

3.  Loss + OAK win + KCY win + NYJ win/tie

I believe at 8-8 SD is still alive for a wc given a NYJ - TEN - SDG tie or NYJ - CIN - TEN - SDG tie.  CIN must lose to BAL, then all teams have 6-6 conf rec.  Common games are applicable - all teams are 3-2 w/ CIN being 2-3.  SD could win by SOV.




Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: December 17, 2011 9:14 am
 

WEEK 15 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Noob, regarding your quote, "... if Team B and C did in fact play each other (in lieu of another game on their respective schedules), then the 3-way tie may no longer exist. In other words, If team C had the chance to play (and beat) team B, then team C may have finished with a better overall record than the other 2 teams.". The reason this was a good argument against the 4 way case is that there was insufficient information to begin with to judge Team A H2H against the other opponents. When I say "insufficient information", I mean from a mathematical standpoint there is not a cross product of games between A and the other teams to make a definitive conclusion therefore there is insufficient mathematical basis for a sweep. This is when Brett in the past had suggested the clever idea of hypothetically supposing the best and worst case results of those unplayed H2H matchups. I gave this considerable thought but then it dawned on me that if you were to consider hypothetical results at the H2H level you would have to also consider the effect these hypothetical game results would have on a teams overall WLT record. With the case you've presented it is never necessary to consider any hypothetical games because you already have a sufficient mathematical basis for judging Team A against Team B and C without the need for B&C to have ever played each other. So you see there is no mathematical paradox of logic. H2H sweeps are sufficient mathematical basis for breaking ties and so is H2H record when round robins exist. The only time you run into to these logical paradoxes is when there does not exist sufficient mathematical basis in the first place. The best you can do in those circumstances is declare the step non-applicable and advance to the next step. -Cheers -Jerry



Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: December 17, 2011 8:25 am
 

WEEK 15 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

This H2H sweep issue by Elias is bothering me so much I can hardly sleep. Along with Joe weighing in on his thoughts on the matter, is there anyone else in this forum that feels like they've been mislead, duped, or plain thrown for a loop on this H2H sweep stuff. I love to here other people's thoughts on this too. By the way formatting doesn't work so well when blogging from an iPhone. -Cheers -Jerry



Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: December 17, 2011 8:00 am
 

WEEK 15 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Also, I definetly agree with Brett. Delete that section about 3 teams from the same division. This will make room in the procedure for us to add the round robin clause to the H2H sweep definition :) -Cheers -Jerry



Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: December 17, 2011 7:23 am
 

H2H chaos

Joe, I appreciate the kind words about the Shuttle. I hope your search is going well too. So Joe, does CBS and I and other sites for that matter need to again change the coding of how we handle H2H sweeps in our standings logic based on this flip-flop understanding of the conference H2H sweep. So am I understanding correctly, we are now going back to abandoning the concept of a round robin for H2H sweep in the absence of a pure sweep. What gives? Is Elias or the competition committee flip flopping their position on how to treat H2H for conference ties? Or have we been applying the step incorrectly for a decade+? I originally coded the standings logic to include the literal definition as it currently reads (only applicable if one team has beaten or lost to each of the others). Then at some point I was convinced by folks at this blog (Brett and Agn mostly) that you have always resorted to H2H record in the absence of a H2H sweep but in the presence of a round robin. So I went back and changed the code to reflect this unwritten rule and raised a stink about it last year along with the reverting rule so as we could get it included. Is this one of those subjects that we are going to get varying answers from year to year from Elias. It's essential that we get clarification on this H2H sweep application as it relates to round robins. I scoured through all of blog entries over the past several years and the best I could turn up in my semi thorough search was Brett and Agn quoting your discussions on the topic from past seasons. Unfortunately the CBS blogs only go back to 2009 now. I seem to remember them going back further but perhaps CBS has scrubbed some of the older years. Week 14 of 2009 is of particular interest. Couple references to the H2H topic here they are: http://joenfl.blogs.cbssports.com/m

cc/blogs/entry/18374161/18822796 http://joenfl.blogs.cbssports.com/m

cc/blogs/entry/18374161/18822796/17

Please please please touch more on this subject Joe! We must have a definitive understanding of this rule and I insist that we get clarification from the powers that be prior to the end of this season. I personally am in support of the H2H record if a round robin exists if there is no true sweep , because there is sufficient mathematical basis for doing so. I'll withhold my opinions of a group sweep for the time being. If we need to knock some sense it some folks over at Elias or the NFL. Let us know. But by God let's get some consensus on this subject and get it in writing for once and for all -Cheers -Jerry



Since: Dec 26, 2009
Posted on: December 17, 2011 4:21 am
 

WEEK 15 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Brett,

Under the current scheduling format, if a full sesason is played, there can never be exactly 5 head-to-head games played amongst a group of 4 teams. But you have a very valid point. I actually proposed the following last season.

Thought so. But didn't think it to the end myself, if there may be some crazy sceanrio. So good you did. And besides, whatever the PoV score is, 1,075-40 or 6,400,000-40 or else. Like you, I am willing to assume, there will be another realignment or rescheduling somewhen this millenium, so it may happen in the future. I think it would be nice to have the appropriate set of tiebreaker rules ready by then, let's say in the year 2525.

Despite this apparing perfectly logical to you and me, most people did not like this revision. The main argument against it was that if Team B and D did in fact play each other (in lieu of another game on their respective schedules), then the 4-way tie may no longer exist. In other words, If team D had the chance to play (and beat) team B, then team D may have finished with a better overall record than the other 3 teams. I'm not saying this should be the prevailing argument, but I believe it to be a solid one nonetheless.

Given that is the main argument against advancing on incomplete H2H sets, then the current H2H sweep/swept tiebreaker (example A: 2-0, B: 0-1, C: 0-1) must be eliminated too. I just rephrase your quote a little bit:

"... if Team B and C did in fact play each other (in lieu of another game on their respective schedules), then the 3-way tie may no longer exist. In other words, If team C had the chance to play (and beat) team B, then team C may have finished with a better overall record than the other 2 teams.

So imho this is no argument as people are already ignoring the fact under the current tiebreaker rules, that - assuming a hypthetical full set of games among the tied teams - there may be no tie.







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