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 Post subject: Various NFL playoff links
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:52 pm 
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Some resources for figuring out whether your pet team has a shot at the playoffs..

http://www.coolstandings.com/football/football_standings.asp

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/playoffodds

http://files.nfl-forecast.com/

How valuable is a #1 playoff seed relative to a #6 seed? I wrote about this a while back:

http://codeandfootball.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/nfl-playoffs-how-home-field-advantage-affects-playoff-odds/

What's a useful (and statistically valid) formula to predict odds in the playoffs? This is the best one I've come up with:

http://codeandfootball.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/the-cf-nfl-playoff-model-what-it-says-about-previous-playoff-experience/

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 Post subject: Re: Various NFL playoff links
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:37 pm 
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dwmyers wrote:
What's a useful (and statistically valid) formula to predict odds in the playoffs? This is the best one I've come up with:

http://codeandfootball.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/the-cf-nfl-playoff-model-what-it-says-about-previous-playoff-experience/



very interesting...DWM, could another 'variable' in your playoff odds predictor also be the 'layoff factor'?

For instance, teams that secure the #1 and the bye that come in flat or 'rusty'? just a thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Various NFL playoff links
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Gus,

One of the issues with playoff games is there aren't very many of them, so if you try to push, say, a lot of variables into a formula without many data points, it doesn't work. In the minds of many folks, 1 good independent variable per 50 data points is plenty, and we had 100 games to choose from when I first began my studies.

So, throw out the math for a while and realize that every team in the league has one 2 week layoff, so all the teams should be used to having one of those.

The question I would ask, is your team really built to make a run in the playoffs? What are the attributes of such a team. Record is only meaningful in terms of the HFA you get from it. Offensive and scoring stats, at least in my hands, yield formulas with confidence intervals of 15%, not 5%.

If I had a formula for a "bad" playoff team, it would be 1. a caretaker quarterback, 2. over reliance on a running game, and no real passing game to speak of. 3. a gimmick defense that relies on guesses and turnovers for performance.

Then you can ask, doesn't this describe the 1985 Bears and perhaps the 2000 Ravens? And my answer would be that the Bears had a playoff caliber defense for some years and the year they won was the one where they had the best passing game of that period, with a healthy McMahon and Gault. The Ravens also managed to have a huge performance from Jamal Lewis, had a best of decade class defense, and something of a passing game out of Trent Dilfer.

Good playoff teams seem to have 1. Both a strong offense and a strong defense 2. Balanced attacks, can run and pass and 3. The ability of offense or defense to "make plays"; the defense can stop folks on 3rd and 1 or 4th and goal, and the offense can, at times, make the impossible pass on 3rd and 25, 1 minute left, 3 points down.

This definition, however, doesn't describe the Indianapolis Colts of recent years, and surely doesn't describe the 2011 New York Giants.

D-

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 Post subject: Re: Various NFL playoff links
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:08 pm 
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The team you described is a team that consistently does well in the playoffs. Over the course of multiple seasons, take 5 years, you'll see that team perhaps go to the playoffs 3 or 4 times, and win a couple of games. The other teams instead might go to the playoffs 1 or 2 times in 5 years, and don't do well one year, but do well the other time.

That's what successfully building a team is really about: giving yourself as many opportunities to succeed as possible. That's why Belichick has done well in New England. They haven't won a Super Bowl in 7 years, but they've been in the driver's seat multiple times in that 7 years, lost 2 times, and probably had they not underachieved could have been there 2 or 3 more other times.

You look at the Giants, and it's possible that they miss the playoffs this year. Their backs are currently against the wall, and most people assume that since they were able to overcome it last year, that they will do so again this year. But in truth, there may be only a 55% chance that they do and get in.

But if they do miss the playoffs, it shows that the way they are built isn't really ideal for competing at the highest level year in and year out. But of course, as long as you have that Lombardi Trophy, no one really will complain too much about that.

IMO, the most sustainable thing long-term is having a lights out defense. Although that hasn't worked out for the Packers in recent years, who had a very good defense in 2010, but in the subsequent years that has fallen apart.

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 Post subject: Re: Various NFL playoff links
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:18 pm 
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The most important link of all!


http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/machine

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