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.
Code and Football