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seanbrock

2014-15 NFL playoff Rat Race

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It's kind of crazy in the NFL this year. Nobody is 14-2 or 15-1 and it seems like everyone has beaten everyone or has beaten somebody that beat somebody else. In the beginning of the year Seattle and Denver looked like they were still the class of the league and the Packers and Patriots looked a little questionable. Now Seattle and Denver have looked vulnerable, while Green Bay and New England look untouchable

 

If the season ended today The 49ers (7-5) and Dallas (8-4) would be out and in the AFC all at 7-5, The Chiefs, Steelers, Ravens, Bills and Browns would miss out.

 

In the NFC, anything could happen. Arizona holds a ton of tie breakers in the NFC and as a result also has a great conference record, but with Drew Stanton at the helm the rest of the way, I think they lose at least two games so that means that Green Bay, Philly, Detroit, Seattle and Dallas could all end up with HFA and obviously i could be wrong and the Cards could keep it. That's kind of crazy I can't remember the last time I saw that. Sucks that we have to waste a playoff match up on the Falcons, but it'd be funny if they beat Seattle down. They did already almost beat the Lions, so who knows I guess. :shrug:

 

I see it playing out like this

 

:NFC:

 

1. :Packers:

2. :Eagles: Call me a homer, you might be a little right but fuck it lol

3. :Seahawks:

4. :Saints:

5. :Lions:

6: :49ers:

 

Dallas getting bounced at 10-6 losing a tie breaker

 

:AFC:

 

1. :Patriots:

2. :Broncos:

3. :Steelers:

4. :Colts:

5. :Ravens:

6. :Chiefs:

 

Gonna be a lot of fun seeing how the dominos fall. I doubt I'll be right, but if we could get the second seed and beat Seattle and then lose to Green Bay at Lambeau I'd consider it progress. I'm always going hold out a little hope in my heart that we could win the Super Bowl lol, but with our QB situation we're likely a 1 and done

 

Enough about the Eagles though. I think the real story is going to be 4 hall of fame QB's and hunting for a Super Bowl ring and a chance to prove that they're the best. I think it'll either be Pittsburgh or New England vs. Green Bay in the Super Bowl. Although I have to give Manning credit for what he did against the Patriots in the AFCCG before he shit himself against one of the greatest defenses of all time. Denver could make it back because if Manning plays well or maybe CJ Anderson just tears everyone apart down the stretch with fresh legs and they turn up the pass rush with Ware and Miller they could be a force. That would be a fitting end to it all. Peyton vs. Rodgers in the Super Bowl and Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware and CJ Anderson are the MVP's haha.

 

Any of you guys see another team going into Lambeau at beating the Pack this year? The 49ers will have their chance to do it again this year. What are your guys thoughts. How does it play out?

Edited by seanbrock

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not sure if anyone else reads Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback (if not you should, I've been reading that weekly article since high school) but this week's looks at the playoff race and made this interesting observation:

 

Down the stretch, 11 good-record teams are competing for four wild-card slots. By quirk of the schedule, these teams spend the final month mainly playing each other. How Darwinian!
...
San Diego plays four of four versus other contenders: the Patriots, Broncos, 49ers and Chiefs. Six of the strong teams play three of four versus other contenders. Kansas City faces Arizona, Pittsburgh and San Diego. Seattle faces the Eagles, Niners and Cardinals. Santa Clara meets the Seahawks, Chargers and Cardinals. Pittsburgh faces Kansas City and plays in Cincinnati before finishing the season at home against the Bengals. The Browns play Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Baltimore. The Bills face Denver, Green Bay and New England.
Of the other teams with realistic postseason hopes, Dallas meets Philadelphia and Indianapolis; Baltimore plays Miami and Cleveland; Miami plays Baltimore and New England. Among the contenders, only Detroit, paired with Green Bay plus three also-rans, does not face a murderers' row in December.

 

so there's a heck of a lot left to be determined

 

another interesting suggestion from that article is a suggestion that the NFL adopt a bowl eligible type requirement for division winners, only giving a division winner a spot if it's at least .500, if a division winner doesn't reach that total then the division is left out of the playoffs entirely and its spot becomes an additional wild card spot, I think it's an interesting suggestion that'll never get approved, but I'm interested to hear other thoughts on it

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not sure if anyone else reads Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback (if not you should, I've been reading that weekly article since high school) but this week's looks at the playoff race and made this interesting observation:

 

so there's a heck of a lot left to be determined

 

another interesting suggestion from that article is a suggestion that the NFL adopt a bowl eligible type requirement for division winners, only giving a division winner a spot if it's at least .500, if a division winner doesn't reach that total then the division is left out of the playoffs entirely and its spot becomes an additional wild card spot, I think it's an interesting suggestion that'll never get approved, but I'm interested to hear other thoughts on it

 

First of all, thanks for posting that article. Looks like the final four weeks are going to be an even more exciting playoff race than usual.

 

Second, re: the division winner argument, I think TGP has spoken on this before (when the 7-9 Seahawks made it, especially), and I think many of us favor at least requiring division winners to have a competent record to host a home game. An eventual 7-9 NFC South champ this year doesn't deserve a home playoff game over a 10-6 wild card. :nope:

 

The owners will never approve it, of course. :coffee:

 

Ultimately, this is just a consequence of variance inevitable with four-team divisions (too many big words in that sentence). If each division is only four teams, you're bound to get an entire division to suck every so often.

 

Question I'm too lazy to look up: has a .500 or sub-.500 team ever won an NFL division before they went to the current structure?

Edited by SteVo

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It would only be poetic justice if the South winner is 7-9 and takes out the 'Hawks.

 

Also, there is no way the Falcons take it over the Saints, unless they can beat New Orleans in the dome. The Falcons have a rather brutal schedule.

 

@ :Packers:

vs :Steelers:

@ :Saints:

vs :panthers:

 

This is versus the Saints cheesecake schedule:

 

vs :panthers:

@ :Bears:

vs :Falcons:

@ :Bucs:

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Question I'm too lazy to look up: has a .500 or sub-.500 team ever won an NFL division before they went to the current structure?

 

Checking up on this revealed that before the '10-'11 Seahawks became the first team to reach the playoffs with a losing record and the '08-'09 Chargers won the AFC West at 8-8, the Browns won the AFC Central with an 8-8 record in 1985.

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Checking up on this revealed that before the '10-'11 Seahawks became the first team to reach the playoffs with a losing record

Yup! The 7-9 Seahawks hosted a playoff game against the 11-5 Saints. Also the game where "Beast Mode" became a household name.

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I went through and did the playoff machine and did the picks for the next 3 weeks and realized that I'd have New Orleans win out and make it at 9-7 lolme.

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Yup! The 7-9 Seahawks hosted a playoff game against the 11-5 Saints. Also the game where "Beast Mode" became a household name.

 

Yeah, still remember Mike Mayock saying it was one of the best runs in the playoffs that he's ever seen. Wouldn't it be hilarious if the Saints make the playoffs with a 7-9 record or worse and take out a WC Hawks team. :troll:

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Right now with current playoff machine predictions I've got.

 

AFC

 

1 :Patriots:

 

2 :Broncos:

 

3 :Colts:

 

4 :Bengals:

 

5 :Ravens:

 

6 :Steelers:

 

NFC

 

1. :Packers:

 

2 :Seahawks:

 

3 :Eagles:

 

4 :Saints:

 

5 :Lions:

 

6 :Cardinals:

Edited by Chernobyl426

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So as an alternate proposal, I thought of the idea of mega divisions, based on the schedule a team has. So for this year, the mega divisions are the AFC East and West, the AFC North and South, the NFC East and West, and the NFC South and North. The team with the best record in each of those mega divisions gets an auto bye, and then the other 4 spots are determined by wildcard tiebreakers. These mega divsions would change every year based on the schedule.

 

So for example that gives us this scenario:

 

AFC

1. New England (Tiebreaker over Denver)

2. Cincinnati (Leader of the North/South division)

3. Denver

4. Indianapolis (I think they have the tiebreaker over San Diego)

5. San Diego

6. Miami

 

NFC:

1. Arizona (tiebreaker over Philadelphia on H2H, and Green Bay on conference record)

2. Green Bay

3. Philadelphia

4. Seattle

5. Detroit

6. Dallas

 

The NFC South gets completely ignored for being a weaksauce division, and a more deserving team gets in instead. The only issues that come with this is that the 3 seed could be a better team than the 2 seed, but that's a much smaller concern than a 5 and 6 (and potentially a 7 or 8) being better than a 4 seed.

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I love what the Cardinals have done, but there is absolutely no way the Cardinals end up with HFA. They play Kansas City and Seattle and have to go on the road to San Fran and even though St. Louis is under. 500, they've beaten all the best teams in the league this year. Oh yeah and they have to do this all with Drew Stanton at QB. They might make it as a WC but no way they win that division much less HFA.

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The Cardinals' fun is all but over. I think they finish 0-4. 32nd ranked rushing team that just lost Andre Ellington. They also just lost Tyrann Mathieu. The defense has carried them far, but there's no way you're going to out-score your opponents with the worst running game and Drew Stanton leading the passing attack. They have been a really good, but really unlucky team. Any Cardinals fans out there reading this, props to your season :beerchug:

 

1. :Packers:

2. :Seahawks:

3. :Cowboys:

4. :Saints:

5. :Lions:

6. :Eagles:

Edited by BC
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The Cardinals' fun is all but over. I think they finish 0-4. 32nd ranked rushing team that just lost Andre Ellington. They also just lost Tyrann Mathieu. The defense has carried them far, but there's no way you're going to out-score your opponents with the worst running game and Drew Stanton leading the passing attack. They have been a really good, but really unlucky team. Any Cardinals fans out there reading this, props to your season :beerchug:

 

1. :Packers:

2. :Seahawks:

3. :Cowboys:

4. :Saints:

5. :Lions:

6. :Eagles:

I feel for the Cards - they went 10-6 last season and missed out. Green Bay were 8-7-1 from memory and hosted a playoff game.

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Yeah and then with all the shit they've been through this year. It really does suck. I hope next year they fair a little better.

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Panthers gon win the South now.

 

I don't see it, honestly. The Panthers have a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way, but the Saints have an even easier schedule, so if they win out they'll be 8-8, versus a 7-8-1 best-case scenario for the Panthers. That tie could be your undoing.

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Divisional record takes precedence over head to head, right? I've been wondering because Seattle has been ahead of Dallas even though they have the same record

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Divisional record takes precedence over head to head, right? I've been wondering because Seattle has been ahead of Dallas even though they have the same record

no, head to head always comes first, and divisional record wouldn't even come up between Seattle and Dallas since they're not in the same division, the reason Seattle is ahead of Dallas right now (and Detroit) is because it's a three way tie between Seattle, Dallas, and Detroit, nobody has beaten both of the other two (because Detroit doesn't play either of the other two) and Dallas has the worst conference record of the three

 

NFL Tie-Breaking Procedures

Edited by oochymp

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Um what? It had happened before, as a matter of fact. Was in the other thread. I disagree that having it happen twice in five years shows its a trend anymore than if it happened twice in one year. Way too quick to jump to that conclusion.

 

What would be your solution that wouldn't destroy rivalries, yet also give team similar schedules, as otherwise strength of schedule could become a major factor.

 

Also does this conversation go away entirely if the Falcons or Saints win out and win the division at 8-8?

 

And again, why is 8-7-1 winning a division not a big deal? Heard basically nothing about realignment last year when the 10-6 Cards, 2.5 games ahead of the Packers, got left out for Green Bay.

it happened in a strike shortened season when the NFL decided to put 16 out of 28 teams in, hard to really think of that as representative of anything about playoffs

 

as for solutions, there are a couple good ones in here, I think Razor's is a good creative solution, but I'm not sure what it would do to rivalries, then there's the .500 eligibility requirement for division champs to get their playoff spot

 

the conversation does change some if either the Falcons or Saints win out and hit 8-8, but what have either of them done to make you think that might happen? and when I say the conversation changes I don't mean go away, at least it shouldn't

 

since the 1970 merger the following teams have won their division with a record that was not at least one game above .500: 1978 Vikings (8-7-1); 1982 Falcons (5-4); 1985 Browns (8-8); 2008 Chargers (8-8); 2010 Seahawks (7-9); 2011 Broncos (8-8); 2013 Packers (8-7-1); 2014 NFC South Winner (8-8 at best)

 

so a roughly .500 or worse team has won a division eight times in the 44 years since the merger, three times in the 32 years between the 1970 merger and the 2002 realignment (once in a strike shortened season) and five times in the 12 years since realignment

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Cardinals have officially clinched a playoff berth.

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Cardinals have officially clinched a playoff berth.

not quite: http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/machine/_/factor/wins/results/400554425~3~400554427~2~400554418~1~400554356~2~400554447~2~400554444~1~400554446~1~400554411~2

 

that scenario has Arizona losing their last two games to finish 11-5, the Seahawks winning their remaining three to finish 12-4 and take the NFC West, the Lions winning out to finish 12-4 and take the NFC North, the Packers losing to Detroit and winning their other two games to finish 12-4 and take the first WC, and has the Cowboys and Eagles tieing this week and winning their remaining two to both finish 11-4-1 and take the NFC East and the second WC spot

 

highly unlikely that all of that will happen, but not impossible so the Cardinals have not officially clinched a playoff spot, but all they need is the Dallas/Philly game Sunday to not end in a tie (which is more than highly likely) and they are officially in because they have beaten both Dallas and Philly so they've got the tiebreaker over either

Edited by oochymp

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When a tie needs to happen to lose, it's clinched. :smug:

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