Playoff Rankings!


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20 Responses

  1. Burt Likko says:

    You think far too highly of your Iggles, my man. They’re on balance as strong as my Packers and for a similar reason: lots and lots of weight on the QB’s shoulders.

    I agree that the strongest teams in the NFC are Seattle and San Francisco and you are right to point out that Carolina’s defense is not to be underestimated. In the AFC, there is Denver and also five underdogs, two of which will lose to Denver directly and the others who will lose to one another. It is known.

    All that said, in a forced-choice situation, wouldn’t you rather have a competent but lucky team than one that’s good but loses a lot of breaks? They play ’em on the field for a reason and I’m looking forward to SF @ GB!Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Pound for pound, the Eagles and Packers are probably relatively close. But the Eagles lining up to play New Orleans at home and then Carolina on the road is MUCH more favorable than the Packers lining up to play the Niners at home and Seattle on the road. I probably should have clarified that these rankings are more about likelihood to win the Lombardi than they are about relative strength.Report

  2. Mike Schilling says:

    The retro-Patriots are going to be tough. Today, the quick kick. Next time, the Notre Dame Box and the flying wedge!Report

    • They also just allowed Thad Lewis to throw for 250 yards and a 95.0 QB rating. I don’t see any way that they can win in Denver against Evil Manning, whose deal with the Devil is, unlike Tom Brady’s, entirely focused on football. I’d give any AFC team in the playoffs save the Chargers at least even odds to beat the Patriots in Foxboro.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    Chokey McChokerson will make a strong showing until the 3rd quarter.Report

  4. Michael Cain says:

    The Broncos success may come down to offensive left tackle Chris Clark. When he plays well, Manning has time to pick apart most any defense. When Clark has an off day, not so much. Overall, and for a player who wasn’t even projected as a starter, Clark has done an outstanding job for the Broncos.Report

  5. I’d flip the 9ers and the Panthers, I think – they’re very similar teams but under no circumstances other than a road game in Seattle would I bet against Riverboat Ron at this point, and I trust Cam Newton more than I trust Colin Kaepernick. I’d probably knock the Eagles down a spot and bump the Bengals up to fifth, with the Patriots flipping with the Colts.

    I’d also flip the Saints and the Packers; as bad as the Saints are on the road, I like their defense a lot more than the Packers under any conditions. I think they could give Foles more trouble than any other defense he’s faced to date, allowing the Saints to win even if Brees throws a couple of picks himself. Except for the Patriots game, which they really should have won, their road losses have all been to teams with tough defenses, which the Eagles don’t possess.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      Cinci was 8-0 at home and just 3-5 on the road. I struggle to see them winning a big game on the road, especially with Dalton as erratic as he is. The Geno Atkins injury is also underplayed given how important he was to their defense.

      If I had to break this into tiers, I’d probably have 1-4, then 5-9, then 10-12, with bigger gaps between the tiers than within them.

      I don’t see the Saints able to stop the Eagles running attack. They might give Foles some fits… and his tendency to hold onto the ball too long (a big part of his “miraculous” interception run) will play into that… but if they stay committed to the run I can see McCoy having a huge day.Report

      • Mark Thompson in reply to Kazzy says:

        I agree that McCoy is the big X-factor, which is why I think the Eagles deserve to be favored; I just think that they’re slightly more vulnerable to losing to the Saints than the 49ers are to losing to the Packers (even if the 49ers are on the road). I think if the Saints beat the Eagles, it wouldn’t shock me if they upset the Panthers (though I’d still pick the Panthers straight up in that game), since they only lost by 4 last time in Carolina. By contrast, I would give the Packers basically no chance against Seattle.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        You’re probably right. Saints should probably be ahead of the Pack.Report

      • Mark Thompson in reply to Kazzy says:

        Also – I completely agree with your tiers.Report

  6. Burt Likko says:

    I note that the Colts and the Eagles are 2.5 point favorites at home, and the Niners are 2.5 point favorites on the road. The Bengals are 6.5 point favorites at home. Of course, these numbers are not quite predictions but rather a reflection of the conventional wisdom.Report

  7. Kazzy says:

    FWIW, here are Football Outsiders odds for each team winning the Super Bowl:
    1. Seattle – 24.9%
    2. Denver – 20.2%
    3. New England – 14.7%
    4. Carolina – 14.5%
    5. Philly – 6.5%
    6. Cinci – 4.7%
    7. SF – 3.5%
    8. KC – 3.4%
    9. NO – 2.8%
    10. GB – 2.3%
    11. SD – 1.8%
    12. Indy – .6%

    This does account for the draw and home field advantage, which I think is why they have SF as low as they do. They disagree with me majorly on them, NE, and Indy; we’re pretty close on all the rest (including Philly! Wahoo!).Report

    • Mark Thompson in reply to Kazzy says:

      That seems way too low for Indy, which has a home game in the first round, and is actually a slight favorite in that game according to Vegas.

      To be honest, I’ve soured quite a bit on Football Outsiders the last few years, ever since they had statistics purporting to show that the Bills’ 4-1 start in 2011 wasn’t a fluke. I believed them, and was quickly proven wrong, as the Bills promptly went on a 7 game losing streak.Report

  8. Herb says:

    I’d put the Broncos over the Seahawks. The ‘Hawks may be the most complete team in football and their home crowd is notorious, but not only did the Broncos score 189 more points than Seattle this season, they scored 31 more touchdowns.

    That alone should give Denver the top spot.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Herb says:

      Seattle gave up 168 fewer points. Their point differentials yield only a 21 point edge for Denver, which is a better gauge than just one of those numbers in isolation.

      Really, Seattle and Denver are 1 and 1a. Gun to my head, I’d pick Seattle. But I’d be hardpressed to argue stringently against someone going the other way.Report

      • Herb in reply to Kazzy says:

        And I can admit I want the Broncos in the top spot not only because I think they deserve it, but also because I’m a lifelong fan.

        For what it’s worth, I also think Seattle had an easier schedule. The 49ers are no joke, and somehow Arizona managed to pull out a winning season including a win over the ‘Hawks. But Seattle also played the Texans, the Titans, the Bucs, the Vikings, the Giants, and the Falcons, six relatively weak teams with losing records.

        They didn’t have to play the Chiefs, the Chargers, or the Patriots, all play-off teams.

        Also, the Broncos scored 40 points or more five times this season, three times with scores of 50 points or more. And they scored 20 points or more in every single game.

        The Seahawks have no games with 50 or more points, two games with 40 or more points, and five games where they were held to 20 points or less.

        Gun to my head, I’d pick Seattle too…..but only because there’s a gun to my head.

        (And thus ends my exercise in stat geekdom.)Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        But those points are of diminished value. While Denver didn’t run up the score in the way that the ’07 Pats did (I saw a stat that said the Pats scored twice as many points that year when up by 17 than the Broncos did this year, though part of that is a reflection of the different defenses each team had), I don’t know how important it was that they scored 50+ against my Eagles when the game was over before halftime.

        And you still seem to be focusing on just one side of the ball. Seattle might not have scored 40 or 50 points in any game, but they did hold 7 teams to 10 points or fewer… a remarkable achievement during a year in which (I think) the record for total points per game was set.

        If Seattle and Denver played each other 100 times, I think there would be multiple games wherein Seattle scored 40+ points. I think there would be far fewer in which Denver allowed 10 or fewer. Seattle is better on offense than Denver is on defense.Report

      • Herb in reply to Kazzy says:

        “Seattle is better on offense than Denver is on defense.”

        Fair enough. But Denver’s offense is better than Seattle’s offense by, oh, I don’t know an entire season of touchdowns for a lesser team.

        I mean, this isn’t a big deal, but the Broncos scored more points this season than any team in history. Manning threw for more touchdowns than anyone. He passed for more yards than anyone ever.

        No doubt, the ‘Hawks are a good team, but a better team than the one that has the most dominant offense in the history of the league? I guess we’ll find out at the Super Bowl! hahaReport