Blog Entry

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Posted on: December 25, 2011 4:47 pm
 
Well...we finally made it through another tiebreaker season.  It's been interesting, especially in the AFC West and with all the potential ties at 9-7 in both the AFC and NFC.  I'm putting out Week 17 scenarios a little early since all AFC games are done for week 16 and the NFC is pretty cut and dry now.

Also...you should know that the scenarios below were simplified as two potential scenarios that would come down to Strength of Victory (SOV) tiebreaker are already locked up.  If BAL wins and NE loses, the battle for the #1 seed comes down to SOV as they would be tied in conf record and common opponents.  BAL has already secured the better record among teams they have defeated (SOV) over NE, otherwise we might have had some games with playoff impact that are not directly related to BAL-NE.  The other scenario where SOV may come into play is a 4-team tie at 9-7 between CIN-NYJ-TEN-OAK (needs CIN loss, NYJ win, TEN win, OAK win and DEN win).  CIN would drop out on conf record and NYJ-TEN-OAK don't have enough common opponents so it goes to SOV.  OAK has already secured better Win-Loss-Tied percentage among defeated opponents (assuming scenario above) over TEN and NYJ.

Also....TEN is probably the most interesting scenario to figure out.   If you look at TEN scenarios below, basically they need another team to match up with them and CIN at 9-7 to avoid losing H2H to CIN.  If Jets win...they win that 3-way with NYJ-CIN-TEN on common opponents over NYJ after CIN drops out on conf record.  BUT...they can't have OAK as Wild Card potential at 9-7 as well because in that case CIN drops out and not enough common opponents for NYJ-TEN-OAK and OAK wins that tiebreaker on Strength of Victory.    BUT....if OAK is there as potential WC at 9-7 (both DEN and OAK win), TEN can advance if NYJ loses as then it would be TEN-CIN-OAK and CIN would drop out on conf record and TEN beats OAK on common opponents.  So TEN gets in if they Win and CIN loses and either NYJ wins or OAK wins (and doesn't win division)...BUT NOT BOTH.  Weird.

So, we're left with below:

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF PICTURE (also includes remaining 2 Week 16 games):

NFC

  CLINCHED:    Green Bay Packers -- North Division and first-round bye.
San Francisco 49ers -- West Division.
New Orleans Saints -- wild card spot.
Detroit Lions -- wild card spot.
  ELIMINATED:  Arizona, Carolina, Minnesota, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Washington.

 GREEN BAY PACKERS
  Green Bay clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs:
   1) one GB win or tie
   2) SF loss or tie

 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
  San Francisco clinches a first-round bye:
   1) SF win
   2) SF tie + one NO loss or tie
   3) one NO loss
  San Francisco clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs:  
   1) SF win + two GB losses

 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
  New Orleans clinches NFC South Division:
   1) one NO win or tie
   2) one ATL loss or tie
  New Orleans clinches a first-round bye:
   1) two NO wins + SF loss or tie
   2) one NO win + one NO tie + SF loss

 NEW YORK Giants
  NY Giants clinch NFC East Division:
   1) NYG win or tie

 DALLAS Cowboys
  Dallas clinches NFC East Division:
   1) DAL win

 ATLANTA Falcons
  Atlanta clinches NFC South Division:
   1) two ATL wins + two NO losses
  Atlanta clinches a wild card spot:
   1) one ATL win or tie
   2) one CHI loss or tie

 CHICAGO Bears
  Chicago clinches a wild card spot:
   1) two CHI wins + two ATL losses

 AFC

  CLINCHED:    New England Patriots -- East Division and a first-round bye.
Houston Texans -- South Division.
Baltimore Ravens -- wild card spot.
Pittsburgh Steelers -- wild card spot.
  ELIMINATED:  Buffalo, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Miami, Jacksonville, San Diego

 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
  New England clinches homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs:
   1) NE win or tie
   2) BAL loss or tie + PIT loss or tie

 BALTIMORE RAVENS
  Baltimore clinches AFC North Division and a first-round bye:
   1) BAL win
   2) BAL tie + PIT loss or tie
   3) PIT loss
  Baltimore clinches homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs:
   1) BAL win + NE loss

 PITTSBURGH STEELERS
  Pittsburgh clinches AFC North Division and a first-round bye:
   1) PIT win + BAL loss or tie
   2) PIT tie + BAL loss
  Pittsburgh clinches homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs:
   1) PIT win + BAL loss or tie + NE loss

 DENVER Broncos
  Denver clinches AFC West Division:
   1) DEN win
   2) DEN tie + OAK loss or tie
   3) OAK loss

 OAKLAND Raiders
  Oakland clinches AFC West Division:
   1) OAK win + DEN loss or tie
   2) OAK tie + DEN loss
  Oakland clinches a wild card spot:
   1) OAK win + CIN loss + TEN loss or tie
   2) OAK win + CIN loss + NYJ win
 
 CINCINNATI Bengals
  Cincinnati clinches a wild card spot:
   1) CIN win or tie
   2) NYJ loss or tie + OAK loss or tie
   3) NYJ loss or tie + DEN loss or tie
 
 NEW YORK JETS
  NY Jets clinch a wild card spot:
   1) NYJ win + CIN loss + TEN loss or tie + OAK loss or tie
   2) NYJ win + CIN loss + TEN loss or tie + DEN loss or tie

 TENNESSEE Titans
  Tennessee clinches a wild card spot:
   1) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ win + OAK loss or tie
   2) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ win + DEN loss or tie
   3) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ loss or tie + OAK win + DEN win

Comments

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 4:38 pm
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

In the division TB common game step, a team is rewarded for winning a non-conf game ahead of a conf game, and this is inconsistent with every other TB step in the other processes.
Your points are noted...

You say inconsistent, I say "unique".  Division tb is the only place where non-conf games have meaning (because they are common).  In wc tb, comparing non-conf results is pointless because the games are inherenetly uncommon.

Technically, the wc tb language declares only "common" games, which theoretically could be conf or non-conf.  Of course, due to the scheduling formula, all wc common games are inherently conf games as well.  But if the scheduling formula changed, one could imagine non-conf games being common in a wc tiebreak.



Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:42 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

 I don't think it's important if the pool always gets bigger or always gets smaller, rather, it is based on what is deemed most important and most pertinent.  Since this is a divisional tiebreaker, emphasis is on h2h and divisional play (which happen to be small pools of games).


Me neither, but I don't like that there is a switch out of what is important, a replacement of a subset of games with another.

I'm fine with the wildcard process which fist looks at entire conference, and then looks at a smaller subset of those games (ie, the common games). In the divison TB however there is the adding and subtracting of games from the common step to the confernce step.

If one is "rewarded" for winning one type of game over another (H2H, division, conference), then that reward should be consistently applied. In the division TB common game step, a team is rewarded for winning a non-conf game ahead of a conf game, and this is inconsistent with every other TB step in the other processes.




Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 12:55 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Oh, I LOVE agn's idea of counting conference common games, if common games have to be before conference record. I believe Oakland would have won the AFC West this year if his system was utilized.

Here are the tiebreaking records for the AFCW tie this year:
  • H2H: DEN 2-2, OAK 2-2, SD 2-2
  • Division: DEN 3-3, OAK 3-3, SD 3-3
  • Common: DEN 5-5, OAK 4-6, SD 4-6 (games vs. KC, AFCE, NFCN)
  • Conf Common: DEN 3-3, OAK 2-4, SD 3-3 (games vs. KC, AFCE)
  • Conference: DEN 6-6, OAK 6-6, SD 7-5

Choose the order you prefer the tiebreakers to be applied to see how it affects who wins.  The only way DEN doesn't win is if conf games (common and non-common) are looked at before Common games.  DEN would win if the precedence was Conf Common, Common, then Conf.

Given the current tiebreaker format, DEN wins by common games.  The differences at common games level are:

  • DEN d MIA
  • MIA d OAK
  • DEN d NYJ
  • NYJ d SD
  • DEN d CHI
  • CHI d SD
  • SD d BUF
  • BUF d DEN

The addition of KC in common games is technically necessary due to the definition of "common".  However, in practice, it is meaningless.  Since h2h was tied and division record was tied, then all 3 teams MUST have identical records against KC.  So there is no advantage gained or lost by any team regardless of KC being included or excluded from common games.  This has been alluded to in other posts.

Finally, I would agree with KellynMatt's assessments.  I don't think it's important if the pool always gets bigger or always gets smaller, rather, it is based on what is deemed most important and most pertinent.  Since this is a divisional tiebreaker, emphasis is on h2h and divisional play (which happen to be small pools of games).  But if those are inconclusive, then we move to larger pools of games, specifically the 8 common games (I'm not including divisional play here, as it must be tied to get to this step), then the 6 conference games (again, not including divisional play).  One could argue that the conf common games are already given additional weight, since they are included in both of these steps.  I'll weigh in more on this later in the procedural thread...





Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 12:07 pm
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

I agree with Pillbox (btw, we should move this into the tie-breaker process blog now that it is open).

Saying that division opponents don't count in the common games is a bit misleading, because, of course, whether they were counted or not doesn't change the outcome.

If indeed the H2H (or even division) games don't count in common games, then maybe they shouldn't count in confernce games either. But we all give conference record in 12-game totals. We don't say, conference record of two tied division teams as 8-2, or 4-2, we say, 9-3.

This again highlights that there is an expanding set of criteria: For 2 teams: 2 H2H games, 4 more division games, 4 more common conference games, followed by either 4 more non-confernce games (as it is stands now, the eight common games are grouped), or 2 more un-common conference games.

For 3 teams: 4 H2H games, 2 more division games, 4 more common conference games, followed by either 4 more non-confernce games (as it is stands now, the eight common games are grouped), or 2 more un-common conference games.

For 4 teams 6 H2H games, 0 more common conference games, followed by either 4 more non-confernce games (as it is stands now, the eight common games are grouped), or 2 more un-common conference games.






Since: Dec 20, 2010
Posted on: January 3, 2012 11:09 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Hi and thanks for the responses. I see the other thread is up so this'll be my last one here. But just a few thoughts after reading Brett's post. He says:

 think the logic is supposed to be "highest to lowest" - not "lowest to highest." I therefore, think the logic is sound. And I believe it is only meant to explain why common games was moved ahead of conference record in 2002. We want to look at common games first because it includes 8 additional games, rather than conference record which includes only 6 additional games (not to mention, 2 of the 6 are un-common).
I see H2H is the lowest subset.. it can be 2 games for division ties.
Division record is next. This is 6 games.
So, already, it is moving from lower to higher.
The issue, for me, I guess, is how you interpret the divisional games beyond that step, which leads to your other, earlier comment:

To sum up what Joe already said:
- Between 2 teams in the same division, it technically is only 12 games since we don't include the 2 head-to-head games.
- Between 3 teams in the same division, it techincally is only 10 games since we don't include the 4 head-to-head games for each team.
- Between 4 teams in the same division, it technically is only 8 games since we don't include the 6 head-to-head games for each team.
Again, apologies if I am missing the point, but it seems based on this above, that the number of common games is changable.

So I still see based on your above post:
2
6
12 (max)
12 
...as the hierarchy. 
And --- for determining conference record, the H2H DOES count. But for common opponents, it doesn't. 

It seems to me (and I guess only me) that the way division games are counted is shoe-horned to fit the model that allows common opponents to supercede conference record in breaking divisional ties. 

Oh, I LOVE agn's idea of counting conference common games, if common games have to be before conference record. I believe Oakland would have won the AFC West this year if his system was utilized.

 



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:19 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS


Jeff said:
That means that the winners of each game will know who and where they will be playing the next week.  Also, it means that the winner of each Sunday game will also know their destination, before their game is played.
The winner of the 3 vs. 6 always knows immediately who they play the next week. It's the winner of the 4 vs. 5 that doesn't know until the result of the 3 vs. 6 game. For that reason, it makes sense to have the 3 vs. 6 games played first.

GW said:
I tend to believe that the DET/NO game was purposely scheduled for Saturday since the BCS championship game is being played at the Superdome on January 9th, which is 2 days later.  That only gives the BCS 2 days to prepare the place for that game.
That's a really good point. Also, I think maybe the Giants get to play on Sunday because their regular season ended a bit later than everyone else's.

Pillbox said:
First off: there's KC showing up again in the count!! If you're gonna count them twice, why not everyone else in the division?
I think Joe already said this, but: Den, SD, and Oak do not show up as common opponents since these opponents are not common among all 3 teams. Denver did not play Denver, San Diego did not play San Diego, and Oakland did not play Oakland. On the other hand, I think it can be a matter of semantics. If you did include the Oak-Den, Den-SD, and SD-Oak games, than you are including a subset of games in which all the teams have the same record. So whether or not you include these (head-to-head) games, it will not affect the result of the common games tiebreaking step.

Pillbox said:
When I first questioned the placement of the common opponents division tiebreaker, I was told by Joe himself that the above statement *was not true*. That it was not considered 14 games. I believe he said at the time it was 8. In tonight's post on the matter, it was 10. So which is it?

To sum up what Joe already said:
- Between 2 teams in the same division, it technically is only 12 games since we don't include the 2 head-to-head games.
- Between 3 teams in the same division, it techincally is only 10 games since we don't include the 4 head-to-head games for each team.
- Between 4 teams in the same division, it technically is only 8 games since we don't include the 6 head-to-head games for each team.

Then:
- For any of the above amount of teams in the same division, to consider common games records, division records must be the same. Therefore when looking at common games, we are always considering 8 additional games.

Pillbox said:
But then, my question still remains:
You from H2H (2 games, or in the case of this year's AFC West, 4)
to Division (6)
to Common (14)
to Conference (12)

My question is, why?
I still think it defies the logic of lowest to highest subsets.
[nygbsb42 said]:
...dropping the subset number to 8 possible differing results [for common games]. For conference, this number drops to 6. So it would seem logical for conference record to come first.

I think the logic is supposed to be "highest to lowest" - not "lowest to highest." I therefore, think the logic is sound. And I believe it is only meant to explain why common games was moved ahead of conference record in 2002. We want to look at common games first because it includes 8 additional games, rather than conference record which includes only 6 additional games (not to mention, 2 of the 6 are un-common).





Since: Dec 21, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:17 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Pillbox, 

It seems to me like you are running in circles.  The tiebreakers aren't based on smaller or larger number of games, but rather how much pertinence they have to determining who had a better season.  With the risk of your running off the rails in another direction, I will attempt to explain this.

 And it doesn't explain Joe's changing the number (for common opponents subset) back to 14.
There's no further way I can botch up the rest of it, though so I'll stand down and wait to see if anyone has an explanation.
Joe has not changed anything.  If you play in the same division as someone, you play 12 opponents that are the same as each individual team in that division.  You play that team twice.  The final two games are against different opponents.  The reason you are seeing different numbers is because when you are comparing a set of games, there is no need to re-compare those games that have already been looked at.  So, if there were a four-way tie for the division, there would be 8 games that are the same for those teams that could be compared (the number you've thrown out in the past).  

In this case there was a 3-way tie, so they had 10 games that were the same (the 8 previously mentioned and the two against the 4th team in the division).  If it were a 2-way tie, there would be 12 games that were the same.  The reality is the number of games that is the same does not change, yet the number of "new" games being considered is different.

Matt

 



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:13 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS


Jeff said:
That means that the winners of each game will know who and where they will be playing the next week.  Also, it means that the winner of each Sunday game will also know their destination, before their game is played.
The winner of the 3 vs. 6 always knows immediately who they play the next week. It's the winner of the 4 vs. 5 that doesn't know until the result of the 3 vs. 6 game. For that reason, it makes sense to have the 3 vs. 6 games played first.

GW said:
I tend to believe that the DET/NO game was purposely scheduled for Saturday since the BCS championship game is being played at the Superdome on January 9th, which is 2 days later.  That only gives the BCS 2 days to prepare the place for that game.
That's a really good point. Also, I think maybe the Giants get to play on Sunday because their regular season ended a bit later than everyone else's.

Pillbox said:
First off: there's KC showing up again in the count!! If you're gonna count them twice, why not everyone else in the division?
I think Joe already said this, but: Den, SD, and Oak do not show up as common opponents since these opponents are not common among all 3 teams. Denver did not play Denver, San Diego did not play San Diego, and Oakland did not play Oakland. On the other hand, I think it can be a matter of semantics. If you did include the Oak-Den, Den-SD, and SD-Oak games, than you are including a subset of games in which all the teams have the same record. So whether or not you include these (head-to-head) games, it will not affect the result of the common games tiebreaking step.

Pillbox said:
When I first questioned the placement of the common opponents division tiebreaker, I was told by Joe himself that the above statement *was not true*. That it was not considered 14 games. I believe he said at the time it was 8. In tonight's post on the matter, it was 10. So which is it?

To sum up what Joe already said:
- Between 2 teams in the same division, it technically is only 12 games since we don't include the 2 head-to-head games.
- Between 3 teams in the same division, it techincally is only 10 games since we don't include the 4 head-to-head games for each team.
- Between 4 teams in the same division, it technically is only 8 games since we don't include the 6 head-to-head games for each team.

Then:
- For any of the above amount of teams in the same division, to consider common games records, division records must be the same. Therefore when looking at common games, we are always considering 8 additional games.

Pillbox said:
But then, my question still remains:
You from H2H (2 games, or in the case of this year's AFC West, 4)
to Division (6)
to Common (14)
to Conference (12)

My question is, why?
I still think it defies the logic of lowest to highest subsets.
[nygbsb42 said]:
...dropping the subset number to 8 possible differing results [for common games]. For conference, this number drops to 6. So it would seem logical for conference record to come first.

I think the logic is supposed to be "highest to lowest" - not "lowest to highest." I therefore, think the logic is sound. And I believe it is meant to explain only why common games was moved ahead of conference record in 2002. We want to look at common games first because it includes 8 additional games, rather than conference record which includes only 6 additional games (not to mention, 2 of the 6 are un-common).





Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 1:52 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

gents and ladies...

I just posted a blog entry to start the long-term discussion of NFL Tiebreaking Rules and Procedures.  Let's head over there when you can. 



Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2012 6:32 pm
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the hierarchy is a by-product from the pre-32 team era when non-conf games were not necessarily common between division opponents (esp. during the 31-team era when the AFC Central had 6 teams).  So since 2002, it has been possible to make all non-conf games common among divisional foes.  So the "hierarchy" was thrown out with the new schedule formula.  I think it is better this way because it makes all 16 opponents important in the tiebreaking process.  You can't take a week off because you are playing a non-conf opponent.
Good point about previous scheduling. However, this does not change the fact that in wildcard tie-break conf is primary, while in the division it is not.

I quite frankly, like the 14 common game scheduling system  under the 8x4 league structure. Itmakes one's final record more equitqble. In the tie-breaker process,  I don't particularly that  more importance is placed on the 4 non-conf games over the 2 non-common confernce games. My proposal was merely a way to soften the "shift" that pillbox complained about.

However, that does not change the fact that all teams -- and not simply the media-- view division gamens, followed by conf games as the "all-importnat ones". The hierarchy is still firmly in place -- except in step 3 of the 3-team division tie-breaker procedure.

It should also be pointed out that divison tie-breaking procedure also override the wild-card process, since it is no longer possible for a 3rd-place team with a stellar confernce record to leap-frog a 2nd place team from the same division to get a wild-card.  

  

 


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