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Advanced NFL stats projects NFL playoff teams (1 Viewer)

Bracie Smathers

I have heard of NFL stats but didn't know they do weekly playoff projections of every NFL to make the playoffs.

Really interesting site, fantastic podcast too.

The weekly stats not only include the probably percent to make the playoffs but the percentages of how every team should finish in the standings of their own division. They highlight the games with the highest potential to change the projected outcomes and they have a ton of other great statistical insights. Great stuff.

Can't cut-and-paste the tables but will post the teams and percentages to finish first in their division. To see the list in descending order of every team's shot to make the playoffs go to the link.

Also go to the link to see every other team and they also project the percent of each team to finish, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, in their respective divisions.


Playoff Projections - Week 9

Rob Hendryx

AFC East

NE - 82% to finish 1st in their division

AFC South

IND - 87%

AFC North

CIN - 97% (Highest projected percent to win their division)

AFC West

DEN - 54% (over KC who they have at only 45%)


NFC East

DAL 53%

NFC West

SF 82%

NFC North

GB 45%

NFC South

NO 82%

The site really does deserve more attention. They do weekly projected win percentages for EVERY NFL game.

Here is their projections for this week It runs in the New York Times and these guys are not schmucks but hard-core statistians who do analytic work.



Yesterday on this site the podcast had Virgirl Carter. Who many of you may be asking is Virgil Carter? He is the Cincinnati quarterback who Bill Walsh was forced to build an offense around in the early 1970s to take advantage of his weak arm. That offense turned into what we now call the West Coast offense but what I didn't know is that Virgil was drafted by George Halas of the Chicago Bears and when he was with the Bears he also got his stats degree at Northwestern and worked with the Bears doing early analytic work.

Virgil and Bill Walsh worked with Paul Brown to hone the earliest versions of the WC based on ANALYTICS.

Virgil went on to do do many things connected with football stats including writing a weekly column and building a pre-computer football game based on probablities.

Virgil shared some of the things he discovered with his stat work such as:

- Teams have a LOWER probability of scoring a TD if they get a first down inside the 15 yard line down to the 3 yard line. He said if he was coaching a team he would try to impart on his players to step-out of bounds at the 15 yard line if they didn't feel they could get the ball in the endzone or down to the 3 yard line.

Last night I was aware of that nugget of information when I saw Washington get a first down but they got it inside the 10 yard line so it was 1st and goal just inside the 10. They did not score a TD.

- Virgil Carter also noted their is a far higher probablity for teams to score AFTER they have been scored upon. I believe they called it a 'motivational factor'. After Washington scored Minnesota drove down to score the next series.

- Virgil noted their is a signficant bell curve of scoring at certain points on the field. He said teams who start drives inside the ten yard line face a much tougher task of scoring than teams who start at the tweny and that their chances to score go up sigficantly if they begin drives near the 30 yard line.

- Virgil noted some other interesting facts such as when a right footed punter punts to the left the spin of the ball rotates counter to forward momentum which tends to make the ball die if the punt goes to the left but if it goes to the right the forward momentum forces the punt to go straight. I'm assuming the opposite for left-footed punters aiming punts to the right. He suggested that punters use that strategy to make coffin-corner punts for force teams to start drives inside the ten yard line which fit in well with the above stat where he said that the probability of scoring goes down significantly for teams starting drives inside the 10 yard line.

- One other notable stat mentioned by Virgil was that he said that he felt teams should use their 3rd string quarterbacks as 2 point specialists because he said that teams underutilize the 2 point conversion. He said that going for 2 would give teams a statistically better chance of winning if they only hit on 65% of their 2 point conversion attempts. He felt that using the 3rd string quarterbacks as 2 point conversion specialists would make better use of that position and it would allow for a better chance of success since the 2 point conversion is a specialist-type of play.

I thought that was very interesting.

Lots of good stuff at the site, the podcast was from yesterday, they have a new one up today but I just stumbled upon this site and its one I'm going to file away. Very interesting insights and I'll follow the conclusions that they come up with because the ones I heaerd yesterday proved out in last night's game.


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