Saints are Heavy Favorites, Whereas There are Numerous Pretenders

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Which NFC groups might problem the New Orleans Saints for supremacy? Which one bear a putting resemblance to pretenders from the previous? To reply this, I whipped up a similarity rating to all playoff groups since 1990, when the NFL adopted the six-team playoff construction in every convention. This time, although, I’m utilizing solely video games via Week 16, since a number of prime contenders have traditionally rested starters within the remaining week.

There have been 336 playoff groups over that span, and I’m wanting on the Prime 15 most just like every NFC playoff hopeful. That represents the 5% of playoff groups most comparable.

Listed below are the classes I used to set this up:

  • Factors scored, adjusted to league common
  • Factors allowed, adjusted to league common
  • Level differential
  • Profitable share
  • web passing yards per play on offense, adjusted to league common
  • web passing yards per play on protection, adjusted to league common
  • dashing yards per stick with it offense, adjusted to league common
  • dashing yards per stick with it protection, adjusted to league common
  • Go to run ratio on offense, adjusted to league common
  • Go to run ratio confronted on protection, adjusted to league common

By wanting not solely at file and factors, but additionally the effectivity stats and passing id classes, we get a great sense of groups that have been most comparable. The Rams and Bears are fairly shut in file and level differential, however the best way they do it’s vastly completely different, with the Rams having the explosive offense and the Bears the a lot better defensive numbers.

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So let’s get to our groups, beginning with the 2 nonetheless vying for the final playoff spot.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Photos)

So I’ve made these charts exhibiting the 15 most comparable groups, and a color-coded chart of how they did in every spherical. Blue is for bye week, inexperienced is for a win and crimson is for a loss.

The Eagles haven’t made the playoffs and are a little bit of a longshot, needing each a win this week and a Vikings loss. In the event that they do make it although … there’s a number of crimson.

The 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars, who shocked a Denver Broncos staff that will go on to win the following two Tremendous Bowls, are the one comparable staff to those Eagles to achieve the Convention Championship Sport. There might be loads of speak of Nick Foles magic if the Eagles return to the postseason, however they don’t bear any resemblance to the groups which have made runs, apart from these Jags. Let’s simply take a look at the information: Philadelphia has a adverse level differential, and whereas they’ve a good passing sport, they’re close to the underside of the league in rush offense and protection numbers, and have under common go protection effectivity stats.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

If the Eagles miss out, it will likely be as a result of the Vikings are in. Surprisingly, there comparable groups don’t fare a lot better.

I say surprisingly, as a result of the Vikings are within the prime eight in each go and rush protection effectivity. However they’re about common as a passing staff this yr, and are a poor rush offense, each in effectivity and quantity. In case you assume the late-season firing of OC John DeFilippo modified issues for this staff, then you definitely would possibly are inclined to assume these numbers are meaningless.

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The 2008 Eagles–who by the way additionally completed 9-6-1 within the common season when Donovan McNabb realized that there could possibly be ties within the NFL–are the one one to achieve a Convention Championship Sport.


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