Saints are Heavy Favorites, Whereas There are A lot of Pretenders

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Which NFC groups might problem the New Orleans Saints for supremacy? Which one bear a placing 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 ultimate week.

There have been 336 playoff groups over that span, and I’m trying on the High 15 most much like every NFC playoff hopeful. That represents the 5% of playoff groups most related.

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

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

By trying not solely at file and factors, but in addition the effectivity stats and passing id classes, we get a superb sense of groups that had been most related. The Rams and Bears are fairly shut in file and level differential, however the way in which they do it’s vastly completely different, with the Rams having the explosive offense and the Bears the significantly 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 Pictures)

So I’ve made these charts exhibiting the 15 most related 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 lot of crimson.

The 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars, who shocked a Denver Broncos group that may go on to win the following two Tremendous Bowls, are the one related group to those Eagles to achieve the Convention Championship Sport. There will probably be loads of discuss 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, aside from these Jags. Let’s simply have a look at the details: Philadelphia has a unfavorable level differential, and whereas they’ve an honest passing sport, they’re close to the underside of the league in rush offense and protection numbers, and have beneath 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 significantly 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 group 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 group, you then 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 may very well be ties within the NFL–are the one one to achieve a Convention Championship Sport.


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