Again, I am very aware that playoff outcomes and football games are determined on the field. Not in stats nerds’ (like me!) basement.
But since we did it a week ago, I think it’s something to keep up with for some Sunday pre-game reading. Last time, we looked at two website’s playoff models: Playoffstatus.com and ESPN’s 538.
Also, I like having fun with the “Tomlin reaction shot photo” for each of this. So we’re running with it.
A week ago, each had the Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff hopes hovering just above 50% – basically, a coin flip.
After Thursday’s win over the Indianapolis Colts to putt hem back at 6-5, each site has dramatically increased those figures.
Playoffstatus now has the Steelers at a 66% chance of making the big dance. They also have a 35% chance of advancing to the Divisional round, up from 27% at last weekend’s check.
538 has an even bigger jump, giving them a 72% chance of making the playoffs. That stems mostly off a 70% chance to win the AFC North though the Wildcard spot could open up just a bit more if the dominoes fall right this weekend. Take a peek at Dave Bryan’s breakdown on the slate of games you should be checking throughout your afternoon.
Predictably, the Baltimore Ravens’ numbers have fallen off, with Playoffstatus putting things at 32% and 538 even a worse outlook, just 23%. They will take on the Cincinnati Bengals this afternoon, whose playoff hopes can be virtually eliminated with a loss, followed by the Miami Dolphins the week after. Either way, the Steelers will get some help in that game.
Of course, with the potential for the Steelers to take control of the AFC North, they’re looking a lot less at “help” than a week ago. That second matchup against the Ravens is pivotal and as we explained last week, could be one that clinches them the division. If they take care of their business, all this box score watching will amount to nothing, just an activity to pass the time. They control their own destiny.
That’s how you’d expect it to be.