Picking the Super Bowl is a crapshoot. It’s single elimination, full of talented teams, making it generally impossible to know who will be hoisting the Lombardi in February. The folks at NFL.com are looking to quantify the odds, a new study that takes 100 metrics of playoff success and applies them to the current crop.
Some of those metrics include: playoff experience, pass rush, run defense when trailing, and regular season road game success. Add it all up and you get a number out of 100. The Pittsburgh Steelers came in 4th place with a score of 73.
That trailed the New England Patriots (92), Minnesota Vikings (79), and Carolina Panthers (74). The explanations for each team were a bit short but for Pittsburgh, the article explains:
“The Steelers have the best chance to challenge the Patriots in the AFC. Their ability to win on the road (7-1 away) could bode well for a potential rematch in the conference championship game (Week 15: NE defeated PIT in Pittsburgh, 27-24).”
As we’ve mentioned before, for all the problems the Steelers feel like they have on the road, they were one of the best teams away from their city this season. Maybe not all the games were pretty but on the road, in the NFL, they generally aren’t going to be blowouts. And the Steelers found ways to won. That helps their chances in the event they head back to New England for an AFC Title rematch.
Just compare their road record to the rest of the playoff picture. New England has an identical 7-1 record. The Kansas City Chiefs are 4-4 away from Arrowhead. Ditto the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans are 3-5 on the road.
If you’re curious, the Philadelphia Eagles finish one number behind the Steelers at 72. Jacksonville, a potential opponent for the Steelers next weekend, comes in 8th place. Two AFC teams round out the bottom, the Titans and the Bills.
Of course, they’re just numbers and once the games start, you can forget this article ever existed. But it’s an interesting approach to playoff predictions and their method has some history and success with it.