2019 Playoff Seeding and Home Field Advantage Watch

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The Browns also lit them up @BAL and they are playing them in Cleveland Week 16. Also the more time goes by with them running this offense the more film there is. I’d bet the Pats end up at 13-3 and Ravens 12-4
Keep in mind that BAL's defense is completely different than the one that played CLE the first time.
 

lexrageorge

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CLE was the Ravens' WTF loss that every team has at least once per season. They could have another, but I wouldn't count on it being in Cleveland. Their toughest game will be the against the 49'ers; they will be flying back from LA after their Monday night tilt against the Rams, which means they will be getting into Baltimore on sunrise on Tuesday. And SF is no joke.

And while the Rams have been disappointing, they will be at home on a Monday night. Buffalo on the road will be difficult. The Jets will be a W. Cleveland likewise. The Steelers look pretty beat up and, unless they go on a win streak, could be preserving their best players for 2020 by then. 12-4 seems like their floor.
 

bagwell1

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With a bye now a virtual lock, the 3/4 seeds are firmly on my radar.

#1 seed is still top priority but a KC/Balt( barring unexpected results) divisional is a pretty close 2nd for me.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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I am pretty sure a 13-3 Patriots team holds the tiebreaker over a 13-3 Bills team in your scenario, so it doesn't quite apply.

I'm not sure why it's nonsensical... If Ravens win out with a 14-2 record, including a win over the Pats, they are deserving of top seed. Hope for the rematch and some revenge at M&T
If the Bills win out, they will (at worst) tie the head-to-head and divisional tiebreaker vs. the Pats. If the Patriots lose vMIA, then the Patriots would lose the divisional tiebreaker.

Next is common games - Bills losses are vs. 2 common teams (PHI & CLE). The Ravens loss is a common team - so are CIN & DAL. If the Patriots lose @HOU or vKC, they win this tie-breaker.

If they tie on common games, and the Patriots loss is vDAL, then they'd tie on Conference Record. If the Patriots loss is @CIN, then the Bills would in on Conference Record.

Then we go to Strength of Victory - I'm not going to do the math on SoV if Patriots lose to BUF and DAL and BUF wins out, but the Bills beating BAL would help them, but so is the Patriots beating PHI and HOU and KC - my guess is the Patriots win this tie-breaker.


Thus, if the Pats's 3rd loss is vMIA or @CIN, the Bills win the division at 13-3. If the Pats's 3rd loss is @HOU or vKC or vDAL, the Pats win the division.

I know which of those I think is more likely.
 

dcmissle

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I think the biggest challenge for BAL will be keeping Lamar on the field for the rest of the season. Injuries are a fact of life for all players, but anecdotally it seems that running QBs have a much higher injury rate than pocket QBs.
If he goes down, everything changes. But he does seem to know how to protect himself, and he’s strong like bull.

30, 37, 49 and 41 — the number of points scored against the Seahawks, Patriots, Bengals and Texans the last 4 games.

That’s the current reality. We really need to pick up our offense several notches to have a fair fight against them. Calling out the o-line, the backs, coaches and receivers. Field goals are not going to cut it.
 

Euclis20

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Honestly, the Pats are the outlier there. The Seahawks/Bengals/Texans are ranked 22nd/32nd/18th in defensive DVOA (and the last one doesn't fully take into account the fact that JJ Watt is out), the only above average defense the Ravens have faced recently is the Pats.
 

InstaFace

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If the Bills win out, they will (at worst) tie the head-to-head and divisional tiebreaker vs. the Pats. If the Patriots lose vMIA, then the Patriots would lose the divisional tiebreaker.

Next is common games - Bills losses are vs. 2 common teams (PHI & CLE). The Ravens loss is a common team - so are CIN & DAL. If the Patriots lose @HOU or vKC, they win this tie-breaker.

If they tie on common games, and the Patriots loss is vDAL, then they'd tie on Conference Record. If the Patriots loss is @CIN, then the Bills would in on Conference Record.

Then we go to Strength of Victory - I'm not going to do the math on SoV if Patriots lose to BUF and DAL and BUF wins out, but the Bills beating BAL would help them, but so is the Patriots beating PHI and HOU and KC - my guess is the Patriots win this tie-breaker.


Thus, if the Pats's 3rd loss is vMIA or @CIN, the Bills win the division at 13-3. If the Pats's 3rd loss is @HOU or vKC or vDAL, the Pats win the division.

I know which of those I think is more likely.
Fun facts:
- In the 32-team era (2002-present), a 13-3 team has never failed to win its division, and only once (2011 Saints) failed to also get a bye.
- There have been 8x 12-4 wildcard teams, 7 of the 8 in the AFC (including last year).
- The 2006 Saints got a bye at 10-6, the lone 10-win team to do so. Six 11-win teams have gotten byes, including the 2002 Raiders getting the 1-seed.

The scenarios you're speculating about would be unprecedented in a range of different ways; seems very unlikely to work out like that.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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CLE was the Ravens' WTF loss that every team has at least once per season.
CLE wasn't really a WTF loss. BAL played CLE pretty close but there were a bunch of blown coverages/assignments that lead to CLE players running free in the second half. The main culprits of these blown coverages/assignments - Kenny Young, Tim Williams, and Tony Jefferson - are no longer playing.

BAL has enough talent - particularly at corners - that just having guys be in the correct place leads to much better results. Plus they've been getting improved play from their ends - Jaylon Ferguson and Ty Bowser - particularly in terms of setting the edge.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I think the biggest challenge for BAL will be keeping Lamar on the field for the rest of the season. Injuries are a fact of life for all players, but anecdotally it seems that running QBs have a much higher injury rate than pocket QBs.
Anecdotally, I suppose this is true but I am beginning to wonder about this, particularly with regards to Lamar.

I can say that two hardest hits that Lamar has taken over the last couple of games have been when he is in the pocket, not when he is out running. Lamar also seems to have an ability - as Greg Roman has mentioned - that he is so in control when he runs, he seems like he can control whether he is going to get hit hard.

Will be interesting to see.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Fun facts:
- In the 32-team era (2002-present), a 13-3 team has never failed to win its division, and only once (2011 Saints) failed to also get a bye.
- There have been 8x 12-4 wildcard teams, 7 of the 8 in the AFC (including last year).
- The 2006 Saints got a bye at 10-6, the lone 10-win team to do so. Six 11-win teams have gotten byes, including the 2002 Raiders getting the 1-seed.

The scenarios you're speculating about would be unprecedented in a range of different ways; seems very unlikely to work out like that.
I agree, it's incredibly unlikely that the Patriots and Bills will both finish (at least) 13-3.
 

Saints Rest

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Anecdotally, I suppose this is true but I am beginning to wonder about this, particularly with regards to Lamar.

I can say that two hardest hits that Lamar has taken over the last couple of games have been when he is in the pocket, not when he is out running. Lamar also seems to have an ability - as Greg Roman has mentioned - that he is so in control when he runs, he seems like he can control whether he is going to get hit hard.

Will be interesting to see.
I think it's just math. Lamar is 6'-2", 212. As a pocket QB, he might get hit a 5-10 times, but generally in a more manner that involves less speed, both his own (as he's more likely standing still or close to it) and the sacker. On a run, he's now not only adding more opportunities to get hit, but also doing so when the A in F=M(A) equation is going to be increased.

Now compare him to other running QB's: Newton is huge (6-5, 245) but RG III is almost the exact same size and we know how that turned out for him.
 

[icon]

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I will be shocked if this Patriots team doesn't drop at least 1 over the next 3 weeks.

Call me pessimistic, but the WR Corps has gone from Ho-Hum to Stellar then back to Ho-Hum (possibly worse if Dorsett can't return quickly). BB/TB12 have always done an admirable job of overcoming a lack of tools, and perhaps they deserve more benefit of the doubt from me. I'm just not sure how much Wynn's return will bolster that OL, nor how much we can count on him to remain healthy the balance of the season. The Defense has done an incredible job of patching things up.

If I was a betting man, I'd say the path to HFA runs through Baltimore. I hope I'm wrong.
 

DJnVa

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I'm just not sure how much Wynn's return will bolster that OL
A lot.

When the Eagles lost Johnson yesterday they had 10 points. They finished with 10 points. The Patriots had 5 sacks, all after he went out of the game. The OL matters a lot. If Wynn comes back, stays healthy, it puts everyone on the OL in a better place. I don't think we can understate how important it is.
 

BigJimEd

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I think it's just math. Lamar is 6'-2", 212. As a pocket QB, he might get hit a 5-10 times, but generally in a more manner that involves less speed, both his own (as he's more likely standing still or close to it) and the sacker. On a run, he's now not only adding more opportunities to get hit, but also doing so when the A in F=M(A) equation is going to be increased.

Now compare him to other running QB's: Newton is huge (6-5, 245) but RG III is almost the exact same size and we know how that turned out for him.
But when running I don't think they generally take the full force. I'd think a hit in the pocket is more likely to result in an injury. Of course, running obviously leads to more hits so there is increase there.

The other potential worry is long term. There's a reason RBs don't generally have a long shelf life. Will Jackson be as effective as a runner in 4 years?
 

Euclis20

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I think it's just math. Lamar is 6'-2", 212. As a pocket QB, he might get hit a 5-10 times, but generally in a more manner that involves less speed, both his own (as he's more likely standing still or close to it) and the sacker. On a run, he's now not only adding more opportunities to get hit, but also doing so when the A in F=M(A) equation is going to be increased.

Now compare him to other running QB's: Newton is huge (6-5, 245) but RG III is almost the exact same size and we know how that turned out for him.
The amazing one to me is Russell Wilson. He's small (5'11) but compact (215 pounds), averages about 500 rushing yards per season (less than Jackson/Newton/Vick but more than Mahomes/Kaepernick) and has never missed a start.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I think the hits thing is a bit overrated. Wilson is roughly the same size as Tomlinson back in the day who had 400 or so touches (rush and completed rec) per year for almost a decade. Wilson is running about 100 times a year and being a QB avoiding most hits compared to a RB.

I know Tomlinson is a HoF talent (as much as I hate him) but guys that size have 3x-4x the hits and still make it 6-7 years in the league.
 

Greekca

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Playing QB is very different than playing RB though. There is a lot more fine motor control and technique that goes into throwing a football than running with it. Bumps and bruises suffered by a QB are much more likely to negatively impact their job performance.

It is pretty clear in watching Wilson that he is the best in the game at avoiding hits. He truly takes what is given and doesn't push the envelope like RGIII. Everyone likes to talk about his baseball background, but he is the best at sliding.
 

luckiestman

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Things are more interesting here than I initially thought. Everyone, myself included, seems to be slotting in Buffalo at the 5. We’ll, I just looked at their final 5 games.

Cowboys
Ravens
Steelers
Pats
Jets

2-3 is a real possibility and 1-4 isn’t crazy. This means things can get crazy and strange tie breakers are going to come into play.

Titans are coming on strong but they have

Colts
Raiders
Houston
New Orleans
Houston

Browns at 5-6 have a path to 9-7 with

Pitt
Cincy
Cards
Baltimore
Cincy

Oakland still alive for 9-7 if they lose next 2.
Chiefs
Titans
Jax
Chargers
Denver


Colts look good with 3-2 getting to 9-7
Tenn
TB
NO
Carolina
Jax

Steelers (could get 3-2 but I think 2-3 more likely)
Cle
Ariz
Buff
Jets
Ravens

We need the Cowboys over Bills on Turkey Day for maximum playoff excitement.
 
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InstaFace

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Current standings:

1. NE 10-1
2. BAL 9-2
3. HOU 7-4
4. IND 6-5
5. BUF 8-3
6. KC 7-4
7. PIT, OAK, TEN all 6-5

Those wild card weekend games are going to be nuts. Still a lot of time for things to shake out and teams to separate themselves.

As to Buffalo, there was this from the News / Transactions thread:

FWIW, I think the 5 seed is up for grabs too (for anyone, not just the Colts). The Bills remaining schedule is pretty daunting:

@ Dallas (Thursday)
Vs. Baltimore
@ Pittsburgh
@ New England
Vs Jets

They are probably dogs in 4 of 5. They did well to bank 8 wins before this stretch, but getting to 10 will require them to pull off an upset.
. I did a quick sim with projected point spreads and have them at
0 wins: 9%
1 win: 27%
2 wins: 35%
3 wins: 22%
4 wins: 7%
5 wins: 1%
hah, 5 wins. Running the table, including the return visit to NE, would actually pry the division from the Pats' (cold, dead) hands, too. We joke about "wide open" but if they truly won out, and the Pats lost to one of KC or HOU in the next two weeks (the only realistic losses) on top of vs BUF, then both teams would both finish 13-3, split head-to-head, 5-1 in the division, each have one loss in non-divisional common games (BAL for NE, CLE for BUF), and it would then go to Conference record - Which BUF wins, as one loss of theirs was to PHI while NE's other would be in-conference to KC or HOU.

If the Bills hold serve on Thursday at JerrahWorld and NE gets upset in Houston next Sunday, it'll be the first time that a Divisional opponent controlled their own destiny for the division title all the way into December since the 2010 pasting of the Rex Ryan Jets 45-3 on MNF Dec 6th (both teams entered 9-2, Jets with the previous H2H win).
DVOA hates them but for the moment they have the 3rd best record in the conference.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Current standings:

1. NE 10-1
2. BAL 9-2
3. HOU 7-4
4. IND 6-5
5. BUF 8-3
6. KC 7-4
7. PIT, OAK, TEN all 6-5

Those wild card weekend games are going to be nuts. Still a lot of time for things to shake out and teams to separate themselves.

As to Buffalo, there was this from the News / Transactions thread:




DVOA hates them but for the moment they have the 3rd best record in the conference.
KC should be 4th as the division winner.

If Houston manages to hold off KC for the 3 seed (not all that unlikely given schedules), the difference between getting the 1 and 2 seeds really narrows. The 1 seed likely ends up with KC in the divisional round then hosts the AFC championship game if they make it, while the 2 seed likely ends up with Houston then has to go on the road in the AFC championship game. Obviously HFA is important. But I think there could be a significant difference between having to play KC, who can hurt anybody if their offense starts clicking again, and HOU, who just aren't that scary to me (particularly without Watt).
 
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InstaFace

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We need the Cowboys over Bills on Turkey Day for maximum playoff excitement.
No way man, I hope the Bills win their next 3 and come into Foxboro at 11-3 with the division still a possibility. That's the only way the Pats are going to know where they're at for the playoffs if they get a 100% focused BUF team.
 

wilked

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From what I’ve seen Bills get in playoffs with 10 wins on most scenarios
 

m0ckduck

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How about a power poll update? I'd go...

TIER 1 - Inner circle (in no particular order):
- 49ers
- Saints
- Ravens
- Patriots

TIER 2 - Outside SB contenders:
5. Chiefs
6. Seahawks

TIER 3 - Not legit SB contenders, but can make some noise in Jan, potentially knock off a top seed:
7. Vikings

TER 4- Talent at key positions, but incomplete:
8. Packers
9. Texans
10. Cowboys

TIER 5 - Playoff-bound, but easy outs:
11. Bills
12. Colts

TIER 6 - On the bubble:
13.Eagles
14. Raiders
15. Titans
16. Rams
17. Steelers
17. Brows
 

luckiestman

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No way man, I hope the Bills win their next 3 and come into Foxboro at 11-3 with the division still a possibility. That's the only way the Pats are going to know where they're at for the playoffs if they get a 100% focused BUF team.
Pretty hard to not slot them in at the 5 now. At a minimum 9-7. Who has the clearest write up on tie breakers. I want to see 4 or 5 teams at 9-7.
 

johnmd20

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How about a power poll update? I'd go...

TIER 1 - Inner circle (in no particular order):
- 49ers
- Saints
- Ravens
- Patriots

TIER 2 - Outside SB contenders:
5. Chiefs
6. Seahawks

TIER 3 - Not legit SB contenders, but can make some noise in Jan, potentially knock off a top seed:
7. Vikings

TER 4- Talent at key positions, but incomplete:
8. Packers
9. Texans
10. Cowboys

TIER 5 - Playoff-bound, but easy outs:
11. Bills
12. Colts

TIER 6 - On the bubble:
13.Eagles
14. Raiders
15. Titans
16. Rams
17. Steelers
17. Brows
Putting Dallas ahead of Buffalo is malpractice. Dallas are at Tier 6. Or 7.
 

luckiestman

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So, with Buff slotted in at 5. We could get to:

2 7-5 teams ( Hou (after loss to Pats) and winner of Titans/Colts)

and 4 6-6 teams:

Browns over Pitt (both would be 6-6)

Raiders lose to Chiefs

Loser of Colts/Titans
 

E5 Yaz

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Bills have Ravens (H), @ Steelers, @ Patriots, Jets (H)

The way they're playing, I wouldn't feel comfortable guessing on what they'll finish
 

luckiestman

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Bills have Ravens (H), @ Steelers, @ Patriots, Jets (H)

The way they're playing, I wouldn't feel comfortable guessing on what they'll finish
True, but they have 9 wins already. I was looking through the tie breaker rules but it is too soon as they are convoluted this far out when you have 3 or 4 squads
 

Mollyspop

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Only if you think the dropoff from him to the next guy is going to cost the Pats this week's game.

Do you?
Jeez - I hope not - it's just that I'm getting worried about the offense. It's funny - after almost 20 years of watching the Pats at the top of the league in scoring, I just can't get used to enjoying them keep other teams from scoring!

Also, watching how bad kickers are, across the league, I guess it shouldn't affect things for the Pats that much.
 

tims4wins

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Jeez - I hope not - it's just that I'm getting worried about the offense. It's funny - after almost 20 years of watching the Pats at the top of the league in scoring, I just can't get used to enjoying them keep other teams from scoring!

Also, watching how bad kickers are, across the league, I guess it shouldn't affect things for the Pats that much.
Just tell yourself that this is 2003 all over again and you’ll be fine. That team had such masterpiece wins as 9-3 over Cleveland (at home), 17-6 over the Giants, 12-0 over the Cowboys, 12-0 over Miami, 19-13 over Miami, 23-16 over the Jets, 20-16 over the Broncos, and 23-20 over the Texans. Nearly every damn week was ugly. They only won 15 in a row (and 6 more to start the next season).
 

jsinger121

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Just tell yourself that this is 2003 all over again and you’ll be fine. That team had such masterpiece wins as 9-3 over Cleveland (at home), 17-6 over the Giants, 12-0 over the Cowboys, 12-0 over Miami, 19-13 over Miami, 23-16 over the Jets, 20-16 over the Broncos, and 23-20 over the Texans. Nearly every damn week was ugly. They only won 15 in a row (and 6 more to start the next season).
They won 30-26 over Denver
 

BaseballJones

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1. Bal 10-2
2. NE 10-2
3. Hou 8-4
4. KC 8-4
5. Buf 9-3
6. Pit 7-5

Baltimore isn't going to lose any more regular season games, and they'll have the #1 seed. I think NE goes 3-1 over the last four to finish 13-3 and have the #2 seed. Houston has four pretty winnable games and I think they end up 12-4 or 11-5. KC plays at NE next week and I think goes 3-1 or 4-0 to get to 12-4 or 11-5. Buffalo goes 2-2 and finishes 11-5. Pittsburgh...who cares.

So it would set up:

1. Bal 14-2
2. NE 13-3
3. Hou or KC
4. KC or Hou
5. Buf
6. Pit or whomever

I think NE will play well in the divisional round at home and advance to the AFCCG. They'll just find a way to win that game no matter who the opponent is. That would then probably put them in Baltimore. By then I hope the offense is playing much better and the defense has the flu and any issues it has figured out and put to bed and is back to being a kick ass defense. Obviously Baltimore would be favored in that game, but I think the Pats could give them a hell of a run. They've won AFCCGs on the road before (2x at dominant Pittsburgh, last year at KC). It would be a major league challenge, but you get to that point, and roll the dice...I'd be happy with that outcome.
 

shoosh77

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In the scenario above, isn’t the ideal Hou (As 3 seed) and Buff winning, followed the next week by NE taking care of business in the elements against Hou and Buffalo squeaking by Balt to set up Buff at NE for trip to SuperBowl?
 

BaseballJones

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In the scenario above, isn’t the ideal Hou (As 3 seed) and Buff winning, followed the next week by NE taking care of business in the elements against Hou and Buffalo squeaking by Balt to set up Buff at NE for trip to SuperBowl?
Sure. But that's not what I think will happen.
 

BigSoxFan

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Next week really is a huge game for the Pats. Win that and the 2 seed is almost locked up. A win also really damages KC’s chances at the 3 seed and sets up the Pats for a rematch against Houston, which they would win. Wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Chiefs win in Baltimore in January.
 

wilked

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Assuming patriots beat the Dolphins and bengals as a baseline....

and assuming bills lose at least one of Ravens / Steelers

then they win the division. Even w losses to KC and BUF the Patriots win the tiebreaker (common opponents).

one silver lining - their two toughest games remaining are KC and BUf, and both are at home, where they haven’t lost since Oct 1 2017
 

BigSoxFan

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Assuming patriots beat the Dolphins and bengals as a baseline....

and assuming bills lose at least one of Ravens / Steelers

then they win the division. Even w losses to KC and BUF the Patriots win the tiebreaker (common opponents).

one silver lining - their two toughest games remaining are KC and BUf, and both are at home, where they haven’t lost since Oct 1 2017
Yup. Two tough games but I’d be hard pressed to see them losing both. Or to either Miami or Cincy. #2 seed sounds about right. And depending on the matchups, it may lead to a more preferable Divisional Round opponent.
 

BaseballJones

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For everyone (here, though there aren't many, or nationally) writing the Patriots off, let me just issue this reminder....

2014. The Patriots were 2-2 after getting destroyed by the Chiefs. Pundits said they were done. That they were actually a "bad" team. They then beat Cincinnati (we're on to Cincinnati) and then beat Baltimore, Indy, and a near-dynasty Seattle team in the Super Bowl after being down 10 points in the fourth quarter.

2016. They were written off at the start following their 2015 loss to Denver in the AFCCG, and Brady was suspended the first four games. They proceeded to win the Super Bowl after being down 28-3 to Atlanta.

2018. They were written off after losing to the Eagles in the Super Bowl. They were further written off when they lost 3 of 5 during the middle/end of the season to Tennessee, Miami, and Pittsburgh. They limped into the playoffs at 11-5. They then proceeded to beat the Chargers, Chiefs (on the road), and Rams to win the Super Bowl.

Long story short: this team has a history of coming back after being written off. They look bad right now, but they looked bad in 2018 too. They looked really bad in 2014 after the Chiefs game. They have looked bad before and have gotten it together. When they're in the bad place it's hard to see how they're gonna pull out of it. But this team under BB/TB has done it time and time again. I wouldn't bet against them doing it again.
 

DeadlySplitter

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the difference to me is that the offense is much less talented, due to retirement & injury. I wouldn't bet against them but I wouldn't bet on them either right now either.

the defense is really good but this is the NFL and playoff caliber teams will score in the 20s against them, as we've seen. shit like the KVN holding non-call last night would be a death blow in the playoffs if this is the team we get in January.

try to get a bye and we have 5 weeks to coach 'em up.
 

Shaky Walton

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For everyone (here, though there aren't many, or nationally) writing the Patriots off, let me just issue this reminder....

2014. The Patriots were 2-2 after getting destroyed by the Chiefs. Pundits said they were done. That they were actually a "bad" team. They then beat Cincinnati (we're on to Cincinnati) and then beat Baltimore, Indy, and a near-dynasty Seattle team in the Super Bowl after being down 10 points in the fourth quarter.

2016. They were written off at the start following their 2015 loss to Denver in the AFCCG, and Brady was suspended the first four games. They proceeded to win the Super Bowl after being down 28-3 to Atlanta.

2018. They were written off after losing to the Eagles in the Super Bowl. They were further written off when they lost 3 of 5 during the middle/end of the season to Tennessee, Miami, and Pittsburgh. They limped into the playoffs at 11-5. They then proceeded to beat the Chargers, Chiefs (on the road), and Rams to win the Super Bowl.

Long story short: this team has a history of coming back after being written off. They look bad right now, but they looked bad in 2018 too. They looked really bad in 2014 after the Chiefs game. They have looked bad before and have gotten it together. When they're in the bad place it's hard to see how they're gonna pull out of it. But this team under BB/TB has done it time and time again. I wouldn't bet against them doing it again.
I strongly agree that writing them off would be a huge mistake.

Belichick and Brady have won enough that we should all know better.

The defense, despite how they looked at times last night, is very strong.

But the offensive weapons at WR and TE that Brady has this season are appreciably worse than what he had at his disposal in the years you mentioned.

Between Edelman being older and beat up, and there being really no other dependable threats at WR and TE, the task is tougher this time around in my opinion.