AFC playoff chase 2021

Nov 21, 2021
2
Hard to believe the pats now have the longest active win streak at 5 games and the greatest differential in the NFL at +123, just edging BUF. If we stay healthy, i feel like we have as good a chance as anyone now that the bills, titans, and chieves have all been shown to be vulnerable.
 

Euclis20

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Hard to believe the pats now have the longest active win streak at 5 games and the greatest differential in the NFL at +123, just edging BUF. If we stay healthy, i feel like we have as good a chance as anyone now that the bills, titans, and chieves have all been shown to be vulnerable.
Assuming they hold on, everyone is going to be pushing the Chiefs pretty hard this week. As they should.
 

johnmd20

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Prater is a true debacle today. Seattle's season is hanging by a thread and Prater is the one holding the thread.
 

tims4wins

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Incredibly, the Colts have the most points in the entire NFL. The Pats are 2.

Edit make that 2 and 3 with Arizona’s game complete
 

E5 Yaz

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Patriots tie-break edge over KC is in conference record ... 5-1 (FU Miami) to 2-4
 

E5 Yaz

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I don't think that will happen, honestly. Yeah it sucked, but the team was terrible at the time and I think we're mostly still in shock that they are as good as they are right now.
I think he's talking about the one at the end of the season
 

j-man

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AFC Playoff chase
1 Balt 7-3 should be 5-5 hello chi and det but they have a horseshoe up their ass
2 ne 7-4 right now the best afc team
3 Tenn 8-3 that hou loss will most likely cost them the AFC 1 seed
4 KC 7-4 should be 12-5 i doubt tenn loses 3 more games but who knows
5 buff 6-4 unless they sweep ne idk if they can win the east
6 indy 6-5 will lose 2-3 more games they earn this spot because of today
7 LAC/PITT 5-4 5-3-1 must win for pitt LAC has more talent than pitt but they blow 2/3 games a year
9 ciny 6-4 if ciny can spit the next 2 games and win @ denver will not be no worse than 11-6
10 cle 6-5 they are a 9-win team
11 den 5-5 if they spit the next 2 beat ciny spit @vegas @ LAC and KC seed is locked in in week 18 they win 10 will they be enough i say yes for a 7 seed 9 will not be enough
12 vegas 5-5 i think 8-9 right now
13 mia 4-7 the best they can do is stop ne from winning the AFC East
14 Hou 2-8 this win might cost hou a good qb for 22
15 jax 2-8 they are cursed
16 nyj 2-8 they are also cursed
 

luckiestman

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I feel like years form now this season will be referred to as The Year of the Inexplicable Loss. So many teams at some many times have simply given a WTF effort and been appropriately rewarded for it.
Titans have lost to Houston and Jets
 

AB in DC

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Titans are a bit of a mirage at 8-3. They beat New Orleans because the Saints kicker shanked a couple of XPs. They had OT wins against Seattle and Indy despite being largely outplayed both times. This is basically a 5-6 or 6-5 team with above-average luck.
 

mr_smith02

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Titans are a bit of a mirage at 8-3. They beat New Orleans because the Saints kicker shanked a couple of XPs. They had OT wins against Seattle and Indy despite being largely outplayed both times. This is basically a 5-6 or 6-5 team with above-average luck.
It feels like a majority of the league is made up of mirage teams...so much parity.
 

AB in DC

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Especially in the AFC. it feels like 11-6 might be good enough for the #1 seed this year. When's the last time a 1-seed only won 11 games? Or 12?
 

azsoxpatsfan

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The Titans are 4-1 in one possession games

The Ravens are 5-1

The Patriots are 1-3

The Chiefs are 3-2

The Steelers are 5-0-1

The Bengals are 2-3

The Bills are 0-3

based strictly on this, the Patriots and Bills and maybe Bengals have been slightly unlucky, with a few of the “top” teams in the AFC getting by on smoke and mirrors. Mirage is a fitting word
 

Rook05

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Anyone watching the mid season Hard Knocks on the Colts? Gonna be must watch this week through the Pats game.
 

BaseballJones

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Crazy that as of this moment, Buffalo is barely hanging onto the #7 spot in the AFC, while NE is at #3.
 

BigSoxFan

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It's also crazy that there is only 1.5 games separating the Pats at the 3 seed from the Broncos at 12.
Yup. We’re happy now but we’ve got a really tough stretch coming up and really must win at least 2 games. This Titans game is huge. Home game against a beatable opponent but you know Vrabel will have them ready.
 

Captaincoop

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The Titans are 4-1 in one possession games

The Ravens are 5-1

The Patriots are 1-3

The Chiefs are 3-2

The Steelers are 5-0-1

The Bengals are 2-3

The Bills are 0-3

based strictly on this, the Patriots and Bills and maybe Bengals have been slightly unlucky, with a few of the “top” teams in the AFC getting by on smoke and mirrors. Mirage is a fitting word
Those other top teams could counter that they've had tougher schedules than the Pats.

I'll go with we are right where we belong. With a great chance to move up.
 

RedOctober3829

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Yup. We’re happy now but we’ve got a really tough stretch coming up and really must win at least 2 games. This Titans game is huge. Home game against a beatable opponent but you know Vrabel will have them ready.
In a way, the season starts this week. The last few weeks have just put the Pats in a position to take advantage of their situation. No one is going to remember that they were in first place the week of Thanksgiving if they don't take care of business the next 4 weeks.

It goes without saying, but the status of AJ Brown is absolutely huge. If they don't have him, their offense may look like Atlanta's did on Thursday.
 

m0ckduck

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As usual, health will determine more moving forward than whatever disparities in talent we observe at the moment. A healthy Broncos team (currently 12th in the standings) beats an injury-riddled Titans team if they were to face each other week 17. Particularly with the extra game this season, some of these teams will be shells of themselves by the end of season.

Injury luck can't be predicted. But certain teams are thinner than others, with more single points of failure— where one guy is integral to the performance of the whole unit. QB is a single point of failure for basically every team— that goes without saying. Putting aside QB, I heard someone making the the case that the Chiefs are particularly vulnerable: Kelce and Hill on offense, Jones and Clark on D— without any one of those guys, the team becomes a lot less scary. I guess for the Pats (non-QB division) biggest single points of failure are... Judon, the starting DBs and maybe the O-line?
 

j44thor

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Absurd that BAL sits in second solely because of the blatant missed DoG penalty vs the Lions that directly lead to the BAL victory.
Unless the improbable happens and BAL implodes that play is going to have significant playoff implications. Hope the rules committee takes a hard look at DoG in the offseason. It is one of the very few technically non-subjective calls in the NFL yet they still treat it as subjective.
 

lars10

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As usual, health will determine more moving forward than whatever disparities in talent we observe at the moment. A healthy Broncos team (currently 12th in the standings) beats an injury-riddled Titans team if they were to face each other week 17. Particularly with the extra game this season, some of these teams will be shells of themselves by the end of season.

Injury luck can't be predicted. But certain teams are thinner than others, with more single points of failure— where one guy is integral to the performance of the whole unit. QB is a single point of failure for basically every team— that goes without saying. Putting aside QB, I heard someone making the the case that the Chiefs are particularly vulnerable: Kelce and Hill on offense, Jones and Clark on D— without any one of those guys, the team becomes a lot less scary. I guess for the Pats (non-QB division) biggest single points of failure are... Judon, the starting DBs and maybe the O-line?
I think Henry could be a case for Tenn.. he was basically their offense.. especially late in games where he rolled over defenses he’d been destroying for three quarters.
 

pokey_reese

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Pats are heading into this stretch with a great chance to step on some throats in the AFC playoff race, but they are also in pretty good shape in those respective match ups, if the numbers are to be believed:

Team (ESPN FPI Rank, FO DVOA Rank*, 538 ELO Rank)
NE - 4, 5, 7
BUF - 1, 1, 10
TEN - 15, 18, 5
IND - 12, 10, 12

For next week, FPI gives the Pats a 67% chance agains the Titans, and 538 has them at 62%, so they will be significant home favorites. It's a tough stretch, obviously, and losing any of the next four games wouldn't be shocking on its own, but TEN/IND are clearly in a class below NE/BUF at this point, I would have to think.
 

GB5

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just for housekeeping, it looks like there is pretty good chance that the Pats v Indy game could be moved from Sunday that weekend to Saturday night. Could be announced as early as today.
 

E5 Yaz

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The oddest thing for me in that standings graphic is that the Ratbirds are 7-3, and have only played 1 division game
 

loshjott

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I would say yes but obviously depends on the nature of the split. Losing to Buffalo once plus Indy plus TN would probably be the worst.
Actually I'll revise this. Pats likely not competing directly with Titans just to make playoffs since TN has a 2.5 game lead over Indy to win the AFCS (won both head to head). Something strange would have to happen for TN to make it as a WC. Losing both to Buffalo and to Indy would probably be worst case for Pats to make playoffs, assuming 3-3 the rest of the way.
 

TomTerrific

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Pats are heading into this stretch with a great chance to step on some throats in the AFC playoff race, but they are also in pretty good shape in those respective match ups, if the numbers are to be believed:

Team (ESPN FPI Rank, FO DVOA Rank*, 538 ELO Rank)
NE - 4, 5, 7
BUF - 1, 1, 10
TEN - 15, 18, 5
IND - 12, 10, 12

For next week, FPI gives the Pats a 67% chance agains the Titans, and 538 has them at 62%, so they will be significant home favorites. It's a tough stretch, obviously, and losing any of the next four games wouldn't be shocking on its own, but TEN/IND are clearly in a class below NE/BUF at this point, I would have to think.
Those are last week’s DVOA ratings, and don’t include the week 11 games.

We don’t have this week’s ratings yet, but FO does telegraph it slightly through their DAVE ratings, which are included as part of their updated Playoff Odds, which get updated mid-morning on Monday. I’m pretty sure DAVE is just a Bayesian adjustment of DVOA incorporating priors and things like “is their #1 QB injured and unavailable right now”.

Anyway, Pats are now 2nd in DAVE at 24.2% just behind Tampa at 24.9%, while Buffalo has slipped to 16.8%. And on top of all that, Pats are currently the favorite to win the SB at 17% due to their easier AFC playoff path. Kind of hard to wrap your head around that given where we were at halftime in the HOU game
 
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pokey_reese

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Those are last week’s DVOA ratings, and don’t include the week 11 games.

We don’t have this week’s ratings yet, but FO does telegraph it slightly through their DAVE ratings, which are included as part of their updated Playoff Odds, which get updated mid-morning on Monday. I’m pretty sure DAVE is just a Bayesian adjustment of DVOA incorporating priors and things like “is their #1 QB injured and unavailable right now”.

Anyway, Pats are now 2nd in DAVE at 24.2% just behind Tampa at 24.9%, while Buffalo has slipped to 16.8%. And on top of all that, Pats are currently the favorite to win the SB at 17% due to their easier AFC playoff path. Kind of hard to wrap your head around that given where we were at halftime in the HOU game
Hah, I actually put the asterisk in that post next to DVOA because I meant to mention it wasn't updated for the most recent games yet, so thank you for providing this!
 

Beomoose

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Absurd that BAL sits in second solely because of the blatant missed DoG penalty vs the Lions that directly lead to the BAL victory.
Unless the improbable happens and BAL implodes that play is going to have significant playoff implications. Hope the rules committee takes a hard look at DoG in the offseason. It is one of the very few technically non-subjective calls in the NFL yet they still treat it as subjective.
A Ravens implosion is far from improbable, particularly this season.
 

cshea

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Baltimore has a very difficult remaining schedule:

Cleveland
@Pittsburgh
@ Cleveland
Green Bay
@ Cincy
Los Angeles Rams
Pittsburgh

That's not going to be easy. They could easily end up 11-6 or 10-7.

Also, I mentioned this earlier in this thread, but the AFC North and AFC West play each other this year. So in addition to a ton of divisional games left, those two divisions have several remaining head-to-head games. All 8 teams from those divisions are still in playoff contention, so it's going to be a bloodbath. Feels like the entire AFC bracket could be composed of 5-7 loss teams.
 

pokey_reese

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Those are last week’s DVOA ratings, and don’t include the week 11 games.

We don’t have this week’s ratings yet, but FO does telegraph it slightly through their DAVE ratings, which are included as part of their updated Playoff Odds, which get updated mid-morning on Monday. I’m pretty sure DAVE is just a Bayesian adjustment of DVOA incorporating priors and things like “is their #1 QB injured and unavailable right now”.

Anyway, Pats are now 2nd in DAVE at 24.2% just behind Tampa at 24.9%, while Buffalo has slipped to 16.8%. And on top of all that, Pats are currently the favorite to win the SB at 17% due to their easier AFC playoff path. Kind of hard to wrap your head around that given where we were at halftime in the HOU game
Updates are in. New DVOA rankings for this stretch as of today:

Pats - 3
Bills - 5
Indy - 8
Tenn - 18

Pats and Bills are almost identical in terms of offense, defense, previous and future strength of schedule, which is interesting. 3-1 in these games feels doable, and if the Titans slide at all, might be enough to give us the inside track for some home playoff games.
 

BaseballJones

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AFC standings, with remaining schedules...

1. Ten 8-3 - at NE, vs Jax, at Pit, vs SF, vs Mia, at Hou
2. Bal 7-3 - vs Cle, at Pit, at Cle, vs GB, at Cin, vs LAR, vs Pit (yikes, that's brutal)
3. NE 7-4 - vs Ten, at Buf, at Ind, vs Buf, vs Jax, at Mia
4. KC 7-4 - vs Den, vs LV, at LAC, vs Pit, at Cin, at Den
5. Cin 6-4 - vs Pit, vs LAC, vs SF, at Den, vs Bal, vs KC, at Cle (another very hard schedule)
6. LAC 6-4 - at Den, at Cin, vs NYG, vs KC, at Hou, vs Den, at LV
7. Buf 6-4 - at NO, vs NE, at TB, vs Car, at NE, vs Atl, vs NYJ
8. Pit 5-4-1 - at Cin, vs Bal, at Min, vs Ten, at KC, vs Cle, at Bal (wow that's hard too)
9. Ind 6-5 - vs TB, at Hou, vs NE, at Ari, vs LV, at Jax
10. Cle 6-5 - at Bal, vs Bal, vs LV, at GB, at Pit, vs Cin (that's difficult too)

I think 10 wins definitely gets the Pats into the playoffs. A lot of teams in contention have difficult schedules remaining. A win this weekend gives the Pats a great chance at the #1 overall seed. Obviously they'd have to keep winning, but they'd have the tiebreaker over Ten. I think the Ravens will lose a couple of games the rest of the way - that schedule is very very tough. KC is lurking and their schedule isn't the hardest coming down the stretch. They could definitely run the table and be 13-4 when all is said and done.
 

Ed Hillel

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I’d say 10 wins is like 60-40 to win the division, assuming one of the wins is versus Buffalo. It should definitely be enough to make the playoffs. Buffalo’s path to 10 wins weighs heavily on tonight, I’d say. Car, Jets, Falcons should all be relatively easy wins.