AccuScore: Chiefs punished for blowout loss

AccuScore uses past performance statistics to describe how players perform under different environmental, matchup and game-situation conditions. Using projected starting lineups AccuScore simulates each game of the season one play at a time. By repeating the simulation 10,000 to 20,000 times per game AccuScore calculates the precise probability teams have of winning each game, winning their division and making the playoffs. Here is the AccuScore.com preseason analysis of the 2010 NFL season after Week 10. Visit AccuScore.com for weekly updates to the season forecast and all game forecasts.

AFC

The Patriots jumped 15 percent with an impressive win in Pittsburgh. The Jets kept pace in the AFC East with an OT victory in Cleveland. The Patriots’ big jump came because they won a game they were supposed to lose, and beat a potential wild-card competitor. The Jets saw a marked improvement because Mark Sanchez’s(notes) clutch performance improved his play in Weeks 11-17 simulations. The Dolphins beat a wild-card competitor in the Titnas, but saw their playoff odds drop due to injuries – QBs Chad Pennington(notes) (shoulder) and Chad Henne(notes) (knee), and OT Jake Long(notes) (shoulder) – and wins by their division rivals.

The Steelers and Ravens both lost to teams tied for the best records in the league. They dipped 4 and 7 percent, respectively, but Baltimore still holds the edge in the division race (57 percent) by virtue of beating Pittsburgh earlier in the season. Both teams benefited by losses from Tennessee and Kansas City. The Ravens and Steelers both have nearly an 85 percent chance of making the playoffs. The Bengals and Browns are virtually eliminated from playoff contention.

The Colts now hold a 57 percent edge in the AFC South, and saw their playoff chances improve 6 percent despite a slew of injuries. Tennessee dropped 12 percentage points because it lost to Miami. The Jaguars are a solid 5-4 and have scored 30+ points in four of their past six games, but they are still making the playoffs in just 10.8 percent of the simulations. The rest of Jacksonville’s schedule is relatively difficult, and the Jags are simulation favorites in only three of their remaining games. Houston’s loss on a Hail Mary has knocked the Texans down to just a 5.3 percent chance at the playoffs. After a promising start, their poor defense will likely doom the Texans to another 8-8 season at best.

The Chiefs dropped a whopping 18.7 percent. Losses within the division are always costly, but in the Chiefs’ case it was the way they lost. When your defense is demolished the way it was in Denver, it does not bode well for your chances in a rematch with the Chargers in San Diego. The Chargers are in third place and are just 4-5, but they are now a solid 66 percent favorite to win the division. Oakland is 5-4 and has a 16.7 percent chance of winning nine or more games, but its chances of holding off San Diego or earning a wild-card spot are still relatively low.

AFC WEEK 10 REVIEW PLAYOFF % CHANCE
TEAM WK 10 WK 11 % DIFF WIN DIV
NEW YORK JETS 75.0% 90.0% 15.0% 47.8%
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 78.4% 93.1% 14.7% 50.4%
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 63.7% 70.9% 7.2% 65.7%
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 58.5% 64.8% 6.3% 56.6%
OAKLAND RAIDERS 18.9% 23.6% 4.7% 18.0%
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 6.4% 10.8% 4.4% 6.7%
DENVER BRONCOS 0.7% 1.7% 1.0% 1.7%
BUFFALO BILLS 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
CINCINNATI BENGALS 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
CLEVELAND BROWNS 1.2% 0.7% -0.5% 0.2%
HOUSTON TEXANS 8.6% 5.3% -3.3% 3.4%
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 89.2% 84.7% -4.5% 43.0%
MIAMI DOLPHINS 18.9% 12.2% -6.7% 1.8%
BALTIMORE RAVENS 91.9% 84.9% -7.0% 56.9%
TENNESSEE TITANS 51.7% 39.3% -12.4% 33.3%
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 36.7% 18.0% -18.7% 14.6%

NFC

The Eagles’ scary productive offense combined with the Giants’ defensive failure against the Cowboys has resulted in the Eagles picking up 18.5 percent this week. The Giants dropped a whopping 26 percent. Their Week 11 matchup against the Eagles will have huge playoff implications. Currently the Eagles are 63 percent favorites in that game. The Redskins are down to just a 1.8 percent chance of making the playoffs despite their 2-1 division record. In simulations, the Redskins are underdogs in each of their remaining games. Dallas actually has a measurable chance of winning the division at 0.01 percent, but at 2-7 it is virtually impossible for them to win out while also having the Giants and Eagles collapse.

Green Bay is the heavy favorite in the NFC North. The Vikings had the talent and potential to make a second-half run, but their loss to Chicago has Minnesota down to just a 10.7 percent chance of making the playoffs. Chicago has a 29 percent chance, which is fairly low considering they have the same record as Green Bay and beat the Packers in Week 3. Chicago has to play Philadelphia, New England and the Jets, as well as go on the road to Minnesota and Green Bay. Week 11 at Miami and Week 13 at Detroit are not cakewalks. A tough schedule is the reason why Chicago is not expected to make the playoffs.

Atlanta has the best record in the league and the best chance of making the playoffs in the NFC at 90.3 percent. A quality home win over Baltimore helped the Falcons improve 6 percent. The Saints are nipping on their heels and could catch Atlanta with a win in their rematch. Tampa Bay saw a solid 17 percent increase in playoff percentage. The Vikings’ and Giants’ struggles helped boost the Bucs’ chances of securing a wild card considerably. Tampa Bay is winning the NFC South in just 7 percent of simulations, but making the playoffs as a wild card in 43 percent of simulations.

Seattle was the big winner in the NFC West, where an 8-8 record will likely win the division. Seattle leads the division with a 41.7 percent chance of winning despite averaging just 7.6 wins per simulation. A loss to the 49ers did not hurt St. Louis in terms of playoff probability because the Rams were not expected to win that game. Despite the loss, St. Louis played well enough to help itself perform better in simulations going forward. The 49ers actually dropped 2.7 percent despite the win because winning at home did not keep pace with Seattle’s road win. San Francisco may have won two straight, but the 49ers have not been particularly impressive in its wins. The Niners are not clearly better than the rest of the division, and are not as likely to catch the Seahawks (3-1 in the division) as fans might think.

NFC WEEK 10 REVIEW PLAYOFF % CHANCE
TEAM WK 10 WK 11 % DIFF WIN DIV
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 66.2% 84.7% 18.5% 65.9%
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 32.7% 49.9% 17.2% 7.1%
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 28.0% 42.2% 14.2% 41.7%
ATLANTA FALCONS 84.3% 90.3% 6.0% 65.3%
CHICAGO BEARS 24.3% 28.9% 4.6% 18.8%
GREEN BAY PACKERS 80.6% 84.4% 3.8% 75.5%
ST. LOUIS RAMS 31.4% 34.5% 3.1% 34.4%
DALLAS COWBOYS 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
CAROLINA PANTHERS 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
DETROIT LIONS 0.1% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0%
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 21.1% 18.5% -2.7% 18.4%
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 6.4% 1.8% -4.6% 0.3%
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 89.0% 83.6% -5.3% 27.6%
MINNESOTA VIKINGS 24.1% 10.7% -13.4% 5.6%
ARIZONA CARDINALS 20.8% 5.6% -15.2% 5.6%
NEW YORK GIANTS 91.1% 64.9% -26.2% 33.9%