Category Archives: NFL Playoffs

PLAYOFFS!

PLAYOFFS!!!!

Playoffs, baby.

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For those who didn’t already know who to root for this week.

Root for:

Packers over Seahawks.

Panthers over Giants.

*If the first 2 happen, then the Packers clinch a wild card spot in the playoffs.

Redskins over Cowboys.

Enjoy the remainder of the season’s games and Favre’s annual cold-weather collapse.

Jaguars Eliminate Packers from Playoff Contention

It’s time to start looking toward April and the NFL Draft.  The Packers have officially been knocked out of the playoff race.  Green Bay still has a chance to gain some satisfaction from wins over divisional foes Chicago and Detroit, but but either way it won’t erase the fact that this has been an incredibly disappointing season.

Today’s game showcased all the flaws that have crippled Green Bay this year; namely, an inability to finish.  An inability on offense to finish drives.  And an inability of defense to finish games.  The Packers defense collapsed once again when it mattered most, continuing what has become a routine of giving up touchdowns in the last two minutes.

Ted Thompson has a lot of work to do with this team in the offseason, and few fans will stand for the conservative approach to free agency that has become a hallmark of Thompson’s time as GM.  Thompson’s conservative strategy has left Green Bay with millions in cap room.  If this young team that only needs a little added depth and veteran leadership doesn’t deserve to have some money spent on it, I don’t know when Thompson ever aims to spend money.

I’ll start adding some content for the offseason soon enough.  Right now I just don’t feel up to it.

By the way, root for the Jets, if for no other reason then it will give us a better draft pick in April.

Who to Root For: A Statistical Analysis of Green Bay’s Playoff Chances

The latest installment of “Who to Root For” is the simplest yet.  Green Bay must win out, while the two other contenders in the NFC North must lose out.  So our chances are slim and none, to say the least.  But have you ever wondered exactly what the Packers playoff chances are, in more precise terms than “slim and none?”  Well, you’re welcome.  I will analyze the Packers playoff chances using three different models.

1.)  The “Any Given Sunday” Model–Here, I give each team a 50/50 chance of winning each game:

Probability of Packers making playoffs:  .78%

2.)  The “Vikings Always Choke” Model–In this model, I take into account the Vikings propensity for choking by using each team’s winning percentage in the final 3 weeks over the past 5 years and using that as the probability of a win (in the Bears/Packers game, I obviously can’t use both winning percentages because the two percentages don’t total 100%, so I’ll be using the Packers win % since it is higher, and because the Packers have already manhandled the Bears.)  This model is more favorable to the Packers because Green Bay has traditionally finished the season strong, while the Vikings and Bears haven’t.

Probability of Packers making playoffs:  7.43%

3.)  The “Very Subjective, But Potentially Most Accurate” Model:  Try as I might, I could not find any sports betting website that had given odds for Week 16 or 17 (nor did I expect to find any–that’s not how sports betting works.)  Therefore, I will be subjectively judging each team’s probability of winning in each game.  (GB/JAX=55/45%, GB/CHI=50/50%, GB/DET=85/15%; MIN/ARI=43/57%, MIN/ATL=55/45%, MIN/NYG=38/62%; CHI/HOU=60/40%.)

Probability of Packers making playoffs:  1.49%

There you go.  The most generous model gives Green Bay less than an 8% chance of getting into the playoffs.  The least generous puts the probability under 1%.  So to say that our playoff chances are a long shot is an understatement.

Season all but over: Who to root for in Week 15

Awful defense, awful coaching, awful I’ll spare you the analysis of the disastrous game against the Texans.  Just know that it was an all around bad game.  There is something seriously wrong in Green Bay.  I don’t know what has changed from last year to this year (I’m sorry, but saying it’s because Favre left is not a valid excuse), but something is missing on this team.  It will now take a small huge miracle for the Packers to make the playoffs.  

My “Who to Root For” list got a lot simpler this week, as the Packers were eliminated from the Wild Card race.  Green Bay’s only chance now is to somehow win the NFC North.  Let me clarify, not in any way do I believe the Packers are capable of running the table, let alone the Vikings losing out.  I’m just telling you what would need to happen for the Packers to get into the playoffs.  Matchups are ranked on a scale of * to **** (**** being reserved for games that are true, mathematical must-wins to remain in playoff contention.)

Packers over Jaguars ****

Cardinals over Vikings ****

Saints over Bears ***

The only glimmer of hope the Packers have left is that two of Minnesota’s remaining opponents are very solid teams that have already clinched their division, while the other opponent is a fiery Falcons team that is also a playoff contender.  The Packers on the other hand, face the Bears, the Jaguars, and the Lions.  So maybe, just maybe, the Packers will scratch their way into the playoffs.

But don’t count on it.

Packers’ season on life support: who to root for next week.

Green Bay’s playoff dreams are hanging by a thread, and the Packers no longer control their own destiny in the playoff race.  After a few brief rants, I will let you know who to root for next week if the Packers are to have a shot at the playoffs.  Mike Stock, the special teams coordinator, needs to be fired.  Not having a man to return the punt is unforgivable, as is the pitiful return coverage.  Derrick Frost should not be wearing a Packers uniform next week.  Aaron Rodgers is no Brett Favre in the final 2 minutes, at least not yet.  McCarthy should have gone for the TD on 4th and goal at the end of the game–and should have been letting Rodgers throw for the touchdown rather than trying to run into the middle of the stout Carolina D-line.  Ok, rant over.  Now, who to root for next week…I will give each game an importance rating of between 1 and 4 *’s.  (**** will be reserved for games that will eliminate Green Bay from the playoff race with the wrong results:)

Obviously, every game is a must-win for us for the rest of the year…so we must win against Houston.

Jaguars over Bears **

Lions over Vikings ***

Giants over Eagles **

Jets over 49ers *

Saints over Falcons *

Bucs over Panthers **

Ravens over Redskins *

Steelers over Cowboys **

Green Bay’s got Houston, Detroit, Jacksonville, and Chicago left on the schedule.  Not one of those teams has a winning record.  So while our season is on life support, it’s not dead yet.

Packers Refuse to Win Against the Giants

The Packers and the Giants were in an incredibly hard-fought battle on Sunday night in the NFC Championship game.  Unfortunately, they seemed to be fighting to lose.  Green Bay opened the game with two first downs, then decided they didn’t feel like moving too much further.  So after punting it, I figured that the Packers defensive secondary would shut down Eli Manning.  Thing was, Al Harris didn’t seem to feel like playing defense.  Bump-and-run apparently requires way too much energy to expend in the cold, so Plaxico Burress was allowed to roam free for most of the game.  Oh, but the Giants didn’t want to win much either.  Amani Toomer had some key drops, and on their first two drives the Giants offense conveniently stalled once they got into field goal range.  Favre’s 90-yard TD pass to Donald Driver was the last attempt any Packer would make at winning this miserable game, and the first of many attempts by both team to simply lose and get back to the warmth of the locker rooms.

It took Mike McCarthy three quarters too long to figure out that single coverage against Plaxico Burress wasn’t working.  But even when they shut down Burress, the Packers 0bviously weren’t ready to win yet.  Otherwise, Nick Collins wouldn’t have taken such a late shot at Giants QB Eli Manning way after he had gotten rid of the football.  And Al Harris wouldn’t have shoved Plaxico to the ground before a pass that probably wouldn’t have been caught anyway.  If Green Bay truly wanted to win, then why couldn’t Aaron Kampman have been a little more alert when Brandon Jacobs fumbled and the ball ended up between the defensive end’s legs, only to sit there for at least a second before a Giant picked it up.  Why, if the Packers wanted to win, why would they commit two offside penalties in a row near the Giants goal line, inching the Giants so close to the endzone that they had virtually no choice but to score.  And if the Giants wanted to win, why did they fumble away a Favre interception deep into their own territory?

No, it became obvious that neither team wanted to win after Giants return man Domenik Hixon fumbled on a punt return, and Jarret Bush tried to pick up the frozen ball with his frozen hands and run with it, rather than simply fall on it to give the Pack great field position in the waning minutes of the game.  Of course, the ball clunked off of Bush’s hands and squirted out from beneath numerous Packers and Giants players, who were probably only going to the ground to get closer to the heated surface of Lambeau Field.  Not to be outdone, Giants kicker Laurence Tynes missed not one, but two potential game-winning field goals, one from only 36 yards as time expired in regulation.  In overtime, the Packers won the coin toss, but the way the rest of the game had gone, they might have been better off electing to kick.  Sure enough, Favre threw an interception two plays into overtime.  Laurence Tynes, determined to miss yet another field goal, kicked it to the right of the goalpost, but God must have decided that this atrocious game needed to end, because he sent a last-second gust of wind that redirected the ball’s course straight through the uprights.  The Giants then realized they were going to be playing in the Super Bowl, so they were mildly pleased that they would have a much easier time of losing to the New England Patriots.

 But in all seriousness, this was a difficult game to watch.  I give credit to the Giants (Please beat New England), because when it came down to it, they made fewer mistakes and capitalized on more of ours.  This loss was a tough pill to swallow.  The Packers had better learn to win in the cold, because they play in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which was colder than Moscow and North Pole, Alaska last night.  Homefield advantage doesn’t mean that some powerful, mysterious mystique will win games for you.  You have to outperform the other team, just like you do on the road.  The Giants proved that last night, and the Packers have hopefully learned a lesson.  If Brett Favre returns (which he better, because he can’t go out with his last play of his Hall of Fame career a season-ending interception), then he and the Packers need to learn from this horrifying experience and come back more determined than ever.  Good luck next year Packers, I’ll miss you until September.