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Can we catch New England?

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by caliphinfan, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. caliphinfan

    caliphinfan Active Member

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    so with the patriots loss and our win today we have closed the gap a little. If we run the table, and i know thats a big if, can we win the division? Is this wishful thinking?
     
  2. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Mathematically yes if we run the table and the Pats lose one more before losing to us at the end. Why? They lost to the Bills so they'll have a worse division record.
     
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  3. caliphinfan

    caliphinfan Active Member

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    i dont think anyone wants to play us if we make the playoffs. lets hope we keep this streak and new england slips up again. they looked vulnerable against seattle today
     
  4. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'm not counting on it...even though I love the enthusiasm. But for that to happen, we would have to win out and we have three real challenges still to come- Baltimore, Buffalo and the Cheats. Plus we're on the road for a number of the lesser teams as well. So I can see us winning 5 of 7 or even 6 of 7, but I think it's a fool's errand to expect to win them all and topple New England in week 17 for the division crown.

    On the flip side, New England will likely lose one more before we meet again so anything's possible...plus our defense will become noticeably better with two starting corners expecting to return soon. It's not like we aren't rooting for our Fins to finish 7-0 anyway; so root away, my friend, and let's see what happens.
     
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  5. caliphinfan

    caliphinfan Active Member

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    the thing is, i think we may have to win out to make the play offs, so winning the division would be the icing on the cake
     
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  6. Pauly

    Pauly Season Ticket Holder

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    Assuming we beat the pats in week 17.
    That would give NE a 1 game lead over us with 6 games to play.
    Considering NE average about a 75% w-l ratio under the Brady-Belichek regime. You can expect them to go 5-1 or 4-2 in those games.
    According to Football Outsiders week 9 stats: NE's future SOS is #29 (4th weakest) and Miami's is #26 (8th weakest). So Miami doesn't have an expected advantage there.

    So leaving aside Miami's game the most likely situation is that NE will finish at 12-3 [+/- Miami game]

    Which leaves Miami having to run the table and win tie breakers to win the division.

    If they go 4-2 and Miami go 6-0 and win the week 17 game Miami win the division.

    Basically it is wishful thinking, but stranger things have happened.
     
  7. tirty8

    tirty8 Well-Known Member

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    I think the wild card is a realistic goal. I don't see us winning the division.
     
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  8. caliphinfan

    caliphinfan Active Member

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    well Pauly with those stats that you layed out our chances do seem pretty slim. lol. i am calling it now. we will run the table. i live in cali, so i am forced to watch the niners and they really suck.patriots next victim and might get beat by 50. so we cant count on the upset
     
  9. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    From where we stand today, we have about a 53% chance of making the playoffs.

    To make this simple, let's call the Pats, Chiefs/Broncos/Raiders and Texans locks. They're in at #'s 1, 2, and 3...so we don't have to worry about their records.

    That leaves the Broncos at 7-3, the Raiders at 7-2 and the Ravens at 5-4. We are 7th, one spot out of the playoffs.

    Let's talk about the AFC West first. The Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos are all in as of today because they haven't beat each other in round two yet. It's very rare for three teams from one division to make the cut so one of them will disappear from this conversation. That should leave two slots open and automatically slide us to #6....just not on paper today.

    Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Indy and Buffalo are a half to 1 game behind us as well. But for now, we are also going to scratch Pitt and Buffalo off that list since we beat them AND we will win the tie breaker against Buffalo if they win round 2.

    So we're competing against the Ravens, Indy and Tennessee for one of two final spots in the AFC.

    Baltimore has a tough schedule ahead and will likely see 8-9 wins with no tie-breaker help. They'll fade out if we beat them. Tennessee has Denver, Houston and KC left on their schedule...so that's very unlikely they'll last.

    That leaves us, Indy and either Oakland/Denver/KC for two final slots. And remember, one of the trio also takes their division. Indy has a fairly easy schedule remaining but they're banged up. And we've already talked about the trio from the West....one will almost definitely fade.

    So the way I see it, if we finish 5-2 we are almost a lock for the playoffs. If we finish 4-3, we probably miss out or it goes to the math sheets for tie breakers.

    Baltimore is a huge game for us though- it's basically our Wild Card game in week 13. If we lose that one, then we almost have to finish 6-1 to be safe.
     
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  10. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    One troubling trend, and I don't know if there's something behind it or if it's just randomness (sure doesn't look random at first sight though), is that the number of 10-6 teams that miss the playoffs has been increasing over the last few decades.

    After a spurt of such teams missing the playoffs in the late 80's and early 90's before the salary cap era, from the start of the salary cap era in 1994 you have to wait until the 2003 season to see a single 10-6 team miss the playoffs (happens to be the Dolphins!). From 2003-2009 it's basically every other year there's a 10-6 team miss the playoffs with of course NE being 11-5 and missing it in 2008.

    But from 2010-2015 there have been 6 such teams (2 in 2010 and 1 each year from 2012-2015) miss the playoffs. Sure looks like a trend but not sure if there's something behind it.

    In any case, if there's something real there, then the probability a 5-2 finish gets us in might actually be lower than the raw odds suggest.. who knows.

    lol.. too much data mining on my part anyway.. happy enough we have a winning record!!
     
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  11. Pauly

    Pauly Season Ticket Holder

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    I think its 2 factors.

    The most important is the re-alignment from 3 divisions to 4 divisions. Basically it almost guarantees that every year there is a 9-7 or worse division winner. Every weak division winner removes a strong wildcard team from the play off picture since the net number of wins and losses in the NFL is a finite resource.

    Secondly we've had a clump of weak division winners in the last 5 years. I'd have to do a number crunch to see where it is happening, but I'm not sure if its because of weak divisions or average divisions cutting each others throats.
     
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  12. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    So I just looked at how many wins the 7th strongest team had in each conference (ignoring divisions) from 1994-2015. During that first period, from 1994-2002 the 7th strongest team always had either 8 or 9 wins. The next period, from 2003-2009 you have more variation and the 7th strongest team had anywhere from 8-10 wins (3 times it was 10). The last period from 2010-2015 is the same except you have far more 8-win teams as the 7th strongest team.

    So that tells me this. Realignment + weak division winners is responsible for maybe half the effect from 2003-2009 and maybe 2/3 of the effect from 2010-2015. The rest seems to be that for whatever reason parity is ever gradually decreasing in the NFL from the mid-1990's to now. That is, the records tend to be a tad more (small but real effect) top-heavy relative to before.

    As to why that is.. I don't know, but that could be due to just a few teams. Anyway, good hypothesis!
     
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  13. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    Guys, great discussion. Cbrad and Pauly, excellent points made, and I agree with both of you. Since the 2002 realignment, there just seem to be cases where some divisions are garbage at a much higher rate. Right now, we have the AFC and NFC North both with a 5-4 team in first place, and the Texans are about as weak a 6-3 team as there is in the NFL, and they lead the South.

    I actually think that the Ravens, even though they're in first place after nine games, will lose at least four games the rest of the way, and probably finish with a losing record, and that the Steelers will likely end up winning that division with no more than nine wins. Maybe 8-8. In the NFC, I could actually see the Lions getting hot and winning about 10. Their schedule is pretty weak the rest of the way. Houston is in for a crash landing, IMO. They could lose their next four games to slip under .500, and it could be a situation where Indy ends up winning the division with 8 or 9 wins.

    And then that means that a better team from a different division ends up on the outside looking in, but it also means that a good WC team gets to travel to the South and North winners with a chance to steal a playoff victory on the road as well.

    As to whether we can catch New England, I think its very unlikely. The Patriots are MUCH better than their next three opponents (SF, Jets, Rams), so they're going to be 10-2 unless something bizarre happens. Even if we're 8-4 at that point, which would mean we'd won seven games in a row, the odds of catching up over the last three weeks is slim to none.

    My focus is #1, on the Fins finishing strong, both in the record book and subjectively, heading into next season. #2, hoping to secure a Wild Card spot.
     
  14. Rick 1966

    Rick 1966 Professional Hipshooter

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    No. The Pats are going to win the AFC East.
     
  15. DolPhinPhan7

    DolPhinPhan7 Well-Known Member

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    If they lose 3 games in a row or something.

    But they're blessed with the same soft schedule as the Dolphins. The only two tough games they have left would be the Bronks December 18th and the Dolphins on New Years Day.
     
  16. Phins_Fan_87

    Phins_Fan_87 Phins and Heat fan Club Member

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    i think we make too many mistakes for that too happen. We needed 4 int to win yesterday..
     
  17. Brasfin

    Brasfin Well-Known Member

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    Highly unlikely. And with the way the AFC West has been playing, I think we'll have to get to 11-5 to make the wild card, which means going 6-1 over the next seven games.

    Keep in mind we still have to play the Ravens at Baltimore (as of right now, the best defense in the league statistically) and 2 division away games against the Jets and Bills to close out the season.
     
  18. DolPhinPhan7

    DolPhinPhan7 Well-Known Member

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    You could argue they only needed 2 of them. And that's with an impressive 51 yard bomb by Rivers and Grants awful fumble.

    He was the dude that ran around the field to only get to the 19 yard line against the Jets that tired them out for the Drake TD run. I don't want to see him returning kicks anymore.
     
  19. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    But you just ignored everything I said to make an invalid point. If we beat Buffalo and Baltimore, then we own the tie breakers and our 10-6 is better than the remaining opponents.
     
  20. Vertical Limit

    Vertical Limit Senior Member

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    The afc west needs to start losing games. So far they have three teams in the playoffs
     
  21. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Three teams that still have to face each other multiple times. It's a mirage that all 3 are in the playoffs.
     
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  22. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho -=| Censored |=- Club Member

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    Nope.
     
  23. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    The point I made is valid regardless of whatever point you made: calculating playoff odds at this point in the season isn't done by going through every possible W/L combination (with the correct probabilities of winning based on historical distributions) and then looking at the proportion of 10-6 teams that made it. If one did that while incorporating the differences between the league now and the league in the 1990's, then the odds are accurate. But this early in the season no playoff odds calculator I know does that (too many computations and insufficient data). They simplify things by for example doing random simulations and assuming random assignment of wins and losses, which isn't the same thing. And because they don't incorporate some of the apparent underlying reasons (e.g. at least one weaker division winner, or a more top-heavy league) 10-6 is less likely to make it now than before, those simulations will be off by some small amount.

    As to what you said.. you never said we had to beat both Buffalo and Baltimore. You did say we had to beat Baltimore. In fact, with Buffalo you said it's still OK if we lose to them the second game. If the condition is only that we beat Baltimore, then sure a 10-6 record can still doom us.
     
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  24. Vertical Limit

    Vertical Limit Senior Member

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    Mindset and goal has to be division first, make that a goal and win as much as you can, maybe you end up in the wildcard.
     
  25. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I didn't look at a playoff calculator- I did simple math. Because the truth of the matter is that it doesn't matter how many teams miss the playoffs with ten wins, the goal is to figure out how that one team does get the nod.

    With Buffalo's schedule, I don't see them hitting the ten win mark so I don't think it's an ultra-important game. But if we do topple them AND Baltimore AND get to ten wins, then we're covered either way. Discussing what happened in the 1990's has no relevance to that discussion though- if people tie, then some teams lose out. We know that without a historical analysis.
     
  26. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Wait a second.. you said in post #9 that we have about a 53% chance of making the playoffs. You're telling me that was done through "simple math" and not quoted from a simulation? If it's a simulation then what I said is totally relevant. If it's "simple math", then please show us how you got that number. I can't think of any shortcut to calculating that accurately.

    First of all, we could go 10-6 after beating Buffalo AND Baltimore and still miss the playoffs.

    Here are the NFL's tiebreaking rules:
    http://www.nfl.com/standings/tiebreakingprocedures

    As you can see the first one for the wild-card is conference record if there are 2 clubs with the same record. So let's suppose we end up 10-6 after beating Ravens and Buffalo but lose to the Jets and NE. We have a 7-5 conference record. Denver only plays conference teams, so any three they lose they end up 10-6 with a 7-5 conference record. Of course we have to make sure there is no other 10-6 team or you have a different tie-breaking procedure, so let's suppose Denver lost twice to KC and once to Oakland. Both those teams can end up 11-5 or better this way.

    Now.. since conference record doesn't do it, we go to common games with a minimum of 4. Those are: Bengals, Titans, Chargers, Patriots. With the assumptions above, we lose out because we lost to both the Bengals and Titans and lost twice to NE while they beat all three teams.


    One can play the same game with KC instead of Denver except it's easier because if they lost twice to the Broncos (to make sure Denver has 11-5 or better) and lose to TB and Atlanta to give them a 10-6 record, they have a 8-4 conference record while we have 7-5.

    Either way, 10-6 and beating both the Ravens and Bills won't guarantee a wild-card. What I said does matter.
     
  27. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    Tiebreakers can be back breaking. We had one season a while back where we had the tiebreaker over several others, but didn't vs one specific team, and lost out in like a 4-way tie for the WC because of that. It was extremely complicated, way, way down the list of tiebreaking procedures.

    As was said, the fact that we have three more NFC games both helps and hurts us. We already have five AFC wins banked, but we also only have four more to go, and you could argue that at least three of our four toughest remaining games are within the conference.

    -Oakland has 6 of 7 vs the AFC, and plays both KC and DEN once. Their NFC game is vs Carolina, so its a plausible loss.
    -Kansas City has 5 of 7 vs the AFC, has both games vs DEN left, and the one vs OAK. Their NFC games are vs TB, which is a likely win, and ATL, which should be tough.
    -Denver has only six games left, all vs the AFC. Both vs KC, and the one vs OAK.

    I think that Denver actually has a pretty rough schedule remaining. They're a good team, but five of their six games are plausible losses. Kansas City's last six are challenging as well. I think that right now, we need to root for Oakland to beat KC in Week 14, and then probably pull for whoever wins the first DEN/KC matchup to win the other one as well.
     
  28. PSG

    PSG Clear Eyes. Full Hearts.

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    In a word...no.
    Lets worry about catching one of those 3 AFC West teams. That is our realistic ticket to the postseason.
     
  29. thetylernator

    thetylernator You're as cold as ice, Officer Friendly.

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    Of note, NT Alan Branch just got slapped with a 4-game suspension. New England is getting awfully thin on defense.
     
  30. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'll update my argument for us getting in the playoffs later this week. But before we get to that, everyone here should be screaming for the Texans to beat the Raiders on Monday Night Football.
     

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