TeBOW Week 11: Playoffs, Picks and Power Rankings

I’m back to give some more uninformed picks! I’m currently in my office trying to get my code to recognise the large scale structure of the universe (which is easier than it sounds, but I’m finding it harder than it probably is). So I don’t quite have the time to go over last weeks picks. They seemed to do alright, my only worry was that my desire for the model to work was making me support teams I didn’t like in the hopes that the status quo was preserved. TeBOW has turned me into a monster.


This week I have added in the capacity for the model to simulate the rest of the season, which means that I can start to give percentage chances for teams to get to the playoffs. Very literally I am coding these features minutes before I put them up here so if something weird happens then blame me, but also include a bit of pity in your scorn. I had to get this out before NO/CAR! The battle of the “should be in playoffs but pretty unlucky”


Anyway, enough of the foreshadowing, lets go for the 1000th power rankings you’ve read this week!

Power Rankings, Week 11

nameTeBOWchance of making playoffsprobability of beating KC
Kansas City Chiefs28.6496.2%50.0%
Seattle Seahawks28.3195.0%47.6%
New England Patriots27.5397.0%42.1%
Denver Broncos27.2675.2%40.2%
Dallas Cowboys26.8598.6%37.5%
Houston Texans26.6393.2%36.0%
Arizona Cardinals26.6127.6%35.8%
Oakland Raiders26.6182.2%35.8%
Detroit Lions26.0970.4%32.4%
New York Giants25.7270.6%30.0%
Carolina Panthers25.627.6%29.5%
Miami Dolphins25.4531.2%28.4%
Minnesota Vikings25.3151.0%27.6%
Philadelphia Eagles25.3018.2%27.5%
Atlanta Falcons25.2075.2%26.9%
Cincinnati Bengals25.0023.8%25.7%
Pittsburgh Steelers24.9827.6%25.6%
Buffalo Bills24.9512.4%25.5%
Indianapolis Colts24.948.6%25.4%
New Orleans Saints24.9020.8%25.2%
Los Angeles Rams24.535.0%23.0%
Baltimore Ravens24.2249.4%21.5%
Green Bay Packers24.186.4%21.3%
New York Jets23.670.0%18.8%
San Diego Chargers23.580.4%18.3%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers23.525.0%18.0%
Tennessee Titans22.942.8%15.5%
Chicago Bears22.480.4%13.5%
San Francisco 49ers21.670.0%10.7%
Jacksonville Jaguars21.320.0%9.65%
Cleveland Browns19.480.0%5.26%

God I hate the Chiefs. Their name isn’t Washington level racist but its pretty bad, their quarterback is the anti-Aaron Rodgers and also they’re in the same division as my beloved Denver Broncos, and could quite possibly kick us out of the playoffs. Anyway, my model really likes them. I have included a column to show what the chances are of each of the other teams beating the current highest rank team to show that although there is a significant spread between skills of teams, the nature of the NFL is that no team is ever truly ruled out of a game.

What else sucks about this graph? The poor Panthers. The Giants and Dolphins, their two nearest skill neighbours have playoff probabilities of 70% and 30%, whereas the Panthers are stuck on 7%. I am dreaming that Cam Newton can turn that 7 into a 100, but maybe even he doesn’t have that level of magic.

I also think the model is underestimating the Raiders , and overestimating the Texans. This is potentially as it is putting too much credence in last year’s record, but who knows, am I trying to say I know more about football than an algorithm designed for Halo? That’s messed up.

We also don’t believe in the Cowboys yet. Thats a spicy take. It seems they don’t face any real challenge for the rest of the season based on their schedule, so lets see!

Picks, Week 11

This week I have included playoff implications, so the playoff probabilities of the teams in the circumstance they win and in the one they lose. These were trained off of 100 simulations each so the ± on the predictions is pretty high and should be taken with salt, but until one of you wonderful people decide to buy me a dedicated cluster like the guys at fivethirtyeight presumably have you’re going to have to deal with some shot noise.

matchuppredicted resultplayoff chances if away winsplayoff chances if home wins
new orleans saints @ carolina panthersNO: 44.9% , CAR: 55.1%NO 36.0% / CAR 3.0%NO 16.0% / CAR 9.0%
buffalo bills @ cincinnati bengalsBUF: 49.7% , CIN: 50.3%BUF 13.0% / CIN 15.0%BUF 6.0% / CIN 25.0%
baltimore ravens @ dallas cowboysBAL: 31.9% , DAL: 68.1%BAL 63.0% / DAL 96.0%BAL 31.0% / DAL 100.0%
pittsburgh steelers @ cleveland brownsPIT: 83.6% , CLE: 16.4%PIT 48.0% / CLE 0.0%PIT 31.0% / CLE 0.0%
tennessee titans @ indianapolis coltsTEN: 36.1% , IND: 63.9%TEN 5.0% / IND 3.0%TEN 0.0% / IND 10.0%
tampa bay buccaneers @ kansas city chiefsTB: 18.1% , KC: 81.9%TB 10.0% / KC 91.0%TB 4.0% / KC 98.0%
arizona cardinals @ minnesota vikingsARI: 59.2% , MIN: 40.8%ARI 40.0% / MIN 30.0%ARI 10.0% / MIN 58.0%
jacksonville jaguars @ detroit lionsJAC: 19.7% , DET: 80.3%JAC 0.0% / DET 60.0%JAC 0.0% / DET 72.0%
chicago bears @ new york giantsCHI: 28.1% , NYG: 71.9%CHI 1.0% / NYG 55.0%CHI 0.0% / NYG 77.0%
miami dolphins @ los angeles ramsMIA: 56.6% , LA: 43.4%MIA 41.0% / LA 2.0%MIA 29.0% / LA 13.0%
philadelphia eagles @ seattle seahawksPHI: 29.5% , SEA: 70.5%PHI 48.0% / SEA 87.0%PHI 16.0% / SEA 100.0%
new england patriots @ san francisco 49ersNE: 85.2% , SF: 14.8%NE 99.0% / SF 0.0%NE 89.0% / SF 0.0%
green bay packers @ washingtonGB: 35.3% , WAS: 64.7%GB 17.0% / WAS 40.0%GB 5.0% / WAS 61.0%
houston texans @ oakland raidersHOU: 50.2% , OAK: 49.8%HOU 98.0% / OAK 69.0%HOU 89.0% / OAK 83.0%

In summary: Duds of the week: Tennesee/Indianapolis (minimal playoff implications), Jacksonville/Lions (walk over), Pittsburgh/Cleveland (The Browns)

Spicy games of the week: Saints/Panthers (one last chance for CAR?), Arizona/Vikings (30% swing on Arizona’s playoff chances), Houston/Oakland (within 0.2% of each other, 9% & 14% swing in playoff chances. This is the game)