Posts Tagged ‘Cardinals’

NFL Playoff Scenarios 12/22/13

In NFL on December 22, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Source: Wikipedia

I’m not an avid NFL fan, but I do have a few favorites (Saints, Chiefs, and Dolphins). I pick who’s going to win games (I was second in a group going into this week) and I monitor results, but that’s mostly it. This is my only other NFL Blog this year: “How I Would Re-Align the NFL”. I just don’t get into it enough to blog about it generally.

I’m writing this because even though I’m pretty good with this stuff, I had some trouble figuring out the playoff scenarios with today’s results in mind, so I thought I’d share what I found out. I’m sorry if this comes across as too pedantic, but I try to write it so that people who might not be extremely familiar with the process can still follow along.

I’ll go into more details about the divisional spots at the end (at least one team makes the playoffs from each division regardless of how they compare to teams in other divisions).

NFC Wild Cards

These are the three teams competing for the remaining two spots in the NFC after the two that have clinched (Carolina of the South Division and Seattle of the West Division) and the two to-be-determined division winners of the East and North (if a scenario requires more than one step, I use a “+”, not a new numbered section):

–New Orleans playoff scenarios
(1) Win
(2) Falcons beat 49ers
(3) 49ers beat Cardinals

–San Francisco playoff scenarios
(1) Win at least one game
(2) Tie Arizona

–Arizona playoff scenarios
(1) Win + Saints lose
(2) Win + 49ers lose to Falcons

If you didn’t know, New York (Giants), Washington, Detroit, Minnesota, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and St. Louis have all been eliminated.

AFC Wild Card

Less complicated for the top 5 seeds here, since we at least know who the 5 teams are. Four teams are competing for one wild card spot. All four division winners are known: New England, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Denver. Kansas City has clinched the #5 seed (top wild card).

I guess it depends on how your brain works, but I’m going to explain it in a less formulaic way first. Baltimore wins a two-way tie with Miami or a three- or four-way tie that includes the Jets. Miami wins any tie that (1) doesn’t involve the Jets or (2) isn’t a two-way tie with Baltimore. Pittsburgh would win a five-way tie that includes the Jets. San Diego wins no relevant ties, but they can finish with the #6 AFC record outright.

I won’t be addressing what happens if a relevant game is tied next week, so keep the previous paragraph in mind. Since Pittsburgh is the the only team still alive with 8 losses, they would be eliminated if they tie next week regardless of any other results. The Jets have the same record as the Steelers do (7-8), but they have been eliminated due to their 4-7 record in conference.

–Baltimore playoff scenarios
(1) Win + Miami loss
(2) Win + San Diego loss
(3) Miami loss + San Diego loss + Pittsburgh loss

–Miami playoff scenarios
(1) Win + San Diego win
(2) Win + Baltimore loss

–San Diego playoff scenario
(1) Win + Miami loss + Baltimore loss

–Pittsburgh playoff scenario
(1) Win + Miami loss + Baltimore loss + San Diego loss

If you didn’t know, New York (Jets), Buffalo, Cleveland, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Houston, and Oakland have all been eliminated.

NFC Divisions

I’m putting this last because I thought people would worry more about who’s going to be completely eliminated from the playoffs first.

As of right now, Seattle and Carolina have clinched the playoffs in the NFC; but no division has been clinched.

NFC East – The Eagles win the East by beating or tying the Cowboys. If the Cowboys win, they win the East.

NFC North – The Bears win the North by beating or tying the Packers. If not, the Packers win the North.

NFC South – If the Saints win and the Panthers lose, the Saints win the South. If not, the Panthers win the South.

NFC West – If Seattle beats (or ties) the Rams or San Francisco loses (or ties) either remaining game, the Seahawks win. San Francisco only wins the division with wins in both remaining games and a Seattle loss.


Mid-Season Baseball and Weekend Series

In MLB on July 5, 2013 at 2:39 PM

We are just over halfway through the baseball season with the final few series before the All Star break coming up, so I thought this was a good time to talk about how teams have been playing lately, featuring the main team I focus on, the Angels.

I’ve been trying to write this for a little while, but one reason I don’t blog more about baseball is it never takes a break. You can want to write about a recent development, such as a no-hitter or winning streak, but if you wait a few days, the same pitcher could have had a disastrous start since then or the team you were going to write about could have lost a few games in a row. So often when I’m thinking of a baseball topic, I just give up before I get around to writing it.

The main focus of this will be performance since June 11, so if I don’t mention something different, assume that to be the time frame.

Anyway, thankfully the Angels won last night (with three runs in the bottom of the ninth to spoil what could have been a complete game win for Adam Wainwright), so they are now one of the best two teams in baseball since June 11. The other team is the Pirates, both 14-6 over that span. Not too long ago, the Pirates swept the Angels, so in reality, the Halos have been playing even better than the record indicates. The other losses during that span were one apiece to the Cardinals, Yankees, and Mariners (whom the Angels were only able to beat 3 out 4). This included a 6-0 road trip against Detroit and Houston.

One thing I found interesting is that among the teams 12-10 or better during this stretch, only 3 of the 11 are currently in playoff position. Those teams are the Pirates, Red Sox, and A’s. The Angels just so happen to be playing the Red Sox at home tonight and will be trying to get revenge for the 2-1 series loss in Boston in early June. That was during the lull between winning streaks.

After consecutive sweeps of Seattle and Kansas City in late May, the Angels were only 4 games under .500. They lost almost all the ground they had gained in early June before this most-recent stretch of games. Their current position of 3 games under .500 (attained on Tuesday and then again last night) had previously not been reached since April 23, when the Angels won 3 of 4 after an atrocious 4-10 start.

There are a few teams that are also trying to chase Texas and Baltimore for the wildcard and have kept the Angels from climbing above a tie for 7th in the wild card standings, including Cleveland (14-7) and Toronto (13-8). There is now a group of 6 teams within 6 ½ games of the Orioles.

In the National League, by contrast, only a single team (Washington, 6 games back) is within 6 ½ of Cincinnati, the #2 wild card team in that league. One reason for that is that other than Pittsburgh, the hottest teams in the NL are the Dodgers (12-8) and the Marlins (13-7), but the Marlins are still 20 games under .500, worst in the NL. The Dodgers, as well as the Phillies and the rest of the NL West, are still not completely out of the wild card picture though, all within 10 games back. The Nationals, Cubs, and Mets are the only teams apart from Pittsburgh, Miami, and Los Angeles who are even playing above .500 (barely) during this stretch.

Other than Miami, the Angels have had the biggest jump in winning percentage in major league baseball, improving by nearly 7 percentage points, clearly better than Cleveland and Toronto, which each improved by about 4 ½ percentage points.

I definitely think the Angels-Red Sox is the inter-divisional series to watch this weekend, but Yankees-Orioles, Indians-Tigers, and Rockies-Diamondbacks could have a lot of bearing on who is going to be in playoff position going into the All Star break.