Saturday, December 19, 2015

NFL Playoff Implications Week 15

Here are the playoff implications for the NFL's week 15 games. The purpose of this feature is to highlight games that have a significant impact on the playoff picture (see this post for background).

The playoff implications below are derived from a 50,000 round simulation of the remainder of the NFL season. I use my daily NFL rankings to simulate future games. I can group the simulation runs by the outcome of each game and then see how a team's playoff chances vary between the two groups. The interactive table at the bottom of the post will allow you to see corresponding results for any game or team. The results of the three Thanksgiving games have already been taken into account in the tables below.

Ranking Week 15 Games by Leverage

The table below ranks the week 15 games by total leverage. Leverage in this context is a measure of both how uncertain a game's outcome is (games between evenly matched teams have higher leverage) and how much the playoff picture swings as a result of that outcome.

GameLeverage
HOU @ IND 80.5%
CAR @ NYG 37.9%
DEN @ PIT 32.3%
BUF @ WAS 25.5%
CHI @ MIN 19.7%
ARZ @ PHI 19.0%
NYJ @ DAL 15.8%
KC @ BAL 14.5%
ATL @ JAC 5.9%
CLE @ SEA 2.1%
DET @ NO 1.8%
GB @ OAK 0.7%
CIN @ SF 0.1%
MIA @ SD 0.0%
TEN @ NE 0.0%

This week's game between Houston and Indianapolis seems almost intelligently designed for maximum leverage. The teams are fairly evenly matched (the Colts are a 1 to 2 point favorite as of this morning), and the loser will see their playoff probability drop to single digits. As The Upshot puts it, in their fantastic playoff implications feature, this is a de facto divisional championship game.

Beyond Week 15

We can also use the simulation dataset to look ahead to the remainder of the season and see which games (based on what we know now) will have significant playoff implications. The table below shows the top 10 week 16-17 games by total leverage.

WeekGameLeverage
16 WAS @ PHI 63.9%
17 PHI @ NYG 43.9%
17 NYJ @ BUF 37.7%
16 NE @ NYJ 37.5%
16 NYG @ MIN 31.9%
16 PIT @ BAL 30.6%
17 PIT @ CLE 29.6%
17 JAC @ HOU 27.6%
17 WAS @ DAL 23.9%
16 HOU @ TEN 23.8%

Week 15 Cheat Sheet

And here is your cheat sheet for week 15. You can filter by game or team below. I have already filtered out any games that aren't statistically significant to a team's playoff chances.

Select Game: OR Select Team:

home team:
gamegame probteamplayoff probloseswinsswingleverage
HOU @ IND 50.3% IND 50.3% 9.8% 90.3% 80.5% 40.2%
HOU @ IND 50.3% HOU 45.5% 83.7% 7.8% -76.0% 38.0%
CAR @ NYG 31.5% NYG 27.0% 14.1% 55.0% 40.9% 19.0%
DEN @ PIT 70.1% PIT 79.4% 55.1% 89.7% 34.7% 15.9%
CAR @ NYG 31.5% PHI 45.8% 53.2% 29.8% -23.5% 10.9%
BUF @ WAS 46.6% WAS 29.7% 19.8% 41.0% 21.2% 10.6%
CHI @ MIN 67.0% MIN 92.6% 78.5% 99.6% 21.2% 9.9%
ARZ @ PHI 37.8% PHI 45.8% 38.5% 58.0% 19.5% 9.4%
DEN @ PIT 70.1% NYJ 27.6% 41.6% 21.7% -19.9% 9.1%
KC @ BAL 25.4% KC 92.7% 96.9% 80.3% -16.6% 7.2%
NYJ @ DAL 39.3% NYJ 27.6% 32.9% 19.4% -13.5% 6.6%
CAR @ NYG 31.5% WAS 29.7% 33.8% 20.8% -13.0% 6.0%
ARZ @ PHI 37.8% NYG 27.0% 30.8% 20.7% -10.0% 4.9%
KC @ BAL 25.4% NYJ 27.6% 25.0% 35.2% 10.2% 4.5%
BUF @ WAS 46.6% NYG 27.0% 31.1% 22.3% -8.8% 4.4%
BUF @ WAS 46.6% PHI 45.8% 49.2% 42.0% -7.3% 3.6%
NYJ @ DAL 39.3% KC 92.7% 89.8% 97.1% 7.3% 3.6%
CHI @ MIN 67.0% NYG 27.0% 31.3% 24.8% -6.5% 3.0%
ARZ @ PHI 37.8% WAS 29.7% 31.9% 26.0% -5.9% 2.9%
DEN @ PIT 70.1% BUF 2.6% 6.5% 0.9% -5.5% 2.5%
ATL @ JAC 60.4% JAC 4.2% 1.1% 6.2% 5.2% 2.5%
BUF @ WAS 46.6% BUF 2.6% 4.7% 0.1% -4.6% 2.3%
HOU @ IND 50.3% JAC 4.2% 6.5% 2.0% -4.5% 2.2%
DEN @ PIT 70.1% KC 92.7% 95.8% 91.4% -4.4% 2.0%
DEN @ PIT 70.1% DEN 97.3% 100.0% 96.1% -3.9% 1.8%
NYJ @ DAL 39.3% DAL 1.4% 0.0% 3.5% 3.5% 1.7%
CHI @ MIN 67.0% NO 1.2% 3.5% 0.0% -3.5% 1.6%
ATL @ JAC 60.4% IND 50.3% 52.3% 49.0% -3.3% 1.6%
CHI @ MIN 67.0% ATL 1.3% 3.6% 0.1% -3.4% 1.6%
NYJ @ DAL 39.3% DEN 97.3% 96.0% 99.3% 3.2% 1.6%
KC @ BAL 25.4% PIT 79.4% 78.5% 82.0% 3.5% 1.5%
CHI @ MIN 67.0% WAS 29.7% 31.8% 28.7% -3.1% 1.5%
BUF @ WAS 46.6% PIT 79.4% 78.0% 80.9% 2.9% 1.5%
CLE @ SEA 89.0% SEA 99.4% 95.5% 99.8% 4.3% 1.3%
BUF @ WAS 46.6% MIN 92.6% 93.9% 91.2% -2.7% 1.3%
NYJ @ DAL 39.3% PHI 45.8% 46.6% 44.6% -2.0% 1.0%
DET @ NO 60.1% NO 1.2% 0.0% 1.9% 1.9% 1.0%
CHI @ MIN 67.0% CHI 0.7% 2.0% 0.0% -2.0% 0.9%
ATL @ JAC 60.4% HOU 45.5% 46.6% 44.8% -1.8% 0.9%
CAR @ NYG 31.5% MIN 92.6% 93.2% 91.3% -1.9% 0.9%
ARZ @ PHI 37.8% MIN 92.6% 93.3% 91.5% -1.8% 0.9%
NYJ @ DAL 39.3% BUF 2.6% 1.9% 3.7% 1.8% 0.9%
KC @ BAL 25.4% DEN 97.3% 96.8% 98.6% 1.8% 0.8%
ARZ @ PHI 37.8% DAL 1.4% 2.0% 0.4% -1.6% 0.8%
CLE @ SEA 89.0% STL 0.6% 2.8% 0.3% -2.5% 0.8%
BUF @ WAS 46.6% NYJ 27.6% 26.9% 28.4% 1.5% 0.7%
CAR @ NYG 31.5% DAL 1.4% 1.9% 0.3% -1.6% 0.7%
BUF @ WAS 46.6% DAL 1.4% 2.0% 0.7% -1.4% 0.7%
ATL @ JAC 60.4% ATL 1.3% 2.1% 0.8% -1.3% 0.6%
DEN @ PIT 70.1% HOU 45.5% 44.6% 45.9% 1.3% 0.6%
GB @ OAK 39.8% OAK 0.6% 0.1% 1.3% 1.3% 0.6%
CHI @ MIN 67.0% TB 0.5% 1.3% 0.0% -1.3% 0.6%
DET @ NO 60.1% MIN 92.6% 93.3% 92.2% -1.2% 0.6%
CHI @ MIN 67.0% STL 0.6% 1.2% 0.3% -0.9% 0.4%
DEN @ PIT 70.1% OAK 0.6% 1.1% 0.3% -0.8% 0.4%
NYJ @ DAL 39.3% OAK 0.6% 0.3% 0.9% 0.6% 0.3%
DET @ NO 60.1% DEN 97.3% 97.0% 97.5% 0.5% 0.3%
KC @ BAL 25.4% BUF 2.6% 2.5% 3.0% 0.5% 0.2%
KC @ BAL 25.4% OAK 0.6% 0.4% 0.9% 0.5% 0.2%
ARZ @ PHI 37.8% CHI 0.7% 0.8% 0.4% -0.4% 0.2%
BUF @ WAS 46.6% CHI 0.7% 0.8% 0.5% -0.4% 0.2%
CAR @ NYG 31.5% CHI 0.7% 0.8% 0.4% -0.4% 0.2%
ATL @ JAC 60.4% SEA 99.4% 99.1% 99.5% 0.4% 0.2%
CAR @ NYG 31.5% NO 1.2% 1.3% 0.9% -0.3% 0.2%
BUF @ WAS 46.6% TB 0.5% 0.6% 0.3% -0.3% 0.1%
NYJ @ DAL 39.3% NO 1.2% 1.1% 1.3% 0.3% 0.1%
CIN @ SF 34.2% CIN 99.9% 100.0% 99.7% -0.3% 0.1%
GB @ OAK 39.8% TB 0.5% 0.5% 0.3% -0.2% 0.1%
NYJ @ DAL 39.3% CIN 99.9% 99.8% 100.0% 0.2% 0.1%
DEN @ PIT 70.1% CIN 99.9% 100.0% 99.9% -0.1% 0.1%
KC @ BAL 25.4% CIN 99.9% 99.9% 100.0% 0.1% 0.1%
CAR @ NYG 31.5% GB 100.0% 100.0% 99.9% -0.1% 0.0%
GB @ OAK 39.8% GB 100.0% 100.0% 99.9% -0.1% 0.0%
BUF @ WAS 46.6% GB 100.0% 100.0% 99.9% -0.1% 0.0%

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