Playoff Prognostication

“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”

Niels Bohr

It’s NFL playoff time again, and seemingly everyone’s prognosticating.  Last year’s late rise of the Packers (6th seed who won it all) proved again that “past performance does not guarantee future results.”  But since a calculated guess is better than a wild one, I thought I’d run my own numbers using the power ranking tools we developed as Friday Fragments this time last year.

I gathered fresh data (2011 NFL regular season results) and ran it through  Of the resulting top 12 teams (by power ranking), 11 are in the playoffs:

Rank Team Power
1 Packers 90
2 49ers 86
3 Saints 83
4 Steelers 83
5 Ravens 70
6 Bengals 68
7 Texans 67
8 Patriots 67
9 Giants 64
10 Lions 63
11 Falcons 61
12 Raiders 56

The Raiders (#12) didn’t make the playoffs; instead we have the Broncos who won the AFC West, but rank #22 (power 41).

This has the Packers winning it all again.  But with my Falcons at #11, I’m hoping for a few surprises, starting with tomorrow’s game against the Giants.

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