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2014 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round Predictions
Wild Card Round Recap
Centrary guessed both NFC games correctly, but both AFC games incorrectly. The pick I had the most trustworthiness in it to get right, Bengals over Colts, was wrong, and the game I had the least trustworthiness in it to get right, Steelers over Ravens, was also wrong (at least the Steelers can no longer be a thorn in Centrary's side).
For this week, I will be doing mostly what I did last week, but with this week's divisional round games, and a little extra at the end. Hopefully I'll see more accurate results in the AFC than I did last week!
Divisional Round Picks
As always, the Centrary simulator makes these picks.
#6 Baltimore Ravens (at) #1 New England Patriots
Pick: 29-13 Baltimore
Accuracy: Including last week, Centrary is now 10-7 in Ravens games (6-3 when picking FOR Baltimore). Centrary is 10-6 in Patriots games (just 1-3 picking AGAINST New England).
In this simulation, Baltimore opens up a 19-0 halftime lead, aided by the rare 5-pt first quarter, and the Patriots can't muster enough up in the 2nd half to avoid the upset, though by now Baltimore winning at New England in the postseason isn't all the surprising.
#4 Carolina Panthers (at) #1 Seattle Seahawks
Pick: 34-3 Seattle
Accuracy: Including last week, Centrary is 8-8-1 in Panthers games (4-4-1 when picking AGAINST Carolina). Centrary is 11-5 in Seahawks games (11-4 when picking FOR Seattle; and its only picked against Seattle one single time).
Centrary has the Panthers going down 14-0 at halftime, getting their only points in the 3rd quarter only to see Seattle blow it open from there. I don't think the real score will get this ugly, but I guess I wouldn't be surprised either though Carolina has been playing much better of late.
#3 Dallas Cowboys (at) #2 Green Bay Packers
Pick: 35-13 Green Bay
Accuracy: Including last week, Centrary is 11-6 in Cowboys games (just 2-4 when picking AGAINST Dallas). Centrary is 11-5 in Packers games (8-2 when picking FOR Green Bay).
The Cowboys gets shut down for most of the game, and the Packers put it away with two 4th quarter touchdowns.
#4 Indianapolis Colts (at) #2 Denver Broncos
Pick: 38-17 Denver
Accuracy: Including last week, Centrary is now 14-3 in Colts games (4-2 when picking AGAINST Indianapolis, though it was wrong last week). Centrary is 11-5 in Broncos games (10-3 when picking FOR Denver).
The Broncos score early and often, and the Colts just can't do enough to make any sort of comeback. So, basically, for this round only Baltimore pulls off a road win.
Bonus: "Loser Bracket" Simulations - Rounds 1 & 2
As the Centrary simulator has data for all 32 teams at season's end, I figured, why not simulate an additional bracket, featuring the 20 teams that did not make this past postseason?
You might be thinking I might do something similar to that of college basketball's NIT, or some other consolation bracket, but not quite. You see, in this postseason simulation, the losers of each game advance to determine who Centrary believes is - a playoff format - the worst team in the NFL.
Each team is seeded 7-16 in their conference, with no regard to divisional standing. The first round is a "play-out" round, featuring the 7-10 seeds playing each other to avoid playing against the bottom six of each conference. Home field is given to the higher seed, and playoff OT rules apply. Here's how the first round simulates:
#10 Minnesota (at) #7 Philadelphia: 31-20 Eagles
#9 New Orleans (at) #8 San Francisco: 26-17 Saints
The 7-10 seeds all finished 9-7, and according to NFL.com, these four teams are seeded as such via their tiebreakers. I think.
#10 Buffalo (at) #7 Houston: 17-9 Bills
#9 San Diego (at) #8 Kansas City: 34-7 Chiefs
Now, the second round: the highest remaining seeds matchup with the 16 seeds in each conference, and so on.
#16 Tampa Bay (at) #8 San Francisco: 31-14 49ers
#15 Washington (at) #10 Minnesota: 14-10 Redskins
#14 Chicago (at) #11 New York: 35-21 Giants
#13 St. Louis (at) #12 Atlanta: 34-25 Falcons
#16 Tennessee (at) #7 Houston: 31-9 Texans
#15 Oakland (at) #9 San Diego: 34-17 Chargers
#14 Jacksonville (at) #11 Miami: 42-20 Dolphins
#13 New York (at) #12 Cleveland: 21-14 Browns
So, there you have it. Next week, I'll continue this simulation up through the conference, hm, championships, as well as simulate the actual NFL conference championship games.
The Divisional Round predictions and Loser Bracket picks were made with the Centrary sports simulator, which simulates teams, not players, and in a quick, simple fashion.