numberFire's 2012 Wild Card Round-Up
How did it feel to wake up today? Grand? Like something magnificent is about to happen in your life, like the events of your world are sure to change at any moment?
Then chances are, you're not Tony Romo. But you are, however, a football fan. Because the NFL playoffs are here, and they're about to rock your world.
So while you're getting pumped, why not take a look at some of the stats we've uncovered from the past couple of days? There are stats-filled previews for every game, along with Daily Fantasy analysis with help from our friends are StarStreet. Click on the headlines to read away!
"Of course, Vegas has taken note of this trend: the 43.5 point totals line is the lowest of any of the four games this weekend. But we've taken a look at the games that our stats deem the "strongest predictors", meaning that because of a similar team structure or efficiency of offenses and defenses, these are the games that most closely resemble this matchup. And the top predictors indicate that, well, Vegas might want to start putting that line even lower."
"That means that the 18.16 NEP that Ponder gained in Week 17 wasn't just unexpected, the chances were about as good as Magic Mike winning Best Picture. Even after that performance, Ponder ended the season averaging 0.08 NEP per pass (it was 0.05 NEP per pass entering the final game). That makes him 20th among NFL QBs that threw at least 200 passes this season, right behind the trio of effective corpse Carson Palmer, rookie Andrew Luck, and Matthew "Throw it and see what happens!" Stafford."
"Those 131.13 NEP given up to opposing passing games is the single-worst mark in the NFL this season. Even worse still, it's the worst mark of the past two seasons. And for real kicks, it's the eleventh-worst mark for any single team since Net Expected Points became a stat back in the 2000 season. And what we found when we looked at those open-wound secondaries - other than that the Lions and Vikings have had some really bad secondaries recently - is that there's absolutely no precedent for having a secondary this poor and still having a winning record."
"But of course, they didn't play a defense like the Seahawks. In fact, they haven't played a defense like the Seahawks all season. The Redskins' highest ranked opponent on our defensive opponent-adjusted efficiency rankings is the No. 8 Steelers, and they played five games against teams in the top third of the league.
How did those games go? Oh, only the five lowest-scoring games of the season for Washington, that's all."
"We're also banking on Joe Flacco to perform well against the No. 30 Colts defense in the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium, while also relying on an array of PPR-friendly RB studs to shoulder a lot of the load. Vick Ballard in particular is a great play, projecting at 3.52 receptions along with 100 total yards against what is largely an overrated Ravens D."
"Nik Bonaddio, CEO: This is by far the best game of the weekend in my book, and one that is essentially a coin flip when I think about it. Anyone who tries to argue that Russell Wilson is RG3's equal is laughable - Griffin is both the better passer and better runner - but Seattle's defense is a game-changer whereas the Redskins would have trouble stopping me and ten of my friends. I've went home and went chalk with all of my picks so far so I want to take Seattle to mix it up, but I really do think that the Redskins have more than a fighting chance of taking the game. At the end of the day however, it's going to come down to who can stop who, and I just don't trust the Skins defense to play playoff-level football. Seattle for me, in a nail-biter."