numberFire's 2012 NFL Divisional Playoffs Central
The games are becoming more exciting, the teams are even closer, and there is more at stake than ever before. We're in the Divisional Playoffs, the NFL's second round. It's time to get pumped.
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 numbers-filled previews for every game, along with Daily Fantasy analysis with help from our friends are StarStreet and our own personal predictions. Click on the headlines to read away!
"In the past five seasons, only eleven teams before this season finished with a better secondary than this year's Broncos squad. Of those eleven, seven made the playoffs. And of those seven, five got exactly where the Broncos want to be going."
"Combined, the three playoff teams with a better run defense than the 2012 49ers went a combined 5-3 in their respective playoff games. That's solid, but it certainly doesn't lend itself towards being a trend. In addition, four of the seven teams didn't make the playoffs at all, and one finished the year with a losing record. To be fair, none of those teams also cracked the +100 NEP barrier on the offensive side, as the 49ers did this year. But that just means that the key to winning isn't stopping the run; it's all about the passing game and stopping the passing game."
"Turner averaged -0.21 NEP per rush for the Falcons this season, the second lowest mark for someone with at least 150 carries behind Darren McFadden's atrocious -0.27 NEP per rush mark. Let's put this into perspective: every five times Turner tries to rush the ball, the Falcons would be expected to score over a point less than if they had simply run the league-average play. That's staggering inefficiency for you."
"Since 2000, 20 teams have had a top three offense and a defense in the bottom half of the league. Exactly one won the championship: Peyton's 2006 Colts squad. Only one other even got to the big game: last year's Patriots. Of the 10 teams that accomplished the feat and finished the season with at least 12 wins (as Brady's Patriots did this season), six of them lost in their first playoff game."
"We're also putting a lot of faith in Matt Schaub to have to air the ball out to keep up with the Patriots offense, but strangely, all of the Houston receiving options are absent. Instead, we're rolling with the entire cadre of Green Bay WRs. While it's clearly somewhat unlikely that each of them will find the end zone, the PPR format of StarStreet lends well to the Green Bay attack and should serve up stable points to offset the riskier plays of Schaub, Harris, and Dreessen."
"Nik Bonaddio, CEO: Broncos. I like the Ravens as a cover play - any number north of +9.5 is far too high - but I don't think that the Ravens have the firepower to compete with Peyton, especially not in Mile High. The Ravens D isn't what it used to be, so really the Broncos have the superior offense AND defense, which is a bad combination on the road. With that said, this has backdoor cover written all over it."