NFL 2005 Wildcard Game Results

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati: The beatpaths were 3-1 this week, and that’s not including what we said about the NE/JAC game being so close that home-field-advantage might adjust the pick. That said, I was surprised at how dominant New England was over Jacksonville, and Carson Palmer’s injury was also a bit of an asterisk. While Palmer doesn’t play defense, you could see the negative effect on the Bengals’ offense.

Here are the two beatpath graphs.



New England => Miami:


Carolina @ Giants: Well, that vindicates what the Beatpaths said about the Giants. Remember, the Week 17 rankings had the Giants in the bottom half of the league, behind Dallas, Minnesota, and Atlanta. They are just not a very good team. Despite their good win/loss record, they weren’t able to develop any quality beatwins. The rankings gap between Carolina and the Giants was far more than it was between any other playoff matchup this week. Dallas definitely would have been a better NFC East playoffs representative than the Giants. In fact, they still have their beatwin over Carolina, and are still ranked ahead of them.

Updated graphs will appear after the PIT/CIN game – right now they basically look the same as the Saturday graphs, with the exception of Carolina’s beatwin over the Giants.

Read on for Saturday games.

Saturday: Well, Washington more than made up for the earlier game’s ambiguous two-point conversion. That was a clear fumble by Arrington near the goal line, and Tampa Bay would have recovered. Meanwhile, New England stomps all over Jacksonville. Due to the combination of wins, Miami’s win over New England in Week 17 has a major effect on the graph by reasserting Carolina’s beatwin over New England. We’ll show both versions of the graph.


Miami Adjustment:


7 Responses to NFL 2005 Wildcard Game Results

  1. Anonymous Coward says:

    It must gratifying to see the beatgraph predict the playoff games so well. Great work on this site!

  2. Paul says:

    I see that Denver has a beatpath to every remaining
    playoff team and Chicago has a beatloss to every remaining playoff team. And if you use the Miami excluded graph, no remaining NFC team has a beatpath to any of the remaining AFC teams.

  3. ThunderThumbs says:

    Denver doesn’t have a beatpath to Indianapolis.

    Also, I’ve been experimenting with the beatflukes graph throughout the season, but at this point it gets pretty strange – WAS ends up #1.

  4. ThunderThumbs says:

    Re #1: thanks. The most interesting part has been studying the different tiebreaking algorithms. What’s interesting is that the games suggested by actual beatpaths (where one team actually has a beatpath to its opponent) are far more accurate than the games between teams that aren’t related by beatpaths. I believe this season the actual beatpath picks are at about 70%, while the overall pick percentage is between 64% and 65%. So I keep on trying to come up with different algorithms that can increase that overall pick percentage.

    The big story this season really has been the Giants. There’s just such a bias towards them. NFC, Giants, Blue, New York, Midway… all of that has such an automatic tough guy feel. And now that Carolina beat them, all that mystique has been transferred to them, when I think the truth is that Carolina still isn’t all that good – good enough to beat Chicago, but that doesn’t appear to be saying much. I think either Chicago or Carolina will just get destroyed by the Washington/Seattle winner.

  5. Ken says:

    I have to say, this has been a very interesting site all year (or at least since I started paying attention to it, when it got mentioned in Salon). The graphs certainly make you think.

    Although I think you (talking about your comments, not your graph) are underestimating my Bears. That’s my head and heart talking, but of course they’re both biased. 🙂

    We’ll find out in the next couple of weeks, I guess.

  6. ThunderThumbs says:

    Yeah, Chicago’s a tough one. It’s hard to tell how much better Chicago is with Grossman. I personally don’t think they’re on a completely different level late in the season, as New England appears to be. Was Grossman playing when they lost to Pittsburgh? That’s the main thing the beatpaths miss. Since it pays attention to all a team’s wins and losses, it misses if a team’s quality level has changed an extreme amount within a season.

  7. Ken says:

    Just to let you know–Grossman did not play against Pittsburgh. Or Minnesota.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *