Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Statistics, Lies, and the NFC

Amidst all the voluminous verbiage on this weekend's football playoffs, I found the following two interesting stats on nfl.com:

Stat #1:
Since 2000, there have been eight instances when teams that faced each other once in the regular season played a rematch in the divisional playoffs. In those games, the teams that won the regular-season meetings are a combined 8-0 in the playoff rematch. (Note: This does not include three times when teams squared off twice in the regular season and then a third time in the playoffs.)

Stat #2:
Under the current playoff format, the top seed in the NFC never has lost its divisional round game; [they are] 15-0.

So according the Stat #1, the Redskins, who defeated their upcoming opponent Seattle back in October (the only NFC team to do so this year!), will beat them again this weekend. But according to Stat #2, the top-seeded Seahawks can't lose either!

I guess this proves the old adage that 70% (or at least 50% anyway) of statistics are phony. It also brings to mind a great lyric from one of my favorite obscure rock songs, Dire Straits' "Industrial Disease". In a description of a crazy protest rally is the line:
Two men say they're Jesus...
one of them must be wrong!
As for my personal take on the upcoming game, I never issue sports predictions. But I will say that though of course I'll be thrilled if the `Skins do upset Seattle, I will be totally content with their season even if they don't. After all, they improved to 10-6 after going 6-10 in 2004, they earned a playoff spot for the first time in six years and made it through at least one round, and, most of all, they surpassed all of their divisional rivals. No matter what else happens, that's plenty to celebrate and plenty to build on for next season.


At 1/13/06, 11:01 AM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

I was going to post that maybe the Skins are following the Ravens path to glory.
The Ravens ran the playoffs in 2000/2001 on the strength of defense and special teams. (The offense was OK but nothing special.) To have beaten TB last week the Skins had to have had great defense and special teams because they did nothing on offense!
(Also to extend the parallel: It was Brian Billick's second year; this is Joe Gibbs's 2nd year back.)


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