Monday, January 12, 2015

NFL Divisional Pick Results

Winning team in bold.

Ravens @ Patriots (SRS, APR, Line)
The Ravens' offense certainly did their part in this game, putting up 31 points on the Patriots. But the Ravens' defense allowed the Patriots five sustained drives (the shortest was 67 yards), all ending with touchdowns.
Joe Flacco may actually be maturing into a better quarterback than he was in the first years of his career, but when it takes 36 points to win a game, even the best quarterbacks can be in a toss-up situation.
Panthers @ Seahawks (APR, SRS, Line)
The Seahawks won this pretty easily, as they were widely expected to. Maybe the most surprising thing about this game is that the Panthers kept it within a single score into the 4th quarter, and if Cam Newton had played a better game, the Panthers might have had a chance for an upset.
Cowboys @ Packers (APR, SRS, Line)
After their initial touchdown drive, the Packers really seemed to struggle in this game, producing drives that ended in a lost fumble, two punts, and two field goals. I really thought this game was all but over when the Cowboys went up 21-13 late in the 3rd quarter.

But after that, the Packers' offense finally got on a roll, posting a couple of long touchdown drives, and a final drive to finish off the final 4:06 of game clock.
The Cowboys seemed to pursue a ball control strategy similar to what the Bills did in their win over the Packers in week 15. The problem with this strategy is it requires a defense that can shut the Packers offense down for an entire game, and (as the Cowboys found out) blows up if you can't.
It should also be noted that the Dez Bryant catch reversal controversy obscured a rather unfortunate play call by the Cowboys. That play came on 4th and 2. The Cowboys elected to throw what has to be a pretty low percentage deep ball 30 yards down field. But why do that when they could've handed off to DeMarco Murray? Murray had been shredding the Packers' defense all game, and would've almost certainly resulted in a conversion and a fresh set of downs.
Colts @ Broncos (APR, SRS, Line)
Just an ugly day for the Broncos' passing offense. One of the lowest completion rates (57%) and yards per attempt (4.58) since Manning went to Denver.
The Broncos' defense didn't have a good day either, giving up several long drives, and largely letting the Colts offense control the tempo of the game. The Broncos just didn't look anything like the team that won the AFC's second seed.
Added: It's now being reported that Peyton Manning was playing with a torn quad, which would explain a lot about how this game played out.


APR 3-1 5-362.5%
SRS 3-1 6-275%
Line 3-1 6-275%