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Author Topic: Divisional Playoffs - Sunday, Jan. 11 - Chargers @ Steelers  (Read 19123 times)
Preacherman0
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 06, 2009 at 12:17 »

I want to win this game, of course.  I want the Steelers to win the Super Bowl, naturally. 

But, perhaps even more, I want the Ravens to NOT win it.

So, I'm pulling against Balty almost as much as I'm pulling for Pittsburgh.  Sad, but true.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 06, 2009 at 12:26 »

The PERFECT path would have been the revenge tour, against teams that beat us in the regular season:

Colts, Titans, then either Giants or Eagles.

Woulda been sweet.  But the Clots laid an egg.

That said, if we don't win, I don't give a fuck who does.  Sure, the Ratties are division rivals, and it would suck to have them be a more recent winner of the SB, but frankly I'm of the "anyone but the Patriots from now until the end of time" mindset.
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« Reply #12 on: Jan 06, 2009 at 14:42 »

Vincent Jackson arrested for DWI: http://weblog.signonsandiego.com/news/breaking/2009/01/chargers_player_arrested_for_d.html

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vinman3
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 07, 2009 at 06:55 »

His second offense. If he plays Sunday, this is how he will be getting to the game. yeehaw
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Preacherman0
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 07, 2009 at 10:56 »

Nice one, vinman...and I'm quite sure he'll be catching a Handsome Cab ride to the stadium.  Probably won't be in court for weeks, and I don't see Norv as the type to suspend a player.

We can hope that it's a distraction, but this bunch of knuckleheads are probably too self-absorbed to be distracted.  I can see their locker room:  "DUI?  Hell yeah, dude...what's the fun of drinkin' if you ain't gonna drive?  That's even more fun than shootin' up 'roids!"

In giving the Chargers' schedule a glance, I noticed that their losses were generally against good teams.  Five of them against playoff teams, all close games; Bills (when they were playing well) and Saints (still dangerous); and of course Denver (the Eddie Biceps Special).  I give them credit for a great win over the Colts last week.  But, until that game, the Chargers did not have a single win over a playoff team.  You could argue that they were unlucky in their close losses, but also that they were VERY lucky in some of their wins.  Notably, they struggled to beat KC twice.

Much has been made of this run the Chargers have made to the playoffs.  But let's take a closer look at that.  Wins against:

Raiders (nuff said)
Chiefs (came from behind in the 4th)
Bucs (falling and fading by this time)
Broncos (always a pretender)

That ain't exactly a Murderer's Row type of schedule.

And about that win over the Colts:  I'm not sure that the Colts are not who we thought they were 10 weeks ago.  Yes, 8-game win streak, league MVP, blah-blah-blah.  In that "big" streak, they squeaked out wins over the Patriots, Browns, Texans, Lions, Chargers, and Jags.  They got a gift-wrapped early Christmas present from the Steelers; and they beat a Titans team whose starters only played one series.

The fact is that SD is an undisicplined, underachieving football team.  Maybe you can turn it on and off and do okay in the playoffs, but I don't think that kind of play wins championships.  I believe that the Steelers will come out focused and SHOULD be able to take care of business, at least for this week. 
« Last Edit: Jan 07, 2009 at 10:58 by Preacherman0 » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: Jan 07, 2009 at 11:47 »

The fact is that SD is an undisicplined, underachieving football team.  Maybe you can turn it on and off and do okay in the playoffs, but I don't think that kind of play wins championships.  I believe that the Steelers will come out focused and SHOULD be able to take care of business, at least for this week. 

Steelers will beat 'em by two TDs methinks.
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« Reply #16 on: Jan 07, 2009 at 12:22 »

Love the wild card round.  Gives all the talking heads, whose collective memories are as long as your average jellyfish, an opportunity to overhype.  All I've heard this week is Ravens are Super Bowl bound; Chargers are on a roll don't lose anything with Sproles in for LT, and Eagles are in good shape against the Giants (Arizona still getting no love, which may be bad for the Panthers, but I don't think so).  Conveniently forgetting that the best 4 teams in the league were sitting at home watching, resting, and getting ready for this week.  Not saying there won't be an upset - probably will be somewhere - but if you believe in bulletin board material, there's plenty of it, especially in Nashville.

Come next Monday, it will be like Round 1 never happened.

I actually heard someone refer to Flacco's performance lately as "phenomenal."  Are you effing kidding me?  9-23, 135 yards, 1 meaningless rushing TD "phenomenal?"  Oh, and he's "Joe Cool" now.  Unfriggin-believeable.  Not to mention unoriginal. 
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Big Virgil
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« Reply #17 on: Jan 07, 2009 at 12:29 »

I heard or readthe same thing and thought I remember him going something like 9-24 ( I was close).  I think that rivals Ben's Superbowl performance, and is nothing short of a train wreck.

Flacco will obviously get better and it must be for that reason the talkig heads are all over him, becasue he didn't really do anything special, even for a rookie.
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« Reply #18 on: Jan 07, 2009 at 12:56 »

I didn't get to post my final power rankings, but I did work up the regular season mathematical rankings, based on esoteric formulas that I have long since forgotten.  I punch some numbers into Excel, it spits out rankings.

Interestingly enough, I would have personally picked all road teams last week, but the math rankings picked all the winners.  

The Wild Card Round

In the Falcons @ Cards, I thought the Cards really were the worst playoff team.  Who knew they had a running game?  Or a defense?  In the overall rankings, the Cards were given a slight edge:

Cards: 12.8299 (16th overall)
Falcons: 10.4595 (19)
Winner: Cards (+2.3704)

What I think the overall numbers show is maybe a confidence factor.  That game certainly could have gone either way, and a smallish differential shows low confidence.

Breaking out how the defensive versus offensive units matched up omits the special teams, but gives a very interesting set of numbers as well.  It's all sort of an alchemy, but here goes.

Cards O: 34.8600 (4)
Falcons D: -26.6067 (24)
Winner: Cards (+61.4667)

It really did look like the Cards were running roughshod, on the ground and through the air, over the Falcons.

Falcons O: 31.1600 (7)
Cards D: -14.0641 (18)
Winner: Falcons (+45.2241)

Neither defense is very good, despite the heady strip and fumble return for a TD by the Cards, and good play in particular from Dockett.  Both offenses were able to get points on the board, though, as the 30-24 score attests.

Deriving the difference of those individual offense v. defense matchups gives the 16.2426 edge to the Cards.

For the Colts-Chargers:

Colts: 20.5970 (14)
Chargers: 51.3953 (6)
Winner: Chargers (+30.7983)

Despite the hype, were the Colts really only the 14th best team in the league?  And are the Chargers, despite a so-so record, as good as 6th?

Chargers O: 60.8600 (1)
Colts D: -15.7091 (20)
Winner: Chargers (+76.5691)

Colts O: 41.9600 (3)
Chargers D: -12.0080 (17)
Winner: Colts (+53.9680)

Delta: Chargers (+22.6011)

Which shows us the obvious: offenses ruled this game against not-so-great defenses.  Steelers fans would be wise to note that the Chargers have that #1 offensive ranking, but their 17th ranked defense may help us get some points on the board.

Ravens-Fins:

Ravens: 87.4427 (2)
Fins: 26.7004 (11)
Winner: Ravens (+60.7423)

Fins actually ranked higher than the Colts overall, but the Ravens get a huge vote of confidence.

Ravens O: 4.8600 (14)
Fins D: 5.4694 (12)
Winner: Fins (+0.6094)

Fins O: 32.5600 (5)
Ravens D: 83.1922 (2)
Winner: Ravens (+50.0228)

Delta: Ravens (+50.0228)

So basically, the Fins D was about the equal of the Ravens offense in theory, but the Ravens D was not to be stopped here.  Tell us something we didn't already know...

Eagles-Vikes:

Eagles: 86.5235 (3)
Vikes: 53.2749 (5)
Winner: Eagles (+33.2486)

Vikes actually got some respect from the math model, ranking 5th overall.  Eagles show a very strong 3rd overall.

Eagles O: 3.2600 (15)
Vikes D: 76.4069 (4)
Winner: Vikes (+73.1469)

Vikes O: -8.4400 (22)
Eagles D: 80.9304 (3)
Winner: Eagles (+89.3704)

Delta: Eagles (+16.2236)

Take away that Westbrook run, and the story here really was the Eagles D doing its job just slightly better than that Vikes D.

Any Significance?

I've been looking for a good score prediction formula for some time, but it never seemed to materialize.  In breaking down the defense v. offense numbers, there did seem to be some correlation between the Delta number and margin of victory.  I divided the Delta by the margin and averaged them out (2.707, 3.767, 2.779, 2.208; average = 2.82).  

No idea whether that average will be a good predictor moving forward, but let's see.  Using the math model to predict from here out gives some more perhaps surprising upsets...

Divisional Playoffs

Cards-Panthers:

Cards: 12.8299 (16)
Panthers: 31.7306 (9)
Winner: Panthers (+18.9007)

Cards O: 34.8600 (4)
Panthers D: 0.9458 (14)
Winner: Cards (+33.9142)

Panthers O: 26.5600 (10)
Cards D: -14.0641 (18)

Delta: Panthers (+6.7100)
Margin: by 2 (rounded off)

A much closer game than I think most would expect.  With offenses dominating the defenses, this should also be one of the higher-scoring games this weekend.  So let's just call it 30-28.

Ravens-Titans:

Ravens: 87.4427 (2)
Titans: 56.1875 (4)
Winner: Ravens (+31.2552)

Ravens O: 4.8600 (14)
Titans D: 62.4250 (5)
Winner: Titans (+57.5650)

Titans O: -7.9400 (21)
Ravens D: 83.1922 (2)
Winner: Ravens (+91.1322)

Delta: Ravens (+33.5672)
Margin: Ravens by 12

Although this is pretty confident of a Ravens win, the defenses rule here (duh).  Last time this game went 13-10; let's call it 22-10 this time around, with fortunes flipped.

Eagles-Giants:

Eagles: 86.5235 (2)
Giants: 48.4458 (7)
Winner: Eagles (+38.0777)

Eagles O: 3.2600 (15)
Giants D: 18.0120 (9)
Winner: Giants (+14.7520)

Giants O: 27.2600 (Cool
Eagles D: 80.9304 (2)
Winner: Eagles (+53.6704)

Delta: Eagles (+38.9185)
Margin: Eagles by 14

Looks like the Eagles will try to repeat their win in Jersey again...  Two TDs seems rather high, but I'll call this one 24-10 Iggles.

Steelers-Chargers:

Steelers: 94.5034 (1)
Chargers: 51.3953 (5)
Winner: Steelers (+43.1081)

Steelers O: 0.2600 (17)
Chargers D: -12.0080 (17)
Winner: Steelers (+12.2680)

Chargers O: 60.8600 (1)
Steelers D: 97.5853 (1)
Winner: Steelers (+38.7253)

Delta: 48.9933
Margin: Steelers by 17

Wow.  Just look at the parity: #1 O vs. #1 D; #17 O vs. #17 D.  This would seem to indicate that in the rematch, the Steelers don't just move the ball between the 20s.  Low, low score last time, but this time it looks like the Steelers should control both sides of the ball, if just barely getting some life out of that fucknut Arians's offense.  So let's call this one 30-13.

Conference Playoffs


Panthers-Eagles:

OK, I won't re-type all the offense, defense and overall numbers, just give the winners and margins.

Vote of confidence winner: Eagles (+54.7929)
Eagles O over Panthers D: +2.3142
Eagles D over Panthers O: +54.3704
Delta: Eagles +56.6846
Margin: Eagles by 20

Complete domination by the Birds.  Let's call this Eagles 27, Panthers 7.

Steelers-Ravens:

Vote of confidence winner: Steelers (+7.0607)
Steelers D over Ravens O: +92.7253
Ravens D over Steelers O: +82.9322
Delta: Steelers +9.7931
Margin: Steelers by 3

Another ugly win.  So let's say this is a 9-6 kinda game.

Super Bowl


Steelers-Eagles:

Vote of confidence winner: Steelers +7.9799
Eagles D over Steelers O: +80.6704
Steelers D over Eagles O: +94.3253
Delta: Steelers +13.6549
Margin: Steelers by 5

Another squeaker for the Steelers, and many fans might not enjoy a rather defensive scrum... but that's why Steelers fans will love this game.  Could be four Jeff Reed field goals beating a Westbrook TD here... 12-7 Steelers?

OK.  We'll see.

One game at a time...    helmet
« Last Edit: Jan 07, 2009 at 13:00 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #19 on: Jan 07, 2009 at 13:02 »

BTW, if those predictions were to hold, you'd have to think the Stillers would be big SB dogs. 

NEVER bet against the Steelers...
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