first_imgArizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) celebrates his touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) The model incorporates numerous factors, including three (expected points contributed by offense; simple rating system, or SRS; and offense simple rating system, or OSRS) used by Pro Football Reference to measure teams’ offensive efficiency and quality. The expected points statistic reflects the fact that all yards are not created equal, illustrating which teams are able to make the most of their offensive opportunities. That is, a 12-yard gain on third-and-20 adds more to a team’s yardage total than a 3-yard gain on third-and-1, but the latter play is more valuable. This measurement is meant to account for that difference. The simple rating system statistics are a measure of a team’s caliber relative to the league average, based on margin of victory and strength of schedule. The model also rewards wins and penalizes teams that punt or turn the ball over frequently. In other words, teams that are efficient on offense, play well against tough opponents, and take care of the football will rate higher than those that don’t.It is noted that the formula does not equate for personnel changes — like the Bengals using backup QB A.J. McCarron due to starter Andy Dalton being hurt, but a look at how it rated the playoff teams from each of the last three seasons shows it can be a fairly accurate judge of what is to come. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling If we are being honest, math is not something all of us enjoy.It’s math’s fault for being too difficult.However, that does not mean it does not come in handy every now and again, even in the world of sports.Now, if we’re being honest again, the equations used here by NFL.com to predict the postseason are very much above our heads.At the same time, Cardinals fans will be pleased to know that according to their formula, which uses regular-season team statistics to predict which teams will win their respective conferences, the chosen matchup is Arizona vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires In 2014, it had the Seahawks and Patriots matching up; in 2013, it was the Broncos and Seahawks, and in 2012 it had Patriots vs. Falcons, when that season it was the 49ers and Ravens who played in the big game.It’s important to remember something about football: a few key plays can drastically change the outcome of a game. Consider, for example, the 2014 NFC title game, in which the Seahawks completed a late comeback thanks to a number of seemingly improbable plays, including a botched onside kick recovery. This model can predict who’s more likely to win, but it can’t, obviously, account for this unpredictable element of football. A play such as a red zone pick-six could, potentially, cause a 14-point swing. This makes modeling football challenging — but it also makes it fun.So there you go, Cardinals fans. According to math, your team is going to be playing in Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7 against a team they beat 34-31 earlier in the season.last_img

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