Stat Pack Week 15: Patriots' Super Bowl Chances Doomed?
By Adam Dobrowolski
Cold, Hard Football Facts Chief Mathletics Advisor
With a torn ACL and MCL suffered by Rob Gronkowski in Sunday's game between the Patriots and Browns, the chances of a championship for a perennial power suddenly got a lot more cloudy. And we're not talking about "Manti Te'o a Tale," the fantasy team of Stat Pack host Adam Dobrowolski. In fact, many now believe that Gronk's injury could spell "the end" for the Patriots chances.
As much as Dobrowolski would like to say "not so fast" to the doom and gloom statement about his fantasy team (regular season champs) and the real team from New England, the Mathletics say that Sunday's outcome could be a death sentence for the 2013 Patriots.
After winning 27-26 against Cleveland, it marked the fifth one-possession win against a non-quality team for the Patriots. The other four came against the Bills (4-9), Jets (6-7), Falcons (3-10), Texans (2-11) and Browns (4-9). That's not a good sign for a team with legit Super Bowl hopes. While 11 Super Bowl teams have five one-possession wins against non-quality opponents, a good portion of those wins came against .500 teams. Here's the list:
- 2012 Ravens (five): two against .500 teams, two against divisional opponents
- 2006 Colts (five): three against .500 teams, two against divisional opponents
- 2003 Panthers (eight): two against .500 teams, four against divisional opponents
- 2000 Giants (seven): one against .500 teams, four against divisional opponents
- 1999 Titans (five): two against .500 teams, three against divisional opponents
- 1998 Falcons (six): none against .500 teams, two against divisional opponents
- 1987 Redskins (six): none against .500 teams, four against divisional opponents
- 1986 Giants (five): none against .500 teams, two against divisional opponents
- 1981 49ers (six): one against .500 teams, five against divisional opponents
- 1980 Raiders (five): three against .500 teams, five against divisional opponents
- 1970 Colts (six): zero against .500 teams, two against divisional opponents
As you'll see, only six Super Bowl teams had at least five one-possession wins against outright losing teams. One of those, the 1987 Redskins, had two such wins with replacement players and beat three 7-8 teams. Meanwhile, the Patriots don't have any heavier bad luck against divisional opponents. In theory, divisional opponents are more familiar, so the inferior teams can keep the games closer. That's not the case for New England.
Beyond that, Dobrowolski also looks the impact of the record-setting offensive play from Week 14. How did it impact the CHFF Big Board. Furthermore, Dobrowolski his six pack to top Wild Card games and his six pack of top games in Week 15.
Make sure to check out this week's six pack of topics on Stat Pack!
For those who are interested in checking out bits and pieces of this week's podcasts, every edition will include a "playlist" of sorts breaking down every segment from the podcast.
1:55 -- Mathletics: Patriots' Super Bowl hopes doomed?
11:20 -- Week 14 Big Board Highlights
16:15 -- King of Props Week 14 Review
18:20 -- The Stat Pack Week 15 Power Rankings: the Wild Card hopefuls
22:35 -- Week 15 Preview via the Intelligence Index
26:30 -- Six Pack of Top Games for Week 15
- Super Bowl XLIX Favorites: NFC Likely To Be Super Again In 2014
- Super Bowl XLVIII Most Watched Program In U.S. History
- Super Bowl XLVIII Postgame Stat-Palooza
- CHFF Classic: Russell Wilson NFL's Best Young QB
- Super Bowl XLVIII: Broncos-Seahawks The Statistically Perfect Super Bowl
- Prop-A-Palooza II: Hundreds More Super Bowl XLVIII Prop Bets
- Live From Media Day: Could Seattle D Stop Russell Wilson
- Seattle Seahawks Brash Legion of Boom Proves Real Statistical Deal
- AFC Champion Denver Broncos Betting Season in Review
- NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks Betting Season in Review