Playoff Hopes Move In Lockstep With Quality Standings

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Aug 24, 2011



By Kerry J. Byrne
One Cold One Customer


Worried about your team's chances of making the playoffs? Turns out postseason chances rest nearly as much on a team's schedule as it does on the health and production of quarterbacks such as Tony Romo.

At least that seems to be the finding of blogger One Cool Customer at Dallas Cowboys site BloggingTheBoys. He has a great look this week at our Quality Standings and how important they are when it comes to making the playoffs.
 
The short version of his story: scheduling means everything in the NFL. Teams with easy schedules always reach the playoffs; teams with tough schedules rarely reach the playoffs.
 
The most compelling part of the piece is One Cool Customer’s look at how often teams reach the playoffs based upon the number of Quality Opponents they face, going back to the introduction of our Quality Standings in 2004.
 
For example, seven teams have faced just three Quality Opponents – including last year’s Chiefs. All seven reached the playoffs.
 
At the other end of the spectrum, 14 teams have faced 10 Quality Opponents (including last year’s Browns and Panthers). Only two have reached the playoffs. Three teams have faced 11 Quality Opponents (including last year’s Bengals). Not one made the playoffs.
 
The numbers move just like a ladder: every Quality Opponent you face has a material impact on your ability to reach the playoffs. The Cowboys, by the way, faced eight Quality Opponents last year (with a 3-5 record). Just 12 of the 39 teams (31%) to face eight Quality Opponents since 2004 have reached the postseason ... and the 2010 Cowboys were among the 27 that failed.
 
Check out the whole story here. Great job by BloggingTheBoys. If we had a smiley face sticker, we’d post it on their story.

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