And to think … for years, we were taught that Harvard was a school for smart kids.
A student at the school has developed a model for predicting the odds for each NFL team to make the 2015 playoffs, and his picks for the top teams in each league are both expected and shocking.
Kurt Ballard had his findings published on the Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective webpage. Here is how he got to the numbers for each team:
The method that I came up with uses Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value statistic, the site’s best measure of trying to tease out individual talent. Then, using ESPN’s NFL depth charts, I aggregated each team’s per game approximate value of what I considered to be the ‘core’ makeup of an NFL team: QB, RB, 2 WR, TE, Top 2 OL, the Top-4 ‘Front Seven’ defensive players, and the Top-2 players from the secondary.
And what do his numbers show?
In the NFC, the two time conference champion Seattle Seahawks are again predicted to head to the Super Bowl, with a 95% chance of making the playoffs. That’s followed by the Green Bay Packers at 93%.
And the AFC? You might want to sit down for this one.
The Miami Dolphins … yes, those Miami Dolphins … are the predicted best team in the conference this season, with a 77% chance of making the playoffs. That’s followed by the Kansas City Chiefs at 66% and the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at 62%.
The complete numbers can be found here.
Even as a Dolphins fan, I will always be cautious about my team becoming successful again. I’ve been led on too many times. Maybe this is just a Patriots fan in the Boston area who is trying to get our hopes up, only to have them crushed once the season starts.