The League

Paul Bessire
NFL Quantitative Analyst

Paul Bessire

Paul Bessire is the content director for FOX Sports Interactive’s WhatIfSports.com.

10,001 simulations and guess who's out

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The defending NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals are the only team above .500 in what is probably the least intimidating division football. The Cardinals are also the current division leader least likely to make the playoffs.

Based on 10,001 simulations of the rest of the NFL season conducted by WhatIfSports.com, the Arizona Cardinals will finish 9-7. So will the San Francisco 49ers. However, San Francisco is already 3-0 in the division and is currently favored to win its Week 14 home game against the Cardinals (63.1% of the time and by an average score of 23-17).

Arizona has been tremendously inconsistent in 2009, most notably in the last two weeks where the Cardinals went to New York to beat the Giants, yet were dominated by the Panthers at home. 9-7 will not earn a wild card spot in the NFC, where we project Green Bay and Philadelphia to make the postseason at 10-6. Aside from the game they play against each other, the Cardinals and 49ers only have only two games remaining against a team we project to make the playoffs, so everything should come down to Week 14.

As of right now, every other division leader (or co-leader), is expected to make the playoffs either as a division winner or wild card winner.

Below are the results from those simulations. It is important to note that the wins and losses remaining are the "expected values" that are calculated by summing the win and loss probabilities in remaining games. This does not necessarily represent the number of games in which each team will be favored. For instance, New Orleans is actually favored to win each of the games it has left, yet will most likely lose at least one.

* ** ** ** ** ***
Team Wins Losses Left Total Wins Total Losses
New Orleans Saints 8 1 15 1
Indianapolis Colts 7 2 14 2
Pittsburgh Steelers 7 2 12 4
Minnesota Vikings 6 2 12 4
Denver Broncos 6 3 12 4
Dallas Cowboys 6 3 11 5
Cincinnati Bengals 6 3 11 5
Green Bay Packers 6 3 10 6
San Diego Chargers 6 3 10/td> 6
New England Patriots 5 4 10 6
Philadelphia Eagles 5 4 10 6
San Francisco 49ers 6 3 9 7
Atlanta Falcons 5 4 9 7
Baltimore Ravens 5 4 9 7
ARIZONA CARDINALS 5 4 9 7
New York Jets 5 3 9 7
Houston Texans 4 4 9 7
Miami Dolphins 5 4 8 8
Chicaco Bears 4 5 8 8
New York Giants 3 5 8 8
Jacksonville Jaguars 4 5 7 9
Seattle Seahawks 4 5 6 10
Carolina Panthers 3 6 6 10
Buffalo Bills 3 5 6 10
Tennessee Titans 4 5 5 11
Oakland Raiders 2 6 4 12
St. Louis Rams 2 6 3 13
Cleveland Browns 2 6 3 13
Kansas City Chiefs 2 7 3 13
Detroit Lions 2 7 3 13
Washington Redskins 1 8 3 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 8 1 15

By Paul Bessire  |  November 4, 2009; 6:14 PM ET  | Category:  Arizona Cardinals , Cincinnati Bengals Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: The bad luck Bengals | Next: Playoff Picks

Comments

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You've spelled "losses" wrong and you've left two teams (and playoff contenders) out of your chart - Baltimore and Atlanta. Pretty much what I'd expect out of a Fox Sports property.

Posted by: gordonbuttocks | November 5, 2009 12:57 AM

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