2012 NFL Playoffs: Predictions, Stats and Facts

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2012 NFL Playoffs: Predictions, Stats and Facts
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The 2011-12 NFL playoffs are upon us, and it seems everybody is fighting to make their predictions stand out.

I like to consider myself an aficionado when it comes to picking NFL playoff games, but this season I decided to do something a little different. I took "gut feeling" out of the equation—in fact, I took guessing out of the equation altogether. I decided to use a statistical formula for picking winners.

We'll see if it works soon enough, but I'll share it with you now. 

Firstly, I ranked teams by their Defensive Quarterback Rating (QBR) from 1-12. This is how the list looks...

1) Ravens 68.8 

2) Texans 69.0 

3) Steelers 71.7

4) 49ers 73.6

5) Packers 80.6

6) Lions 82.1

7) Falcons 83.3

8) Bengals 85.0

9) Patriots 86.1

10) Giants 86.1

11) Saints 86.4

12) Broncos 93.1

After this was done, I ranked the teams in reverse order of Offensive QBR, and this is the list I ended up with...

12) Packers 122.5

11) Saints 110.6

10) Patriots 105.6

9) Lions 97.2

8) Giants 92.9

7) Atlanta 92.2

6) 49ers 90.7

5) Steelers 90.1

4) Ravens 80.9

3) Texans 80.7

2 Bengals 80.4

1) Broncos 72.9

In the simplest way possible, I decided to add Team A's Offensive QBR to its opponent's Defensive QBR.

For example, in the first round the Houston Texans are playing the Cincinnati Bengals. The Texans' offensive rank was third-worst, so they got a three. I then added their opponent's (Bengals) defensive rank, eighth, to that first number, giving the Texans a total of 11. The same formula was used for the Bengals, who ended up with a four. The Texans win. 

It's not perfect or comprehensive, but it seems to have generated some strong picks. In the end, this is how my playoff predictor turned out. Take a look...

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