Conference Championship Game Probabilities

Weekly game probabilities are available now at the nytimes.com Fifth Down. This week, I discuss some considerations about how the four teams are perceived, including factors like recency bias and the randomness of turnovers.

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13 Responses to “Conference Championship Game Probabilities”

  1. Dave says:

    As a Giants fan, I'm very concerned that the 49ers' consistently excellent special teams is not being accounted for here, and is thus overestimating the Giants' chances.

    What do you guys think, am I crazy?

  2. Anonymous says:

    How predictive are past special teams stats?

  3. Ralph Raider says:

    Tedd Ginn is hurt....Akers numbers are great but note that Tynes has an almost identical fg % number as he does...Lee is excellent but so is Weatherford. No big edge here...no more onsides kick surprises either.

  4. Aaron says:

    In my experience, special teams stats are not all that predictive and need to be regressed heavily.

  5. bigmouth says:

    Aaron, which special teams stats specifically?

  6. bravehoptoad says:

    ...and what's your experience?

  7. bravehoptoad says:

    It's pretty clear that Brian's narrative for this game, that the 49ers needed turnovers to win this game, was wrong. They played the Giants into the 8th minute of overtime without creating any turnovers. It took the opposite -- bad turnover luck -- for them to lose the game.

  8. Brian Burke says:

    That's a complete misrepresentation of my 'narrative.' I wrote they're not a good enough team to overcome a turnover deficit, which they were not.

    Live the turnover, die by the turnover.

    And those 49ers special teams...Quite special after all!

  9. Brian Burke says:

    From the NYT post:

    "...What I’m saying is, granting that the 49ers have been playing smartly on offense and have a better than average ability to create takeaways on defense, much of their record to date is simple luck. And if they happen not to win the roll of the turnover dice come Sunday, they’re probably not a good enough team to overcome their misfortune."

  10. bravehoptoad says:

    No, what you wrote is that they needed "to win the roll of the turnover dice."

    They didn't need that. If there are no turnovers in that game at all, the 49ers win.

    The opposite needed to happen -- it was the Giants that needed to win with turnover luck.

  11. bravehoptoad says:

    And the special teams were great. Every exchange of punts moved the 49ers further down the field. At the end of the game, when 3 points win it, the Giants were having to aim for a point 5 yard further up the field because their kicker wasn't as good.

    Two fumbles by Kyle Williams -- that's not a thing to hang your hat on if you're deriding special teams.

  12. Ian Simcox says:

    Bravehoptoad - any link to where Brian says "to win the roll of the turnover dice"? I can't find that quote anywhere.

    And he wasn't deriding special teams. The point has always been that a team that pulls out wins by having good special teams play during the regular season cannot simply rely on that in the playoffs.

    Of course, they MIGHT still win through special teams, if the good fortune continues. As it turned out, they got the very worst of the special teams luck at the very worst time.

  13. bravehoptoad says:

    Ian -- what you're looking for is in Brian's quote, the 8th comment of the post.

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