2008 NFL Schedule Simulation (Part 5)

Okay, so with so many playoff spots still in question after week 16, it makes this post that much more intriguing. Again, if you want to see how things have progressed through this simulated season, you can check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Also, if you would like to know the results from any specific games, have any other questions or comments, you can feel free to leave a comment or contact us.

I’ll start off this post discussing the standings after week 17 (the final game of the season) when the Steelers secured themselves as the winners of the AFC North and the surprising Ravens from the same division captured the second AFC Wild Card spot. Now in the NFC things were quite a bit more interesting. The Rams, with a surprising turn around this season, beat the Falcons and knocking them out of playoff contention in the process, while clinching a wild card spot of their own. This also gave the NFC South division title to the Buccaneers. In the NFC North the Packers won the division, while the Vikings stumbled, losing their final game of the season, which put them at a tie with the Eagles for the second NFC Wild Card Spot. To settle this tie I used the NFL’s official tie breaking procedures. This result added one more to surprise to the NFC this season, with the Eagles edging out the Vikings for the last available playoff spot.

Here are the season’s final standings, with the playoff teams in bold, and as with Part 4 if there is ‘x’ before the teams name then they have clinched a playoff spot, if there is a ‘y’ then they have clinched their division, and if there is a ‘z’ then they have clinched home field throughout the playoffs.

AFC
North South East West
y-Steelers (11-5) z-Jaguars (15-1) y-pats (10-6) y-Chargers (11-5)
x-Ravens (10-6) x-Colts (14-2) Bills (8-8) Chiefs (8-8)
Browns (9-7) Texans (7-9) Jets (6-10) Broncos (7-9)
Bengals (2-14) Titans (6-10) Dolphins (5-11) Raiders (6-10)




NFC
North South East West
y-Packers (10-6) y-Buccaneers (9-7) y-Giants (11-5) y-Seahawks (11-5)
Vikings (9-7) Saints (8-8) x-Eagles (9-7) x-Rams (10-6)
Lions (4-12) Falcons (8-8) Cowboys (7-9) Cardinals (7-9)
Bears (4-12) Panthers (3-13) Redskins (6-10) 49ers (5-11)

Now that all of that is set we will be moving on to the playoffs. For the seedings in the conferences I used the same tie breaking procedures that I used to decide the last playoff spot with the tie between the Eagles and Vikings. So with that said the seedings in the AFC are 1. Jaguars, 2. Chargers, 3. Steelers, 4. pats, 5. Colts, 6. Ravens and on the NFC side of things it’s 1. Seahawks, 2. Giants, 3. Packers, 4. Buccaneers, 5. Rams, 6. Eagles. I made up a bracket for it which looks like this:

(You can click on it for a clearer image)

For this post I will be simulation up to the Super Bowl and then my next post will be an entire one devoted to just the Super Bowl. There were some upsets in the NFC Wild Card round and maybe a few other unexpected wins here and there. Looking at who made the playoffs in this simulation, and considering what their seedings are, I think it’s safe to say that this simulation of the 2008 season has had some definite surprises. After simulating through the conference championships here’s what the bracket looks like:

(You can click on it for a clearer image)

Don’t Worry

Okay, this is simply a post to let everyone know that Bryan and I are still alive and that we didn’t just disappear off the face of the earth, though I might when Bryan realizes that I managed to go five days without a single post. As you know from previous posts, Bryan has been out of town and hasn’t had much access to the internet to be able to create posts of his own while I on the other hand don’t really have too much of an excuse. I do however have some good news. Early this week I found out that I would be doing an internship at a local radio station, called KLWN 1320. My internship is under Brian Hanni, and the station also features programming from ESPN Radio. This summer I am providing the station with statistics for a segment that they are calling “Weller’s Wisdom” which is similar to ESPN’s “Did you know?”

My segment is on the air right around 4:15 every weekday. You can listen online if you go to their website and scroll down to about the middle of the page then click where it says “Listen Live”

This internship was the inspiration for the new page we added to our site, Daily Trivia. In that section of our site we will be providing a question each day, and answering it the next day when we post the next question.

In some sporting news, I heard that Rosevelt Colvin wants to join the Colts.  He was brought in by the Colts for a physical and to meet with Head Coach, Tony Dungy. Colvin passed the physical and also impressed Dungy who according to various sources has said that he wants Colvin on the team. Colvin was born and grew up in Indianapolis and played in college at Purdue. So he would fit in well considering he’d be playing for his hometown team and according to Colts would also fit in well with there defensive schemes as a pass rusher. On a side note about the Colts, Dungy said of the team’s recent mimi camp that there were six players who really stood out in his eyes that have made huge improvements since this past season. Included in these players was wide receiver Roy Hall, who is likely to step in to the 4th slot on the depth chart behind Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez. Dungy also mentioned linebackers Clint Session and Ramon Guzman, as well as offensive tackle Tony Ugoh, and cornerback Dante Hughes. The player that Dungy mentioned that jumped out at me was wide receiver Reggie Wayne. I say that this surprised me the most because Reggie was one of the best receivers in the league last year, so if he made significant enough improvements for Dungy to mention him among some second and third year players, then Wayne could be scary good this season.

Update on Bryan

Alright folks, it’s 2 games down, 7 to go.  I won’t be about to put up any pictures until we get back, but I’ve been taking lots of them.  We started our journey yesterday at 4:30 in the morning, which was entirely too early.  A stop in Kankakee, Illinois brought some new White Sox shirts, so we didn’t stick out at the home games.  I refused to buy a Cubs shirt, but Dad got one.  We ended up about 3 hours early, but drove directly to Comiskey US Cellular anyway.  We parked next to some nice people from Joliet who invited us to tailgate with them a bit before the game.  They gave us some pointers on what to do and what to avoid in Chicago and around US Cellular.  Then they promptly dominated us in two games of beanbags, but they gave us some beers and we went on our way. 

One thing I was told about White Sox games was that the food was amazing.  We figured we’d have to form our own opinion on the matter and spent the time leading up to first pitch deciding what to eat (The Angels didn’t take batting practice, giving us more time that normal).  I settled on a Luzinski’s Kosher Dog with onions and a Miller Lite, which was phenominal, just like I was told.  If you ever go to a Sox game, definitely have one.

We sat next to the Sox bullpen in foul territory.  It was a relatively uneventful game except for Vlad Guerrero’s towering solo homer.  I did have beer spilled all down my back when Casey Kotchman looped and ground rule double near where we were sitting.  The guy behind me said that he squeezed his beer too hard because he got excited.  I was a little sticky, but I didn’t let it ruin the game.  Anyway, the Angels prevailed 2-0.  Jered Weaver got the win, John Danks the loss, Franciso Rodriguez the save. 

After the game, we sampled the Chicago-style pizza from Gino’s, which was also excellent, even in the place is hard to find. 

Sunday brought about some touristy stuff before the game, which started at 7:11.  We took the train down to the Navy Pier and walked to Millenium Parkbefore heading back to The Cell, as it’s called.  Our seats were perfect as we were about 10 rows back from the third base dugout.  Jose Contreras pitched a gem with 10 Ks in 8 innings.  Directly before Carlos Quentin’s first homer, AJ Pierzynski popped to first and was extremely frustrated.  On his way back to the dugout, he ripped off his elbow guard and heaved it into the stands.  It landed two rows down from where I was sitting, creating quite a stir.  Needless to say, the guy who came up with it seemed very excited and I figured there was little chance of talking him out of it, so I didn’t try. 

In the ninth, Carlos Quentin drilled his second homer of the game, making the Sox walk-off winners.  It was pretty exciting, but I don’t know if it measured up to Schumaker’s walk-off against the Cubs earlier this year.  There wasn’t as much emotion attached this one, I don’t think.  It was still pretty awesome to see, though.  Scott Linebrink picked up the win, John Lackey was the complete game loser. 

Tomorrow, our plan is to head out to Wrigleyville early so we can take in the full experience.  I doubt we have as good of seats, but I’m just happy that we’ll be in the stadium.  Our trip is off to a great start, hopefully it continues this way.

2008 NFL Schedule Simulation (Part 4)

Okay, here we are through week 16, only one week left in the regular season. Again, if you’d like to see how things have progressed, check out Part 1 (weeks 1-4), Part 2 (weeks 5-8), and Part 3 (weeks 9-12). And I ask again, to please keep in mind that I didn’t actually pick a single game.

Well, as you can see, there are already some teams who have clinched their playoff spots. If there is ‘x’ before the teams name then they have clinched a playoff spot, if there is a ‘y’ then they have clinched their division, and if there is a ‘z’ then they have clinched home field throughout the playoffs. So the teams that are definitely in the playoffs at this point are the Jaguars, Colts, Chargers, Giants, and pats. Teams that still have a shot at getting into the playoffs are the Rams, Seahawks, Ravens, Steelers, Browns, Packers, Vikings, Buccaneers, Falcons, and Eagles. So in Part 5 of this simulation I will have the results after week 17, and will show which teams will make it into the playoffs. I will also have the first three rounds of the playoffs, being the wild card round, the divisional round, and the conference championships. Then in the final part of the simulation, I will have it be solely for the Super Bowl.

So as you can see, the Cowboys stumbled these last few weeks, losing all four of their games, and to my disliking the Jags beat the Colts, handing the Colts their only two losses of the season. In the AFC the South, East and West divisions are basically already wrapped up, with the Jags, Chargers, and pats all winning their divisions and the Colts already clinching the first wild card spot. In the North, however, it’s a three way battle between the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns. Two of these teams will make the playoffs, one as the division winner, and one as the second wild card team. On the NFC side of things only one team has clinched a playoff births. The Packers and Vikings are tied at the top of the NFC North, either team could win the division, and both teams have a shot at a wild card spot if they don’t win it. In the NFC South the Buccaneers need a win to guarantee their divisions automatic bid, but could still get it even if they do lose. The Falcons on the other hand, absolutely must beat the Rams in week 17 to have any shot at making the playoffs. Speaking of the Rams, they are in second place in the NFC West, behind the Seahawks, who will clinch the division with a win against the Cardinals. If the Seahawks lose that game and the Rams win against the Falcons then the Rams could win the division, but even with a loss the Rams would have a shot at a wild card spot. The NFC East holds the lone team in the NFC to have already clinched a playoff spot, the New York Giants. The Eagles, who are second in the division, are hoping to grab a wild card spot.

For the next post, which will include the first three rounds of the playoffs, I will be seeding the teams just as the NFL does it with the real playoffs. Now, the way I’ve done this entire season so far has been based off of ESPN’s power rankings. For the playoffs, I’m thinking about re-structuring the teams chances of winning each game, because the power rankings obviously are listed 1-32, but since only 12 teams make the playoffs, I figured I would re-rank the teams 1-12. Here’s where I want your opinion, I have three ideas for how to do this:

1. I could keep the same power ranking but just re-assign the rankings 1-12, based on those preseason rankings.

2. I could re-assign the rankings 1-6 in each conference based on the teams seedings in the playoffs.

3. I could re-assign the rankings 1-12 based on the teams overall records at the end of the regular season. With this option I could still do 1-6 in each division based on overall record as well.

If you have an opinion on which option I should use, please vote in the comments, and I will tally it up before I start Part 5 and use the method that receives the most votes. In case of a tie, I will flip a coin. And if for option three you have a preference as to if I rank the teams 1-12 or 1-6 feel free to specify, and as always, feel free to ask any other questions or leave and other thought you may have in a comment as well.

 

Here are the standing through week 16:
AFC
North South East West
Ravens (10-5) z-Jaguars (14-1) y-pats (10-5) y-Chargers (10-5)
Steelers (10-5) x-Colts (13-2) Bills (7-8) Chiefs (7-8)
Browns (9-6) Texans (6-9) Jets (6-9) Broncos (7-8)
Bengals (2-13) Titans (6-9) Dolphins (4-11) Raiders (5-10)




NFC
North South East West
Packers (9-6) Buccaneers (9-6) y-Giants (10-5) Seahawks (10-5)
Vikings (9-6) Falcons (8-7) Eagles (9-6) Rams (9-6)
Lions (4-11) Saints (7-8) Cowboys (6-9) Cardinals (7-8)
Bears (4-11) Panthers (3-12) Redskins (6-9) 49ers (4-11)

Baseball Madness

Earlier I hinted about a baseball trip this coming Friday. Well, faithful readers, Friday is almost upon us, so it’s time to reveal the plans. I will be headed home from Mizzou sometime on Friday to meet my Dad and hopefully get a nice meal from my Mom. Early Saturday morning, Dad and I will get up and drive to Chicago for the afternoon game between the White Sox and Angels. We’ll stay overnight at a friend’s house and then head back to US Cellular for the final game of the series on Sunday night. Then on Monday and Tuesday we’ll head over to Wrigley for the opening games of the Cubs-Dodgers series. (On Tuesday, we’ll pick up a Kosuke Fukudome bobble head!) On Tuesday night, we’ll move over toe Milwaukee to catch the last two games of the Brewers-Braves series and the opener against the Astros at Miller Park. Once that’s done, we’ll head back to St. Louis for two games at Busch between the Cards and Pirates. That’s 9 games in 9 days with 9 different teams. That, of course, is dependent on whether or not we get tickets to all these games. I’m pretty sure we have tickets to the White Sox and Brewers games, but we’ll have to figure something out for the rest of the games. It will be a whirlwind, but should be great.

I’m not sure how much internet access I’ll have, but I will do my best to keep you all posted about our adventures. I’ve never been to Wrigley, US Cellular, or Miller Park so I’m really looking forward to this. Plus, I get a Fukudome bobble head, which I will surely cherish forever.

Weller will hold down the fort in my absence and we may have a guest columnist give us his NBA Mock Draft. He’s a Bulls fan so he’s been on cloud nine since they won the lottery. Don’t be too sad while I’m gone.

Live Champions League Final

The second half just started and my roommate left his laptop in the living room, so I’ve decided to take this opportunity to post some thoughts. Man U really carried the play in the first half, and probably should have had three goals, but the stellar play of the hungry Petr Cech kept the Red Devils at bay. I had just gotten a text message off to my friend and Chelsea supporter saying Chelsea needs to step it up when Frank Lampard leveled for Chelsea. So, 1-1 at half, should be a good one.

Looks like the game is going to get a little testy in the second half. Both teams were pretty unhappy with the refereeing, namely Claude Makelele, who felt hew was unjustly cautioned for a challenge that bloodied Paul Scholes. I must say I agree with him.

Man U is just a touch off. That’s about the third time they’ve been a little too hard on crosses.

Great run by Essien there, I really thought he was about to score.

Drogba really needs to get in the play. He hasn’t done much but complain about his back and not make runs. Chelsea is playing much better at the moment though. Ballack was just given way too much room. Man U needs to be better with their coverage. Rio Ferdinand had been awful today, causing one goal and almost giving up another.

Makelele really needs to watch it. He’s already got another and probably deserved one there for his elbow on Hargreaves. I guess he’s even now.

It seems awful slick out there. Essien and Tevez just went down with minimal contact and Ashley Cole has already changed his boots. I feel like it’s just a matter of time before Chelsea puts one in here.

Man U is really on the defensive here. Chelsea hasn’t gotten inside the box much, though. Lots of long range efforts and corners.

And Ferdinand goes down with a leg cramp. His rough game continues. I think Tommy Smyth disagrees with my assessment of Mr. Ferdinand’s performance.

That was the best effort from Man U in a while. They’d just been trying to spring Tevez for the majority of the half.

Cristiano almost creates a goal by himself, but he probably should’ve crossed that ball instead of shot.

Maloud wants a penalty after being clipped by Ferdinand in the box. It was incidental contact, good no call.

Wow, Drogba with his first real effort of the game and it’s a beauty. That would have been a spectacular goal.

On the other end, Tevez can’t get anything to go for him. He’s very frustrated.

Ferdinand slips, allowing Chelsea to have quite a chance there. People are having a ton of trouble with the playing surface.

Looks like Joe Cole has taken Makelele’s spot for hounded the referee.

With 5 minutes left, it looks like the subs are readying themselves.

Tommy Smyth just said that there has been little good football. I’d agree with him in the second half, but there were many flashes of brilliance in the first half.

Ryan Giggs comes on for the still bloodied Paul Scholes. Let’s see if he can help United’s stagnant attack. My roommate just wondered aloud if Cech’s helmet would help him if he was hit in the head with a sledge hammer. I doubt it.

2 added minutes. Looks like we’re going to be headed to extra time. I’m trying to jinx it. Didn’t work. Overtime.

Chelsea really dominated the play in that half. Drogba’s effort was really the only time where they looked like they were going to score, even though they were in United’s half for most of the 45. I figured they were build on their early-half efforts and scratch one out, but they didn’t. United should make some changes here and try to get something going.

Great close control from Man U as they look better than they did all second half.

Florent Malouda is headed off in favor of Solomon Kalou. Malouda wasn’t overly impressive, so let’s see what Kalou can do.

I thought Chelsea had gone ahead, wow, Lampard cracks the crossbar from close range. They have to be frustrated.

In the recurring theme of the day, Tevez can’t get on the end of the Ronaldo cross.

Now Joe Cole has gone down with a cramp. The Man U fans are not happy with him.

Joe Cole is coming off for Anelka. Chelsea obviously feels like they can take this game and I agree with them. They will be kicking themselves if they let this one slip away.

Evra just had a great run and I thought Giggs had to score. John Terry just saved Chelsea’s hopes with a clearing header, what a play.

Now Wayne Rooney is coming off for Nani. Rooney had little affect except for one amazing long pass to Ronaldo that should’ve been finished.
Man U has looked much better as of late. Maybe Tevez will end his frustration.

First half od overtime comes to an end. Lampard should have finished his chance inside the six and Giggs almost put Man U ahead, hopefully someone will break through in the second OT so we avoid the shootout.

Someone just pointed out that Man U beat Chelsea in penalties in the Community Shield. That’s a little different than now, but it gives us something to go off of.

Wikipedia just told me that Man U won 3-0 on penalties. Pizarro, Lampard, and Wright-Phillips all missed, so it looks like we won’t have a repeat performance in that respect.

Vidic with a two footed tackle that earns him a yellow card. Drogba takes the free kick and misses. His effort was just about as close as Ballack’s earlier, so they won’t have much to fuss about in the dressing room after the game.

Man U suddenly pours on the pressure, but Tevez slips and a couple shots are blocked down. That was best they’ve looked in a while. Several players are down with cramps now, including Ashley Cole and John Terry.

Tevez is now getting into it with the entire Chelsea team, mostly Terry and Ballack. Vidic is now very hot at someone. A yellow card for Ballack, AND NOW DROGBA HAS BEEN SENT OFF! What a turn of events…oh his smacked Vidic, that’s why Vidic was so angry. What a terrible mistake from Drogba. Unbelievably childish from a player who should know better. Incredible.

Shocking turn of events. I’m in disbelief. My non-soccer roommate doesn’t care. I wish someone else was here for this. What was Drogba thinking? Vidic and Drogba had nothing to do with that, unbelievable.

Not much time now. Both teams are resigned to the shootout at this point.

Makelele is coming off now for Juliano Belletti for Chelsea and Anderson is in for Wes Brown for Man U. They don’t have time to do anything though, as the shootout is here.

The first shooter Tevez. Beautiful kick to his lower right. 1-0 United.

Ballack for Chelsea. Another nice kick to his right. Just kicked it too hard for Van der Sar. 1-1.

Carrick for Man U…fools Cech to his left 2-1.

The sub Belletti for Chelsea now…great kick to the lower right. 2-2 now.

Cristiano now…he stutter steps and IT’S SAVED BY CECH…what a bad idea.

Frank Lampard now. Van der Sar gets a hand on it, but it’s too hard. Chelsea in front

Owen Hargreaves with the best shot of the night in the upper left corner. 3-3 now.

Ashley Cole for Chelsea. Van der Sar gets another hand on it, but just can’t keep it out again. 4-3 and now Man U has to score.

Nani now. He puts it in off Cech. John Terry could win it for the Blues.

HE SLIPS AND PUTS IT WIDE! TIE SCORE! The turf really plays a part now.

Anderson for Man U just crushed it up the middle. Man U ahead.

Kalou has to score now. Nice shot to the top right. The tension is mounting.

And here comes Ryan Giggs. Cool as ever, lower right. United with another chance to win.

Anelka to shoot for Chelsea. SAVE BY VAN DER SAR! UNITED WINS!

United has the double and it’s despair for Chelsea. You have to feel for John Terry now.  The Man U players are going crazy in the Moscow rain.  What a game.

Champions League Final

Tomorrow marks the biggest game of the soccer year outside of World Cup years. That would be Champions League Final between Manchester United and Chelsea. Chelsea will be looking for revenge against the Red Devils who won the English Premier League crown less than a month ago.

This is the first time the CL Final will feature two English teams and they have to travel to Moscow to do it. It’s Man U’s 3rd trip to the Final and Chelsea’s debut. ESPN has reported today that Ashley Cole suffered an injury today during training and his status is uncertain. The Chelsea website, of course, has said that Cole is fine and will play tomorrow. While Ashley Cole used to be one of my favorite players at Arsenal, he fell out of favor with me when he defected to Chelsea in a messy transfer saga. I won’t miss him if he doesn’t play but Chelsea will.

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has decided to give United some bulletin board material by saying Chelsea are hungrier than Manchester. There are two things that I can’t understand about this statement. Why would you call out a team on the verge of the biggest game of the year? Great, piss off Cristiano Ronaldo and his 41 goals. Wonderful idea. Also, what does this even mean? We’re hungrier? Yeah, Man U probably doesn’t want to win as much just because they already won something. They’ll probably just roll over and die for that reason. This makes no sense; Mr. Cech, you should have kept your mouth shut on this one.

I’m picking Man U for tomorrow by a score of 1-0 with a second half winner from Carlos Tevez. Chelsea is a little nicked up with minor injuries to Didier Drogba and John Terry, plus this new injury to Cole, which I think will be just enough for United to slide by in a close one. Got any predictions of your own? Let me know in the comments.

%d bloggers like this: