Patriots Survive Near-Death Experience Against the Ravens

Patriots Survive Near-Death Experience Against the Ravens

On the surface it’s easy to understand why the New England Patriots ’went into Saturday’s AFC Divisional Round game as seven point favorites over the Baltimore Ravens.

New England dominated the AFC for most of the 2014 season and coasted to their No. 1 postseason seed while the Ravens needed help to play January football. Also, the Patriots reigned supreme on their home field in 2014, outscoring opponents by an average of 16-points per game.

So, how did the Ravens come within five minutes of knocking New England out of another Super Bowl run? From a Quality Stats analysis this game was the prime candidate of the four NFL Divisional Round contests to produce an upset…

 

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Rams Stun the Broncos In St. Louis: Autopsy of an Upset

Rams Stun the Broncos In St. Louis: Autopsy of an Upset

The St. Louis Rams did it again. In Week 7 they battled the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks at home and sent the seven point favorites back to Seattle with a 28-26 loss. In Week 9 the Rams travelled to San Francisco to take on the 10.5-point favorite 49ers and returned with a hard-fought 13-10 victory.

Sunday St. Louis hosted the other Super Bowl XLVIII participant and the No. 1 team in the Quality Stats Power Rankings, the Denver Broncos. Despite their previous two impressive victories and the return of Shaun Hill at starting quarterback the Rams went into the game as 9.5-point underdogs. This time the outcome was never in doubt, St. Louis beat-up the Broncos 22-7…

Browns Take Revenge on Bengals: Autopsy of an Upset

Browns Take Revenge on Bengals: Autopsy of an Upset

The shadows of past greatness are beginning to awaken in Cleveland. Paul Brown in his trademark hat roaming the sidelines, Otto Graham dropping back to pass, Jim Brown laying bone-crushing hits on would-be tacklers, now the 2014 Cleveland Browns are 6-3 and all alone atop the AFC North Division after smothering the Cincinnati Bengals 24-3 in Week 10…

Cardinals Rout the Cowboys in Dallas: Autopsy of an Upset

Cardinals Rout the Cowboys in Dallas: Autopsy of an Upset

That Tony Romo has been carrying the Dallas Cowboys this season should have been common knowledge. It became obvious after Sunday.

The Arizona Cardinals had the best record in the NFC but were only No. 17 in theQuality Stats Power Rankings going into Sunday’s game in Dallas against the Cowboys. Dallas has been as high as No. 8 in the power rankings this season so it wasn’t unreasonable to see them favorited by four points.

The problem is that point spread would have made a quick U-turn if news that quarterback Tony Romo’s back injury would prevent him from playing had broken earlier than the morning of the game…

Bills Dominate the Jets in New York: Autopsy of an Upset

Bills Dominate the Jets in New York: Autopsy of an Upset

It’s surprising how many times you can scan through point spreads for Sunday’s games and find that the oddsmakers and betting public have completely missed the boat. The New York Jets opened the week as three point favorites against the Buffalo Bills and that line stayed steady right up to kickoff.

Unfortunately for the Jets, Buffalo wasn’t paying attention. They improved their record to 5-3 by riding six New York turnovers to a dominating 43-23 victory…

Buffalo’s Hogs Crush Detroit 17-14: Autopsy of an Upset

Buccaneers Shock the Steelers 27-24: Autopsy Of An Upset

Although there were more dominating wins by a couple of underdogs on Sunday the Buccaneers surprised by hurting the Steelers where they live.

While Buffalo hasn’t been pushovers in 2014, few considered them to have any chance against the Lions at Ford Field. Detroit had already dominated the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers at home this season but one hidden statistical trend suggested they might be in for a tougher time on Sunday than expected. Detroit was on a four game losing streak at home to AFC competition and since 2010 had lost six of eight (now seven of nine for all you Jeri Ryan fans).

Autopsy of an Upset: Cardinals Flatten the 49ers 23-14

Autopsy of an Upset: Cardinals Flatten the 49ers 23-14

The Cardinals started the day as four point underdogs and finished with their third straight win in 2014.

The San Francisco 49ers went in to their Week 3 divisional showdown at Arizona looking to wash the bitter taste of a 21 point second half comeback in Week 2 by the Chicago Bears out of their mouths. The Cardinals were riding two second half comebacks in their first two games to take an early advantage in the NFC West. The odds makers, obviously not impressed by those comebacks, installed Arizona as 4 point home dogs…

The Ten Biggest Plays of Championship Weekend

The Ten Biggest Plays of Championship Weekend

Championship Sunday is over and the match-up for Super Bowl XLVII is set. These are the 10 plays from Sunday’s action that made the difference.

 

Ten Biggest Plays of the 2013 Divisional Round

Ten Biggest Plays of the 2013 Divisional Round

The field has been trimmed from eight to four teams as the NFL heads into Championship Sunday. These are the plays that made the difference.

 

Green Bay Packers Overwhelm Joe Webb, Minnesota Vikings

Green Bay Packers Overwhelm Joe Webb, Minnesota Vikings

The Green Bay Packers washed the taste of last year’s first-round elimination out of their mouths with a convincing win over the Minnesota Vikings, who were forced to play behind inexperienced back-up QB Joe Webb.