In the world of Fantasy Football, every one wants a blow out. The consensus in the media seems to be teams that are blowing out opponents have better chances in playoffs. In this post, lets look at the three key factors influencing the success or failure of a play off teams from 2005.
1. It is the Defense, Stupid:
The teams posted a combined record of 22-66(0.25) when the defense gave up 21 points or more. Since 2005, only Arizona Cardinals(3-2) have a record over .500 in playoff games when the defense gave up 21 points or more. There are two teams, Saints(3-3) and Steelers(3-3) who have 0.500 record.
Where do the teams with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as QB stand? Patriots are 1-5, and Colts are 1-4 with Manning in these game situations. Giants, Ravens, Falcons are all 0-3 in those games. The Eagles, who ranked pretty high in the blow out wins are 0-4 in similar games.
2. Take an Early lead and Score at least 21 Points/Game:
The successful playoff teams have a good defense but the offense needs to score enough points for the win. The offenses which scored at least 21 points and had a lead at half time posted a record of 50-7 from 2005. Patriots are 5-1, Steelers are 7-0, Packers are 5-0, Giants,Bears and Cardinals are 3-0.
3. Do not lose on the Turnover Margin:
The teams who have lost the TO battle but gave up less than 21 points still won more than half of the games. However, teams who lost the Turnover margin and allowed 21 points to opponents posted a combined record of 3-43 from 2005. Bears are the only team with 2-2 record and Saints have a record of 1-2. No other team in NFL ever won a playoff game by giving up 21 points and losing the turnover battle.
The biggest problem with earlier Falcons teams was defense and never did those defenses restricted the opponents to less than 20 points in playoffs. First time in last 4 years, I feel confident about falcons defense under Nolan to restrict teams to less than 21 points. This year the Falcons have shown they can score 20 points against tough defenses with out clicking on all cylinders.
The falcons need to execute as they have a defense which can hold up when Offense is not clicking. Falcons also have Offense which can bail out the struggling defense. I am cautiously optimistic about Falcons chances this year as they match up pretty well on those three factors.
What do you guys think?