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One Winning Drive: Division Derby: Week 5


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Cincinnati Bengals (4-1): Never thought the Bengals would be the first team talked about in this breakdown… but here we go. The Bengals are an anomaly right now. Their record says they need to be taken seriously (especially with wins over Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Green Bay, and a close loss to Denver). But their statistics say they are just another middle of the road team on all sides of the ball: 18th in total offense, 17th in total defense. The question is: will the record eventually match the stats or will the stats eventually match the record? One of the two is bound to happen. Personally, I’m betting on the latter - but I’ll let the season play that out. Next Game: vs. Houston (2-3)

Baltimore Ravens (3-2): The Ravens have had a pretty funky fall from grace in the last two weeks. They had a chance to win in New England on the final drive, but failed. They also had plenty of chances to close out the Bengals (in a game the Ravens had no business winning), but failed there as well. If the Ravens win either of these games, no one even gives a second thought to how “real” the Ravens are. But they didn’t win. And that’s all there is to it. The road ahead is no easier and the Ravens need to establish a team identity and fast. Even the Bengals have one right now, even if its as silly as “winning every game in the final minute.” Next Game: @ Minnesota (5-0)

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Nice read dc.

 

Here's some of my thoughts...

 

Bengals: They are officially Cinderella. They're good...forget the misleading stats.

They played hard and faster than the Ravens, left 3 TD's on the field...basically with their weaknesses they find ways to win, They don't give up and play for 60 minutes unlike the Ravens did Sunday. Carson Palmer is back...with a running game. The defense is solid so they are contenders...not an Elite Team but they defeated 2 division rivals in the Steelers and Ravens. That can't be taken lightly as both were playoff teams with winning records last year. This is exactly what had to be done to get in the drivers seat to win the division.

 

Ravens: I'm so sick at what I saw Sunday that I can't comment. They have to get help to win a Wild Card IMO. The blueprint on how to beat them is out.

 

Steelers: The running game is back. Their schedule is easy so the Ravens can't afford to fall 1 game behind them. The Ravens will be hard pressed to get a split with them this year IMO.

 

Browns: Horrid embarrassment. The owner should send refunds to the fans. If I put out a product like that I'd be sued and put out of business. It's borderline criminal.

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None of the AFC North teams appear dominant or ahead of the class at this point in the season. All show some weakness and inconsistancy so the race is on.

Don't punch your playoff tickets yet as Dan Banks points out here...

 

Entering Week 6 of the 2008 season, Buffalo was 4-1 and led the AFC East. Denver was 4-1 and led the AFC West. Chicago was 3-2 and led the NFC North. Dallas and Washington were both 4-1, just a half-game back in the NFC East. None of those five teams made the playoffs, and we haven't even mentioned the Jets, who started 8-3 but didn't get to play in January, or a Patriots team that finished 11-5 and became the first 11-game winner to miss the dance since the 1985 Broncos.

 

To look at it another way, last season at this point, four of the six eventual AFC playoff teams were either 2-2 (Miami, Baltimore, Indianapolis), or 2-3 (San Diego). In the NFC, two of the conference's eventual playoff teams were under water at 2-3 as Week 6 dawned (Philadelphia and Minnesota). Add those totals together and half of the league's 12-team playoff field last year was playing .500 or worse ball through the season's first five weeks.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/don_banks/10/15/starts/index.html

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October is a terrible month for our team, waiting for november and december.

 

 

Amen geo...that October streak continues...

 

crav...The Ravens have to beat the Bengals by more than 3, beat the Browns, and split with the Steelers.

 

Look familiar???

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Edited by vmax
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Guest BallTMore
crav...The Ravens have to beat the Bengals by more than 3, beat the Browns, and split with the Steelers.

 

I thought that too, but I don't think that's how it works. I think we briefly covered this last season when we were tied with Pittsburgh.

 

Point is: We have to beat Cincinnati in their house (Doesn't matter the score), beat Cleveland again and split with Pit. That makes us 4-2 in the division.

 

If Cincy ends with the same record, I think it goes by conference record. We've currently lost 2 to cincy's and Pittsburgh's 1.

 

We're still in good shape for the wildcard I believe. I expect Denver to win the West, SD is going to be up-and-down all season, IMO. KC and Oak are done.

 

The Colts win the South (Horray!:/ )/ I don't think the Jags, Titans and Texans will compete for a WC.

 

The division to watch is the East.

 

I think two teams in the East and North make the playoffs. A good team from the North is going to be left out. Hopefully it's not us.

Edited by BallTMore
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OK BallT...I think your right...Conference record first...then points maybe?

Still...beat them by more than 3 in case of a Conference record tie. :)

 

Then again, a better Win/Loss record over the 16 game schedule settles the matter period. At the moment the Ravens are only 1 game down.

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I don't think head-to-head points comes into it... but a quick google search will tell us.

 

Two Clubs

 

1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).

2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.

3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.

4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.

5. Strength of victory.

6. Strength of schedule.

7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.

8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.

9. Best net points in common games.

10. Best net points in all games.

11. Best net touchdowns in all games.

12. Coin toss

 

So... Head to head... then division record... then division + common games (aka vs. AFC West and NFC North)... then conference... it takes a long time to get to points in head to head games.

 

Interesting to note that our games against the NFC North will matter more to the division championship than games against the Pats and Colts (in case of a tie, at least). In terms of wild card, though, AFC games - even non-shared - matter more than out of conference.

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Also... so, assuming we tie the Bengals in record... we'd have to...

 

Beat them in Cincy to go 1-1 against them. Tie or beat them in division record. If tied,d o better against the AFC West (we're 2-0, they're 0-1) and NFC North (0-0 vs. 1-0) so 2-0 vs. 1-1 overall right now.

 

So, actually, we're in much better shape than either of you predicted... assuming we can beat them and not fall flat against the Colts, Vikes, Broncos and Steelers

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