While every game matters in the NFL (except Browns games, amirite?), some hold more value than others. This week, the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins possess the ‘most valuable’ title.
The folks at fivethirtyeight.com used a model to calculate how much each team’s playoff chances “swing” depending on the outcome of each game. The game with the most swing in playoff chances boils down to the Birds and Phins.
Miami sits at a 35% chance of making the playoffs. Baltimore right behind with 34%. If the Dolphins win, they rise to 53%. If they lose it falls down to 20%. One of the greatest ‘swings’ of the week at 34 points. Baltimore’s shifts drastically as well. From 34 to 18 if they lose. Good news, if Baltimore wins they rise to 48%. A 29 point swing is nerve-wracking, and the Ravens need to come out on top Sunday.
These aren’t the only teams affected. Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Steelers have the best of both worlds here. Standing at 67% they gain 11 points if the Dolphins win. If Baltimore wins they only fall by nine points, as they can inch closer to a wildcard spot with Miami’s loss.
Buffalo and Denver fans also will be rooting for the Ravens as both teams gain 4 percentage points in the Ravens victory.
The second biggest game of the week belongs to the Giants and Steelers. Baltimore’s numbers are greatly affected by the outcome as well. As previously mentioned, they’re at only 34% chance before kickoff. If Pittsburgh wins they fall seven points. If the Giants win though, Baltimore rises 14 points, almost a coin flip to the playoffs. Go Eli Manning...