Brett's PO Odds Breakdown aka "Could we at least play a meaningful game in Week 17?"

I dunno about y’all, but for me, at this point, I’m just hoping that our week 17 game against SD ‘counts’, i.e. winning that game gives us a CHANCE of making the PO’s. It’s been so long since we competed until the end of the season that for me, to finally do so after all this time, it will count as definite ‘progress’ for this young team. So that’s what I’m going to consider here in terms of the odds of it happening.

But before I start throwing around odds/stats/etc, let me just point out that neither DHB nor Schillens finished the game against GB, and I’ve not heard if they’re at practice this week. If we’re stuck rocking Murphy, Housh, and Ausberry as our ONLY 3 WR’s come Sunday, I think we can safely chalk this one up as another loss :*(

HOWEVER, if we *can* manage to win Sunday, AND/OR the Donks lose, it dramatically increases the probability of a meaningful week 17 game for us … because either outcome guarantees that we won’t need the Bills to beat the Donks for us to stay alive ‘til week 17 … we just have to beat KC in week 16, and week 17 automatically ‘matters’.

Additionally, if we win and they lose, it opens up the small possibility that we could be playing week 17 w/a ‘win and you’re in’ game … but that scenario also requires we beat KC, and Denver also loses the Bills.

As exciting as it would be to have this turn of events this weekend, the reality is if the Donks beat EITHER the Bills or NE, then on 1/1, at BEST, we’ll have to beat SD, and the Donks will have to lose to KC … for us to go.

If the Donks win this Sunday and we lose, we will likely find ourselves in almost the exact same boat as last year, where we’re eliminated in week 16, as we MUST go into week 17 down by no more than 1 game to the Broncos

Although, I’m happy to say that no matter what, our week 16 game against KC will ‘matter’ while it’s going on (unlike our week 16 last year against the Colts), since both our games will be AM games … So at a minimum, we’ll get 1 more exciting football game vs. last year, so hurrah for that. Baby steps …

Looking at the simplified odds here (i.e. not considering team strengths), as long as the Donks lose either this weekend or next, and/or we beat Detroit (75% total probability here), we’re guaranteed a meaningful week 17 game … as long as we also beat the Chiefs in week 16 (50% chance).

On a very basic statistical level, this amounts to us having a (.5 x .75 =) 37.5% probability of ‘competing’ to Week 17 for the first time in 9 years. On a 'realistic' level, the odds are slightly higher since the Pats are better than Denver, and we’re better than the Chiefs.

However, since the odds of us beating SD and Denver losing to KC in week 17 are only 25% (.5 x .5), our actual division-winning chances are a depressing (.25 x .375 =) 9.375% … and that’s just straight odds, forgetting about the fact that SD is way the hell better than the rudderless KC.

Unfortunately, it would also take a highly unlikely sequence of events for us to get the WC …

The first possible scenario is that we go 3-0 w/o winning the division (i.e. Denver goes 3-0 or 2-1, where the 1 loss is NOT to the Chiefs), and none of the other 3 teams in the running to go 3-0 as well (because we don’t beat any of them in the TB except the Jets, and they’re already 1 game ahead of us).

Which is not impossible, but it’s statistically very low odds. In fact, I believe that’s properly calculated as 12.5% (our odds of going 3-0) x 67% (odds that none of the other 3 teams goes 3-0), which comes out around 8% … but then you have to multiply that by the % likelihood that a 3-0 Raiders record fails to win our division (I’m guessing that’s around 50%) … which leaves the WC odds via this path as pathetically low, on the order of 4%.

OR we could go 2-1 (37.5% odds), and hope that none of the other 3 teams goes better than 1-2 (only 12.5% odds), also resulting in odds of only like 4% …

At best, purely statistically, we’re at around 9% chances for the Div Win or 8% for the WC thing happening. BUT in real life our WC odds are worse than that, because we have arguably the toughest remaining schedule (the 2nd toughest at best) … so I’d say it’s much more realistic to put the WC odds down around 4% due to our relative strength of schedule.

Losing that Miami game REALLY screwed us is the bottom-line. It single handedly took our odds of going from like 64% down to 24% according to Football Outsiders season simulation system. And now after last weekend’s debacle (and Marion Barbers fucking stupidity) we sit at 12.5% according to them … which breaks down to around 8% division, and 4% wildcard odds … almost exactly what I came up with above.

So at this point, like I say, it's still somewhat realistic (37.5% odds ain't bad!) to hope we'll get a chance to play for a 'shot' on week 17, even though it's a virtual certainty that our fate will ultimately lie in the hands the Chiefs ...

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