11 Jan 2005
David Schoenfeld, my editor over at ESPN Page 2, takes a go at ten common theories about how to win in the playoffs: You gotta run, you gotta pass, defense wins championships, you need momentum. Most of his findings won't shock regular readers of Football Outsiders, although I admit that was a little surprised that Super Bowl teams have generally been better over the first six games of the season than the final ten. Of course, the advantage of the weighted DVOA is that the weights are not just one and zero -- you can try to measure recent performance but still give some attention to early games.
A Super Bowl berth could be decided by the Patriots' ability to contain Le'Veon Bell -- and by Pittsburgh's ability to avoid their usual defensive breakdowns against New England.