Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

17 Aug 2012

FO VIDEO: Will Giants' Postseason Success Carry Over?

For our latest video for the Sabermetrics Video Network, we present some brand new research. I've created playoff DVOA back to 1991 so that we now have two sets of DVOA for each playoff team: regular season, and regular season plus playoffs. What can we learn by comparing the difference of those two to each team's performance the following year? The data suggests that our forecast for the Giants... and maybe for a couple other teams... needs to be boosted a little when we do our preseason update of DVOA on September 5.

Turn your volume up for this, by the way. My sound recorder was at a really low volume. Apologies. I'll fix that next time.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 17 Aug 2012

5 comments, Last at 20 Aug 2012, 8:41am by nat


by Paddy Pat :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 8:05pm

Some figures, food-for-thought, accepting that making it to the postseason is not necessarily a measure of team strength.

Since 1990 (advent of modern 12-team postseason format) teams that appeared in the wild card round of the playoffs and made it to the championship game returned to the playoffs the following year 78 percent of the time.

Teams that enjoyed the bye and made it to the championship game returned to the playoffs only 51.5 percent of the time.

Overall, playoff teams returned to the playoffs 45 percent of the time with a distinct downward trend: 55 percent returned from 1990-99 and 37 percent returned from 2000-11.

The correlation in support of Championship Round Wild Card teams avoiding regression to the mean appears very significant.

by Paddy Pat :: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 8:07pm

I should add, for amusement's sake, that this is a bit of a knock on John Fox's coaching, as his bloody Panthers teams are one of the few squads to really rock the boat here, flashing and burning in a very unpredictable pattern...

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:00am

I don't know that that's a valid criticism, being that his Panthers teams tended to overachieve in the playoffs in the first place. Hmm, rather like his Giants squads in certain seasons...

by Paddy Pat :: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 12:18pm

Yes, but the overwhelming trend is that overachievement in the playoffs carries over into a strong season the subsequent year. Fox is one of the few who seems to be able to consistently achieve a strong playoff showing followed by a disappointing season.

by nat :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 8:41am

How much of this is just players coming back from injury?

If a team gets to the playoffs despite having key players injured for much of the season and those key players are healthy for the playoffs, you would expect them to have a better than projected playoff results and higher DVOAs the following season.