Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Dec 2017

Monday Morning Digest: The Hate-Watcher's Guide to Week 17

Also featuring Jeff Fisher's Guide to Explaining the Universe.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 26 Dec 2017

9 comments, Last at 30 Dec 2017, 5:41pm by JoeyHarringtonsPiano


by barf :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 10:45am

Kareem Hunt should be a legit candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He started strong, had a weird lull in the middle of the season, and is now finishing strong. Kamara is a good player, and if he wins it's fine, but not a runaway here.

by RickD :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 1:32pm

For anybody wondering if they should click on the link:
"(Jeff) Fisher is actually the angry elf foreman from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

by galactic_dev :: Wed, 12/27/2017 - 6:37pm

I'm still ruing Tanier's observation this season that the Seahawks are a random highlight generation machine.

by MJK :: Thu, 12/28/2017 - 12:38pm

Tanier says to make the postseason, the Chargers need to win and the Titans and Bills to both lose. But SI.com suggests that they have an alternate path--a win and a Titans loss and a Ravens victory over the Bengals.

Which is right? And has anyone figured out why the Ravens winning would make it so the Chargers wouldn't need a Bills loss? Is it that they own a head to head tiebreaker advantage over the Bills, but lose out to both the Bills and Ravens in a 3-way tie? (Why?)

If so, then this is an extra piece of evidence that NFL tiebreaker rules are dumb.

by PatsFan :: Thu, 12/28/2017 - 1:20pm

I don’t know the specifics in this case, but one biggie is that H2H is irrelevant in 3-way ties unless one team has been beaten by both the others. So a 3way between LAC, BUF, and BAL would highly likely bypass any H2H and go right to conference record and continue down the list from there.

by PatsFan :: Thu, 12/28/2017 - 1:21pm

And maybe a Ravens win helps a LAC SoS or SoV tiebreaker or hurts a Bills SoS or SoV tiebreaker?

by erniecohen :: Fri, 12/29/2017 - 10:24pm

Tanier seems to be confused about the playoff scenarios. JAC has already locked up the #3 seed, and it is clearly in their interest to lose to TEN so as to get to play them again in the first round (assuming BAL wins). Otherwise, they could end up stuck playing either BAL or LAC, which are pretty much their worst possible scenarios.

There's a reason that TEN is -3 instead of +8.

by PaddyPat :: Sat, 12/30/2017 - 1:26pm

The biggest issue in this article, which caused me considerable confusion, is Tanier's comment that the biggest Ten-Jax game ever was a 2005 playoff game. "when Jack Del Rio's Jaguars beat Jeff Fisher's Titans 40-13 in the 2005 playoffs". No such playoff game occurred, as the Titans were only 4-12 that year. The game in question was the meaningless week 17 game in the regular season.

The biggest Tennessee-Jacksonville game ever was undoubtedly the 1999 season AFC Championship game, wherein the Jaguars melted down and lost their third straight game to Tennessee, setting up the sore irony of having a 14-2 team become the only team in NFL history to lose all 3 of its losses to the same one team in a season. Quoth the Jags: "We would have made it were it not for those damn Titans."

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sat, 12/30/2017 - 5:41pm

The Jaguars had a pretty easy regular season schedule other than their two games against the Titans, but they were still a really good team. They eviscerated the Dolphins(Jimmy Johnson and Marino's last hurrah) 62-7 in the Divisional round.

The Titans, being stuck in the same division as the Jags, were 13-3, yet were a wildcard team (the best ever record for a wildcard team, right?). Ahhh, the good old days when Jeff Fisher was actually a good football coach. Despite their impressive record, they had a pretty low Pythagorean win expectation, and needed the Music City Miracle to avoid a Wildcard round home loss to the Rob Johnson-quarterbacked Bills.