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You gotta finish strong and head into the playoffs with momentum

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RayClay

Hall of Fame Poster
again, the data doesn't really support that POV

from a post I just found, which unfortunately is a small sample:

Even if we go with your Cherry picked data of two or more consecutive wins (meaning the 2008 Steelers weren't hot even though they won 6 of their last seven) you're flat out wrong.

2000-2008 = nine seasons.

Leaving out the 6 out of 7 Steelers finish in 2008 and the Bucs, Colts and Giants we're still left with 5 teams out of nine, a majority.

Their finishes...

2000 Ravens...7 straight wins
2001 Patriots...5 straight
2003 Patriots...12 straight
2004 Patriots...2 straight
2005 Steelers...4 straight
 
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makewayhomer

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Ray,

I listed 10 seasons. you changed it to 9. this is a common tactic of yours - change what I wrote in an attempt to make yourself look right. trust me, it just makes you look worse.

how about this: if you think momentum matters, name all the teams you think have momentum as of right now.

then we'll see how they do in the playoffs. ok?
 
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RayClay

Hall of Fame Poster
Ray,

I listed 10 seasons. you changed it to 9. this is a common tactic of yours - change what I wrote in an attempt to make yourself look right. trust me, it just makes you look worse.

how about this: if you think momentum matters, name all the teams you think have momentum as of right now.

then we'll see how they do in the playoffs. ok?

I started in 2000. That's this decade. Instead of wasting your time trying to cherry pick stats, why not make a cohesive argument.
 

RayClay

Hall of Fame Poster
Ray,

I listed 10 seasons. you changed it to 9. this is a common tactic of yours - change what I wrote in an attempt to make yourself look right. trust me, it just makes you look worse.

how about this: if you think momentum matters, name all the teams you think have momentum as of right now.

then we'll see how they do in the playoffs. ok?

It is better to be playing well going into the playoffs, than the opposite. A child could see the logic in that. That doesn't mean crappy teams will beat excellent teams, it's just one factor.

I'm not the amazing Kreskin, I just watch the games. If something is a factor, it doesn't mean it overrides all other factors such as talent, matchups, playing conditions etc. You're the one making wild blanket statements with nothing to back them up, not me.
 

lamafist

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
From yesterday's Quick Reads column over at FootballOutsiders:

As we watched Curtis Painter and company almost literally give the Colts' perfect season away, we were reminded of the futility of playoff performance narratives.

That is to say that most explanations of why a team succeeded or failed in the playoffs is ridiculous, filled with hindsight-laden explanations that don't hold up. They're excuses that get applied upon failure and ignored upon success. The 2008 Steelers used their experience from the 2005 run to calm their nerves late and beat the Cardinals, but the 2006 Colts and the 2007 Giants had no more than a small handful of players that had ever participated in a Super Bowl.

Some narratives are created to explain variance. When a 14-win team loses in the second round of the playoffs after a bye, no matter what happened in the game itself, it was because they're rusty. Never mind that a team of that caliber loses to a 10-win team a fair amount of the time in the regular season. If they win, rusty doesn't come up. Teams that lose after a couple of playoff games on the road were too exhausted physically and emotionally, but when those same teams win and head onto the Super Bowl, they managed to remain healthy and happy.

What recent results have showed, though, is that the idea of momentum -- of teams "peaking at the right time" -- is a crock. The last three years provide enough fodder to kill the idea. The 2006 Colts went 2-3 in December, losing by 27 to the Jaguars and by three to a 6-10 Texans team before narrowly beating a 6-10 Dolphins team to finish the year. They went and won four straight games en route to the Super Bowl.

In 2007, the Giants supposedly picked up momentum when they played the undefeated Patriots to an extremely close game, losing by three before starting off their hot streak. That's reasonable, but it was preceded by a 3-3 stretch that saw the team lose to the Vikings by 27, the Redskins by 12, and narrowly pull out victories over mediocre teams in Detroit (six points), Chicago (five points), and Philadelphia (three points). The idea that the Giants' win over the Patriots had given them momentum didn't come until they actually made it to the Super Bowl, and their "momentum" consisted of one game.

Last year's Cardinals took the cake, though. After virtually locking up the NFC West with a 7-3 start, Arizona took the rest of the season off. Finishing 2-4, the Cardinals lost to the Giants by eight and the Eagles -- the same team they'd beat in the NFC Championship Game -- by 28. It got worse in December. Playing two playoff-caliber teams, the Cardinals lost by 21 to the Vikings and the Patriots by 40. The idea that they had momentum is absurd; time will not produce a better example of a team limping into the playoffs for decades.

Of course, the flip side of the "momentum" idea is fallacious, too; there are plenty of examples of teams sweeping December after an uneven first three months, only to disappear in the playoffs. The 2007 Redskins won their final four games after burying Sean Taylor, pushing them into the playoffs after a 5-7 start, but got annihilated in Seattle when Todd Collins started throwing interceptions. Last year's Chargers went 4-0 in December to sneak into the playoffs, and beat the Colts with a great performance at home in the Wild Card round, but were summarily dispatched in Pittsburgh a week later. The Falcons finished 5-1, winning their final three, and lost to the Cardinals in the Wild Card round. The Dolphins did them one better -- going 5-0 to end the year, and 9-1 overall -- and got stomped, 27-9, by the Ravens in the Wild Card round. These are the most recent of many such examples in the past.

The point of all this is that what happened in December doesn't mean squat once the playoffs roll around. Each year, fans and media alike try and parse meaning out of small samples and natural variance. How many people get excited for the first preseason game of the year? By the time Week 1 of the regular season rolls around, only a month later, the preseason's been totally forgotten about. While the Colts lost their chance at an undefeated season, their decision to rest their stars won't have any effect on when they're "peaking" or their momentum heading into the playoffs.

Bottom line: Teams win in the playoffs because they play well and breaks go their way, the same way they do in the regular season. And if teams really can peak, the right time to peak isn't the end of December. It's the end of January.
 

makewayhomer

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
It is better to be playing well going into the playoffs, than the opposite. A child could see the logic in that. That doesn't mean crappy teams will beat excellent teams, it's just one factor.

and any intelligent adult would be curious to know if the data actually supported what they assumed to be the truth.
 

makewayhomer

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I started in 2000. That's this decade. Instead of wasting your time trying to cherry pick stats, why not make a cohesive argument.

it's not surprising you would prefer some term like "decade" even though it shrinks the sample size in question

you probably think that something magical happened between 1999 and 2000 which makes 1999 events irrelevant for this discussion while 2000 events matter
 
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RayClay

Hall of Fame Poster
it's not surprising you would prefer some term like "decade" even though it shrinks the sample size in question

you probably think that something magical happened between 1999 and 2000 which makes 1999 events irrelevant for this discussion while 2000 events matter

I made up the concept of a decade? Why not make a convincing case insatead of quibbling that your marginal cherry picked data doesn't really prove anything.

for your information, momentum ids something that picks up speed, like a ball rolling down a hill. If your point is football teams don't pick up speed and roll through the playoffs, I don't think you'll get arguments from anyone.

If you're saying that teams playing lousy at the end of the year have performed as well in the playoffs as teams who have played well near the end, I think the facts say otherwise.

The fact that I had to list the 2008 Steelers who won 6 of their last seven and won their last game 31-0, as a team not playing well, to fit your criteria, shows it better than anything.
 
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OldNEPatsFan

Practice Squad Player
The last time the Pats rested players was in the 1-1-06 game against the Dolphins, which they lost. We all know what happened in the playoffs that year.
 

lamafist

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
The last time the Pats rested players was in the 1-1-06 game against the Dolphins, which they lost. We all know what happened in the playoffs that year.

They won their first two playoff games.

Maybe the loss of momentum didn't catch up to them until the 2nd half of the AFCCG?
 

DisgruntledTunaFan

In the Starting Line-Up
As much as I agree with this, you have to admit this is all a myth.

How many times did Marty Schottenheimer tank in the playoffs after finishing strong in the regular season? How many times has Andy Reid faded in late Jan/early Feb despite all those strong finishes? Or how about the Panthers last year? That was NOT the Jake Delhomme that played so well in the regular season. Or how about the Cardinals last year, who looked finished going into the playoffs?
 

RayClay

Hall of Fame Poster
As much as I agree with this, you have to admit this is all a myth.

How many times did Marty Schottenheimer tank in the playoffs after finishing strong in the regular season? How many times has Andy Reid faded in late Jan/early Feb despite all those strong finishes? Or how about the Panthers last year? That was NOT the Jake Delhomme that played so well in the regular season. Or how about the Cardinals last year, who looked finished going into the playoffs?

31 teams fail to win the Super bowl every year. Some of them finish strong, some don't. Poor logic.
 

PatsFanSince74

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
again, the data doesn't really support that POV

2008: Colts (0-1)

2007: Patriots (2-1, lost SB) Pats had a perfect season and finished 4--0. The Giants (see 2006) finished 2--2.

2006: San Diego (0-1) Colts finished 2--2 and won the SB. Along with the 2007 Giants the only anomalies here.

2005: Washington (1-1) Steelers won the SB, finishing 4--0

2004: Pittsburgh (1-1) Pats and Eagles were in the SB that year; the Pats finished 4--0 and the Eagles 3--1

2003: Patriots (3-0, won SB) Pats finished 4--0 and beat a Panthers team that finished 3--1

2002: Titans (1-1) 2002 Season SB was TB vs Oakland; both finished 3--1

2001: Patriots and Rams (Met in SB, 6-1 combined) Pats and Rams both ended the season 4--0

2000: Ravens (4-0 won SB) Beat 4--0 Giants

1999: Titans 3-1(lost SB) Lost to the 4--0 Rams

from a post I just found, which unfortunately is a small sample:

A one game winning streak is meaningless. I've looked at the last four games, which I think are relevant. I'm not sure what data the post you found was citing. I've corrected it above and it tends to prove the point I've been making, with the exception of the 2006 and 07 seasons, which seem to be anomalies given the preponderance of the data in the other direction.
 

PatsFanSince74

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
As much as I agree with this, you have to admit this is all a myth.

How many times did Marty Schottenheimer tank in the playoffs after finishing strong in the regular season? How many times has Andy Reid faded in late Jan/early Feb despite all those strong finishes? Or how about the Panthers last year? That was NOT the Jake Delhomme that played so well in the regular season. Or how about the Cardinals last year, who looked finished going into the playoffs?

But that's flawed logic not to mention anecdotal. if you look at the last ten seasons, the teams that make the SB have a combined record of 64--16 (.800) over the final month of the season. it's fallacious reasoning to argue that the fact that every team that plays well in december doesn't win the SB supports the argument that it doesn't matter whether a team plays well in december. it simply says that some teams that play well in december do better in the playoffs than others. there are also the occasional exceptions, like the Cardinals last year, but in general, the teams that make or win the SB play well at the end of the regular season; that's indisputable on the facts.
 

brianny

Rookie
Hey guys! my first post on patsfan.com! love the site so far. ... i think brady will and def should play! at least up to the half. its all about getting himself back to old form, and as every game goes by he has been looking more like himself. last week was an amazing performance and he has to keep the momentium and stay sharp!!!
 

lamafist

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
But that's flawed logic not to mention anecdotal. if you look at the last ten seasons, the teams that make the SB have a combined record of 64--16 (.800) over the final month of the season. it's fallacious reasoning to argue that the fact that every team that plays well in december doesn't win the SB supports the argument that it doesn't matter whether a team plays well in december. it simply says that some teams that play well in december do better in the playoffs than others. there are also the occasional exceptions, like the Cardinals last year, but in general, the teams that make or win the SB play well at the end of the regular season; that's indisputable on the facts.

well, yes, that's true. The question, though, is whether it's MORE true of the end of the season than the season as a whole.

Over the same time period, the teams that made the super-bowl were .700 over the entire regular season. Now yes, that's a little lower than for only December, but is it significantly so, considering the sample size? And even if so, does it reflect teams that build something like momentum?

I think a more reasonable conclusion is that the slight difference in December vs. overall winning % is due to teams starting out the season strong, and fading as injuries mount.
 
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