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The most definitely groups to achieve Super Bowl 57



With the NFL common season over, the Kansas City Chiefs (+350), Buffalo Bills (+400), San Francisco 49ers (+500), Philadelphia Eagles (+550) and Cincinnati Bengals (+850) are the highest selections at DraftKings to win this 12 months’s Super Bowl, although as we noticed final 12 months, favorites don’t all the time make it via the postseason gantlet. Green Bay and Kansas City had the shortest odds to win the Super Bowl at first of final season’s playoffs, however neither made it to the Super Bowl. The top-seeded Packers didn’t even win a postseason sport.

There are many litmus assessments to separate the Super Bowl contenders from the pretenders, however one of many extra dependable strategies focuses on groups that carry out higher than others in particular conditions. The best approach to measure that is via anticipated factors added (EPA), which calculates what number of factors a crew scores in contrast with a median crew whereas working a play below the identical circumstances — i.e. the identical down, distance and subject place. The greater the EPA, the extra seemingly that crew is to succeed.

Entering final season’s playoffs — and going again to 2002, when the NFL expanded to 32 franchises — the crew ranked greater in anticipated factors added per sport on the finish of the common season received 61 % of playoff video games, with the largest benefit occurring within the divisional spherical (.671). Teams that ranked within the prime 10 for each offensive and defensive anticipated factors added in the course of the common season received 76 % of their playoff video games and went 6-2 within the Super Bowl. Those that ranked within the prime 5 in both offensive or defensive anticipated factors added received 74 % of their postseason matchups, though they posted solely a 3-5 document within the championship sport. Those that certified in neither of these classes have been 18-64, reaching the Super Bowl 4 occasions and going 0-4.

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There are outlier seasons, nevertheless. Last 12 months, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys every ranked within the prime 10 of each offensive and defensive EPA coming into the playoffs, however none of them reached even the convention championship video games. The Bucs, seeded second within the NFC, beat the Philadelphia Eagles within the first spherical earlier than dropping to the Los Angeles Rams within the second spherical. The Bills, No. 3 within the AFC, clobbered the New England Patriots within the first spherical however misplaced to the Kansas City Chiefs within the division spherical. And the Cowboys, the NFC’s No. 3 seed, misplaced at house to the 49ers within the first spherical.

Neither of final 12 months’s Super Bowl contributors — the Rams and Bengals — ranked within the prime 10 of each offensive and defensive EPA coming into the playoffs. Los Angeles was fifth and eleventh, whereas Cincinnati was thirteenth and tenth.

So the metric, whereas invaluable, isn’t infallible. Still, utilizing EPA, listed here are the highest contenders to achieve this 12 months’s Super Bowl, grouped from most to least seemingly.

The prime candidates (Top 10 in offensive and defensive EPA)

NFC No. 1 seed: Philadelphia Eagles

Fourth in offensive EPA, sixth in defensive EPA

Two of the Eagles’ three losses got here with out quarterback Jalen Hurts within the lineup, however he’s again for the playoffs. Defensively, Philadelphia grew to become the primary crew because the 1989 Vikings to document a minimum of 70 sacks and is the primary crew ever to have 4 gamers with a minimum of 10 sacks.

NFC No. 2 seed: San Francisco 49ers

Fifth in offensive EPA, first in defensive EPA

Rookie Brock Purdy, the final participant chosen within the 2022 draft, grew to become the primary quarterback since a minimum of 1950 to win the primary 5 begins of his profession. San Francisco’s protection leads the NFL in factors allowed per drive (1.48).

AFC No. 2 seed: Buffalo Bills

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Second in offensive EPA, tenth in defensive EPA

The Bills’ offense ranked second behind the Chiefs in factors per drive (2.66), and Buffalo’s protection ranked fourth at 1.68 factors allowed per drive. Buffalo received seven straight to finish the season, however solely a kind of victories was towards a playoff crew (and it was towards the Dolphins, who barely squeaked into the postseason).

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AFC No. 3 seed: Cincinnati Bengals

Sixth in offensive EPA, ninth in defensive EPA

The Bengals began 4-4 however haven’t misplaced since Halloween evening. Cincinnati started the season with an offensive line that had been nearly totally revamped, and quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked 30 occasions over the season’s first eight video games. The second half of the season was a special story — Burrow was sacked solely 16 occasions over the ultimate eight video games — however beginning proper sort out La’el Collins suffered a season-ending harm final month and beginning proper guard Alex Cappa will most likely miss the playoff opener after injuring his ankle on Sunday.

NFC No. 5 seed: Dallas Cowboys

Seventh in offensive EPA, third in defensive EPA

The Cowboys received six of eight to shut the common season and rank fifth in each factors scored and allowed per drive, however their final 4 wins got here towards two terrible groups (the Colts and Texans) and two groups lacking their beginning quarterbacks (the Eagles and Titans). Still, Dallas grew to become the primary crew since Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain groups of the Nineteen Seventies to steer the NFL in takeaways in back-to-back seasons.

The subsequent tier (Top 5 in offensive or defensive EPA)

AFC No. 1 seed: Kansas City Chiefs

First in offensive EPA, 18th in defensive EPA

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes had 5,614 offensive yards (passing, dashing, receiving) in the course of the common season, breaking Drew Brees’s 2011 document, and his 5,250 passing yards have been the fourth-most in NFL historical past. Kansas City went 6-2 towards groups that made the playoffs this season, and the 2 losses got here by seven mixed factors.

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The next-next tier (Top 10 in offensive or defensive EPA)

AFC No. 4 seed: Jacksonville Jaguars

tenth in offensive EPA, thirteenth in defensive EPA

The Jaguars rebounded from a 3-7 begin to make the playoffs, although they wanted Josh Allen’s fourth-quarter fumble return for a landing towards the Tennessee Titans on Saturday to safe the berth. Jacksonville has one of many worst go defenses within the league, rating thirtieth in pass-defense DVOA.

AFC No. 7 seed: Miami Dolphins

Ninth in offensive EPA, twenty third in defensive EPA

Miami’s possibilities most likely hinge on whether or not quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is cleared to play after struggling his second identified concussion of the season on Christmas. The protection is a matter, too: The Dolphins allowed 2.25 factors per drive, the worst of any playoff crew.

NFC No. 4 seed: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

twenty second in offensive EPA, eighth in defensive EPA

The Bucs confirmed indicators of life down the stretch, beating the Cardinals and Panthers to safe the NFC South title and a house playoff sport. But the go protection is terrible (opposing quarterbacks have thrown 20 landing passes towards solely 4 interceptions vs. Tampa Bay since Week 6) and the working sport is nonexistent (the Bucs rank final within the NFL in dashing EPA per play).

History suggests the percentages are stacked towards these squads.

AFC No. 5 seed: Los Angeles Chargers

14th in offensive EPA, twenty sixth in defensive EPA

AFC No. 6 seed: Baltimore Ravens

nineteenth in offensive EPA, 14th in defensive EPA

NFC No. 3 seed: Minnesota Vikings

thirteenth in offensive EPA, twenty first in defensive EPA

NFC No. 6 seed: New York Giants

eleventh in offensive EPA, twenty eighth in defensive EPA

NFC No. 7 seed: Seattle Seahawks

fifteenth in offensive EPA, twenty fifth in defensive EPA


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