With Tennessee losing this past weekend, the answer is almost certainly a yes. Sure we have bigger goals and have legitimate concerns with some of the team's personnel infrastructure, but if you don't give yourself a shot at making a run in the Playoffs....point is, it's an accomplishment to get there and the first major hurdle cleared on the way to the ultimate destination: the Super Bowl.
So how good are our chances? According Ken Roberts, a software engineer who seemingly spends at least part of his spare time devoted to the calculation of a team's odds of making the playoffs, they're really darn good.
A few of the other big movers, for better or worse, this past weekend:
Titans:Odds down from 48% to 15.5 %.
Browns: Up from 45.3% to 61.1%
Lions: Down from 20.9% to 8.3%
Vikings:Up from 21.9% to 43%.
Now, back to the Steelers:
Snapshot Image from Sports Club Stats
Real quick, a rundown of his methodology:
Every night I run a computer simulation that randomly plays the season's remaining games millions of times and tallies up how many times each team finishes at each seed...
- My assumption that each team has the same probabilities of winning a game, with no regard for record, injuries, matchups, or streaks.
- "Out" does not necessarily mean mathematically eliminated. It just means in the millions of times I played out the season that team never made the playoffs. Likewise for "In".
- My tiebreaking logic could still have bugs. I've found and fixed a bunch already ( when the 06 NFL regular season ended I showed Green Bay making the playoffs, and when the 07 MLB regular season ended I showed the Rockies not making the playoffs) but I bet some still remain.
So rest assured Steelers fans. Even if we don't clinch a playoff berth this week, which we would with a win over Jacksonville, in all likelihood we'll be back in the playoffs after not garnering an invite to last year's party. If nothing else, means we'll at least cut the number of weekends without Steelers games from 36 to at least 35. That, Steelers Nation, is never a bad thing.