Week 15 Panthers vs Bengals Strength of Schedule

CHARLOTTE NC - DECEMBER 12: Casey Clausen #2 of the Carolina Panthers drops back to pas against the Atlanta Falcons during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 12 2010 in Charlotte North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

After the two Monday night games, our strength of schedule is at 0.591 while the Bengals sit at 0.587 a difference of 0.005, extremely close. As a recap for my earlier post, if two teams finish with the same record the tie breaker for draft position is by strength of schedule and only strength of schedule. If the SOS is tied, the pick position is determined by a coin toss. Of course all of this is only valid if we win at least one game and end the season with the same record as the Bengals. 

The point of this post is while I want the 1st overall draft pick I also want the Panthers to win. So by looking at the overall SOS between the two teams, I can still hope the Panthers win and we can maintain the number one draft pick. 

One other goal I have is keeping this realistic in regards to teams we want to win vs versus which teams are likely to win.

Let's start the examination.

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There are twenty games that will affect either the Panthers or the Bengals SOS. The starting point of this whole discussion stems from the possibility that the Panthers could end the season with the same record as the Bengals. With that in mind we would have to win one game. Our best chance to win would be this week against the Cardinals. Also, the Bengals must continue to lose as they are already at two wins therefore the Bengals must lose to the Browns this week. 

Bengals vs Browns - Bengals must lose in order for us to tie at two wins. However, this is also a good thing for SOS as it gives another win to the Bengals opponents.

Cardinals vs Panthers - By winning this game it actually helps our SOS as it give another L to our opponents.

I've learned a lot about strength of schedule doing the research and there are definite trends I wouldn't have expected. Typically it would be easiest to stay any team we played that the Bengals didn't should lose and vice versa for the Bengals. Yet it actually is a bit more complicated than that. Not every game has an impact on SOS, meaning the game is a wash statistically. There is one such game this week, so let’s start our game analysis with it.

Bills vs Dolphins - Since the Bengals played both teams it doesn't matter who wins (although a tie would). One team will win and the other will lose and it doesn't matter who.

With these three games out of the way our SOS are as follows: CAR – 0.592, CIN – 0.586 (adv CIN by 0.006)

Next let us examine tonight’s game.

49ers vs Chargers - We played SF and Cin played the Chargers, so this game will affect both teams SOS. The difference our two SOS for a SF win vs loss is 0.0074, therefore it would be better if they lose. This is a game I would expect the Chargers to win anyway so that’s a good thing.

49ers

CAR and CIN SOS Diff

Win

0.0102

Loss

0.0027

 

Bears vs Vikings - This is a simple one as only we played the Bears. We need a Bears loss. Unfortunately I don't see that happening. 

Bears

CAR and CIN SOS Diff

Win

0.0075

Loss

0.0027

 

Bus vs Lions - It would be best for the Bucs to lose and while it is possible, I would lean towards to the latter. 

Bucs

CAR and CIN SOS Diff

Win

0.0075

Loss

0.0036

 

Colts vs Jaguars - This is a key game as this only has an impact on the Bengals SOS. Typically I would say the Colts are a lock to win but it this season has been different. We do need them to win but I wouldn't count it as a guarantee right now.

Colts

CAR and CIN SOS Diff

Win

0.0036

Loss

0.0063

 

Falcons vs Seahawks – This game also affect both teams as we both played the Falcons. It makes since as it’s a double win or double loss against our record since we played them twice. While we should cheer for the Seahawks this is one game I would expect to go in the opposite direction.

Falcons

CAR and CIN SOS Diff

Win

0.0047

Loss

0.0027

 

Giants vs Eagles – We are hoping the Eagles win this one since we played the Giants. However, it’s nowhere near a sure victory.

Giants

CAR and CIN SOS Diff

Win

0.0075

Loss

0.0027

 

Patriots vs Packers – This one may be hard to cheer for as we actually need the Patriots to win. I would give the edge to the Patriots anyway, but with Rogers likely sidelined this week it’s even more likely.

Patriots

CAR and CIN SOS Diff

Win

0.0036

Loss

0.0063

 

Rams vs Chiefs – While we need the Rams to lose, they are both tough teams to figure out. The Chiefs have the better record but I’m not sure if I trust them to win.

Rams

CAR and CIN SOS Diff

Win

0.0075

Loss

0.0028

 

Ravens vs Saints While we played both teams, the Saints count against us twice, therefore we need the Ravens to pull out another win this week. However like several other games it’s too close to call.

Ravens

CAR and CIN SOS Diff

Win

0.0008

Loss

0.0082

 

Steelers vs Jets – We need a Steelers loss in this game. While I would give the edge to the Steelers for the victory it’s too close to call.

Steelers

CAR and CIN SOS Diff

Win

0.0083

Loss

0.0062

 

Here is what all of this boils down to:

Game

Should win

Cheer for

49ers vs Charger

Chargers

Chargers

Bears vs Vikings

Bears

Vikings

Bengals vs Browns

Browns

Browns

Bills vs Dolphins

-

-

Bucs vs Lions

Bucs

Lions

Cardinals vs Panthers

Panthers

Panthers

Colts vs Jaguars

?

Colts

Falcons vs Seahawks

Falcons

Seahawks

Giants vs Eagles

?

Eagles

Patriots vs Packers

Patriots

Patriots

Rams vs Chiefs

?

Chiefs

Ravens vs Saints

?

Ravens

Steelers vs Jets

?

Steelers

 

So there you have the breakdown of how to wish for the Panthers to win and we can still obtain the 1st overall draft pick, at least this week. I'll do this again for next weeks games.

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