Here are the original 8 statistical categories along with these 3 additional categories:
1. Offensive Points Per Game: This is simply how many offensive points averaged per game.
2. Defensive Points Per Game: This is simply the average amount of points a defense allowed per game.
3. Offensive/Defensive Point Differential: This number represents the difference between each team's average points scored on offense and allowed on defense.
ROR- Rush Offense Rank
RDR- Rush Defense Rank
POR- Pass Offense Rank
PDR- Pass Defense Rank
TDR- Total Differential Rank
TOR- TurnOver Rank
OTPR- Offensive Third-Down Percentage Rank
DTPR- Defensive Third-Down Percentage Rank
AVGR- AVeraGe Rank
OPPG- Offensive Points Per Game
DPPG- Defensive Points Per Game or Points Allowed
ODPD- Offensive/Defensive Point Differential
As you can see below, the Panthers' ranking among playoff teams fell from 4th to 7th after adding these 3 critical categories.
|1||San Francisco 49ers||3||3||2||2||1||8||25||2||11||2||4||5.73|
|5||New England Patriots||14||6||9||28||14||1||1||21||1||9||1||9.55|
|6||Green Bay Packers||22||23||6||7||9||10||8||13||5||11||6||10.91|
There is no denying how crucial these 3 new categories proved to be in the final analysis. So much so that they took over first, second, and third place among the Most Important Statistical Playoff Determinant rankings. Also, I made another especially egregious error when I originally calculated the final run defense ranking. As a result, the Run Defense Ranking category moved up three spots in the final ranking.
2012 Most important Statistical Playoff Berth Determinants
|1||Offense/Defense Point Differential||8.17|
|2||Offense Points Per Game||8.42|
|3||Defense Points Per Game||9.75|
|6||Total RO/RD and PO/PD Differential||10.50|
|9||Offense 3rd Down %||12.91|
|9||Defense 3rd Down %||12.91|
What stood out:
1. The #1 playoff determinant according to the 2012 regular season statistics was Offensive/Defensive Point Differential. In other words, the teams who score the most points while simultaneously allowing the least points are most likely to make the playoffs. Go figure.
2. These three new categories reveal a great deal about why the Panthers ultimately ended the season below .500 and out of playoff contention.
3. The three new categories did nothing to improve the Indianapolis Colts' last place standing, nor did it answer why they even made the playoffs in the first place.
4. The Ravens overall ranking in all of these categories didn't satisfy my longing to find out why they actually won the Super Bowl. Ironically, the Panthers finished one place above Baltimore in the final analysis.
5. Even though the Panthers were negatively affected by this revision, I still contend that the ingredients were there for a wildcard playoff spot. In reality, many of those very same ingredients remain despite an off-season defined by change. With a little help from our latest draft picks and free agent signings, I won't be surprised if the Panthers find themselves seriously contending for a 2013 playoff berth, and neither should you.