Before the season began, I hosted a contest where I asked you to submit 38 questions. Each question asked you about 38 pairs of numbers, with the contestant trying to guess which number will be bigger. I also calculated the percentage that each “side” of the bet received, based on 82 entries.
In early January, I looked at the first 19 questions (that post has been updated since the playoff results). Today, we’ll look at the remaining set of questions. Tomorrow, the contest results.
20t: Number of COMBINED receiving TDs by Pierre Garcon; Eddie Royal; Jarvis Landry; and Percy Harvin (0.671) vs. Number of receiving TDs by the player with the MOST in this group: Dez Bryant; Odell Beckham; Julio Jones; and A.J. Green (0.329)
Garcon finished the year with 6 touchdowns, so he did his part. And while Landry had 4, Royal and Harvin had just 1 each. That’s a total of 12, which wasn’t even as many as Beckham (13) pulled down, making this a winner for the underdog. This was a tough one, but about two-thirds of you went with the first option.
Bradford wound up starting 14 games, while Cousins played the whole season. Most of you went with Cousins here, likely because he had 19 interceptions in 14 career games (9 starts) entering 2015. But it was a breakout season for Washington’s 4th-year quarterback, and he threw just 11 interceptions despite starting every game. Score another one for the underdog.
22: Number of wins by the last place team in the AFC East (0.659) vs. Number of wins by the Bears; minus one (0.341)
This one was a dead tie entering week 17: Miami was 5-10, with a game against New England, while Chicago was 6-9, with a game against the Lions. But Miami pulled off the upset — you know, the upset that gave Denver home field advantage and likely swung the AFC, and therefore, the Super Bowl. Given the one-win hook on the Bears side, that turns the favorite side of this bet into a last-week winner. I know all of you were on pins and needles in week 17 on this one.
23t: AFC Championship Game victories by AFC East and AFC West (0.646) vs. AFC Championship Game victories by AFC South and AFC North (0.354)
This one was locked up for the favorite before the start of the AFC Championship Game.
23t: Number of double-digit losses suffered by the Eagles during the regular season (0.646) vs. Number of interceptions thrown in the Super Bowl (0.354)
Philadelphia lost by 10 to Dallas, 11 to Carolina, and by about 100 to Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Arizona. Oh, and then the Eagles lost to Washington by 14 to clinch the division. There were only two interceptions in the Super Bowl, making this a victory for the favorite.
Jeremy Hill finished with 694 rushing yards, far fewer than we would have projected. Taylor kept the job all year, but did get hurt: non-Bills finished with 565 passing yards (led by EJ Manuel), so this one was pretty close, but goes to the favorite.
Cutler had a fantastic season, throwing just 8 interceptions entering week 17. A 3-INT performance against Chicago brought that total to 11; add 2, and the number would be 13. That’s how many Winston had entering week 17, so the underdog would have won here (all ties go to the underdog), if not for the two interceptions thrown by Winston on Sunday, bringing his season total to 15. That’s a long way of saying that this one also went to the favorite.
25t: Highest single-game receiving yardage by a player from this group: Tavon Austin; Ladarius Green; and Shane Vereen (0.634) vs. Number of receptions by the player with the MOST receptions from this group: Rob Gronkowski; Greg Olsen; and Martellus Bennett (0.366)
Vereen topped out at 86 yards against San Francisco, while Austin had a 98-yard game (also against the 49ers). Among the tight ends, Olsen topped out at 77 catches, so this was a pretty clear win for the favorite.
25t: Number of divisions whose 2015 champ is the same as the 2014 champ; minus 0.5 (0.634) vs. Number of divisions whose 2015 champ is NOT the same as the 2014 champ (0.366)
In the AFC, only the Patriots and Broncos repeated; the Steelers and Colts were replaced as division champs by the Bengals and Texans this year. In the NFC, the Panthers repeated, while Dallas, Green Bay, and Seattle were replaced by Washington, Minnesota and Arizona, respectively. Score one for the underdogs, and even had the Packers won the NFC North, the 0.5-point hook would have swung it for that side.
This was a shockingly close one: Spiller had only two touchdown catches, while Newton rushed for 10 touchdowns. Give credit to Woodhead for keeping it close — he caught six touchdowns, including four against Miami — but this one goes to the underdog.
Even with a low-scoring Super Bowl (totaling 34 points) this one actually had a chance… if not for Bernard. The Bengals back had 49 receptions, while the other three all fell under 34.
31t: Number of wins by the 49ers (0.561) vs. Number of wins by the Bucs (0.439)
Well, score one for the underdog, although it was closer than you think. Tampa Bay finished 6-10, while San Francisco went 5-11. The 49ers won the final game of the season in overtime, while Tampa Bay started 6-6, so this one wasn’t in doubt come December.
31t: Total number of TD passes thrown by the Giants. (0.561) vs. Number of games started by QBs drafted in the 2015 draft; minus three (0.439)
New York tied for the league-lead with 36 touchdown passes. Only two rookie quarterbacks started games this season — Winston and Marcus Mariota — and they combined for 28 starts. This one was solidly in favor of the Giants for awhile, given the three-point hook.
Sproles returned just one kick all year, but he did lead the NFL with 446 punt return yards and two punt return touchdowns. For the first time in his career, Hester did not score a touchdown, so this is one for the favorite.
34t: Number of road wins by the Seahawks (0.549) vs. Number of home wins by the Rams (0.451)
Seattle won five road games this year, while the Rams won five home games. Based on the rules of the game, that means this goes to the underdog.
34t: Super Bowl Championships won by the Patriots; Colts; Broncos; Cowboys; and Seahawks (0.549) vs. Super Bowl Championships won by all other teams (0.451)
Heh, an interesting set of teams in retrospect, but the field lost here thanks to Denver’s late run. As late as the day of the Super Bowl, the favorite looked like the underdog, but the Broncos upset preserved the win.
36t: Number of wins by the Cardinals (0.537) vs. Number of wins by the Falcons (0.463)
In retrospect, can you believe this was so close? Atlanta finished 8-8, while Arizona went 13-3.
36t: Number of players who throw 35 or more TD passes (0.537) vs. Number of players in the NFL’s top 10 in rushing yards who were born in the 1990s (0.463)
Players born in the ’90s were 25 or younger during the 2015 regular season: That would include Todd Gurley (1994), Latavius Murray (1990), and Devonta Freeman (1992). This was a pretty bad year for touchdown passes — Tom Brady led the NFL with 36 — but it just so happened that four other quarterbacks had 35 touchdown passes. That was enough to give this to the favorite.
38: Number of points scored in the NFC Championship game (0.524) vs. Number of points scored in the AFC Championship game; minus 5 (0.476)
Denver won, 20-18, in the AFCCG over New England. In the NFC, Carolina blew out Arizona, 49-15. This was an easy win for the favorite.
Check back tomorrow for the contest results.