FiveThirtyEight has their week 15 playoff implications out now.
Games to watch for the SF playoff picture: SF @ SEA, MIN @ DET, ARZ @ STL.
If Detroit and Seattle win, it looks like SF is done (rounding errors might be causing it to not drop completely to 0.0). It also looks like SF is done if Seattle and Arizona win.
The Detroit picture just depends on MIN @ DET and DAL @ PHI. A win for Detroit would put them above a 90% chance to make it, while the Dallas and Philly game only swings the chances from +0.7 to -1.2. If it makes you feel better, root for Philly.
I know a lot of us were following this last week through the games, so I figured I'd post it now considering the Arizona game is on tonight.
EDIT: Added hyperlink.
This time of the year, many fans ask: Will my team make the NFL playoffs? For some UM fans, however, the interest lies in whether SF will MISS the playoffs. One theory is that this would put UM in better shape with Harbaugh. Possibly, UM may get an earlier “yes”—or at least an earlier answer. Either could give UM more time to get the best coach and hire assistants prior to the recruiting deadline.
If you subscribe to this theory—or if you just want to know the playoff chances for any other team you follow—check out a website-- Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight. It tells us not only a team’s chances of making the playoffs but also of a division title, a first round bye, or a #1 seed. It even tells us what games to watch and who we should root for--that is, it shows which other teams’ games affect our team's playoff future. For example,
1. SF’s playoff chances declined to one in five (20%) after Dallas beat Chi on Thursday.
2. SF’s chances would fall to 16% if Az>KC and Det>TB (or rise to 28% in the opposite case).
3. In the unlikely event also that Oak>SF, SF’s chances would fall to 7% (or rise to as high as 31% if all 3 games favor SF).
Of course, regarding Harbaugh, SF’s playoff chances may not matter. Some say, if Harbaugh does not give a definite “yes” next week, the job will be offered to the UCLA coach –Jim Mora, Jr. Jim Jr would take a dim view of waiting to see if SF makes the playoffs…In fact, his dad still bristles at the mere words "SF" and "playoffs" used together. Jim Mora Sr is famous for his now viral press conference, when he bristled at the word “Playoffs” after his team was clocked by SF.
(PS I tried unsuccessfully to embed this video below. Could someone do this for me? Thanks)