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Three-Step Predictor Perfect Sunday, and the Super Bowl Winner Is…

The simple three-step predictor correctly picked the Denver Broncos upset and the Carolina Panthers win to improve to 12-4 (75% correct) in Conference Championships and Super Bowls since 2009. And it projects a clear winner in the Super Bowl.

Few picked the Broncos due to a hobbled Peyton Manning being ranked 28th in QB EPA to give Tom Brady the clear quarterback edge. However, the post last week pointed out that the Broncos had the home field advantage and the defense with more Pick-6 interceptions (Broncos tied with Panthers for 1st in the league; Patriots last without any Pick-6s this year.)

The team with the edge in more of those criteria has won 12 of the last 16 championship games, with four Super Bowls during that time giving no edge due to one team having a higher rated QB and the other having a defense with more Pick-6s in the neutral site Super Bowl.

However, this year the simple test gives Carolina the clear edge. With no home advantage in Super Bowls, the teams come out even atop the Pick-6 rankings, but Cam Newton (ranked 9th in QB EPA) has a clear edge over Manning (28th).

The Broncos defense was enough to offset Brady’s edge Sunday, but the system says it will not be enough in Santa Clara. The two teams that have overcome the lower ratings quarterback and Pick-6 defenses are the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The following table shows each team to make it to an AFC or NFC title games since QB EPA debuted, their result, which of the three criteria predicted their win in the Conference title and Super Bowl, and if the predictor was correct.

Pick-6, QB EPA, Home Advantages Result Conf Edge SB Edge Correct?
2015 Correct AFC, NFC, Carolina SB (2-0)
Denver Broncos 1st, Peyton Manning 28th won AFC P6,Home Yes
New England Patriots 23rd, Tom Brady 11th AFC qb
Carolina Panthers 1st, Cam Newton 9th won NFC P6,Home Yes. Favor SB
Arizona Cardinals 5th, Carson Palmer 1st NFC qb
2014 Correct AFC (1-1) Result Conf Edge SB Edge Correct?
Indianapolis Colts 16th, Andrew Luck 13th AFC P6
New England Patriots 25th, Tom Brady 4th won Super Home,qb qb Yes
Green Bay Packers 3rd, Aaron Rodgers 2nd NFC P6,qb
Seattle Seahawks 7th, Russell Wilson 8th won NFC Home P6 No, even SB
2013 Correct AFC, NFC, no edge SB (2-0) Result Conf Edge SB Edge Correct?
New England Patriots 11th, Tom Brady 12th AFC P6
Denver Broncos 19th, Peyton Manning 1st won AFC Home,qb qb Yes
Seattle Seahawks 7th, Russell Wilson 11th won Super P6,Home, P6 Yes, even SB
San Francisco 49ers 11th, Colin Kaepernick 6th NFC qb
2012 Correct SB, no edge AFC (1-1) Result Conf Edge SB Edge Correct?
Baltimore Ravens 13th, Joe Flacco 18th won Super TieP6 TieP6,qb Even, Yes SB
New England Patriots 13th, Tom Brady 2nd AFC TieP6,Home,qb
San Francisco 49ers 13th, Colin Kaepernick 20th won NFC P6 TieP6 No
Atlanta Falcons 21st, Matt Ryan 6th NFC Home,qb
2011 AFC (1-2) Result Conf Edge SB Edge Correct?
New England Patriots 8th, Tom Brady 3rd won AFC P6,Home,qb P6,qb Yes
Baltimore Ravens 13th, Joe Flacco 12th AFC
San Francisco 49ers 13th, Alex Smith 19th NFC P6,Home
New York Giants 25th, Eli Manning 11th won Super qb No, No SB
2010 AFC, NFC, SB (3-0) Result Conf Edge SB Edge Correct?
Pittsburgh Steelers 2nd, Ben Roethlisberger 8th won AFC TieP6,Home,qb TieP6 Yes
New York Jets 2nd, Mark Sanchez 19th AFC TieP6,
Green Bay Packers 2nd, Aaron Rodgers 7th won Super P6,qb TieP6,qb Yes, Yes SB
Chicago Bears 20th, Jay Cutler 20th NFC Home
2009 AFC, NFC, even SB (2-0) Result Conf Edge SB Edge Correct?
Indianapolis Colts 5th, Peyton Manning 1st won AFC P6,Home,qb qb Yes
New York Jets 16th, Mark Sanchez 26th AFC
New Orleans Saints 1st, Drew Brees 3rd won Super P6,Home,qb P6, Yes, even SB
Minnesota Vikings 27th, Brett Favre 4th NFC
2008 even NFC (0-2) Result Conf Edge SB Edge Correct?
Baltimore Ravens 2nd, Joe Flacco 24th AFC P6,qb
Pittsburgh Steelers 7th, Ben Roethlisberger 26th won Super Home, TieP6, No, No SB
Arizona Cardinals 7th, Kurt Warner 7th won NFC TieP6,Home,qb TieP6,qb Even
Philadelphia Eagles 7th, Donovan McNabb 18th NFC TieP6,
2007 AFC (1-2) Result Conf Edge SB Edge Correct?
New England Patriots 3rd, Tom Brady 1st won AFC P6,Home,qb TieP6,qb Yes
San Diego Chargers 7th, Philip Rivers 17th AFC
New York Giants 3rd, Eli Manning 24th won Super P6, TieP6, No, No SB
Green Bay Packers 16th, Brett Favre 7th NFC Home,qb
2006 AFC, NFC, even SB (2-0) Result Conf Edge SB Edge Correct?
Indianapolis Colts 26th, Peyton Manning 1st won Super TieP6,Home,qb qb Yes, even SB
New England Patriots 26th, Tom Brady 5th AFC TieP6,
Chicago Bears 15th, Rex Grossman 22nd won NFC P6,Home, P6, Yes
New Orleans Saints 26th, Drew Brees 2nd NFC qb

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