NFL Network's analytics expert Cynthia Frelund was a guest on the latest edition of Chargers Weekly – the official podcast of the team.
Frelund forecasted several AFC matchups in Week 17 that could affect who and where the Chargers play in January (3-minute mark). Ryan O'Halloran of The Denver Post (20:35) and Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times (31:15) also joined this week's episode. Highlights from the conversation with Frelund are below.
On whether the Raiders can upset the Chiefs this Sunday in Kansas City (7:15):
"Sure. I mean, the Chiefs' defense (has) shown us how vulnerable they can be. It's possible. I don't think it's very likely. In fact, I think it's very unlikely to happen. … You heard (Head Coach) Jon Gruden at least say that they're trying to win. You saw their defense start to get a bit grittier. Unfortunately, (cornerback) Gareon Conley seems to be potentially out with a concussion, but you saw some great grit from some of their key players like that – (safety) Karl Joseph as well. So, they're starting to improve. The hard part whenever you're playing the Chiefs as you Chargers fans well know – Chargers insiders know – their offense is just really, really hard to stop and even though we've seen their defense be really vulnerable, I just don't think that the Raiders have enough weapons to overcome what (quarterback) Patrick Mahomes and that offense is going to be able to do to a very depleted defense."
On Browns vs. Ravens (8:50):
"I run 10,000 simulations for every single game and you use past models and you find doppelgangers. So, you look at defenses that look a little bit like what the Ravens' defense looked like this year and had sort of attributes that were similar to the Ravens' offense or the Browns' offense, and you match up those doppelgangers and you see what happened in the past. So, that's the foundation for creating 10,000 simulations for each game, and in this game, about 59 percent of the time the Ravens came out on top. Part of that is because of their defense and their ability to really control the clock with the run game."
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