The NFL Injury Report tells us all we need to know to make our picks.
For years I’ve been dissecting the NFL Injury Report and predicting who would win during the playoffs and Super Bowl. When you’re a doctor who loves football, it’s not that difficult.
So my success has prompted me to make the risky move of posting my strategy and results. There are varying levels of theory, just like layers of the epidermis. And each deeper layer of prediction should confirm the simpler ones. But if I can’t scientifically deduce the winner, I wing it.
Method 1 – Number game
Let’s take for example the AFC/NFC Conference Championship games between the Chiefs and the Patriots and the Saints and Rams. According the NFL injury report, the Saints had 2 injuries while the Rams had zero. Then there was 1 injury reported for the Chiefs and 0 for the Patriots. A novice may just think 0 is less than 2 or the Saints and 1 for the Chiefs so the winners would be the Rams and Patriots. But as a physician, this is not good enough. We need to also look at the types of injuries.
Method 2 – Anatomy counts
According to the NFL Injury report during the playoff game between the Cowboys and the Rams, the Boys sustained an injury to the groin and the Rams, a thigh. These are very telling. Why?
Think about when you were playing football. If you hurt a finger you still played. If you sprained your knee, you toughed it out. But what happened when you sustained a groin injury. You were leveled. Probably couldn’t even get up. So any injury involving the groin is physically devastating for a player, and from a psychological standpoint, the whole team.
If a groin injury specifically is not incurred and reported by the NFL injury report, then you look at the injuries closest to the groin. A head injury is also very concerning so that will come after groin. Hence the scale from most devastating to least in terms of injured body parts listed is:
Groin < head/concussion < hip< < glute < quad < hamstring < eye < abdomen < chest < knee < shoulder < calf < arm < ankle < foot < wrist < hand < finger < toe.
The groin injury reported on the Cowboy’s roster unfortunately sealed their fate.
If specific injuries are not listed, we can sometimes count how many did not participate in practice.
Method 3 – Colors
In case of a tie….meaning both teams sustained equal numbers of groin injuries or subsequent proximal body parts (or no injuries are being reported for the week), we look to the main colors of the jersey. Black, Blue, Green and Yellow will fare worse than White and Red, Brown. In medicine, Black may happen with necrosis, Blue is associated with hypoxia, Green- mucous, Yellow – gonorrhea. White and Red are fairly routine and healthy colors in medicine (bones and blood). Silver and Purple are colors that are fairly neutral as we usually don’t see those colors on a routine basis in medicine unless with hair.
Therefore, the color scale from most problematic to least is:
Black < Blue < Yellow < Green < Orange < Purple < Silver < White < Red.
Again this is only used if predictions cannot be made due to an anatomical tie. Again I must stress we do not use the color method unless we are unable to predict using the NFL injury report.
So in light of the NFL Injury report failing to list the injuries for Sunday’s game, we must go with the colors.
This Super Bowl, the Patriots will be wearing white while the Rams will be in vintage blue and yellow.
The prediction….another Patriots win.
Hey… don’t throw shade…..its science.
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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.