The Pi-Rate Ratings

October 12, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 6–October 17-18, 2010

Parity USA

 

For the first time since 1970, no NFL team won its first four games.  Let’s take a brief look at that season 40 years ago. 

 

It was the first season that the old AFL and the NFL were fully merged.  Baltimore (then the Colts), Pittsburgh, and Cleveland joined the new AFC, leaving 13 teams in each conference.

 

The divisional races were exciting with many unexpected turns.  In the AFC Central, the Cincinnati Bengals began the year losing six of their first seven games.  It appeared that Coach Paul Brown had lost the touch that had made him so successful with Cleveland.  The Bengals were in last place, three games behind their older in-state rival and given up for dead.  Just when it appeared like they would be in the hunt for the first pick in the next NFL Draft, a pick that would most assuredly be Jim Plunkett, the Bengals’ defense caught fire.  After giving up more than 25 points per game in the first half of the season, they gave up just 11 in the second half.  Seven consecutive wins later, Cincinnati had passed Houston, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland to win the AFC Central with an 8-6-0 record.

 

In the AFC West, the Oakland Raiders came down to Earth after a three-year run which saw go 37-4-1.  Quarterback Daryle Lamonica was beginning to show signs of aging, so what did Coach John Madden do?  He inserted an even older quarterback into the lineup.  George Blanda won five comeback five games with his passing and kicking to propel Oakland from a 3-2-2 start to an 8-4-2 finish, passing Denver and Kansas City in the standings.

 

In the AFC East, John Unitas was beginning to show his age, but he had enough left in the tank to combine with a really good Colts’ defense to lead Baltimore to the best record in the conference.  Upstart Miami, with first year coach Don Shula enjoyed its first winning season, finishing 10-4 and earning the wildcard.

 

The NFC had its share of wild races.  In the East, the St. Louis Cardinals looked unbeatable when they shut out the Dallas Cowboys 38-0 on Monday Night Football.  The blowout moved the Cardinals to 7-2 and dropped the Cowboys to 5-4, a game behind the New York Giants at 6-3. 

 

The Giants led a host of teams vying for the wildcard berth.  Los Angeles stood one half game back at 5-3-1, while Detroit and Green Bay joined Dallas at 5-4.  The Lions would have been 6-3, but a 63-yard field goal by Tom Dempsey of the lowly Saints did them in.

 

What happened in the final five weeks?  St. Louis fell apart following the win over Dallas.  They tied Kansas City and beat the weak Philadelphia Eagles to move to 8-2-1 and looked to be in control.  But, that was their last win of the season.  At 8-5-1, they missed the playoffs altogether.

 

The Giants moved into first in the division by defeating the Cardinals in week 13 34-17, and at 9-4, they needed a win in the finale to secure the division title.  They never threatened in losing to the Rams by four touchdowns.

 

The Cowboys caught fire after the pasting in prime time.  They won five in a row to win the division on the final weekend.

 

The Minnesota Vikings rode the best defense in the league to a second consecutive 12-2-0 finish.  The San Francisco 49ers had the NFL’s top offense with quarterback John Brodie having an All-Pro season.  They made the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons (in 1957, they were in a playoff for the division title and lost to Detroit).

 

As for the wildcard berth, the Packers forgot how to score and fell out of the race, going on to lose four of their final five.  The Rams and Lions began to pull away from the rest, and the two faced off in week 13 on Monday Night Football at the Coliseum in Los Angeles.  The Lions won an exciting game to move a half game in front of the Rams at 9-4.  They clinched the spot the following week with a 20-0 win over Green Bay.

 

You can see a lot of possible similarities in this year’s races.  Could the San Francisco 49ers still catch fire and be this year’s version of the Bengals?  The NFC West is weak enough so that 8-8 could win the division.  Might Mike Singletary be able to coax the Prospectors to a 8-3 finish?

 

Dallas could be the team that comes from off the pace to win the division.  The Giants, Eagles, and Redskins are all capable of losing two or three in a row.

 

What about the Vikings?  Is Brett Favre going to rebound?  Can the Bears be the surprise team in the North and win the division much like the 49ers emerged in 1970.  What about the Chiefs?  Are they going to be like San Francisco was and win the division title in a big surprise?  Might they earn a wildcard like the upstart 1970 Dolphins, or will they be like the Cardinals and collapse in the second half?

 

It will be interesting in this season of parity.  Expect to see about 10 teams competing for three or four playoff spots in the final couple of weeks.

Current Regular Season NFL PiRate Ratings
 
NFC East
PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T PPG Opp
Dallas 104.2 102.2 102.3 1-3-0 20.3 27.8
Philadelphia 102.0 100.5 100.3 3-2-0 24.4 20.6
New York Giants 100.7 99.0 99.1 3-2-0 21.2 19.6
Washington 98.1 99.4 97.5 3-2-0 17.8 18.4
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 104.2 104.3 104.5 3-2-0 23.8 17.8
Minnesota 103.3 101.7 102.0 1-3-0 15.8 16.8
Chicago 100.9 99.7 101.1 4-1-0 18.4 14.8
Detroit 94.3 94.0 95.7 1-4-0 25.2 22.4
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Atlanta 105.7 104.5 105.4 4-1-0 22.6 14.0
New Orleans 103.3 103.0 103.4 3-2-0 19.4 20.4
Carolina 97.9 94.9 95.9 0-5-0 10.4 22.0
Tampa Bay 94.3 97.6 97.6 3-1-0 14.8 16.0
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Francisco 97.2 94.6 92.8 0-5-0 15.2 26.0
Seattle 94.5 95.7 95.4 2-2-0 18.8 19.3
St. Louis 94.0 96.5 97.3 2-3-0 16.6 19.2
Arizona 92.5 94.3 94.2 3-2-0 17.6 27.6
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
NY Jets 111.1 108.2 109.0 4-1-0 27.0 16.2
New England 106.6 106.1 106.5 3-1-0 32.8 24.0
Miami 100.1 98.6 101.3 2-2-0 16.5 23.0
Buffalo 92.6 93.7 93.4 0-5-0 17.4 32.6
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 106.1 105.6 106.3 4-1-0 18.4 14.4
Pittsburgh 103.7 107.0 105.5 3-1-0 21.5 12.5
Cincinnati 101.6 100.8 100.9 2-3-0 20.0 20.4
Cleveland 97.4 97.3 96.3 1-4-0 15.6 19.4
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 104.9 104.4 103.4 3-2-0 27.2 20.2
Houston 101.9 101.5 103.5 3-2-0 23.6 27.2
Tennessee 99.4 102.3 99.5 3-2-0 26.4 19.0
Jacksonville 94.1 95.0 95.2 3-2-0 21.4 27.4
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Diego 103.8 103.5 103.0 2-3-0 28.0 21.2
Kansas City 100.5 101.8 100.9 3-1-0 19.3 14.3
Denver 97.0 99.1 97.8 2-3-0 20.8 23.2
Oakland 92.4 93.0 92.7 2-3-0 22.2 26.8
This Week’s Games
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 6: October 17-18, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 2:00 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
San Diego ST. LOUIS 8.5 4.1 6.2 8 1/2 45   
HOUSTON Kansas City 1.3 -0.6 1.3 4 1/2 44   
NEW ENGLAND Baltimore 4.3 3.3 2.7 3    44 1/2
New Orleans  

TAMPA BAY
4.4 -2.6 1.8 5    44   
Atlanta PHILADELPHIA 1.8 2.5 1.4 NL NL
NEW YORK GIANTS Detroit 9.7 6.2 10.4 10    44 1/2
CHICAGO Seattle 10.2 10.0 10.0 7    40   
GREEN BAY Miami 6.6 10.1 5.1 NL NL
PITTSBURGH Cleveland 8.8 12.7 11.5 13 1/2 37   
New York Jets DENVER 11.4 5.8 7.6 3    40 1/2
SAN FRANCISCO Oakland 7.1 3.1 3.3 6 1/2 41   
MINNESOTA Dallas 4.2 4.6 4.2 1 1/2 43 1/2
Indianapolis WASHINGTON 3.5 2.5 2.4 3 1/2 43 1/2
Tennessee JACKSONVILLE 2.5 6.3 0.6 3    44 1/2
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