The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 26, 2012

PiRate Ratings and Spreads For NFL Week 4: September 27-30, 2012

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:41 am

The Lance Easley Saga

We were going to leave this issue alone.  Then, more information emerged that made this commentary mandatory. 

 

Giving a junior college and Division 3 college referee the task of officiating a NFL game, is like giving a Cessna pilot the left seat in a 747.  Putting it on Monday Night Football is like making him the pilot of Air Force One.

 

Tuesday, USA Today reported that infamous Side Judge Lance Easley, the referee who signaled the touchdown call in Monday night’s Packers-Seahawks game, was a high school and junior college official in California.  By all appearances, he is an exemplary member of his community—a respected banker and member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

 

It is not his fault that pro football has suffered its biggest black eye since deciding to play games on November 24, 1963. 

 

The news surface quickly on Tuesday that Easley had attended an officiating academy twice this summer to gain competence and ability to officiate in Division 1 college games.  Division 1 in this case means FCS as well as FBS, so when the instructors deemed he was not ready to officiate at that level, they were in essence stating he was not ready to officiate this week’s Bryant-Wagner game.

 

Also Tuesday, the news emerged that the gimmicky Lingerie Football League had fired referees that are now working NFL games.  This is perhaps the most damning news of all. 

 

The NFL will apparently not back down and continue to try to force the referees back without offering any concessions.  This could lead to something major happening before the end of the season.

 

The players are now getting emotional over this issue.  Some are indicating that the player’s union should sympathize with the officials and call for a player strike.  The NFL cannot handle this; it would cost them much more than settling with the officials.

 

If this seed starts to sprout, look for the officials to begin to want more in their bargaining agreement.

 

All of this could have been avoided if not for the greed of the management.  What the officials want would cost the league about a nickel on every ticket sold.  Ticket prices escalate by a couple dollars every year, and five cents going to the officials is a drop in the bucket.

 

However the owners are greedy folks.  Without naming names, I personally know that one billionaire owner has been known to shut off the air conditioning to his employees’ offices on the weekends to save about $90 a month. 

 

The NFL believes incorrectly that they can continue the current status quo and not lose any support.  They believe their fans are “sheeple” and will continue to watch these games even if half of the calls are made incorrectly.  Major League baseball thought this same thing.  It was a different set of circumstances that led to our national pastime’s demise, but it was the same incorrect paradigm.

 

Baseball really blew it when they started to expand the number of teams and the number of teams in the postseason.  They ruined their exceptional pennant races, where teams had to prove they were the best for six months.  Today, all the talk is about who will win the wildcard spots.  There can be no 1964’s in baseball any more.  You will never again see a repeat of the 1967 American League pennant race.  Look at 2012.  Four of the six divisions have already been decided, and a fifth will only settle which team will win the division and which will be a wildcard.

 

Let’s look at baseball if the current situation was like it was in the days when baseball was as important as the NFL is today.  If there were just two teams advancing to the postseason (The World Series), look at the fabulous pennant races we would have today.  In the American League, Texas would hold a two-game lead over the Yankees, with Baltimore 3 ½ games back and Oakland four games back.  All four teams would still be in the race, an exciting race that would go down to the final games.  We do not need a team that is 10 games over .500 (Detroit/Chisox) to have a chance to play in the World Series.  In the National League, Washington and Cincinnati would be tied with Atlanta still in the race four games back.  Why are the Dodgers and Brewers, both at 79-75, still in the race for a playoff spot?  The sixth month pennant race means very little.  Having no interleague play like it should be would mean that the nation could only speculate about the World Series.  Now, it can be a rematch from the regular season.

 

The NFL is walking down this same incorrect path.  Already, it is a travesty that 9-7 teams can win the Super Bowl, much less make the playoffs.  There should be no more than eight playoff teams, the winners of each division.  We believe there should be four divisions of eight teams with only four playoff teams.

 

Every shot to the bough of the NFL ship brings on a little more water.  A few thousand fans may have been lost this week, but the NFL will not notice it—yet.  This league is just as fallible as Major League baseball.  People looking for entertainment want to see what they perceive is a legitimate performance.  This is not.  People, including this one, will turn away and stop watching the games until NFL officials are officiating.  It is strictly boxscore reading until then.

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

New York Giants

104.1

103.2

104.8

105.5

0.5

Philadelphia Eagles

101.9

102.5

103.0

103.5

3

Dallas Cowboys

100.4

100.2

101.9

103.0

4

Washington Redskins

95.5

98.3

96.1

95.5

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Green Bay Packers

107.2

102.6

102.1

102.5

3.5

Chicago Bears

104.1

100.6

103.4

103.0

3.5

Detroit Lions

100.4

101.0

100.1

98.5

2.5

Minnesota Vikings

95.4

97.4

99.2

101.0

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Atlanta Falcons

107.5

105.3

104.6

106.5

1.5

New Orleans Saints

98.0

97.9

93.8

91.5

3.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

96.4

96.5

96.5

97.5

2.5

Carolina Panthers

93.5

97.2

96.7

93.0

1.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

San Francisco 49ers

105.6

105.8

105.0

105.0

4

Arizona Cardinals

104.3

101.9

105.1

106.0

3.5

Seattle Seahawks

100.8

102.8

101.6

101.5

2.5

St. Louis Rams

94.8

95.0

95.9

96.5

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

New England Patriots

107.0

106.4

103.0

103.5

1

New York Jets

101.3

101.3

101.1

101.5

4.5

Buffalo Bills

99.8

98.1

100.7

99.5

4

Miami Dolphins

98.0

98.8

95.8

93.0

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Baltimore Ravens

107.0

105.5

105.5

105.0

4.5

Pittsburgh Steelers

103.7

102.0

99.2

100.5

4.5

Cincinnati Bengals

99.4

100.1

101.7

101.5

2

Cleveland Browns

92.4

93.8

93.8

92.0

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Houston Texans

109.5

106.9

107.2

106.5

2

Tennessee Titans

94.3

96.0

97.5

99.0

2

Jacksonville Jaguars

93.8

95.5

94.9

95.0

2.5

Indianapolis Colts

90.2

92.7

93.0

94.0

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Denver Broncos

102.8

101.0

101.4

101.5

1.5

San Diego Chargers

101.3

101.9

102.1

102.0

3

Kansas City Chiefs

95.0

96.0

96.4

97.0

2

Oakland Raiders

94.3

95.8

97.1

98.5

2

 

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vintage

Vegas

Totals

BALTIMORE Cleveland

19.1

16.2

16.2

17.5

12 1/2

43 1/2

New England BUFFALO

3.2

4.3

-1.7

0.0

4   

52   

DETROIT Minnesota

7.5

6.1

3.4

0.0

4 1/2

NL

ATLANTA Carolina

15.5

9.6

9.4

15.0

7   

48 1/2

N. Y. JETS San Francisco

0.2

0.0

0.6

1.0

-4   

40 1/2

San Diego KANSAS CITY

4.3

3.9

3.7

3.0

-1   

45   

HOUSTON Tennessee

17.2

12.9

11.7

9.5

12   

45   

Seattle ST. LOUIS

2.0

3.8

1.7

1.0

2 1/2

38 1/2

ARIZONA Miami

9.8

6.6

12.8

16.5

6 1/2

39 1/2

DENVER Oakland

10.0

6.7

5.8

4.5

6 1/2

47 1/2

Cincinnati JACKSONVILLE

3.1

2.1

4.3

4.0

2 1/2

42 1/2

GREENBAY New Orleans

12.7

8.2

11.8

14.5

7 1/2

54   

TAMPABAY Washington

3.4

0.7

2.9

4.5

3   

47 1/2

PHILADELPHIA N. Y. Giants

0.8

2.3

1.2

1.0

2   

46 1/2

DALLAS Chicago

0.3

3.6

2.5

4.0

3 1/2

41 1/2

 

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3 Comments

  1. Agree, not watching until the real refs are back. Can you explain how the Saints HFA increased 1 point off a home loss? Thank you

    Comment by Sam — September 26, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

    • That is a very astute question, Sam. Home Field Advantage is figured by a complex string of data. Not only do we look at how each team performs at home, we must determine how each team performs on the road. We also must recalculate several times to account for strength of schedule and then apply a biased slant toward recent performance. In essence, we simply plug in all the scores each week, and the spreadsheet recalculates the homefield advantage. It returns a raw score for each of the 32 teams. We take the mean and standard deviation for the 32 teams and then apply homefield advantage based on how many quarters of a deviation each team is from the norm. We then make one final correction, which allows for addition or subtraction to the score based on the visiting opponents visiting field disadvantage. If New England hosts The Jets, the Jets road disadvantage is much less than if New England hosts San Diego.

      Comment by piratings — September 27, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  2. I appreciate the detailed response. NFL average HFA in recent years is about 2.5 points and the home advantage increases late in the season and in the playoffs to a minimum of 3 points so I’m very interested in your numbers. I was never comfortable with using the average. Again, thanks!

    Comment by Sam — September 29, 2012 @ 6:00 am


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