The Pi-Rate Ratings

October 10, 2012

PiRate Ratings and Spreads For NFL Week 6: October 11-15, 2012

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:23 am

Coming To The First Turn

Now that all 32 teams have played at least one quarter of their scheduled games, it is time to take our first look at the playoff picture.  Oddly, if the season were to end today, the 12 teams that would qualify for the playoffs are the same 12 many project to make the playoffs.  The only differences are which teams will be division champions and which teams will be wildcards.  We here believe there are still a couple of spots to be decided, so here is a look at each division.

 

AFC East

Can New England not win this division?  Maybe if the entire team gets food poisoning three or four times on the eve of games, but even then, the Patriots might win this division at 9-7.

 

The Jets are a team in turmoil, and 7-9 looks like the best this team can do.  Miami and Buffalo are not going to get to 8-8 either, so New England will run away from its three rivals.

 

AFC North

Last year, Baltimore won the division by tiebreaker over Pittsburgh, with the Steelers and Cincinnati both earning wildcard spots.  There very well could be a repeat this year.  Baltimore and Pittsburgh both look like 11-5 teams, while Cincinnati may fight it out with Indianapolis and Denver for the 6th playoff spot, when the three contend for 9-7 records.

 

AFC South

Just like the AFC East, Houston has basically already secured the division title.  With Jacksonville and Tennessee being two of the three weakest teams in the NFL, Indianapolis has a chance to sneak into the wildcard picture playing an easy slate.  The Colts still play the Titans twice, the Jaguars once, and they also face Cleveland, Miami, Buffalo, Detroit, and Kansas City.  That’s eight winnable games left, not including a visit to the Jets this week.  Indy has a chance to take the last playoff spot.

 

AFC West

There is something about San Diego that makes it hard to call them a lock to win this once-again weak division.  The Chargers are too inconsistent to feel like a safe bet to win the West.  The Monday night game with Denver gives SD a chance to open a two-game lead in the race.  That would put them at 4-2 with Cleveland, Kansas City, and Tampa Bay on the schedule before the rematch with Denver.  The Chargers have a brutal stretch just after Thanksgiving with Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh in consecutive weeks.  Should SD lose at Denver on November 18, there is a possible four-game skid on the horizon.

 

Denver has played most of its toughest games already with losses to the two 5-0 teams and at New England.  If they lose Monday night, the Broncos could still make up the two game deficit against San Diego, and if they beat the Chargers, Peyton Manning’s equines would hold the upper hand.

 

Only the most optimistic fans can see paths to 9-7 record for Oakland or Kansas City. 

 

NFC East

This race is still up for grabs, but if Philadelphia can cut down on its stupid mistakes (the type that are easily correctible), the Eagles could pull away in the second half of the season.  We see a 10-6 season in the offing for Andy Reid’s team.

 

The Giants finish the season at home against the Eagles.  They have the talent to stay in contention all year, and if Philly continues to struggle maintaining possession of the ball, the defending Super Bowl champs could finish on top once again.

 

Dallas owns a victory over the Giants and has yet to play the Eagles or Redskins.  Even with all their woes, the Cowboys could recover in time to knock off their division rivals and sneak to the top. 

 

Washington is exciting to watch with RG3, but the best the Redskins can hope for is 8-8. 

 

This is one division where the outcome is far from being decided after five weeks.  Three of the four teams remain in contention.

 

NFC North

This is starting to look like a repeat of 1968 in the old black and blue division.  Green Bay was expected to win the old NFL Central Division with Chicago and Detroit close behind and an improving Minnesota team becoming just strong enough to become a real menace. 

 

That year, Green Bay did everything but win.  Packers’ quarterback Bart Starr led the NFL in passing efficiency with better than a 100 rating.  Green Bay had the best scoring margin in the division, but they lost five games by one to seven points and tied another to finish 6-7-1.

 

Chicago was a team of ups and downs.  They swept Minnesota and looked like the team to beat some weeks, but they failed to show up and got it handed to themselves in other weeks.

 

Detroit never got untracked that year.  The Lions had a great passing game with Bill Munson throwing to Charlie Sanders and Earl McCulloch, but their defense let them down too many times, and their offense really only clicked against the weaker teams.

 

Minnesota snuck through and won their first division title with a team lacking stars.  They did just enough to win a little more than they lost.

 

Look at how things are eerily similar in 2012.  Green Bay is sitting at 2-3 after getting hosed in Seattle and losing a tough game at Indianapolis when the Colts were playing for their ill head coach.  The Packers almost must win this week at 5-0 Houston to stay in the race, and they could easily fall to 2-4 looking at a trip to now tough St. Louis.  Green Bay must still play Arizona, the Giants, and Chicago (at Soldier Field) plus twice against Minnesota.  It doesn’t look hopeful this year for the Packers.

 

Detroit is sinking in the October sunset.  The Lions are 1-3 with a difficult stretch on the schedule—road games against Philadelphia and Chicago.  1-5 is not out of the question, but recovering from 1-5 is.

 

Chicago was embarrassed at Lambeau Field in week two, but the Bears looked almost like the 1985 edition last week against Jacksonville.  Coming out of the bye this week, Chicago hosts Detroit and Carolina and plays at Tennessee, so they could be looking at a 7-1 record at the halfway point.  The second half of the schedule is more difficult, but a 4-4 finish would put the Bears in the playoffs.

 

Minnesota is 4-1 after many prognosticators believed they would contend for the first pick in the 2013 draft.  The Vikings did fatten up on Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Detroit, three teams with a combined 3-11 record, but they also own a win over San Francisco.  The Vikings could be looking at a 10-6 record, and that would get them in as a wildcard team.

 

AFC South

Atlanta is in the same boat with New England and Houston.  The Falcons would have to implode not to win the division.  With a 3 1/2-game lead over Tampa Bay and 4-game lead over Carolina and New Orleans, the dirty birds are playing for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs at this point.  If they can win at Philadelphia, it will give Atlanta a legitimate path to a 16-0 season, but we do not see the Falcons running the table.  Still 14-2 is quite possible.

 

AFC West

My have the frail risen!  What was once the weakest division of all, where a 7-9 team won the division, has now become a division where no team may finish with a losing record.  It has happened six times before.  In 2008, both the NFC East and NFC South produced no teams with losing records.  Washington and New Orleans finished last in their divisions at 8-8.  In 2007, The NFC East did it again with the Redskins finishing fourth at 8-8.  The AFC South did so as well that year with Houston finishing last at 8-8.  In 2002, the AFC East featured the Jets, Dolphins, and Patriots finishing 9-7 with Buffalo at 8-8, and the AFC West pulled the trick with Kansas City and San Diego finishing 8-8 behind Oakland and Denver. 

 

San Francisco should win this race by three or more games, but Arizona, Seattle, and St. Louis could all contend for wildcard bids.  Arizona has a very difficult schedule after this week with seven tough games in their final 10.  The Cardinals could very well come back to the pack.  Seattle has a chance to go 9-7, but we cannot see the Seahawks finishing any higher and no lower than 8-8.  The Rams benefit from playing a last place schedule, and at 3-2, they actually have the best chance of getting to 10-6, especially if they win at Miami this weekend.

 

This Week’s Ratings

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

New York Giants

104.7

103.4

104.7

105.0

1.5

Philadelphia Eagles

102.2

101.1

101.7

101.5

4

Dallas Cowboys

97.9

98.4

98.8

99.0

2.5

Washington Redskins

95.8

97.1

98.1

99.0

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Chicago Bears

108.8

108.1

106.1

106.0

2.5

Green Bay Packers

103.8

102.3

100.9

101.0

3

Minnesota Vikings

99.3

100.5

102.2

103.5

3.5

Detroit Lions

98.4

98.4

96.4

91.5

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Atlanta Falcons

106.4

108.5

105.7

106.5

2

New Orleans Saints

100.1

100.0

97.2

96.5

3.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

95.9

97.4

96.9

97.5

3.5

Carolina Panthers

94.0

94.8

96.7

94.0

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

San Francisco 49ers

111.0

111.6

107.5

108.0

3

Arizona Cardinals

101.2

102.6

105.2

104.0

3.5

Seattle Seahawks

100.6

101.3

100.8

100.5

4

St. Louis Rams

98.1

98.8

99.8

100.5

3.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

New England Patriots

109.6

107.7

105.6

106.5

1

Miami Dolphins

100.2

99.4

99.7

100.0

1.5

New York Jets

98.5

98.1

97.0

97.0

2

Buffalo Bills

95.4

92.9

97.9

95.5

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Baltimore Ravens

105.5

105.8

105.4

105.0

4.5

Pittsburgh Steelers

103.5

102.9

101.4

103.5

3

Cincinnati Bengals

99.8

99.5

101.6

101.5

2.5

Cleveland Browns

92.9

93.9

93.4

91.0

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Houston Texans

109.7

110.1

108.9

108.0

3

Indianapolis Colts

93.1

94.3

97.6

100.0

3

Tennessee Titans

91.1

92.0

91.6

91.5

3.5

Jacksonville Jaguars

90.0

90.9

91.5

92.0

0.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Denver Broncos

104.7

102.9

100.7

99.5

3.5

San Diego Chargers

101.3

102.3

102.7

102.0

2.5

Kansas City Chiefs

94.1

92.2

93.8

94.0

3

Oakland Raiders

92.1

90.7

92.8

93.5

4

 

This Week’s Games

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vintage

Vegas

Totals

Pittsburgh TENNESSEE

9.9

8.4

7.3

9.5

5.5

42

Cincinnati CLEVELAND

4.4

3.1

5.7

8

1

44

N Y JETS Indianapolis

8.9

7.3

2.9

0.5

3

42.5

TAMPA BAY Kansas City

5.8

9.2

7.1

7.5

3

40

ATLANTA Oakland

16.8

20.3

15.4

15.5

9.5

48.5

BALTIMORE Dallas

10.6

10.4

9.6

9

3.5

44

PHILADELPHIA Detroit

6.3

5.2

7.8

12.5

4.5

47.5

MIAMI St. Louis

5.1

3.6

2.9

2.5

3

37.5

New England SEATTLE

6

3.4

1.8

3

3.5

45

ARIZONA Buffalo

9.8

13.7

11.3

12.5

4.5

43

Minnesota WASHINGTON

1

0.9

1.6

2

NL

NL

SAN FRANCISCO N Y Giants

8.8

10.7

5.3

10.5

4.5

44.5

HOUSTON Green Bay

7.4

9.3

9.5

8.5

3.5

48

Denver SAN DIEGO

0.9

-1.9

-4.5

-5

-1

49.5

 

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