The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 20, 2012

PiRate Ratings and Spreads For NFL Week 16: December 22-23, 2012

Big Games In Week 16

If you have a package where you can choose to view any NFL game and not just the few that your viewing area receives, you will want to tune in the following games this week.

 

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh:  This is basically a wildcard playoff qualifier.  While both teams could mathematically still win the AFC North, chances are that the winner of this game will earn the final playoff spot in the conference.

 

If momentum is a key, Cincinnati has the edge, but when have the Steelers lost a game like this when their backs were up against the wall.  Just when a good team appears to be breaking apart, they always seem to come up with one more terrific game.  We believe the Steelers will win and go on to earn the sixth playoff seed in the AFC.

 

New Orleans at Dallas, Washington at Philadelphia, and New York Giants at Baltimore:  

 

The NFC East is the most interesting race of all.  Three teams are tied at 8-6, and by a quirk, all three still control their playoff destiny.  Dallas and Washington can win the division by winning two games, since only one of these two rivals can win two games (they face off in DC next week).  The Giants can clinch a playoff spot with two wins.  At 10-6, if they don’t win the NFC East, they will be a Wildcard.

 

Of the three contenders, the Redskins have the easy win game.  However, this is not a cinch win for Washington.  First, there is an issue of whether Robert Griffin III can play and if he can play anywhere close to 100%.  Kirk Cousins played admirably last week, but Philadelphia has now seen him on film and can better prepare against his strengths and weaknesses.  If RG3 does not play, this game becomes a tossup.

 

Dallas and New Orleans should light up the scoreboard at the Jerry Dome this week.  Drew Brees will pick the Cowboys’ secondary apart unless the pass rush puts him in jeopardy all game.  Can Tony Romo come through with a big game?  We think so.

 

The Giants have the toughest game, and this game is important on both sides.  We see this one getting ugly with a lot of hard hits and big defensive plays.  The Giants have been Jekyll and Hyde for much of this year, but then they won a Super Bowl championship last year following the same pattern.  The Ravens appear to have hit the wall, losing three straight games after started 9-2.  At 9-5, they are in jeopardy of losing the division title to the Bengals if Cincinnati wins out, and Baltimore loses to the Giants.

 

We think the Giants will win this game with Eli Manning having a big day against the fading Raven defense.

 

Minnesota at Houston: The Vikings are very much alive in the Wildcard race, but they must end the season with victories over two division title winners.  After the Texans, Minnesota must knock off Green Bay next week and then hope that the Giants and either Washington or Dallas do not finish 10-6.  Houston has shown an inability to stop good running games this year, and now they face the absolute best in the league.  If Adrain Peterson rushes for 125 yards, the Vikings have a chance to keep the ball out of Matt Schaub’s hands just enough to win the game.

 

Chicago at Arizona: The Bears are in danger of falling off a cliff for the second consecutive year.  They must close with two wins, or they will be home for the playoffs again.  Last year, Jay Cutler’s injury doomed the offense.  Cutler has missed some time this year, but even when he has been semi-healthy, the Chicago offense has done very little.  The defense cannot score two touchdowns every week, and Devon Hester no longer returns punts 80 yards for touchdowns.

 

Now, after a nine-week sabbatical, Arizona’s offense returned last week.  If the Cardinals play this week like they did against the Lions, you can say bye-bye Bears and bye-bye Lovie Smith.

 

San Francisco at Seattle: It may not be as important as the other games, because both teams will be in the playoffs, but this is the best game of the week and maybe the best game of the entire season.  If Seattle wins out to finish at 11-5, and the 49ers lose next week against a possibly resurgent Arizona, the Seahawks will be division champions and host at least one playoff game.  Nobody wants to play at Centurylink Field.

 

The 49ers are the only team that we feel is tough enough to win at Seattle, but the Seahawks look more like the 1969 Vikings and look invincible at the moment.  If you only watch one football game this week, this is the one.  It will be the most exciting game in years.  If you are old enough to remember the Kansas City-Oakland games of the 1960’s and the Oakland-Pittsburgh games of the 1970’s, then this is the type of game you should expect Sunday.

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

New York Giants

105.9

104.9

104.1

103.0

3.5

Washington Redskins

102.1

103.0

103.6

104.0

2.5

Dallas Cowboys

99.6

100.7

101.4

102.0

1.5

Philadelphia Eagles

93.9

92.7

91.8

90.5

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Green Bay Packers

106.2

106.6

104.9

107.0

2

Chicago Bears

104.2

102.2

101.3

99.0

2.5

Minnesota Vikings

99.2

100.0

100.6

101.0

3.5

Detroit Lions

96.2

95.2

96.2

93.5

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Atlanta Falcons

105.0

106.3

106.5

108.0

3

New Orleans Saints

101.3

100.1

98.8

98.0

3.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

99.2

97.6

96.5

95.0

3

Carolina Panthers

99.0

98.9

100.1

98.5

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Seattle Seahawks

110.5

109.2

108.3

107.0

5

San Francisco 49ers

110.1

109.2

105.6

107.5

2

St. Louis Rams

97.1

97.2

97.2

97.0

1.5

Arizona Cardinals

95.4

94.2

96.2

92.0

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

New England Patriots

112.1

110.4

106.7

107.5

1

Miami Dolphins

99.7

99.9

99.6

100.0

2.5

New York Jets

97.4

97.6

96.9

97.5

2

Buffalo Bills

93.5

93.4

97.1

93.0

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Cincinnati Bengals

103.0

102.7

101.8

102.0

3

Baltimore Ravens

101.5

102.2

102.7

103.0

4.5

Pittsburgh Steelers

99.6

100.3

100.0

101.0

2.5

Cleveland Browns

95.9

97.7

100.3

100.0

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Houston Texans

105.1

105.8

106.3

106.5

3

Indianapolis Colts

95.6

98.7

100.8

103.0

4

Tennessee Titans

94.2

94.4

94.6

94.5

2.5

Jacksonville Jaguars

90.2

90.2

90.3

90.0

0.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Denver Broncos

110.1

109.8

107.1

109.0

3

San Diego Chargers

97.9

97.7

99.9

97.0

1.5

Oakland Raiders

90.6

92.1

93.1

94.0

3.5

Kansas City Chiefs

88.7

89.1

89.4

89.5

3.5

 

 

Here are this week’s PiRate Spreads

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vintage

Vegas

Totals

Atlanta DETROIT

5.8

8.1

7.3

11.5

4   

50 1/2

GREEN BAY Tennessee

14.0

14.2

12.3

14.5

13   

46   

CAROLINA Oakland

10.4

8.8

9.0

6.5

8 1/2

46   

MIAMI Buffalo

8.7

9.0

5.0

9.5

4 1/2

41 1/2

Cincinnati PITTSBURGH

0.9

-0.1

-0.7

-1.5

-4   

43   

New England JACKSONVILLE

21.4

19.7

15.9

17.0

14 1/2

48 1/2

Indianapolis KANSAS CITY

3.4

6.1

7.9

10.0

6 1/2

42   

New Orleans DALLAS

0.2

-2.1

-4.1

-5.5

-3   

51 1/2

Washington PHILADELPHIA

5.7

7.8

9.3

11.0

4 1/2

44 1/2

TAMPA BAY St. Louis

5.1

3.4

2.3

1.0

3   

43 1/2

BALTIMORE N Y Giants

0.1

1.8

3.1

4.5

-2 1/2

47 1/2

HOUSTON Minnesota

8.9

8.8

8.7

8.5

7 1/2

43 1/2

DENVER Cleveland

17.2

15.1

9.8

12.0

13   

44 1/2

Chicago ARIZONA

4.8

4.0

1.1

3.0

5 1/2

36 1/2

SEATTLE San Francisco

5.4

5.0

5.0

5.0

-1   

39   

N Y JETS San Diego

2.5

2.9

0.0

3.5

2 1/2

40 1/2

 

Coming Thursday afternoon: The PiRate Picks for the next wave of bowls and Week 16 of the NFL.

 

Coming Friday afternoon: The third installment of the PiRate Computer Simulated College Football Playoffs.

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