The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 26, 2013

PiRate Ratings: NFL–November 28-December 2, 2013

The Division & Wildcard Races

NFC East: It is now a two-team race between Dallas and Philadelphia with the Giants and Redskins falling back out of the race.  Both teams have three home games remaining, but the important Week 17 game between the two rivals takes place at Cowboys Stadium.  This week, we favor Dallas to edge the Eagles out, and we do not project the Eagles to get in as a wildcard.

 

NFC North: Mediocrity has set in with the loss of two starting quarterbacks.  Aaron Rodgers is worth about 10-13 points per game, and his loss has turned the Packers into a poor team.  Matt Flynn is an improvement over Scott Tolzien, but the Packers will not get their star back until Week 14, by which time Green Bay could be 5-6-1 and 1 ½ games behind Detroit and possibly Chicago.  We believe that the Bears and Lions might both finish 9-7, so Rodgers would have to lead the Packers to four consecutive wins when he returns.  The Rodgers of December 8 will not be the Rodgers of September 8, and we believe the division race will be decided in Week 15 and Week 16.  In Week 15, Chicago plays at Cleveland and Detroit hosts Baltimore.  The following week, Chicago plays at Philadelphia, and Detroit hosts the Giants.  We favor Detroit by a tiny edge this week.

 

NFC South: Short of a collapse, Carolina will secure the number 5 seed with the first wildcard, while New Orleans will earn the number two seed and host a divisional round playoff game.  Or, it could be the other way around, since the two hot teams have yet to face off this season.  We believe the Saints will hold onto the two-game edge.  This week could very well be a preview of the NFC Championship Game, as New Orleans goes to Seattle on Monday Night Football.  New Orleans does have an incredibly tough December with three road games against teams with a combined 23-10 record as well as Carolina at home.

 

NFC West:  Seattle should secure home field advantage through the Conference Championship Game.  The Seahawks host the Saints this week and follow that up with a road trip to San Francisco.  At worst, if they lose both games, they should still finish 13-3.  The 49ers and Cardinals are the top two competitors for the sixth and final playoff spot.  The two square off in Phoenix in Week 17, but we believe that San Francisco will have clinched the wildcard bid before that game.  The 49ers have a schedule advantage for the next four weeks with three home games, while Arizona has three road games in the next four weeks.

 

AFC East: It is now safe to write New England’s name in ink as the official AFC East Champion.  With a three game lead against mediocre opposition, there is no chance that the Patriots will miss out on the playoffs.  A possible 12-4 record should earn the Pats a Divisional Round home game and first round bye.  The Dolphins, Bills, and Jets are all within one game of the final wildcard spot, but we do not like any of the trio’s chances.  Miami and the Jets have serious problems and appear to be heading to valleys.  Buffalo could pass both and finish in 2nd place with a 7-9 record.

 

AFC North: Cincinnati is vulnerable here.  The Bengals are not a complete team.  They are inconsistent on both sides of the ball, but the real reason is that some opponents can exploit their weaknesses, while others cannot.  What is left on their schedule?  Four teams capable of exploiting their weaknesses.  A 2-3 finish is quite possible, which would send the Bengals to a 9-7 record.  It should still be enough to win the division, but the Ravens and Steelers are both capable of finishing 9-7 as well.  Thursday night’s Baltimore-Pittsburgh game at M&T Bank Stadium will leave one of the rivals at 6-6 with an excellent chance to go 3-1 down the stretch.

 

AFC South: Indianapolis is much like Cincinnati, except the Colts are even more vulnerable to teams that have superb passing quarterbacks.  Still, the rest of this league is weaker than the three weaker AFC East teams.  At worst, the Colts will falter to finish 10-6, and that will win this league by two to four games.  Tennessee is the technical number six team as of this week, but the Titans’ next two games are on the road against Indianapolis and Denver, which will send them to a 5-8 record with three to play.  The last wildcard spot will go to a 9-7 team.

 

AFC West: The race has gotten a little interesting.  Peyton Manning once again proved his inability to play in cold weather.  The Broncos covered for him in the first half with the defense scoring or setting up the scores, but Manning had one of his poorest performances in a Broncos’ uniform.  Kansas City’s once stellar defense has been picked apart in successive weeks by division rivals.  Still, the Chiefs need only win one more game to wrap up a wildcard bid.  San Diego is the 5-6 team with the overall best chance to finish 9-7.  Phillip Rivers has seen his career resurrected with Coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt present.

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Dallas Cowboys

100.6

101.9

100.4

Philadelphia Eagles

98.9

100.1

99.2

New York Giants

96.3

96.1

95.5

Washington Redskins

95.0

95.0

94.7

       
North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Chicago Bears

100.5

100.2

99.9

Detroit Lions

99.9

100.3

99.8

Green Bay Packers

98.2

97.0

97.1

Minnesota Vikings

94.6

94.0

93.8

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New Orleans Saints

107.8

109.2

108.7

Carolina Panthers

106.1

106.4

106.7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

97.3

97.1

97.4

Atlanta Falcons

94.8

94.0

93.8

 

 

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

San Francisco 49ers

110.1

110.8

110.6

Seattle Seahawks

107.6

107.6

107.8

Arizona Cardinals

100.9

102.2

101.5

St. Louis Rams

100.8

101.6

101.3

       

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New England Patriots

106.6

104.9

106.9

Miami Dolphins

98.6

98.3

98.9

Buffalo Bills

97.5

96.6

97.5

New York Jets

93.0

91.3

92.7

       
North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Cincinnati Bengals

106.3

106.2

106.4

Baltimore Ravens

102.8

102.4

102.9

Pittsburgh Steelers

99.6

99.6

100.0

Cleveland Browns

95.8

95.5

95.4

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Indianapolis Colts

100.6

100.7

100.7

Tennessee Titans

98.0

98.1

98.2

Houston Texans

95.2

94.5

95.1

Jacksonville Jaguars

88.8

88.5

88.5

       
West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Denver Broncos

110.6

110.9

111.0

Kansas City Chiefs

102.3

103.7

102.7

San Diego Chargers

101.3

101.9

101.2

Oakland Raiders

93.6

93.4

93.7

 

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Detroit Green Bay

4.2

5.8

5.2

Dallas Oakland

10.0

11.5

9.7

Baltimore Pittsburgh

5.7

5.3

5.4

Carolina Tampa Bay

11.3

11.8

11.8

Cleveland Jacksonville

10.0

10.0

9.9

Indianapolis Tennessee

6.3

6.6

6.3

Kansas City Denver

-5.3

-4.2

-5.3

Minnesota Chicago

-3.4

-3.7

-3.6

N Y Jets Miami

-2.6

-4.0

-3.2

Philadelphia Arizona

1.5

1.4

1.2

Buffalo (@ Toronto) Atlanta

4.2

4.1

5.2

San Francisco St. Louis

12.3

12.2

12.3

Houston New England

-8.4

-7.4

-8.8

San Diego Cincinnati

-2.0

-1.3

-2.2

Washington N Y Giants

1.2

1.4

1.7

Seattle New Orleans

2.8

1.4

2.1

 

This Week’s PiRate Playoff Projections

A F C

1. Denver

2. New England

3. Indianapolis

4. Cincinnati

5. Kansas City

6. San Diego

 

N F C

1. Seattle

2. New Orleans

3. Dallas

4. Detroit

5. Carolina

6. San Francisco

 

Wildcard Round

San Diego over Indianapolis

Kansas City over Cincinnati

San Francisco over Dallas

Carolina over Detroit

 

Divisional Round

Denver over San Diego

Kansas City over New England

Seattle over San Francisco

New Orleans over Carolina

 

Conference Championships

Kansas City over Denver

Seattle over New Orleans

 

Super Bowl

Seattle over Kansas City

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