The Pi-Rate Ratings

October 27, 2015

NFL Preview For Week 8: October 29 – November 2, 2015

34% Is Not Good For The Game
34% may be a great figure for the percentage of at bats that result in a base hit for a batter. It can be a great percentage for number of times you win the Daily Double at Keeneland on the race card. But, 34% is an awful number when it applies to the number of NFL teams with winning records through seven weeks.

Only 11 out of the 32 NFL have a winning record at this point in the season. Because 12 teams make the playoffs, if the playoffs began today, there would be one lousy team with a losing record in the playoffs. To make matters worse, that team would be the 3-4 Indianapolis Colts which could easily make the playoffs at 6-10. Worse, they would host a playoff game. It just as easily could be Houston or even Jacksonville, where 6-10 might win the AFC South.

The NFC East is not much better off. The New York Giants might win the division at 8-8. Never have two teams at .500 or below made the playoffs in the same year. If a 9-7 team fails to qualify for the playoffs, while a 6-10 team not only makes the playoffs but hosts a first round game, something is seriously wrong.

Improving The Playoffs

The NFL would be better served by switching to four, eight-team divisions, with two divisions in both conferences. Let the champions of the four divisions earn byes in the first round, with the four best remaining teams in both conferences earning the wildcard spots. Then, the 3rd and 4th seeded teams in both conferences would host the 5th and 6th seeded teams.

For easy argument’s sake, let’s just combine the East and North Divisions and the South and West Divisions. We’ll call the four divisions the AFC Northeast, the AFC Southwest, the NFC Northeast, and the NFC Southwest.

That would change things a lot and make the playoffs much better than it will be. If the season ended today, New England would edge Cincinnati for one bye; Denver would get the Southwest bye; and the two NFC byes would go to Green Bay and Carolina. Not much would change in this regard, although Cincinnati would replace Denver under the old format.

The big change would come in the other playoff spots. Now, the 3-4 Colts would not be in line to host or even make the playoffs. The remaining four AFC playoff bids would go like this:

3rd Seed–Cincinnati
4th Seed–New York Jets
5th Seed–Pittsburgh
6th Seed–Oakland

There would be different home teams in the other conference too. The NFC would go like this:
3rd Seed–Atlanta
4th Seed–Arizona
5th Seed–Minnesota
6th Seed–New York Giants

There still might be an 8-8 or even a 7-9 team in the playoffs, but now they would be the #6 seed playing on the road against a much better team.

Which do you think is a better option?

A. 6-10 Indianapolis hosting 11-5 New York Jets, while the Oakland Raiders stay home at 8-8
B. 13-3 Cincinnati Bengals hosting 8-8 Oakland Raiders, while the Indianapolis Colts stay home at 6-10

Which one of these looks like the better way to choose an NFC champion?

A. 8-8 New York Giants hosting 12-4 Atlanta Falcons
B. 12-4 Atlanta Falcons hosting 8-8 New York Giants

Now for this week’s NFL PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Philadelphia 103.9 103.2 104.3 103.8 3-4-0 160 137
Dallas 102.8 101.3 102.4 102.2 2-4-0 121 158
N.Y. Giants 99.9 99.8 100.1 99.9 4-3-0 166 156
Washington 94.8 94.6 94.6 94.7 3-4-0 148 168
               
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 108.6 107.9 108.3 108.3 6-0-0 164 101
Minnesota 102.5 100.7 103.8 102.3 4-2-0 124 102
Detroit 98.0 96.2 96.8 97.0 1-6-0 139 200
Chicago 94.4 94.3 94.6 94.4 2-4-0 120 179
               
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 103.8 104.1 104.9 104.3 6-0-0 162 110
Atlanta 99.7 99.8 100.2 99.9 6-1-0 193 150
New Orleans 98.0 95.4 98.2 97.2 3-4-0 161 185
Tampa Bay 91.7 92.8 91.5 92.0 2-4-0 140 179
               
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Arizona 107.0 106.4 107.6 107.0 5-2-0 229 133
Seattle 106.5 105.7 106.1 106.1 3-4-0 154 128
St. Louis 97.5 98.8 97.6 98.0 3-3-0 108 119
San Francisco 96.3 94.4 96.2 95.6 2-5-0 103 180
               
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 111.4 111.6 111.8 111.6 6-0-0 213 126
N. Y. Jets 102.3 103.0 103.4 102.9 4-2-0 152 105
Miami 99.4 100.8 98.9 99.7 3-3-0 147 137
Buffalo 99.5 99.8 98.8 99.4 3-4-0 176 173
               
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Cincinnati 105.9 107.0 106.7 106.5 6-0-0 182 122
Pittsburgh 104.1 104.2 104.3 104.2 4-3-0 158 131
Baltimore 102.2 101.1 102.1 101.8 1-6-0 161 188
Cleveland 94.4 93.7 94.4 94.2 2-5-0 147 182
               
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 99.9 100.1 99.5 99.8 3-4-0 147 174
Houston 94.7 96.1 94.1 95.0 2-5-0 154 199
Tennessee 92.7 92.5 92.7 92.6 1-5-0 119 139
Jacksonville 90.2 93.1 89.3 90.9 2-5-0 147 207
               
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Denver 106.2 105.4 105.7 105.8 6-0-0 139 102
Kansas City 99.2 100.1 99.3 99.5 2-5-0 150 172
San Diego 98.1 98.2 97.8 98.0 2-5-0 165 198
Oakland 94.3 97.8 93.9 95.3 3-3-0 144 153
This Week’s Games
         
Week Number: 8      
Date of Games: October 29-November 2      
         
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
New England Miami 15.0 13.8 15.9
Kansas City (London) Detroit 1.2 3.9 2.5
Atlanta Tampa Bay 10.5 9.5 11.2
Cleveland Arizona -9.1 -9.2 -9.7
St. Louis San Francisco 4.2 7.4 4.4
New Orleans NY Giants 1.1 -1.4 1.1
Chicago Minnesota -5.6 -3.9 -6.7
Baltimore San Diego 7.1 5.9 7.3
Pittsburgh Cincinnati 0.7 -0.3 0.1
Houston Tennessee 5.0 6.6 4.4
Oakland NY Jets -5.0 -2.2 -6.5
Dallas Seattle -0.7 -1.4 -0.7
Denver Green Bay 0.6 0.5 0.4
Carolina Indianapolis 6.9 7.0 8.4
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