The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 16, 2019

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for Week 3: September 19-23, 2019

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home

Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Jacksonville

Tennessee

-0.8

-0.5

-0.5

Green Bay

Denver

4.4

4.5

4.9

Philadelphia

Detroit

9.4

7.9

6.5

Kansas City

Baltimore

7.0

8.6

6.9

Buffalo

Cincinnati

3.1

4.8

3.2

Indianapolis

Atlanta

0.4

0.4

0.3

Minnesota

Oakland

11.1

8.9

8.3

New England

N.Y. Jets

15.3

14.9

15.4

Dallas

Miami

19.1

20.1

20.0

Tampa Bay

N.Y. Giants

1.8

4.7

4.5

Arizona

Carolina

-1.1

-0.2

0.0

Seattle

New Orleans

-1.6

2.6

2.5

LA Chargers

Houston

3.1

3.5

3.1

San Francisco

Pittsburgh

7.1

8.7

8.7

Cleveland

LA Rams

-4.7

-1.8

-1.9

Washington

Chicago

-8.0

-1.6

-1.9

Totals

Home

Visitor

Total

Jacksonville

Tennessee

38

Green Bay

Denver

43.5

Philadelphia

Detroit

44

Kansas City

Baltimore

52.5

Buffalo

Cincinnati

46

Indianapolis

Atlanta

48.5

Minnesota

Oakland

44

New England

N.Y. Jets

44.5

Dallas

Miami

49.5

Tampa Bay

N.Y. Giants

51

Arizona

Carolina

45

Seattle

New Orleans

48

LA Chargers

Houston

44.5

San Francisco

Pittsburgh

46.5

Cleveland

LA Rams

50.5

Washington

Chicago

42

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New England

108.0

109.0

108.2

108.4

22

2-0

Buffalo

97.7

99.1

98.3

98.4

19.5

2-0

N. Y. Jets

95.2

96.6

95.3

95.7

22.5

0-2

Miami

86.7

86.7

86.3

86.6

28

0-2

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Baltimore

102.2

101.6

102.8

102.2

22

2-0

Cleveland

100.9

101.4

101.5

101.3

23.5

1-1

Cincinnati

97.1

96.8

97.6

97.2

26.5

0-2

Pittsburgh

95.9

96.0

96.2

96.0

22

0-2

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Houston

102.4

102.4

101.9

102.3

22

1-1

Tennessee

100.1

100.4

100.5

100.3

19

1-1

Indianapolis

98.0

98.9

98.3

98.4

22.5

1-1

Jacksonville

96.8

97.4

97.5

97.2

19

0-2

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Kansas City

106.7

107.7

107.2

107.2

30.5

2-0

LA Chargers

103.0

103.4

102.5

102.9

22.5

1-1

Denver

99.4

99.5

99.2

99.4

20

0-2

Oakland

95.6

95.7

96.3

95.9

22.5

1-1

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Dallas

103.3

104.3

103.8

103.8

21.5

2-0

Philadelphia

105.5

102.8

102.5

103.6

23

1-1

Washington

95.2

97.2

97.1

96.5

21.5

0-2

N.Y. Giants

94.2

94.7

95.4

94.8

24.5

0-2

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Chicago

105.7

101.3

101.5

102.8

20.5

1-1

Minnesota

104.2

102.1

102.1

102.8

21.5

1-1

Green Bay

101.3

101.5

101.6

101.5

23.5

2-0

Detroit

98.6

97.4

98.5

98.2

21

1-0-1

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New Orleans

106.9

102.8

102.9

104.2

24

1-1

Atlanta

100.1

101.0

100.5

100.5

26

1-1

Carolina

99.5

99.1

99.7

99.4

23

0-2

Tampa Bay

93.5

96.9

97.4

95.9

26.5

1-1

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

LA Rams

108.6

106.2

106.4

107.1

27

2-0

Seattle

102.3

102.4

102.4

102.4

24

2-0

San Francisco

100.0

101.7

101.9

101.2

24.5

2-0

Arizona

95.4

95.9

96.7

96.0

22

0-1-1

 

Playoff Projections

AFC Seeding

1

New England

2

Kansas City

3

Baltimore

4

Indianapolis

5

Buffalo

6

Cleveland

 

 

NFC Seeding

1

LA Rams

2

Dallas

3

Green Bay

4

Atlanta

5

Philadelphia

6

Seattle

Wildcard Round

Baltimore over Cleveland

Buffalo over Indianapolis

Green Bay over Seattle

Philadelphia over Atlanta

 

 

Divisional Round

New England over Buffalo

Kansas City over Baltimore

LA Rams over Philadelphia

Green Bay over Dallas

 

 

Conference Championship

New England over Kansas City

LA Rams over Green Bay

 

 

Super Bowl 53

New England over LA Rams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 9, 2019

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for Week 2: September 12-16, 2019

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Home

Visitors

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Carolina

Tampa Bay

11.3

7.1

7.4

Atlanta

Philadelphia

-4.5

-0.7

-1.1

Baltimore

Arizona

10.9

9.9

10.5

Cincinnati

San Francisco

5.0

2.7

3.6

Denver

Chicago

-3.1

1.8

1.5

Detroit

LA Chargers

-2.5

-4.8

-2.5

Green Bay

Minnesota

-1.9

0.8

0.7

Houston

Jacksonville

9.0

8.7

8.2

LA Rams

New Orleans

-0.4

1.7

1.6

Miami

New England

-13.2

-14.3

-13.3

N.Y. Giants

Buffalo

1.4

0.6

2.6

Oakland

Kansas City

-5.4

-6.1

-4.8

Pittsburgh

Seattle

0.4

0.6

1.2

Tennessee

Indianapolis

7.3

7.0

8.0

Washington

Dallas

-4.0

-2.5

-1.7

N.Y. Jets

Cleveland

1.5

2.6

1.3

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Totals

Home

Visitors

Totals

Carolina

Tampa Bay

51

Atlanta

Philadelphia

49

Baltimore

Arizona

44

Cincinnati

San Francisco

50

Denver

Chicago

42

Detroit

LA Chargers

45

Green Bay

Minnesota

46

Houston

Jacksonville

43

LA Rams

New Orleans

54

Miami

New England

49

N.Y. Giants

Buffalo

44

Oakland

Kansas City

54.5

Pittsburgh

Seattle

48

Tennessee

Indianapolis

42.5

Washington

Dallas

41

N.Y. Jets

Cleveland

47.5

 

This Week’s NFL PiRate Ratings

 

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New England

105.5

106.6

105.5

105.9

23

1-0

N. Y. Jets

96.8

98.4

97.1

97.4

23.5

0-1

Buffalo

95.9

97.3

96.2

96.5

19.5

1-0

Miami

89.9

89.8

89.7

89.8

26

0-1

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Baltimore

102.2

101.7

103.0

102.3

22

1-0

Cincinnati

99.3

98.8

99.8

99.3

25.5

0-1

Pittsburgh

98.7

98.9

99.3

98.9

24

0-1

Cleveland

98.4

98.7

98.8

98.6

24

0-1

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Houston

102.6

102.7

102.3

102.6

23

0-1

Tennessee

101.1

101.5

101.8

101.5

19.5

1-0

Indianapolis

96.8

97.6

96.8

97.1

23

0-1

Jacksonville

96.1

96.6

96.6

96.4

20

0-1

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Kansas City

105.1

106.0

105.4

105.5

31

1-0

LA Chargers

103.7

104.4

103.4

103.8

23.5

1-0

Denver

99.4

99.7

99.5

99.5

21

0-1

Oakland

96.7

96.9

97.6

97.1

23.5

1-0

 

 

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Philadelphia

106.3

103.5

103.3

104.3

23

1-0

Dallas

102.3

103.1

102.4

102.6

20.5

1-0

Washington

95.4

97.6

97.7

96.9

20.5

0-1

N.Y. Giants

95.3

95.8

96.8

96.0

24.5

0-1

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Minnesota

104.8

102.5

102.6

103.3

22

1-0

Chicago

105.5

100.9

101.0

102.5

21

0-1

Green Bay

100.4

100.8

100.8

100.7

24

1-0

Detroit

98.1

96.6

97.8

97.5

21.5

0-0-1

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New Orleans

110.5

106.2

106.4

107.7

27

1-0

Carolina

100.8

100.2

100.9

100.6

24

0-1

Atlanta

98.8

99.8

99.2

99.2

26

0-1

Tampa Bay

92.0

95.6

96.0

94.5

27

0-1

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

LA Rams

107.1

104.9

105.0

105.7

27

1-0

Seattle

101.8

101.8

101.6

101.7

24

1-0

San Francisco

97.8

99.7

99.7

99.1

24.5

1-0

Arizona

94.9

95.3

96.0

95.4

22

0-0-1

 

 

This Week’s Playoff Projections

 

AFC Seeding

1

New England

2

Kansas City

3

Baltimore

4

Tennessee

5

LA Chargers

6

Houston

 

 

NFC Seeding

1

LA Rams

2

Dallas

3

Minnesota

4

New Orleans

5

Philadelphia

6

Green Bay

 

Wildcard Round

Houston over Baltimore

LA Chargers over Tennessee

Minnesota over Green Bay

Philadelphia over New Orleans

 

 

Divisional Round

New England over Houston

LA Chargers over Kansas City

LA Rams over Philadelphia

Dallas over Minnesota

 

 

Conference Championship

New England over LA Chargers

Dallas over LA Rams

 

 

Super Bowl 53

Dallas over New England

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 3, 2019

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for Week 1: September 5-9, 2019

PiRate Ratings Spreads For Week 1

Home

Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Total

Chicago

Green Bay

12.1

6.5

6.8

46.5

Minnesota

Atlanta

8.2

4.3

5.1

48

Philadelphia

Washington

14.4

8.8

8.7

42.5

NY Jets

Buffalo

4.2

4.6

4.6

44

Miami

Baltimore

-1.5

-1.0

-2.3

44.5

Tampa Bay

San Francisco

-0.4

1.9

2.7

51.5

Jacksonville

Kansas City

-3.7

-3.9

-3.1

50

Cleveland

Tennessee

4.7

5.1

4.9

42.5

Carolina

LA Rams

-2.7

-0.7

0.4

50

Arizona

Detroit

-0.3

2.0

1.4

43.5

Seattle

Cincinnati

6.2

7.1

5.7

49.5

LA Chargers

Indianapolis

11.7

11.9

11.9

46.5

Dallas

NY Giants

8.9

8.8

6.8

45

New England

Pittsburgh

4.7

5.4

3.5

48

New Orleans

Houston

11.4

6.4

7.2

49

Oakland

Denver

-1.2

-1.6

-0.9

44.5

 

 

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New England

103.2

104.2

102.9

103.4

23.5

0-0

N. Y. Jets

97.2

98.9

97.7

97.9

24

0-0

Buffalo

95.5

96.8

95.6

96.0

20

0-0

Miami

94.6

94.5

94.4

94.5

23.5

0-0

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Pittsburgh

101.0

101.3

101.9

101.4

24.5

0-0

Cleveland

100.4

100.9

101.0

100.8

23.5

0-0

Baltimore

99.0

98.5

99.8

99.1

21

0-0

Cincinnati

98.8

98.1

99.2

98.7

25.5

0-0

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Houston

102.1

102.5

102.0

102.2

22.5

0-0

Tennessee

98.6

98.8

99.1

98.8

19

0-0

Jacksonville

97.4

98.0

98.1

97.8

19.5

0-0

Indianapolis

95.7

96.4

95.5

95.9

23

0-0

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

LA Chargers

104.5

105.3

104.4

104.7

23.5

0-0

Kansas City

104.1

104.9

104.2

104.4

30.5

0-0

Denver

100.2

100.6

100.5

100.4

21

0-0

Oakland

95.9

96.0

96.6

96.2

23.5

0-0

 

 

 

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Philadelphia

106.8

103.7

103.6

104.7

22.5

0-0

Dallas

101.7

102.4

101.5

101.9

20.5

0-0

N.Y. Giants

95.9

96.5

97.7

96.7

24.5

0-0

Washington

94.9

97.4

97.4

96.6

20

0-0

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

Chicago

107.6

102.7

102.9

104.4

22

0-0

Minnesota

104.4

101.8

101.9

102.7

22

0-0

Green Bay

98.0

98.7

98.6

98.4

24.5

0-0

Detroit

98.1

96.5

97.7

97.5

21.5

0-0

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

New Orleans

111.0

106.4

106.7

108.0

26.5

0-0

Carolina

100.8

100.4

101.4

100.9

23.5

0-0

Atlanta

99.2

100.5

99.9

99.8

26

0-0

Tampa Bay

92.8

96.7

97.3

95.6

27

0-0

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Totals

W-L

LA Rams

107.0

104.6

104.4

105.3

26.5

0-0

Seattle

102.0

102.2

101.9

102.0

24

0-0

San Francisco

96.7

98.3

98.1

97.7

24.5

0-0

Arizona

94.9

95.4

96.1

95.5

22

0-0

 

Playoff Projections

 

AFC Seeding

1

New England

2

LA Chargers

3

Pittsburgh

4

Houston

5

Cleveland

6

Kansas City

 

 

NFC Seeding

1

New Orleans

2

Chicago

3

LA Rams

4

Philadelphia

5

Seattle

6

Minnesota

 

Wildcard Round

Pittsburgh over Kansas City

Cleveland over Houston

LA Rams over Minnesota

Seattle over Philadelphia

Divisional Round

New England over Cleveland

LA Chargers over Pittsburgh

New Orleans over Seattle

LA Rams over Chicago

Conference Championship

New England over LA Chargers

New Orleans over LA Rams

Super Bowl 53

New Orleans over New England

 

 

 

 

 

August 24, 2019

A Great Compromise For The NFL

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 5:47 am

As Week Three of the NFL Preseason continues today, the hot topic among the NFL teams, media, and fans is the preseason itself.  Four preseason games are definitely too many in the 21st Century.  With mini-camps and organized team activities, NFL football does not need more than a month of preseason preparing for the regular season.

At one time, NFL teams played six preseason games and then played a 12-game regular season.  It expanded to six preseason and 14 regular season games in 1961 (1960 in the American Football League).  When the NFL schedule expanded to 16 games in 1979, the preseason shortened to the four games we have now.  So, this current formula has been in place for 40 years.

The owners believe that any reduction in preseason games should be accompanied by an increase in regular season games.  The players don’t believe an 18-game regular season schedule is such a good idea, as injuries are considerably more prevalent the more games they play.  With an 18-game regular season, some players will play 22 regular season games if they make the Super Bowl as a Wildcard.

Obviously, the NFL owners will not agree to removing two preseason games with no extra regular season games.  The players may not agree on the 18-game schedule either.

Here’s our compromise proposal.  Remove two preseason games, which means just one home game per team, and replace it with just one extra regular season games.  That means the regular season would be 17 games.  How could we favor an odd number of games, since that would mean half the league would play nine home games and the other half eight.  Wouldn’t that give the half with nine home games a big advantage?

That’s not what we are proposing.  What we propose is that this 17th game would be played at a neutral site.  There are many excellent college football venues and bowl sites that do not host NFL football.  How would a Dallas-Houston game at the University of Texas play in Austin?  What about the Steelers and Eagles playing at Penn State in Happy Valley?  Or, consider the Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals playing at the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium?

Opening pro football to all these other markets would grow the brand nationally like playing in London has internationally.  Games in London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, and Munich could be schedules as neutral site games rather than home games.  The NFL could add Mexico City, Honolulu, Tokyo, and Melbourne to its regular season schedule.

What would be done with the extra week of the season when the schedule reduced from 20 different weeks to 19?  Throw in a second bye week for every team and construct schedules that give teams an off week following their neutral site game.

If this plan were put in place, the NFL season would begin tomorrow, Sunday, August 25.

January 23, 2019

PiRate Ratings Super Bowl LIII Preview

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:27 am

Super Bowl 53 Preview

NFC Champion: Los Angeles Rams 15-3-0

AFC Champion: New England Patriots 13-5-0

Date: Sunday, February 3, 2019

Kickoff Time: Approximately 6:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: CBS

Online: CBSSports.com

Phone: CBS Sports App

TV Announcing Crew

Jim Nantz–Play-by-play

Tony Romo–Booth Analysis

Sideline Reporter–Tracy Wolfson

Sideline Reporter–Evan Washburn

 

This is the best Super Bowl TV talent in this generation, and the equal of Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis, and Kyle Rote in Super Bowl III on NBC in January of 1969 50 years ago.

 

Radio Coverage: Westwood One Radio Sports

Top Radio Market Affiliates

City Radio # Radio Station
Atlanta 92.9 FM WZGC
Austin 104.9 FM WTXX
Baltimore 105.7 FM WJZ
Boston 850 AM WEEI
Charlotte 610 AM WFNZ
Chicago 670 AM WSCR
Cincinnati 1360 AM WSAI
Cleveland 92.3 FM WKRK
Columbus 1460 AM WBNS
Dallas 105.3 FM KRLD
Denver 1600 AM KEPN
Detroit 1270 AM WXYT
Houston 610 AM KILT
Indianapolis 1260 AM WNDE
Kansas City 810 AM WHB
Las Vegas 1100 AM KWWN
Los Angeles 550 AM KLAC
Miami 790 AM WAXY
Minneapolis 100.3 FM KFXN
Nashville 104.5 FM WGFX
New York 660 AM WFAN
Orlando 580 AM WDBO
Philadelphia 1210 AM WPHT
Phoenix 910 AM KGME
Pittsburgh 93.7 FM KDKA
Portland 750 AM KXTG
Sacramento 1140 AM KHTK
San Antonio 760 AM KTKR
San Bernardino 1350 AM KPWK
San Diego 97.3 FM KWFN
San Francisco Bay Area 95.7 FM WGMZ
Seattle 950 AM KJR
St. Louis 101.1 FM WXOS
Tampa 820 AM WWBA
Virginia Beach 94.1 FM WVSP
Washington, DC 106.7 FM WJFK

 and Sirius XM Channel 88

Radio Broadcast Talent

Kevin Harlan–Play by Play

Kurt Warner–Booth Analysis

Others–Mike Holmgren, Ed Werder, Tony Boselli, Scott Graham, and Jim Gray

Nevada Lines

Line as of 12 Noon EST Wednesday, January 23

New England by 2 1/2

Total 57 1/2

Money Line

New England -135

Los Angeles +115

 

PiRate Ratings Spreads

Pirate: Los Angeles by 1.4

Mean: Los Angeles by 1.4

Bias: Los Angeles by 1.1

Total: 52

 

Computer Simulations

Data Used: Advanced Metric Statistics for both teams adjusted to strengths of schedules and then using a random number generator of potential outcomes, 100 simulations were run.  We feel that 10,000 simulations artificially lowers the variance, which was already quite low.

100 Sims

Los Angeles Wins: 56

New England Wins: 44

Average Score (Rounded) Los Angeles 30  New England 27

Simulations going over the total: 52

Simulations going under the total: 48

Standard Deviation on the Margin: 3.34

Standard Deviation on the Total: 5.22

Outlier Win for LA: Rams 41  Patriots 24

Outlier Win for NE: Patriots 31  Rams 16

This marks the final football publication for the PiRate Ratings until sometime in the Summer, when we will be in the process of updating the college football ratings for the 2019 season.  Thank You to all that patronize this site.  If you haven’t checked out our other ratings, we cover college basketball with new publications on Monday and Friday until the end of the regular season and then daily through Selection Sunday.  Our annual “Bracketnomics 505” comes out the Monday evening after Selection Sunday, and it has been our most read feature through the years.  We offer all this free to you, because we are a group of math geeks that were once athletes in the dark ages.

Our goal is to supply you with fun information and not to encourage you to wager money using our data for your research.  None of the contributors here at this site ever wager money on our recommendations.  We understand that there are professionals that come to this site, and more than one of you has told us that there is something we put out that does influence how you wager.  We hope for your sake, it doesn’t send you to the Poor House, because  we don’t have any more room here.

 

January 14, 2019

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for The Conference Championship Playoff Round: January 20, 2019

Sunday, January 20, 2019

NFC Championship Game

Los Angeles Rams 14-3-0 at New Orleans Saints 14-3-0

Time: 3:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: Fox

Monday Line: New Orleans by 3 1/2

Total Line: 57

PiRate Ratings 

PiRate: New Orleans by 8.1

Mean: New Orleans by 7.8

Bias: New Orleans by 8.1

Total: 55 1/2

Expected Score: New Orleans 31  Los Angeles 24

 

AFC Championship Game

New England Patriots 12-5-0 at Kansas City Chiefs 13-4-0

Time: 6:40 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: CBS

Monday Line: Kansas City by 3

Total Line: 57

PiRate Ratings 

PiRate: Kansas City by 4.4

Mean: Kansas City by 4.4

Bias: Kansas City by 4.3

Total: 53

Expected Score:  Kansas City 28  New England 24

 

60 Seasons Ago

The NFL as we know it today owes its popularity to 60 years ago at the conclusion of the 1958 regular season.  This would be the first ever live nationally televised NFL Championship Game.  Before you wonder why other games before were not shown from coast to coast, just 10 years before only a handful of cities had television stations.  In some cities, only a test pattern was shown for most or all of the day, and people would turn their sets on to see it!  So, TV was still in its adolescence in 1958.

The upstart Baltimore Colts, led by the young and talented quarterback Johnny Unitas, fullback Alan Ameche, and two incredible pass catchers in Raymond Berry and Lenny Moore won the West Division Championship with a 9-3 record, 8-1 in the games Unitas started and played.  That one loss was to the New York Giants, a team with the greatest ever combination of offensive and defensive coordinators.  Vince Lombardi directed the Giants’ offense, and Tom Landry led the Giants’ defense.

Before the Giants could host this game in Yankee Stadium, they had to play an extra game to get to the NFL Championship Game.  The Giants finished tied with Cleveland at 9-3, and even though they had swept the Browns in the regular season, in those days if teams finished tied at the top of a division race, they played again for the division title, and the NFL Championship Game was re-scheduled for a week later.

New York stopped Cleveland for a third time that year, holding the great Jim Brown to just eight yards rushing in a 10-0 shutout.  The Giants were the favorites, and Jim Lee Howell and his coaching staff were more than prepared to contain Unitas and move the ball on offense with a conservative smash-mouth style of offense.

Like I said previously, it is because of this game that the NFL became what it is today.  Overnight, sports fans throughout the country stopped talking about the New York Yankees chances of repeating as World Series champions in 1959 (they would not), or whether the great two-year old thoroughbred Sword Dancer would break the 11-year string and win the Triple Crown (2nd in the Derby and Preakness and won the Belmont).

NFL Football was at best the number three sport in America before this game.  Major League baseball was still the number one sport and the real American Pastime.  There were still just 16 teams in the big leagues, even though two had left the number one market for the West Coast.  College football was number two, and the recent champion LSU Tigers with their famous Chinese Bandits had generated a lot of the headlines that Autumn.

If by chance you do not know how the NFL Championship Game turned out and why it “made” NFL Football into the number one spectator sport in the nation, take a look at this video from NFL Films.

 

January 8, 2019

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for The Divisional Playoff Round: January 12-13, 2019

NFL Divisional Playoff Round Ratings and Information

 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs

Time: 4:35 PM Eastern Standard

TV: NBC

Pirate Ratings Spreads

PiRate: Kansas City by 6.4 

Mean: Kansas City by 7.2

Bias: Kansas City by 5.7

Total: 55

Expected Score: Kansas City 31  Indianapolis 24

———————————————————————————-

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams

Time: 8:15 PM Eastern Standard

TV: Fox 

Pirate Ratings Spreads

PiRate:  Los Angeles by 8.5

Mean: Los Angeles by 8.8

Bias: Los Angeles by 8.8

Total: 49.5

Expected Score: Los Angeles 30  Dallas 21

—————————————————————————-

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots

Time: 1:05 PM Eastern Standard

TV: CBS

PiRate Ratings Spreads

PiRate: New England by 3.5

Mean: New England by 2.8

Bias: New England by 2.7

Total: 45.5

Expected Score: New England 24  Los Angeles 21

———————————————————————————-

Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints

Time: 4:40 PM Eastern Standard

TV: Fox

PiRate Ratings Spreads

PiRate: New Orleans by 12.8 

Mean: New Orleans by 12.5

Bias: New Orleans by 12.4

Total: 49

Expected Score: New Orleans 31  Philadelphia 17

December 31, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for The Wildcard Playoff Round: January 5-6, 2018

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Houston Indianapolis 2.0 2.7 2.1 49.5
Dallas Seattle -1.6 -1.9 -2.8 44.5
Baltimore L.A. Chargers 2.6 2.4 2.4 43
Chicago Philadelphia 5.5 5.5 6.4 44.5

The Wildcard Playoff Schedule

Saturday,  January 5, 2019

4:35 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: ESPN

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

 

8:15 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: Fox Network

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys

 

Sunday, January 6, 2109

1:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: CBS

Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens

 

4:40 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: NBC

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

 

For the Divisional Playoff Round

The lower remaining seed in the AFC will play at Kansas City on Saturday, January 12, on NBC at 4:35 PM EST

 

The higher remaining seed in the NFC will play at the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, January 12, on Fox Network at 8:15 PM EST

 

The higher remaining seed in the AFC will play at New England on Sunday, January 13, on CBS at 1:05 PM EST

 

The lower remaining seed in the NFC will play at New Orleans on Sunday, January 13, on Fox Network at 4:40 PM EST

Ratings of the Playoff Teams

Playoff Team PiRate Mean Bias Avg. Total W-L
New Orleans 112.3 112.3 112.3 112.3 27 13-3
Kansas City 106.8 107.0 106.6 106.8 30.5 12-4
LA Rams 106.5 106.7 106.3 106.5 29 13-3
Chicago 104.9 105.1 105.8 105.3 21.5 12-4
New England 105.0 105.1 104.9 105.0 22.5 11-5
Seattle 104.6 104.7 105.2 104.8 24 10-6
LA Chargers 104.3 105.0 104.8 104.7 23 12-4
Baltimore 104.5 104.9 104.7 104.7 20 10-6
Indianapolis 102.9 102.3 103.3 102.8 25.5 10-6
Houston 102.4 102.5 103.0 102.6 24 11-5
Philadelphia 102.4 102.6 102.5 102.5 23 9-7
Dallas 100.5 100.3 99.9 100.2 20.5 10-6

 

Note: The College Basketball Bracket Gurus will debut next week.  Most of the gurus are enjoying vacations this week and did not submit their data to us.

December 25, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for Week 17: December 30, 2018

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
New Orleans Carolina 10.5 11.0 10.7 50
Houston Jacksonville 7.6 8.1 8.6 42
Green Bay Detroit 5.2 5.9 5.8 48
Tampa Bay Atlanta -2.1 -1.8 -1.0 50.5
N.Y. Giants Dallas 0.5 0.7 1.3 42.5
New England N.Y. Jets 12.4 13.0 12.7 47.5
Buffalo Miami 1.4 1.9 1.8 40
Minnesota Chicago 0.8 0.9 0.0 42.5
Kansas City Oakland 17.0 17.1 16.9 52.5
Pittsburgh Cincinnati 15.1 15.2 15.5 48
Baltimore Cleveland 9.7 9.8 9.2 44
Washington Philadelphia -8.2 -8.9 -8.4 45.5
Seattle Arizona 15.2 15.9 16.4 41
L.A. Rams San Francisco 13.5 13.7 13.5 49
Denver L.A. Chargers -4.7 -5.5 -5.4 43
Tennessee Indianapolis -2.0 -1.4 -2.6 45

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 105.0 105.1 104.9 105.0 22.5 10-5
N. Y. Jets 95.1 94.6 94.7 94.8 25 4-11
Miami 94.0 93.6 93.6 93.7 23 7-8
Buffalo 92.9 93.0 92.9 92.9 17 5-10
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 107.2 107.4 107.4 107.3 24.5 8-6-1
Baltimore 104.5 104.9 104.7 104.7 20 9-6
Cleveland 97.7 98.1 98.5 98.1 24 7-7-1
Cincinnati 95.1 95.2 94.9 95.1 23.5 6-9
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Indianapolis 102.9 102.3 103.3 102.8 25.5 9-6
Houston 102.4 102.5 103.0 102.6 24.5 10-5
Tennessee 98.8 98.9 98.8 98.8 19.5 9-6
Jacksonville 97.3 96.9 96.9 97.0 17.5 5-10
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Kansas City 106.8 107.0 106.6 106.8 31 11-4
LA Chargers 104.3 105.0 104.8 104.7 23.5 11-4
Denver 98.7 98.5 98.4 98.5 19.5 6-9
Oakland 92.2 92.4 92.3 92.3 21.5 4-11
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 102.4 102.6 102.5 102.5 23.5 8-7
Dallas 100.5 100.3 99.9 100.2 19.5 9-6
N.Y. Giants 97.5 97.5 97.7 97.6 23 5-10
Washington 94.3 93.7 94.1 94.0 22 7-8
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Chicago 104.9 105.1 105.8 105.3 22 11-4
Minnesota 103.3 103.4 103.3 103.3 20.5 8-6-1
Green Bay 99.8 100.2 99.7 99.9 25 6-8-1
Detroit 97.6 97.3 96.8 97.2 23 5-10
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 112.3 112.3 112.3 112.3 27 13-2
Atlanta 100.0 99.9 99.8 99.9 25.5 6-9
Carolina 99.8 99.3 99.5 99.5 23 6-9
Tampa Bay 95.9 96.1 96.8 96.3 25 5-10
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 106.5 106.7 106.3 106.5 28 12-3
Seattle 104.6 104.7 105.2 104.8 23.5 9-6
San Francisco 95.5 95.5 95.3 95.4 21 4-11
Arizona 91.9 91.3 91.2 91.5 17.5 3-12

 

The Playoff Scenarios

AFC

1.) Kansas City Chiefs

If the Chiefs beat Oakland, they win the #1 seed in the AFC and will have homefield advantage throughout the playoffs to the Super Bowl.

If the Chiefs lose to Oakland, then they can fall to the #5 seed if the Chargers beat Denver.  If the Chargers also lose, then the Chiefs will still win the AFC West, but they could fall to the #2 seed if New England or Houston wins, and the #3 seed if both New England and Houston win.

 

2.) New England Patriots

If the Patriots beat the New York Jets, they can be no worse than the #2 seed no matter what Houston does.  If the Pats beat the Jets and Kansas City loses to Oakland, New England will grab the #1 seed and get homefield advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs.

If the Patriots lose to the Jets, and Baltimore beats Cleveland, then the Patriots lose a first round bye and will be the #3 seed if Indianapolis beats Tennessee and the #4 seed if Tennessee beats Indianapolis.

If the Patriots lose and Baltimore also loses, New England retains the #2 seed if Indianapolis beats Tennessee, but they fall to the #3 seed if Baltimore loses but Tennessee beats Indianapolis.

 

3.) Houston Texas

Houston can still earn the #1 seed, if the Texans beat Jacksonville, while Kansas City and New England both lose.  If Houston wins but either Kansas City or New England win their games, the Texans would be the #2 seed.  If Houston wins but Kansas City and New England both win, then Houston gets the #3 seed.

If Houston loses to Jacksonville, then the Texans fall into a wildcard spot, as the winner of the Tennessee-Indianapolis game would win the AFC South.  Houston would fall to a #6 seed with a loss.

 

4. ) Baltimore Ravens or Pittsburgh Steelers

If the Ravens beat Cleveland, they are the AFC North Champion.  They can earn the #2 seed if Houston and New England both lose.  They will earn the #3 seed if they win and either New England or Houston loses.  They will earn the #4 seed if both New England and Houston win.

If the Ravens lose, but Pittsburgh also loses, they will be the #4 seed, but if the Ravens lose and Pittsburgh wins, the Steelers will win the AFC North, and the Ravens will be eliminated.  In the rare event that Pittsburgh wins and Baltimore ties Cleveland, then Pittsburgh will win the tiebreaker and become the AFC North champions and #4 Seed.

If Pittsburgh and Baltimore both win, then the Steelers could only squeak in as a Wildcard team if Indianapolis and Tennessee were to tie.

 

5.) Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers can still win the AFC West and wrap up the top seed in the AFC if they beat Denver and Oakland beats Kansas City.  If Kansas City and the Chargers both win, then the Chargers are the #5 seed.

If the Chargers lose to Denver, then they are the #5 seed regardless of the outcomes of any other games.

 

6.) Tennessee Titans or Indianapolis Colts

Since this is the Sunday Night Game, both teams will know their fate when this game kicks off.

First, the winner of this game will be in the playoffs, while the loser will not be in the playoffs.  If the game ties, then either Indianapolis will be in the playoffs and Tennessee will be out, or both teams will be eliminated if Pittsburgh and Baltimore both win.

If Houston loses earlier in the day, then the winner of this game will win the AFC South.

If Tennessee beats Indianapolis:

The Titans can move up as high as the #2 seed if they beat the Colts, while New England, Houston, and Baltimore all lose.  The Titans can earn the #3 seed, if they beat the Colts, while New England and Houston lose but Baltimore wins or While Houston loses and Baltimore loses.  The Titans can earn the #4 seed if they beat the Colts, while Houston loses, and New England and Baltimore win.

If Tennessee beats Indianapolis, while Baltimore, New England, and Houston win, the Titans are the #6 seed.

If Indianapolis beats Tennessee:

The Colts can move no higher than a #3 seed if Houston loses to Jacksonville and Baltimore loses to Cleveland, no matter what happens in the other games.  If Indianapolis wins, Houston loses, and Baltimore wins, then the Colts are the #4 seed.

If Indianapolis wins and Houston wins, then the Colts are the #6 seed

 

NFC

1.) New Orleans Saints

The Saints have clinched the #1 overall seed in the NFC and have homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.  Thus, they can rest Drew Brees and other key players this week in a meaningless game against Carolina.

 

2.) Los Angeles Rams

If the Rams beat San Francisco or Chicago loses to Minnesota, the Rams are the #2 seed.

If the Rams lose to the 49ers, while Chicago beats Minnesota, the Rams fall to a #3 seed and lose a first round bye.

 

3.) Chicago Bears

If Chicago wins and the Rams lose, the Bears get a bye and the #2 seed.

If Chicago wins and the Rams win, or if the Bears lose, they will be the #3 seed.

 

4.) Dallas Cowboys

Dallas is the automatic #4 seed, win or lose against the Giants.  The Cowboys will rest their starters in a meaningless game that could be Eli Manning’s last in a Giants’ uniform.

 

5.) Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have clinched a Wildcard berth in the NFC Playoffs.  If Seattle wins, or Minnesota loses, then the Seahawks are the #5 seed.  If Seattle loses and Minnesota wins, the Seahawks fall to the #6 seed.

 

6.) Minnesota Vikings or Philadelphia Eagles

If Minnesota beats Chicago, the Vikings earn a Wildcard Bid, and would be the #5 seed if Seattle loses and the #6 seed if Seattle wins.

If Minnesota loses, then if Philadelphia beats Washington, the Eagles will earn the Wildcard bid and #6 seed, and the Vikings would be eliminated.

If both Minnesota and Philadelphia lose, then the Vikings sneak in as the #6 seed.

In the rare event that Minnesota ties Chicago, the Vikings would still be the #6 seed at 8-6-2, even if Philadelphia wins to get to 9-7.

 

 

 

 

December 18, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for Week 16: December 20-24, 2018

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Totals
Tennessee Washington 6.9 7.5 6.8 41.5
L.A. Chargers Baltimore 4.8 5.2 5.4 44.5
Dallas Tampa Bay 7.2 6.8 5.7 44.5
Indianapolis N.Y. Giants 9.0 8.5 9.4 47.5
Philadelphia Houston 3.2 3.4 2.7 46.5
Miami Jacksonville -0.2 0.1 0.3 42
N.Y. Jets Green Bay -2.4 -3.3 -2.7 48
Cleveland Cincinnati 4.8 4.8 5.6 47.5
Detroit Minnesota -1.2 -1.5 -1.6 44.5
New England Buffalo 15.5 15.8 15.6 39.5
Carolina Atlanta 3.5 3.5 4.0 50
San Francisco Chicago -6.7 -6.7 -7.7 45
Arizona L.A. Rams -10.5 -11.4 -10.9 47
New Orleans Pittsburgh 8.0 7.8 8.0 50.5
Seattle Kansas City -0.2 -0.3 0.5 52.5
Oakland Denver -6.2 -6.0 -6.2 41

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 105.2 105.4 105.2 105.3 22.5 9-5
N. Y. Jets 94.9 94.4 94.5 94.6 24 4-10
Miami 94.6 94.3 94.4 94.4 23.5 7-7
Buffalo 92.7 92.7 92.6 92.6 17 5-9
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 107.0 107.2 107.1 107.1 24 8-5-1
Baltimore 103.3 103.6 103.3 103.4 20.5 8-6
Cleveland 97.5 97.8 98.3 97.9 24 6-7-1
Cincinnati 95.3 95.5 95.1 95.3 23.5 6-8
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Indianapolis 103.1 102.5 103.5 103.0 25 8-6
Houston 102.3 102.4 102.9 102.5 24 10-4
Tennessee 98.7 98.8 98.6 98.7 19.5 8-6
Jacksonville 96.7 96.2 96.1 96.3 18.5 4-10
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Kansas City 107.3 107.5 107.1 107.3 30 11-3
LA Chargers 105.0 105.8 105.7 105.5 24 11-3
Denver 99.8 99.7 99.7 99.7 19.5 6-8
Oakland 91.1 91.2 91.0 91.1 21.5 3-11
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 102.5 102.7 102.6 102.6 22.5 7-7
Dallas 100.6 100.4 100.0 100.3 19.5 8-6
N.Y. Giants 97.0 97.0 97.2 97.1 22.5 5-9
Washington 94.4 93.8 94.3 94.2 22 7-7
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Chicago 105.0 105.2 105.9 105.4 23 10-4
Minnesota 102.5 102.5 102.3 102.4 21 7-6-1
Green Bay 99.8 100.2 99.7 99.9 24 5-8-1
Detroit 98.8 98.6 98.2 98.5 23.5 5-9
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 112.5 112.5 112.6 112.5 26.5 12-2
Carolina 100.7 100.3 100.6 100.5 24 6-8
Atlanta 99.6 99.4 99.2 99.4 26 5-9
Tampa Bay 95.9 96.1 96.8 96.3 25 5-9
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 105.7 105.9 105.5 105.7 28.5 11-3
Seattle 104.1 104.2 104.7 104.3 22.5 8-6
San Francisco 95.4 95.4 95.2 95.3 22 4-10
Arizona 92.7 92.1 92.0 92.3 18.5 3-11

 

This Week’s Playoff Projections

These projections are not to be confused with how the seedings would be if the playoffs started today.  They forecast the final two weeks of games.

AFC Seeding
1 L.A. Chargers
2 New England
3 Houston
4 Pittsburgh
5 Kansas City
6 Tennessee

 

NFC Seeding
1 New Orleans
2 L.A. Rams
3 Chicago
4 Dallas
5 Seattle
6 Minnesota

 

Playoff Projections

Wildcard Round
Houston over Tennessee
Pittsburgh over Kansas City
Chicago over Minnesota
Seattle over Dallas

 

Divisional Round
L.A. Chargers over Houston
New England over Pittsburgh
New Orleans over Seattle
Chicago over L.A. Rams

 

Conference Championships
L.A. Chargers over New England
New Orleans over Chicago

 

Super Bowl LIII
L.A. Chargers over New Orleans

 

What Would Happen If…

There is a chance that both the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers could host their conference championship games.  There has always been a chance that the New York Jets and New York Giants could one year host their conference championship games.  In the future, once they occupy the same new colossus mega stadium, the Rams and Chargers could host their conference championship games in the same year.

Conference Championship Games are always on Sundays.  What that means, is there is maybe a 5% chance that the Rams and Chargers could end up hosting on this day.  While it would be okay having both networks in the City of Angels on the same day for separate games, once these teams share a home field (and if the world ever comes to an end and the Jets and Giants host conference championship games), it will not be possible to have doubleheaders on the same field on the same day.

Can you imagine the logistical nightmare it would cause to have the AFC Championship Game at 10 AM Pacific Time, followed by the NFC Championship at 1:30 PM Pacific Time on the same field?  First of all, it would be impossible.  Everybody in the stands would have to be escorted out of the stadium, before ticket holders for the second game could enter.  There would be about 15 to 20 minutes max for this to happen.  Like I said, this is impossible.

Next, the field itself would have to be transformed with new logos, as well as having any field damage repaired.  In the case of a game in East Rutherford, NJ, what if the weather conditions were 35 degrees with rain?  After 60 minutes of action, the next game would inherit very sloppy field conditions.  I did say impossible.

Now, what if the first game ended regulation with the game tied, and this game became a repeat of the 1971 Miami-Kansas City game at the old Municipal Stadium up on the hill in Kansas City.   What if the first game didn’t end until 2:30 PM Pacific Time?  The second game network would have to fill over an hour of time waiting for a game to end, when 99.9% of the football watching public would be tuned to the other game.  Once again, it is impossible.

I haven’t even mentioned that the teams in the second game need time to warm up on the field.  15 to 20 minutes is not enough.  They need at least an hour.  If you have to make a decision a week before to change the start times of the games, the network brass at CBS and Fox get very upset.  They cannot just make impromptu changes to their schedule a week in advance.  Only very important breaking news makes it okay to alter a TV schedule one week in advance.  The networks would say “impossible.”

However impossible it is, there is a chance that it could happen.  So what would happen if it did?  Yes, there is a contingency plan in place to cover this possibility.  If the same stadium is to host both conference championship games, one will be moved to Monday Night.  Yep, there could be a conference championship on Monday Night Football, but it would not be the regular MNF crew or network.  If it was the AFC game, it would be on CBS, and if it was the NFC game, it would be on Fox.

You might ask, has a network other than ABC or ESPN ever televised a Monday Night game?  The answer is “yes.”

It is a misnomer to believe that Monday Night Football on ABC in 1970 was the first time that NFL games were played and televised on Monday night.  Before there was MNF featuring Howard Cosell, CBS televised a handful of NFL games on Monday night during the 1960’s.  The games started at 9:30 PM Eastern Time, but because games concluded in 2 1/2 hours in those days, they were finished at Midnight.  One of the best games in this group was a 1968 game between an unbeaten Dallas team and a Green Bay Packer team coached by Phil Bengston, who was not having a rough time replacing Vince Lombardi, as the Packers were 2-3-1, but still in the race in the weak NFL Central Division.

Dallas led 10-0, and Green Bay looked more like an expansion team in the opening quarter plus.   Then, the great Bart Starr took the aging Packers on his shoulder and guided them back like it was 1966 again.  Starr threw three touchdown passes in the next quarter plus, and Green Bay took a 21-10 lead.  Starr threw another TD pass in the fourth quarter, and the Packers once again owned the Cowboys with a 28-17 win.

The American Football League also played a couple of Monday Night games in the 1960s, televised on NBC.  One notable game involved Broadway Joe Namath and the New York Jets playing host to the Houston Oilers in a game that would put the winner in first place in the AFL East at the midway point of the season.  Namath was victimized with a pick six by Zeke Moore early in the game, and he was somewhat of a disappointment that night with additional interceptions, but he also completed multiple long bomb passes to speedster Don Maynard, and the Jets pulled out the victory thanks to Jim Turner kicking four field goals, a couple from near midfield (goalposts were on the goalline then and not on the end line like today).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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