The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 29, 2015

NFL Preview for Week 4: October 1-5, 2015

The Best Ever Debate
Already this season, we have heard the sports pundits ponder whether Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or even Drew Brees is the best quarterback ever to play in the NFL. They cite touchdown passes, completion percentages, lack of interceptions, and a host of other statistics.

We are here to tell you that these pundits are only correct in whatever statistic they use. Aaron Rodgers may be the best QB at avoiding interceptions, while greats from the past, like Johnny Unitas don’t even show up in the top 20. Unitas comes in tied at 135th in this statistic, behind such current star Ryan Pickpatrick, er Fitzpatrick.

Does this mean that the greats from the past, like Unitas, Starr, Namath, Jurgensen, Van Brocklin, and others don’t measure up to today’s quarterbacks? Certainly, this is not the case. The way the game is played today compared to the way it was played 50 years ago is vastly different, and the rules today favor pass blockers compared to the rules of yesteryear. There was a time when blockers could not use any part of their hand to block. Today’s hand pushing would have been holding penalties in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and by the way, holding penalties cost a team 15 yards then.
As for interceptions, of course these numbers are lower today. When you throw half of your passes 7 yards or less downfield, many of them at or behind the line of scrimmage, interception percentages will be much lower than if you throw the ball more than 20 yards down the field.

Today, on 3rd and 20, more times than not if a QB passes the ball it will be a very short pass to a back or tight end hoping to find a hole and run to daylight. In 1965, on 3rd and 20, a QB would most assuredly throw the long bomb. An interception in this case might have actually been preferable to a punt. If a pass is thrown 50 yards downfield and intercepted with no return, it beats almost every punting situation. Rarely does a punt produce a net advantage of 50 yards.

Touchdown percentages are not usable for comparing quarterback talents either. Today, a QB is just as likely to pass at the opponent’s one yard line than for his team to run the ball. In 1965, all NFL teams used a halfback and fullback in the offensive set, and some teams still used a full-house backfield inside the opponent’s five yard line. The better teams, like Unitas’s Colts and Starr’s Packers ran the ball 85-90% of the time in the deep red zone. Of course, these greats from the past threw fewer touchdown passes than today’s QBs.

What about completion percentages? If you look at career rates, you will find Brees at the top. Just behind in the top 10 include Rodgers, Manning, Tony Romo, Phillip Rivers, Matt Ryan, and Ben Roethlisberger. To find a QB that played before 1970, you have to go all the way to 80th place and Jurgensen. Unitas is tied for 124th. Not-so-great QBs ahead of these two Hall-of-Famers include Mark Sanchez and Rex Grossman. And what about Broadway Joe Namath? He comes in at 166th.

So, obviously, current passers like Brees and Rodgers are much better passers than Unitas and Namath, correct? Not on your life, this is totally bunk, and we will show you why.

First, the QBs in the days where offensive linemen could not use their hands, passers had to throw the ball away to avoid a lot more sack opportunities. Teams like the Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, and Oakland Raiders were noted for having top-flight pass rushes, where they averaged 4 to 5 sacks per game. No team today averages 4 sacks per game and few average as much as 3 per game.

Here is the key to these percentages. Let’s say Unitas and Brees both attempt 30 passes in a game. Unitas’s passes come in a 1964 game, whereas Brees’ passes come in a 2015 game. Let’s break down the types of passes each QB throws.

1. Screen passes and other passes thrown short of the line of scrimmage
2. Short passes thrown 0 to 5 yards past the line of scrimmage
3. Medium passes thrown 6 to 12 yards past the line of scrimmage
4. Intermediate passes thrown 13 to 20 yards past the line of scrimmage
5. Longer passes thrown 21 to 30 yards past the line of scrimmage
6. The Bomb thrown 31 to 60 yards past the line of scrimmage

Now, let’s show how a typical QB from 1964 and 2015 might distribute these passes.
1. Screens and other behind the LOS: Unitas 3 Brees 6
2. Short passes: Unitas 2 Brees 10
3. Medium passes: Unitas 4 Brees 8
4. Intermediate passes: Unitas 10 Brees 4
5. Longer passes: Unitas 6 Brees 1
6. The Bomb: Unitas 5 Brees 1

We really need not explain any further. Unitas’s passes might have averaged around 20 yards in length, while Brees’ passes averaged about 8 yards in length. It is quite obvious that it is much easier to complete a pass thrown 8 yards past the line of scrimmage than one thrown 20 yards past the line of scrimmage. Additionally, many of Brees’ shorter passes are 3rd & long dumps to secondary receivers thrown well short of the first down sticks, whereas in the days of Unitas, teams just did not throw short of the sticks on 3rd down.

Unitas may complete just 15 of the 30 passes in this example, while Brees completes 20 of the 30 passes. Yet, both QBs pass for 240 yards. What matters is how many yards per pass attempt each QB gained. In this example, both averaged exactly 8 yards per attempt, the line where everything better is considered exceptional.

Averaging more than 8 yards per pass attempt has been consistently brilliant, whether it took place in 1945, 1955, 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005, or 2015. Whereas all other statistics have varied over NFL (and AFL) history, this stat has been the one true correlation between success and failure.

Taken to the extreme, a Joe Namath or Daryle Lamonica type passer might complete just 45% of their passes, while a Brees or Rodgers might complete 67.5% of their passes. Namath and Lamonica might go 18 of 40 in a game, while Brees or Rodgers go 27 of 40. Namath and Lamonica might average 17.8 yards per completion thanks to multiple 40-60 yard pass completions (they didn’t call Lamonica the Mad Bomber for nothing). Brees and Rodgers might average 11.9 yards per completion. Guess what? In both instances, the total yardage gained is 320 yards or 8 yards per attempt. If you look at what 8 yards per pass attempt accomplishes throughout history, it is roughly 28 points per game, varying a little with rushing, defense, and special teams.
So, then, who is the best quarterback of all time? You guessed where we are going with this. Who ranks as having the best career yards per pass attempt?

The answer may or may not surprise you, but among the top passers in this category, there are 14 retired QBs eligible for the Hall of Fame, and 10 of these 14 are in the Hall of Fame. Of the other four, two are recently retired, and still might become a HOF member. Only Ed Brown and Earl Morrall rank in the top 20 in yards per attempt and are not in the Hall.

In Morrall’s case, he was frequently a backup to other Hall of Famers, like Y. A. Tittle, Unitas, and Bob Griese. When called on to fill in, he responded with two MVP-award seasons and an incredible won-loss percentage of 63.6%, including an outstanding 33-4-1 record when starting for a Don Shula-coached team (Baltimore and Miami). Morrall might have been a Hall of Famer had he not played behind three greats.

Brown is an interesting case worth researching. He was the quarterback of the 1951 University of San Francisco Dons football team that went 9-0 and was considered the best team on the West Coast with multiple future NFL players. Due to racist issues (USF was an integrated team), and because the available bowls of that time were all in Southern states, USF was not invited to a bowl, while inferior all-white teams received invitations. The Dons dropped football on that undefeated season.

Brown was drafted by the Bears and led Chicago to the Western Division crown one season with multiple second place finishes. He later was traded to Pittsburgh, where he led the Steelers to its best modern day season prior to the arrival of the Steel Curtain defense in the 1970’s. Brown’s career record as a starter was 55-38-5.

Now, just who has the best all-time yards per attempt mark? Did you guess Otto Graham?  Graham left a career mark of 9.0 yards per attempt. And, if you are wondering about the won-lost record for Graham, he is in a league by himself at 104-17-4 in his 10 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. In seven of those 10 seasons, Graham led the Browns to the league championship. In the other three seasons, Cleveland lost in the NFL Championship Game. Cleveland averaged 28.1 points per game in the 10 years Graham led the Browns attack. The year after Graham retired, after leading Cleveland to a 9-2-1 record plus a 38-14 pasting of the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL Championship, Cleveland fell to 5-7-0 without him.

When next you are asked who you believe is the best NFL quarterback of all time, you have your answer. Otto Graham was to football what Babe Ruth was to baseball and Wilt Chamberlain was to basketball.

Here is the entire top 20 list of quarterbacks by career yards per pass attempt.

# Quarterback Yds/Att.
1 Otto Graham 9.0
2 Sid Luckman 8.4
3 Norm Van Brocklin 8.2
4 Aaron Rodgers 8.2
5 Steve Young 8.0
6 Kurt Warner 7.9
7 Ben Roethlisberger 7.9
8 Ed Brown 7.9
9 Tony Romo 7.9
10 Phillip Rivers 7.9
11 Bart Starr 7.8
12 Johnny Unitas 7.8
13 Earl Morrall 7.7
14 Len Dawson 7.7
15 Peyton Manning 7.7
16 Roger Staubach 7.7
17 Dan Fouts 7.7
18 Sonny Jurgensen 7.6
19 Trent Green 7.6
20 Drew Brees 7.6

 

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Dallas 105.8 104.5 106.1 105.5 2-1-0 75 75
Philadelphia 103.2 102.6 103.4 103.1 1-2-0 58 63
N.Y. Giants 99.5 99.4 100.0 99.6 1-2-0 78 72
Washington 94.2 93.7 93.5 93.8 1-2-0 55 59
               
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 108.6 107.9 109.0 108.5 3-0-0 96 68
Minnesota 101.2 98.8 102.5 100.8 2-1-0 60 50
Detroit 100.8 99.5 100.3 100.2 0-3-0 56 83
Chicago 92.7 91.7 92.5 92.3 0-3-0 46 105
               
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 101.1 100.8 101.2 101.0 3-0-0 71 48
Atlanta 99.5 100.0 100.7 100.1 3-0-0 89 72
New Orleans 97.2 93.3 97.3 95.9 0-3-0 60 84
Tampa Bay 91.4 92.3 91.0 91.6 1-2-0 49 80
               
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 107.1 106.6 107.2 107.0 1-2-0 74 61
Arizona 106.9 106.0 107.6 106.8 3-0-0 126 49
San Francisco 96.9 94.5 96.6 96.0 1-2-0 45 93
St. Louis 95.5 97.1 94.6 95.7 1-2-0 50 67
               
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 109.6 110.0 109.8 109.8 3-0-0 119 70
Buffalo 103.5 104.4 103.6 103.8 2-1-0 100 68
N. Y. Jets 100.6 100.7 100.8 100.7 2-1-0 68 41
Miami 95.6 97.4 94.8 95.9 1-2-0 51 74
               
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Cincinnati 104.1 104.9 104.3 104.4 3-0-0 85 56
Pittsburgh 104.2 104.4 104.4 104.3 2-1-0 76 52
Baltimore 103.7 102.8 104.1 103.5 0-3-0 70 84
Cleveland 93.3 91.8 92.8 92.6 1-2-0 58 72
               
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 101.3 101.7 100.9 101.3 1-2-0 56 80
Houston 97.3 98.6 97.1 97.7 1-2-0 56 60
Tennessee 96.1 95.8 96.8 96.2 1-2-0 89 77
Jacksonville 89.2 93.4 88.0 90.2 1-2-0 49 91
               
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Denver 107.0 106.5 107.0 106.8 3-0-0 74 49
Kansas City 100.3 101.7 100.6 100.9 2-1-0 79 89
San Diego 100.0 100.4 99.8 100.1 1-2-0 66 83
Oakland 92.5 96.7 91.6 93.6 2-1-0 77 86

 

This Week’s Games
         
Week Number: 4      
Date of Games: October 1-5      
         
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Pittsburgh Baltimore 2.5 3.6 2.3
Miami (N) NY Jets -5.0 -3.3 -6.0
Indianapolis Jacksonville 15.1 11.3 15.9
Buffalo NY Giants 6.0 7.0 5.6
Tampa Bay Carolina -7.2 -6.0 -7.7
Washington Philadelphia -7.0 -6.9 -7.9
Chicago Oakland 3.2 -2.0 3.9
Atlanta Houston 5.2 4.4 6.6
Cincinnati Kansas City 6.8 6.2 6.7
San Diego Cleveland 9.7 11.6 10.0
San Francisco Green Bay -8.7 -10.4 -9.4
Arizona St. Louis 14.4 11.9 16.0
Denver Minnesota 8.8 10.7 7.5
New Orleans Dallas -6.1 -8.7 -6.3
Seattle Detroit 9.3 10.1 9.9
         
(N) Neutral Site Game  in   London      

 

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September 6, 2015

NFL Report For Week 1–September 10-14, 2015

The 2015 NFL Football season begins with major quarterback news.  Tom Brady, expected to be out four games, is now in.  Tim Tebow, expected to be in as an Eagle reserve, is now out.  Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, the 2013 and 2014 Heisman Trophy winners, face off in week one in football’s equivalent of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.  Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 100% healthy, but he hasn’t a healthy top-flight receiver.  Former Heisman winners RGIII and Johnny Football begins the year as backups, while veterans Matt Flynn, Christian Ponder, and Matt Cassel are men without a country, er team.  As for Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Harvard scholar inherits the unenviable task of trying not to throw interceptions (3.5% rate for career) for the Jets, where each bad play will be scrutinized like the name on the back of the jersey reads, “Trump” or “Clinton.”

 

By next Sunday, all will be well, and on the field results will take over for off the field news.  The PiRates have finalized the preseason ratings and have calculated their first spreads of the season.

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Dallas 106.9 105.6 107.6 106.7 0-0-0 0 0
Philadelphia 104.7 103.9 105.2 104.6 0-0-0 0 0
N.Y. Giants 99.9 99.7 100.4 100.0 0-0-0 0 0
Washington 93.2 92.1 92.5 92.6 0-0-0 0 0
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 108.5 107.5 109.1 108.4 0-0-0 0 0
Detroit 102.9 101.8 103.4 102.7 0-0-0 0 0
Minnesota 100.5 97.4 101.9 99.9 0-0-0 0 0
Chicago 95.8 95.1 95.8 95.6 0-0-0 0 0
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 100.8 100.0 101.0 100.6 0-0-0 0 0
New Orleans 100.1 95.4 101.1 98.9 0-0-0 0 0
Atlanta 95.7 96.1 95.8 95.9 0-0-0 0 0
Tampa Bay 92.1 93.4 92.0 92.5 0-0-0 0 0
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 107.8 106.9 108.0 107.6 0-0-0 0 0
Arizona 101.3 100.5 101.3 101.0 0-0-0 0 0
San Francisco 99.3 96.9 99.1 98.4 0-0-0 0 0
St. Louis 95.9 98.6 95.0 96.5 0-0-0 0 0
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 107.9 107.9 107.9 107.9 0-0-0 0 0
Buffalo 99.8 100.6 99.6 100.0 0-0-0 0 0
Miami 98.7 100.3 98.0 99.0 0-0-0 0 0
N. Y. Jets 97.7 98.2 97.5 97.8 0-0-0 0 0
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 106.7 105.1 108.2 106.7 0-0-0 0 0
Cincinnati 102.9 103.3 102.9 103.0 0-0-0 0 0
Pittsburgh 102.8 102.8 102.5 102.7 0-0-0 0 0
Cleveland 95.4 92.7 95.6 94.6 0-0-0 0 0
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 104.7 105.8 104.9 105.1 0-0-0 0 0
Houston 97.6 99.1 97.5 98.1 0-0-0 0 0
Tennessee 93.9 93.7 94.5 94.0 0-0-0 0 0
Jacksonville 89.8 95.2 88.5 91.2 0-0-0 0 0
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Denver 105.6 104.8 105.0 105.1 0-0-0 0 0
San Diego 100.8 101.7 100.1 100.9 0-0-0 0 0
Kansas City 100.2 102.2 100.2 100.9 0-0-0 0 0
Oakland 90.1 95.7 87.9 91.2 0-0-0 0 0

Week One Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
New England Pittsburgh 8.1 8.1 8.4
Arizona New Orleans 4.2 8.1 3.2
Buffalo Indianapolis -1.9 -2.2 -2.3
Chicago Green Bay -9.7 -9.4 -10.3
Dallas N. Y. Giants 9.5 8.4 9.7
Denver Baltimore 1.9 2.7 -0.2
Houston Kansas City -0.6 -1.1 -0.7
Jacksonville Carolina -9.0 -2.8 -10.5
N. Y. Jets Cleveland 4.8 8.0 4.4
Oakland Cincinnati -9.8 -4.6 -12.0
San Diego Detroit 0.9 2.9 -0.3
St. Louis Seattle -8.9 -5.3 -10.0
Tampa Bay Tennessee 0.7 2.2 0.0
Washington Miami -3.5 -6.2 -3.5
Atlanta Philadelphia -6.5 -5.3 -6.9
San Francisco Minnesota 1.8 2.5 0.2

 Coming later this week:  Our solution to shortening the preseason while gaining revenue and increasing the fan base.

 

August 30, 2015

2015 NFC North Preview

A division that looked like one of the surer things in the 2015 NFL became very unsure in week two of the NFL Preseason.  When Green Bay wide receiver Jordy Nelson went down with a season-ending injury, the Packers’ advantage over their three division rivals went with him.  Now, this division is an open race, and all four teams could stay in contention through Thanksgiving.  The PiRate Ratings for the Packers will change between this entry and the opening week of the season, as Nelson is almost as valuable to the green and gold offense as Aaron Rodgers.

Detroit now becomes the co-favorite in the old “Black and Blue” division with a rifle-armed quarterback in Matthew Stafford and two all-pro receivers in Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.  But, a running attack that has no star will allow defenses to key on Johnson and Tate.  Losing Ndamukong Suh will affect the defense.

 

Minnesota is the tiger in the tall grass in this division.  The Vikings are on the verge of becoming relevant again with an improving defense and more consistent offense.  The return of Adrian Peterson should allow Teddy Bridgewater to have more holes in pass defense coverage to locate new receiver Mike Wallace.  Our PiRate Ratings have a pre-set automatic improvement with this team if the Vikings start the season 3-0 like we think they have the chance to do.

 

Chicago is at a crossroads.  The Mark Trestman era was a short-lived failure, and the John Fox era begins after Fox left Denver following a lackluster blowout loss to Indianapolis, in which the Broncos did not act like they were happy to be there.  The Bears start over on defense with the switch from 4-3 to 3-4.  Jay Cutler lost his favorite receiver in Brandon Marshall.  The Bears could go either way this year.  Fox could bring the Monsters of the Midway back to respectability and challenge for a 9-7 season, or the Bears could sink to the bottom of the NFC, effectively ending the Cutler era in the Second City.  As the Vikings’ schedule gives them a shot at starting 3-0, the Bears are looking at a tougher start and could begin 0-3.

CHICAGO BEARS

Bears Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Alshon Jeffrey
WR Eddie Royal
WR Marquess Wilson
TE Martellus Bennett
LT Jermon Bushrod
LG Matt Slauson
C Will Montgomery
RG Kyle Long
RT Jordan Mills
QB Jay Cutler
HB Matt Forte
H-B Dante Rosario
   
Defense
DE Ego Ferguson
NT Jay Ratliff/Eddie Goldman
DE Jarvis Jenkins
LB Pernell McPhee
LB Shea McClellin
LB Christian Jones
LB Jared Allen
CB Kyle Fuller
S Antrel Rolle
S Brock Vereen
CB Alan Ball
N5 Ryan Mundy
   
Special
Kicker Robbie Gould
Punter Pat O’Donnell
KR Marc Mariani
PR Marc Mariani
Chicago Bears
Head Coach John Fox
Off. Coordinator Adam Gase
Def. Coordinator Vic Fangio
2014 W-L-T 5-11-0
Pts 19.9
Opp 27.6
   
Ratings  
PiRate 95.8
Mean 95.1
Bias 95.8
Average 95.6
   
Grades  
Running  C
Passing  C-
Vs. Run  C+
Vs. Pass  C
Special Teams  C
Coaching + Intangibles  A-
   
Predicted W-L 6-10-0
Division Rank 4
Conference Rank 14
Overall Rank 26
Postseason No

 

DETROIT LIONS

Lions Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Calvin Johnson
WR Golden Tate
TE Eric Ebron
TE Brandon Pettigrew
LT Riley Reiff
LG Laken Tomlinson
C Travis Swanson
RG Larry Warford
RT Cornelius Lucas
QB Matthew Stafford
HB Joique Bell
FB Mike Burton
   
Defense
DE Darryl Tapp
DT Haloti Ngata
DT Tyrunn Walker
DE Ezekiel Ansah
LB Tahir Whitehead
LB Stephen Tulloch
LB DeAndre Levy
CB Darius Slay
S James Ihedigbo
S Glover Quin
CB Rashean Mathis
N5 Josh Wilson
   
Special
Kicker Matt Prater
Punter Sam Martin
KR Jeremy Ross
PR Jeremy Ross
Detroit Lions
Head Coach Jim Caldwell
Off. Coordinator Gunther Cunningham
Def. Coordinator Teryl Austin
2014 W-L-T 11-5-0
Pts 20.1
Opp 17.6
   
Ratings  
PiRate 102.9
Mean 101.8
Bias 103.4
Average 102.7
   
Grades  
Running  D
Passing  A
Vs. Run  C
Vs. Pass  C
Special Teams  D
Coaching + Intangibles  C
   
Predicted W-L 9-7-0
Division Rank 2
Conference Rank 5
Overall Rank 10
Postseason No

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Packers Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Randall Cobb
WR Davanbte Adams
WR Andrew Quarless
TE Richard Rodgers
LT David Bakhtiari
LG Josh Sitton
C Corey Linsley
RG T. J. Lang
RT Bryan Bulaga
QB Aaron Rodgers
HB Eddie Lacy
FB John Kuhn
   
Defense
DE Letroy Guion
DT B. J. Raji
DE Mike Daniels
LB Clay Matthews
LB Sam Barrington
LB Nate Palmer
LB Julius Peppers
CB Casey Hayward
S Morgan Burnett
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
CB Sam Shields
N5 Micah Hyde
   
Special
Kicker Mason Crosby
Punter Tim Masthay
KR Ty Montgomery
PR Micah Hyde
Green Bay Packers
Head Coach Mike McCarthy
Off. Coordinator Edgar Bennett
Def. Coordinator Dom Capers
2014 W-L-T 12-4-0
Pts 30.4
Opp 21.8
   
Ratings  
PiRate 108.5
Mean 107.5
Bias 109.1
Average 108.4
   
Grades  
Running  B
Passing  A
Vs. Run  C
Vs. Pass  C+
Special Teams  C
Coaching + Intangibles  A-
   
Predicted W-L 9-7-0
Division Rank 1
Conference Rank 1
Overall Rank 1
Postseason Yes

 

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Vikings Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Mike Wallace
WR Charles Johnson
WR Cordarrelle Patterson
TE Kyle Rudolph
LT Matt Kalil
LG Brandon Fusco
C John Sullivan
RG Michael Harris
RT T. J. Clemmings
QB Teddy Bridgewater
HB Adrian Peterson
FB Zach Line
   
Defense
DE Brian Robison
DT Linval Joseph
DT Sharrif Floyd
DE Everson Griffen
LB Anthony Barr
LB Audie Cole
LB Chad Greenway
CB Terence Newman
S Robert Blanton
S Harrison Smith
CB Xavier Rhodes
N5 Josh Robinson
   
Special
Kicker Blair Walsh
Punter Jeff Locker
KR Cordarrelle Patterson
PR Marcus Sherels
Minnesota Vikings
Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Off. Coordinator Norv Turner
Def. Coordinator George Edwards
2014 W-L-T 7-9-0
Pts 20.3
Opp 21.4
   
Ratings  
PiRate 100.5
Mean 97.4
Bias 101.9
Average 99.9
   
Grades  
Running  A
Passing  C-
Vs. Run  B
Vs. Pass  B
Special Teams  C
Coaching + Intangibles  C+
   
Predicted W-L 9-7-0
Division Rank 3
Conference Rank 9
Overall Rank 18
Postseason No

 

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

August 30, 2013

2013 NFC North Division Preview

2013 N F C North Preview

The Old Black and Blue Division, it isn’t.  What once was a quartet known for punishing power running to set up play-action and long passes on offense going up against punishing defenders like Alan Page, Dick Butkus, Ray Nitschke, and Alex Karras, has become the air it out division.  Well, at least three of the teams in the division believe in pass first, pass second, pass, pass, pass.  When you have Adrian Peterson in your backfield, you run the ball about half the time.

 

Last year, the Detroit Lions scored 372 points; that was the worst offensive production in the division.  The Lions won only four games scoring 372 or 23.3 points per game.  In 1991, the year the Lions advanced to the NFC Championship Game, they only scored 339 points.  They averaged more than two points less per game when they last won the NFL Championship in 1958.

 

A return to the old plodding northern football of yesteryear is not on the horizon.  Expect the North to produce a lot of offense and average defense.  One team is liable to score more than 425 points, and that team should win the division.  However, it would not surprise us if all four teams were still alive in the division race after Thanksgiving.  This could be a season where after 12 games, there is one 7-5 team, two 6-6 teams, and one 5-7 team.

 

Green Bay is the obvious choice to repeat as division titlist.  The Packers have topped 400 points scored five out of the last six years, and they have made the playoffs in four of those five seasons.  The Packers have filled a cavity in recent years by drafting Eddie Lacy from Alabama.  Lacy should carry the ball about 15 times a game this year, and we expect him to take some of the heat off the passing game.  Look for Lacy to threaten the 1,000 yard mark, but if he averages four yards per attempt, he will do his job.

 

Aaron Rodgers is the best passer in the game in 2013.  As long as he stays healthy, the Packers will move the ball and score points on any defense.  He has one less familiar receiver in the lineup, as the team let Greg Jennings go, but this could be an addition by subtraction this season.  Wideouts Randall Cobb, James Jones, and Jordy Nelson and tight end Jermichael Finley make up the top receiving corps in the NFC (not too far behind the group in Denver).  Add a very talented offensive line, and it is hard to see any team, and only inclement weather, holding a healthy Packers’ team under 21 points in a game.

 

Chicago and Minnesota both finished one game behind the Packers last year, with the Vikings earning a wildcard berth.  Both teams have a lot of talent on hand, but we see some liabilities in both that we believe will keep them behind Green Bay.

 

Chicago is talented enough at the skill positions to win 12 or 13 games, but the Bears’ offensive line has been more like a 12-game loser.  This year, the blocking corps figures to take a decided leap forward thanks to some help in the draft class, but we believe the team still needs at least one more new lineman before Jay Cutler can relax in the pocket.  Additionally, new head coach Mark Trestman brings an entirely new offensive philosophy, and we expect some transitioning early in the season, possibly costing the Bears a game or two.  Give Trestman time, and he will turn the Bears into the Raiders of 2002, where he directed the offense.  Trestman won multiple Grey Cups with Montreal in the CFL, much like Bud Grant once did before guiding Minnesota to four Super Bowls.

 

Speaking of the Vikings, if Christian Ponder can advance this year as much as he did last year, the purple and white might challenge for a second consecutive playoff spot.  However, we cannot see Peterson running for anything close to the 2,097 yards he gained last year.  He might pick up just 1,500 this year, and we don’t see that extra 600 yards being picked up by the passing game.  Thus, we believe the Vikings will fall back this season and possibly have to fight to avoid the cellar.

 

Detroit started the year 4-4 and then lost its final eight games last year.  This team is scary on the offensive side, but the defense scares only people rooting for the team.  We expect some improvement on the stop side, and the offense could be even better this year.  Matthew Stafford could easily top 5,000 passing yards this year, as he barely missed that mark last year.  He still has Calvin Johnson, who almost topped 2,000 receiving yards last year.  Now, he has one of the best pass-catching running backs in Reggie Bush.  Bush could top 800 yards on the ground and catch 50 passes for another 400 yards, and if so, the 2013 Lions could be as potent as the 2009 Saints.  Still, it might take 400-430 points just to break even on the won-loss ledger.

 

We have added a new wrinkle to our coverage this year.  In the past, friends of ours have asked us if we knew how to recreate the exact colors of their favorite team so that they could print those colors on their computer.  We have found this information from multiple sites in the last couple of months, and we are going to show you the RGB numbers so you can replicate those colors.  These can be used in graphics programs, but it can easily be used in MS-Word and MS-Excel.

 

Here are the official colors for the AFC North.

North

Color

Red

Green

Blue

Chicago Bears

Navy

3

30

47

 

Orange

221

72

20

 

White

255

255

255

Detroit Lions

Honolulu Blue

42

110

187

 

Metallic Silver

133

136

139

 

White

255

255

255

Green Bay Packers

Dark Green

44

94

79

 

Gold

255

182

18

 

White

255

255

255

Minnesota Vikings

Purple

75

48

106

 

Gold

255

182

18

 

White

255

255

255

 

 

2012 Final Standings & PiRate Ratings

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

W-L-T

Pts

Opp

Green Bay Packers

106.5

106.5

106.5

11-5-0

433

336

Chicago Bears

104.7

103.2

102.2

10-6-0

375

277

Minnesota Vikings

101.6

102.2

102.6

10-6-0

379

348

Detroit Lions

96.1

95.1

94.3

4-12-0

372

437

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Preseason PiRate Ratings

North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Green Bay Packers

106.1

104.9

105.7

Chicago Bears

101.5

102.1

101.6

Minnesota Vikings

99.5

99.9

98.3

Detroit Lions

98.4

98.9

98.5

 

PiRate Previews

Team

Chicago Bears

               
Head Coach

Mark Trestman

O-Coord.

Aaron Kromer

D-Coord.

Mel Tucker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Jay Cutler

Running Back

Matt Forte

Fullback

Tony Fiammetta

Wide Receiver

Brandon Marshall

Wide Receiver

Alshon Jeffery

Tight End

Martellus Bennett

Left Tackle

Jermon Bushrod

Left Guard

Matt Slauson

Center

Roberto Garza

Right Guard

Kyle Long

Right Tackle

J’Marcus Webb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Corey Wootten

Left Tackle

Henry Melton

Nose Tackle

Stephen Paea

Right End

Julius Peppers

Sam LB

James Anderson

Mike LB

D. J. Williams

Will LB

Lance Briggs

Left CB

Tim Jennings

Right CB

Charles Tillman

Strong Safety

Major Wright

Free Safety

Chris Conte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Robbie Gould

Punter

Adam Podlesh

K-Return

Devin Hester

P-Return

Devin Hester

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

9-7

Division

2nd

 

Team

Detroit Lions

               
Head Coach

Jim Schwartz

O-Coord.

Scott Linehan

D-Coord.

Gunther Cunningham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Matthew Stafford

Running Back

Reggie Bush

Wide Receiver

Calvin Johnson

Wide Receiver

Nate Burleson

Tight End

Brandon Pettigrew

Tight End

Tony Scheffler

Left Tackle

Riley Reiff

Left Guard

Rob Sims

Center

Dominic Raiola

Right Guard

Dylan Gandy

Right Tackle

Jason Fox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Jason Jones

Left Tackle

Nick Fairley

Right Tackle

Ndamukong Suh

Right End

Ziggy Ansah

Sam LB

Ashlee Palmer

Mike LB

Stephen Tulloch

Will LB

DeAndre Levy

Left CB

Chris Houston

Right CB

Ronald Bartell

Strong Safety

Glover Quin

Free Safety

Louis Delmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

David Akers

Punter

Sam Martin

K-Return

Micheal Spurlock

P-Return

Micheal Spurlock

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

6-10

Division

4th

 

Team

Green Bay Packers

               
Head Coach

Mike McCarthy

O-Coord.

Tom Clements

D-Coord.

Dom Capers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers

Running Back

Alex Green/Eddie Lacy

Fullback

John Kuhn

Wide Receiver

Jordy Nelson

Wide Receiver

Randall Cobb

Tight End

Jermichael Finley

Left Tackle

David Bakhtari

Left Guard

Josh Sitton

Center

Evan Dietrich-Smith

Right Guard

T. J. Lang

Right Tackle

Marshall Newhouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Datone Jones

Nose Tackle

Ryan Pickett

Right End

B. J. Raji

Left OLB

Nick Perry

Left ILB

A. J. Hawk

Right ILB

Brad Jones

Right OLB

Clay Matthews

Left CB

Tramon Williams

Right CB

Sam Shields

Strong Safety

M. D. Jennings

Free Safety

Morgan Burnett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Mason Crosby

Punter

Tim Masthay

K-Return

Randall Cobb

P-Return

Randall Cobb

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

11-5

Division

1st

 

Team

Minnesota Vikings

               
Head Coach

Leslie Frazier

O-Coord.

Bill Musgrave

D-Coord.

Alan Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Christian Ponder

Running Back

Adrian Peterson

Fullback

Jerome Felton

Wide Receiver

Greg Jennings

Wide Receiver

Jerome Simpson

Tight End

Kyle Rudolph

Left Tackle

Matt Kalil

Left Guard

Charlie Johnson

Center

John Sullivan

Right Guard

Brandon Fusco

Right Tackle

Phil Loadholt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Brian Robison

Nose Tackle

Letroy Guion

Right Tackle

Kevin Williams

Right End

Jared Allen

Sam LB

Chad Greenway

Mike LB

Erin Henderson

Will LB

Marvin Mitchell

Left CB

Josh Robinson

Right CB

Chris Cook

Strong Safety

Jamarca Sanford

Free Safety

Harrison Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Blair Walsh

Punter

Jeff Locke

K-Return

Cordarrelle Patterson

P-Return

Marcus Sherels

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

8-8

Division

3rd

 

October 4, 2011

PiRate Ratings: NFL For Week 5–October 9-10, 2011

Faux Pas Logies To Our Readers

We here at the PiRate Ratings have to apologize to our readers for two mistakes.  The first one occurred last week, while the second one has been global.

 

Mistake #1: Three of you caught this and sent it to our attention.  We goofed on the Arizona and New York Giants Game.  If you saw our ratings, you probably noticed that the Giants should have been favored by 7.5, 3.2, and 4.4 points and not the Cardinals.  We hope that did not cause anybody any ruin.

 

Mistake #2: Our PiRate Passer Rating that we talked about had to be refigured.  One very astute reader—Robert in Boulder, Colorado, noticed from a past entry on our rating that we were using the AYPA stat found at Advanced NFL Stats and believing the acronym stood for “Air Yards Per Pass Attempt.”  We made this mistake due to reading one of their great blog entries about Air Yards.  Their AYPA is not Air Yards.  So, we had to actually create this stat from multiple data, and it wasn’t easy.  

 

Because of this oversight, we have had to tweak the formula a little to adjust the ratings so that the top passers will exceed 100.  The new formula is now:

 

[ ( Air Yards Per Attempt * 8 ) – ( Interception % *11 ) + 105 ] * 0.8,

Air Yards Per Attempt is (Total Passing yards – Receiver Yards After Catch) / Pass Attempts

 

Interception % is (100 * Interceptions / Pass Attempts). 

 

Here are the PiRate Passer Ratings After 4 weeks of the 2011 NFL season:

 

Player

Team

AYPA

Int %

PiRate #

Curtis Painter

IND

3.8

0.00

108.3

Aaron Rodgers

G B

4.9

1.42

102.7

Kerry Collins

IND

4.2

1.02

102.1

Sam Bradford

STL

3.6

0.66

101.3

Alex Smith

S F

3.8

0.93

100.0

Eli Manning

NYG

4.7

1.61

99.8

Michael Vick

PHI

4.5

2.33

92.2

Tom Brady

N E

5.3

3.07

90.9

Matt Hasselbeck

TEN

4.2

2.27

90.8

Donovan McNabb

MIN

3.4

1.80

90.1

Drew Brees

N O

4.1

2.30

90.1

Ryan Fitzpatrick

BUF

3.8

2.07

90.0

Matt Stafford

DET

3.5

1.86

89.8

Matt Schaub

HOU

4.5

2.65

89.1

Cam Newton

CAR

5.0

3.07

88.9

Jason Campbell

OAK

4.1

2.48

88.3

Josh Freeman

T B

4.4

2.76

87.6

Matt Ryan

ATL

3.9

2.44

87.2

Colt McCoy

CLE

2.9

1.74

87.0

Joe Flacco

BAL

3.2

2.14

85.4

Kevin Kolb

ARI

4.2

3.08

83.6

Ben Roethlisberger

PIT

4.8

3.62

83.0

Andy Dalton

CIN

4.1

3.23

82.0

Tarvaris Jackson

SEA

3.7

2.96

81.5

Tony Romo

DAL

3.9

3.29

80.2

Chad Henne

MIA

4.2

3.57

79.5

Rex Grossman

WAS

3.8

3.50

77.5

Jay Cutler

CHI

3.1

3.05

77.0

Mark Sanchez

NYJ

3.6

3.42

77.0

Blaine Gabbert

JAX

2.3

2.90

73.0

Kyle Orton

DEN

3.9

4.23

71.5

Phillip Rivers

S D

3.2

3.82

71.0

Matt Cassel

K C

3.4

4.50

66.4

Luke McCown

JAX

2.5

9.30

18.4

 

As you will note, Curtis Painter is currently in the lead, but that will change as soon as he throws an interception.  Had he thrown just one interception in his limited time, his rating would have dropped to 21st place on this list.  That is why we like to wait until most QBs have thrown 100 passes before releasing this rating.

 

Here are this week’s PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings by Division:

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New York Giants

105.3

101.8

102.8

3

3

1

0

102

87

Philadelphia Eagles

101.7

100.4

100.6

2

1

3

0

101

101

Dallas Cowboys

101.3

102.3

101.2

2.5

2

2

0

99

101

Washington Redskins

97.1

99.2

100.9

2.5

3

1

0

83

63

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Green Bay Packers

109.9

109.1

109.2

3.5

4

0

0

148

97

Detroit Lions

104.8

105.5

106.8

4

4

0

0

135

76

Chicago Bears

100.7

100.4

102.8

2

3

2

0

94

98

Minnesota Vikings

96.7

96.4

92.8

2.5

0

4

0

77

96

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New Orleans Saints

109.1

106.0

106.0

3

3

1

0

127

98

Atlanta Falcons

102.9

100.2

102.6

2

2

2

0

90

105

Tampa Bay Bucaneers

99.4

98.7

100.4

2.5

3

1

0

84

77

Carolina Panthers

93.5

95.0

97.6

2

1

3

0

89

102

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Francisco 49ers

98.8

100.0

100.9

3.5

3

1

0

94

75

Arizona Cardinals

94.9

96.6

95.9

3

1

3

0

86

87

Seattle Seahawks

91.7

93.3

92.1

3

1

3

0

58

97

St. Louis Rams

91.6

91.2

88.9

1

0

4

0

46

113

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New England Patriots

108.3

107.1

105.9

4

3

1

0

135

98

New York Jets

102.3

103.6

101.5

3.5

2

2

0

100

95

Buffalo Bills

98.8

102.6

104.7

3.5

3

1

0

133

96

Miami Dolphins

97.7

95.8

94.1

0.5

0

4

0

69

104

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Baltimore Ravens

109.3

108.7

107.4

4

3

1

0

119

57

Pittsburgh Steelers

106.1

103.2

100.1

4

2

2

0

64

72

Cincinnati Bengals

96.0

99.6

100.1

2

2

2

0

80

74

Cleveland Browns

93.6

95.3

96.3

2

2

2

0

74

93

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Houston Texans

106.5

104.2

107.1

3.5

3

1

0

107

70

Tennessee Titans

101.8

102.2

104.9

3.5

3

1

0

88

56

Indianapolis Colts

96.5

95.5

92.3

2

0

4

0

63

108

Jacksonville Jaguars

93.7

95.0

94.0

2.5

1

3

0

39

85

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Diego Chargers

103.6

100.8

100.2

3.5

3

1

0

91

85

Oakland Raiders

98.8

100.8

100.1

2.5

2

2

0

111

113

Kansas City Chiefs

96.1

93.5

92.4

2

1

3

0

49

126

Denver Broncos

92.1

96.2

97.1

1.5

1

3

0

81

111

 

Here are the PiRate, Mean, and Bias spreads for this week’s games.

This Week’s Games

Home Team in CAPS

(N) Denotes Neutral Site

       
   

 

 

 

 

 

Week 5: October 9-10, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Vegas Line as of Tuesday, October 4 @ 8:30 AM EDT

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vegas

Totals

INDIANAPOLIS Kansas City

2.4

4.0

1.9

2   

38   

MINNESOTA Arizona

4.3

2.3

-0.6

2 1/2

44 1/2

BUFFALO Philadelphia

0.6

5.7

7.6

-3   

49 1/2

HOUSTON Oakland

11.2

6.9

10.5

6   

49   

New Orleans CAROLINA

13.6

9.0

6.4

6   

52 1/2

JACKSONVILLE Cincinnati

0.2

-2.1

-3.6

-2 1/2

37   

PITTSBURGH Tennessee

8.3

5.0

-0.8

8   

NL

NEW YORK GIANTS Seattle

16.6

11.5

13.7

10   

41 1/2

SAN FRANCISCO Tampa Bay

2.9

4.8

4.0

1   

41   

NEW ENGLAND New York Jets

10.0

7.5

8.4

9 1/2

49   

San Diego DENVER

10.0

3.1

1.6

4   

47 1/2

Green Bay ATLANTA

5.0

6.9

4.6

5 1/2

54   

DETROIT Chicago

8.1

9.1

8.0

6   

47 1/2

 Baltimore, Cleveland, Dallas, Miami, St. Louis, and Washington have byes this week.

September 27, 2011

PiRate Ratings: NFL For Week 4–October 2-3, 2011

An Interesting Phenomenon

After three games of the 2011 NFL season, in each of the eight divisions, a team that did not make the playoffs last year is either leading or tied for the lead.  In the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills own sole possession of first place.  The Cleveland Browns are in a tie for first in the AFC North.  Tennessee and Houston are tied for the lead in the AFC South, and Oakland and Kansas City are tied for first in the AFC West.

 

In the NFC East, the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys are in a tie for first.  Detroit is tied for first in the NFC North, while Tampa Bay is tied for first in the AFC South.  San Francisco leads the NFC West.

 

The only teams that made the playoffs last year to be tied for the lead in their division are Baltimore, Green Bay, and New Orleans.

 

PiRate QB Passer Formula Returns Next Week

Beginning next week, we will once again carry the PiRate Passer Ratings for the NFL quarterbacks. 

 

The official NFL Passer Rating is out-dated.  There are several different sabermetric methods to judge passer efficiency these days, and most of these new versions put the official version to shame.

 

Here is the official version the NFL uses:

 

I.      (Completion Percentage-30.0) * 0.05 +

II.     (Yards per attempt-3.0) * 0.25 +

III.    (20 * touchdowns per pass attempt) +

IV.    2.375 – (25 * interceptions per pass attempt)

 

If any of these four components are greater than 2.375, then cap the value at 2.375

 

Add these four stats together and multiple them by 16.667 to get the passer rating.  For example, let’s look at Aaron Rodgers to date.

 

Here are his stats.

 

Completion Percentage         71.84

Yards Per Attempt               8.9

TDs Per Attempt                  .078

INTs Per Attempt                 .01

 

(71.84-30.0)*.05 = 2.092

(8.9-3.0)*.25 = 1.475

.078*20 = 1.560

(2.375-(25*.01)) = 2.125

 

(2.092+1.475+1.560+2.125)*16.667=120.9

 

Once you know this formula, you can easily plug it into a spreadsheet and figure the ratings.  However, these ratings are a poor way to select the most efficient passer.

 

Let’s take a look at two opposing passers, Smith and Jones.

 

Smith completes 15 of 24 passes for 3 touchdowns with no interceptions.

 

Jones completes 10 of 24 passes for 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.

 

Smith is obviously much better, correct?  No, not correct.  It depends on several other things.  What if Jones has a lousy offensive line or receivers that drop every other pass thrown to them?  What if Smith has all day to pass with Jerry Rice-type receivers?  All these stats show us are just that—their stats.

 

Smith could have completed six passes to backs behind the line of scrimmage with the backs following blocking for long gains.  Jones could have threaded the needle with 30 yard passes to the deep sidelines only to have had them dropped by inept receivers.

 

In essence no pass-rating formula is worth a grain of salt.  Let’s look at two separate plays.  Passer A completes a 13-yard pass for a touchdown.  It is a dump pass into the flat to the tailback with the tailback avoiding three defenders as he streaks into the end zone.  This one pass gets the NFL Maximum rating of 158.3.

 

Now, let’s look at Passer B.  His team is backed up at their own 1 inch line. He drops back and fires a bomb 55 yards through the air that comes down perfectly in the hands of his flanker.  The flanker takes off down the sideline and is knocked out just one inch away from scoring.  This 98-yard pass gives Passer B a rating of 118.8, which is 2.1 points less than Aaron Rodgers’ current rating!  Rodgers is not worth more than a 98-yard completion every time he throws a pass.

 

Can this be?  You betcha!  The rating is flawed.  Obviously the brilliantly thrown pass that travelled 55 yards past the line of scrimmage that comes down perfectly in the hands of the intended receiver should be worth a lot more than the dump pass that I could complete given two seconds of protection.

 

Here is where the PiRate Pass Rating Formula tries to correct the incorrect values of the NFL Pass Rating Formula.

 

Our formula looks at just two statistics.  The first is interception percentage.  An intercepted pass is worth anywhere from 3 to 7 points for the other team on average.  We realize that all interceptions are not the same.  A poorly thrown pass into the flat at the offense’s 20-yard line hurts much more than a 3rd and 25 pass thrown 40 yards downfield and intercepted by the defense. 

 

The second stat is called “Air Yards Per Attempt,” or AYPA.  It is simply the passing yardage minus the yards after catch.  If Passer A completes a 51-yard pass for a touchdown, but the play consists of a pass completed to a tailback one yard past the line of scrimmage with that back running for 50 yards, the passer gets credit for an AYPA of 1 yard (51 yard pass – 50 yards after the catch).

 

Here is the PiRate Pass Rating Formula:

[AYPA * 7 – (11 * Interception %) + 105] * 0.8

 

Interception percentage is figured as: (Interceptions/Attempts) *100

 

Anything over 100 is an excellent rating.  Over 90 means the QB is above average.  80 would be considered average; below 80 means this QB should be looking over his shoulder for a replacement to take his job.

 

In our passer rating, we don’t include passing percentage or touchdown passes.  Yards gained are what matters.  Three consecutive completed passes that gain a total of nine yards means 4th & 1.  Two incomplete passes followed by an 11 yard completion means 1st & 10.  Which outcome is better?

 

Touchdowns skew the ratings.  If one coach sends in passing plays at the opponents’ one yard line, while another sends his 240-pound power back to plunge over the goal, the quarterbacks will get too much credit in once instance and no credit in the other. 

 

Let’s take a look at the PiRate Rating in action.  First, you must be wondering where can you find AYPA?  There is an excellent website that carries this stat, so you don’t have to try to figure out the YAC for each QB.  Go to: www.advancednflstats.com

 

For this example, we will compare two quarterbacks, Eli Manning and Tony Romo.  Manning has the better official NFL passer rating, leading Romo 104.3 to 95.8.

 

Here are the components for the PiRate Passer Ratings.

 

Manning: AYPA = 6.0  Int% = 2.35

Romo: AYPA = 7.4  Int% = 1.90

 

Manning = [6.0 * 7 – (11 * 2.35) + 105] * .8 =96.9

Romo = [7.4 * 7 – (11*1.90) + 105] * .8 = 108.7

 

According to our formula, Romo has been the better passer after three weeks of the 2011 season. 

 

This Week’s NFL PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings

 

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

New York Giants

105.6

102.3

103.2

3

Philadelphia Eagles

104.0

101.0

101.4

2

Dallas Cowboys

101.7

102.1

102.4

3

Washington Redskins

96.7

99.5

100.9

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Green Bay Packers

107.9

108.2

109.0

3

Detroit Lions

104.4

103.6

103.8

4

Chicago Bears

101.3

101.0

102.2

2.5

Minnesota Vikings

98.0

98.5

96.2

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

New Orleans Saints

108.9

105.6

105.5

3

Atlanta Falcons

103.6

100.7

102.4

2

Tampa Bay Bucaneers

98.9

100.3

99.7

2.5

Carolina Panthers

92.9

95.3

97.2

2

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

San Francisco 49ers

96.5

100.1

100.0

3.5

Arizona Cardinals

94.6

95.6

95.3

3.5

St. Louis Rams

92.0

90.9

89.2

1.5

Seattle Seahawks

91.0

92.7

91.8

3.5

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

New England Patriots

107.7

108.1

106.4

4

New York Jets

104.6

105.0

103.9

3.5

Buffalo Bills

100.0

101.9

105.4

3.5

Miami Dolphins

97.8

97.1

97.2

0.5

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Baltimore Ravens

107.0

107.3

105.7

4

Pittsburgh Steelers

106.9

103.8

102.3

4

Cleveland Browns

96.3

96.3

97.5

2.5

Cincinnati Bengals

94.8

97.1

99.4

2

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Houston Texans

105.7

104.1

104.2

3

Tennessee Titans

99.1

100.6

100.4

3.5

Indianapolis Colts

97.0

95.4

92.9

2

Jacksonville Jaguars

93.9

94.6

93.4

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

San Diego Chargers

103.5

100.3

99.9

3.5

Oakland Raiders

99.4

101.6

102.5

3

Kansas City Chiefs

94.8

92.7

92.0

1.5

Denver Broncos

94.1

96.3

96.8

1.5

Here are this week’s PiRate, Mean, and Bias Spreads.

This Week’s Games

Home Team in CAPS

(n) Denotes Neutral Site

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

Week 4: October 2-3, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Vegas Line as of: Tuesday, September 27, 2011  8:30 AM EDT

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vegas

Totals

DALLAS Detroit

0.3

1.5

1.6

3   

47 1/2

New Orleans JACKSONVILLE

12.5

8.5

9.6

7   

46 1/2

PHILADELPHIA San Francisco

9.5

2.9

3.4

6   

41 1/2

Washington ST. LOUIS

3.2

7.1

10.2

Pk

44 1/2

Tennessee CLEVELAND

0.3

1.8

0.4

-1 1/2

38   

Buffalo CINCINNATI

3.2

2.8

4.0

3   

44   

Minnesota KANSAS CITY

1.7

4.3

2.7

1   

40   

CHICAGO Carolina

10.9

8.2

7.5

6 1/2

44   

HOUSTON Pittsburgh

1.8

3.3

4.9

4   

45   

Atlanta SEATTLE

9.1

4.5

7.1

4 1/2

41 1/2

ARIZONA New York Giants

7.5

3.2

4.4

-1   

45   

SAN DIEGO Miami

9.2

6.7

6.2

7 1/2

45 1/2

GREEN BAY Denver

16.8

14.9

15.2

13   

47 1/2

New England OAKLAND

5.3

3.5

0.9

4 1/2

53 1/2

BALTIMORE New York Jets

3.3

6.3

5.8

3 1/2

40 1/2

TAMPA BAY Indianapolis

4.4

7.4

9.3

10   

41 1/2

September 5, 2011

The Pi-Rate NFL QB Rating

The PiRate NFL Pass Rating Formula

The National Football League has been using the same pass rating formula for multiple decades.  It uses a combination of completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns, and interceptions.  If you want to calculate it on your own, here it is:

I.     (Completion Percentage-30.0) * 0.05 +

II.    (Yards per attempt-3.0) * 0.25 +

III.   (20 * touchdowns per pass attempt) +

IV.   2.375 – (25 * interceptions per pass attempt)

If any of these four components are greater than 2.375, then cap the value at 2.375

Add these four stats together and multiple them by 16.667 to get the passer rating.  Here is an example:

In 1963, Y. A. Tittle had these stats for the New York Giants

Completions 221  Attempts 367  Yards 3145  Touchdowns 36  Interceptions 14

I.     (60.20 – 30.0) * 0.05 = 1.51  +

II.    (8.57-3.0) * 0.25 = 1.39        +

III.   (20 * .098) = 1.96                +

IV.   2.375 – (25 * .038) = 1.43    +

 Subtotal = 6.29     6.29 * 16.667 =

                     104.8

 

Once you know this formula, you can easily plug it into a spreadsheet and figure the ratings.  However, these ratings are a poor way to select the most efficient passer.

Let’s take a look at two opposing passers, Smith and Jones.

Smith completes 15 of 24 passes for 3 touchdowns with no interceptions.

Jones completes 10 of 24 passes for 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.

Smith is obviously much better, correct?  No, not correct.  It depends on several other things.  What if Jones has a lousy offensive line or receivers that drop every other pass thrown to them?  What if Smith has all day to pass with Jerry Rice-type receivers?  All these stats show us are just that—their stats.

Smith could have completed six passes to backs behind the line of scrimmage with the backs following blocking for long gains.  Jones could have threaded the needle with 30 yard passes to the deep sidelines only to have had them dropped by inept receivers.

In essence no pass-rating formula is worth a grain of salt.  Let’s look at two separate plays.  Passer A completes 13-yard pass for a touchdown.  It is a dump pass into the flat to the tailback with the tailback avoiding three defenders as he streaks into the end zone.  This one pass gets the NFL Maximum rating of 158.3.

Now, let’s look at Passer B.  His team is backed up at their own 1 yard line. He drops back and fires a bomb 55 yards through the air that comes down perfectly in the hands of his flanker.  The flanker takes off down the sideline and is knocked out just one yard from scoring.  This 98-yard pass gives Passer B a rating of 118.8!  Peyton Manning actually had a better total season rating than this a couple years ago, and even though he ranks among the best ever, he was not worth a 98-yard completion every time he threw the ball!

Can this be?  You betcha!  The rating is flawed.  Obviously the brilliantly thrown pass that travelled 55 yards past the line of scrimmage that comes down perfectly in the hands of the intended receiver should be worth a lot more than the dump pass that I could complete given two seconds protection.

Here is where the PiRate Pass Rating Formula tries to correct the incorrect values of the NFL Pass Rating Formula.

Our formula looks at just two statistics.  The first is interception percentage.  An intercepted pass is worth anywhere from 3 to 7 points for the other team on average.  We realize that all interceptions are not the same.  A poorly thrown pass into the flat at the offense’s 20-yard line hurts much more than a 3rd and 25 pass thrown 40 yards downfield and intercepted by the defense. 

The second stat is called “Air Yards Per Attempt,” or AYPA.  It is simply the passing yardage minus the yards after catch.  If Passer A completed a 51-yard pass for a touchdown, but the play consisted of a pass completed to a tailback one yard past the line of scrimmage with the back running for 50 yards, the passer gets credit for an AYPA of 1 yard (51 yard pass – 50 yards after the catch).

Here is the PiRate Pass Rating Formula:

[AYPA * 7 – (11 * Interception %) + 105] * 0.8

 

Interception percentage is figured as: (Interceptions/Attempts) *100

Anything over 100 is an excellent rating.  Over 90 means the QB is above average.  80 would be considered average; below 80 means this QB should be looking over his shoulder for a replacement to take his job.

In our passer rating, we don’t include passing percentage or touchdown passes.  Yards gained are what matters.  Three consecutive completed passes that gain a total of nine yards means 4th & 1.  Two incomplete passes followed by an 11 yard completion means 1st & 10.  Which outcome is better?

Touchdowns skew the ratings.  If one coach sends in passing plays at the opponents’ one yard line, while another sends his 240-pound power back to plunge over the goal, the quarterbacks will get too much credit in once instance and no credit in the other. 

Let’s take a look at the PiRate Rating in action.  First, you must be wondering where can you find AYPA?  There is an excellent website that carries this stat, so you don’t have to try to figure out the YAC for each QB.  Go to: www.advancednflstats.com

Here is a look at both ratings side-by-side from 2009:

Player

PiRate QB Rating

 

Player

Official NFL Rating

Aaron Rodgers

108.9

|||

Drew Brees

109.6

Drew Brees

107.5

|||

Brett Favre

107.2

Brett Favre

106.7

|||

Phil Rivers

104.4

Tony Romo

105.6

|||

Aaron Rodgers

103.2

Phil Rivers

104.8

|||

Ben Roethlisberger

100.5

Ben Roethlisberger

97.9

|||

Peyton Manning

99.9

Matt Schaub

97.8

|||

Matt Schaub

98.6

Peyton Manning

97.2

|||

Tony Romo

97.6

Donovan McNabb

96.3

|||

Tom Brady

96.2

David Garrard

96.1

|||

Kurt Warner

93.2

Kyle Orton

94.7

|||

Eli Manning

93.1

Brad Gradkowski

94.4

|||

Donovan McNabb

92.9

Tom Brady

93.8

|||

Joe Flacco

88.9

Kurt Warner

93.4

|||

Kyle Orton

86.8

Eli Manning

92.8

|||

Jason Campbell

86.4

Vince Young

92.1

|||

Carson Palmer

83.6

Joe Flacco

87.7

|||

David Garrard

83.5

Marc Bulger

86.7

|||

Vince Young

82.8

Jason Campbell

85.4

|||

Alex Smith

81.5

Matt Ryan

83.0

|||

Matt Ryan

80.9

Carson Palmer

81.7

|||

Brad Gradkowski

80.6

Chad Henne

80.8

|||

Jay Cutler

76.8

Alex Smith

79.7

|||

Chad Henne

75.2

Brady Quinn

78.4

|||

Matt Hasselbeck

75.1

Matt Hasselbeck

75.7

|||

Trent Edwards

73.8

Matt Cassel

75.7

|||

Marc Bulger

70.7

Kerry Collins

72.1

|||

Matt Cassel

69.9

Trent Edwards

69.9

|||

Ryan Fitzpatrick

69.7

Kyle Boller

69.1

|||

Brady Quinn

67.2

Jay Cutler

67.3

|||

Kerry Collins

65.5

Ryan Fitzpatrick

64.3

|||

Mark Sanchez

63.0

Mark Sanchez

60.9

|||

Kyle Boller

61.2

JaMarcus Russell

56.4

|||

Matt Stafford

61.0

Matt Stafford

54.1

|||

Josh Freeman

59.8

Jake Delhomme

51.5

|||

Jake Delhomme

59.4

Josh Freeman

46.4

|||

JaMarcus Russell

50.0

Derek Anderson

46.3

|||

Derek Anderson

42.1

Coming Later This Week: We reveal the initial NFL PiRate, Mean, and Bias ratings for the 2011 season and give our predictions for each division.

December 21, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 16–December 23-27, 2010

Merry Christmas to all of our PiRate readers.  We wanted to send all of you a gift this year, but we didn’t have enough boxes here on the PiRate Ship.

So, instead, we are going to issue a communal gift today.

2010 has been a very successful season for our picks, and our subscribers have pocketed a lot of PiRate booty thanks to a 69% record against the spread.

We realize that several readers to this blog are not subscribers and thus can only see our picks from the previous week after the fact.

For instance, we made just one selection last week.  It was a 3-game, 10-point teaser parlay, and it won.  We issued to our subscribers last week a bowl pick.  We took the three favorites (BYU, Northern Illinois, and Troy) and moved the spread by 10 points in our favor, making BYU a 2-point favorite, NIU a 9-point ‘dog, and Troy a 7-point ‘dog.  All three won outright and covered, making this a winning selection.

We are only playing one 13-point teaser this week as our official pick, but we had two good picks to select from.  We always make an odd number of selections, because if we play an even amount and win half, it is a losing proposition.

We are issuing our top choice to our subscribers, and they will receive this pick Thursday afternoon.  Today, we would like to issue our second choice pick to all of you as our gift.  We hope it is a winning one.  Additionally, we will show you a little behind our strategy.

Here it is:

We are going with a 4-game, 13-point teaser.  For those not familiar with this type of selection, you get to move the pointspreads 13 points in either direction, but you must win four different games.  If all four games win, you win the parlay.  If anything else happens, including three wins and a push, you lose.

There are two key statistics to look at when playing a 13-point teaser.  Number one, you need to let the numbers play in your favor by picking a game that might give you an extra point or two.  Let’s say a team is a ½-point underdog.  If you like the underdog to cover, then you get them at 13 ½ points.  That is not in your favor.  Winning teams often win games by 14 points.  

Now, let’s take another team that is a 4 ½-point underdog.  Adding 13 points in their favor makes them a 17 ½-point underdog.  Many games are decided by 17 points, while many fewer are decided by 18.

Another key point is to take a favorite that you feel has a great chance to win and move the spread to make them an underdog.  A 5 ½-point favorite becomes a 7 ½-point underdog.

Another great way to play teasers is to look at totals.  If the total for a game is 36 points, moving it 13 points lower and playing the OVER means you win if the final score is 14-10.

The other key statistic is to look for games where your own personal beliefs indicate you are getting extra points in the selection.  Let’s say that you believe one team is six points better than their opponent, and they are a 4 ½-point favorite.  Giving the 4 ½ points in a straight selection is much too close to your six points difference.  One simple botched field goal or one long field goal made by the weaker team would kill your selection.  However, if you move the spread by 13 points in your favor, this part of the parlay now makes your favorite an 8 ½-point underdog.  The team you think can win by six can now lose by more than a touchdown and still win this part of the parlay.

If you think two teams can play 10 times, and all 10 games will be within a narrow point range, you can even play both sides of a game.  For instance if Team A is favored by two points over Team B, and you believe that no matter which team wins, it will be by less than 10 points, you can take Team A at +11 and Team B at +15.

Here is our Christmas gift to you.

1. 13-point teaser parlay

Pittsburgh – ½ vs. Carolina

Jacksonville +6 vs. Washington

Baltimore +9 ½ vs. Cleveland

Oakland +13 vs. Indianapolis

 

Here is our reasoning for these four games.  Pittsburgh is in a must-win situation at home, and the Steelers will be mad after losing to the Jets Sunday.  Carolina won at home on Sunday and must turn around and play on Thursday night in possible snowy conditions with temperatures in the upper 20’s.  This is a perfect setup for the Steelers.  Carolina has nothing to play for in this game.  This is basically a pick when you lower the spread to a half point, as you win even if the Steelers win by one.

Jacksonville has everything to play for, while the Redskins have nothing.  Washington’s big game was last Sunday against their rival.  They will not have much left in the tank this week.  Coach Mike Shanahan has lost the respect of a handful of players, and they are not going to go all out.  The Jags lost a tough game to Indianapolis, and they must now win out to have a legitimate shot at the AFC South title.  You get six points as a bonus, but we see the Jags winning this one outright.

Baltimore is back in the race for the NFC North title.  The Steelers still hold the tiebreaker edge, but Pittsburgh has to play at Cleveland in week 17.  The Browns will be up for their rival, which means they may not be so up this week, especially after they just lost to their other big rival last week.  We believe Baltimore should win this outright, and we get 9 ½ points by taking the Ravens in this part of the parlay.  We have a slight problem with 9 ½, but we do not think Cleveland can win this by a touchdown if they play 10 times.

We love the Raiders in this West Coast game.  Indianapolis will not have the services of Austin Collie, and the Raiders will hold Peyton Manning to two TD passes.  Indy will have a hard time stopping the Raiders’ offense, and we see a high-scoring game.  Remember, Oakland is still in the AFC West race, and they finish with the Chiefs in Kansas City.  They already hold the tiebreaker over San Diego, and a win in week 17 would give them the tiebreaker over the Chiefs.  They have to win in week 16 for week 17 to matter, and then they have to hope the Chargers lose once.  We believe Oakland will win this game, but even if they lose, it should not be by more than three to seven points.

Current NFL Standings, PiRate, Mean, and Biased Ratings
                     
NFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Philadelphia 10 4 0 412 339 108.2 105.9 106.6
NY Giants 9 5 0 360 288 105.9 104.3 103.5
Dallas 5 9 0 354 396 98.7 99.2 99.8
Washington 5 9 0 268 343 93.9 96.9 95.4
Bitmap

 
                   
NFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Green Bay 8 6 0 333 220 108.9 107.2 105.2
Chicago 10 4 0 293 242 103.8 104.4 104.9
Detroit 4 10 0 308 329 97.3 99.7 97.8
Minnesota 5 9 0 244 314 95.1 95.9 94.2
                     
NFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Atlanta 12 2 0 369 261 107.7 106.1 107.2
New Orleans 10 4 0 354 270 105.9 103.8 105.2
Tampa Bay 8 6 0 280 290 98.6 98.9 100.3
Carolina 2 12 0 183 350 90.5 88.7 90.1
                     
NFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
San Francisco 5 9 0 250 314 96.6 95.3 98.0
St. Louis 6 8 0 258 295 95.2 94.9 96.4
Seattle 6 8 0 279 363 93.4 93.1 95.1
Arizona 4 10 0 255 370 88.2 90.6 88.2
                     
AFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
New England 12 2 0 446 303 112.8 110.6 110.9
NY Jets 10 4 0 295 259 102.8 103.3 103.8
Miami 7 7 0 239 261 100.2 100.0 99.7
Buffalo 4 10 0 273 353 98.3 98.0 97.7
                     
AFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Baltimore 10 4 0 324 253 106.7 105.4 106.2
Pittsburgh 10 4 0 307 220 105.2 105.4 106.5
Cleveland 5 9 0 252 271 99.6 98.3 95.0
Cincinnati 3 11 0 281 362 95.3 95.9 94.3
                     
AFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Indianapolis 8 6 0 381 342 101.2 102.2 101.5
Jacksonville 8 6 0 319 365 99.1 99.0 101.0
Houston 5 9 0 333 386 98.7 98.0 97.2
Tennessee 6 8 0 322 282 95.4 100.3 98.2
                     
AFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
San Diego 8 6 0 388 260 106.9 106.3 105.9
Oakland 7 7 0 353 330 99.9 99.7 101.3
Kansas City 9 5 0 322 281 99.4 100.7 99.6
Denver 3 11 0 292 415 91.0 91.8 93.2

PiRate, Mean, and Bias Spreads

Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
       
Week 15: December 16-20, 2010
Vegas Line as of 12:00 PM EDT Tuesday
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
PITTSBURGH Carolina 18.7 20.7 20.4 13.5 37
Dallas ARIZONA 7.5 5.6 8.6 6.5 45
MIAMI Detroit 4.9 2.3 3.9 3.5 41.5
PHILADELPHIA Minnesota 16.1 13 15.4 NL NL
JACKSONVILLE Washington 8.2 5.1 8.6 7 45.5
ST. LOUIS San Francisco 1.6 2.6 1.4 2.5 39.5
TAMPA BAY Seattle 7.2 7.8 7.2 6 44
New England BUFFALO 12.5 10.6 13.2 7.5 44
CHICAGO New York Jets 4 4.1 4.1 2.5 36
Baltimore CLEVELAND 4.1 4.1 8.2 3.5 38.5
KANSAS CITY Tennessee 8 4.4 5.4 5 42
OAKLAND Indianapolis 1.7 0.5 2.8 -3 47
Houston DENVER 4.7 3.2 1 3 48.5
GREEN BAY
New York Giants 6 5.9 4.7 NL NL
San Diego CINCINNATI 8.6 7.4 8.6 7.5 44
ATLANTA New Orleans 5.8 6.3 6 2.5 48.5

 

PiRate Playoff Projection

N F C

1. Atlanta 13-3

2. Philadelphia 12-4

3. Chicago 11-5

4. San Francisco 7-9

5. New Orleans 12-4

6. Green Bay 10-6

 

A F C

1. New England 14-2

2. Baltimore 12-4

3. San Diego 10-6

4. Jacksonville 10-6

5. New York Jets 11-5

6. Pittsburgh 11-5

 

Wildcard Playoff Round

Chicago over Green Bay

New Orleans over San Francisco

 

Pittsburgh over San Diego

New York Jets over Jacksonville

 

Divisional Playoff Round

Philadelphia over Chicago

Atlanta over New Orleans

 

New England over Pittsburgh

Baltimore over New York Jets

 

Conference Championships

Philadelphia over Atlanta

 

New England over Baltimore

 

Super Bowl

New England over Philadelphia

PiRate QB Passer Rating 


Player Team G AYPA Int % PiRate
Tom Brady NE 14 6.8 0.89 114.2
Michael Vick PHI 11 6.6 1.52 107.6
Matt Cassel KC 13 5.8 1.31 105.0
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 10 6 1.49 104.5
Josh Freeman TB 14 5.7 1.42 103.4
Phillip Rivers SD 14 7 2.37 102.3
Vince Young TEN 9 6.2 1.92 101.8
Joe Flacco BAL 14 5.7 1.77 100.3
Kyle Orton DEN 13 5.6 1.81 99.5
Colt McCoy CLE 6 5.7 1.97 98.6
Matt Ryan ATL 14 5.2 1.76 97.6
Matt Schaub HOU 14 5.6 2.12 96.7
Aaron Rodgers GB 13 6.1 2.44 96.7
Peyton Manning IND 14 5.6 2.46 93.7
Kevin Kolb PHI 6 4.9 2.61 88.4
Mark Sanchez NYJ 14 4.6 2.55 87.3
Tony Romo DAL 6 5.7 3.29 87.0
Jason Campbell OAK 11 5.1 3.05 85.7
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 12 4.9 2.97 85.3
Jon Kitna DAL 9 5.4 3.36 84.7
Drew Brees NO 14 5.2 3.33 83.8
Sam Bradford STL 14 4.1 2.71 83.1
Kerry Collins TEN 8 4.5 2.97 83.1
Donovan McNabb WAS 13 4.8 3.18 82.9
Shaun Hill DET 9 4.4 3.13 81.1
Jay Cutler CHI 13 4.9 3.53 80.4
Derek Anderson ARI 12 4.1 3.06 80.0
Chad Henne MIA 13 4.7 3.48 79.7
Alex Smith SF 9 4.4 3.36 79.1
Carson Palmer CIN 14 4.4 3.46 78.2
Jimmie Clausen CAR 11 3.1 2.88 76.0
Eli Manning NYG 14 5 4.19 75.1
David Garrard JAX 13 4.6 3.96 74.9
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 13 4.3 3.86 74.1
Bruce Gradkowski OAK 6 4 4.43 67.4
Jake Delhomme CLE 5 3.3 4.70 61.1
Brett Favre MIN 13 4 5.31 59.7
Matt Moore CAR 6 2 6.99 33.7
           
Formula: (((7 * AYPA) – (11 * Int%)) + 105) *0.8
AYPA = Air Yards Per Pass Attempt or Yards Per Attempt – Yards After Catch
AYPA can be found at advancednflstats.com

December 14, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 15–December 16-20, 2010

Current NFL Standings, PiRate, Mean, and Biased Ratings
                     
NFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
NY Giants 9 4 0 329 250 107.1 105.4 105.6
Philadelphia  9 4 0 374 308 107.0 105.4 105.6
Dallas  4 9 0 321 366 99.0 99.8 99.9
Washington  5 8 0 238 310 93.6 95.8 92.6
 NFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Green Bay 8 5 0 306 189 108.6 106.7 105.0
Chicago 9 4 0 253 228 101.6 101.7 103.2
Minnesota 5 8 0 230 274 97.3 98.4 97.5
Detroit 3 10 0 285 309 96.5 98.1 94.8
                     
NFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Atlanta 11 2 0 335 243 106.9 106.1 107.5
New Orleans 10 3 0 330 240 106.3 105.0 106.6
Tampa Bay 8 5 0 260 267 99.4 99.9 101.2
Carolina 1 12 0 164 338 90.3 88.9 89.4
                     
NFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
San Francisco 5 8 0 243 280 98.2 97.1 99.8
St. Louis 6 7 0 245 268 96.5 95.7 98.0
Seattle 6 7 0 261 329 94.2 93.7 96.5
Arizona 4 9 0 243 351 88.4 91.3 92.5
                     
AFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
New England 11 2 0 415 276 113.1 111.8 111.1
NY Jets 9 4 0 273 242 101.6 101.1 102.5
Miami 7 6 0 225 244 101.2 101.4 101.9
Buffalo 3 10 0 256 339 97.3 97.1 96.0
                     
AFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Pittsburgh 10 3 0 290 198 106.4 106.2 107.4
Baltimore 9 4 0 294 229 106.3 104.8 105.4
Cleveland 5 8 0 235 252 99.9 99.1 96.9
Cincinnati 2 11 0 262 345 95.0 95.1 93.9
                     
AFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
Indianapolis 7 6 0 347 318 100.7 101.3 101.7
Houston 5 8 0 316 355 100.2 100.0 99.0
Jacksonville 8 5 0 295 331 99.6 99.8 101.8
Tennessee 5 8 0 291 265 93.9 97.8 93.7
                     
AFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased
San Diego 7 6 0 354 253 105.3 105.9 104.2
Oakland 6 7 0 314 307 99.2 99.1 99.8
Kansas City 8 5 0 295 268 98.1 98.6 99.5
Denver 3 10 0 269 376 91.7 92.3 89.7

 

 

PiRate, Mean, and Bias Spreads  
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site          
               
Week 15: December 16-20, 2010            
Vegas Line as of 3:00 PM EDT Tuesday            
               
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals  
SAN DIEGO San Francisco 11.1 12.8 8.4 8 1/2 44 1/2  
ST. LOUIS Kansas City 1.4 0.1 2.5 NL NL  
Houston TENNESSEE 3.3 -0.8 2.3 -1 1/2 47     
INDIANAPOLIS Jacksonville 4.1 4.5 2.9 5    48 1/2  
CAROLINA Arizona 4.9 0.6 -0.1 2 1/2 37 1/2  
Cleveland CINCINNATI 1.9 1.0 3.0 -2    40     
MIAMI Buffalo 5.9 6.3 7.9 5 1/2 41     
NEW YORK GIANTS Philadelphia 3.1 3.0 3.0 2 1/2 46     
DALLAS Washington 8.4 7.0 10.3 6    45     
TAMPA BAY Detroit 4.9 3.8 8.4 6    43     
BALTIMORE New Orleans 3.0 2.8 1.8 2    43 1/2  
Atlanta SEATTLE 8.7 8.4 7.0 6    45     
PITTSBURGH New York Jets 8.8 9.1 8.9 6    35 1/2  
OAKLAND   Denver 10.5 9.8 13.1 6 1/2 44     
NEW ENGLAND Green Bay 7.5 8.1 9.1 NL NL  
Chicago MINNESOTA 1.3 0.3 2.7 NL NL  
               
PiRate Passer # 

Player

Team G AYPA Int% PiRate #    
Tom Brady NE 13 6.9 0.94 114.4    
Michael Vick PHI 10 6.8 1.36 110.1    
Matt Cassel KC 12 5.9 1.13 107.1    
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 9 6.2 1.72 103.6    
Josh Freeman TB 13 5.6 1.54 101.8    
Vince Young TEN 9 6.2 1.92 101.8    
Phillip Rivers SD 13 6.8 2.51 100.0    
Joe Flacco BAL 13 5.7 1.86 99.6    
Kyle Orton DEN 13 5.6 1.81 99.5    
Matt Ryan ATL 13 5.3 1.68 98.9    
Matt Schaub HOU 13 5.8 2.15 97.6    
Aaron Rodgers GB 13 6.1 2.44 96.7    
Troy Smith SF 5 5.6 2.38 94.4    
Colt McCoy CLE 5 5.4 2.36 93.5    
Peyton Manning IND 13 5.6 2.63 92.2    
Jason Campbell OAK 10 5 2.54 89.6    
Kevin Kolb PHI 6 4.9 2.61 88.4    
Tony Romo DAL 6 5.7 3.29 87.0    
Mark Sanchez NYJ 13 4.6 2.72 85.8    
Sam Bradford STL 13 4.3 2.53 85.8    
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 11 4.8 2.91 85.3    
Drew Brees NO 13 5.3 3.43 83.5    
Kerry Collins TEN 7 4.3 2.81 83.4    
Donovan McNabb WAS 13 4.8 3.18 82.9    
Shaun Hill DET 9 4.4 3.13 81.1    
Jay Cutler CHI 12 4.9 3.49 80.7    
Alex Smith SF 8 4.6 3.35 80.3    
Derek Anderson ARI 12 4.1 3.06 80.0    
Jon Kitna DAL 8 5.1 3.83 78.8    
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 12 4.6 3.55 78.6    
Chad Henne MIA 12 4.7 3.63 78.4    
Carson Palmer CIN 13 4.2 3.62 75.6    
Eli Manning NYG 13 4.9 4.34 73.3    
David Garrard JAX 12 4.4 4.14 72.2    
Jimmie Clausen CAR 10 2.8 3.13 72.2    
Bruce Gradkowski OAK 6 4 4.43 67.4    
Brett Favre MIN 12 4.1 5.13 61.8    
Jake Delhomme CLE 5 3.3 4.70 61.1    
Matt Moore CAR 6 2 6.99 33.7    
Formula: (((7 * AYPA) – (11 * Int%) + 105) *0.8    
   
   
                           

AYPA = Air Yards Per Pass Attempt (yards per attempt minus yards after catch)

AYPA can be found at advancednflstats.com

 

NFL Playoff Projections

 

N F C

1. New Orleans

2. Philadelphia

3. Chicago

4. Seattle

5. Atlanta

6. New York Giants

 

A F C

1. New England

2. Pittsburgh

3. Jacksonville

4. San Diego

5. Baltimore

6. New York Jets

 

Wildcard Round

Chicago over New York Giants

Atlanta over Seattle

 

Jacksonville over New York Jets

San Diego over Baltimore

 

Divisional Round

New Orleans over Atlanta

Philadelphia over Chicago

 

New England over San Diego

Pittsburgh over Jacksonville

 

Conference Championships

New Orleans over Philadelphia

 

New England over Pittsburgh

 

Super Bowl

New Orleans over New England

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