The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 16, 2015

NFL Report For Week 2–September 10-14, 2015

What an amazing week one for the NFL season.  The game pitting the worst two teams from 2014 featured the two most recent Heisman Trophy winners.  Tampa Bay and Jameis Winston hosted Tennessee and Marcus Mariota.

If you didn’t see the outcome or the stats from that game, all you have to do is look at this week’s Sports Illustrated cover.  Mariota graces the cover of SI for the second time in five months and the sixth time overall.

The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner completed 13 of 16 passes for 209 yards and 4 TDs, as the Titans raced to a 35-7 halftime lead.  Mariota’s four TD passes came in the first half, and backup Zach Mettenberger replaced him in the second half, so Mariota’s day ended with just 16 pass attempts.

On his first touchdown pass, Mariota was aligned in the shotgun and apparently handed off to running back Bishop Sankey.  Even the CBS announcer began his play-by-play of the play in question by saying, “Mariota, he gives it to…”

Mariota’s fake from the apparent zone read play forced the Buccaneer linebackers to freeze, while Kendall Wright found the hole in the secondary coverage.  Mariota hit Wright in the seam of what looked like a cover 1 defense (man-to-man with a free safety), leading him perfectly and zipping the ball on a rope.  Wright caught the ball in full stride without hesitation and then split defenders to finish the 52 yard play.

One play does not foretell a Hall of Fame career, but Mariota gave several more examples that he could be a legitimate future star.  In earning NFL Player of The Week and Rookie Player of The Week honors, Mariota placed himself in some ritzy company.

Only one quarterback in the history of the NFL tossed four touchdown passes in his first game.  That man was Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, who while playing for the expansion team Minnesota Vikings, did this in 1961 against the Chicago Bears.  Tarkenton needed all four quarters to record the feat; Mariota did it in less than 30 minutes.

Mariota’s maximum QB rating for his first game has never been equaled in the history of the NFL back to 1933.  No QB who threw at least 10 passes in his first game ever recorded a 158.3 rating in his first start.

What about an encore?  Unless Josh McCown makes a miraculous recovery from a concussion and is cleared to play Sunday, Mariota gets to face the Heisman Trophy winner from the year before his adversary Winston.  The Titans venture north to take on Johnny Football (Manziel) and the Cleveland Browns.

Thursday night gives the public a chance to view Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos taking on Kansas City.  Manning’s season opener was a bit concerning for the Broncos.  His 24-40-1 for 150 yards and 0 TD and a bad back have football pundits wondering if maybe the time has come for Manning to become a full-time pizzeria owner.

Those pundits are not seeing the entire field.  The Broncos have a lot of problems, but Manning is not the primary concern.  Yes, Manning has lost some zip on his passes, but Denver has many more worries, like a green offensive line, no running game, and just two quality receivers.  Oh, and the Broncos were not playing against the Tampa Bay defense.  Baltimore’s defense has produced a lot of long days for opposing quarterbacks.

Let’s at least get through September before we crown Mariota the next superstar and proclaim Manning’s career over.

 

This Week’s NFL PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Dallas 106.3 105.0 106.8 106.0 1-0-0 27 26
Philadelphia 104.0 103.3 104.2 103.8 0-1-0 24 26
N.Y. Giants 100.5 100.3 101.2 100.7 0-1-0 26 27
Washington 93.0 92.0 92.1 92.4 0-1-0 10 17
               
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 108.3 107.2 108.6 108.0 1-0-0 31 23
Detroit 102.7 101.6 102.6 102.3 0-1-0 28 33
Minnesota 99.2 96.1 100.3 98.5 0-1-0 3 20
Chicago 96.0 95.4 96.3 95.9 0-1-0 23 31
               
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 100.9 100.7 101.1 100.9 1-0-0 20 9
New Orleans 99.5 95.1 99.9 98.2 0-1-0 19 31
Atlanta 96.4 96.7 96.8 96.6 1-0-0 26 24
Tampa Bay 89.3 90.4 88.7 89.5 0-1-0 14 42
               
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 106.7 106.2 106.6 106.5 0-1-0 31 34
Arizona 101.9 100.8 102.5 101.7 1-0-0 31 19
San Francisco 100.6 98.2 100.7 99.8 1-0-0 20 3
St. Louis 97.0 99.3 96.4 97.6 1-0-0 34 31
               
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 107.8 107.7 107.6 107.7 1-0-0 28 21
Buffalo 101.2 102.3 101.5 101.7 1-0-0 27 14
Miami 98.9 100.4 98.4 99.2 1-0-0 17 10
N. Y. Jets 98.9 99.0 99.1 99.0 1-0-0 31 10
               
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 106.4 104.8 107.7 106.3 0-1-0 13 19
Cincinnati 103.6 104.3 103.6 103.8 1-0-0 33 13
Pittsburgh 102.9 103.0 102.8 102.9 0-1-0 21 28
Cleveland 94.2 91.9 94.0 93.4 0-1-0 10 31
               
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 103.3 104.1 103.0 103.5 0-1-0 14 27
Houston 97.3 98.8 96.9 97.7 0-1-0 20 27
Tennessee 96.7 96.7 97.8 97.1 1-0-0 42 14
Jacksonville 89.7 94.5 88.4 90.9 0-1-0 9 20
               
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Denver 105.9 105.1 105.5 105.5 1-0-0 19 13
San Diego 101.0 101.9 100.9 101.3 1-0-0 33 28
Kansas City 100.5 102.5 100.8 101.3 1-0-0 27 20
Oakland 89.4 94.7 87.2 90.4 0-1-0 13 33
This Week’s Games
         
Week Number: 2      
Date of Games: September 17-21      
         
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Kansas City Denver -2.4 0.4 -1.7
Carolina Houston 6.6 4.9 7.2
Pittsburgh San Francisco 6.3 8.8 6.1
New Orleans Tampa Bay 12.7 7.2 13.7
Minnesota Detroit -1.0 -3.0 0.2
Chicago Arizona -2.9 -2.4 -3.2
Buffalo New England -4.1 -2.9 -3.6
Cincinnati San Diego 6.1 5.9 6.2
Cleveland Tennessee 0.5 -1.8 -0.8
NY Giants Atlanta 7.1 6.6 7.4
Washington St. Louis -1.0 -4.3 -1.3
Jacksonville Miami -7.2 -3.9 -8.0
Oakland Baltimore -13.5 -6.6 -17.2
Philadelphia Dallas 0.7 1.3 0.4
Green Bay Seattle 4.6 4.0 5.0
Indianapolis NY Jets 7.4 8.1 6.9

 

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 South Preview

Rarely does a team win five fewer games than the season before and still make the playoffs, but the Carolina Panthers repeated as NFC South champions in 2014 with a 7-8-1 record following a 12-4-0 finish in 2013.  The Panthers won the division because the New Orleans Saints fell four games off their 2013 pace, the Falcons only improved to 6-10, and the Bucs ended up earning the first pick in the draft.

 

All four teams begin 2015 with key additions.  For Atlanta, it’s a head coach, as Dan Quinn becomes a head coach for the first time after putting together the great Seattle defense.  Carolina hopes it has plugged a leak in their offensive line with the signing of left tackle Michael Oher, while bringing in Ted Ginn, Jr. at receiver.  New Orleans added a cover corner in Brandon Browner, while Tampa Bay had the biggest addition of all–they have Jameis Winston, the league’s top pick.

 

This may be the most difficult division to forecast, as even the weak Bucs have improved enough and have the schedule to challenge for the division title.  Atlanta has the passing game and should be improved defensively, and since 8-8 could win the division, in theory, they only need to improve by two wins.  New Orleans’ defense needs improvement, and the Saints will have to score a lot of points this year.  Bear in mind that Jimmy Graham has left the building.  That leaves Carolina; can the Panthers three-peat?  Yes, it is quite possible, but in reality, this is a team that fell to a losing record last year, and a couple game slide this year could find the Panthers in last place.

ATLANTA FALCONS

Falcons Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Julio Jones
WR Roddy White
WR Leonard Hankerson
TE Jacob Tamme
LT Jake Matthews
LG Mike Person
C Joe Hawley
RG Chris Chester
RT Ryan Schraeder
QB Matt Ryan
HB Devonta Freeman
FB Patrick DiMarco
   
Defense
DE Vic Beasley
DT Ra’Shede Hageman
DT Paul Soliai
DE Tyson Jackson
LB Justin Durant
LB Paul Worrilow
LB Brooks Reed
CB Desmond Trufant
S William Moore
S Ricardo Allen
CB Robert Alford
N5 Jalen Collins
   
Special
Kicker Matt Bryant
Punter Matt Bosher
KR Devin Hester
PR Devin Hester
Atlanta Falcons
Head Coach Dan Quinn
Off. Coordinator Kyle Shanahan
Def. Coordinator Richard Smith
2014 W-L-T 6-10-0
Pts 23.8
Opp 26.1
   
Ratings  
PiRate 95.7
Mean 96.1
Bias 95.8
Average 95.9
   
Grades  
Running C
Passing A-
Vs. Run C
Vs. Pass C-
Special Teams A
Coaching + Intangibles C
   
Predicted W-L 7-9-0
Division Rank 3
Conference Rank 13
Overall Rank 25
Postseason No

 

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Panthers Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Corey Brown
WR Ted Ginn, Jr.
WR Devin Funchess
TE Greg Olsen
LT Michael Oher
LG Andrew Norwell
C Ryan Kalil
RG Trai Turner
RT Mike Remmers
QB Cam Newton
HB Jonathan Stewart
FB Mike Tolbert
   
Defense
DE Charles Johnson
DT Star Lotulelei
DT Kawann Short
DE Kony Ealy
LB A. J. Klein
LB Luke Kuechley
LB Thomas Davis
CB Charles Tillman
S Roman Harper
S Tre Boston
CB Josh Norman
N5 Bene Benwikere
   
Special
Kicker Graham Gano
Punter Brad Nortman
KR Ted Ginn, Jr.
PR Ted Ginn, Jr.
Carolina Panthers
Head Coach Ron Rivera
Off. Coordinator Mike Shula
Def. Coordinator Sean McDermott
2014 W-L-T 7-8-1
Pts 21.2
Opp 23.4
   
Ratings  
PiRate 100.8
Mean 100.0
Bias 101.0
Average 100.6
   
Grades  
Running C-
Passing C
Vs. Run A-
Vs. Pass C+
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles C+
   
Predicted W-L 7-9-0
Division Rank 1
Conference Rank 7
Overall Rank 15
Postseason No

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Saints Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Brandin Cooks
WR Marques Colston
WR Brandon Coleman
TE Benjamin Watson
LT Terron Armstead
LG Tim Lelito
C Max Unger
RG Jahri Evans
RT Zach Strief
QB Drew Brees
HB Mark Ingram
FB Austin Johnson
   
Defense
DE Akiem Hicks
DT John Jenkins
DT Kevin Williams
DE Cameron Jordan
LB Hau’oli Kikaha
LB David Hawthorne
LB Dannelle Ellerbe
CB Keenan Lewis
S Kenny Vaccaro
S Jairus Byrd
CB Brandon Browner
N5 Rafael Bush
   
Special
Kicker Zach Hocker
Punter Thomas Morstead
KR C. J. Spiller
PR C. J. Spiller
New Orleans Saints
Head Coach Sean Payton
Off. Coordinator Pete Carmichael
Def. Coordinator Rob Ryan
2014 W-L-T 7-9-0
Pts 25.1
Opp 26.5
   
Ratings  
PiRate 100.1
Mean 95.4
Bias 101.1
Average 98.9
   
Grades  
Running C+
Passing A
Vs. Run C-
Vs. Pass C+
Special Teams C-
Coaching + Intangibles B+
   
Predicted W-L 8-8-0
Division Rank 2
Conference Rank 10
Overall Rank 20
Postseason Yes

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Buccaneers Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Vincent Jackson
WR Mike Evans
WR Louis Murphy
TE Austin Serferian-Jenkins
LT Donovan Smith
LG Logan Mankins
C Evan Dietrich-Smith
RG Garrett Gilkey
RT Patrick Omameh
QB Jameis Winston
HB Doug Martin
FB Jorvorskie Lane
   
Defense
DE Jacquies Smith
DT Gerald McCoy
DT Clinton McDonald
DE George Johnson
LB Danny Lansanah
LB Bruce Carter
LB Lavonte David
CB Alterraun Verner
S Major Wright
S Brad McDougald
CB Johnathan Banks
N5 D. J. Swearinger
   
Special
Kicker Conner Barth
Punter Michael Koenen
KR Kaelin Clay
PR Kaelin Clay
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Head Coach Lovie Smith
Off. Coordinator Dirk Koetter
Def. Coordinator Leslie Frazier
2014 W-L-T 2-14-0
Pts 17.3
Opp 25.6
   
Ratings  
PiRate 92.1
Mean 93.4
Bias 92.0
Average 92.5
   
Grades  
Running D
Passing C+
Vs. Run C
Vs. Pass C
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles C+
   
Predicted W-L 6-10-0
Division Rank 4
Conference Rank 16
Overall Rank 30
Postseason No

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