The Pi-Rate Ratings

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

November 30, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 13–December 2-6, 2010

Current NFL Standings, PiRate, Mean, and Biased Ratings
                       
NFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA
Philadelphia 7 4 0 310 257 106.6 105.7 105.8 2
NY Giants 7 4 0 277 240 103.3 102.5 103.3 2
Dallas 3 8 0 256 301 96.8 98.9 99.5 2
Washington
5 6 0 215 262 96.3 97.1 96.1 3
                       
NFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA 
Green Bay 7 4 0 269 166 109.9 109.9 106.8 3
Chicago 8 3 0 222 172 103.3 103.4 104.7 4
Minnesota 4 7 0 189 239 97.1 99.0 99.6 3
Detroit 2 9 0 258 282 95.0 96.7 93.9 4
                       
NFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA
Atlanta 9 2 0 276 209 106.3 105.3 106.9 4
New Orleans 8 3 0 265 197 105.8 104.5 106.6 2
Tampa Bay 7 4 0 219 223 99.1 99.0 100.6 2
Carolina 1 10 0 140 276 92.7 90.0 90.3 2
                       
NFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA
San Francisco 4 7 0 187 225 97.2 95.4 98.3 4
St. Louis 5 6 0 213 231 95.2 94.5 97.1 4
Seattle 5 6 0 209 275 93.9 92.5 95.3 3
Arizona 3 8 0 194 319 88.0 88.3 89.7 4
                       
AFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA
New England 9 2 0 334 266 107.8 107.0 107.5 3
NY Jets 9 2 0 264 187 106.3 105.5 106.3 2
Miami 6 5 0 205 225 102.3 101.3 102.3 3
Buffalo 2 9 0 229 295 97.7 97.1 97.0 2
                       
AFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA
Baltimore 8 3 0 250 188 107.4 105.9 106.1 4
Pittsburgh 8 3 0 254 181 105.0 105.7 104.9 2
Cleveland 4 7 0 216 229 98.6 99.5 98.2 4
Cincinnati 2 9 0 225 288 95.0 95.5 91.3 3
                       
AFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA
Indianapolis 6 5 0 282 252 102.9 102.9 102.2 4
Houston 5 6 0 264 287 100.6 100.3 99.4 2
Tennessee 5 6 0 257 218 96.7 102.1 96.5 4
Jacksonville 6 5 0 240 294 96.6 96.5 98.4 3
                       
AFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA
San Diego 6 5 0 310 225 106.9 106.2 104.2 4
Kansas City 7 4 0 285 231 100.2 100.2 101.1 4
Oakland 5 6 0 255 256 96.3 96.4 97.7 2
Denver 3 8 0 250 323 93.6 95.2 92.2 2

 

PiRate, Mean, and Bias Spreads
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 13: December 2-6, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 5:00 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
PHILADELPHIA Houston 8.0 7.4 8.4 8 1/2 51 1/2
MINNESOTA Buffalo 2.4 4.9 5.6 6    44 1/2
MIAMI Cleveland 6.7 4.8 7.1 4 1/2 42 1/2
TENNESSEE Jacksonville 4.1 9.6 2.1 NL NL
KANSAS CITY Denver 10.6 9.0 12.9 8 1/2 45 1/2
NEW YORK GIANTS Washington 9.0 7.4 9.2 7    43   
Chicago DETROIT 4.3 2.7 6.8 3 1/2 44 1/2
GREEN BAY San Francisco 15.7 17.5 11.5 9 1/2 42   
New Orleans CINCINNATI 7.8 6.0 12.3 6 1/2 46 1/2
Atlanta TAMPA BAY 5.2 4.3 4.3 3    44 1/2
SAN DIEGO Oakland 14.6 13.8 10.5 12 1/2 45 1/2
SEATTLE Carolina 4.2 5.5 8.0 6    39 1/2
INDIANAPOLIS Dallas 10.1 8.0 6.7 5 1/2 47 1/2
St. Louis  

ARIZONA
3.2 2.2 3.4 3    43   
BALTIMORE Pittsburgh 6.4 4.2 5.2 3    40   
NEW ENGLAND New York Jets 4.5 4.5 4.2 3 1/2 46   

 

PiRate Passer Rating
Player Team AYPA Int %  #
Michael Vick Phi 6.8 0.43 118.3
Tom Brady NE 6.5 1.12 110.5
Kyle Orton Den 6.3 1.40 107.0
Matt Cassel KC 6.0 1.24 106.7
Matt Ryan Atl 5.6 1.23 104.5
Ben Roethlisberger Pit 6.4 1.82 103.8
Phillip Rivers SD 7.0 2.39 102.1
Josh Freeman TB 5.6 1.53 101.9
Vince Young Ten 6.2 1.92 101.8
Matt Shaub Hou 5.8 1.91 99.7
Aaron Rodgers GB 6.2 2.44 97.3
Seneca Wallace Cle 5.4 2.00 96.6
Joe Flacco Bal 5.7 2.19 96.6
Peyton Manning Ind 5.6 2.26 95.5
Mark Sanchez NYJ 5.2 2.20 93.8
Colt McCoy Cle 5.4 2.36 93.5
Sam Bradford Stl 4.5 2.18 90.0
Matt Hasselebeck Sea 4.9 2.56 88.9
Kevin Kolb Phi 4.9 2.61 88.4
Tony Romo Dal 5.7 3.29 87.0
Drew Brees NO 5.4 3.29 85.3
Chad Henne Mia 5.3 3.27 84.9
Ryan Fitzpatrick Buf 4.8 3.03 84.2
Kerry Collins Ten 4.2 2.80 82.8
Jay Cutler Chi 5.0 3.42 81.9
Donovan McNabb Was 4.8 3.31 81.8
Derek Anderson Ari 4.2 2.93 81.7
Shaun Hill Det 4.4 3.13 81.1
Jason Campbell Oak 4.2 3.16 79.7
Jon Kitna Dal 5.2 4.00 77.9
Carson Palmer Cin 4.3 3.47 77.5
Eli Manning NYG 5.2 4.26 75.7
Jimmy Clausen Car 3.1 3.01 74.9
Alex Smith SF 4.2 3.72 74.8
David Garrard Jax 4.3 4.42 69.2
Bruce Gradkowski Oak 4.0 4.43 67.4
Brett Favre Min 4.2 4.86 64.8
Matt Moore Car 2.0 6.99 33.7
Formula: (((7 * AYPA) – (11 * Int%) + 105) *0.8
 

AYPA is Air Yards Per Pass Attempt.  This statistic removed the receivers’ Yards After Catch.

AYPA can be found at www.advancednflstats.com

Projected NFL Playoff Seedings

NFC

1. Atlanta Falcons

2. Chicago Bears

3. Philadelphia Eagles

4. St. Louis Rams

5. Green Bay Packers

6. New Orleans Saints

AFC

1. New England Patriots

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

3. San Diego Chargers

4. Indianapolis Colts

5. New York Jets

6. Baltimore Ravens

Wildcard Round

New Orleans over Philadelphia

Green Bay over St. Louis

Baltimore over San Diego

New York Jets over Indianapolis

Divisional Round

Atlanta over New Orleans

Chicago over Green Bay

Baltimore over New England

Pittsburgh over New York Jets

Conference Championships

Chicago over Atlanta

Baltimore over Pittsburgh

SUPER BOWL

Chicago over Baltimore

November 23, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 12–November 25-29, 2010

Current NFL Standings, PiRate, Mean, and Biased Ratings
(listed by PiRate #)                      
NFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA
Philadelphia 7 3 0 284 226 106.9 106.2 106.0 2
NY Giants 6 4 0 253 220 104.1 102.5 103.5 2
Washington 5 5 0 202 245 97.3 98.8 99.0 3
Dallas
3 7 0 229 271 96.3 98.8 99.4 2
                       
NFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
Green Bay 7 3 0 252 146 110.4 108.5 107.7 3
Chicago 7 3 0 191 146 103.0 102.8 102.7 4
Detroit 2 8 0 234 237 96.7 97.1 95.5 4
Minnesota 3 7 0 172 226 96.1 97.3 94.8 3
                       
NFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
New Orleans 7 3 0 235 170 106.3 103.8 105.4 2
Atlanta 8 2 0 256 192 105.8 105.0 106.7 4
Tampa Bay 7 3 0 209 206 98.3 99.6 101.1 2
Carolina 1 9 0 117 252 91.5 89.0 90.4 2
                       
NFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
Seattle 5 5 0 185 233 95.4 94.9 96.0 3
St. Louis 4 6 0 177 198 94.5 94.6 95.8 4
San Francisco 3 7 0 160 219 94.2 93.9 95.6 4
Arizona 3 7 0 188 292 91.0 91.3 91.4 4
                       
AFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
New England 8 2 0 289 242 106.1 105.6 106.9 3
NY Jets 8 2 0 238 177 106.0 105.0 106.1 2
Miami 5 5 0 172 208 100.7 100.5 100.0 3
Buffalo 2 8 0 213 276 97.2 97.0 96.2 2
                       
AFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
Baltimore 7 3 0 233 178 108.2 105.1 106.0 4
Pittsburgh 7 3 0 235 165 105.5 106.2 105.7 2
Cleveland 3 7 0 192 206 99.8 99.9 97.3 4
Cincinnati 2 8 0 215 262 95.3 95.8 93.2 3
                       
AFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
Indianapolis 6 4 0 268 216 105.6 104.5 104.8 4
Tennessee 5 5 0 257 198 98.9 103.4 100.2 4
Houston 4 6 0 244 287 98.4 98.4 97.9 2
Jacksonville 6 4 0 220 270 95.8 97.6 100.8 3
                       
AFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
San Diego 5 5 0 274 211 104.2 103.5 103.7 4
Kansas City 6 4 0 243 207 98.7 99.8 100.6 4
Oakland 5 5 0 238 223 97.9 98.1 98.9 2
Denver 3 7 0 217 287 94.3 95.4 91.1 2
 
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 12: November 25-29, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 11:30 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
New England DETROIT 5.4 4.5 7.4 6 1/2 51   
New Orleans DALLAS 8.0 3.0 4.0 3 1/2 50   
NEW YORK JETS Cincinnati 12.7 11.2 14.9 9    43   
WASHINGTON Minnesota 4.2 4.5 7.2 1 1/2 43   
Pittsburgh BUFFALO 6.3 7.2 7.5 6 1/2 43   
HOUSTON Tennessee 1.5 -3.0 -0.3 NL NL
NEW YORK GIANTS Jacksonville 10.3 6.9 4.7 7    44 1/2
CLEVELAND Carolina 12.3 14.9 10.9 11    37 1/2
BALTIMORE Tampa Bay 13.9 9.5 8.9 7 1/2 41   
CHICAGO Philadelphia 0.1 0.6 0.7 -3    42 1/2
Green Bay ATLANTA 0.6 -0.5 -3.0 -2    47 1/2
Miami OAKLAND 0.8 0.4 -0.9 NL NL
Kansas City SEATTLE 0.3 1.9 1.6 1 1/2 44 1/2
DENVER Bitmap

St. Louis
1.8 2.8 -2.7 4    44 1/2
INDIANAPOLIS San Diego 5.4 5.0 5.1 3    52   
ARIZONA San Francisco 0.8 1.4 -0.2 Pk 40   

 

Projected NFL Playoffs

NFC

1. Atlanta

2. Green Bay

3. Philadelphia

4. Seattle

5. New Orleans

6. Chicago

AFC

1. Baltimore

2. New York Jets

3. Indianapolis

4. San Diego

5. New England

6. Pittsburgh

 

PiRate Passer Rating
Player Team AYPA Int% PiRate #
Michael Vick PHI 7.2 0.00 124.3
Tom Brady NE 6.1 1.22 107.5
Kyle Orton DEN 6.2 1.55 105.1
Matt Cassel KC 5.9 1.37 104.9
Matt Ryan ATL 5.6 1.33 103.7
Peyton Manning IND 5.9 1.59 103.0
Vince Young TEN 6.2 1.92 101.8
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 6.5 2.14 101.6
Phillip Rivers SD 7.0 2.55 100.8
Josh Freeman TB 5.7 1.72 100.7
Matt Schaub HOU 6.0 2.11 99.0
Joe Flacco BAL 5.7 2.12 97.3
Seneca Wallace CLE 5.4 2.00 96.6
Mark Sanchez NYJ 5.3 2.08 95.3
Colt McCoy CLE 5.4 2.36 93.5
Aaron Rodgers GB 5.8 2.69 92.8
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 4.9 2.23 91.8
Kevin Kolb PHI 4.9 2.61 88.4
Tony Romo DAL 5.7 3.29 87.0
Sam Bradford STL 4.1 2.39 85.9
Drew Brees NO 5.2 3.36 83.6
Chad Henne MIA 5.0 3.27 83.2
Shaun Hill DET 4.5 2.95 83.2
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 4.8 3.16 83.1
Kerry Collins TEN 4.2 2.80 82.8
Donovan McNabb WAS 4.9 3.35 81.9
Derek Anderson ARI 4.2 2.94 81.6
Carson Palmer CIN 4.7 3.30 81.3
Jason Campbell OAK 4.2 3.16 79.7
Jay Cutler CHI 4.7 3.69 77.8
Alex Smith SF 4.2 3.72 74.8
Jimmy Clausen CAR 2.8 2.90 74.2
Jon Kitna DAL 5.0 4.43 73.0
Eli Manning NYG 4.9 4.55 71.4
Bruce Gradkowski OAK 3.8 3.97 70.4
David Garrard JAX 4.7 4.67 69.2
Brett Favre MIN 4.0 5.20 60.7
Matt Moore CAR 2.0 6.99 33.7
Formula: (((7 * AYPA) – (11 * Int%) + 105) *0.8
AYPA is Air Yards Per Pass Attempt.  It eliminates Yards After Catch and can be found at advancednflstats.com

November 16, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 11–November 18-22, 2010

Hottest Team In The League?

Quick question.  Three NFL teams have not lost a game since week six.  One of those three has outscored its opponents by 26 points per game in that time.  One has given up just one touchdown in their last two games.  The other has averaged over 30 points per game in their three-game winning streak.  Can you name these three teams?

It is no surprise that Green Bay has fared strongly in their current three-game winning streak.  The Packers were supposed to win their division and were supposed to be a top contender for the NFC representative in the Super Bowl  thanks to a powerful offense.  But, the Packers have done it with defense as of late, holding the Jets scoreless and giving up just seven to Dallas.

Atlanta has been a contender in the NFC South ever since Matt Ryan arrived.  The Falcons have scored 92 points in their three-game winning streak.

Ah, but who is this most dominating team of the trio–the one outscoring opponents by 38-12?  It’s the Oakland Raiders who all of a sudden find themselved in first place in the AFC West.  The Raiders visit Pittsburgh, and if they can beat the Steelers, they are officially back.

The Great Switch

Four games into this season, it appeared that offense was on the decline and half the league might give up less than 17 points per game.  As of late, offense has ruled.  Now half of the league could top 350 points.  This is just another part of this fascinating season in which no team appears to be dominant.  Look for 20 teams to challenge for the 12 playoff spots.  It would not surprise us to see three or more spots up for grabs in week 17.

Current NFL Standings, PiRate, Mean, and Biased Ratings
(listed alphabetically by division)                      
                       
Bitmap

NFC East
Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA
Philadelphia 6 3 0 257 209 106.2 104.8 105.0 2
NY Giants 6 3 0 236 193 104.8 102.8 104.3 2
Washington 4 5 0 183 229 95.6 97.2 93.5 3
Dallas 2 7 0 194 252 93.6 97.5 98.0 2
                       
NFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA
Green Bay 6 3 0 221 143 108.1 106.5 104.5 3
Chicago 6 3 0 175 146 99.4 99.6 100.8 4
Detroit 2 7 0 215 202 98.9 99.4 97.0 4
Minnesota 3 6 0 169 195 98.4 100.0 97.6 3
                       
NFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA 
New Orleans 6 3 0 201 151 105.8 103.1 103.9 2
Atlanta 7 2 0 222 175 104.0 103.6 104.9 4
Tampa Bay 6 3 0 188 206 96.0 96.9 98.9 2
Carolina 1 8 0 104 215 92.9 90.9 90.5 2
                       
NFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA 
San Francisco 3 6 0 160 198 96.5 96.4 98.3 4
St. Louis 4 5 0 160 164 96.3 96.3 97.1 4
Seattle 5 4 0 166 199 95.9 95.8 98.1 3
Arizona 3 6 0 175 261 91.8 93.5 92.6 4
                       
AFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA 
NY Jets 7 2 0 208 150 107.1 106.0 106.6 2
New England 7 2 0 258 214 106.3 105.0 106.8 3
Miami 5 4 0 172 192 102.8 102.2 102.0 3
Buffalo 1 8 0 164 245 95.0 94.7 92.9 2
                       
AFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA 
Baltimore 6 3 0 196 165 106.8 104.8 105.1 4
Pittsburgh 6 3 0 200 162 103.2 104.1 104.2 2
Cleveland 3 6 0 172 182 101.6 100.3 100.7 4
Cincinnati 2 7 0 184 213 98.0 98.8 96.7 3
                       
AFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA 
Indianapolis 6 3 0 240 185 105.4 104.1 104.7 4
Tennessee 5 4 0 241 179 102.1 104.2 101.6 4
Houston 4 5 0 217 257 97.3 97.0 97.4 2
Jacksonville 5 4 0 196 250 94.0 95.9 98.3 3
                       
AFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA 
San Diego 4 5 0 239 197 102.6 102.2 101.9 4
Oakland 5 4 0 235 188 100.2 100.6 101.7 2
Kansas City 5 4 0 212 194 97.9 98.7 99.1 4
Denver 3 6 0 203 252 95.9 97.3 94.8 2

 

 
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 10: November 18-22, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 12:30 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
MIAMI Chicago 6.4 5.6 4.2 1 1/2 40   
PITTSBURGH Oakland 5.0 5.5 4.5 7 1/2 41   
NEW YORK JETS Houston 11.8 11.0 11.2 6 1/2 45 1/2
Baltimore CAROLINA 11.9 11.9 12.6 10    37 1/2
TENNESSEE Washington 10.5 11.0 12.1 7    44   
Detroit DALLAS 3.3 -0.1 -3.0 -6 1/2 47   
Green Bay MINNESOTA 6.7 3.3 3.9 3    44   
CINCINNATI Buffalo 6.0 7.1 6.8 5 1/2 44   
Cleveland JACKSONVILLE 4.6 1.4 -0.6 1 1/2 43   
KANSAS CITY Arizona 10.1 9.2 10.5 7 1/2 44   
NEW ORLEANS Seattle 11.9 9.3 7.8 11 1/2 44   
Atlanta ST. LOUIS 4.7 3.3 3.8 3    43   
SAN FRANCISCO Tampa Bay 4.5 3.5 3.4 3    41 1/2
NEW ENGLAND
Indianapolis
3.9 2.6 5.1 3    50 1/2
PHILADELPHIA New York Giants 3.4 4.0 2.7 3    48 1/2
SAN DIEGO Denver 10.7 8.9 11.1 10    50   
 
PiRate Passer Rating
Player Team AYPA Int% PiRate #
Michael Vick PHI 7.5 0.00 126.0
Peyton Manning IND 6.1 1.03 109.1
Kyle Orton DEN 6.6 1.43 108.4
Tom Brady NE 6 1.32 106.0
Matt Cassel KC 5.7 1.50 102.7
Phillip Rivers SD 7 2.43 101.8
Matt Ryan ATL 5.5 1.48 101.8
Josh Freeman TB 5.7 1.85 99.6
Vince Young TEN 5.8 2.14 97.6
Colt McCoy CLE 5.6 2.02 97.6
Seneca Wallace CLE 5.4 2.00 96.6
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 6.1 2.53 95.9
Matt Schaub HOU 5.8 2.34 95.9
Mark Sanchez NYJ 5.2 2.01 95.4
Joe Flacco BAL 5.5 2.36 94.1
Aaron Rodger GB 5.6 2.97 89.2
Kevin Kolb PHI 4.9 2.61 88.4
Tony Romo DAL 5.7 3.29 87.0
Sam Bradford STL 4.1 2.40 85.9
Jason Campbell OAK 4.8 2.92 85.1
Drew Brees NO 5.1 3.21 84.3
Carson Palmer CIN 4.7 3.06 83.4
Chad Henne MIA 5 3.27 83.2
Kerry Collins TEN 4.2 2.80 82.8
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 4.6 3.08 82.6
Donovan McNabb WAS 4.8 3.57 79.5
Shaun Hill DET 4.4 3.37 79.0
Jay Cutler CHI 4.8 3.66 78.7
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 3.7 2.97 78.6
Eli Manning NYG 5.4 4.08 78.4
David Garrard JAX 5.1 3.89 78.3
Alex Smith SF 4.2 3.72 74.8
Jimmy Clausen CAR 2.8 2.90 74.2
Bruce Gradkowski OAK 4.3 3.92 73.6
Derek Anderson ARI 3.7 3.87 70.7
Jon Kitna DAL 5 5.22 66.0
Brett Favre MIN 4 5.54 57.6
Matt Moore CAR 2 6.99 33.7
Formula: (((7 * AYPA) – (11 * Int%) + 105) *0.8
AYPA is Air Yards Per Pass Attempt.  It eliminates Yards After Catch and can be found at advancednflstats.com

November 9, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 10–November 11-15, 2010

Current NFL Standings
NFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased HFA
NY Giants 6 2 0 216 160 108.0 105.0 108.7 2
Philadelphia 5 3 0 198 181 103.6 102.9 105.0 2
Washington 4 4 0 155 170 98.2 99.2 99.6 4
Dallas 1 7 0 161 232 90.4 94.8 90.0 3
                       
NFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
Green Bay 6 3 0 221 143 108.1 106.5 106.7 3
Minnesota 3 5 0 156 168 99.6 100.2 96.5 3
Detroit 2 6 0 203 188 99.0 99.8 101.1 4
Chicago 5 3 0 148 133 98.2 99.3 101.4 2
                       
NFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
New Orleans 6 3 0 201 151 105.8 103.0 106.1 2
Atlanta 6 2 0 196 154 103.2 102.9 106.1 3
Tampa Bay 5 3 0 157 190 94.7 96.7 100.8 2
Carolina 1 7 0 88 184 94.2 90.9 91.2 2
                       
NFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
San Francisco 2 6 0 137 178 97.1 95.6 97.5 4
St. Louis 4 4 0 140 141 95.7 96.9 99.3 3
Arizona 3 5 0 157 225 94.3 94.6 92.5 4
Seattle 4 4 0 130 181 93.4 94.1 94.6 4
                       
AFC East Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
NY Jets 6 2 0 182 130 107.3 105.4 106.9 4
New England 6 2 0 219 188 104.7 104.0 104.3 2
Miami 4 4 0 143 175 101.7 100.3 101.1 2
Buffalo 0 8 0 150 233 94.9 93.4 93.6 2
                       
AFC North Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
Baltimore 6 2 0 175 139 107.6 104.8 105.6 2
Pittsburgh 6 2 0 174 123 104.8 106.4 105.4 2
Cleveland 3 5 0 152 156 101.4 100.2 101.1 2
Cincinnati 2 6 0 167 190 97.5 97.9 93.2 4
                       
AFC South Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
Indianapolis 5 3 0 187 151 105.9 105.4 104.2 4
Tennessee 5 3 0 224 150 103.2 106.6 103.3 2
Houston 4 4 0 176 196 97.5 98.4 97.5 2
Jacksonville 4 4 0 165 226 93.8 95.2 95.5 4
                       
AFC West Won   Lost   Tied Pts Opp PiRate Mean Biased  
San Diego 4 5 0 239 197 102.6 102.8 100.0 4
Kansas City 5 3 0 183 145 100.3 101.4 100.5 2
Oakland 5 4 0 235 188 100.2 100.6 100.3 2
Denver 2 6 0 154 223 93.5 94.7 90.6 2

 

THIS WEEK’S PIRATE, MEAN, AND BIAS SPREADS

 

Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
Baltimore ATLANTA 1.4 -1.1 -3.5 -1 1/2 43   
INDIANAPOLIS Cincinnati 12.4 11.5 15.0 8    47 1/2
JACKSONVILLE Houston 0.3 0.8 2.0 2    50   
MIAMI Tennessee 0.5 -4.3 -0.1 -1    42 1/2
CHICAGO Minnesota 0.6 1.1 6.9 -1    40 1/2
Detroit BUFFALO 2.1 4.4 5.5 -3    42 1/2
New York Jets CLEVELAND 3.9 3.2 3.8 3    37   
TAMPA BAY Carolina 2.5 7.8 11.6 7    35 1/2
Kansas City DENVER 4.8 4.7 7.9 1    42   
SAN FRANCISCO St. Louis 5.4 2.7 2.2 6    38 1/2
ARIZONA Seattle 4.9 4.5 1.9 3    41   
NEW YORK GIANTS Dallas 19.6 12.2 20.7 14    45   
PITTSBURGH New England 2.1 4.4 3.1 4 1/2 45   
Philadelphia WASHINGTON 1.4 -0.3 1.4 3 42   

 

PIRATE QUARTERBACK PASSER FORMULA

 

Player Team AYPA Int% PiRate #  
Michael Vick PHI 6.7 0.00 121.5  
Peyton Manning IND 6.2 1.14 108.7  
Vince Young TEN 6.5 1.64 106.0  
Kyle Orton DEN 6.4 1.58 105.9  
Tom Brady NE 5.7 1.53 102.4  
Phillip Rivers SD 7.0 2.43 101.8  
Matt Ryan ATL 5.5 1.74 99.5  
Matt Cassel KC 5.2 1.87 96.7  
Seneca Wallace CLE 5.4 2.00 96.6  
Mark San chez NYJ 5.2 1.97 95.8  
Josh Freeman TB 5.3 2.03 95.8  
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 6.4 2.75 95.6  
Joe Flacco BAL 5.6 2.28 95.3  
Matt Schaub HOU 5.4 2.62 91.2  
Carson Palmer CIN 4.9 2.52 89.3  
Aaron Rodgers GB 5.6 2.97 89.2  
Kevin Kolb PHI 4.9 2.61 88.4  
Tony Romo DAL 5.7 3.29 87.0  
Donovan McNabb WAS 4.9 2.89 86.0  
Jason Campbell OAK 4.8 2.92 85.1  
Drew Brees NO 5.1 3.21 84.3  
Chad Henne MIA 4.9 3.24 83.0  
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 4.6 3.08 82.6  
Jay Cutler CHI 4.9 3.32 82.2  
Sam Bradford STL 3.9 2.74 81.7  
Kerry Collins TEN 4.6 3.45 79.4  
Shaun Hill DET 4.4 3.37 79.0  
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 3.7 2.97 78.6  
Eli Manning NYG 5.3 4.06 78.0  
Alex Smith SF 4.2 3.72 74.8  
Bruce Gradkowski OAK 4.3 3.92 73.6  
Derek Anderson ARI 3.7 3.87 70.7  
David Garrard JAX 4.2 4.70 66.2  
Brett Favre MIN 4.3 5.04 63.7  
Jimmy Clausen CAR 2.0 3.67 62.9  
Jon Kitna DAL 3.6 5.36 57.0  
Trent Edwards JAX 1.4 5.26 45.5  
Matt Moore CAR 2.0 6.99 33.7  
           
Formula: [((7* Air Yards Per Attempt [eliminates YAC]) – (11* Int.%)) +105] * 0.8  
 
 
AYPA can be found at advancednflstats.com  

 

 

Playoff Projections

 

N F C

1. New York Giants              12-4

2. Atlanta Falcons                 12-4

3. Green Bay Packers           10-6

4. Seattle Seahawks                 8-8

5. New Orleans Saints           11-5

6. Philadelphia Eagles           11-5

 

A F C

1. Pittsburgh Steelers            13-3

2. New York Jets                   12-4

3. Indianapolis Colts             10-6

4. Kansas City Chiefs            10-6

5. Baltimore Ravens              12-4

6. New England Patriots       11-5

November 2, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 9–November 7-8, 2010

AFC West Showdown in Oakland

 

How long has it been since a Raiders-Chiefs game meant so much?  Not since 1993 has this rivalry game been so important.  

 

Those of us that remember football from 45 years ago can remember some wild games between these two teams.  In 1968, Chiefs’ head coach Hank Stram faced a dilemma when the 5-1 Chiefs hosted the 5-1 Raiders.  His top receivers were injured and would miss the game.  Kansas City had three excellent running backs.  Stram installed a double tight end full-house T formation and ran the ball almost exclusively.  Len Dawson threw just three passes that day, but the running back trio of Mike Garrett, Robert Holmes, and Wendell Hayes rushed for close to 300 yards in a shocking win over the Raiders.

 

The two teams finished the season tied at 12-2, and they faced off in Oakland in a playoff for the AFL West title.  Oakland got revenge with a 41-6 blowout.

 

The following year, Oakland beat the Chiefs in a preseason game, and then beat them twice during the regular season.  In 1969, in the AFL’s final season, the league expanded its playoffs from two to four teams.  Playing for a fourth time, the Chiefs won in the most important AFL game of the season.  It put them in the Super Bowl.

 

The following year, the first as NFL members, the Chiefs appeared set to win when a huge fight broke out as the Chiefs were running out the clock.  Penalties forced KC to punt, and Oakland got the ball back one final time and forced a tie.  The Raiders finished 8-4-2 to 7-5-2 for the Chiefs.  Had Kansas City won that game, the Chiefs would have won the AFC West in a tiebreaker.

 

The rivalry took on added intensity when the Kansas City Athletics baseball team moved to Oakland for the 1968 season.  Sports fans in the city of Kansas City had an axe to grind with the fans from the city of Oakland.  It did not hurt that the Chiefs and Raiders were the two best teams in the old American Football League.  In the 1969 expansion of Major League Baseball, Kansas City was awarded a new franchise, and it was placed in the same division as Oakland.

 

Back to the present.  The Raiders have awakened and won two games in a row by a combined score of 92-17.  Kansas City holds a 1 ½ game lead at 5-2.  This game means something again.

 

Current Regular Season NFL PiRate Ratings
             
             
Bitmap

NFC East

 

PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T PPG Opp
New York Giants 104.0 104.2 106.0 5-2-0 25.0 21.9
Philadelphia 102.9 102.4 103.6 4-3-0 24.6 22.4
Washington 98.2 99.8 99.7 4-4-0 19.4 21.3
Dallas 96.4 97.2 92.9 1-6-0 22.0 26.7
             
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 105.1 104.8 105.1 5-3-0 22.0 17.0
Minnesota 102.1 101.0 97.8 2-5-0 18.4 20.6
Chicago 98.1 100.0 100.4 4-3-0 18.0 16.3
Detroit 97.7 98.7 100.0 2-5-0 26.1 23.6
             
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Atlanta 103.8 103.8 105.3 5-2-0 24.1 19.0
New Orleans 102.8 101.9 103.5 5-3-0 20.9 18.5
Carolina 96.2 92.2 90.6 1-6-0 12.1 21.4
Tampa Bay 93.1 96.3 99.8 5-2-0 19.4 23.3
             
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Francisco 97.1 95.4 96.8 2-6-0 17.1 22.3
Seattle 96.4 96.8 98.2 4-3-0 17.6 20.0
St. Louis 95.7 96.7 98.6 4-4-0 17.5 17.6
Arizona 92.8 94.7 92.3 3-4-0 19.0 28.3
             
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
NY Jets 108.1 106.3 106.0 5-2-0 22.7 15.7
New England 107.2 106.4 107.1 6-1-0 29.3 22.0
Miami 103.4 101.3 102.3 4-3-0 19.0 21.3
Buffalo 95.0 92.5 94.6 0-7-0 18.7 30.1
             
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 105.4 103.8 104.4 5-2-0 21.3 18.4
Pittsburgh 104.1 105.9 104.5 5-2-0 21.0 14.6
Cleveland 98.4 97.4 96.3 2-5-0 16.9 20.3
Cincinnati 98.2 97.7 94.5 2-5-0 20.9 23.3
             
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 106.6 105.9 106.2 5-2-0 23.3 17.9
Tennessee 103.2 106.1 103.2 5-3-0 28.0 18.8
Houston 98.8 99.4 99.8 4-3-0 21.9 23.9
Jacksonville 93.8 94.8 96.1 4-4-0 20.6 28.3
             
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Diego 101.8 100.9 100.1 3-5-0 26.3 21.8
Oakland 100.5 100.0 100.3 4-4-0 26.5 21.0
Kansas City 100.0 101.6 101.7 5-2-0 23.3 17.4
Denver 93.5 94.3 92.3 2-6-0 19.3 27.9

 

This Week’s Games
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 9: November 7-8, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 4:00 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
Chicago BUFFALO 1.1 5.5 3.8 3    40 1/2
San Diego HOUSTON 1.0 -0.5 -1.7 2 1/2 50   
New Orleans CAROLINA 4.6 7.7 10.9 7 42   
MINNESOTA Arizona 12.3 9.3 8.5 9 40 1/2
ATLANTA Tampa Bay 13.7 10.5 8.5 9 44 1/2
New York Jets DETROIT 6.4 3.6 2.0 4 41 1/2
BALTIMORE Miami 4.0 4.5 4.1 5 1/2 40 1/2
New England CLEVELAND 6.8 7.0 8.8 4 1/2 44   
New York Giants SEATTLE 3.6 3.4 3.8 5 1/2 41 1/2
OAKLAND Kansas City 2.5 0.4 0.6 2 1/2 40 1/2
Indianapolis PHILADELPHIA 1.7 1.5 0.6 -3    46 1/2
GREEN BAY Dallas 11.7 10.6 15.2 7 1/2 45 1/2
Pittsburgh CINCINNATI 1.9 4.2 6.0 4 1/2 41 1/2

 

PiRate Passer Rating  
Player Team AYPA Int% PiRate #  
Michael Vick PHI 6.7 0.00 121.5  
Peyton Manning IND 6.7 0.67 115.6  
Vince Young TEN 6.5 1.64 106.0  
Kyle Orton DEN 6.4 1.58 105.9  
Josh Freeman TB 5.5 1.34 103.0  
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 7.1 2.44 102.3  
Phillip Rivers SD 6.7 2.29 101.4  
Tom Brady NE 5.7 1.78 100.3  
Matt Cassel KC 5.4 1.68 99.5  
Seneca Wallace CLE 5.4 2.00 96.6  
Matt Ryan ATL 5.3 1.98 96.2  
Mark Sanchez NYJ 4.9 1.86 95.1  
Chad Henne MIA 5.3 2.46 92.0  
Joe Flacco BAL 5.3 2.54 91.3  
Matt Schaub HOU 5.3 2.55 91.2  
Carson Palmer CIN 5 2.48 90.2  
Kevin Kolb PHI 4.9 2.61 88.4  
Tony Romo DAL 5.7 3.29 87.0  
Donovan McNabb WAS 4.9 2.89 86.0  
Jason Campbell OAK 4.9 2.90 85.9  
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 4.7 2.84 85.3  
Aaron Rodgers GB 5.3 3.35 84.2  
Drew Brees NO 5.1 3.32 83.3  
Sam Bradford STL 3.9 2.74 81.7  
Kerry Collins TEN 4.6 3.45 79.4  
Shaun Hill DET 4.4 3.37 79.0  
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 3.7 2.97 78.6  
Jay Cutler CHI 4.8 3.87 76.8  
Alex Smith SF 4.2 3.72 74.8  
Bruce Gradkowski OAK 4.3 3.92 73.6  
Eli Manning NYG 4.8 4.60 70.4  
Jimmy Clausen CAR 2.6 3.30 69.5  
David Garrard JAX 4.2 4.70 66.2  
Derek Anderson ARI 3.5 4.52 63.9  
Brett Favre MIN 3.8 5.21 59.4  
Charlie Batch PIT 3.7 6.12 50.8  
Trent Edwards JAX 1.4 5.26 45.5  
Matt Moore CAR 2.1 7.30 31.5  
Max Hall ARI 0.5 6.67 28.1  
PiRate Passer Rating Formula  
[((7* Air Yards Per Attempt [eliminates YAC]) – (11* Int.%)) +105] * 0.8

 

AYPA can be found at advancednflstats.com

 

October 26, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 8–October 31- November 1, 2010

Time For A Horse Or Two To Move Out Of The Pack 

This is the time of year where the eventual Super Bowl participants begin to kick it up a notch.  It doesn’t happen every season; for instance, we knew that New Orleans and Indianapolis were the class of the NFL last year from the second or third week.  However, in most seasons, somewhere around games five thru seven, a couple of teams begin to separate from the pack.  You don’t always realize it until the last quarter of the season.  A 3-3 team will go 5-1 to move to 8-4.  That team may still trail two or three teams in their conference.  While everybody else looks at the 10-2 teams, it is really the hot 8-4 team that is primed to win in the playoffs.

Which AFC teams appear to be peaking at this time?  The Jets, Steelers, Patriots, and Ravens are not peaking.  The Jets could turn out to be a great team that is going to “wire the field,” but we see two teams that look to be decent fits for this pattern.  Both happen to be in the same division.  The Indianapolis Colts may not be close to last year’s team in talent, but they are starting to play like a playoff winner.  The Tennessee Titans better fit this pattern.  They look like a team that could run off five or six wins in a row, after winning three in a row in impressive fashion.

Stranger things have happened in the past, so we must look at the Browns and Raiders at this point.  Both pulled off impressive victories on the road last week.  We are not saying they will run off five more in succession, but we must take a hard look at their games this week. 

In the NFC, the New York Giants clearly exhibit the pattern we are looking for.  The Seattle Seahawks are the other team to monitor for this possible scenario.  We think there is still going to be one other team that will break out from the pack in the next two weeks and begin to look like a playoff winner.  Philadelphia could be that team.

Beans On Bowl

This is the week for the annual game across the pond.  When San Francisco and Denver face off in London this weekend, it could set back global football relations for years.  Could we see a coaching dismissal made some point over the Atlantic Ocean on the return flight?  Even the blokes in Jolly Ole’ England know when somebody is trying to pull a fast one over them on the football field.

Current Regular Season NFL PiRate Ratings
   
NFC East
PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T PPG Opp
New York Giants 104.0 103.7 105.7 5-2-0 25.0 21.9
Philadelphia 102.9 102.0 102.1 4-3-0 24.6 22.4
Dallas 101.9 100.2 98.0 1-5-0 22.8 25.3
Washington 99.4 100.5 100.5 4-3-0 18.6 19.0
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 102.8 102.9 103.5 4-3-0 23.9 19.4
Minnesota 102.7 101.2 100.1 2-4-0 18.5 19.3
Chicago 98.1 100.0 99.0 4-3-0 18.0 16.3
Detroit 96.5 98.4 95.3 1-5-0 24.3 23.3
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Atlanta 103.8 103.3 104.4 5-2-0 24.1 19.0
New Orleans 101.4 99.9 101.4 4-3-0 21.0 19.7
Carolina 97.6 92.4 93.1 1-5-0 12.5 21.7
Tampa Bay 92.9 95.4 97.6 4-2-0 16.3 21.3
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 98.4 98.5 100.5 4-2-0 20.0 17.8
San Francisco 96.6 94.7 92.8 1-6-0 16.1 23.1
St. Louis 94.3 96.5 96.3 3-4-0 17.1 18.7
Arizona 93.0 95.6 95.3 3-3-0 16.3 26.7
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
NY Jets 110.4 107.4 109.5 5-1-0 26.5 16.8
New England 106.6 105.7 106.6 5-1-0 29.5 22.7
Miami 101.3 100.2 102.0 3-3-0 18.5 22.5
Buffalo 92.7 91.9 90.9 0-6-0 20.2 33.0
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Pittsburgh 105.5 107.6 107.4 5-1-0 22.8 13.7
Baltimore 105.4 104.0 104.8 5-2-0 21.3 18.4
Cincinnati 100.3 98.8 99.2 2-4-0 22.0 23.7
Cleveland 98.4 97.9 96.2 2-5-0 16.9 20.3
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Tennessee 105.3 107.9 106.8 5-2-0 28.4 16.7
Indianapolis 105.1 105.0 105.6 4-2-0 27.2 20.8
Houston 100.3 99.6 101.1 4-2-0 25.5 27.8
Jacksonville 90.8 92.6 91.8 3-4-0 18.6 29.9
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Kansas City 101.3 101.5 102.3 4-2-0 25.0 18.7
San Diego 99.7 100.4 98.2 2-5-0 25.3 21.3
Oakland 97.0 98.2 97.8 3-4-0 25.6 23.6
Denver 94.0 96.0 94.3 2-5-0 19.7 28.4
This Week’s Games
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 8: October 31-November 1, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 3:30 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
San Francisco Denver  (London) 2.6 -1.3 -1.5 Pk 42   
DALLAS Jacksonville 13.1 9.6 8.2 6 1/2 42 1/2
DETROIT Washington 0.1 0.9 -2.2 2 1/2 44   
NEW YORK JETS Green Bay 9.6 6.5 8.0 6    42   
Carolina ST. LOUIS 0.3 -7.1 -6.2 3    37   
CINCINNATI Miami 1.0 0.6 -0.8 2    43 1/2
KANSAS CITY Buffalo 11.6 12.6 14.4 7 1/2 44 1/2
Tennessee SAN DIEGO 1.6 3.5 4.6 -4    44   
ARIZONA Tampa Bay 2.1 2.2 -0.3 3    39 1/2
OAKLAND Seattle 0.6 1.7 -0.7 2 1/2 42   
NEW ENGLAND Minnesota 7.9 8.5 10.5 6    42 1/2
Pittsburgh NEW ORLEANS 1.1 4.7 3.0 -1    44 1/2
INDIANAPOLIS Houston 7.8 8.4 7.5 5 1/2 49 1/2

 

PiRate QB Passer Ratings

Player Team AYPA Int % PiRate #
Michael Vick PHI 6.7 0.00 121.5
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 8.8 1.85 117.0
Peyton Manning IND 6.9 0.79 115.7
Kyle Orton DEN 6.3 1.45 106.5
Mark Sanchez NYJ 5.1 1.13 102.6
Phillip Rivers SD 6.7 2.22 102.0
Josh Freeman TB 5.0 1.51 98.7
Matt Cassel KC 5.5 1.96 97.5
Vince Young TEN 5.4 1.98 96.8
Seneca Wallace CLE 5.4 2.00 96.6
Matt Ryan ATL 5.3 1.98 96.2
Tom Brady NE 5.3 2.02 95.9
Matt Schaub HOU 5.7 2.54 93.6
Chad Henne MIA 5.4 2.42 93.0
Carson Palmer CIN 5.3 2.46 92.0
Joe Flacco BAL 5.3 2.54 91.3
Kevin Kolb PHI 4.9 2.61 88.4
Donovan McNabb WAS 5.1 2.83 87.6
Tony Romo DAL 5.7 3.29 87.0
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 5.4 3.13 86.7
Drew Brees NO 5.1 3.48 81.9
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 4.1 2.94 81.1
Aaron Rodgers GB 5.4 3.83 80.5
Shaun Hill DET 4.4 3.37 79.0
Sam Bradford STL 3.7 3.08 77.6
Jay Cutler CHI 4.8 3.87 76.8
Alex Smith SF 4.2 3.72 74.8
Kerry Collins TEN 4.8 4.17 74.2
Bruce Gradkowski OAK 4.3 3.92 73.6
Jason Campbell OAK 3.6 3.60 72.4
Eli Manning NYG 4.8 4.60 70.4
Jimmy Clausen CAR 2.6 3.30 69.5
Derek Anderson ARI 3.2 3.82 68.3
David Garrard JAX 3.2 5.47 53.8
Brett Favre MIN 3.3 5.59 53.3
Charlie Batch PIT 3.7 6.12 50.8
Trent Edwards JAX 1.4 5.26 45.5
Max Hall ARI 0.9 5.08 44.3
Matt Moore CAR 2.5 7.00 36.4

AYPA is Air Yards Per Pass Attempt.  It is the average pass yardage per attempt minus yards after catch.  This statistic is available at advancednflstats.com.

August 31, 2009

2009 Mountain West Conference Preview

2009 Mountain West Conference Preview

A PiRate Look

In the last in our series of non-BCS conference previews, we take a look at the Mountain West Conference, the most successful of the non-BCS leagues.  Last year, Utah ran the table for the second time in five seasons and won a BCS Bowl in convincing fashion.  We believe the league has the best shot at placing yet another team in a BCS Bowl in January, 2010.  However, it won’t be Utah.

Here are the preseason PiRate ratings for the league.  The ratings have been rounded to the nearest whole number even though we calculate them to two decimal places.  Thus, when you see multiple teams with the same rating, they are not actually exactly even.  To understand what the rating means, it is set so that 100 is average.  Thus, a rating of 90 means the team is 10 points weaker than the average team in the FBS.  The average of all 120 FBS teams should round to 100 if the math has been successfully calculated.

For those who have not followed the PiRate Ratings before and wonder about the home field advantage, we do not assign set in stone advantages.  These are assigned on a game-by-game basis.  For instance, When Utah hosts BYU or vice versa in the “Holy War,” there really isn’t much home field advantage for either team.  However, if Utah hosted Boston College on a Thursday night after BC played at Miami just five days earlier, then Utah might receive a touchdown in home field advantage.  The PiRates think it’s ridiculous to issue a blank home field advantage for all teams or even assign a range of set home field advantages.

   

Mountain West Conference Preseason Ratings

     

 

Prediction *

    Team

PiRate

MWC

Overall

    T C U

111

   8-0

11-1

    Utah

108

   5-3

8-4

    Brigham Young

104

   6-2

9-3

    Air Force

99

   5-3

8-4

    Colorado State

92

   3-5

5-7

    San Diego State

91

   2-6

5-7

    U N L V

91

   6-2

8-4

    New Mexico

88

   0-8

1-11

    Wyoming

88

   1-7

2-10

     

 

 

 

   

*  Predictions not based on PiRate Rating but

   

on expected changes to rating during the year

 

T C U: The Horned Frogs have flirted with a BCS at-large bid in recent years, falling one game short last year and falling one game short of possibly playing in the Fiesta Bowl for a chance at a number three finish in 2005.  This year, TCU has possibly the best chance of any non-BCS team of running the table and crashing the BCS party.  Out of the league, they will have to win at Virginia and Clemson just two weeks apart with a breather against Texas State in between.  We think they will win just one of those two games, and Coach Gary Patterson’s team could finish 11-1 and sit on the bubble.

The vaunted Horned Frog defense led the nation last year allowing just 11.3 points and 218 total yards per game.  Even the national title game participant Oklahoma couldn’t run the ball against their front line.  That defense took a major graduation hit with seven players departing.  One of those four holdovers is All-American end Jerry Hughes.  The future NFL star dropped enemy QBs an NCAA-best 15 times and was credited with 4 ½ other tackles for loss; he intercepted a couple of passes to boot.  The three new starters on the line will benefit from all the double teams on Hughes. 

The news is worse in the second line of defense, where both starting linebackers and the top reserve have picked up their sheepskins.  Jason Phillips, Stephen Hodge, and Robert Henson were also the team’s top three tacklers.

The five-man secondary returns three starters, including two excellent cornerbacks (Rafael Priest and Nick Sanders) who batted away 22 enemy passes and picked off three more.

We know the defensive statistics will be off compared to last year, but fret not Frog fans.  TCU will give up less than 20 points per game for the fifth year in a row, and they will allow only 280-320 total yards per game.  Now, for even better news: the offense is going to be just as good if not better than last year, and it was a record-setting unit in Ft. Worth.  TCU averaged better than 200 yards both rushing and passing while scoring almost 34 points per game.

Quarterback Andy Dalton should top 2,500 passing yards with 15-20 touchdowns this year.  Considering that TCU usually tries to run the ball into the end zone when they get into the red zone, that number is impressive.   

Dalton’s top receiver is Jimmy Young.  Young narrowly missed 1,000 receiving yards last year, and if he stays healthy this year, he should top that mark.

The running game returns three of the four backs who rushed for 380 or more yards return this year, led by Joseph Turner, who is capable of rushing for 1,000 yards. 

The offensive line has some rebuilding to do, but both tackles return this year.  Marcus Cannon and Marshall Newhouse will compete for All-MWC honors.

Will 11-1 earn TCU an at-large BCS bowl?  It’s 50-50.

Utah:  The Utes ran over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl like a herd of elephants on the rampage.  Don’t expect a return trip to a BCS bowl this year, because too many key players have run out of eligibility.

The offense lost six starters, including MWC Offensive Player of the Year Brian Johnson.  The former QB passed for 2,972 yards and 27 touchdowns with just nine picks.  True Freshman Jordan Wynn has apparently won the starting job this year, so expect the team’s passing numbers to drop from 244 to possibly less than 200 yards per game.

Making things more difficult for Wynn is the fact that the top three receivers from last year have moved on.  David Reed is the leading yardage returnee, and he only caught 25 passes for 427 yards.  He is a deep ball threat.

The running game will carry a much bigger share of the offense this year.  Three very good offensive linemen return, including tackle Zane Beadles, and leading rusher Matt Asiata is back after rushing for 707 yards and 12 scores.  Look for him to get more touches this year and possibly top 1,000 yards.

The defense should be about as strong this year as they were last year, when the Utes surrendered 17.2 points and 289 total yards per game.  Seven starters return including the top four tacklers.  The linebacker trio of Nai Fotu, Mike Wright, and Stevenson Sylvester has no equal in the MWC.

Up front, Koa Misi is a multi-talented end.  He can get to the enemy QB or running back in the backfield, and he can play pass defense like a good linebacker.

The strength of the secondary will be the safeties.  Free safety Robert Johnson is the type of player coaches want as the last line of defense.

The schedule includes out of conference games against Utah State and Louisville at home and Oregon and San Jose State on the road.  The TCU and BYU games are both on the road, and a road game against UNLV could be tough as well.  There are too many chances for losses this year, so we think Utah could lose three times.

Brigham Young: A team noted for super offenses may succeed due to defense this year.  The Cougars suffered heavily to graduation on the attack side.  One of the four returning starters is quarterback Max Hall.  Hall just missed passing for 4,000 yards and hit pay dirt 35 times.

One player Hall will miss is Austin Collie, who caught 106 passes for 1,538 yards and 15 touchdowns.  BYU always has able replacements waiting to assume starting duties, but Collie’s contribution will not be equaled.  Dennis Pitta returns after grabbing 83 passes for 1,083 yards; he’s the top pass-catching tight end in college football.

It’s not well known, but BYU has had some running success the last few years.  Harvey Unga topped 1,100 yards rushing last year, making it three 1,000 yard rushers in four years.  Unga may have a hard time matching those numbers this year, as four starters need to be replaced on the offensive line.

The defensive line could have been dominating, but tackle Russell Tialavea decided earlier this summer to go on a mission for the church.  End Jan Jorgensen should continue to dominate after contributing 8 ½ tackles behind the line.

BYU is set at linebacker, where the starters all return after combining for 223 tackles and 11 sacks.  Behind that unit, the secondary returns two starters. 

One intangible to factor in early in the season is a rash of minor injuries to key players.  While none of the starters should miss much game time if any, they are missing practices.

The schedule does not allow Cougar fans to think BCS Bowl this year.  BYU opens with Oklahoma at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium.  Maybe punter Tyler Holt can hit the jumbotron.  A home game with Florida State could give the Cougars a chance to score an upset.  In MWC play, BYU hosts both Utah and TCU, as well as Air Force.  The one tough road game is at UNLV.  If the Cougars can shore up their offensive line and come up with a couple of good receivers to compliment Pitta, they could pull off the conference championship.

Air Force:  The service academies usually have high football graduation losses every year, so when Air Force returns six starters to both sides of the ball, it has to be considered a glut of experience.

Quarterback Tim Jefferson earned Freshman of the Year honors in the league last year even though he didn’t post gaudy statistical numbers.  When he passed the ball, he completed 55% of his passes and averaged 8.2 yards per attempt.

Six backs saw significant action last year, and five return.  There may not be a star among the group, but they know how to make the option go.  The Falcons averaged 4.5 yards per rush in 2008, and that average should head north of five this year.

The offensive line returns three starters, and the blocking schemes in this offense make it easier than average for new starters to become competent.

The Falcon defense is strongest on the back line.  The secondary returns three starters who combined for 216 tackles, five interceptions, and 13 passes broken up.

The one weak spot is the defensive line, where two of the three starters this year are new to the lineup.  Nose tackle Ben Garland could make the All-MWC team.

The linebackers all have prior experience, led by Ken Lamendola, who topped AFA in tackles last year with 118.

The schedule includes the usual other two service academies plus Nicholls State and Minnesota out of conference.  While the Falcons won’t win the conference title, they should take home the Commander-in-Chief Trophy.  Expect to see the Falcons playing in a bowl for the third consecutive season.

Colorado State:  The Rams were a small surprise in Steve Fairchild’s first year as coach in Ft. Collins.  CSU broke even in the regular season and won the New Mexico Bowl game over Fresno State.  They will be lucky to repeat that feat this season.

Only five starters return on defense, and only two of them play in the front seven.  CSU surrendered 30.2 points and 410 total yards per game in 2008, and those numbers will get worse this year.  Look for a jump to 35-40 points allowed and 430-450 total yards allowed per game.

The secondary has some experienced talent returning, but they will be forced to cover receivers longer per play.  The pass rush should be much weaker. 

Mychal Sisson is the one bright spot on the stop side.  The weakside linebacker led the Rams with 105 tackles including eight behind the line.

The offense should still have some firepower even though a new quarterback and running back must be found.  As of this writing, Fairchild hasn’t officially named a starter, but we believe that choice will be Grant Stucker. 

The new starter behind Stucker is John Mosure.  He won’t remind Ram fans of Gartrell Johnson, who rushed for 1,476 yards and 12 scores last year.

The top two receivers from last year return to start at wipeout.  Dion Morton and Rashuan Greer teamed for 114 receptions and 1,973 yards last year.

The offensive line welcomes back four of the five starters from a year ago, so we expect the Rams to improve in the running game and remain strong in the passing game—if Stucker can take over the controls without short-circuiting.

The Rams open up with Colorado yet again, but this game will be played in Boulder instead of Denver.  After hosting Weber State, they host Nevada and venture to BYU.  TCU and UNLV must be played on the road, while Utah and Air Force come to Hughes Stadium.  It looks like the Rams will come up a bit short this year and win no more than five times.

San Diego State: Brady Hoke worked wonders at Ball State, and he begins his tenure on the West Coast in a great situation.  The Aztecs are going to improve immediately in his first year, and if the ball bounces right, SDSU could even challenge for bowl eligibility.

Seven starters return to both sides of the ball, and most of the key special teams players are back as well.  Quarterback Ryan Lindley didn’t play like a freshman last year, and now as a sophomore he could top 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns through the air.

When Lindley passes, he will have one of the league’s best set of receivers running under the ball.  There are numerous capable hands on the roster, but none of them have breakaway potential. 

The running game has much room for improvement after averaging just 73 yards per game last year.  Atiyyah Henderson led SDSU with 490 yards on the ground.  He’ll run behind an offensive line about as talented this year as last.

For the record to move toward .500, the Aztecs must improve their defense against both the run and pass.  They gave up 461 yards and 37.2 points per game in 2008.  They must come up with a way of stopping the run, and it all begins up front, where three starters return from last year.  In the second line of defense, Luke Laolagi and Andrew Preston are the leading returning tacklers.

The secondary has been weak for two consecutive seasons, and it will be the weak point again this year.  Cornerback Aaron Moore broke up six passes a year ago.

Hoke’s best recruiting efforts were in the choosing of his staff.  Former New Mexico coach Rocky Long is the new defensive coordinator with former Ball State DC Mark Smith coming along as linebacker coach.  The Aztecs will come with many different types of blitzes this year and come up with some big plays.  Al Borges, the former offensive coordinator at Auburn, back when the Tigers had an exceptional offense, takes over in the same position here.  Former Cleveland Browns QB Brian Sipe will coach the QBs here.

The out-of-conference schedule could give SDSU three wins.  A probable loss at UCLA in the opener is the one tough game before conference play.  With New Mexico, Wyoming, New Mexico State, and Southern Utah coming to Qualcomm Stadium, and with a road game scheduled against Idaho, the Aztecs can win five games in year one of the Hoke era.

U N L V: The Rebels came within one game of becoming bowl eligible in 2008, and this should be the year they break through and earn a bowl bid. 

Junior quarterback Omar Clayton missed three games last year but still managed to pass for 1,894 yards and 18 scores versus just four interceptions.  With a strong supporting cast, Clayton should pass for 2,800 to 3,000 yards.

Wipeout Ryan Wolfe is the league’s leading returning receiver after catching 88 passes for 1,040 yards and six touchdowns.  Joining him are two promising receivers who can turn short passes into long gains.  Phillip Payne and Jerriman Robinson both averaged more than 15 yards per reception in 2008 and could combine for 100 receptions in 2009.

The only fly in the ointment for this offense is a solid running attack.  C. J. Cox is the leading returning rusher, and he had just 191 yards rushing last year.

The offensive line has three returning starters, including probable all-MWC tackle Matt Murphy. 

The defense returns seven starters, plus a former starter from 2007, to a unit that gave up 33 points and 423 yards per game.  Three players with starting experience return at linebacker, and three more start in the front line.    Linebackers Jason Beauchamp and Ronnie Paulo are the stars of this team.  Look for the duo to combine for 200-230 tackles.

While the secondary loses three starters, Coach Mike Sanford went the JUCO route to find adequate replacements.

The schedule gives the Rebels multiple chances to pull off an upset or two along the way.  After opening at home with Sacramento State, Oregon State and Hawaii visit Vegas.  Consecutive road games against Wyoming and Nevada precede consecutive home games with BYU and Utah.  TCU and Air Force are road games as well. 

New Mexico:  After guiding New Mexico to five bowl games in six years (a 6-5 record in the year they failed to earn a bid), former Coach Rocky Long was dismissed after posting one losing record.  Enter Mike Locksley, former offensive coordinator at Illinois.  Locksley may find the going rough for a few seasons, as he is making sweeping changes to the offense and defense.  The players to run those systems are not there.

On offense, the Lobos transform from a run the ball up the gut to set up the play-action pass to a no-huddle, spread passing attack.  Quarterback Donovan Porterie was not having a great year early in 2008, but it became much worse when he was lost for the season.  It allowed three other signal callers to see action, and they all return this year.  However, we don’t expect to see spectacular passing statistics.  In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more interceptions than touchdown passes from this group, a lower than expected completion percentage, and a relatively low yardage per pass attempt (maybe as lower than last year’s 5.4).

The running game will suffer immensely with this new offense.  Losing 1,110 yard rusher Rodney Ferguson will make matters worse.  The UNM running game could drop from 208 yards per game to as low as 85-100.

There’s ample experience at the receiver positions, but the talent is not up to the standards set by the upper division teams.  There will be more receptions, for sure, but there will also be considerably more incomplete passes and interceptions.

The defense is switching from a 3-3-5 to a 4-3 this year, and it doesn’t help that there isn’t any experience or much depth in the defensive line.  No starters return, and since the passing game will create more total plays, this green unit will be exploited all year.  We could see opponents rushing for 160-180 yards per game with an average per rush well over four.  Also, the pass rush will not produce as many sacks or hurries.

Only one starting linebacker returns, but he’s the best defensive player on the team.  Clint McPeek led the Lobos with 103 tackles.  He’s not just a run-stuffer; he’s probably the best pass defender on the team as well.

The secondary returns a couple of able safeties, but both cornerbacks must be replaced.  The Lobos gave up 214 passing yards per game, and that number was actually impressive because it came against the likes of Arizona, Tulsa, and New Mexico State out of conference, as well as the usual pass-happy conference opponents.  This year, New Mexico adds Texas Tech to the schedule, so the Lobos could give up 250-275 passing yards per game.

We just don’t see many opportunities for this team to win this year.  The home game against rival New Mexico State may be their best and only shot.  The other games where they have a chance are on the road. 

Wyoming: Joe Glenn was never able to turn the corner in Laramie, and he’s now history.  His replacement is Dave Christensen, the former offensive coordinator at Missouri.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t get to bring Chase Daniel, Derrick Washington, and Jeremy Maclin along to suit up.  He does have a lot of returning talent from a team that wasn’t all that bad at times.

The spread offense will sputter somewhat in year one.  Junior college transfer Robert Benjamin will begin the season as the starter, taking over for former starter Karsten Sween.  Benjamin fits the mold to run Christensen’s offense, and if he can hold onto the job, he should rush for 600-750 yards and pass for 2,500-2,750 yards with a nice TD/INT ratio.

Wyoming lost 1,300 yard blazing rusher Devin Moore and bruising Wynel Seldon (637 yards rushing).  Benjamin is likely to be the leading rusher, and we expect the average yards per game to drop from 178 to 120-130.

Benjamin will have some quality receivers to pass the ball.  Tight end Jesse Salyards gives him a big target over the middle and on delayed release routes.  Defenses will have to respect him, and that will allow wipeouts Greg Bolling and Brandon Stewart to get open more.  Stewart can burn a secondary for a quick six, and he should score a lot more than once (his ’08 stat).

The offensive line welcomes back three starters plus a fourth player with starting experience.  They should provide a formidable pass protection for Benjamin.

Eight starters return to a defense that yielded just 330 yards per game in 2008.  All three defensive line starters from 2008 return, and the three Cowboys aren’t that far behind the lines of TCU and BYU.

Half of the four-man linebacking crew returns this year, led by inside ‘backer Gabe Knapton. 

The secondary returns three starters, and all three are capable of landing on the all-MWC team.  Chris Prosinski and the brothers Gipson (Tashaun and Marcell) teamed to knock down 29 passes last year.

Wyoming opens the season at home with preseason #9-ranked in the BCS Weber State.  The Cowboys should begin the Coach Christensen era on a winning note before facing Texas at home the following week.  A visit down US 287  to Boulder to take on Colorado should be the tell-tale sign of how improved this team will be.  If they can be competitive and pull off the upset in this backyard brawl, the Cowboys could flirt with a winning record and be the big surprise of the West this year.  We think the chances are slim, and CU will win that game handily, so Wyoming will take their lumps this year and compete with New Mexico, Colorado State, and San Diego State for sixth in the league.

Next up: A look at the first of the BCS conferences, The Big East.  It should be an interesting race and a possible death watch for a coach.

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