The Pi-Rate Ratings

October 12, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–October 13-17, 2016

Replayicide

A third consecutive winning week was practically in the bag thanks to a great Sunday comeback. Yes, a terrific 84.7% return on our investment was ours, as Joe Flacco guided the Baltimore Ravens on a fourth quarter comeback to defeat the Washington Redskins, allowing the PiRates to cash in on a really nice +199 parlay.

As Lee Corso says, “Not so fast my friends.” All scoring plays are reviewed. Breshad Perriman appeared to have both feet inbounds in real time with his heel of his second foot hitting green turf, but the instant replay told a different story, and by the distance of a few blades of grass, a big payoff turned into a 15% loss on our investment. Oh well, at least they are imaginary dollars, so we didn’t really lose anything but a little self-pride.

One good thing about doing this exercise just for fun is that you don’t become gun shy when you miss on a big payoff like this, and you don’t have to worry about trying to catch up after a loss or sustain any success; you just select the next week’s games as if the new week is in a vacuum.
We have chosen four new selections this week, three from college and one NFL. This is a strange season for the NFL, so we are lessening our amount of pro plays.

Enjoy these selections, but remember, we highly encourage you not to use them to wager real coin, currency, or plastic on them.

October 13-17, 2016

1. College Parlay @ +157
Idaho over New Mexico St.
Marshall over Florida Atlantic
Florida over Missouri
Georgia over Vanderbilt

We like the job Paul Petrino has done at Idaho and expect the Vandals to win in the Palouse this week; considering that this program has announced that they will leave FBS football to return to FCS and the Big Sky Conference in 2018, Petrino could be on the radar screen of other FBS schools should Idaho make it to 6-6 or better this year. Maybe, this year is their last-gasp effort to sneak into a bowl for the first and possibly last time since 2009 and only the third time ever. Here’s a bit of trivia for you: Idaho was once a member of what is the Pac-12 Conference today. From1922 to 1959, the Vandals were in the same league as USC, UCLA, Cal, Oregon, and Stanford. The Idaho-Washington St. rivalry remains strong since the two schools are within walking distance of each other.

Marshall is off to its weakest start in the Doc Holliday tenure, but the Herd should begin to thunder this week against FAU. The Owls lost at Charlotte last week, and Coach Charlie Partridge will be doing his cooing from another pear tree next year.

Florida and Missouri both had last Saturday off, with the Gators’ bye week coming unexpectedly. The good news for Florida was that by watching the most recent game film of the team they were supposed to play last week (LSU), they just happened to watch this week’s opponent. We think the Gators win a rather dull, low-scoring affair in the 14-10 range.

Georgia has not looked brilliant for 60 minutes in any game this year, but even playing 20 minutes brilliantly this week should be enough to win over a Vanderbilt team that is “0 for” on the road in the SEC under Coach Derek Mason and has no passing game.

2. College Parlay @ +192
Arkansas St. over South Alabama
Ohio St. over Wisconsin
Ball St. over Buffalo
Memphis over Tulane

Arkansas State might replicate what Texas A&M did in 1967. The Red Wolves began the season 0-4 and could run the table after that start. South Alabama is a team that gets up for big-time opponents and seems to not show up against opponents not considered big-time.

Wisconsin’s incredibly difficult schedule is about to come down hard in Badgerland. After losing at Michigan, we expect Ohio State to make the home team fans a bit sad as they exit Camp Randall Stadium Saturday. There is an issue of team speed in this game, and UW will eventually succumb to it.

Ball State is on the cusp of being a rather decent team in MAC football, but they are not there yet. However, this Buffalo team is at the bottom of the league, and they lost at home to Kent State last week. The Cardinals look to pick up their biggest point differential win of the season.

Memphis will have a tough time in New Orleans on Saturday, as Tulane is one of those pesky teams that opponents do not enjoy playing. First-year Green Wave coach Willie Fritz is known for his unique style of multiple option running and play-action passing plays, and his offense is eating up the clock with a true freshman quarterback guiding it, but it is the TU defense that is really getting the job done. It just goes to show that the best defense in football is a good time-consuming offense. Still, it is asking a bit too much to expect a green Green Wave squad to upset a team that thinks they can now win the West Division of the AAC.

3. College Parlay @ +172
Florida Int’l. over Charlotte
Ohio U over Eastern Michigan
BYU over Mississippi St.

Ron Turner has been in this boat before. When he coached at Illinois, Turner endured some lean seasons with just two wins, before surprising the nation with a trip to the Rose Bowl and upset of top-ranked Ohio State. Turner has slowly improved FIU from one to four to five wins in his three years in Miami, and the Panthers now could contend for a minor bowl. In order to do so, they have to beat a Charlotte team that just gained a little confidence with their first ever CUSA win last week. We expect FIU to win by at least 10-14 points.

Frank Solich has the Ohio Bobcats in the driver’s seat to win the MAC East this year, as his chief competition, Akron, has a tougher conference schedule, and the season finale between the two is in Athens. The Bobcats respect this EMU team, because this Eagles’ team is 4-2 and thinks it is going to win two more games this year. It was a tough choice, but we sided with OU in this game.

Mississippi State appears to be the 13th best team in the SEC this year, and the Bulldogs already have a home out-of-conference loss to South Alabama. Having to travel to Utah to face a BYU team that is about two touchdowns better today than they were at the start of the season means another loss for the SEC school.

4. NFL Parlay @ +220
New England over Cincinnati
Buffalo over San Francisco
Oakland over Kansas City

Do you expect Tom Brady to lose to anybody in his home debut? We’d go with the Pats to beat the NFC Pro Bowl team this week. Cincinnati could be out of the playoff race after this week, and Marvin Lewis could be in jeopardy of losing his job if the Bengals fall to third in the AFC North.

San Francisco must travel almost 3,000 to the Ontario border to face a mean Buffalo team that has turned things around since their Monday Night debacle against the Jets. Colin Kaepernick will get his first start, and we would not be surprised if subconsciously, the officials see an extra penalty here or there that costs the 49ers a crucial first down. Rex Ryan can sniff playoffs with this Bills’ team. It’s been a very long dry spell for Buffalo, even longer than the Raiders’ dry spell, and a win Sunday puts Buffalo at 4-2.

If you haven’t read our NFL preview from Tuesday, you should read what we had to write about the Oakland – Kansas City rivalry.

Link: https://piratings.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/nfl-ratings-and-spreads-for-week-5-october-13-17-2016/

This game promises to be one of the best between these two franchises since the old Daryle Lamonica vs. Len Dawson days. The game even shapes up to play like it was from 1968–Oakland has the wide-open high-octane offense and some big play defensive stars, while Kansas City has the better ball-control offense to go with a top-flight defense. All that will be missing is the odd characters like Ben Davidson, Buck Buchanan, Fred Williamson, and Fred Biletnikoff, who wore shoulder pads about as thick as tissue paper and used enough Stickem that he could catch a pass without using his fingers.

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January 17, 2014

PiRate Ratings NFL Conference Champion Game Previews–January 19, 2014

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:15 pm

NFL Conference Championship Playoff TV Schedule

Day

Time (ET)

Game

TV

Radio

Sunday, January 19

3:00 PM

New England @ Denver

CBS

Westwood 1

Sunday, January 19

6:30 PM

San Francisco @ Seattle

Fox

Westwood 1

   

To find a local Westwood 1 radio affiliate, check this link:

http://westwoodonesports.com/stations/

Weather Forecasts For Kickoff and Next 3-4 hours

Seattle—Mostly cloudy with virtually no wind.  Temperatures falling from the upper to the lower 40’s during the game.

 

 

Denver—Incredibly beautiful, Spring-like afternoon.  Temperatures starting in the upper 50’s with plentiful sunshine.  Light winds, and temperatures will fall to around 50 by the end of the game.

 

 

PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Seattle San Francisco

1.9

1.9

1.9

Denver New England

4.8

6.6

5.2

 

Computer Simulations (100x)

San Francisco at Seattle

San Francisco wins: 54

Seattle wins: 46

Average Margin: San Francisco 22.1  Seattle 20.7 

SF Outlier Win: 31-10

Sea Outlier Win: 24-3

 

New England at Denver

NE Wins: 53

Denver Wins: 47

Average Margin: New England 27.9  Denver 27.6

NE Outlier Win: 41-24

Den Outlier Win: 34-16

 

This is potentially the best pair of conference championship games since 2001-02.

January 8, 2014

PiRate Ratings: NFL Divisional Playoff Round–January 11-12, 2014

Wildcard Playoff TV Schedule

Day

Time (ET)

Game

TV

Radio

Saturday, January 11

4:35 PM

New Orleans @ Seattle

Fox

Westwood 1

Saturday, January 11

8:15 PM

Indianapolis @ New England

CBS

Westwood 1

Sunday, January 12

1:05 PM

San Francisco @ Carolina

Fox

Westwood 1

Sunday, January 12

4:40 PM

San Diego @ Denver

CBS

Westwood 1

   

 

 

 

To find a local Westwood 1 radio affiliate, check this link:

http://westwoodonesports.com/stations/

 

Weather Forecasts For Kickoff and Next 3-4 hours

Seattle—100% chance of rain, potentially heavy, and windy with a game time temperature in the mid to upper 40’s and falling slowly through the duration of the game

 

New England—60% chance of rain and gusty winds with temperatures holding steady near 50 throughout the game.

 

Carolina—Partly cloudy with a small rain chance and light winds with temperatures in the mid to upper 50’s during the course of the game.

 

Denver—Partly cloudy with a small rain chance and moderate wind gusts with temperatures at kickoff in the mid-40’s and falling into the 30’s during the game.

 

 

PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Seattle New Orleans

7.3

6.9

6.9

New England Indianapolis

7.0

5.4

6.7

Carolina San Francisco

-1.5

-2.0

-1.7

Denver San Diego

7.3

7.4

7.7

 

Computer Simulations (100x)

New Orleans at Seattle

New Orleans wins: 14

Seattle wins: 86

Average Margin: Seattle 32.3  New Orleans 22.6

NO Outlier Win: 36-24

Sea Outlier Win: 44-13

 

Indianapolis at New England

Indianapolis Wins: 33

New England Wins: 67

Average Margin: New England 29.4  Indianapolis 23.1

Ind Outlier Win: 34-19

NE Outlier Win: 31-6

 

San Francisco at Carolina

San Francisco Wins: 64

Carolina Wins: 36

Average Margin: San Francisco 22.8  Carolina 18.6

SF Outlier Win: 30-10

Car Outlier Win: 21-6

 

San Diego at Denver

San Diego Wins: 49

Denver Wins: 51

Average Margin: San Diego 29.8  Denver 29.6

SD Outlier Win: 49-27

Den Outlier Win: 52-31

This one surprised us, but then again San Diego already won at Denver once before this season.

December 24, 2013

PiRate Ratings: NFL for Week 17–December 29, 2013

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

The Playoff Races In Full

A F C

 

Denver

Clinches #1 Seed with home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs with a win or tie vs. Oakland, or

A New England loss or tie against Buffalo

Falls to #2 Seed if they lose to Oakland and New England beats Buffalo

New England

Clinches #1 Seed with home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs with a win over Buffalo and a Denver loss to Oakland

Clinches #2 Seed with a win or tie vs. Buffalo, or a Cincinnati loss or tie to Baltimore and an Indianapolis loss or tie against Jacksonville

Cincinnati

Clinches #2 Seed with a win over Baltimore and a loss by New England to Buffalo

 

Wins Tiebreaker over Indianapolis for #3 Seed (Head-to-Head Win)

 

Indianapolis

Clinches #2 Seed with a win over Jacksonville and a New England loss to Buffalo and a Cincinnati loss or tie to Baltimore

 

Clinches #3 Seed with a win over Jacksonville and a Cincinnati loss or tie to Baltimore, or

 

A tie over Jacksonville and a Cincinnati loss to Baltimore

 

Kansas City

Has already clinched #5 Seed

Miami

Clinches #6 Seed with a win over the NY Jets and Baltimore loss or tie to Cincinnati, or

A win over NY Jets and a San Diego win over Kansas City, or

A tie with NY Jets, and a Baltimore loss to Cincinnati, and a San Diego loss or tie vs. Kansas City, or

A tie with NY Jets, and a Baltimore tie vs. Cincinnati, and a San Diego tie vs. Kansas City

Baltimore

Clinches #6 Seed with a win over Cincinnati and a San Diego loss or tie vs. Kansas City, or

A win over Cincinnati, and a Miami loss or tie vs. NY Jets, or

A tie vs. Cincinnati, and a Miami loss to NY Jets, and a San Diego loss or tie with Kansas City, or

A tie vs. Cincinnati, and a Miami tie with NY Jets, and a San Diego loss to Kansas City, or

A Miami loss to NY Jets, and a San Diego loss to Kansas City, and a Pittsburgh loss or tie with Cleveland

San Diego

Clinches #6 Seed with win over Kansas City, and Miami loss or tie with NY Jets, and Baltimore loss or tie with Cincinnati, or

 

A tie with Kansas City, and a Miami loss to NY Jets, and Baltimore loss to Cincinnati

Pittsburgh

Clinches #6 Seed with win over Cleveland, and Miami loss to NY Jets, and Baltimore loss to Cincinnati, and San Diego loss to Kansas City

N F C

 

Seattle

Clinches #1 Seed with home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs with a win or tie against St. Louis, or

A San Francisco loss or tie against Arizona

Carolina

Clinches #1 Seed with a win over Atlanta and a Seattle loss to St. Louis, and a San Francisco win over Arizona

Clinches #2 Seed with a win or tie with Atlanta, or

A New Orleans loss or tie with Tampa Bay

Philadelphia

Clinches #3 Seed with win or tie with Dallas

Chicago

Clinches the NFC North Division with a win or tie with Green Bay

Clinches #3 Seed with a win over Green Bay and Dallas winning the NFC East (wins tiebreaker based on head-to-head win)

Clinches #4 Seed if Philadelphia wins the NFC East, (or if Bears tie and Dallas wins)

San Francisco

Clinches #1 Seed with home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs with a win over Arizona, and a Seattle loss to St. Louis, and a Carolina loss or tie with Atlanta

Clinches #2 Seed with a win over Arizona and a Seattle loss to St. Louis

Clinches #5 Seed with win over Arizona, or

A New Orleans loss to Tampa Bay (New Orleans and Carolina both hold tiebreaker based on head-to-head win)

Clinches #6 Seed if tied with either New Orleans or Carolina or both

New Orleans

Clinches #2 Seed with win over Tampa Bay and Carolina Loss to Atlanta

 

Clinches #5 Seed with win over Tampa Bay, or

A tie with Tampa Bay and an Arizona loss or tie with San Francisco, or

An Arizona loss to San Francisco

 

Clinches #6 Seed with a loss to Tampa Bay and a San Francisco win or tie over Arizona, or

A Tie with Tampa Bay and a San Francisco tie with Arizona (holds tiebreaker over Arizona based on head-to-head win)

Arizona

Clinches #6 Seed with a win over San Francisco and a New Orleans loss or tie with Tampa Bay, or

A Tie with San Francisco, and a New Orleans loss to Tampa Bay

Dallas

Clinches #3 Seed with a win over Philadelphia and a Chicago loss or tie with Green Bay

Clinches #4 Seed with a win over Philadelphia and a Chicago win over Green Bay (loses tiebreaker to Chicago based on head-to-head loss)

Green Bay

Clinches #4 Seed with a win over Chicago

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Philadelphia Eagles

101.8

103.0

102.1

Dallas Cowboys

97.7

97.8

96.9

New York Giants

95.6

95.7

95.3

Washington Redskins

92.2

92.2

91.6

       
North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Detroit Lions

100.3

100.3

99.9

Chicago Bears

98.8

98.4

98.3

Green Bay Packers

98.1

97.3

97.4

Minnesota Vikings

95.5

95.2

95.1

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New Orleans Saints

105.5

106.1

106.2

Carolina Panthers

105.5

105.8

105.8

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

96.9

96.6

96.9

Atlanta Falcons

95.2

94.6

94.4

 

 

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

San Francisco 49ers

110.0

110.6

110.4

Seattle Seahawks

109.5

109.9

109.8

Arizona Cardinals

103.9

104.9

104.3

St. Louis Rams

100.7

101.7

101.4

       

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New England Patriots

107.1

105.5

106.9

Miami Dolphins

100.0

99.2

99.9

Buffalo Bills

97.9

97.6

98.3

New York Jets

92.8

92.0

93.0

       
North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Cincinnati Bengals

108.1

108.5

108.4

Baltimore Ravens

100.3

100.0

100.3

Pittsburgh Steelers

99.9

99.9

100.2

Cleveland Browns

94.3

93.7

93.8

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Indianapolis Colts

102.9

103.3

103.2

Tennessee Titans

97.4

97.5

97.4

Houston Texans

92.6

91.7

92.4

Jacksonville Jaguars

90.8

90.6

90.8

       
West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Denver Broncos

110.0

110.5

110.4

San Diego Chargers

103.6

104.0

103.6

Kansas City Chiefs

103.4

104.1

103.7

Oakland Raiders

91.7

91.8

91.9

 

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Atlanta Carolina

-8.3

-9.2

-9.4

Chicago Green Bay

3.7

4.1

3.9

Cincinnati Baltimore

10.8

11.5

11.1

Dallas Philadelphia

-1.1

-2.2

-2.2

Tennessee Houston

6.8

7.8

7.0

Indianapolis Jacksonville

14.1

14.7

14.4

Pittsburgh Cleveland

7.6

8.2

8.4

Miami N Y Jets

10.2

10.2

9.9

Minnesota Detroit

-2.3

-2.6

-2.3

New England Buffalo

12.2

10.9

11.6

New Orleans Tampa Bay

11.6

12.5

12.3

N Y Giants Washington

5.9

6.0

6.2

Arizona San Francisco

-3.1

-2.7

-3.1

San Diego Kansas City

3.2

2.9

2.9

Seattle St. Louis

11.3

10.7

10.9

Oakland Denver

-15.3

-15.7

-15.5

 

This Week’s PiRate Playoff Projections

A F C

1. Denver

2. New England

3. Cincinnati

4. Indianapolis

5. Kansas City

6. Miami

 

N F C

1. Seattle

2. Carolina

3. Philadelphia

4. Chicago

5. San Francisco

6. New Orleans

 

Wildcard Round

Cincinnati over Miami

Kansas City over Indianapolis

Philadelphia over New Orleans

San Francisco over Chicago

 

Divisional Round

Denver over Kansas City

New England over Cincinnati

Seattle over San Francisco

Philadelphia over Carolina

 

Conference Championships

New England over Denver

Philadelphia over Seattle

 

Super Bowl

New England over Philadelphia

November 5, 2013

PiRate Ratings: NFL Football–November 7-11, 2013

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Dallas Cowboys

102.7

104.5

103.2

Washington Redskins

97.1

97.4

97.0

Philadelphia Eagles

96.2

97.3

96.0

New York Giants

94.8

94.4

93.8

       
North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Chicago Bears

103.0

102.4

102.4

Green Bay Packers

102.8

102.2

102.6

Detroit Lions

101.8

103.3

101.9

Minnesota Vikings

94.1

93.0

93.2

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New Orleans Saints

105.7

107.2

106.2

Carolina Panthers

104.8

104.9

105.1

Atlanta Falcons

97.2

96.3

96.4

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

94.4

93.4

93.9

 

 

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

San Francisco 49ers

109.7

110.5

110.4

Seattle Seahawks

105.5

105.4

105.1

Arizona Cardinals

97.7

99.2

97.9

St. Louis Rams

96.6

97.1

96.7

       

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New England Patriots

106.8

104.6

107.0

Miami Dolphins

99.2

98.8

99.4

Buffalo Bills

96.4

96.0

96.7

New York Jets

95.2

93.4

95.5

       
North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Cincinnati Bengals

105.8

105.7

106.3

Baltimore Ravens

101.7

100.9

101.1

Cleveland Browns

98.1

98.6

98.1

Pittsburgh Steelers

96.4

95.2

95.6

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Indianapolis Colts

105.4

105.7

105.9

Tennessee Titans

100.4

100.8

100.9

Houston Texans

98.4

98.1

99.0

Jacksonville Jaguars

85.2

84.2

84.5

       
West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Denver Broncos

110.5

111.0

110.8

Kansas City Chiefs

103.4

105.1

103.9

San Diego Chargers

100.6

101.4

101.2

Oakland Raiders

92.4

92.0

92.3

 

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Minnesota Washington

0.0

-1.4

-0.8

Arizona Houston

2.3

4.1

1.9

Atlanta Seattle

-4.8

-5.6

-5.2

Baltimore Cincinnati

-1.1

-1.8

-2.2

Chicago Detroit

3.7

1.6

3.0

Green Bay Philadelphia

9.7

8.0

9.7

Indianapolis St. Louis

11.8

11.6

12.2

N Y Giants Oakland

6.4

6.4

5.5

New Orleans Dallas

6.0

5.7

6.0

Pittsburgh Buffalo

3.0

2.2

1.9

San Diego Denver

-6.9

-6.6

-6.6

San Francisco Carolina

8.4

9.1

8.8

Tennessee Jacksonville

18.2

19.6

19.4

Tampa Bay Miami

-2.8

-3.4

-3.5

   

 

 

 

Byes: Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, N Y Jets

 

 

 

 

 

This Week’s PiRate Playoff Projections

A F C

1. Denver

2. New England

3. Indianapolis

4. Cincinnati

5. Kansas City

6. New York Jets

 

N F C

1. Seattle

2. New Orleans

3. Detroit

4. Dallas

5. San Francisco

6. Carolina

 

Wildcard Round

New York Jets over Indianapolis

Kansas City over Cincinnati

Carolina over Detroit

San Francisco over Dallas

 

Divisional Round

Denver over New York Jets

Kansas City over New England

Seattle over Carolina

San Francisco over Dallas

 

Conference Championships

Kansas City over Denver

San Francisco over Seattle

 

Super Bowl

San Francisco over Kansas City

October 9, 2013

PiRate Ratings: NFL–October 10-14, 2013

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

 

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Dallas Cowboys

101.9

104.1

102.5

Washington Redskins

96.8

96.5

96.6

Philadelphia Eagles

95.2

96.9

95.1

New York Giants

92.0

90.7

90.2

 

 

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Green Bay Packers

106.6

105.7

106.3

Chicago Bears

102.6

102.4

102.0

Detroit Lions

100.7

102.3

100.3

Minnesota Vikings

97.7

96.7

96.9

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New Orleans Saints

106.3

108.8

107.2

Atlanta Falcons

100.3

99.1

99.4

Carolina Panthers

99.1

98.6

99.0

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

95.6

94.3

95.1

 

 

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Seattle Seahawks

108.2

107.7

108.1

San Francisco 49ers

107.8

108.0

108.2

Arizona Cardinals

96.3

98.9

96.9

St. Louis Rams

94.5

94.7

93.9

       

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New England Patriots

106.0

103.2

106.1

Miami Dolphins

99.4

99.4

99.5

New York Jets

97.2

95.1

97.6

Buffalo Bills

96.5

95.5

97.0

       
North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Baltimore Ravens

103.1

102.2

102.9

Cincinnati Bengals

103.0

102.7

103.4

Cleveland Browns

98.6

99.6

99.3

Pittsburgh Steelers

95.2

93.5

93.9

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Indianapolis Colts

105.9

106.0

106.9

Tennessee Titans

100.6

101.1

101.3

Houston Texans

100.0

99.2

100.0

Jacksonville Jaguars

85.1

84.0

84.5

       
West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Denver Broncos

112.0

113.2

112.4

Kansas City Chiefs

103.7

106.8

105.0

San Diego Chargers

98.6

99.7

99.0

Oakland Raiders

93.5

93.4

93.5

 

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

 

This Week’s Games

   

 

 

 

Week Number:

6

 

 

 

Date of Games:

October 10-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Chicago N Y Giants

13.6

14.7

14.8

Buffalo Cincinnati

-3.5

-4.2

-3.4

Cleveland Detroit

0.4

-0.2

1.5

Kansas City Oakland

13.2

16.4

14.5

Minnesota Carolina

1.6

1.1

0.9

Tampa Bay Philadelphia

2.9

-0.1

2.5

Baltimore Green Bay

-0.5

-0.5

-0.4

Houston St. Louis

8.0

7.0

8.6

N Y Jets Pittsburgh

4.5

4.1

6.2

Denver Jacksonville

29.9

32.2

30.9

Seattle Tennessee

11.1

10.1

10.3

New England New Orleans

2.7

-2.6

1.9

San Francisco Arizona

14.5

12.1

14.3

Dallas Washington

8.1

10.6

8.9

San Diego Indianapolis

-4.3

-3.3

-4.9

   

 

 

 

Byes: Atlanta, Miami  

 

 

 

 

This Week’s PiRate Playoff Projection

A F C

1. Denver

2. Indianapolis

3. New England

4. Cincinnati

5. Kansas City

6. New York Jets

 

N F C

1. New Orleans

2. Seattle

3. Green Bay

4. Dallas

5. San Francisco

6. Chicago

 

Wildcard Round

Kansas City over Cincinnati

New England over New York Jets

Green Bay over Chicago

San Francisco over Dallas

 

Divisional Round

Kansas City over Denver

New England over Indianapolis

New Orleans over San Francisco

Green Bay over Seattle

 

Conference Championships

Kansas City over New England

New Orleans over Green Bay

 

Super Bowl

New Orleans over Kansas City

October 2, 2013

PiRate Ratings: NFL–October 3-7, 2013

Early Playoff Projections

The season has reached the quarter pole, and there is a wide rift between the haves and have nots.  In most years after four weeks, maybe one to three teams could be considered playoff locks, while two to four teams could be considered already out of the playoffs.  In 2013, we can say with considerable confidence that six teams can be considered playoff locks, barring catastrophic injuries.  Likewise, we can say that about eight teams have less than 3% chances of recovering from lousy starts.

 

After just one quarter of the season (less for Green Bay and Carolina who have already had their bye weeks), the playoff race comes down to a handful of teams fighting for the remaining playoff spots.  Let’s now take a look at each division.

 

A F C East

New England is definitely a playoff lock after a 4-0 start without Rob Gronkowski.  The Patriots’ defense is cause for concern for the rest of the league, as Tom Brady does not have to put up 30 points every week.

 

Miami is on pace to grab a wildcard spot, probably the number six seeding.  At 3-1, the Dolphins project to a 10-6 record according to our ratings.

 

While both Buffalo and the New York Jets have split their first four games, our ratings show both teams heading south from here.

 

A F C North

This is the second biggest disappointment so far.  Before the season, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh were supposed to fight for the division title with at least one of the runners-up qualifying for the playoffs as a wildcard.  Now, it appears that 9-7 could win the division, and Cleveland could compete with the Bengals and Ravens for the lone playoff spot from this division.

 

Pittsburgh could be the 2011 version of the Colts, except Ben Roethlisberger is not missing the entire season due to injury.  He might wish this was so in a few more weeks.

 

A F C South

This is one of the two most interesting divisional races.  Houston was supposed to run away from the pack and compete for home field advantage to the Super Bowl.  Indianapolis was supposed to fall back some, while Tennessee and Jacksonville were picked to compete for a distant third.

 

The Texans look like a sports car that needs a tune-up because it is misfiring on a cylinder.  They find themselves in third place.

 

Indianapolis and Tennessee are tied for first, but the Titans must play their next three games without quarterback Jake Locker.  The three teams facing backup Ryan Fitzpatrick: Kansas City, Seattle, and San Francisco!

 

It looks like these three contenders will struggle to get too many games over .500 due to the tough schedules.  They all must play Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, and Kansas City, and 9-7 could be enough to get into the playoffs.  Two or even all three contenders could finish 9-7, and yet only one would qualify for the playoffs.

 

A F C West

The only question in this division is: can Denver go 16-0?  The Broncos are on pace to top 700 points.  No NFL team has ever scored 600 points in a season.  The 2007 Patriots scored 589, while the 1950 Los Angeles Rams hold the mark for highest scoring average in a season at 38.8 (NFL teams played just 12 games then).   We say the Broncos will lose at least once and probably another after they have secured home field advantage.

 

Kansas City is close to a playoff lock at 4-0.  The Chiefs benefit from playing a fourth place schedule, and with four wins in the bag, KC could easily be looking at 11 or 12 wins this year.

 

San Diego is one of the few “best of the rest” teams to watch out for.  The Chargers are 2-2 with close losses to Houston and Tennessee.  This team is capable of going 9-7 and moving into a four-team scuffle for the last playoff spot.

 

N F C East

Call it the NFC Least, where 8-8 should win the division outright, and unfortunately 7-9 could be enough to get into the playoffs.

 

Dallas is still too inconsistent, even with entirely different philosophies on both sides of the ball.  Still, an inconsistent Cowboy team is the odds-on favorite to finish 8-8 and win the division outright.  This might be the end for Jason Garrett if Dallas does not win at least nine games.  Kevin Sumlin might be a perfect fit here if owner Jerry Jones makes a change.

 

The Philadelphia experiment has been a bust after a week one boom.  Still, the Eagles are just one game out of first place, and they still play Dallas twice.  Defense will keep the Eagles from reaching .500.

 

Washington is a team in flux.  It seems to be the theme for D.C. Sports.  The Nationals were criticized for benching Steven Strasburg last year when it appeared they were the class of the National League.  The Redskins were criticized for playing RGIII last year when they qualified for the playoffs.  This year, the Nats did not recover until it was too late.  It looks like the same situation for the ‘Skins.  They may eventually recover and start playing ball like they did in 2012, but by then, they could be 4-8.

 

N F C North

Last year, three teams won 10 or more games in the North.  It could happen again this year.  In fact, our ratings show that Chicago, Detroit, and Green Bay should all finish with identical 10-6 records.  And, like last year, one of these three 10-6 teams will miss the playoffs.

 

N F C South

Can one coach mean that much of a difference?  You betcha!  Sean Payton’s return from Bountygate exile has propelled the Saints to a 4-0 start after starting 0-4 last year.  The 2013 team is now drawing comparisons to the Super Bowl Champion team of 2009.

 

Atlanta is the bad luck team.  The 1-3 Falcons could easily be 4-0.  Their three losses have come against opponents that are 11-1.  This team will turn it around and win more than they lose, but the birds must pass a lot of teams to become playoff eligible.  They must finish 9-3 to make it into the conversation, and the schedule is not all that easy from here.

 

N F C West

Go ahead and put the Seahawks and 49ers into the playoffs.  You don’t have to pencil them in; you can use a pen—Seattle as the division champion and San Francisco as the number five seed.  Because Seattle hosts New Orleans in the regular season, we give the Seahawks the overwhelming edge to take the top mark in the conference and receive home field advantage to the Super Bowl.

 

St. Louis is one of the bigger disappointments.  The Rams are not going to figure in the playoff hunt this year, and as the season progresses, look for the fan support to wane.  If the baseball Cardinals continue to the World Series, and if the Missouri Tigers continue to win in the SEC, the Rams will become an afterthought.  Because of legal ramifications, there is a strong possibility that 2014 will be the Rams’ final season in St .Louis.  It is our belief that in 2015, the Los Angeles Rams will make their return to the NFL.

 

Arizona could win the NFC East, but the Cardinals will be lucky to finish 8-8 in the West.  Carson Palmer is always a threat to throw for 300+ yards and three touchdowns, but he is also a threat to lay an egg in a key game.

 

Here Are This Week’s NFL PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Dallas Cowboys

101.5

103.5

101.8

Washington Redskins

96.6

96.3

96.4

New York Giants

94.8

93.9

93.2

Philadelphia Eagles

92.8

94.1

92.5

 

 

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Green Bay Packers

106.3

104.9

105.6

Chicago Bears

102.9

102.9

102.4

Detroit Lions

101.0

103.1

101.0

Minnesota Vikings

97.5

96.5

96.7

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New Orleans Saints

106.0

108.3

106.8

Atlanta Falcons

102.1

101.5

101.3

Carolina Panthers

100.5

100.2

100.7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

95.6

94.3

95.1

 

 

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Seattle Seahawks

108.5

108.5

108.8

San Francisco 49ers

105.2

105.1

105.4

Arizona Cardinals

94.9

97.3

95.2

St. Louis Rams

94.3

94.6

93.5

       

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New England Patriots

107.2

104.6

107.7

Miami Dolphins

99.6

100.4

100.2

Buffalo Bills

97.1

96.3

97.6

New York Jets

95.4

92.7

95.7

       
North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Baltimore Ravens

102.9

101.2

102.2

Cincinnati Bengals

101.8

101.3

101.8

Cleveland Browns

98.0

98.8

98.7

Pittsburgh Steelers

95.2

93.5

93.9

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Indianapolis Colts

105.6

105.2

106.2

Houston Texans

102.6

102.1

102.8

Tennessee Titans

102.4

102.2

103.4

Jacksonville Jaguars

85.3

84.1

84.9

       
West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Denver Broncos

112.4

113.8

113.1

Kansas City Chiefs

101.9

105.7

102.9

San Diego Chargers

99.9

101.6

100.6

Oakland Raiders

92.2

91.5

91.9

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Cleveland Buffalo

3.9

5.5

4.1

Arizona Carolina

-2.1

0.6

-2.0

Chicago New Orleans

-0.1

-2.4

-1.4

Cincinnati New England

-2.4

-0.3

-2.9

Dallas Denver

-7.9

-7.3

-8.3

Green Bay Detroit

8.3

4.8

7.6

Indianapolis Seattle

0.6

0.2

0.9

Miami Baltimore

-0.3

2.2

1.0

N.Y. Giants Philadelphia

4.5

2.3

3.2

Oakland San Diego

-4.7

-7.1

-5.7

San Francisco Houston

5.6

6.0

5.6

St. Louis Jacksonville

12.0

13.5

11.6

Tennessee Kansas City

3.5

-0.5

3.5

Atlanta N.Y. Jets

9.7

11.8

8.6

   

 

 

 

Byes: Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

 

 

 

 

September 11, 2013

PiRate Ratings for NFL Week 2: September 15-16, 2013

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:38 am

PiRate Ratings—NFL Week 2—September 15-16, 2013

 

It is always quite whimsical for us old geezers at the PiRate Ratings when the opening week of the season brings a good share of surprises.  It still amazes us how quickly the media and the public change their opinions so quickly.  Let’s look at a few examples:

1. Before: The New York Jets were the worst team in football since the Detroit Lions went 0-16.  They had absolutely no chance this year, and Rex Ryan would be gone before the end of September.

After the Jets beat Tampa Bay: Rex Ryan proved he still knows how to coach defense.  The Jets have their new comeback king in Geno Smith.  This team could challenge the Patriots for the AFC East Crown.

2. Before: The Hurry-up Oregon Duck offense that Chip Kelly used in college could never succeed in the NFL, because the defensive players are too quick and strong for a gimmick like the spread to work.  Michael Vick won’t last a half.

After: What can the rest of the league do to slow down this unstoppable offense?  Teams don’t rush for close to 300 yards in an NFL game unless they have O. J. Simpson slashing through the line, or they have Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris in a split backfield.  Just how long will it be before 10 other teams are running some form of this offense?  It has always been our opinion that the split backfield used for years in the NFL was still an excellent philosophy where a halfback ran mostly off-tackle, sweeps, and traps, and a fullback ran the line plunges.  The Spread is similar to a split backfield in the zone read, where the QB reads the defense like in the veer and either gives on the dive or keeps off-tackle.  It is the best of both worlds, because offenses can still keep three or even four wideouts.

3. Before: The Pittsburgh Steelers were a team to watch out for this year, because they were mad and ready to seek revenge for a so-so season.

After: The Steelers cannot score points, and they are doomed.  They were basically shut out by the lowly Tennessee Titans in week one, getting a gift safety on the opening kickoff and then scoring a mop-up touchdown late when behind 16-2 and with the Titans in a dime package and playing quarters defense allowing 20 yard passes to be completed underneath.  The Dick Lebeau defense had its moments, but it gave up too many first down conversions.

4. Before: The Raiders will definitely have the first pick in the 2014 draft.  They may win less games than the Jaguars and Jets.

After: They may not be ready to return to their glory days, but Indianapolis had to come from behind to beat the visiting silver and black.  Oakland is much better than advertised, and the Raiders could win six or seven games.

5. Before: Norv Turner was the reason San Diego lost so many games where they blew leads.

After: Mike McCoy is no better than Norv Turner, and the Chargers will continue to look great losing late.

6. Before: Dallas is never going to return to their glory days with Jerry Jones micromanaging his team.

After: The Giants have been dismissed, and this is the Cowboys’ division to win.  The two new (old) coordinators still know their stuff, and Dallas will win like it is 1966 through 1995.

7. Chicago’s offense will struggle under Mark Trestman, because Jay Cutler is not his prototypical quarterback.

After: Trestman and Cutler look like a perfect marriage.  The Bears looked fantastic in the winning touchdown drive.

We could go on and on.  The Patriots were supposed to slaughter the Bills.  The Falcons were too good for the Saints.  The 49ers had too much going on to be as good as the last two years.  About the only expected outcomes, if you count the so-called pundits expectations as valid, were:

1. The Kansas City Chiefs looked like the team they are being hyped as, but they played Jacksonville.

2. Denver looks like the strongest team since the 2007 Patriots.

3. Seattle’s defense looks even better this year, and they won on the road on the Atlantic Coast.

4. Green Bay still has the great offense, but once again, their defense is going to cost them some games.

5. The NFC West, once the weak sister of the NFL is now the king.  The Rams could win two or three other divisions, but they will be fortunate to finish third in this one.  They could still sneak into the playoffs.  The Cardinals look like a much improved team, more like the one that started 2012 than the one that ended it.

Week 2 presents some interesting games.  Here is what we have to look forward to this weekend.

1. The Jets and Patriots:  it isn’t the Red Sox and the Yankees, but it is just as intense.  Bill Belichick likes Rex Ryan about as much as Joe Girardi likes Buck Showalter.  Look for this game to be very physical and very testy.  The Patriots have just enough vulnerabilities for a defensive guru like Ryan to exploit.  Don’t think for a minute that the Jets plan to pressure Tom Brady and try to get him out of this game.

2. The Rams and Falcons: St. Louis has the talent to send Atlanta to 0-2, and if this should happen, then the NFC West just went from strong to crazy.  Because both San Francisco and Seattle cannot possibly win this week, the Rams have a chance to go one game up on one of them (remote chance to go one half game up on both).  Atlanta must consider this game a must-win already, because they cannot afford to drop two games behind Drew Brees and company.

3. The Bears and Vikings: This looks like a must-win road game for the purple and white.  A loss sends them two games behind Chicago and possibly two games behind Detroit.  A win would keep them alive in the division and possibly cause a four-way tie at 1-1.  If the Bears win, the mighty momentum could send them on the way to matching our bettering their 10-win season of 2012.

4. The Packers and Redskins:  One of these teams will be 0-2 by Sunday afternoon, and like the other possible 0-2 teams, only around 10% of these teams recover and make the playoffs.  Both teams also have intra-divisional rivals that could be 2-0.

5. The Colts and Dolphins: This game looks like an interestingly close contest.  Should Miami win, the Dolphins will have started 2-0 with both wins on the road.  Teams that begin 2-0 on the road make the playoffs 83.3% of the time in the 21st Century.  Actually in only one season has a team started 2-0 on the road and failed to make the playoffs.  Uh Oh—it was the 2010 Miami Dolphins.  This game is important for Indianapolis as well.  A come-from-behind win over Oakland is not a statement victory.  A loss to the fish might prove as a sign that this team is not going to suffer a sophomore slump.

6. The Cowboys and Chiefs:  This one has become a lot more important than it might have been had the week one outcomes been different.  All of a sudden, this looks like a game between two playoff worthy teams rather than a game between two mediocre teams.  Our three ratings show this contest to be the most competitive of the week.

7. The Eagles and Chargers:  The Chargers get one less day to prepare for this offense, and they have to travel 2,000 miles across three time zones.  NFL offenses usually perform better in the second game than in the first after working out some kinks.  Could we be looking at an Oregon-like score this week?  Is it possible that Philly could top 50?  On the other hand, can David Rivers prove he can be a star for four quarters and not two and a half?  San Diego’s passing attack could keep the hurry-up off the field just long enough for the Chargers not to have to result to developing a lot of cramps.  Isn’t it funny how theses teams’ offensive stars never develop cramps?  You would think the wide receivers and running backs would be the most likely to need help off the field.  What a strange coincidence that it is just the defensive players that can most easily be replaced that develop these cramps.

8. The Giants and Broncos: The renewal of the Manning Bowl finds Peyton as the cherry on top of the hot fudge sundae, and Eli in the bottom of the compost pile.  Peyton had three extra days to study the Giants’ run of the mill defense, and New York had to play the night game on Sunday.

9. The 49ers and Seahawks:  This one is our favorite game of the week and one of our favorites of the season.  We have this little historical vignette to tell you how we compare this game to rivalries of years gone by.

We are of the age where we look back to yesteryear with fond thoughts, where everything was great.  Okay, the second half of the 1960’s were not so great, but on Sunday afternoons in the fall, we had the old American Football League, the renegade league that went head-to-head with the infallible NFL and forced a merger.  The NFL was the league of conservative, brawn over brains football.  The AFL was the gunslinger league.  In those four seasons where the AFL champion met the NFL champion, the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs played against each other like they were fighting their own civil war.  In 1966, Kansas City was king.  Len Dawson and Mike Garrett led an unstoppable offense, and the defense was huge in that timeframe.  Buck Buchanan looked more like a 21st Century defensive lineman.  Oakland was up and coming with talent throughout.  The Raiders lacked a proven QB that could get them over the hump.  Kansas City won the AFL and played in the first Super Bowl.  However, they could not sweep the Raiders.  Oakland won by three touchdowns at KC Municipal Stadium.

In 1967, Oakland owner Al Davis picked up the backup quarterback from Buffalo and made him his starter.  Overnight, Daryle Lamonica became known as “The Mad Bomber.”  The former Notre Dame standout began making the vertical passing game the biggest offensive threat in football.  A punishing defense that pulverized enemy quarterbacks made the Raiders the best team in the history of the AFL.  In the opening week, they beat Denver 51-0, holding the Broncos to negative total yards!

Meanwhile, the rest of the AFL discovered that if they stopped the Chiefs’ running game and threw the ball to the intermediate zones, they could beat Kansas City.  Oakland swept the Chiefs and won the AFL with a 13-1 record and a 40-7 blowout of Eastern Division winner Houston.  Kansas City slumped all the way down to 9-5.

Neither team won the AFL in 1968, although both were probably better than the World Champion New York Jets.  The Chiefs recovered to tie Oakland at 12-2 in the Western Division.  KC coach Hank Stram proved just how much of a coaching genius he was when the Chiefs were forced to host Oakland with zero healthy wide receivers.  Rather than try to pick up some stiffs on the waiver wire, he secretly changed the entire offense overnight.  He installed the old full-house T-formation with three running backs and two tight ends.  Oakland could not stop the incredible ground game with both ultimate power and ultimate deception.  Quarterback Len Dawson attempted just three passes all day, all of them off play-action, and the Chiefs ran the ball as effectively as Philadelphia did on Monday night.  They beat the Raiders that day.  After that week, the Raiders were a mad group of pirates, and they did not lose again in the regular season.  They marauded opponents topping 30 points in seven of the final eight games.  Included in this 8-0 finish was a revenge win over Kansas City and the infamous “Heidi Game” win over the New York Jets.

In those days, there were no tiebreakers to determine which team won the division, so when both The Chiefs and Raiders finished tied at 12-2, they had to meet in a playoff to determine the winner.  The winner of that game would then face the 11-3 Jets, the 11-3 rested Jets, for the AFL title a week later.  The Mad Bomber became nuclear that day, as Lamonica completed three first quarter long passes into Oakland touchdowns and two other bombs for scores to total 5 passing TDs, en route to a 41-6 win over the Chiefs.  The silver and black defense intercepted Dawson four times.  It was no doubt that this Raider team had enough talent to make Super Bowl III competitive against either Baltimore over Cleveland.

Except, the Raiders didn’t get that opportunity.  A week later, Oakland was a little flat against Broadway Joe Namath and the Jets.  The Raiders started slow and spotted the Jets a touchdown and field goal early.  They fought back to tie the score at 13-13 early in the third quarter, and they even took the lead in the fourth quarter.  However, in the final seven minutes of the game, the Raiders’ defense looked spent, and Namath exploited the tired pursuit for the decisive winning touchdown drive.  It was New York and not Oakland that pulled off the great Super Bowl III upset that basically proved to fans all over the country that the two leagues were now on par.

Oakland entered 1969 with a new head coach.  John Rauch, the genius behind the vertical passing game used by Lamonica had finally experienced too much meddling from owner Davis.  He left for lowly Buffalo and never really enjoyed much success with the Bills and their new phenom O. J. Simpson.  Enter one John Madden as Raiders’ coach.  The vertical passing game was still around, but Madden preferred more high percentage passes and a little more emphasis on the power running game.  Still, Oakland looked like the best team in the league.

Kansas City still had the best defense in the league, but their offense was starting to show more holes, similar to the troubles of 1967.  Dawson nursed injuries into early December, and it was debatable if he would play again after midseason.  Numerous second, third, and fourth opinions were sought to find a physician that would state it was okay for him to play.

The Jets were still strong in the East, but they were most certainly the third best team in the league.

Oakland beat Kansas City three times in 1969, but it was not enough, because the Chiefs got a fourth chance and won when it counted.  In the final year of the AFL’s existence, the now 10-team league decided to add the two second-place finishers to the playoff after seeing how much publicity the 1968 playoff game had created for the league.

Oakland finished 12-1-1, making their three year regular season record 37-4-1, the best of all time for a three-year run.  The Chiefs finished second at 11-3.  In the East, the Jets had no real competition and fiddled to a 10-4 record.  Houston had already secured second place in the Eastern Division, but going into the final week, the Oilers were just 5-6-2.  A loss to Boston would put them in the playoffs at 5-7-2, and it almost happened.  Three fourth quarter scores allowed the Oilers to finish the regular season with a .500 record.

In the first round of the AFL Playoffs, Houston had to play at Oakland.  The Raiders were a double-digit favorite, but this game looked more like the NFL All-Stars against a first-year expansion team.  Oakland quickly scored four touchdowns in the first 12 minutes and cruised to the second largest winning playoff margin in pro football history, 56-7.

The Chiefs saw to it that there would be no repeat for the AFL title game.  Their defense completely stopped Namath, while the offense mounted one nice drive for the winning touchdown in a 13-6 victory.

Now it was one final Chiefs-Raiders game to decide the Super Bowl IV participant and close out league play.  Oakland had defeated Kansas City in the preseason and swept them in the regular season, but Kansas City had one final try.  This time, the winner would face the dominant Minnesota Vikings for the World Championship.

Once again, the Chiefs’ defense proved too tough for even the most potent offense.  Lamonica could never penetrate the Kansas City secondary, and the Chief pass rush dumped him multiple times and forced him to throw off target.  Chief defensive back Emmitt Thomas picked up a pair of passes and set up a score with a long return.

Kansas City did nothing on offense either, but their defense gave them much less field to cover to score in a 17-7 lackluster win.

The Chiefs went on to pull off an equally monumental Super Bowl upset than their brethren Jets had pulled off the year before.  They stunned the Vikings, with the defense once again shutting down the opponent.

Back to the present, we see the 49ers and Seahawks as the new 21st Century version of the Chiefs and Raiders.  There is a rivalry here that is similar to that old rivalry.  It began when then Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh and then Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll did not particularly like each other.  While at Stanford, Harbaugh took a 41-point underdog Cardinal team to Los Angeles and pulled the greatest pointspread upset in college football history, ending a 35-game home winning streak for the Trojans.  He did it with a backup quarterback starting his first game ever.  Before leaving for the NFL, Harbaugh’s Cardinal ran up the score on Carroll’s Trojans in 2009.

The 49ers now have the 1960’s persona of their cross-bay rival Oakland, while Seattle takes on the persona of the 1960’s Chiefs.  The Seahawks are the challenger, while the 49ers are the champions.  If history is to pan out, then this should be the season where Seattle scrapes by San Francisco by a game or two.  Of course with the expanded playoffs, there is a chance that the two could face off for the NFC Championship, just like 1969.  This game should be one you do not want to miss.

Now, we continue with our weekly ratings and spreads.

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New York Giants

101.3

101.2

100.2

Dallas Cowboys

100.7

102.9

100.8

Washington Redskins

97.9

96.8

96.8

Philadelphia Eagles

96.5

97.9

96.5

 

 

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Green Bay Packers

105.9

104.9

105.4

Chicago Bears

101.7

102.8

102.0

Detroit Lions

99.1

101.8

99.5

Minnesota Vikings

98.8

97.0

97.3

 

 

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Atlanta Falcons

103.2

104.8

102.5

New Orleans Saints

102.1

103.8

102.2

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

98.4

97.1

98.3

Carolina Panthers

98.3

97.6

97.9

 

 

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

San Francisco 49ers

108.6

107.9

108.9

Seattle Seahawks

105.7

105.7

105.7

St. Louis Rams

98.5

99.7

97.8

Arizona Cardinals

95.2

97.7

94.9

 

 

 

 

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New England Patriots

107.8

102.1

108.2

Miami Dolphins

99.4

100.5

100.6

New York Jets

96.4

94.1

96.5

Buffalo Bills

96.1

94.4

96.7

 

 

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Baltimore Ravens

102.9

101.4

102.7

Cincinnati Bengals

102.3

102.0

102.2

Pittsburgh Steelers

98.9

97.6

98.5

Cleveland Browns

93.5

94.0

93.5

 

 

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Houston Texans

105.1

105.1

105.4

Indianapolis Colts

100.0

98.3

99.8

Tennessee Titans

99.3

98.4

100.1

Jacksonville Jaguars

90.1

89.3

90.2

 

 

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Denver Broncos

109.0

110.4

109.8

San Diego Chargers

98.1

99.4

98.9

Kansas City Chiefs

97.4

101.9

98.1

Oakland Raiders

91.9

91.5

91.9

This Week’s Spreads

 

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

New England N Y Jets

14.4

11.0

14.7

Atlanta St. Louis

7.7

8.1

7.7

Buffalo Carolina

0.8

-0.2

1.8

Chicago Minnesota

5.4

8.2

7.2

Green Bay Washington

11.0

11.1

11.6

Indianapolis Miami

3.6

0.8

2.2

Kansas City Dallas

-0.8

1.5

-0.2

Baltimore Cleveland

12.4

10.4

12.2

Houston Tennessee

8.8

9.7

8.3

Philadelphia San Diego

1.9

2.0

1.1

Arizona Detroit

-0.9

-1.1

-1.6

Tampa Bay New Orleans

-1.2

-4.2

-1.4

Oakland Jacksonville

4.8

5.2

4.7

N Y Giants Denver

-4.7

-6.2

-6.6

Seattle San Francisco

-0.4

0.3

-0.7

Cincinnati Pittsburgh

5.9

6.9

6.2

 

September 3, 2013

PiRate Picks for NFL Week 1–September 5-9, 2013

PiRate Ratings—NFL Week 1—September 5-9, 2013

   

 

 

 

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

 
New York Giants

101.7

102.0

100.8

 
Dallas Cowboys

100.3

102.1

100.2

 
Washington Redskins

100.0

99.6

99.3

 
Philadelphia Eagles

94.4

95.1

94.0

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

 
Atlanta Falcons

103.6

106.6

103.1

 
New Orleans Saints

101.7

102.0

101.6

 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

98.5

98.1

98.7

 
Carolina Panthers

98.4

97.7

98.1

 

 

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

 
San Francisco 49ers

108.4

107.9

108.6

 
Seattle Seahawks

105.6

105.6

105.5

 
St. Louis Rams

98.7

99.9

98.0

 
Arizona Cardinals

95.0

97.5

94.7

 

 

 

 

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

 
New England Patriots

109.2

103.6

109.9

 
Miami Dolphins

98.5

99.1

99.3

 
New York Jets

96.3

93.1

96.1

 
Buffalo Bills

94.7

92.9

95.0

 

 

 

 

North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

 
Baltimore Ravens

105.0

104.2

105.3

 
Cincinnati Bengals

102.5

102.7

102.6

 
Pittsburgh Steelers

100.7

100.0

100.5

 
Cleveland Browns

94.4

95.4

94.8

 

 

 

 

South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

 
Houston Texans

105.4

105.7

106.0

 
Indianapolis Colts

101.3

100.5

101.5

 
Tennessee Titans

97.5

96.0

98.1

 
Jacksonville Jaguars

91.9

92.0

92.3

 

 

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

 
Denver Broncos

106.9

107.6

107.2

 
San Diego Chargers

97.8

98.8

98.3

 
Kansas City Chiefs

95.6

99.2

96.0

 
Oakland Raiders

90.6

89.3

90.2

 PiRate Spreads For Week 1

 

Home

Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Buffalo New England

-12.0

-8.2

-12.4

Chicago Cincinnati

1.0

1.4

1.0

Cleveland Miami

-1.6

-1.2

-2.0

New Orleans Atlanta

0.1

-2.6

0.5

N Y Jets Tampa Bay

-0.2

-3.0

-0.6

Pittsburgh Tennessee

6.2

7.0

5.4

Detroit Minnesota

1.4

1.5

2.7

Indianapolis Oakland

13.7

14.2

14.3

Carolina Seattle

-4.2

-4.9

-4.4

Jacksonville Kansas City

-1.7

-5.2

-1.7

St. Louis Arizona

6.2

4.9

5.8

San Francisco Green Bay

5.3

6.0

5.9

Dallas N Y Giants

1.1

2.6

1.9

Washington Philadelphia

7.6

6.5

7.3

San Diego Houston

-5.1

-4.4

-5.2

College Ratings and Spreads for week 2 will be published Wednesday afternoon, September 4.

PiRate Picks against the spread for week 2 college and week 1 NFL will be published Thursday afternoon, September 5.

September 1, 2013

2013 NFC West Division Preview

2013 N F C West Preview

Do you remember how the season began for the four NFC West teams last year?  After four weeks, who was in first place?  Was it NFC Champion-to-be San Francisco?  Was it the Seattle Seahawks thanks to their gift of a win at home over the Packers on Monday Night Football?  Or, maybe it was the St. Louis Rams with new coach Jeff Fisher?

 

Wrong on all three guesses.  Future last place team Arizona led at 4-0, with three wins over teams expected to be really good.  The Cardinals topped Seattle in week one, then won at New England in week two.  When they defeated Philly in week three, it was meaningful since the Eagles were supposed to challenge for the NFC East crown.  Even an overtime win over Miami in week four looked impressive.  At 4-0, pundits believed this was a much better team than the one that went to the Super Bowl a few years earlier.

 

St. Louis stood at 2-2 after four weeks with wins over two teams that would make the playoffs.  Seattle was also 2-2, but everybody knew they should have been 1-3 and would have been 1-3 had the real referees been there on that fateful Monday night.

 

The San Francisco 49ers were 3-1, with the loss coming to a Minnesota team that nobody believed could go 8-8 much less the 10-6 that they eventually would achieve.

 

That, my friends, is just one example why the NFL is so hard to predict.  Who could believe that the mighty Cardinals of September 2012 would turn into the lowly Cardinals of December 2012.  Nine consecutive losses followed that 4-0 start, and the first eight of those were rather close games.  The ninth loss was a 58-0 pasting at Seattle, who by this time was looking like the best team in the NFL.

 

The swoon cost highly competent head coach Ken Whisenhunt his job.  Whis ended up at San Diego as the new offensive coordinator.  In his place comes the hot offensive coordinator of 2012.  Bruce Arians took over at Indianapolis after Chuck Pagano had to take medical leave, and he merely guided the surprising Colts to a playoff spot.  We believe Arians knows his stuff.  The former offensive assistant at Alabama under Bear Bryant has just one head coaching position on his resume.  He guided Temple to two winning seasons in the 1980’s at a time when winning seasons at Temple were as hard to come by as winning seasons with the Houston Astros.  Arians will get everything possible out of the Cardinal offense, and the team has improved its defense through the draft.  Quarterback Carson Palmer will bring the vertical passing game to the desert, and Larry Fitzgerald should rebound with a 1,000+ yard receiving year.  Michael Floyd showed flashes of brilliance last year even with the Cardinals shuffling quarterbacks like a deck of cards.  He will command enough attention to keep defenses honest, and he will also help the tight ends find more open spaces in the shorter zones.

 

In our opinion, the key to the offense this year is Rashard Mendenhall.  If the former Steeler star can rebound after suffering through an ACL injury last year, then this offense will move the ball and score more points this year.  If he is just a mere shell of his former self, then Palmer will be forced to throw the ball down the field too many times.  It will lead to inconsistency and predictability—failure!

 

St. Louis actually won the division last year if you go by division standings alone.  The Rams swept Arizona, went 1-0-1 against San Francisco, and split with Seattle.  Losses to lowly Detroit and Miami kept the Rams out of the playoffs.  The Rams may see the most benefit from their draft and free agent pickup of anybody.  First round picks Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree will start from the beginning.  Third round pick T. J. McDonald has cracked the starting lineup as well.  Free agent acquisitions Jared Cook and Jake Long will have big impacts.  Cook could be the steal of the free agent signees this year, as he never developed at Tennessee.  He has looked like the star he was pegged to become under offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.  Fisher’s offenses in the past have relied heavily on throwing to the tight end to convert third down situations.  Having a third place schedule could help bump the Rams up to the plus side of .500, but it might be asking too much to expect this team to make the playoffs.

 

Seattle closed the season looking like the 2007 New England Patriots, at least on the scoreboard.  Those five wins that pushed them into the playoffs came by an average score of 39-12!  Russell Wilson proved to be the best of a great crop of new quarterbacks, and there is no reason to doubt that he won’t continue to flourish in the great Northwest.  He came close to averaging eight yards per pass attempt, a mark equivalent to batting .350 in the Major Leagues.  Receivers Golden Tate and Sidney Rice are capable of having better seasons than they did last year, and if Marshawn Lynch can replicate his 2012 season this year, the Seahawks will contend for the conference championship.  If they can get home field advantage, it will be tough to keep this team out of the Super Bowl.

 

San Francisco is our mystery team for 2013.  How can we say that out of the NFC Champion?  First, we are worried that Frank Gore is about to hit that wall that most running backs in their 30’s smash into when their legs refuse to respond as quickly to the signals sent to it from the brain.  He could still lead the team in rushing, but we suspect his average per carry is going to head south this year.  That could force Colin Kaepernick to try to make up for the decline by running a few too many times.  This new trend of quarterbacks running the ball as part of the offensive game plan is still very risky.  Just one hit could turn the fate of the team over to Colt McCoy, and we do not see McCoy as the type that can lead this team back to the Super Bowl.  So, we have a mystery here this year.

 

If Kaepernick can stay healthy for 16 games, and if Gore can get one more big year out of his legs, then this team is by far the best in the NFC.  However, the fall down the pack could be brutal if either star cannot perform up to their 2012 standards.  Add to this uncertainty the fact that this team must start the year without Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham, and their draft class has more wounded players than healthy players, and 2013 could be a rough beginning with the first five games coming against Green Bay, Seattle, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Houston.  We would not be surprised if the 49ers are just 2-3 at this point and no better than 3-2.  At that point, if the team is healthy, they could almost run the table, but we believe they will fall a couple times after their week nine bye.eH

 

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 NFC West.

West

Color

Red

Green

Blue

Arizona Cardinals

Cardinal

151

35

63

 

Black

17

28

36

 

White

255

255

255

St. Louis Rams

Millenium Blue

0

33

71

 

New Century Gold

149

119

77

 

White

255

255

255

San Francisco 49ers

Cardinal

151

35

63

 

Metallic Gold

142

110

77

 

Black

17

28

36

Seattle Seahawks

Royal Blue

0

51

141

 

Green

0

133

66

 

Silver

133

136

139

 

 

2012 Final Standings & PiRate Ratings

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

W-L-T

Pts

Opp

Seattle Seahawks

112.2

110.7

109.7

11-5-0

412

245

San Francisco 49ers

108.4

107.9

107.5

11-4-1

397

273

St. Louis Rams

98.6

98.6

98.5

7-8-1

299

348

Arizona Cardinals

95.0

94.6

94.3

5-11-0

250

357

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Preseason PiRate Ratings

West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

San Francisco 49ers

108.4

107.9

108.6

Seattle Seahawks

105.6

105.6

105.5

St. Louis Rams

98.7

99.9

98.0

Arizona Cardinals

95.0

97.5

94.7

 

PiRate Previews

 

Team

Arizona Cardinals

               
Head Coach

Bruce Arians

O-Coord.

Harold Goodwin

D-Coord.

Todd Bowles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Carson Palmer

Running Back

Rashard Mendenhall

Wide Receiver

Larry Fitzgerald

Wide Receiver

Michael Floyd

Tight End

Rob Housler

Tight End

Kory Sperry

Left Tackle

Levi Brown

Left Guard

Daryn Colledge

Center

Lyle Sendlein

Right Guard

Paul Fanaika

Right Tackle

Eric Winston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Calais Campbell

Nose Tackle

Dan Williams

Right Tackle

Darnell Dockett

Left OLB

Sam Acho

Left ILB

Jasper Brinkley

Right ILB

Karlos Dansby

Right OLB

Lorenzo Alexander

Left CB

Patrick Peterson

Right CB

Jerraud Powers

Strong Safety

Yeremiah Bell

Free Safety

Rashad Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Jay Feely

Punter

Dave Zastudil

K-Return

Javier Arenas

P-Return

Patrick Peterson

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

5-11

Division

4th

Team

St. Louis Rams

               
Head Coach

Jeff Fisher

O-Coord.

Brian Schottenheimer

D-Coord.

Tim Walton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Sam Bradford

Running Back

Daryl Richardson

Wide Receiver

Tavon Austin

Wide Receiver

Chris Givens

H-Back

Lance Kendricks

Tight End

Jared Cook

Left Tackle

Jake Long

Left Guard

Shelley Smith

Center

Scott Wells

Right Guard

Harvey Dahl

Right Tackle

Rodger Saffold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Chris Long

Left Tackle

Kendall Langford

Right Tackle

Michael Brockers

Right End

Robert Quinn

Sam LB

Will Witherspoon

Mike LB

James Laurinaitis

Will LB

Alec Ogletree

Left CB

Cortland Finnegan

Right CB

Janoris Jenkins

Strong Safety

T. J. McDonald

Free Safety

Darian Stewart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Greg Zuerlein

Punter

Johnny Hekker

K-Return

Tavon Austin

P-Return

Tavon Austin

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

8-8

Division

3rd

Team

San Francisco 49ers

               
Head Coach

Jim Harbaugh

O-Coord.

Greg Roman

D-Coord.

Vic Fangio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Colin Kaepernick

Running Back

Frank Gore

Fullback

Bruce Miller

Wide Receiver

Anquan Boldin

Wide Receiver

Kyle Williams

Tight End

Vernon Davis

Left Tackle

Joe Staley

Left Guard

Mike Iupati

Center

Jonathan Goodwin

Right Guard

Alex Boone

Right Tackle

Anthony Davis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Ray McDonald

Nose Tackle

Ian Williams

Right End

Justin Smith

Left OLB

Ahmad Brooks

Left ILB

NaVorro Bowman

Right ILB

Patrick Willis

Right OLB

Aldon Smith

Left CB

Carlos Rogers

Right CB

Tarell Brown

Strong Safety

Donte Whitner

Free Safety

C. J. Spillman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Phil Dawson

Punter

Andy Lee

K-Return

LaMichael James

P-Return

LaMichael James

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

12-4

Division

1st

Team

Seattle Seahawks

               
Head Coach

Pete Carroll

O-Coord.

Darrell Bevell

D-Coord.

Dan Quinn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Russell Wilson

Running Back

Marshawn Lynch

Fullback

Derrick Coleman

Wide Receiver

Golden Tate

Wide Receiver

Sydney Rice

Tight End

Zach Miller

Left Tackle

Russell Okung

Left Guard

Paul Mcquistan

Center

Max Unger

Right Guard

J. R. Sweezy

Right Tackle

Breno Giacomini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Red Bryant

Left Tackle

Tony McDaniel

Right Tackle

Brandon Mebane

Right End

Chris Clemons

Sam LB

K. J. Wright

Mike LB

Bobby Wagner

Will LB

Malcolm Smith

Left CB

Richard Sherman

Right CB

Brandon Browner

Strong Safety

Kam Chancellor

Free Safety

Earl Thomas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Steven Hauschka

Punter

Jon Ryan

K-Return

Jermaine Kearse

P-Return

Golden Tate

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

11-5

Division

2nd

This concludes the PiRate Ratings Preseason Previews.  Coming Tuesday, we will debut our opening PiRate Ratings for NFL Week One.

 

On Wednesday, we will carry our college ratings for week two, and on Thursday, we will make our PiRate Picks for college and pro for the weekend.

 

Then, beginning the following week, we expect to release college ratings every Tuesday; NFL ratings every Wednesday; and our picks every Thursday.

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