The Pi-Rate Ratings

January 24, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Super Bowl 52: February 4, 2018

While we have taken a break from doing expanded NFL coverage for this season due to the overwhelming number of you that have indicated your political opposition to the league’s policies or lack thereof, we will expand our coverage just a tad today for Super Bowl 52, but we promise to do it in a tactful way and focus on the real true hero that will be appearing in this game.

You, our patrons, represent an excellent microcosm for football fandom.  The NFL is off a good 10% in television viewership, and pictures of the weekly games have shown all stadiums with more and more empty seats.  The so-called Mainstream Media, with the exception of Fox News, and the top conservative radio hosts like Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage, blame the increasing decline on things like the high number of concussions, the outlawing of two sports fantasy sites, cord cutting, bad games, and the retirement of Peyton Manning.  Last year, they blamed the Presidential election on the decline, but the decline continued this year, and there was no election.  We all know why a large number of former fans are now former fans and may possibly be permanently former fans.

Read our editorial at the conclusion of this feature.

Super Bowl 52

New England Patriots (15-3-0) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (15-3-0)

Date: Sunday, February 4, 2018

Site: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

Scheduled Kickoff Time:  6:30 PM EST/5:30 PM CST (local time in Minneapolis)

TV & Announce Crew: NBC with Al Michaels, Chris Collinsworth, Heather Cox, and Michele Tafoya

Radio & Announce Crew: Westwood One with Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason

Current Las Vegas Line (on 1/24/2018): New England by 5 1/2

Money Line: New England -220, Philadelphia +180

Total: 47 1/2

The PiRate Ratings Spreads

If you are a new patron to this site, we issue three separate ratings for college and NFL football.  Each rating is a different algorithm based on the same statistical data.

PiRate: New England by 0.3

Mean: New England by 1.5

Bias: Philadelphia by 0.3

Total: 42

100 Computer Simulations 

Every year, we run 100 computer simulations with the help of a college statistics professor’s program.  This might be the last year we can do this, because said professor may move at the end of this term.

If you think last year’s game was exciting, being the first of 51 to go to overtime, you haven’t seen anything yet if the computer is accurate this year.  We’ve never seen a playoff game this close since our simulations began 16 years ago.

Number of New England Wins: 50

Number of Philadelphia Wins: 50

Average Score: New England 22.52  Philadelphia 21.90

Median New England Score: 21

Median Philadelphia Score: 21

New England’s Standard Deviation: 7.04

Philadelphia’s Standard Deviation: 5.04

New England Outlier Win: Pats 38 Eagles 17

Philadelphia Outlier Win: Eagles 30 Pats 14

 

Our Super Bowl 52 MVP (even before kickoff)

You can have Bill Belichick and Doug Pederson as role models.  Maybe you want to look up to Nick Foles or Tom Brady.  However, we at the PiRates Stand Up to admire referee Gene Steratore.  Steratore lives in the Pittsburgh area.  He has been a single parent for close to 20 years.  He owns with his brother (also an NFL Official) a successful and reputable janitorial supply company.  Call this a testimonial, but since delving into his life a bit more, we have decided to purchase some products from Steratore Sanitary Supplies (steratoresanitary.com).

Steratore is also one of the top NCAA basketball officials, doing a large number of Big Ten games as well as NCAA Tournament games.  He may be the best two-sport star you have hardly heard about.

Steratore gets excellent ratings in both sports; his business is outstanding; and he deserves some mention in Father of the Year discussions.

Our hats and hearts go out to such a fine outstanding American, one who believes in hard work as the way to succeed.  You won’t find Steratore making a public statement by dishonoring the flag of the United States of America.

We like to refer to a joke that former President Ronald Reagan made 30+ years ago.  He joked about how Cuba has the same rights as the United States.  In the USA, a citizen can stand up on a street corner and issue his dislike and opposition to the President of the United States.  In Cuba, a citizen can also stand up on a street corner and issue his dislike and opposition to the President of the United States.

Definitely, American citizens have the incredible gift from its founding fathers’ documents that allow them to express their opposition to the government and its laws.  The Bill of Rights belongs as the second document that should be included in the Governing Hall of Fame (Magna Carta number one).

The Flag and the National Anthem of the United States are not members of government.  They are a testament to citizens of this country having the right to publicly oppose and also seek public office ourselves.  Opposing the flag and anthem are indications that a person does not have allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America.

When NFL players make protests of the anthem and flag, and then the NFL steps into it deeper by refusing to carry a patriotic advertisement (not a freebie either) due to political reasons, this is a line of bunk in the opinions of all 6 PiRates.

How more political can past Super Bowl advertisements, especially last year’s game, be?  Do you remember the Annheiser Busch ad where the original Busch faced all types of hatred from others when he immigrated to this country?  It was sad that Mr. Busch faced trouble when he first moved to the USA (if this is accurate).  However, the timing of this ad when the hot topic of the day was how to deal with illegal immigration created a Budweiser Boycott that has now made the giant corporation reconsider if they will remain a sponsor of the league going forward.

Audi, Coca-Cola, Airbnb, and a hair care company that we cannot remember the name, all ran political ads, ads that offended some part of the population.

How can being patriotic and loving the principles that this country was founded on be considered political, unless it is a covert way of stating that the NFL represents an opposition to our principles of existence, thus implying they lack allegiance to our country?

None of us on the PiRate Ship will watch or listen to the Super Bowl.  We have chosen not to watch or listen to any games all year.  And before, you say we are 100% pro-President Trump or right wing conservatives, 3 of the 6 PiRates voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Primaries.  2 of the 6 supported other GOP candidates that did not win.  The 6th was as usual 100% behind a third party candidate.

However, on the 20th day of January, 2017, all six of us prayed for the well-being of our country, and prayed for the health and well-being of our President and Vice President.  We are 100% behind the system as it was determined in our Constitution.  The flag and anthem are relatives of the Constitution.  You may support no politicians in power today, or you may love them or some of them, but if you do not love your country and do not have 100% allegiance to it, then you are not a real citizen of the country.  If you want to make change to the current status, then do it by playing by the rules laid out in the great document that allowed this nation to continue to exist after 241+ years.

One more thought: this is baseball’s best opportunity to reclaim its birthright as our national pastime.  The 2016 and 2017 baseball seasons were incredible ones, and 2018 might be the best one since six divisional play began.  The New York Yankees and New York Mets should bring fans into the park in larger numbers, while the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels have great attractions to make it banner years at Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium of Anaheim.  The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will have to hold off the Milwaukee Brewers in what should be an exciting race.  The Cleveland Indians may make a run at their all-time wins record of 111 in 1954, after winning 102 last year and getting better in the off season.  Then, you have the best team statistics can create in the reigning world champion Houston Astros.  If new Angels’ two-way player Shohei Otani more closely resembles Wes Ferrell than Clint Hartung, then the AL West race should be quite interesting.  This looks like the year to come back to baseball if you haven’t sampled the excitement in recent years.

 

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February 1, 2017

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Super Bowl LI: February 1, 2017

We present our Super Bowl LI preview a few days later than originally planned, but we decided that 100 computer simulations were not enough.  Over the last several days, we have visited the big bits and bytes to run numerous simulations on the big game.  We stopped at 10,000, the going rate among other simulators out there.

After running the first 100, we recorded the results to see how much different the results from 10,000 simulations.  What we found was that one metric definitely and consistently came through in both 100 and 10,000 sims that could be used by somebody unconcerned with losing a lot of their investment.  See below for the shocking revelation concerning this game and the Las Vegas Books.

Let’s get on with the data.

Super Bowl LI

Date: Sunday, February 5, 2017

Time: 6:30 PM EST

Place: Houston, TX

TV: Fox Sports

Radio: Westwood One

Find Your Affiliate Here

Online: Foxsports.com

AFC Champion: New England Patriots 16-2-0

NFC Champion: Atlanta Falcons 13-5-0

 

Las Vegas Info

Current Line (2/1/17 @ 10AM EST): New England by 3

Totals Line: 59

Money Line: New England -155, Atlanta +135

 

PiRate Ratings

PiRate: New England by 2.4

Mean: New England by 0.6

Bias: New England by 3.2

Average: New England by 2

Total: 60

 

10,000 Simulations

The winner when we simulated 100 times was the same as the winner when we simulated 10,000 times.  The average margin minimally changed between 100 and 10,000 sims.

The standard deviation went down a little with 10,000 sims, but that was to be expected with so many more sims.

What surprised us was the definite deviation between the Total Points and the Vegas Total, and it is so wide that we felt compelled to highlight this even though we BEG you not to bet on this game using our data and cannot stress enough that we bet $0 on sporting events.

 

Wins: New England 53.9%  Atlanta 46.1%

Percentage going to overtime: 0.87%

Average Score: New England 24.3  Atlanta 23.2  ***47.5 points***

St Deviation: 7.3 (almost 2 deviations difference in Vegas Total)

Outlier A: New England 34  Atlanta 7

Outlier B: Atlanta 29  New England 10

Percentage of outcomes under 59 total points: 87.78%

If you haven’t caught on, the computer simulator says that about 7 out of every 8 times these two teams would face off in Houston, the total score would be less than 59 points.

This disagrees with our own PiRate Rating expected total of 60, but our totals have been totally pitiful this year.  I would trust this simulator over our own ratings.

 

So, we would make the UNDER 59 our best advice for this game, but once again we beg, urge, and plead with you not to wager money using the information we supply to you.  We are in this just for fun.

November 1, 2016

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Week 9: November 3-7, 2016

Our First Look At The Playoff Hunt
We like to wait for the first half of the season to come to its end before beginning our playoff projections, as it is virtually useless to start it earlier than the halfway point. With bye weeks, this is sort of the 7 1/2 game point and not the exact midway point, but then next week will be past halfway.

The playoff race is still wide open for most of the teams. In the AFC, Cleveland is the only team with zero chance to make the playoffs. In the NFC, San Francisco is the only team with virtually no chance. That means 30 teams are still alive.
At the other end of the perspective, New England is basically the only team that is close to 100% assured to make the playoffs. This creates a wide open second half race for 11 of the 12 spots among 29 teams.

Let’s start with the old proverbial “If the season ended today” look.

AFC
East: New England #1 Seed
North: Pittsburgh #4 Seed
South: Houston #3 Seed
West: Oakland #2 Seed
Wildcard: Kansas City #5 Seed
Wildcard: Denver #6 Seed

NFC
East: Dallas #1 Seed
North: Minnesota #2 Seed
South: Atlanta #4 Seed
West: Seattle #3 Seed
Wildcard: Green Bay #5 Seed
Wildcard: New York #6 Seed

In the AFC, the wildcard teams have just two losses, and no other competitor is within a game, as the 7th and 8th seeds this week are Tennessee and Buffalo, both at 4-4. The NFC is much closer, as the 4-3 Packers and Giants hold a precarious place on their wildcard spots. There are two other three-loss teams in Philadelphia and Washington, and there are four additional four-loss teams just one game back.

Here is our look at each division at this point in the year.

AFC
East
New England has this division wrapped up even if Tom Brady were to become injured. The Patriots are up three games, and they would have to go 2-6 in the second half to surrender this division to any division rival. Rex Ryan fired his offensive coordinator after a Monday Night game in which the Bills’ defense was embarrassed. The Bills’ defense keeps stubbing its toes week after week, and the offense cannot score enough points to win consistently. This has the look of an 8-8 team that will miss the playoffs. The Dolphins and Jets don’t have the talent to get to 9-7, and it will probably take a 10-6 or better record to become a wildcard this year.

North
Pittsburgh is a very weak 4-3 team with Ben Roethlisberger out. If he miraculously recovers from his knee surgery and plays in the next week or two, his already weak scrambling skills will be that much worse, and the Steelers don’t have an offensive line capable of sustaining the pass rush long enough for Big Ben to survey the field like he tends to do. Thus, we believe that 3-4-1 Cincinnati and 3-4 Baltimore are still very much in this race. This could be the year where it only takes eight wins to earn the division title, whether it be Pittsburgh or Baltimore at 8-8 or Cincinnati at 8-7-1.

South
Can Houston’s defense overcome its inconsistent offense and hang on to the division lead? Tennessee started 1-3 and is now 4-4, but the Titans need another wide receiver to become potent enough to storm past the Texans. Indianapolis and Jacksonville have not shown any tendency to play consecutive games like they deserve to make the playoffs, so for now, we believe Houston will be a weak 9-7 division winner.

West
We cannot find anything to fault the three top teams in this division. Oakland has the easiest schedule of the trio, but they also have the weakest defense of the three. We forecast that Denver will go 12-4, Kansas City will go 11-5, and Oakand will go 10-6, all three making the playoffs.

NFC
East
Dallas has the overall best record in the conference, so could Jason Garrett (Jerry Jones) be foolish enough to bring Tony Romo back to the starting quarterback job when he is healthy enough to play again? Actually, there is precedent, and one quarterback from the past can be used as an example.
Earl Morrall was the backup quarterback for the Baltimore Colts in 1968, when legendary great Johnny Unitas could not get healthy enough to play. Morrall earned the NFL MVP Award and guided the Colts to the NFL’s best record at 13-1 for Coach Don Shula, and then he led the team to back-to-back playoff wins to win the 1968 NFL Championship by beating the Vikings and Browns.
In the Super Bowl, Unitas was healthy enough to play again, but Shula went with the arm that got him there. Morrall performed poorly against the New York Jets’ quick defense, and by the time Shula inserted Unitas into the game, it was too late for Johnny U to bring the Colts back.
Four years later, Shula was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. His start quarterback Bob Griese went down to injury early in the season and was done until January. Once again, Shula turned to the backup, which just so happened to be Morrall again. Morrall repeated the 1968 performance, winning the league MVP award as he guided Miami to a perfect 14-0 record. By the time the playoffs started, Griese was healthy enough to play again. Using his past experience with the Colts, Shula placed Griese back in the starting slot, and Griese guided the Dolphins to the Super Bowl title.

There is a big difference between that Dolphins’ team and this Dallas team. Miami only needed a signal caller that was competent at carrying out ball fakes while handing the ball to the league’s best fullback in Larry Csonka and one of the top halfbacks in Mercury Morris. Miami won by passing the ball about a dozen times per game, letting its league best defense carry the team. Dallas cannot get to the Super Bowl by riding its defense and handing the ball to Ezekiel Elliott 30 times a game. They need a pass rush, and Elliott needs a QB that is a threat to fake to him and run the ball in the opposite direction, which is not Romo.

The rest of the division can all come back and beat out Dallas if the Cowboys falter in the second half, or if Romo becomes the starter again. All four teams are good enough to win any of the other NFC divisions this year, but they will beat up on each other and be lucky to provide one wildcard member much less two. Washington looks to us to be the best of the other three, but the Redskins have a tough second half schedule. Philadelphia has the rookie quarterback, and the Giants have a defense that hasn’t gelled this year, but their offense can score enough points to get to 10-6 with a little luck.

North
There’s a twin personality in the Twin Cities, as Minnesota has seen the best of times for five weeks and the worst of times during the last two weeks. The Vikings’ offense looks easy to defend without Adrian Peterson, and Sam Bradford has shown he is closer to Marcia Brady than Tom Brady the last two weeks. Even if the Vikings go 9-7, they could still win the division, because Green Bay is uber-wounded, Detroit is mediocre on both sides of the ball, and Chicago is Chicago.

South
This division looked like Atlanta’s in a runaway a couple weeks ago, but the Saints and Panthers may not be dead just yet. With Drew Brees guiding New Orleans to 30 point games, the Saints can recover to a 10-6 record in the second half. Carolina is still a mystery team, but the Panthers looked like the 2015 NFC Champions last week and could easily go on a long winning streak. Tampa Bay is not yet there and needs another year at the minimum.

West
Seattle will win this by default. Arizona might fall to third place in this division, and the Rams match the personality of Mr. 8 and 8, Jeff Fisher. The 49ers could be pressed to win another game this year, as Chip Kelly does not have the pieces in place to run his system. Whereas just a couple players kneel before the game, the entire team finds itself on the ground for the next 60 minutes of action.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
New England 110.7 109.2 111.8 110.6 67 44
Buffalo 103.2 103.4 103.7 103.4 63 40
N. Y. Jets 98.6 97.1 99.3 98.3 58 40
Miami 96.8 97.3 96.7 96.9 59 38
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Pittsburgh 103.9 103.4 104.8 104.0 63 41
Cincinnati 102.0 101.7 102.2 102.0 61 41
Baltimore 97.4 99.2 96.8 97.8 61 37
Cleveland 90.3 90.8 90.2 90.4 57 33
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Houston 98.1 99.0 97.9 98.3 61 37
Indianapolis 96.3 97.8 95.7 96.6 62 35
Tennessee 96.1 97.6 95.7 96.5 58 39
Jacksonville 92.4 94.2 91.5 92.7 58 35
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Denver 107.1 105.3 107.0 106.4 63 43
Kansas City 104.4 104.2 105.0 104.5 65 40
San Diego 100.4 101.1 100.3 100.6 65 36
Oakland 98.6 99.4 98.8 98.9 64 35
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Philadelphia 104.0 102.0 103.7 103.2 63 40
Dallas 101.4 100.8 101.7 101.3 61 40
Washington 100.3 100.1 100.3 100.2 62 38
N.Y. Giants 98.6 98.5 98.6 98.6 62 37
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Minnesota 103.8 102.8 103.9 103.5 60 44
Green Bay 102.3 101.9 102.2 102.1 63 39
Detroit 98.3 98.2 98.0 98.2 61 37
Chicago 95.4 94.0 95.1 94.9 56 39
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Carolina 103.4 103.1 103.5 103.3 61 42
Atlanta 102.6 104.0 102.9 103.1 68 35
New Orleans 99.0 100.4 98.9 99.4 65 34
Tampa Bay 96.5 96.9 96.1 96.5 60 37
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Seattle 106.5 104.0 107.1 105.8 62 44
Arizona 105.1 103.4 105.4 104.6 66 39
Los Angeles 98.5 99.6 98.2 98.8 57 42
San Francisco 90.1 91.3 89.4 90.3 53 37

This Week’s Games

November 3-7, 2016
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Totals
Tampa Bay Atlanta -3.6 -4.6 -4.3 55
Baltimore Pittsburgh -4.0 -1.7 -5.5 46
Cleveland Dallas -8.6 -7.5 -9.0 47
Kansas City Jacksonville 15.0 13.0 16.5 49
Miami New York Jets 1.2 2.9 0.4 40
Minnesota Detroit 8.0 7.1 8.4 42
New York Giants Philadelphia -3.4 -1.5 -3.1 50
Los Angeles Carolina -1.4 0.1 -1.8 35
San Francisco New Orleans -5.4 -5.6 -6.0 48
Green Bay Indianapolis 9.0 7.1 9.5 53
San Diego Tennessee 7.3 6.5 7.8 50
Oakland Denver -5.5 -2.9 -5.2 51
Seattle Buffalo 6.8 4.1 6.7 42

 

 

 

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.

October 4, 2016

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Week 5: October 6-10, 2016

He’s Baaaaaaaaaack

Our commentary this week could be reduced to just two words for the Twitterverse readers–Tom Brady.

In no uncertain terms, Brady would love to come back with such gusto, anger, wrath, and all other negative or evil emotions and force Commissioner Roger Goodell to hand a fully inflated trophy to him in February.  How will Brady play after having a month-long sabbatical?

He gets a breather to begin his return, as the Patriots play Cleveland.  The Patriots could name the score if they really wanted to punish the NFL, but running up the score on Cleveland is like Sonny  Liston beating a Bantam Weight boxer (for you Twitterkind, Google Sonny Liston).

Our guess is that a combination of rustiness and pressing will lead Brady and the Pats to an underachieving win, so be careful about believing New England’s players’ fantasy points and the Vegas Spread will present basement bargains for you.

Yet Another Rookie QB Star

Last week, we reported on the prowess of rookie quarterbacks Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott, and Jacoby Brissett.  We referred to Cody Kessler in a previous report.  Now, you can add another rookie signal-caller to the fold of capable leaders.  Denver’s Paxton Lynch replaced the injured Trevor Siemian last week, and he directed the Broncos to an impressive victory over the Tampa Bay Bucs.

On his first full drive after coming in on third and long in the previous drive, Lynch led the Broncos’ two-minute drill (actually just 1:19 left in the first half) brilliantly. Starting at the Bronco 33-yard line, he connected with Jordan Norwood across the middle for four yards and then followed it up with a 16-yard strike to Emmanuel Sanders.

After a sack and incomplete pass, Lynch connected with Sanders again, this time for 18 yards and a first down inside the Tampa Bay 30.  Following a timeout and incomplete pass, Lynch once again found Sanders open for nine yards, just short of a first down.  The Broncos called their final time out with 15 seconds remaining in the half and facing third and one.  The Broncos kicked a field goal after an incomplete pass, to take a 17-7 lead into the locker.

Lynch directed the Broncos to 10 second-half points and finished the day with 170 passing yards and a touchdown on 14 of 24 passing.  The final drive for the fourth quarter touchdown was very Elwaysian, as Lynch operated the four-minute offense to perfection, as he took the Broncos on an 80-yard, nine-play drive that took more than four minutes off the clock and ended when he rolled out and connected on a touchdown pass with Sanders from the five yard line.

Who starts for Denver when Siemian is okay to play again?  Siemian did nothing wrong when he was in for the defending Super Bowl champions.  He was more of an excellent game manager.  Lynch is more like a gunslinger, part John Elway and part Kenny Stabler.  He marches to the beat of a different drummer, but he is also the Broncos first round pick.  Expect Lynch to eventually become the number one QB, and once he does, the Broncos might be Super Bowl worthy again.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
New England 106.9 105.2 107.4 106.5 64 43
Buffalo 103.3 103.6 103.9 103.6 61 43
N. Y. Jets 100.1 98.5 101.0 99.9 60 40
Miami 95.2 96.0 94.9 95.3 57 38
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Pittsburgh 106.3 105.7 107.6 106.5 66 41
Cincinnati 105.4 104.7 106.2 105.5 63 43
Baltimore 98.4 100.6 98.0 99.0 62 37
Cleveland 90.2 91.1 89.8 90.4 57 33
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Houston 99.1 100.2 99.0 99.4 62 37
Indianapolis 96.5 98.4 95.7 96.9 61 36
Jacksonville 95.3 97.0 94.6 95.6 59 37
Tennessee 93.6 95.3 93.1 94.0 55 39
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Denver 109.4 106.6 109.7 108.5 64 45
Kansas City 101.3 100.9 101.9 101.4 63 38
Oakland 98.8 99.8 98.9 99.2 64 35
San Diego 98.9 100.1 98.2 99.1 64 35
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Philadelphia 104.5 101.5 104.2 103.4 64 39
Washington 98.0 98.6 97.9 98.2 61 37
N.Y. Giants 98.0 97.6 97.7 97.8 62 36
Dallas 96.7 96.7 96.6 96.7 57 40
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Minnesota 106.7 105.4 107.2 106.4 62 44
Green Bay 104.4 103.7 104.4 104.2 64 40
Detroit 98.3 98.1 97.8 98.1 61 37
Chicago 93.5 91.8 93.1 92.8 55 38
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Carolina 104.7 104.1 105.1 104.6 62 43
Atlanta 101.0 103.4 101.3 101.9 66 36
New Orleans 97.2 99.5 96.6 97.8 64 34
Tampa Bay 93.1 94.0 92.1 93.1 58 35
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Seattle 107.7 104.4 108.6 106.9 63 44
Arizona 104.7 102.6 105.2 104.2 66 38
Los Angeles 99.7 100.8 99.5 100.0 57 43
San Francisco 93.2 94.2 93.0 93.5 55 39

This Week’s PiRate Spreads & Totals

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Totals
San Francisco Arizona -8.5 -5.4 -9.2 46
Baltimore Washington 1.9 3.5 1.6 50
Cleveland New England -13.7 -11.1 -14.6 45
Detroit Philadelphia -3.7 -0.9 -4.9 50
Indianapolis Chicago 5.5 9.1 5.1 44
Miami Tennessee 4.6 3.7 4.8 37
Minnesota Houston 10.6 8.2 11.2 45
Pittsburgh New York Jets 9.2 10.2 9.6 47
Denver Atlanta 11.4 6.2 11.4 50
Dallas Cincinnati -5.7 -5.0 -6.6 39
Los Angeles Buffalo -0.6 0.2 -1.4 34
Oakland San Diego 2.9 2.7 3.7 59
Green Bay New York Giants 9.4 9.1 9.7 51
Carolina Tampa Bay 14.6 13.1 16.0 43

 

 

September 5, 2016

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Week 1: September 8-12,2016

The 2016-17 NFL season kicks off with a lot of changes from last year.  Some were expected in advance, while some were not expected until the last fortnight.  Take a look at some of the key changes.

Peyton Manning retired, and Brock Osweiler left Super Bowl Champion Denver.  The Broncos added Mark Sanchez and then released him, leaving Trevor Siemian as the opening night starter. Siemian suffered a torn ACL in 2015.  He comes from the Spread Formation at Northwestern, and he has never taken a snap in a regular season NFL game.  Normally, when a team goes with a raw talent, they have a graybeard in reserve, but the number two man will be rookie Paxton Lynch from the University of Memphis.

Tom Brady will be a spectator for four weeks, leaving the New England Patriots about a touchdown to 10 points weaker for their first four games.  Our ratings reflect this deduction, and in week five, New England’s rating will rise by several points.

Philadelphia begins anew with a new coach in Doug Pederson, and a new quarterback.  Carson Wentz, a rookie from FCS North Dakota State, will eventually become the starter when he is healthy, so for now the Eagles must get by with Chase Daniel.

The Rams have returned to Los Angeles, and until their new palace is constructed, they will be playing once again at the venerable, archaic Los Angeles Coliseum, where they once ruled the West Coast with stars like Roman Gabriel, Dick Bass, Jack Snow, and the renowned Fearsome Foursome defensive line that led the universe in quarterback sacks.  When the Rams last played a real game at the Coliseum, they won the NFC Championship and lost the Super Bowl to Pittsburgh.  That was the 1979 season, 37 years ago.  According to Pro Football Reference, The Rams are 143-77-8 in the old stadium, one of the best home field advantages in NFL history.

There are four new head coaches in the league this year.  Besides the previously mentioned Pederson with Philadelphia, Dirk Koetter takes over at Tampa Bay, Adam Gase assumed command in Miami, and Ben McAdoo inherits the perpetual hot seat with the New York Giants.  Koetter has a nice track record as a college head coach and long time offensive coordinator at both the collegiate and professional levels.  Gase brings the utmost endorsement of Peyton Manning, after his offense led the Broncos to all sorts of records in 2013.  McAdoo is another offensive guru and has the endorsement of Eli Manning.  Pederson also comes from the attack side of the ball, where he was Andy Reid’s offensive coordinator at Kansas City.

Now for the two major late developments.  Injuries to Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota and Tony Romo in Dallas, have led to us adjusting our ratings at the 11th hour.  The Vikings plucked Sam Bradford from Philly, and thus their rating does not suffer much.  However, combining Romo’s injury with numerous other injuries and suspensions, the Cowboys saw their rating drop by almost as many points as the Pats without Brady.  The late signing of Sanchez does not swing the pendulum much, since rookie Dak Prescott will be the starter.

The opening ratings for this season indicate to us that this will be a season with a lot more parity than in recent years.  We could foresee many teams still in the playoff hunt in Mid-December with a lengthy list of playoff possibilities heading into the final week.  In seasons like this, a last place or third place team from the previous year could take advantage of the weak schedule and sneak into the playoffs as a wild card team with an 8-8 or 9-7 record.

The sexy pick this year is Oakland, where the Raiders have a powerful offense and improving defense, but the AFC West is really competitive this year.  Denver’s offense will backslide, and we see a pattern in the defenses led by Wade Phillips, where the teams he has led in the past do not sustain the same defensive strength the year after they dominated.  San Diego is capable of challenging in this division, so all four teams could be in a two or three win window at the end.

The Giants went 6-10 last year, and in a weaker division, it is not impossible for Eli and Company to go 9-7 this year and make the playoffs.  Tampa Bay and New Orleans both have just enough talent to eke out a possible 9-7 season, but Atlanta is also capable of going 10-6 or better and even challenge Carolina for the NFC South.

There are a couple of teams that appear to have all the pieces in place to go far this year.  In the AFC, after Brady’s return, the Patriots could go 10-2 or better and enter the playoffs as the team to beat in the conference.  Cincinnati is looking at a do or die season to make hay.  A team cannot stay consistently good for that many years without a Manning or Brady.  The Bengals were much closer to winning a playoff game last year than they have since they played in the Super Bowl in 1989.  This should be the year where Cinti finally advances to the next round of the playoffs, if the Bengals stay healthy.

The AFC South appears to be the weakest division in the NFL.  Houston will be a bit weaker this year, even if Osweiler puts up good numbers.  The Texans have a lot of issues on the defensive side, especially if J.J. Watt cannot play at full speed.  Indianapolis has a lot of holes, but the Colts have the return of Andrew Luck.  Jacksonville is all enthused over a great draft class and an improved roster, but the Jaguars are still at least a year away.  As for Tennessee, the Titans could possibly be looking at the top pick in the draft for the second year in a row.

The NFC’s stength lies in the West, where Arizona and Seattle both have Super Bowl caliber squads, and Los Angeles has the material to challenge for an 8-8 or 9-7 record.  San Francisco should challenge Tennessee and Cleveland for the worst overall record.

In the North, the Vikings still have a lot of talent, but we doubt Adrian Peterson will have the same or even similar season on the ground as he did last year.  The mobile Bridgewater had to be accounted for as a possible bootleg runner when Peterson was the lone back in the backfield.  Bradford is not a threat to run a counter away from the expected flow.  We expect the Vikings to settle around the .500 mark.  Green Bay should waltz to the division title, but keep an eye on Detroit.  The Lions were 6-2 in the second half of the season after a horrendous 1-7 start, and we believe they are closer to a 10-6 team than a 6-10 team.  As for the Bears, if things don’t go well in September, then the Midway Monsters may be more like mice and fall into the 10-12 loss area, where the next coach will choose a new quarterback.

We will debut our playoff projections in October.  Here are our beginning PiRate Ratings for 2016. Remember, these ratings reflect Brady, Romo, and Bridgewater not playing.  They also reflect Watt playing at about 70% effectiveness, as our ratings have algorithms for starting players not playing or playing at less than full strength.

You will also notice that we have added an offense and defense rating this year, and we will issue both predicted spreads and predicted totals.  And, unlike many other ratings, our home field advantages vary by the game.  Seattle’s advantage can be a couple points different when they host Miami as opposed to San Francisco.  Distance, weather, and playing field play an important part, as well as things like consecutive road games and playing on a Thursday or Saturday as opposed to Sunday or Monday.

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
N. Y. Jets 103.5 101.0 104.7 103.1 61 42
New England 100.5 98.1 100.8 99.8 61 39
Buffalo 99.2 100.1 99.4 99.6 59 41
Miami 94.7 96.3 94.3 95.1 59 36
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Cincinnati 107.5 106.9 108.4 107.6 65 43
Pittsburgh 103.7 103.2 104.8 103.9 64 40
Baltimore 98.6 100.9 98.2 99.2 62 37
Cleveland 91.3 92.9 90.8 91.7 58 34
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Houston 101.0 102.7 101.0 101.6 64 38
Indianapolis 97.5 100.0 96.4 98.0 61 37
Jacksonville 97.2 99.1 96.4 97.6 58 40
Tennessee 92.4 94.9 91.7 93.0 54 39
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Denver 105.8 102.0 105.9 104.5 62 43
Kansas City 102.8 102.1 104.1 103.0 63 40
Oakland 98.6 98.8 98.6 98.7 62 37
San Diego 97.2 98.4 96.7 97.4 62 35
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Washington 100.0 101.0 100.0 100.3 61 39
N.Y. Giants 98.7 97.7 98.4 98.3 62 36
Philadelphia 98.8 95.1 98.0 97.3 60 37
Dallas 93.0 93.4 92.4 92.9 54 39
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Green Bay 104.7 103.8 104.8 104.4 65 39
Minnesota 102.4 101.1 103.0 102.2 60 42
Detroit 100.7 99.9 100.3 100.3 63 37
Chicago 97.1 94.9 96.9 96.3 56 40
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Carolina 109.3 108.2 110.4 109.3 65 44
New Orleans 99.5 102.5 98.9 100.3 63 37
Atlanta 96.7 99.8 96.6 97.7 61 37
Tampa Bay 96.2 97.3 95.1 96.2 59 37
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Arizona 109.9 106.9 111.1 109.3 68 41
Seattle 109.3 105.6 110.6 108.5 66 43
Los Angeles 99.0 100.6 98.9 99.5 59 41
San Francisco 93.3 94.8 92.6 93.6 56 38

Spreads for Week 1

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Score
Denver Carolina -0.1 -2.7 -1.0 20-21
Atlanta Tampa Bay 2.5 4.5 3.5 24-20
Baltimore Buffalo 1.9 3.3 1.3 23-21
Houston Chicago 6.9 10.8 7.1 24-16
Jacksonville Green Bay -4.5 -1.7 -5.4 20-24
Kansas City San Diego 8.6 6.7 10.4 30-21
New Orleans Oakland 3.9 6.7 3.3 28-23
N. Y. Jets Cincinnati -1.0 -2.9 -0.7 19-22
Philadelphia Cleveland 10.5 5.2 10.2 30-21
Tennessee Minnesota -7.5 -3.7 -8.8 14-21
Seattle Miami 18.6 13.3 20.3 31-14
Dallas N. Y. Giants -2.7 -1.3 -3.0 19-21
Indianapolis Detroit -0.7 2.6 -1.4 24-23
Arizona New England 12.4 11.8 13.3 30-17
Washington Pittsburgh -1.2 0.3 -2.3 23-24
San Francisco Los Angeles -2.7 -2.8 -3.3 17-20

 

 

 

 

September 29, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

September 6, 2015

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

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

 

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

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

Week One Spreads

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

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

 

August 26, 2015

2015 AFC East Division Preview

Today, we begin our 2015 previews of each NFL division with a look at the AFC East Division. This year, we are going to concentrate mostly on stats and analytics.

You will see the following information in each preview.

  1. A current starting lineup based on multiple sources.  This will include players that are questionable for Week 1, and players suspended in the first four weeks.
  2. Team Information–Head Coach, Offensive and Defensive Coordinators, Last Year’s W-L Record and Average Offensive and Defensive Points Per Game
  3. 2015 Preseason PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings with an Average of the Three.
  4. Our PiRate Grades on Running Game, Passing Game, Defense Against the Run, Defense Against the Pass, Special Teams, and Coaching + Intangibles.  Note that these grades use advanced metrics and do not rely on regular statistics.  More about that in the footnote at the end of this entry.
  5. The PiRate Ratings won-loss predictions for 2015 and whether the team is picked to make the playoffs.  These predictions are based on a unique set of data and do not strictly correlate to our preseason ratings.  We actually have pre-adjustments in our ratings based on factors such as depth, age, schedule, travel, etc.

AFC EAST

New England has won this division six consecutive seasons, and the last time they didn’t win, they lost in a tiebreaker to the Miami Dolphins.  With Tom Brady sidelined for four games, a lot of pundits are picking the Patriots to begin the season trailing one or more contenders.  We remind them that Matt Cassel took over a Patriot team in 2008 and went 10-5 as a starter.  Jimmy Garoppolo should be able to at least split those four games, which should allow the Pats to seven-peat in the AFC East.

Rex Ryan takes over at Buffalo, and the Bills have enough talent on hand to make a playoff run, something Bills’ fans have not experienced since the fateful “Music City Miracle” in 1999.  With the addition of Matt Cassel, LeSean McCoy and to a lesser extent, Percy Harvin and Richie Incognito, Ryan’s Bills could take on the persona of the Oakland Raiders of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Miami added Ndamukong Suh and Greg Jennings to a roster that was 7-5 before fading fast last year.  The Dolphins will make the Playoffs this year, or Joe Philbin will be history.

The New York Jets start over with a new coach, a new quarterback they did not expect to have, two new cornerbacks, and a commitment to open up the offense.  However, in order for the Jets to get off the ground in 2015, unexpected new starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick must find a way to avoid the interception bug for at least 4 or 5 games, or else rookie Bryce Petty will be in the Big Apple microscope.

BUFFALO BILLS

Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Sammy Watkins
WR Percy Harvin
WR Robert Woods
TE Charles Clay
LT Gordy Glenn
LG Richie Ingonito
C Eric Wood
RG John Miller
RT Seantrel Henderson
QB Matt Cassel
HB LeSean McCoy
FB Jerome Felton
Defense
DE Mario Williams
DT Marcell Dareus
DT Kyle Williams
DE Jerry Hughes
LB Nigel Bradham
LB Preston Brown
LB Manny Lawson
CB Leodis McKelvin
S Aaron Williams
S Corey Graham
CB Stephon Gilmore
N5 Nickell Robey
Special
Kicker Dan Carpenter
Punter Colton Schmidt
KR Percy Harvin
PR Marcus Thigpen
Buffalo Bills
Head Coach Rex Ryan
Off. Coordinator Greg Roman
Def. Coordinator Dennis Thurman
2014 W-L-T 9-7-0
Pts 21.4
Opp 18.1
Ratings
PiRate 99.8
Mean 100.6
Bias 99.6
Average 100.0
Grades
Running B-
Passing C-
Vs. Run B+
Vs. Pass B-
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles C+
Predicted W-L 10-6-0
Division Rank 2
Conference Rank 9
Overall Rank 17
Postseason Yes

MIAMI DOLPHINS

Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Greg Jennings
WR Kenny Stills
WR Jarvis Landry
TE Jordan Cameron
LT Albert Brandon
LG Dallas Thomas
C Mike Pouncey
RG Billy Turner
RT Ja’ Wuan James
QB Ryan Tannehill
HB Lamar Miller
FB (None)
Defense
DE Cameron Wake
DT Ndamukong Suh
DT Earl Mitchell
DE Olivier Vernon
LB Chris McCain
LB Koa Misi
LB Jelani Jenkins
CB Brent Grimes
S Reshad Jones
S Michael Thomas
CB Jamar Taylor
N5 Brice McCain
Special
Kicker Caleb Sturgis
Punter Brandon Fields
KR Jarvis Landry
PR Jarvis Landry
Miami Dolphins
Head Coach Joe Philbin
Off. Coordinator Bill Lazor
Def. Coordinator Kevin Coyle
2014 W-L-T 8-8-0
Pts 24.3
Opp 23.3
Ratings
PiRate 98.7
Mean 100.3
Bias 98.0
Average 99.0
Grades
Running C-
Passing C+
Vs. Run C
Vs. Pass B
Special Teams C-
Coaching + Intangibles C
Predicted W-L 9-7-0
Division Rank 3
Conference Rank 10
Overall Rank 19
Postseason No

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Reggie Wayne
WR Julian Edelman
WR Danny Amendola
TE Rob Gronkowski
LT Nate Solder
LG Josh Klein
C Bryan Stork
RG Ryan Wendell
RT Sebastian Vollmer
QB Tom Brady
HB LeGarrette Blount
FB James Develin
Defense
DE Rob Ninkovich
DT Alan Branch
DT Sealver Siliga
DE Chandler Jones
LB Jamie Collins
LB Jerod Mayo
LB Dont’a Hightower
CB Malcolm Butler
S Patrick Chung
S Devon McCourty
CB Logan Ryan
N5 Robert McClain
Special
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski
Punter Ryan Allen
KR Danny Amendola
PR Julian Edelman
New England Patriots
Head Coach Bill Belichick
Off. Coordinator Josh McDaniels
Def. Coordinator Matt Patricia
2014 W-L-T 12-4-0
Pts 29.3
Opp 19.6
Ratings
PiRate 107.9
Mean 107.9
Bias 107.9
Average 107.9
Grades
Running C-
Passing A+
Vs. Run C-
Vs. Pass C
Special Teams A
Coaching + Intangibles A+
Predicted W-L 12-4-0
Division Rank 1
Conference Rank 1
Overall Rank 2
Postseason No

NEW YORK JETS

Starting Lineups
Offense
WR Brandon Marshall
WR Eric Decker
WR Jeremy Kerley
TE Jeff Cumberland
LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson
LG James Carpenter
C Nick Mangold
RG Willie Colon
RT Breno Giacomini
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
HB Chris Ivory
FB Tommy Bohanon
Defense
DE Muhammad Wilkerson
DT Damon Harrison
DE Leonard Williams
LB Quinton Coples
LB Demario Davis
LB David Harris
LB Calvin Pace
CB Darrelle Revis
S Calvin Pryor
S Marcus Gilchrist
CB Antonio Cromartie
N5 Buster Skrine
Special
Kicker Nick Folk
Punter Ryan Quigley
KR Chris Owusu
PR Jeremy Kerley
New York Jets
Head Coach Todd Bowles
Off. Coordinator Chan Gailey
Def. Coordinator Kacy Rodgers
2014 W-L-T 4-12-0
Pts 17.7
Opp 25.1
Ratings
PiRate 97.7
Mean 98.2
Bias 97.5
Average 97.8
Grades
Running C-
Passing D
Vs. Run A-
Vs. Pass B+
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles D
Predicted W-L 7-9-0
Division Rank 4
Conference Rank 12
Overall Rank 23
Postseason No

Grade Constituents & Data

Running Game: Offensive Line & Running Backs

Mere average yards per carry or total yards gained matters little here.  We grade based on how effective the running game is.  So, if a player gained 1,200 yards and averaged 4.0 yards per carry last year, there is no guarantee that he is better than a player that gains 800 yards and averaged 3.5 yards per attempt.  Gaining three yards on third and two is a lot more important than gaining four yards on third and eight.  A player that gets a lot of attempts inside the two yard line will see his average yards per carry drop but will be more effective due to getting the job done.

Passing Game: Quarterback, Receivers, Backs, Offensive Line

We use a combination of average yards per attempt, air yards per attempt, yards after catch, sacks per attempt, and avoidance of turnovers.  A team with a better quarterback may have a lower grade than a team with less talented quarterback, if he has a better pass blocking offensive line and/or better receivers.

Defense: All 11 defensive players factor into both run and pass defense.  The defensive ends and cornerbacks count more against the pass than any other position, while the front seven counts more against the run than the secondary.

Special Teams: Punt and Kick Coverage count for a little more than punt and kick return, but with a little extra given weight to returners that have a proven history of becoming game-changers.  Actual punting and kicking have gotten to the point where there is not much difference between the best and worst.  If the top punter averages 46 yards per punt, and a replacement punter averages just 40 yards per punt, that six yards is not that much of a factor.  Coverage is much more important.  Not allowing the opponent to get a long return counts more than the six yards difference in the punters.

Coaching + Intangibles: The head coach is not the only coach that matters, but he counts more than the strength and conditioning coach.  We look at the entire coaching staff, with the coordinators receiving more consideration than all but the head coach.  Intangibles include a host of factors, including things like having a player break a teammate’s jaw, penalties from deflating balls, having a team that missed out of the playoffs by a tiebreaker last year, and many other little things.

August 28, 2013

2013 AFC East Preview

2013 A F C East Preview

The AFC East Division looks like a case of New England and the Three Dwarfs.  Miami has some promise, but they have lost a major component of their offense with the injury to Dustin Keller.  The Jets appear to be doing everything they can to rid themselves of Rex Ryan and guarantee themselves Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.  Buffalo sure wishes they had not dumped Ryan Fitzpatrick, as they appear ready to start a rookie free agent at QB in their first game.

 

Even with the loss of Rob Gronkowski to injury for at least part of the season, and with the riddance of accused murderer Aaron Hernandez, it should still be a cruise to first place for New England.  A 10-6 record would be a down year, but the Pats would probably win the East by at least three games if they go 10-6.

 

Look for the NFC South and AFC North to take advantage of the weakened division, as the better teams in both divisions should go 3-1 or even 4-0.  This will help teams like Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New Orleans, and even Carolina in the playoff picture.

 

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

 

Here are the official colors for the AFC East

West

Color

Red

Green

Blue

Buffalo Bills

Royal Blue

0

51

141

 

Scarlet

198

12

48

Miami Dolphins

Aqua

0

98

101

 

Coral

249

70

28

New England Patriots

Nautical Blue

0

34

68

 

Red

198

12

48

New York Jets

Hunter Green

44

94

79

 

White

255

255

255

 

 

2012 Final Standings & PiRate Ratings

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

W-L-T

Pts

Opp

New England Patriots

112.7

111.2

110.2

12-4-0

557

331

Miami Dolphins

98.8

98.9

98.9

7-9-0

288

317

New York Jets

95.0

94.0

93.3

6-10-0

281

375

Buffalo Bills

94.6

94.2

93.9

6-10-0

344

435

 

 

2013 Preseason PiRate Ratings

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

 

PiRate Previews

Team

Buffalo Bills

               
Head Coach

Doug Marrone

O-Coord.

Nathaniel Hackett

D-Coord.

Mike Pettine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

E. J. Manuel  (Jeff Tuel ?)

Running Back

C. J. Spiller

Fullback

Frank Summers

Wide Receiver

Stevie Johnson

Wide Receiver

T. J. Graham

Tight End

Scott Chandler

Left Tackle

Cordy Glenn

Left Guard

Colin Brown

Center

Eric Wood

Right Guard

Kraig Urbik

Right Tackle

Erik Pears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Alex Carrington

Nose Tackle

Marcell Dareus

Right End

Kyle Williams

Left OLB

Mario Williams

Left ILB

Nigel Bradham

Right ILB

Kiko Alonso

Right OLB

Manny Lawson

Left CB

Leodis McKelvin

Right CB

Stephon Gilmore

Strong Safety

Da’Norris Searcy

Free Safety

Jairus Byrd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Dustin Hopkins

Punter

Shawn Powell

K-Return

Leodis McKelvin

P-Return

Leodis McKelvin

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

5-11

Division

3rd

 

Team

Miami Dolphins

               
Head Coach

Joe Philbin

O-Coord.

Mike Sherman

D-Coord.

Kevin Coyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Ryan Tannehill

Running Back

Lamar Miller

Fullback

Evan Rodriguez

Wide Receiver

Brian Hartline

Wide Receiver

Mike Wallace

Tight End

Charles Clay

Left Tackle

Jonathan Martin

Left Guard

Richie Incognito

Center

Mike Pouncey

Right Guard

John Jerry

Right Tackle

Tyson Clabo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Olivier Vernon

Left Tackle

Randy Starks

Right Tackle

Paul Soliai

Right End

Cameron Wake

Sam LB

Koa Misi

Mike LB

Dannell Ellerbe

Will LB

Phillip Wheeler

Left CB

Brent Grimes

Right CB

Dimitri Patterson

Strong Safety

Reshad Jones

Free Safety

Chris Clemons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Caleb Sturgis

Punter

Brandon Fields

K-Return

Marcus Thigpen

P-Return

Marcus Thigpen

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

6-10

Division

2nd

 

Team

New England Patriots

               
Head Coach

Bill Belichick

O-Coord.

Josh McDaniels

D-Coord.

Matt Patricia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Tom Brady

Running Back

Stevan Ridley/Shane Vereen

Fullback

James Develin

Wide Receiver

Danny Amendola

Wide Receiver

Kenbrell Thompkins

Tight End

Zach Sudfeld (Rob Gronkowski ?)

Left Tackle

Nate Solder

Left Guard

Logan Mankins

Center

Ryan Wendell

Right Guard

Dan Connolly

Right Tackle

Sebastian Vollmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Rob Ninkovich

Left Tackle

Vince Wilfork

Right Tackle

Tommy Kelly

Right End

Chandler Jones

Sam LB

Dont’a Hightower

Mike LB

Brandon Spikes

Will LB

Jerod Mayo

Left CB

Aqib Talib

Right CB

Alfonzo Dennard

Strong Safety

Steve Gregory

Free Safety

Devin McCourty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Stephen Gostkowski

Punter

Zoltan Mesko

K-Return

Leon Washington

P-Return

Julian Edelman

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

12-4

Division

1st

 

Team

New York Jets

               
Head Coach

Rex Ryan

O-Coord.

Marty Mornhinweg

D-Coord.

Dennis Thurman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Starting Lineup

Position

Player

 

Offense

Quarterback

Geno Smith

Running Back

Bilal Powell/Chris Ivory

Fullback

Tommy Bohanon

Wide Receiver

Stephen Hill

Wide Receiver

Jeremy Kerley

Tight End

Jeff Cumberland

Left Tackle

D’Brickashaw Ferguson

Left Guard

Vladimir Ducasse

Center

Nick Mangold

Right Guard

Willie Colon

Right Tackle

Austin Howard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

Left End

Muhammad Wilkerson

Nose Tackle

Kenrick Ellis

Right Tackle

Sheldon Richardson

Left OLB

Garrett McIntyre

Left ILB

Demario Davis

Right ILB

David Harris

Right OLB

Calvin Pace

Left CB

Dee Milliner

Right CB

Antonion Cromartie

Strong Safety

Dawan Landry

Free Safety

Antonio Allen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Teams

Kicker

Nick Folk

Punter

Robert Malone

K-Return

Clyde Gates

P-Return

Jeremy Kerley

 

 

Predictions

 

Record

4-12

Division

4th

 

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