The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 1, 2008

Pro Football Computer Simulation: Week 13–December 1, 2008

Pro Football Computer Simulation League: Week 13-December 1, 2008

 

The Pro Football Computer Simulation League for 2008 uses a fantastic season from the past between 1981 and 2007 for each of the 32 current NFL Franchises.  It uses the actual 2008 NFL schedule and then simulates games between the past great teams.  Last year’s simulation involved teams from 1960 to 1979.  The 1967 Oakland Raiders edged the 1968 Dallas Cowboys in the Simper Bowl.

 

Here are the results of this week’s games:

 

2000 Tennessee Titans  24  1991 Detroit Lions  6

Jevon Kearse picked up two sacks and Frank Wycheck caught 5 passes for 77 yards and 2 touchdowns, as the Titans spoiled Thanksgiving for Detroit fans. 

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

1991 Det

0

3

3

0

 

6

2000 Ten

0

10

7

7

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Det

Stat

Ten

 

 

 

 

11

FD

17

 

 

 

 

28-92

Rush-Yds

38-147

 

 

 

 

144

Pass Yds

168

 

 

 

 

13-23-1

Passes

15-25-0

 

 

 

 

3-19

Sacks

0-0

 

 

 

 

7-47.3

Punt

5-43.6

 

 

 

 

2-11

PR

4-67

 

 

 

 

6-64

Pen

4-25

 

 

 

 

2-1

Fum

1-1

 

 

 

 

54

Play

63

 

 

 

 

217

Tot Yds

315

 

 

 

1992 Dallas Cowboys  27  2005 Seattle Seahawks  20

Emmitt Smith rushed for 136 yards on 22 carries and scored the game-clinching touchdown, and the Cowboys’ defense stopped Seattle on downs late in the game at the Dallas 28 yard line.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

1992 Dal

7

10

10

0

 

27

2005 Sea

7

3

3

7

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dal

Stat

Sea

 

 

 

 

19

FD

15

 

 

 

 

41-196

Rush-Yds

31-87

 

 

 

 

174

Pass Yds

193

 

 

 

 

15-25-0

Passes

16-28-2

 

 

 

 

1-6

Sacks

1-7

 

 

 

 

4-41.0

Punt

5-41.8

 

 

 

 

2-29

PR

2-17

 

 

 

 

6-45

Pen

8-87

 

 

 

 

2-0

Fum

2-1

 

 

 

 

67

Play

60

 

 

 

 

364

Tot Yds

273

 

 

 

2004 Philadelphia Eagles  27  1998 Arizona Cardinals  7

Terrell Owens caught 5 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown, and the Eagles’ defense forced three turnovers, as Philadelphia cruised to an easy win.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

2004 Phi

14

7

3

3

 

27

1998 Ari

0

0

0

7

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phi

Stat

Ari

 

 

 

 

20

FD

14

 

 

 

 

38-114

Rush-Yds

21-55

 

 

 

 

266

Pass Yds

168

 

 

 

 

19-32-0

Passes

17-36-2

 

 

 

 

1-8

Sacks

3-21

 

 

 

 

4-43.3

Punt

6-34.3

 

 

 

 

2-14

PR

1-7

 

 

 

 

3-20

Pen

5-45

 

 

 

 

0-0

Fum

2-1

 

 

 

 

71

Play

60

 

 

 

 

372

Tot Yds

202

 

 

 

 

1998 New York Jets  25  1998 Denver Broncos  24

Vinny Testaverde threw touchdown passes of 19 and 23 yards to Keyshawn Johnson and Bryan Cox sacked John Elway for a safety as the Jets upset the Broncos at the Meadowlands.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

1998 NYJ

9

6

10

0

 

25

1998 Den

3

7

14

0

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NYJ

Stat

Den

 

 

 

 

16

FD

17

 

 

 

 

42-163

Rush-Yds

25-103

 

 

 

 

152

Pass Yds

214

 

 

 

 

14-24-0

Passes

17-31-1

 

 

 

 

0-0

Sacks

1-9

 

 

 

 

5-44.4

Punt

5-40.4

 

 

 

 

2-9

PR

1-12

 

 

 

 

5-39

Pen

6-55

 

 

 

 

2-1

Fum

1-0

 

 

 

 

66

Play

57

 

 

 

 

315

Tot Yds

308

 

 

 

1984 Miami Dolphins  45  1999 St. Louis Rams  42 OT

Dan Marino threw 5 touchdown passes including a 42-yard bomb to Mark Clayton in the final minutes of regulation to force overtime.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

1999 Stl

7

14

14

7

0

42

1984 Mia

7

7

14

14

3

45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stl

Stat

Mia

 

 

 

 

26

FD

27

 

 

 

 

31-127

Rush-Yds

29-88

 

 

 

 

365

Pass Yds

401

 

 

 

 

24-39-1

Passes

29-52-1

 

 

 

 

1-7

Sacks

1-5

 

 

 

 

3-41.3

Punt

3-47.7

 

 

 

 

1-11

PR

1-(-1)

 

 

 

 

4-42

Pen

6-40

 

 

 

 

0-0

Fum

1-0

 

 

 

 

71

Play

82

 

 

 

 

485

Tot Yds

484

 

 

 

 

1991 Washington Redskins  17  1986 New York Giants  13

Earnest Byner’s 4-yard TD run with 2:11 to play in the game provided the Redskins with the winning points in a game played with first place on the line in the NFC East.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

1991 Was

3

7

0

7

 

17

1986 NYG

3

3

7

0

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was

Stat

NYG

 

 

 

 

16

FD

15

 

 

 

 

39-143

Rush-Yds

28-77

 

 

 

 

158

Pass Yds

224

 

 

 

 

14-23-1

Passes

14-26-1

 

 

 

 

2-11

Sacks

1-8

 

 

 

 

6-40.3

Punt

8-42.0

 

 

 

 

5-41

PR

3-23

 

 

 

 

4-25

Pen

4-30

 

 

 

 

2-1

Fum

3-1

 

 

 

 

64

Play

55

 

 

 

 

290

Tot Yds

293

 

 

 

 

1987 New Orleans Saints  19  2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers  16

Mel Gray returned a fourth quarter punt 42 yards to set up the Saints at the Tampa Bay 31 yard line.  Six plays later Bobby Hebert used a QB sneak to score from inside the 1 yard line with 0:13 to play.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

2002 TB

3

7

3

3

 

16

1987 NO

7

5

0

7

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TB

Stat

NO

 

 

 

 

16

FD

16

 

 

 

 

38-149

Rush-Yds

26-96

 

 

 

 

157

Pass Yds

222

 

 

 

 

13-21-0

Passes

17-29-2

 

 

 

 

0-0

Sacks

2-12

 

 

 

 

9-42.6

Punt

7-40.3

 

 

 

 

4-35

PR

5-102

 

 

 

 

5-50

Pen

4-31

 

 

 

 

0-0

Fum

1-0

 

 

 

 

59

Play

57

 

 

 

 

306

Tot Yds

306

 

 

 

 

2005 Indianapolis Colts  41  1987 Cleveland Browns  17

Edgerrin James rushed for 119 yards and caught 3 passes for 35 yards and a score, and Marvin Harrison hauled in 7 passes for 113 yards and 3 touchdowns.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

1987 Cle

7

0

10

0

 

17

2005 Ind

14

13

14

0

 

41

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cle

Stat

Ind

 

 

 

 

12

FD

23

 

 

 

 

18-55

Rush-Yds

39-181

 

 

 

 

174

Pass Yds

285

 

 

 

 

13-28-3

Passes

19-32-0

 

 

 

 

1-7

Sacks

1-6

 

 

 

 

8-42.1

Punt

4-43.8

 

 

 

 

3-45

PR

4-35

 

 

 

 

5-35

Pen

4-30

 

 

 

 

1-1

Fum

3-1

 

 

 

 

47

Play

72

 

 

 

 

222

Tot Yds

460

 

 

 

 

1990 Buffalo Bills  30  1984 San Francisco 49ers  24

Thurman Thomas rushed 29 times for 203 yards and 2 touchdowns.  The Bills’ defense forced Joe Montana into 2 interceptions and a fumble on a QB sack.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

1990 Buf

14

10

3

3

 

30

1984 SF

7

7

3

7

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buf

Stat

SF

 

 

 

 

22

FD

21

 

 

 

 

34-216

Rush-Yds

30-122

 

 

 

 

247

Pass Yds

211

 

 

 

 

19-31-1

Passes

19-34-2

 

 

 

 

0-0

Sacks

2-13

 

 

 

 

3-46.3

Punt

5-42.4

 

 

 

 

2-19

PR

1-11

 

 

 

 

4-25

Pen

7-50

 

 

 

 

1-1

Fum

2-1

 

 

 

 

65

Play

66

 

 

 

 

463

Tot Yds

320

 

 

 

 

1981 Cincinnati Bengals  13  2000 Baltimore Ravens  10

Pete Johnson’s 2 yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter was set up by Ross Browner’s 33 yard fumble return.  The Bengals’ defense stopped the Baltimore running game.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

1981 Cin

3

3

7

0

 

13

2000 Bal

7

0

3

0

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cin

Stat

Bal

 

 

 

 

18

FD

13

 

 

 

 

37-136

Rush-Yds

25-85

 

 

 

 

153

Pass Yds

142

 

 

 

 

12-25-1

Passes

13-28-0

 

 

 

 

2-19

Sacks

2-15

 

 

 

 

9-40.2

Punt

8-36.9

 

 

 

 

1-5

PR

4-51

 

 

 

 

4-20

Pen

11-102

 

 

 

 

1-0

Fum

2-1

 

 

 

 

64

Play

55

 

 

 

 

270

Tot Yds

212

 

 

 

 

1996 Green Bay Packers  34  1996 Carolina Panthers  13

Brett Favre completed a 74 yard TD pass to Don Beebe and a 58 yard TD pass to Antonio Freeman, as the Packers won a rematch of the 1996 NFC Championship Game.  Green Bay won that real game 30-13.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

1996 GB

10

10

7

7

 

34

1996 Car

0

3

3

7

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GB

Stat

Car

 

 

 

 

19

FD

14

 

 

 

 

41-156

Rush-Yds

17-45

 

 

 

 

269

Pass Yds

220

 

 

 

 

14-25-0

Passes

19-34-3

 

 

 

 

0-0

Sacks

1-8

 

 

 

 

6-45.5

Punt

7-41.4

 

 

 

 

4-53

PR

2-17

 

 

 

 

5-33

Pen

4-35

 

 

 

 

0-0

Fum

1-0

 

 

 

 

66

Play

52

 

 

 

 

425

Tot Yds

257

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1998 Atlanta Falcons  21  2006 San Diego Chargers  20

Jamal Anderson rushed for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns to give the Falcons all the points they needed.  Atlanta stays in contention in the NFC South, while San Diego falls two games back in the AFC West.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

2006 SD

0

6

0

14

 

20

1998 Atl

7

7

7

0

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SD

Stat

Atl

 

 

 

 

16

FD

17

 

 

 

 

31-116

Rush-Yds

42-192

 

 

 

 

183

Pass Yds

139

 

 

 

 

16-29-1

Passes

11-19-0

 

 

 

 

2-13

Sacks

1-7

 

 

 

 

6-43.2

Punt

6-42.0

 

 

 

 

3-25

PR

2-24

 

 

 

 

5-35

Pen

5-35

 

 

 

 

1-0

Fum

2-0

 

 

 

 

62

Play

62

 

 

 

 

286

Tot Yds

324

 

 

 

2007 New England Patriots  38  2005 Pittsburgh Steelers  16

Randy Moss grabbed 5 passes for 141 yards and 2 TDs.  He took one quick screen at the line of scrimmage and ran 58 yards after the catch.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

2007 NE

17

7

7

7

 

38

2005 Pit

3

0

6

7

 

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NE

Stat

Pit

 

 

 

 

18

FD

19

 

 

 

 

25-103

Rush-Yds

35-147

 

 

 

 

296

Pass Yds

179

 

 

 

 

21-33-0

Passes

14-27-2

 

 

 

 

0-0

Sacks

3-23

 

 

 

 

3-47.0

Punt

6-41.8

 

 

 

 

3-43

PR

0-0

 

 

 

 

5-40

Pen

6-48

 

 

 

 

1-0

Fum

1-1

 

 

 

 

58

Play

65

 

 

 

 

399

Tot Yds

303

 

 

 

2003 Kansas City Chiefs  27  2000 Oakland Raiders  21

Trent Green rushed for 1 TD and passed for 2 others as the Chiefs won for just the third time this season.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

2000 Oak

7

14

0

0

 

21

2003 KC

3

10

0

14

 

27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oak

Stat

KC

 

 

 

 

15

FD

21

 

 

 

 

22-90

Rush-Yds

28-95

 

 

 

 

177

Pass Yds

343

 

 

 

 

15-26-1

Passes

26-45-1

 

 

 

 

1-7

Sacks

1-6

 

 

 

 

6-45.8

Punt

4-40.8

 

 

 

 

2-67

PR

3-44

 

 

 

 

8-80

Pen

4-36

 

 

 

 

1-0

Fum

2-1

 

 

 

 

49

Play

74

 

 

 

 

260

Tot Yds

432

 

 

 

 

1998 Minnesota Vikings  21  1985 Chicago Bears  17

The 1998 Vikings proved they belong in the playoff chase as they moved in to a tie for second just one game behind Green Bay in the black and blue division.  Chicago had the ball at the Minnesota 6 yard line on 2nd & 1 late in the game.  The Bears were unable to score and turned the ball over on downs at the Viking 2 yard line.  Jimmy Hitchcock’s 56 yard interception return on the first play of the 4th quarter proved to be the winning score.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

1998 Min

0

7

7

7

 

21

1985 Chi

7

3

7

0

 

17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Min

Stat

Chi

 

 

 

 

14

FD

17

 

 

 

 

21-57

Rush-Yds

42-159

 

 

 

 

231

Pass Yds

147

 

 

 

 

16-28-2

Passes

13-24-2

 

 

 

 

3-17

Sacks

1-7

 

 

 

 

7-46.6

Punt

5-44.4

 

 

 

 

3-22

PR

2-19

 

 

 

 

5-30

Pen

7-48

 

 

 

 

1-0

Fum

2-1

 

 

 

 

52

Play

67

 

 

 

 

271

Tot Yds

299

 

 

 

 

2007 Houston Texans  31  1999 Jacksonville Jaguars  27

Andre Davis returned a kickoff 102 yards for the winning touchdown after Jacksonville had taken a 27-24 lead.

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

2007 Hou

0

17

7

7

 

31

1999 Jac

3

3

14

7

 

27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hou

Stat

Jac

 

 

 

 

19

FD

17

 

 

 

 

21-69

Rush-Yds

37-141

 

 

 

 

308

Pass Yds

171

 

 

 

 

25-43-2

Passes

15-26-1

 

 

 

 

4-25

Sacks

1-7

 

 

 

 

4-41.8

Punt

3-42.3

 

 

 

 

1-11

PR

2-17

 

 

 

 

5-39

Pen

6-45

 

 

 

 

0-0

Fum

2-1

 

 

 

 

68

Play

64

 

 

 

 

352

Tot Yds

305

 

 

 

Current Standings

 

Pro Football Computer Simulation League

National Football Conference

East Division

Won

Lost

Tie

Pts

Opp

PiRate

1991 Washington Redskins

8

4

0

246

169

104.3

1992 Dallas Cowboys

7

5

0

247

254

99.2

1986 New York Giants

6

6

0

191

161

101.3

2004 Philadelphia Eagles

4

8

0

194

216

97.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Division

Won

Lost

Tie

Pts

Opp

PiRate

1985 Chicago Bears

9

3

0

248

171

108.5

1996 Green Bay Packers

8

4

0

362

198

115.1

1998 Minnesota Vikings

8

4

0

329

247

109.5

1991 Detroit Lions

2

10

0

196

310

94.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Division

Won

Lost

Tie

Pts

Opp

PiRate

2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

7

5

0

230

199

102.8

1987 New Orleans Saints

6

6

0

245

228

102.6

1998 Atlanta Falcons

6

6

0

223

298

95.3

1996 Carolina Panthers

5

7

0

239

292

96.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Division

Won

Lost

Tie

Pts

Opp

PiRate

1999 St. Louis Rams

9

3

0

338

281

103.6

1984 San Francisco 49ers

7

5

0

306

220

105.4

2005 Seattle Seahawks

5

7

0

223

307

93.9

1998 Arizona Cardinals

2

10

0

164

328

87.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Football Conference

East Division

Won

Lost

Tie

Pts

Opp

PiRate

2007 New England Patriots

8

4

0

393

275

107.7

1990 Buffalo Bills

7

5

0

325

260

103.7

1998 New York Jets

6

6

0

248

293

96.5

1984 Miami Dolphins

4

8

0

322

391

93.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Division

Won

Lost

Tie

Pts

Opp

PiRate

2000 Baltimore Ravens

9

3

0

164

160

98.1

1981 Cincinnati Bengals

6

6

0

219

222

97.5

1987 Cleveland Browns

4

8

0

189

281

92.2

2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

2

10

0

178

245

94.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Division

Won

Lost

Tie

Pts

Opp

PiRate

2000 Tennessee Titans

10

2

0

279

118

112.4

1999 Jacksonville Jaguars

5

7

0

229

250

100.2

2005 Indianapolis Colts

5

7

0

274

305

99.4

2007 Houston Texans

4

8

0

257

348

93.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Division

Won

Lost

Tie

Pts

Opp

PiRate

1998 Denver Broncos

9

3

0

355

251

106.5

2006 San Diego Chargers

7

5

0

287

251

101.5

2000 Oakland Raiders

4

8

0

236

284

95.2

2003 Kansas City Chiefs

3

9

0

265

395

90.1

 

September 26, 2008

PiRate Ratings Week 4 NFL Previews–September 28-29, 2008

PiRate Ratings For NFL Week Four

(Listed Alphabetically Within Each Division)
NFC East

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

 
Dallas

3

0

0

96

63

113.56

109.11

109.08

2

 
New York

3

0

0

83

43

105.26

105.58

107.36

2

 
Philadelphia

2

1

0

90

50

110.86

107.07

108.31

2

 
Washington

2

1

0

60

57

105.74

102.17

103.37

2

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
NFC North

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

 
Chicago

1

2

0

70

60

105.16

102.48

100.27

2

 
Detroit

0

3

0

59

113

86.65

90.03

89.19

3

 
Green Bay

2

1

0

88

71

106.24

103.71

104.95

2

 
Minnesota

1

2

0

54

52

104.57

101.33

99.97

2

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
NFC South

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

 
Atlanta

2

1

0

81

59

96.23

97.28

97.01

2

 
Carolina

2

1

0

56

61

101.51

101.57

102.12

2

 
New Orleans

1

2

0

80

83

104.27

100.82

101.05

2

 
Tampa Bay

2

1

0

71

57

104.04

102.73

102.85

2

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
NFC West

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

 
Arizona

2

1

0

71

47

103.78

101.02

102.29

3

 
St. Louis

0

3

0

29

116

76.37

86.82

84.63

2

 
San Francisco

2

1

0

67

56

94.04

96.39

97.14

3

 
Seattle

1

2

0

67

70

94.51

96.81

99.47

3

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
AFC East

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

 
Buffalo

3

0

0

78

49

101.85

103.16

104.75

3

 
Miami

1

2

0

62

64

94.20

96.85

95.39

2

 
New England

2

1

0

49

58

100.19

101.62

104.35

2

 
New York

1

2

0

59

81

94.49

96.99

96.90

2

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
AFC North

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

 
Baltimore

2

0

0

45

20

101.46

100.74

102.42

3

 
Cincinnati

0

3

0

40

67

95.26

96.83

95.84

2

 
Cleveland

0

3

0

26

66

89.56

94.30

91.95

2

 
Pittsburgh

2

1

0

54

38

102.78

103.38

103.62

2

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
AFC South

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

 
Houston

0

2

0

29

69

89.13

96.35

93.42

3

 
Indianapolis

1

2

0

52

67

101.40

101.34

101.17

2

 
Jacksonville

1

2

0

49

58

103.10

102.42

101.84

3

 
Tennessee

3

0

0

72

29

105.98

106.64

106.51

2

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
AFC West

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

 
Denver

3

0

0

114

84

104.17

103.69

104.08

2

 
Kansas City

0

2

0

32

78

82.22

90.08

88.50

2

 
Oakland

1

2

0

60

73

94.45

96.52

94.39

2

 
San Diego

1

2

0

110

94

106.59

104.07

105.92

2

 

 

 

NFL Previews-Week Four

 

Denver Broncos (3-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (0-3)

Time:           1 PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Sunny, light wind, temperature in upper 70’s

 

PiRate:         Denver by 20    

Mean:           Denver by 12

Bias:             Denver by 4

Vegas:        Denver by 9½

Ov/Un:        46½

Strategy:     Denver +½ in 10-point teaser, Over 36½ in 10-point teaser

On the surface, this looks like a slam-dunk game for the Broncos.  Kansas City has scored just 32 points in three games. They have already lost at home to Oakland, and Denver blew the Raiders out in Oakland.  So, why is Denver not a double-digit favorite?  The Broncos have problems on defense, and Kansas City should score a season high in points Sunday. 

 

Damon Huard will start at quarterback for the Chiefs, and while he is not a star, he will perform better than Tyler Thigpen.  Look for the Chiefs to hit the 20-point mark for the first time this year, but Jay Cutler and company will score 24 to 35. 

 

Since the Bias rating doesn’t believe Denver can cover at 9½, I am sticking with the teaser plays in this one. 

 

Cleveland Browns (0-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-3)

Time:           1 PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Partly Cloudy, light wind, temperature in upper 70’s

 

PiRate:        Cincinnati by 8

Mean:           Cincinnati by 5

Bias:             Cincinnati by 6

Vegas:        Cincinnati by 3½

Ov/Un:        44

Strategy:     Cincinnati -3½, Cincinnati +6½ in 10-point teaser, Over 34 in 10-point teaser             

The losing coach in this game will have to purchase asbestos pants, because his seat is going to be mighty hot come Monday morning.  One of these teams will be 0-4 and have absolutely no chance of recovery.  The winner will still be in trouble at 1-3, but they will still be in the race in this division.  If you are old enough to remember 1970, the Bengals actually began that year 1-6 before winning seven in a row to take the division by a game over the Browns.

 

Neither team has a great defense, but Cincinnati began to play a little more consistently last week in New Jersey.  Cleveland might be in last place in defense if not for playing Pittsburgh in weather more suitable to trout.  The Browns’ offense has been the top disappointment in the NFL thus far, and Derek Anderson has a pitiful 43.5 QB Rating.  If he doesn’t come out of the gate hot this week, look for Brady Quinn to become the new quarterback.  Sticking with the nostalgia theme, back in 1968, Frank Ryan began the season as the Browns’ QB but in about the fourth game, Bill Nelsen took over.  Cleveland was a different team with Nelsen, and the Browns went on a long winning streak to win their division after digging themselves a hole at the beginning.

 

In this big rivalry game, I look for the Bengals to be ready to play good, but not great defense, while the Browns’ play better than they have to date and make this a great game.  It won’t be like last year’s shootout, but this one should be decided late.  I’ll go with the home team to win, but I am not wild about the selection.  I like teasing the Over, because these teams have the potential to score points quickly.

 

 

Houston Texans (0-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

Time:           1 PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Partly Cloudy, light wind, humid, temperature in upper 80’s

 

PiRate:        Jacksonville by 17

Mean:           Jacksonville by 9

Bias:             Jacksonville by 11

Vegas:        Jacksonville by 7

Ov/Un:        42½

Strategy:     Houston +17 in 10-point teaser, Jacksonville +3 in 10-point teaser, Under 52½ in 10-point teaser

Jacksonville should have some momentum after winning at Indianapolis last week.  That half-day scoring drive that consumed most of the second half was quite impressive, but it is not conducive to covering the spread when a team is favored like the Jags are this week.

 

Houston looked better than their 19-point loss to Tennessee last week.  Until a late 99-yard interception return for a touchdown, the Texans were actually threatening to cut the Titans lead to less than a touchdown with enough time to win the game.

 

I think the Texans will be a little down this week, and when you combine the high the Jaguar players will be on this week, I can only see Jacksonville winning this game.  However, as I mentioned above, the Jaguars may or may not cover the spread because of their style of play.  They could easily win 17-10.  So, I’m going with both sides as part of a 10-point teaser, and I’m teasing the Under. 

 

 

Arizona Cardinals (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2)

Time:           1 PM EDT

TV:               FOX

Forecast:     60% chance of Thundershowers could be heavy at times and affect the game, light wind, temperature around 70

 

PiRate:        Arizona by 7

Mean:           Arizona by 2

Bias:             Arizona by 3

Vegas:        New York Jets by 1

Ov/Un:        44

Strategy:     Arizona +11 in 10-point teaser, Over 34 in 10-point teaser          

If the weather turns out to be a factor, it could actually help Brett Favre and Kurt Warner.  People mistakenly believe a wet field curtails passing.  It does not; in fact, it can be a major help.  Remember, the offensive player knows where he is going and when he is going to make a cut, while the defender has to react. 

 

Both of these hard-throwing drop back passers may also benefit from a slower pass rush if the weather is lousy.  Of course, there is a two in five chance that it won’t rain, and that produces a predicament. 

 

Either way, I don’t think the Jets are capable of beating the Cardinals by double digits, so I am going with the visitors in a teaser play.  With these two gunslingers going at it, I expect this game to see its share of scoring.  Therefore, I like teasing the Over.

 

 

San Francisco 49ers (2-1) at New Orleans Saints (1-2)

Time:           1 PM EDT

TV:               FOX

Forecast:     Dome

 

PiRate:        New Orleans by 12

Mean:           New Orleans by 6

Bias:             New Orleans by 6

Vegas:        New Orleans by 5½

Ov/Un:        48

Strategy:     Over 48, Over 38 in 10-point teaser            

This game should be one of the more exciting games of the week.  J.T. O’Sullivan may be on the verge of becoming another Kurt Warner.  Having Mike Martz as his offensive coordinator means he will be throwing the ball for the 49ers a lot in the Superdome on Sunday.

 

Drew Brees deserves more credit than he is getting.  He is on pace for a 4,500 yard season, and it won’t be anything new if he gets it.  If the Saints’ running game can live up to its potential, then New Orleans may eventually have a more potent offense than Dallas.

 

If I had to pick a straight spread winner in this game, I’d go with San Francisco.  I don’t have much confidence in that pick, at least not enough to make it a selection.  I do think this game could be a 35-31 game, so I like the Over as a straight selection and love it as part of a teaser.

 

 

Atlanta Falcons (2-1) at Carolina Panthers (2-1)

Time:           1 PM EDT

TV:               FOX

Forecast:     30% chance of Thunderstorms could affect game, light wind temperature in the upper 70’s

 

PiRate:        Carolina by 7

Mean:           Carolina by 6

Bias:             Carolina by 7

Vegas:        Carolina by 6½

Ov/Un:        39½

Strategy:     Carolina +3½ in 10-point teaser, Under 49½ in 10-point teaser          

This is another game that could be affected by the weather, so I approach it with caution.

 

The Falcons have benefited from playing Detroit and Kansas City, two of the worst four teams in the NFL.  Carolina has played at San Diego, Chicago, and at Minnesota.  Their 2-1 record is more legitimate than Atlanta’s.  The one time the Falcons ventured on the road this season, they lost at Tampa Bay and didn’t really compete in that game.  I tend to believe that will happen again this week, but Atlanta will play a little tougher in this road game.

 

I am impressed with the Falcons’ defense this year and think that they will eventually beat a playoff-bound team.  I just don’t think it will happen this week.  However, I don’t see Carolina having their way in this game.  I can see a 21-17 score, so I am going to go with the Under in a teaser.

 

 

Minnesota Vikings (1-2) at Tennessee Titans (3-0)

Time:           1 PM EDT

TV:               FOX

Forecast:     Sunny, light wind, humid, temperature near 80

 

PiRate:        Tennessee by 3

Mean:           Tennessee by 7

Bias:             Tennessee by 9

Vegas:        Tennessee by 3

Ov/Un:        35½

Strategy:     Minnesota +13  in 10-point teaser, Tennessee +7  in 10-point teaser Over 25½ in 10-point teaser, Under 45½ in 10-point teaser        

These teams are eerily similar except for their records.  Both teams began the season with running quarterbacks that many sports analysts believed could not keep defenses honest with their passing skills.  Both teams began the season with very strong running attacks and doubts that they had adequate pass receivers.  Both teams had punishing defensive front sevens and improving pass defenses.  Both teams were supposed to win games by ugly scores with brute force on both sides of the ball.

 

Now, both teams find themselves being led at quarterback by an aging veteran, and both teams have discovered those pass receivers aren’t all that bad once a competent quarterback began to throw them the ball.

 

The difference in these two teams is that Kerry Collins became the Titans’ starting quarterback in the fourth quarter of game one, while Gus Frerotte took over for the Vikings in game three.  The Titans would be fortunate to win by a field goal in this one, so I cannot select them even at home against a team not prepared to play in hot and muggy weather.  I do think this game will be decided by less than a touchdown either way, so I like teasing both sides.  I also like teasing both of the Totals.  That 20-point range looks rather safe.  Collins and Frerotte might hook up in a mini-passing duel if both of the defensive lines prove that top-rated run defenses can stop top-rated runners. 

 

I tend to believe Adrian Peterson will find a modicum of success against Tennessee’s front wall and end up with about 90 yards on 25 attempts.  I believe the combo of Chris Johnson and LenDale White will combine for 30 carries and 105 rushing yards.  That means that the game will be decided by who has the hotter passing day.  It should be close.  I’ll go with a game with a score similar to 20-17 either way.

 

 

Green Bay Packers (2-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)

Time:           1 PM EDT

TV:               FOX

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, light wind, humid, temperature in the mid to upper 80’s

 

PiRate:        Pick’em

Mean:           Tampa Bay by 1

Bias:             Pick’em

Vegas:        Pick’em

Ov/Un:        42½

Strategy:     Tampa Bay +10 in 10-point teaser, Under 52½ in 10-point teaser           

I have been struggling with analyzing both of these teams thus far.  I don’t think either has found its true identity as of yet.  My three ratings and the Vegas spread are basically all the same, so I am not about to begin to pick a side in this one.  If I absolutely had to go with a winner, I’d take Tampa Bay for three reasons.  First, Green Bay’s players are going to suffer more fatigue in the second half of this game than in any other game this year due to the summer-like conditions.  Next, the Packers may be a little thin in their secondary with Al Harris out and Charles Woodson, Atari Bigby, and Aaron Rouse all ailing.  Additionally, Aaron Rodgers may be a little confused facing the multiple defenses Tampa Bay will throw at him.

 

On the other hand, I am not convinced that Tampa Bay’s offense can exploit the secondary liabilities of the Packers.  Brian Griese is not the type of passer who can sting defenses with a bevy of long passes.  He’s more of the dink and doink quarterback who picks on the short zones.  On top of that, Griese is not 100% healthy this week.

 

For the reasons mentioned above, I like teasing the Under.  I can see this one ending in the range of 24-20.  I’m going with the Bucs in a teaser play as well, but I will hold off on playing the other side of that teaser.

 

 

Buffalo Bills (3-0) at St. Louis Rams (0-3)

Time:           4:05 PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Dome

 

PiRate:        Buffalo by 23

Mean:           Buffalo by 14

Bias:             Buffalo by 18

Vegas:        Buffalo by 8

Ov/Un:        42

Strategy:     Buffalo +2 in 10-point teaser, Over 32 in 10-point teaser     

The Rams have looked like the worst NFL team in two decades so far this season, while the Bills have shot out to the lead in the AFC East.  Still, this game scares me.  This is St. Louis’s final game before their bye week.  If they lose this game in another blowout, Coach Scott Linehan will more than likely not see game five in two weeks.  Linehan has made numerous changes this week including naming Trent Green the starting quarterback over Marc Bulger.  Bulger has come out publicly in the media and said he will not play another game for Linehan.  Star running back Steven Jackson endorsed Bulger and openly opposed his benching. 

 

One of two things will happen this week.  Either the Rams’ players will get behind their coach and show a major improvement, or this team will begin to resemble the 1952 Dallas Texans.  Either way, I think Buffalo has a great chance to win outright, but since I like to play conservatively, I’d much rather get Buffalo and points than have to worry about them covering by more than a touchdown.  I like teasing the Over because the Rams have given up more than 32 points in every game, and two of those opponents have weaker offenses than the Bills do right now.

 

 

San Diego Chargers (1-2) at Oakland Raiders (1-2)

Time:           4:05 PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Sunny, light wind, temperature in low 70’s

 

PiRate:        San Diego by 10

Mean:           San Diego by 6

Bias:             San Diego by 10

Vegas:        San Diego by 7½

Ov/Un:        45½

Strategy:     San Diego +2½ in 10-point teaser, Oakland +17½ in 10-point teaser, Over 35½ in 10-point teaser             

Did you hear what Raiders’ owner Al Davis decided to do when he was invited to a costume party?  He went as former Cleveland Cavaliers owner Ted Stepien (if you don’t know who Stepien was, Google his name).  After stepping down as head coach of the team in 1965, he hired John Rauch.  Rauch quickly made Oakland the dominant team of the old AFL.  From 1967 to 1969, the Raiders went 37-4-1 with Rauch at quarterback, but Davis couldn’t resist telling Rauch what he needed to be doing, as if 90.2% success wasn’t acceptable.  Rauch fled Oakland for the then moribund Bills.  So, the meddling isn’t anything new.  It just gets a lot more press coverage in the 24/7 media world of the 21st Century.

 

The latest episode in the gridiron serial is called, “Is he or isn’t he?”  Coach Lane Kiffin, who actually is beginning to receive more and more accolades as a young man who knows what he is doing, has been like the condemned prisoner who keeps getting a reprieve from the Governor as he is being strapped into the chair.  We all know that eventually Kiffin’s appeals will run out, and he will no longer be the head coach.

 

Until then, Kiffin and his team simply have to deal with all the distractions including having a defensive coordinator who does not get along with the head coach and does not have any loyalty to him.

 

Somehow in all this mess, the Raiders have been competitive after looking terrible on the opening week of the season.  If not for a late collapse last week, this team could be 2-1. 

 

The Raiders’ opponent this week is also 1-2, but they are the best NFL team with a losing record.  San Diego could easily be 3-0 today, and they legitimately should be 2-1.  The Chargers are a team with huge chips on the shoulders of its players and coaches.  That is a good thing, because this team knows it is in a bit of a hole being two games behind Denver.

 

The biggest concern to me in this game is the nasty spread.  I don’t like 7½-point spreads in any game unless I think it is off by five points or more.  The Chargers should be able to outscore Oakland, but it’s iffy whether they can win by eight or more.   I like teasing both sides, although I would advise against picking the Raiders in any play right now.

 

Washington Redskins (2-1) at Dallas Cowboys (3-0)

Time:           4:15 PM EDT

TV:               FOX

Forecast:     Sunny, light wind, temperature near 90

 

PiRate:        Dallas by 10

Mean:           Dallas by 9

Bias:             Dallas by 8

Vegas:        Dallas by 11

Ov/Un:        46½

Strategy:     Washington +22 in 10-point teaser, Under 56½ in 10-point teaser

The old movies where the cowboys and Indians fought it out always provided great entertainment to young and old alike back in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Today, that type of movie would be considered politically incorrect, but we still have this epic arch-rivalry game between two franchises who like nothing more than to beat their nemesis.

 

Dallas has the upper hand these days, but Washington is improving and capable of winning in their last scheduled visit to Texas Stadium.  I see one of the best plays here this week.  I am going with the underdog in a teaser.  When you get 22 points with a decent team, it makes it quite difficult for the other team to beat you.  Dallas is coming off an emotional Sunday night game at Green Bay, and they may have just enough of a bounce to allow the Redskins to stay in the game.  Washington’s defense and ball control offense should keep this game lower scoring than normal, so I like teasing the Totals line as well.

 

 

Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) at Chicago Bears (1-2)

Time:           8:15 PM EDT

TV:               NBC

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, 20% chance of rain, light wind, temperatures falling from the mid 60’s to upper 50’s

 

PiRate:        Philadelphia by 4

Mean:           Philadelphia by 3

Bias:             Philadelphia by 6

Vegas:        Philadelphia by 3

Ov/Un:        40½

Strategy:     Chicago +13 in 10-point teaser, Philadelphia +7 in 10-point teaser, Over 30½ in 10-point teaser

If you consider that Dallas has a home field advantage of about three points, then Philadelphia must be about as powerful as the Cowboys right now.  However, not many football fans would agree with the Cowboys being a three-point pick over the Bears.  The spread would be more like seven to nine points if Dallas were venturing to Soldier Field this week.

 

Both teams have major injury concerns for this game.  The Bears top receiver, Brandon Lloyd, has a sore hip.  He did not practice today (Thursday) and is questionable for Sunday.  Devin Hester is still suffering from sore ribs, and he has been limited in practice.  He too is listed as questionable.  Without one or both of these stars, the Bears become a much easier team to defend.

 

Philadelphia has some question marks as well.  Quarterback Donovan McNabb will play with a sore chest, while running back Brian Westbrook has an ankle injury and will be a game-time decision. 

 

Factoring all the injuries into the equation as well as the possibility that there could be some rain in this game, I look for it to be a close decision.  I think Philadelphia is the better team, but Chicago may be the hungrier team.  Therefore, I am playing both sides in a teaser here.  If the Bears win, I expect it to be by one to five points, and if the Eagles win, I cannot see it being by more than seven or eight points.

 

Baltimore Ravens (2-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

Time:           8:30 PM EDT Monday

TV:               ESPN

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, 20% chance of rain, light wind, temperatures falling from the mid 60’s to upper 50’s

 

PiRate:        Pittsburgh by 3

Mean:           Pittsburgh by 5

Bias:             Pittsburgh by 3

Vegas:        Pittsburgh by 5

Ov/Un:        34½

Strategy:     Pittsburgh +5 in 10-point teaser 

Are the Ravens for real this year?  Could it be that last year was just a fluke?  How about the Steelers?  Can they score enough points to win this game after doing nothing on the attack side the prior two games?

 

Of all the games on this week’s schedule, this is the most intriguing to me.  I don’t like playing the Under in Monday Night Football games, because they tend to become more of a theatrical event with a high number of points scored.  If this game were a 1 PM game on Sunday, I would be playing Under 44½ in a teaser, because I would be picking this game to be a 14-13 affair.  I cannot recommend a play here. 

 

Baltimore will be without the services of leading tackler Dawan Landry after Jamal Lewis steamrollered over him last week.  Additionally, cornerback Samari Rolle could miss the game.  Pittsburgh will not have starting running back Willie Parker available for this game, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will play with multiple injuries.   

 

 

The Imaginary Bank Account Increases Again In Week Three

It wasn’t as beautiful as the first two weeks, but I maintained my perfect record of having a winning week in week three.  I finished 6-4-1, with a profit of $95.  For the year, that makes me 22-10-1 (68.8%) with a profit of $1,005.  For the year, I now have a return on investment of 30.5%.

 

As week four begins, I feel the urge to play a little conservatively and protect my investment.  I like teasing the totals lines when I believe the folks in Las Vegas have struggled with either lowering or raising it too much.  Moving that line by 10 points in our advantage gives me the sense that we are getting 15 points when it appears that the totals line has been moved more toward the average.

 

Here are my wagers for week four (all wagered to win $100):

 

1. Jacksonville -300 Money Line

 

2. Pittsburgh -230 Money Line

 

3. New Orleans and San Francisco Over 48

 

4. 10-Point Teaser

       a. Denver & Kansas City Over 36½

       b. Houston +17 vs. Jacksonville

       c. Houston & Jacksonville Under 52½

 

5. 10-Point Teaser

       a. Jacksonville +3 vs. Houston

       b. Arizona +11 vs. New York Jets

       c. Arizona & New York Jets Over 34

 

6. 10-Point Teaser

       a. San Francisco and New Orleans Over 38

       b. Carolina + 3½ vs. Atlanta

       c. Minnesota +13 vs. Tennessee

 

7. 10-Point Teaser

       a. Tennessee +7 vs. Minnesota

       b. Tampa Bay +10 vs. Green Bay

       c. Buffalo +2 vs. St. Louis

 

8. 10-Point Teaser

       a. Buffalo & St. Louis Over 32

       b. San Diego +2½ vs. Oakland

       c. San Diego & Oakland Over 35½

 

9. 10-Point Teaser

       a. Oakland + 17½ vs. San Diego

       b. Washington +22 vs. Dallas

       c. Philadelphia +7 vs. Chicago      

 

AND REMEMBER!!!  Do not use these picks for real.  I have no real money on the line in this mathematical experiment.  I won’t lose a penny if all nine wagers lose this week, so you shouldn’t risk a penny on these picks either.  This is strictly for fun.

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