Archive for September, 2016

Week 4 NFL Preview

Posted: September 29, 2016 in NFL
Projections
Day and Time (CST) Home Team Home Team Win Probability Road Team Road Team Win Probability
Thu 7:25 Cincinnati Bengals 65.9% Miami Dolphins 34.1%
Sun 8:30 Jacksonville Jaguars 46.2% Indianapolis Colts 53.8%
Sun 12:00 Atlanta Falcons 36.6% Carolina Panthers 63.4%
Sun 12:00 Baltimore Ravens 61.0% Oakland Raiders 39.0%
Sun 12:00 Chicago Bears 65.3% Detroit Lions 34.7%
Sun 12:00 Houston Texans 64.8% Tennessee Titans 35.2%
Sun 12:00 New England Patriots 77.4% Buffalo Bills 22.6%
Sun 12:00 New York Jets 34.1% Seattle Seahawks 65.9%
Sun 12:00 Washington Redskins 72.6% Cleveland Browns 27.4%
Sun 3:05 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 36.1% Denver Broncos 63.9%
Sun 3:25 Arizona Cardinals 79.4% Los Angeles Rams 20.6%
Sun 3:25 San Diego Chargers 65.5% New Orleans Saints 34.5%
Sun 3:25 San Francisco 49ers 35.8% Dallas Cowboys 64.2%
Sun 7:30 Pittsburgh Steelers 60.1% Kansas City Chiefs 39.9%
Mon 7:30 New York Giants 24.2% Minnesota Vikings 75.8%
Picks of the Week

The week 4 game of the week (1-2) as voted on the poll from Wednesday is the Panthers  (1-2) @ Falcons (2-1). A very intriguing game in week four as the Panthers try and avoid a 1-3 start and fall two games behind the Falcons in the NFC South. It is still early in the season but no team, regardless of how good, wants to be 1-3 to at the quarter-pole. The Falcons offense has looked very good in the first few weeks and will challenge the Panthers defense. The struggling offense of the Panthers gets an easier test than the Vikings and should be able to put up a strong performance. I will go with the Panthers in a close one. Panthers 27 Falcons 24

Lock of the week (3-0)- Bengals over Dolphins. A rare Thursday night lock but the Bengals are playing at home on a short week against a bad team. While the Bengals haven’t necessarily looked great to start the season they haven’t looked as bad as the Dolphins–who struggled at home against the Browns last week. I would certainly be surprised if Bengals lost this one and started 1-3.

Upset of the week (0-3)- Lions over Bears. This is more about how bad the Bears have been and less about how “ehh” the Lions have been. The Bears have looked bad in all aspects of the game we love thus far and they have also been hurt a lot by injuries (no matter how small, Jay). The Bears are home, which may be the only reason they win this game.

Accuracy

Below is a chart showing the accuracy of my projections. The number to watch is how close actual games right is to expected right. The closer those numbers are the more accurate the projections are. Thus far, my projections have slightly overestimated teams odds of winning games. Teams with a 61-80% chance of winning have drastically under performed, while teams with a 51-60% odds have overperformed. If this inaccuracy continues I will likely look into developing a more complex, accurate simulator.

W L T %
80+% 10 2 0 83.3%
61-80% 11 13 0 45.8%
51-60% 7 5 0 58.3%
                28                 20                  –
Expected Right          43.46
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College Football Playoff Week 5 Preview

Posted: September 29, 2016 in NCAAF

There are 33 teams remaining in contention for the College Football Playoff.

True Elimination Games (2)

True elimination games are where the winner survives another week and the loser is eliminated from contention. I will provide the days and times for these games.

North Carolina @ Florida State (2:30 PM CST, ESPN)

Indiana @ Michigan State (7:00 PM CST, BTN)

Elimination Games (9)

Elimination games are when one team in the game would be eliminated with a loss. That team will be denoted with an asterisk. The other team has either already been eliminated, or can lose the game without being eliminated.

Alcorn State @ Arkansas*

Oregon State @ Colorado*

Florida* @ Vanderbilt

Tennessee @ Georgia*

Miami @ Georgia Tech*

Kansas State* @ West Virginia

Oklahoma @ TCU*

Texas* @ Oklahoma State

Kansas @ Texas Tech*

Power Games (3)

These are games between undefeated power-five teams. The loser is not eliminated but is one step closer to being eliminated.

Louisville @ Clemson
Wisconsin @ Michigan

Stanford @ Washington

The maximum number of teams that could remain in contention for the college football playoff after this week is 31 teams. The minimum number of teams is 22.

 

Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

Posted: September 27, 2016 in NFL

The NFL continued with some rather surprising results in Week 3. The Eagles destroyed the Steelers and Carson Wentz is beginning to look like a stud. The Vikings went on the road and beat Carolina behind an amazing defensive performance. The Patriots handled the Texans with Jacoby Brisssett at QB. The Bills trounced the Cardinals and more. The performance of teams thus far this season is now given more weight than a team’s preseason ranking and thus quite a bit of change can be seen from last week’s rankings.

Rank Team Name POWER Proj. Wins Make Playoffs Make SB Win SB Prev. Movement
1 New England Patriots 78.2% 13.2 >99% 39.7% 22.9%           5                     4
2 Minnesota Vikings 76.1% 12.9 96.8% 33.2% 21.0%           8                     6
3 Green Bay Packers 73.8% 11.7 90.9% 21.5% 11.6%           2                   (1)
4 Carolina Panthers 69.9% 10.2 73.7% 9.8% 4.3%           4                    –
5 Arizona Cardinals 68.4% 9.8 66.3% 7.6% 3.3%           3                   (2)
6 Pittsburgh Steelers 64.5% 10.6 82.7% 14.0% 6.0%           1                   (5)
7 Philadelphia Eagles 63.8% 10.9 81.5% 14.9% 7.6%         15                     8
8 Seattle Seahawks 60.6% 9.1 50.9% 4.8% 2.0%           9                     1
9 Denver Broncos 59.9% 11.0 88.1% 17.8% 8.2%         13                     4
10 Kansas City Chiefs 59.6% 9.8 68.6% 8.7% 3.4% 11                     1
11 Buffalo Bills 56.2% 8.2 35.7% 2.5% <1%         16                     5
12 Cincinnati Bengals 54.7% 8.2 36.7% 2.6% <1%           6                   (6)
13 Atlanta Falcons 52.3% 8.2 33.3% 2.3% <1%         19                     6
14 Baltimore Ravens 51.6% 9.6 63.2% 7.6% 3.0%           7                   (7)
15 Dallas Cowboys 48.4% 8.1 32.6% 2.2% <1%         14                   (1)
16 Oakland Raiders 45.4% 7.8 28.0% 1.8% <1%         17                     1
17 New York Giants 45.4% 7.7 24.9% 1.5% <1%         12                   (5)
18 Chicago Bears 44.0% 6.0 6.5% <1% <1%         21                     3
19 Miami Dolphins 43.3% 6.7 12.4% <1% <1%         26                     7
20 Houston Texans 43.1% 8.1 34.3% 2.5% <1%         10                 (10)
21 San Diego Chargers 43.0% 7.1 18.0% <1% <1%         25                     4
22 Washington Redskins 42.6% 6.2 7.6% <1% <1%         31                     9
23 Indianapolis Colts 40.8% 6.6 12.2% <1% <1%         28                     5
24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40.8% 6.7 12.1% <1% <1%         23                   (1)
25 Los Angeles Rams 40.7% 7.2 17.1% <1% <1%         24                   (1)
26 New York Jets 39.5% 6.1 7.3% <1% <1%         18                   (8)
27 Jacksonville Jaguars 37.2% 5.2 2.8% <1% <1%         30                     3
28 Detroit Lions 33.7% 5.4 3.4% <1% <1%         20                   (8)
29 Tennessee Titans 33.5% 5.9 6.2% <1% <1%         27                   (2)
30 New Orleans Saints 32.6% 4.2 <1% <1% <1%         22                   (8)
31 San Francisco 49ers 30.0% 4.9 1.7% <1% <1%         29                   (2)
32 Cleveland Browns 25.5% 3.3 <1% <1% <1%         32                    –

 

If you have any questions that you want answered on Thursday’s Week 4 preview you can send them to statisticaltruth@gmail.com. Question examples: What team is most likely to finish 0-16/16-0? What are the chances that the Colts can win 10 games? etc.

Also, vote on which game will be game of the week for next week:

College Football Playoff Week 4 Preview

Posted: September 22, 2016 in NCAAF

Entering week four of the College Football season only 42 teams have a shot at making the playoff. I went through the games this week and that list of 42 teams to provide a preview of meaningful games this week.

True Elimination Games (2)

True elimination games are where the winner survives another week and the loser is eliminated from contention. I will provide the days and times for these games.

Pittsburgh @ North Carolina (Saturday, 2:30 CST, ESPNU)

Colorado @ Oregon (Saturday, 4:30 CST, Pac 12 Network)

Elimination Games (14)

Elimination games are when one team in the game would be eliminated with a loss. That team will be denoted with an asterisk. The other team has either already been eliminated, or can lose the game without being eliminated.

Kent State @ Alabama*

Louisville* @ Marshall

Colorado State @ Minnesota*

Washington @ Arizona*

Florida State* @ South Florida

Missouri State @ Kansas State*

LSU* @ Auburn

Boise State @ Oregon State*

Penn State* @ Michigan

Iowa @ Rutgers*

South Carolina* @ Kentucky

TCU* @ SMU

Stanford @ UCLA*

East Carolina @ Virginia Tech*

 

The maximum number of teams that could remain in contention for the college football playoff after this week is 40 teams. The minimum number of teams is 26.

 

Week 3 NFL Preview

Posted: September 22, 2016 in NFL
Projections
Day and Time (CST) Home Team Home Team Win Probability Road Team Road Team Win Probability
Thu 7:25 New England Patriots 71.9% Houston Texans 28.1%
Sun 12:00 Buffalo Bills 25.7% Arizona Cardinals 74.3%
Sun 12:00 Carolina Panthers 64.4% Minnesota Vikings 35.6%
Sun 12:00 Cincinnati Bengals 74.8% Denver Broncos 25.2%
Sun 12:00 Green Bay Packers 85.4% Detroit Lions 14.6%
Sun 12:00 Jacksonville Jaguars 14.0% Baltimore Ravens 86.0%
Sun 12:00 Miami Dolphins 75.9% Cleveland Browns 24.1%
Sun 12:00 New York Giants 84.6% Washington Redskins 15.4%
Sun 12:00 Tennessee Titans 36.1% Oakland Raiders 63.9%
Sun 3:05 Seattle Seahawks 86.3% San Francisco 49ers 13.7%
Sun 3:05 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 56.5% Los Angeles Rams 43.5%
Sun 3:25 Indianapolis Colts 48.0% San Diego Chargers 52.0%
Sun 3:25 Kansas City Chiefs 64.6% New York Jets 35.4%
Sun 3:25 Philadelphia Eagles 23.2% Pittsburgh Steelers 76.8%
Sun 7:30 Dallas Cowboys 63.2% Chicago Bears 36.8%
Mon 7:30 New Orleans Saints 52.8% Atlanta Falcons 47.2%
Picks of the Week

The week 3 game of the week (1-1) as voted on the poll from Tuesday is the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers. This game probably lacked appeal two weeks ago but due to the outstanding play of Carson Wentz and the Eagles thus far the game is a lot more appealing. Both teams are off to fast starts with 2-0 records. The Steelers have had a much harder schedule though, beating the Redskins and Bengals, while the Eagles have beaten the Browns and Bears. While I expect the Eagles to put up a fight at home I don’t expect them to beat the Steelers. Steelers 31 Eagles 20

Lock of the week (2-0)- Dolphins over Browns. Neither of these teams are good, nor did I ever think I would pick the Dolphins to be a lock this season. However, an exception can be made for any team hosting the Browns this season. The Browns will be starting rookie Cody Kessler, it will be their third starting QB in three games to start off the season. The Browns will also be without rookie WR Corey Coleman as he broke his hand in practice this week. The only way I see the Browns winning this one is if Kessler puts together an amazing performance and guides them to a W. Dolphins 27 Browns 16

Upset pick of the week (0-2)- Texans over Patriots. This is an obvious upset pick as New England will likely be entering the game with Jacoby Brissett as starting QB facing a very good Texans defense. The Patriots are home and still have a great mastermind in Belichick at head coach, but their is only so much that can be done with a rookie QB that has four days to prepare for his first start of the season. Texans 20 Patriots 13

Accuracy

Below is a chart showing the accuracy of my projections. The number to watch is how close actual games right is to expected right. The closer those numbers are the more accurate the projections are. Thus far, my projections have slightly overestimated teams odds of winning games. Teams with a 61-80% chance of winning have drastically under performed, while teams with a 51-60% odds have overperformed.

W L T %
80+% 7 1 0 87.5%
61-80% 6 9 0 40.0%
51-60% 7 2 0 77.8%
             20      12            –
Expected Right        22.13

Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Posted: September 20, 2016 in NFL

The NFL is officially underway with two weeks down and plenty of speculation and overreaction. Many teams have performed as expected and many have put together some surprising results (whether positive or negative). As stated earlier, the rankings will phase out the preseason projections over the first five games of the season. At this point in the season, the preseason power rankings are slightly more important than the results that teams have produced. With that said, the Eagles and Colts have produced unexpected results thus far this season. The Eagles began the season ranked 25th with a projected win total of just 5.6 games. After two blowout victories (granted they were against the Browns and the Bears) the Eagles seem to be a team that can compete for a playoff spot, if not more this year. The Colts on the other hand have under performed their preseason projection and drop eleven spots in this week’s rankings. A loss in Denver is not too concerning but the loss at home against the Lions should be. The Colts defense has looked extremely poor through two weeks. Other teams that have moved 5 or more spots from their initial preseason rank are the Broncos (+7), Bills (-6), Bears (-6), and Chargers (-6). The week 3 NFL Rankings are below:

Rank Ticker Team Name POWER Proj. Wins Make Playoffs Miss Playoffs Make SB Win SB Prev. Movement
1 PIT Pittsburgh Steelers 84.9% 13.0 90.3% 9.7% 28.0% 17.2%           3                     2
2 GNB Green Bay Packers 83.7% 12.4 92.1% 7.9% 25.2% 13.3%           1                   (1)
3 ARZ Arizona Cardinals 82.2% 11.7 88.2% 11.8% 19.7% 9.7%           4                     1
4 CAR Carolina Panthers 80.7% 11.6 87.4% 12.6% 18.9% 9.2%           2                   (2)
5 NE New England Patriots 79.9% 12.1 86.9% 13.1% 21.5% 12.1%           6                     1
6 CIN Cincinnati Bengals 78.3% 10.8 75.8% 24.2% 11.9% 5.7%           5                   (1)
7 BLT Baltimore Ravens 75.2% 10.9 76.0% 24.0% 12.7% 6.3%           9                     2
8 MIN Minnesota Vikings 73.8% 11.2 82.2% 17.8% 15.7% 7.5%           8                    –
9 SEA Seattle Seahawks 73.1% 9.6 57.9% 42.1% 6.0% 2.4%           7                   (2)
10 HOU Houston Texans 65.5% 10.5 70.8% 29.2% 10.3% 4.9%         14                     4
11 KAN Kansas City Chiefs 64.2% 9.4 53.2% 46.8% 5.1% 2.1%         12                     1
12 NYG New York Giants 63.4% 9.8 61.5% 38.5% 7.2% 3.0%         16                     4
13 DEN Denver Broncos 59.8% 9.6 55.7% 44.3% 5.9% 2.5%         20                     7
14 DAL Dallas Cowboys 58.8% 8.0 30.4% 69.6% 1.9% <1%         11                   (3)
15 PHI Philadelphia Eagles 58.2% 8.2 33.3% 66.7% 2.3% <1%         25                   10
16 BUF Buffalo Bills 56.7% 6.8 12.9% 87.1% <1% <1%         10                   (6)
17 OAK Oakland Raiders 54.9% 8.0 28.5% 71.5% 1.7% <1%         13                   (4)
18 NYJ New York Jets 54.6% 7.6 21.9% 78.1% 1.2% <1%         18                    –
19 ATL Atlanta Falcons 51.9% 6.7 12.2% 87.8% <1% <1%         23                     4
20 DET Detroit Lions 51.8% 7.1 16.5% 83.5% <1% <1%         24                     4
21 CHI Chicago Bears 50.4% 6.5 10.9% 89.1% <1% <1%         15                   (6)
22 NOR New Orleans Saints 49.7% 5.9 6.3% 93.7% <1% <1%         22                    –
23 TAM Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45.7% 6.9 14.2% 85.8% <1% <1%         21                   (2)
24 LAR Los Angeles Rams 44.1% 5.8 5.5% 94.5% <1% <1%         26                     2
25 SDG San Diego Chargers 42.3% 7.0 14.5% 85.5% <1% <1%         19                   (6)
26 MIA Miami Dolphins 37.0% 4.6 1.4% 98.6% <1% <1%         29                     3
27 TEN Tennessee Titans 36.0% 6.5 10.1% 89.9% <1% <1%         30                     3
28 IND Indianapolis Colts 35.7% 4.7 1.6% 98.4% <1% <1%         17                 (11)
29 SFO San Francisco 49ers 34.5% 4.8 1.5% 98.5% <1% <1%         31                     2
30 JAX Jacksonville Jaguars 28.7% 3.6 <1% >99% <1% <1%         27                   (3)
31 WAS Washington Redskins 27.8% 3.0 <1% >99% <1% <1%         28                   (3)
32 CLE Cleveland Browns 18.6% 2.0 <1% >99% <1% <1%         32                    –

Next week features some great matchups across the board. Vote for game of the week here:

Week 2 Preview

Posted: September 15, 2016 in NFL
Projections
Day and Time (CST) Home Team Home Team Win Probability Road Team Road Team Win Probability
Thu 7:25 Buffalo Bills 68.8% New York Jets 31.2%
Sun 12:00 Carolina Panthers 93.9% San Francisco 49ers 6.1%
Sun 12:00 Cleveland Browns 15.2% Baltimore Ravens 84.8%
Sun 12:00 Detroit Lions 64.7% Tennessee Titans 35.3%
Sun 12:00 Houston Texans 51.9% Kansas City Chiefs 48.1%
Sun 12:00 New England Patriots 87.3% Miami Dolphins 12.7%
Sun 12:00 New York Giants 63.8% New Orleans Saints 36.2%
Sun 12:00 Pittsburgh Steelers 58.8% Cincinnati Bengals 41.2%
Sun 12:00 Washington Redskins 29.7% Dallas Cowboys 70.3%
Sun 3:05 Arizona Cardinals 84.7% Tampa Bay Buccaneers 15.3%
Sun 3:05 Los Angeles Rams 23.7% Seattle Seahawks 76.3%
Sun 3:25 Denver Broncos 53.1% Indianapolis Colts 46.9%
Sun 3:25 Oakland Raiders 68.4% Atlanta Falcons 31.6%
Sun 3:25 San Diego Chargers 52.9% Jacksonville Jaguars 47.1%
Sun 7:30 Minnesota Vikings 36.5% Green Bay Packers 63.5%
Mon 7:30 Chicago Bears 67.7% Philadelphia Eagles 32.3%
Picks of the Week

The week 2 game of the week as voted on twitter and the pool from Tuesday is the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Cincinnati Bengals. These division rivals last played in the Wild Card round last year in a nasty 18-16 game. The Bengals held a late lead but mental mistakes cost them the game and their season as Pittsburgh moved on despite injuries to Big Ben and the absence of Le’Veon Bell. The Bengals played the entire game with A.J. McCarron at QB. Both teams got off to a great start to their season with the Bengals edging out the Jets in New York and the Steelers dismantling the Redskins on Monday night. A.J. Green had one of the best games of any wide receiver last week with 12 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown-most of which came on once-great CB Darrelle Revis. The Bengals offense as a whole performed well against a Jets defense that finished near the top of the NFL last season. The defense also performed strongly but showed lapses at times. The Redskins had no answers for Pittsburgh’s offense on Monday night as they got it done in the air early and on the ground late. The defense performed at a decent level, holding Washington to just sixteen points. However, the Redskins averaged 7 yards per play, which was fourth most in the NFL last week. I expect this contest to be like many AFC North contests involving teams not named Cleveland; a hard-fought, hard-hitting game with plenty of trash talk and cheap shots. Both teams bring in superb offenses and some adequate defenses and it should result in a very entertaining game from beginning to end. The numbers favor the Steelers slighty, with a 58.8% chance of winning the game, and I believe the home team wins as well. Steelers 26 Bengals 21

Lock of the week-Panthers over 49ers. A bold pick if you just look at last week’s results. But the Panthers are the real deal and I do not see them losing two games to start the season, especially with the second game coming against the 49ers, who may have one of the worst rosters in the NFL. I only say may because they did put on a beating against the Rams last week. Panthers 31 49ers 10

Upset pick of the week-Saints over Giants. The giants got off to a good start with a one-point victory last week in Dallas while the Saints lost by one after a gutsy two-point conversion call by Jack Del Rio. The Saints offense looked tremendous and while the defense certainly didn’t look good, I still like the Saints to pull off a notable upset more than any other team this week as their offensive match up problems cause trouble for a defense with new superstars still working on meshing together. Saints 30 Giants 26

Accuracy

Below is a chart showing the accuracy of my projections. The number to watch is how close actual games right is to expected right. The closer those numbers are the more accurate the projections are.

W L T %
80+% 3 1 0 75.0%
61-80% 4 3 0 57.1%
51-60% 3 2 0 60.0%
             10        6            – 62.5%
Expected Right 11.025

5 Most Surprising Week 1 Results

Posted: September 13, 2016 in NFL
Broncos win Super Bowl 50 rematch behind C.J. Anderson, Defense

The Broncos and Panthers played on Thursday night in a very intense and hard-hitting game. The outcome was the same as the Super Bowl and came as a shock to many. A lot of talk going into the game was of the Panther’s revenge and non-Broncos twitter barely gave Denver a shot. The odds were not in the Broncos favor either, giving them only a 20% chance of winning the game. Despite all this, the Broncos won the game, 21-20, after Graham Gano missed a field goal with four seconds left on the clock. The Broncos won this game in a similar fashion to how they won many of their games last season, with great defensive play and less than stellar QB play. Siemian kept his composure during the game despite several turnovers early into his first career start and C.J. Anderson had a great day running the ball (92 yards on 20 carries with a TD). The offensive line looked significantly better than last season and the addition of Janovich, who had a touchdown himself, helped pave the way for Anderson’s big day. Cam Newton and the Panthers offense opened the game strong, and appeared to have made plenty of wise adjustments from the Super Bowl. The Panthers scored 17 first half points versus the 10 points they scored in the Super Bowl. However, the second half was a different story as the Broncos pass rush stepped up and began getting after Newton. Cam took many hits throughout the game, both as a runner and a passer. The main takeaway from this game is that the Broncos still have a great team because of their elite defense and if the offensive line continues to play as they did on Thursday, they could be right back in the Super Bowl conversation. The Panthers entered the season as one of the best teams in the NFL and one-point road loss that came down to a missed field goal will not change that.

Patriots win in Arizona, without Brady and Gronkowski

The Cardinals were slight favorites, projected to win 60.3% of simulations. With the absence of Brady, Gronkowski and Ninkovich, there was a consensus that Arizona would handle the Patriots. However, the Patriots still had the most important person to their team, Bill Belichick. The Patriots won 23-21 after Arizona missed a 47-yard field goal with under a minute to play. The Patriots experienced the problems you would expect with a young QB behind a below average offensive line but Belichick was able to scheme around that in order to gain a total of 363 yards. The Patriots defense, especially the front seven, stood out in the upset win over Arizona. Chris Long, Jabaal Sheard and Jamie Collins all turned in above average performances in order to hold Arizona’s lethal offense to just 344 yards and only 14 first downs (NFL average is typically 19 first downs per game). The win means a lot for the Patriots as they appear to be in a good position to win at least two games before Brady returns, keeping them at or near the top of the AFC East race (Jets, Bills and Dolphins all lost). The division is likely the Patriots to lose. The Cardinals loss is a little bit more concerning given how poor the offense did play. It is just one game and is only something to keep track of as the season continues, the Cardinals will likely still be a force in the NFC.

Seattle struggles with Miami at home

My lock of the week ended up being a close game that had me holding my breath near the end (as it was also my Eliminator Challenge pick). Seattle won the game 12-10 in an offensive struggle. Both defenses did play well but the offenses really put on poor displays, specifically at the quarterback position. Tannehill and Wilson both had QBR’s of less than 45 and neither QB had more than 7 yards per attempt. Wilson did injure his ankle and was dealing with that for much of the game and, behind a sub-par offensive line; Wilson struggled to scramble with his normal effectiveness. Both teams also averaged less than 3.5 yards per carry on the ground. This game will likely be an outlier for both teams as I still feel that Seattle will be a top-10 team in the NFL with Miami being a contender for a top-10 draft pick. This game did bring some of Seattle’s weaknesses to the surface and showed some of the promise that the Dolphins defense has for this season.

Packers barely hold on in Jacksonville

Another game that was surprisingly close. Green Bay entered the season as the best team in the NFL and they played an improving Jacksonville team that showed a lot of promise last season. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense struggled for most of the game, and credit goes to a much-improved Jaguars defense, which held Rodgers to less than 200 yards. The game was close throughout with neither team every really taking a large lead. There was only one turnover, a Bortles Interception on the opening drive, in the entire game. Ultimately, this game shows Jacksonville may be ready to compete sooner, rather than later. Hanging around with the Packers is a definite success for a young, talented team like the Jaguars. Packers’ fans have no need to worry about playing the Jaguars close.

Lions defeat Indianapolis, despite Luck’s outstanding play

It was a seemingly known fact that the Colts did not have a great defense entering the season and this game solidified it as a full-blown fact. The Lions put up 39 points (2 from a safety on last play of game) without forcing a turnover and never beginning a drive past their own 30. The Lions had 448 total yards and Stafford was 31/39 for 340 yards and three touchdowns (0 INT’s). The Colts were without their best defensive player, Vontae Davis, but had no answers for the Lions offense. The Lions defense was just as Andrew Luck led the Colts to 35 points. Luck, the highest grading week 1 QB on PFF (before Monday Night games), went 31/47 for 385 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. The main takeaway from this game is to start fantasy players against both the Lions and the Colts. Both teams will have to rely on consistently stellar offensive performances or hope their defenses improve over the course of the season if they want to be serious playoff teams.

I went to bed early; 49ers lead Rams 14-0 at the half

I went to bed early but felt like it was worth noting that a 49ers win would certainly be surprising. Many people liked the Rams entering this season as a deep sleeper for a playoff pick behind and Aaron Donald and a stellar front seven but the numbers say otherwise, giving the Rams only a 6.2% chance of making the playoffs. Struggling with the 49ers, especially, is an early sign that the Rams are not quite there yet.

Vote on next week’s game of the week here:::

Week 1 Projections

Posted: September 8, 2016 in NFL

The game of the week will be voted on every week and I will provide some additional commentary for the game of the week selected. I will also pick a lock and an upset pick, with some commentary as well. The table below shows the win probabilities/projections for each team this week. In later weeks I will provide some accuracy to these projections.

Day and Time (CST) Home Team Home Team Win Probability Road Team Road Team Win Probability
Thu 7:30 Denver Broncos 20.0% Carolina Panthers 80.0%
Sun 12:00 Tennessee Titans 21.0% Minnesota Vikings 79.0%
Sun 12:00 Houston Texans 55.5% Chicago Bears 44.5%
Sun 12:00 Philadelphia Eagles 74.3% Cleveland Browns 25.7%
Sun 12:00 Baltimore Ravens 57.9% Buffalo Bills 42.1%
Sun 12:00 Kansas City Chiefs 65.0% San Diego Chargers 35.0%
Sun 12:00 New Orleans Saints 41.6% Oakland Raiders 58.4%
Sun 12:00 Atlanta Falcons 50.6% Tampa Bay Buccaneers 49.4%
Sun 12:00 New York Jets 24.7% Cincinnati Bengals 75.3%
Sun 12:00 Jacksonville Jaguars 14.1% Green Bay Packers 85.9%
Sun 3:05 Seattle Seahawks 85.2% Miami Dolphins 14.8%
Sun 3:25 Dallas Cowboys 65.4% New York Giants 34.6%
Sun 3:25 Indianapolis Colts 62.6% Detroit Lions 37.4%
Sun 7:30 Arizona Cardinals 60.3% New England Patriots 39.7%
Mon 6:10 Washington Redskins 14.7% Pittsburgh Steelers 85.3%
Mon 9:20 San Francisco 49ers 38.2% Los Angeles Rams 61.8%
Game of the Week

Broncos v. Panthers, Thursday Night @ 7:20 CST on NBC

The headline is huge, a Super Bowl rematch to kickoff the 2016 season. I cannot recall a season that started like this ever before. It is a common occurrence that the teams participating in the Super Bowl often experience a bit of roster turnover and these teams are not exempt. The Broncos will move on from the ‘Sheriff’ as Peyton Manning retired after winning his second Super Bowl. Trevor Siemian, a 2015 seventh round pick, will start at QB for the Broncos. Denver brought in two new offensive tackles, Russell Okung and  Donald Stephenson in hopes to sure up the offensive line. The Broncos elite defense lost Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan but should continue to be elite this year with the entire secondary returning and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller leading the rush after the quarterback. The Panthers return more than the Broncos but they did lose stud cornerback Josh Norman and will certainly miss him in a secondary that will see two rookies get significant playing time. The Panthers still return a top offense and NFL MVP Cam Newton, who gets Kelvin Benjamin back from injury. The Panthers also have Luke Kuechly and many other key players returning to one of the best front sevens from a year ago. This game figures to be similar to the Super Bowl, a defensive battle. However, the stats say the Panthers are huge favorites, winning 8 out of 10 times. It is no secret that the Panthers will be one of the best teams in the NFL this year meanwhile there are a ton of questions about how the Broncos, specifically their offense, will fare. It will be interesting to see how the game plays out. The Broncos can win this game if their defense can put together another all-time great performance and shut down Carolina’s offense and Cam Newton. That is the key battle in this game. Ultimately, I believe the Panthers win this game. Panthers 20 Broncos 13

Upset Pick – I’ll go with the Jets pulling off the upset against Cincinnati at Metlife Stadium. Both teams had strong years last season and this could end up being a very important game for the playoff picture. Ultimately, the Jets are home and the Bengals are without Eifert for the time being, making this an attractive upset pick. Jets 23 Bengals 21

Lock-  Seahawks over Dolphins. Not much to say about this one, Seattle will be one of the best teams in the NFL this season and the Dolphins, well they won’t be. Seahawks 31 Dolphins 10

2016 Preseason Power Rankings

Posted: September 6, 2016 in NFL

Below is the 2016 Preseason Power Rankings. The power rankings will be updated weekly (with the exception of week 2) and can be found on the NFL tab for quick access. Rather than posting power rankings on week 2 I will be posting a ‘five most surprising results’ since 1 week of data isn’t enough to produce new rankings. I will be phasing out the preseason projections over the first five games of the season so after a team’s fifth game is played their power score is solely based on how a team has performed this year.

POWER- can be interpreted as win probability against average opponent on neutral field

Proj. Wins- self-explanatory

Make/Miss Playoffs/Super Bowl – Rough probability of a given team making/missing/winning the playoffs/Super Bowl.

Rank Team Name POWER Proj. Wins Make Playoffs Miss Playoffs Make SB Win SB Conf
1 Green Bay Packers 79.8% 12.9 94.3% 5.7% 25.8% 17.3% NFC
2 Carolina Panthers 78.9% 12.7 93.5% 6.5% 24.2% 15.9% NFC
3 Pittsburgh Steelers 78.1% 12.1 93.0% 7.0% 27.1% 12.2% AFC
4 Arizona Cardinals 77.6% 12.1 90.6% 9.4% 20.1% 12.4% NFC
5 Cincinnati Bengals 75.3% 11.5 87.9% 12.1% 21.3% 9.1% AFC
6 New England Patriots 73.7% 11.3 85.8% 14.2% 19.6% 8.2% AFC
7 Seattle Seahawks 69.9% 10.6 75.0% 25.0% 10.5% 5.6% NFC
8 Minnesota Vikings 64.8% 9.8 62.9% 37.1% 6.9% 3.4% NFC
9 Baltimore Ravens 62.6% 9.4 57.5% 42.5% 7.3% 2.5% AFC
10 Buffalo Bills 59.8% 8.9 47.5% 52.5% 5.1% 1.7% AFC
11 Dallas Cowboys 59.4% 9.6 59.0% 41.0% 6.0% 2.9% NFC
12 Kansas City Chiefs 53.8% 8.9 48.2% 51.8% 5.2% 1.7% AFC
13 Oakland Raiders 53.0% 8.7 44.8% 55.2% 4.6% 1.5% AFC
14 Houston Texans 50.7% 8.3 36.4% 63.6% 3.2% 1.0% AFC
15 Chicago Bears 50.2% 8.3 35.7% 64.3% 2.4% 1.0% NFC
16 New York Giants 48.6% 7.9 29.2% 70.8% 1.7% <1% NFC
17 Indianapolis Colts 45.2% 7.6 25.6% 74.4% 1.9% <1% AFC
18 New York Jets 45.1% 6.7 13.6% 86.4% <1% <1% AFC
19 San Diego Chargers 43.4% 7.9 30.6% 69.4% 2.4% <1% AFC
20 Denver Broncos 43.3% 6.9 16.4% 83.6% <1% <1% AFC
21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 43.1% 7.0 17.1% 82.9% <1% <1% NFC
22 New Orleans Saints 39.7% 6.5 11.5% 88.5% <1% <1% NFC
23 Atlanta Falcons 38.9% 6.0 7.8% 92.2% <1% <1% NFC
24 Detroit Lions 37.5% 6.2 9.0% 91.0% <1% <1% NFC
25 Philadelphia Eagles 36.9% 5.6 5.2% 94.8% <1% <1% NFC
26 Los Angeles Rams 36.9% 5.8 6.2% 93.8% <1% <1% NFC
27 Jacksonville Jaguars 34.8% 5.6 5.6% 94.4% <1% <1% AFC
28 Washington Redskins 33.5% 5.0 2.6% 97.4% <1% <1% NFC
29 Miami Dolphins 33.1% 5.1 3.0% 97.0% <1% <1% AFC
30 Tennessee Titans 28.6% 5.3 3.9% 96.1% <1% <1% AFC
31 San Francisco 49ers 22.8% 3.4 <1% >99% <1% <1% NFC
32 Cleveland Browns 19.9% 2.9 <1% >99% <1% <1% AFC