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NFL Predictions – Week 7

Overall Records for 2012

SU: 64-40

ATS: 57-47

O/U: 56-46

Week 7 (11-2 SU, 6-7 ATS, 6-7 O/U)

Week 6 (6-8 SU, 7-7 ATS, 6-7 O/U)

Week 5 (10-4 SU, 7-7 ATS, 7-7 O/U)

Week 4 (10-5 SU, 10-5 ATS, 12-2 O/U)

Week 3 (5-11 SU, 9-7 ATS, 9-7 O/U)

Week 2 (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS, 8-8 O/U)

Week 1 (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS, 8-8 O/U)

Week 7

Thursday @8:05pm

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

Prediction: 49ers win 28-20

Pick: 49ers -7.5

O/U: Over 37.5

Sunday @1pm

Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills

Prediction: Bills win 23-22

Pick: Titans +3.5

O/U: Under 45.5

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings

Prediction: Vikings win 25-23

Pick: Cardinals +5.5

O/U:  Over 40.5

Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts

Prediction: Colts win 23-17

Pick: Colts -3

O/U: Under 44.5

Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans

Prediction: Ravens win 26-24

Pick: Ravens +6.5

O/U: Over 48

Green Bay Packers at St. Louis Rams

Prediction: Packers win 30-17

Pick: Packers -5.5

O/U: Over 45

Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Cowboys win 25-21

Pick:  Cowboys -2

O/U: Over 45.5

Washington Redskins at New York Giants

Prediction: Giants win 28-22

Pick: Redskins +6.5

O/U: Over 49.5

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Prediction: Saints win 32-20

Pick: Saints -2.5

O/U: Over 49

Sunday @4:25pm

New York Jets at New England Patriots

Prediction: Patriots win 35-20

Pick: Patriots -10.5

O/U: Over 47

Sunday @4:25pm

Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders

Prediction: Raiders win 21-16

Pick: Raiders -4

O/U: Under 43

Sunday @8:30pm

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

Prediction: Steelers win 24-23

Pick: Bengals +2.5

O/U: Over 46

Monday @8:40pm

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

Prediction: Bears win 28-26

Pick: Lions +5.5

O/U: Over 47.5

Cheers.

Week 6 QB performances reviewed via RIPPEN

An explanation of RIPPEN

RIPPEN rankings for week 6 performances:

Player Team RIPPEN QB rating
Flacco, J. BAL 38.201 106.9
Manning, P. DEN 34.475 129.0
Rodgers, A. GB 33.463 133.8
Freeman, J. TB 33.324 124.7
Palmer, C. OAK 33.153 102.2
Wilson, R. SEA 30.824 133.7
Griffin, III, R. WAS 26.015 97.2
Bradford, S. STL 25.218 91.3
Roethlisberger, B. PIT 24.023 87.8
Tannehill, R. MIA 21.243 112.0
Romo, T. DAL 20.028 97.1
Manning, E. NYG 20.927 87.4
Weeden, B. CLE 18.161 92.7
Brady, T. NE 16.272 79.3
Ponder, C. MIN 15.649 83.2
Schaub, M. HOU 14.815 56.6
Dalton, A. CIN 14.458 87.3
Stafford, M. DET 13.478 69.8
Vick, M. PHI 13.471 77.4
Ryan, M. ATL 11.480 59.4
Fitzpatrick, R. BUF 11.166 68.9
Hasselbeck, M. TEN 10.428 75.0
Luck, A. IND 9.097 51.3
Sanchez, M. NYJ 9.089 109.0
Smith, A. SF 9.038 43.1
Rivers, P. SD 5.959 54.2
Kolb, K. ARI 5.757 64.3
Quinn, B. KC 5.571 48.1
Skelton, J. ARI 3.812 6.2

Season RIPPEN rankings through six weeks of games:

Player Team RIPPEN QB rating
Manning, P. DEN 27.304 105.0
Griffin, III, R. WAS 27.279 100.5
Brady, T. NE 26.905 97.2
Newton, C. CAR 25.630 80.9
Rodgers, A. GB 24.263 105.4
Schaub, M. HOU 23.978 91.6
Ryan, M. ATL 23.689 98.8
Roethlisberger, B. PIT 20.393 99.9
Rivers, P. SD 19.697 85.3
Flacco, J. BAL 19.654 92.0
Smith, A. SF 19.131 96.6
Ponder, C. MIN 19.091 92.4
Cutler, J. CHI 18.720 78.7
Brees, D. NO 18.243 90.7
Manning, E. NYG 17.664 94.9
Palmer, C. OAK 16.843 88.7
Dalton, A. CIN 16.770 91.7
Romo, T. DAL 16.380 82.1
Locker, J. TEN 16.245 90.2
Stafford, M. DET 15.928 79.2
Freeman, J. TB 15.780 84.2
Tannehill, R. MIA 14.544 76.5
Bradford, S. STL 13.065 81.3
Vick, M. PHI 12.533 77.7
Wilson, R. SEA 11.917 85.6
Luck, A. IND 10.782 72.0
Sanchez, M. NYJ 10.761 70.9
Fitzpatrick, R. BUF 10.465 81.5
Weeden, B. CLE 10.417 68.1
Kolb, K. ARI 8.357 86.1
Cassel, M. KC 6.678 66.2
Hasselbeck, M. TEN 6.678 74.1
Gabbert, B. JAX 6.678 73.3

Cheers.

NFL Rankings – 10/17/2012

StatsInTheWild NFL rankings as of October 17, 2012 at 12:34pm.  SOS=strength of schedule

Team Rank Change Record ESPN TeamRankings.com SOS Points Diff
Chicago 1 ↑1 4-1 6 1 8 +78
San Francisco 2 ↓1 4-2 5 6 3 +58
Atlanta 3 ↑4 6-0 1 2 25 +58
Houston 4 ↓1 5-1 2 4 21 +58
NY Giants 5 ↑7 4-2 3 3 17 +64
Arizona 6 ↓1 4-2 11 12 1 +13
Seattle 7 ↑2 4-2 9 5 5 +17
Minnesota 8 ↓4 4-2 10 11 7 +29
New England 9 ↓3 3-3 7 8 10 +51
Green Bay 10 ↑1 3-3 8 7 6 +19
Baltimore 11 ↓1 5-1 4 9 26 +43
St. Louis 12 ↓4 3-3 20 10 2 -1
Washington 13 ↑9 3-3 15 17 13 +5
Detroit 14 ↓1 2-3 19 19 4 -11
Miami 15 ↓1 3-3 17 14 16 +3
Denver 16 ↑2 3-3 12 13 31 +32
NY Jets 17 3-3 23 18 12 -8
Dallas 18 ↓2 2-3 18 15 9 -25
Tampa Bay 19 ↑6 2-3 22 24 23 +19
Philadelphia 20 3-3 13 20 11 -22
Cincinnati 21 ↓2 3-3 21 21 28 -14
Buffalo 22 ↑2 3-3 25 16 15 -55
San Diego 23 ↓2 3-3 16 27 32 +11
Pittsburgh 24 ↓1 2-3 14 23 27 +1
Carolina 25 ↑3 1-4 28 28 19 -33
New Orleans 26 ↑1 1-4 24 31 20 -13
Indianapolis 27 ↓12 2-3 26 22 22 -45
Jacksonville 28 ↓2 1-4 31 29 18 -73
Cleveland 29 ↑3 1-5 30 26 24 -29
Tennessee 30 ↓1 2-4 27 25 14 -90
Oakland 31 ↓1 1-4 29 30 30 -61
Kansas City 32 ↓1 1-5 32 32 29 -79

Best

Best undefeated team: Atlanta

Best 5 win team: Houston

Best 4 win team: Chicago

Best 3 win team: New England

Best 2 win team: Detroit

Best 1 win team: Carolina

Worst

Worst 5 win team: Baltimore

Worst 4 win team: Minnesota

Worst 3 win team: San Diego

Worst 2 win team: Tennessee

Worst 1 win team: Kansas City

Worst team in the league: Kansas City

Most

Most under-rated team: (#12) St. Louis (ESPN has them 20)

Most over-rated team: (#24) Pittsburgh (ESPN has them 14)

Cheers.

NFL Predictions – Week 6

Overall Records for 2012

SU: 53-38 (58.24%)

ATS: 51-40 (56.04%)

O/U: 50-39 (56.18%)

Week 6 (6-8 SU, 7-7 ATS, 6-7 O/U)

Week 5 (10-4 SU, 7-7 ATS, 7-7 O/U)

Week 4 (10-5 SU, 10-5 ATS, 12-2 O/U)

Week 3 (5-11 SU, 9-7 ATS, 9-7 O/U)

Week 2 (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS, 8-8 O/U)

Week 1 (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS, 8-8 O/U)

Week 6

Thursday @8:25pm

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans

Prediction: Steelers win 23-20

Pick: Titans +5.5

O/U: Over 42.5

Sunday @1pm

Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Prediction: Buccaneers win 20-19

Pick: Chiefs +3.5

O/U: Under 41.5

Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens

Prediction: Ravens win 25-22

Pick: Cowboys +3.5

O/U:  Over 44

St. Louis Rams at Miami Dolphins

Prediction: Dolphins win 22-16

Pick: Dolphins -3.5

O/U: Over 37.5

Oakland Raiders at Atlanta Falcons

Prediction: Falcons win 27-22

Pick: Raiders +9

O/U: Over 48.5

Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

Prediction: Eagles win 28-27

Pick: Lions +5.5

O/U: Over 47.5

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

Prediction: Bengals win 21-17

Pick:  Bengals -2

O/U: Under 44

Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

Prediction: Colts win 21-20

Pick: Colts +3.5

O/U: Under 42.5

Sunday @4:05pm

Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals

Prediction: Cardinals win 23-22

Pick: Bills +5.5

O/U: Over 43

Sunday @4:25pm

New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks

Prediction: Patriots win 32-19

Pick: Patriots -3.5

O/U: Over 44

New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers

Prediction: Giants 26-25

Pick: Giants +5.5

O/U: Over 44.5

Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins

Prediction: Vikings win 24-22

Pick: Vikings +2.5

O/U: Off the board

Sunday @8:30pm

Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans

Prediction: Packers win 29-24

Pick: Packers +5.5

O/U: Over 48

Monday @8:35pm

Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

Prediction: Chargers win 29-22

Pick: Chargers -2.5

O/U: Over 49.5

Cheers.

Week 5 QB Performances Reviewed Via RIPPEN

An explanation of RIPPEN

Alex Smith led the way in quarterback performances this week with an astonishing RIPPEN just over 43, and Blaine Gabbert continues to dwell at the bottom of all of my tables with a RIPPEN just above 3.

RIPPEN rankings for week 5 performances:

Player Team RIPPEN QB rating
Smith, A. SF 43.014 156.2
Tannehill, R. MIA 34.387 92.3
Brady, T. NE 28.045 104.6
Rivers, P. SD 26.194 96.7
Cutler, J. CHI 24.361 88.8
Brees, D. NO 22.586 110.4
Wilson, R. SEA 21.676 82.2
Rodgers, A. GB 19.363 103.5
Ryan, M. ATL 19.293 89.0
Schaub, M. TEX 19.174 71.9
Weeden, B. CLE 17.863 84.3
Griffin, III, R. WAS 17.237 82.9
Manning, P. DEN 17.206 116.2
Luck, A. IND 15.959 81.0
Ponder, C. MIN 15.934 87.6
Manning, E. NYG 15.532 103.3
Flacco, J. BAL 13.647 55.6
Sanchez, M. NYJ 12.100 54.5
Vick, M. PHI 11.185 104.2
Kolb, K. ARI 10.787 72.7
Roethlisberger, B. PIT 8.572 80.1
Bradford, S. STL 8.025 69.7
Newton, C. CAR 7.107 56.8
Cassel, M. KC 5.758 38.1
Dalton. A. CIN 5.575 63.5
Hasselbeck, M. TEN 5.386 69.9
Fitzpatrick, R. BUF 4.217 57.5
Gabbert, B. JAX 3.096 37.7

Looking at RIPPEN based on the whole season, Tom Brady is ranked number 1 with a RIPPEN of 27.304, which is essentially the same as RGIII’s RIPPEN of 27.279.  The top five is rounded out by Payton Manning, Alex Smith, and Matt Ryan.  My RIPPEN top five is the exact same top five as sorted by season QB rating, but in a different order.  QB rating has the top five guys ranked Smith, Ryan, Brady, Manning, RGIII.

The bottom five according to RIPPEN are Weeden, Kolb, Cassel, Gabbert, and, dead last, Matt Hasselbeck.  QB rating has three of these quarterbacks in the bottom five (Weeden, Cassel, and Gabbert), but by QB rating Sanchez and Tannehill are also in the bottom five.  I have Tannehill 19th and Sanchez 25th out of 32 quarterbacks.

As for most over and under rated quarterbacks, I regressed QB rating as a function of RIPPEN and, as expected, they are highly related.  (QB rating is approximately 58 + 1.63*RIPPEN).  However, there are some large deviations.  The most under-rated quarterback based on QB rating is Cam Newton.  His QB rating is only 80.9, but, based on RIPPEN, we’d expect him to have a QB rating about 16 points higher around 97.  Other under-rated quarterbacks include Ryan Tannehill who is about 14 points lower than expected and Mark Sanchez who is about 11 points lower than expected.  (But don’t get me wrong here, I still think Sanchez is a terrible quarterback.  I just don’t think he is the 30th best quarterback in the league, I think he’s 25th.)

The most over-rated QB based on passer rating is Kevin Kolb.  Based on his passer rating, he is ranked 16th among quarterbacks, but RIPPEN has him ranking 29th.  Based on his RIPPEN, his expected QB rating is 75.3 about 14 points lower than it actually is.  This is likely do to the weight that passer rating gives to touchdown passes.  The next two most over-rated QB’s are Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning.  Roethlisberger has a QB rating about 11 points higher than we would expect and Manning is about 10 points higher than expected.

Season RIPPEN rankings through five weeks of games:

Player Team RIPPEN QB rating
Brady, T. NE 27.304 102.8
Griffin, III, R. WAS 27.279 101.0
Manning, P. DEN 26.905 101.2
Smith, A. SF 25.630 108.7
Ryan, M. ATL 24.263 106.1
Newton, C. CAR 23.978 80.9
Schaub, M. HOU 23.689 99.2
Ponder, C. MIN 20.393 95.5
Rodgers, A. GB 19.697 97.0
Rivers, P. SD 19.654 93.1
Roethlisberger, B. PIT 19.131 100.6
Dalton, A. CIN 19.091 92.9
Brees, D. NO 18.720 90.7
Cutler, J. CHI 18.243 78.7
Stafford, M. DET 17.664 81.6
Manning, E. NYG 16.843 96.0
Luck, A. IND 16.770 77.1
Flacco, J. BAL 16.380 89.9
Tannehill, R. MIA 16.245 70.4
Romo, T. DAL 15.928 78.5
Vick, M. PHI 15.780 77.8
Bradford, S. STL 14.544 78.6
Palmer, C. OAK 13.065 86.0
Freeman, J. TB 12.533 75.3
Sanchez, M. NYJ 11.917 66.6
Wilson, R. SEA 10.782 75.2
Fitzpatrick, R. BUF 10.761 84.2
Weeden, B. CLE 10.465 64.5
Kolb, K. ARI 10.417 89.7
Cassel, M. KC 8.357 66.2
Gabbert, B. JAX 6.678 73.3
Hasselbeck, M. TEN 5.606 73.6

And finally, below is a plot of estimated outcome percentages that are used in calculating RIPPEN.  If you look at Peyton Manning in the upper right corner of the plot you can see that starting from his own 20 yard line and only throwing passes in a simulated world, hell score a touchdown about 32% of the time and convert a field goal about 16% of the time.  So he’d score on around 48% of drives. Compare this with Blaine Gabbert who will score a touchdown on about 6% of drives and get a filed goal about 9% of drives.  This means that 85% of Gabbert drives, in the simulated RIPPEN world, end in either a punt, an interception, or a missed field goal.

Cheers.

Tebow Mania and Passer Rating

Now that the college season is over, football fans can concentrate on what really matters: Tebow-mania!  Timmy Terrific has led the Denver Broncos to the AFC Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.  The Broncos, who started the season 1-4, turned their season around by winning 7 of their last 11 games, many in dramatic fashion, with Mr. Tebow at the helm — good enough to squeak into the playoffs at 8-8 and even earn a home playoff game.  In that game, played Sunday, January 8th, they drew the heavily favored defending AFC champs the Pittsburgh Steelers, who took an early 6-0 lead.  Denver battled back with a big second quarter, but the Steelers made their own charge and ultimately the game went to overtime.  This was the first time a playoff game had gone to overtime since the inception of new NFL overtime rules.  Previously, overtime was sudden death, with the first team to score, either a touchdown or field goal (or safety), winning the game.  Under the new rules, only a touchdown on the first possession will end the game immediately; a field goal allows the other team a chance to possess the ball.  Needless to say, Denver won the coin toss (Pittsburgh called tails) and needed only one play to score a touchdown.  The play was an 80 yard pass over the middle that went the distance.One reason this occurred was because the Steelers had been bringing a lot of defenders close to the line of scrimmage, as they did not believe Tebow could beat them with his passing ability.  It was widely believed among the “experts” that Tebow, who is one of the greatest college football players of all time, and his style of play would not translate to success in the NFL.  Many people still believe this.

I hadn’t really thought much about Tebow one way or the other until one of his stats caught my eye.  In Denver’s week 10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Tebow’s passer rating was 102.6 based on 2 completions in 8 attempts, good for 69 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions.  For some context, 102.6 was good enough for 7th best rating among starting quarterbacks that week.  This seemed odd to me since 2 for 8, 69 yards, and 1 touchdown seems like a terrible game.

So this got me wondering: What exactly is passer rating?  This website describes the formula in detail along with some of its history, but the basics are as follows.

1. Compute completions divided by passing attempts, subtract 0.3, and multiply by 5.
2. Compute yards divided by passing attempts, subtract 3, and multiple by 0.25
3. Compute touchdowns divided by passing attempts and multiply by 20.
4. Compute interceptions divided by passing attempts, multiply this by 25, and subtract this from 2.375

If any of the results of the four parts is less than 0 or greater than 2.375, that component is rounded up or down to the respective bound.  Now, add the four, possibly rounded, components together, multiply by 100, and divide by 6.  This yields a maximum score of 158.3.  (I swear I didn’t just make all of that up; the NFL actually uses this.)

Now since I like football and I love R, I decided to do some graphical exploring with passer rating.  Since the only topic anyone wants to talk about in the NFL right now is Tim Tebow, I figured I had to look at him.  And who better to compare him to than his opponent next week, three time Super Bowl champion Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.  Using the data from their regular season games (Tebow started 11 games and came in at half time in week 5; Brady started all 16), I created these graphs for Tom Brady and Tim Tebow.  Each individual graph shows how quarterback rating would vary based on number of completions and total passing yards for a fixed number of passing attempts, touchdowns, and interceptions. The green dot in each plot represents where each quarterback actually fell that week in their game.

What stands out to me in looking at these graphs is Brady’s consistency.  The green Brady dot seems to be always in the right, upper half of the graph.  Week in and week out he puts up around 300 yards (with the occasional 517 yard game thrown in) and a completion percentage in the mid to high 60s.  In fact, Brady had a completion percentage of over 50% in every single game this season.

Tebow, on the other hand, is, to put it politely, all over the place.  In week 13, Tebow put up a nearly perfect passer rating of 149.3, which is almost 14 points higher than Brady’s best passer rating of the season.  On the other hand, Tebow had a lower passer rating than Brady’s worst passer rating, 75.4, in 5 out of the 12 games Tebow started.  So you could say that almost half of the time this season, Tebow was worse than Brady’s worst.

This all adds up to the fact that the Broncos should lose to the Patriots.  Based on the stats, Brady is too good and Tebow is too inconsistent to amount to a Denver victory.  Of course, while you may find all of this interesting, in the end none of these numbers or pretty pictures mean anything at all to Tim Tebow, who, as they say, only cares about one stat and that’s winning.

NFL Rankings – After Week 17

Rankings updated as of 1/1/2012; Records updated as of  1/1/2012; CHFF rankings as of 12/28/2011

AFC NFC

Playoff team

Division Champ

Eliminated from Playoffs

 Team Rank Change Record CHFF Rank
New England 1 13-3 3
Pittsburgh 2 12-4 1
Green Bay 3 15-1 6
Baltimore 4 12-4 5
Atlanta 5 10-6 11
NY Jets 6 8-8 2
New Orleans 7 13-3 15
Chicago 8 8-8 23
Detroit 9 10-6 10
San Francisco 10 13-3 4
NY Giants 11 9-7 8
Philadelphia 12 8-8 12
San Diego 13 8-8 18
Tampa Bay 14 4-12 14
Kansas City 15 7-9 30
Seattle 16 ↑↑↑↑ 7-9 9
Oakland 17 8-8 26
Cincinnati 18 9-7 22
Dallas 19 8-8 7
Tennessee 20 9-7 19
Miami 21 6-10 13
Houston 22 10-6 20
Buffalo 23 6-10 24
Indianapolis 24 2-14 16
Denver 25 8-8 30
Washington 26 ↑↑↑↑ 5-11 28
Minnesota 27 3-13 27
Cleveland 28 4-12 21
Arizona 29 8-8 29
Jacksonville 30 5-11 25
Carolina 31 6-10 17
StLouis 32 2-14 32

BCS: My offer still stands…….if you want to contact me you can send me a tweet @StatsInTheWild.

Cheers.

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