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NFL Rewind - Week 12

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A dozen weeks in the books, eleven games per team down, five remain. Yes folks, the playoff push is here. What is interesting this season is the margin many division leaders currently have – which leads to the question of how many teams & games will be impacted down the stretch with starters getting a rest as a “healthy scratch”? That will certainly come into play, which has a downstream impact on any ATS plays. Keep in mind, down the home stretch of the season, knowing how to properly adjust your ratings and handicapping process for the phenomenon just mentioned is absolutely critical to success.

Performance Ratings [PR] (max grade is 160, 80 on offense and 80 on defense, calculated using 16 different stats with 5 points per stat being the best score = 16x5 = 80).

Performance Ratings
Category Offense Defense Total Team Blended
Wins Team Rating Rank Rating Rank Rating Rank SOS
8 SF 49.6 4 49.3 1 99.0 1 22
8 DEN 50.1 3 48.5 4 98.6 2 14
10 HOU 49.6 4 47.0 5 96.6 3 28
6 PIT 41.9 16 49.0 3 90.8 4 28
8 NE 58.9 1 31.0 29 89.8 5 29
6 SEA 42.8 13 44.8 6 87.5 6 18
8 CHI 37.7 25 49.1 2 86.8 7 21
7 GB 43.5 10 42.7 8 86.2 8 13
5 WAS 52.2 2 33.9 26 86.1 9 15
10 ATL 47.2 6 37.7 13 84.9 10 25
6 CIN 43.2 12 39.0 12 82.2 11 30
5 DAL 41.1 18 39.9 11 81.0 12 8
7 NYG 43.9 9 37.0 17 80.9 13 7
4 SD 40.0 20 40.6 10 80.6 14 26
6 TB 44.3 7 36.3 21 80.6 14 25
4 DET 44.1 8 36.1 22 80.2 16 13
9 BAL 41.7 17 37.5 15 79.2 17 23
7 IND 42.5 14 35.3 24 77.8 18 32
6 MIN 40.0 21 37.1 16 77.0 19 16
3 PHI 39.7 22 36.6 20 76.4 20 21
4 STL 39.4 23 36.9 18 76.3 21 4
3 CAR 41.0 19 35.2 25 76.2 22 2
5 MIA 33.0 29 42.7 8 75.6 23 31
4 BUF 42.3 15 33.3 27 75.5 24 19
1 KC 36.3 26 36.9 19 73.1 25 11
4 ARI 28.5 32 44.4 7 72.9 26 4
4 NYJ 34.9 28 36.0 23 70.9 27 1
3 OAK 36.3 26 32.1 28 68.4 28 17
5 NO 43.4 11 24.5 32 67.9 29 9
3 CLE 30.2 31 37.6 14 67.8 30 5
4 TEN 38.4 24 27.9 31 66.2 31 10
2 JAC 31.2 30 30.0 30 61.1 32 6


*Blended SOS is a weighted average of opponent’s performance ratings and opponent’s record

Right now we have a pair of 10-1 teams in Houston and Atlanta, and they sit at #3 & #10 respectively in the PR. Houston has been in the mix most of the season for the top spot having been ranked #1 in six of twelve weeks, and not falling below #3 since Week 1. Atlanta sits down at #10, which has been consistent as their performance has left them in that exact spot each of the last 5 weeks; they have not risen above #4 (Wk3), or fallen below #17 (back to back Wk6&7) – but they clearly are NOT playing as well as their record indicates.

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There is only one 9-win team, Baltimore, and they sit way down at #17 – and they too are clearly not playing up to the level their record indicates. Next up is four 8-win teams, all of which rank in the top 7 in the PR. Both San Francisco and Denver are a part of that quartet, and they also happen to be #1 & #2 respectively in the Power Rankings. Along with Houston these two teams have consistently been in the mix for the top spot as San Francisco has checked in at #1 or #2 in eight of the last nine weeks, while Denver has not fallen out of the top 5 since Week 3. New England sits at #6, buoyed by the #1 ranked offense in the NFL, but also anchored by the #29 defense. Chicago is the last of the 8 win teams and they sit 7th, and are almost a polar opposite of New England as the Bears are #25 in offense, but #2 in defense.

Other teams of note are led by a pair of NFC East teams Washington (#9) and Dallas (#12) – these two teams are the highest rated 5 win or less teams in the NFL. On the flip side, New Orleans also has five wins, but checks in at #29 this week – which has consistently been the Saints story all year as they amazingly have not risen above #27 the entire season! Lastly, Kansas City is the lone 0 or 1 win team in the NFL, but they check in at #25, or in other words have seven teams below them performance wise. And if you are a football fan you already know the reason they only have one win this season – turnovers! They will get you every single time – see Eagles, Philadelphia as well.

Next up, here are my projected standings after Wk12. As a reminder, this process involves playing out the entire season based on my power ratings for each team.

AFC East Wins Loss
NE 11.31 4.69
MIA 6.89 9.11
BUF 6.63 9.37
NYJ 6.53 9.47
NFC East Wins Loss
NYG 9.78 6.22
WAS 7.84 8.16
DAL 7.54 8.46
PHI 4.93 11.08
AFC North Wins Loss
BAL 11.37 4.63
PIT 9.19 6.81
CIN 8.36 7.64
CLE 4.58 11.42
NFC North Wins Loss
GB 10.56 5.44
CHI 10.51 5.49
MIN 7.72 8.28
DET 6.91 9.09
AFC South Wins Loss
HOU 13.78 2.22
IND 8.83 7.17
TEN 5.82 10.19
JAC 3.54 12.46
NFC South Wins Loss
ATL 12.78 3.22
TB 8.34 7.66
NO 6.89 9.11
CAR 5.55 10.46
AFC West Wins Loss
DEN 12.06 3.94
SD 6.51 9.49
OAK 4.80 11.20
KC 3.16 12.84
NFC West Wins Loss
SF 11.50 4.50
SEA 9.07 6.93
STL 5.94 10.06
ARI 5.82 10.18


AFC Playoff Picture:
#1 Houston
#2 Denver
#3 Baltimore vs. #6 Indianapolis
#4 New England vs. #5 Pittsburgh

NFC Playoff Picture:
#1 Atlanta
#2 San Francisco
#3 Green Bay vs. #6 Seattle
#5 N.Y. Giants vs. #5 Chicago

Following my weekly power rating adjustments, and updating for actual wins and losses thru Week 12, here are the teams that have a +/- 0.55 win move in the latest projections:


UP:
Cleveland +0.69
Washington +0.63
Miami +0.62

DOWN:
Dallas (0.82)
Pittsburgh (0.74)
Seattle (0.61)

Last analysis for this week (I will post each week just like the standings above) is my power rankings. My rankings are comprised of a pair of numbers: one measures team performance in my performance ratings (discussed in the opener of this entry); two measures team performance vs. the spread. These two ratings are weighted and combined for my official power rankings. I will only provide the order of the teams, not the actual power ranking as that is for my eyes only because it is used in my weekly handicapping process as potential model plays. These rankings can be used to view the strength I see each team – meaning, I would currently favor Houston over any other team in the NFL on a neutral field; I would also make Jacksonville an underdog vs. another other team on a neutral field; and you can apply that logic to the rest of the rankings.

Power Rankings - Week 13
Rank Team
1 Houston
2 San Francisco
2 Denver
4 New England
5 Green Bay
6 Seattle
6 Pittsburgh
8 Chicago
9 Atlanta
10 Baltimore
11 New York Giants
12 Washington
13 New Orleans
14 Detroit
15 Tampa Bay
15 Dallas
17 San Diego
17 Cincinnati
19 Carolina
20 St. Louis
21 Minnesota
22 Miami
23 New York Jets
24 Arizona
25 Buffalo
26 Indianapolis
27 Philadelphia
28 Kansas City
29 Cleveland
30 Tennessee
30 Oakland
32 Jacksonville

  
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Seahawks, 49ers meet for 1st time
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