Tag Archives: New England Patriots

Some questions and some predictions

Predictions

If you read my post last week, you know that the AFC is a two-horse race and the NFC is a mess. All four first-round games agreed with the True Wins predictions. I didn’t trust the Seahawks on the road, but True Wins came through (11 for the Seahawks versus just 9.5 for the Skins). So, what are we left with? Two clear favorites in the AFC (Patriots and Broncos) and two toss ups in the NFC. True Wins alone takes 49ers over Packers (11.5 to 11) and Seahawks over Falcons (11 to 10.5). I’m going to stick with the home teams in both cases, but don’t expect blowouts in the NFC unless the turnover margin is really skewed.

Questions

As part of football month on the blog, here are a couple random questions and answers that I’ve accumulated.

Should the NFL eliminate kickoffs? Greg Schiano, the Buccaneers crazy coach, thinks the NFL should get rid of kickoffs to protect player safety. A Rutgers player was paralyzed running kick coverage while Schiano coached there, so he knows exactly how dangerous kickoffs can be. Never mind that this is the same coach who runs a “kneel down blitz” when the other team is trying to kill the clock, a tactic that might work once when the other team is not expecting it, but will probably never work again.

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LOS LIIIIIINNNNNNKKKKSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NFL/Super Bowl sayonara edition

Here a few LOS LIIIINNNKKKKSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!! to wrap up an entertaining NFL season and Super Bowl (“Turn out the lights . . . “):

As always, send me your los links if you have something funny, sports-related, intelligent, and/or intriguing.

Super Bowl gambling!

Yes, it’s the one time of year when gambling is tacitly accepted in the United States. By comparison, my buddy Tony reminded me today that Europeans can openly bet on everything from Charlie Sheen’s next girlfriend to the Facebook IPO. I’m not going to go through all the Super Bowl prop bets — that’s been done to death. Instead, I want to look at the line movements for the Super Bowl, which shed some light on how line setting works (hint: it’s not always about getting half the betting on each side of the line).

The Patriots opened as 3.5 point favorites in many books, but it quickly became clear that the Giants would get many more bets at that number. The standard argument is that Vegas doesn’t care if their line is “accurate” (in terms of the actual game outcome); they just want Continue reading

Predicting the Super Bowl winner

With the Super Bowl ten days away, I thought it would be fun to look at some statistics for the winners in the last 25 Super Bowls (excluding the strike year in 1987). For each winner and loser, I list their regular season True Wins, regular season actual wins, regular season wins the previous season, and the Super Bowl line for the winner (lines from Vegas Insider). In the previous season column — “Last Wins” — I also list each team’s playoff performance from the year before in parentheses: a number indicates the round that they exited, “n” indicates that they didn’t make the playoffs, and “!” indicates that they won the Super Bowl. Here are the data:

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Part 2: did Lee Evans make the catch?

One post was not enough to sort through the deepest, darkest corners of the NFL rule book on the Lee Evans catch/no catch at the end of the Ravens – Patriots game. I posted a general commentary on the games earlier, but for those of you that love these details, Adrian the Canadian breaks the play down from a few more angles:

So I was hoping to delve into some nasty, ugly, complicated issues with the NFL’s instant replay system today, but, before doing so, I think we have to spin out the Lee Evans non-catch and the NFL’s awkward touchdown catch rule. First, Mike Pereira’s brief take at Football ZebrasContinue reading

Rematch!

There were no True Wins handed out yesterday. The Ravens, Patriots, Giants, and 49ers treated us to two extremely close football games. Close games generally come down to luck to determine the winner; indeed, I thought both games would be close but was fortunate to pick both winners last week. Regular season True Wins and actual wins both predicted the Patriots victory but failed on the Giants, who are underrated by wins measures due to their ridiculous strength of schedule. For the first time since 2007 (and only the fourth time since 2002), actual wins is going to beat out True Wins in predicting playoff games. Both measures suggest the Patriots will win the Super Bowl, since they have far more wins and True Wins than the Giants, and actual wins are a half game up going into the final (5.5 games correct to 5 games correct):

The two championship games had some common themes, actually. The “offensive” teams (Patriots, Giants), playing against good defenses, did not have their usual panache. However, they both stacked the box Continue reading

Part 1: did Lee Evans make the catch?

“Upon further review,” Lee Evans catch/non-catch at the end of the Ravens – Patriots game has become a hot topic today. No one thought it was a catch yesterday, but the discussion is heating up. Should the Ravens be in the Super Bowl? It comes down to Evans’s second foot. Or, should I say, it’s all about whether Evans’s second foot came down. Here’s my take on Sunday’s games, but I rely on the lawyerly Adrian the Canadian to sort this call out. Here’s his quick take (check out his second post for even more gory details):

THE LEE EVANS “CATCH”

One of the many hot topics in the wake of yesterday’s conference championship games is Lee Evans non-catch at the end of regulation in the Pats-Ravens game. Over on Slate, Josh Levin has a good analysis of the catch. Levin seems to think that a strict application of the NFL rule Continue reading