2014 NFL Picks, Week 3

As I wrote about earlier in the week, the NFL landscape may be clearer than it is perceived to be at this point in the year.  One of the teams that has strung together two strong performances to start the year is Carolina, who looks to be a good play this week at home against a Steelers team that is more sizzle than steak at this juncture of the Mike Tomlin era.  On to the selections:

Week 3 NFL Picks

Exp. Pts Scored = expected team points scored offensively
Exp. Pts Allowed = expected team points allowed defensively
Exp. MOV = expected margin of victory based upon my data
Vegas MOV = expected margin of victory based upon point spreads as posted on sportsbook.com
Game #
Team
Name
Exp. Pts Scored
Exp. Pts Allowed
Exp. MOV
Vegas MOV
John's PICK
01ATampa Bay Buccaneers22.125.8-3.7-6.5
01HAtlanta Falcons25.822.13.76.5
02ASan Diego Chargers21.224.4-3.2-2.5
02HBuffalo Bills24.421.23.22.5
03ADallas Cowboys23.5221.52
03HSt. Louis Rams2223.5-1.5-2
04AWashington Redskins20.925.1-4.2-6.5
04HPhiladelphia Eagles25.120.94.26.5
05AHouston Texans22.324-1.72.5
05HNew York Giants2422.31.7-2.5
06AMinnesota Vikings2324.7-1.7-9.5
06HNew Orleans Saints24.7231.79.5
07ATennessee Titans21.123.7-2.6-7
07HCincinnati Bengals23.721.12.67
08ABaltimore Ravens2224.1-2.12
08HCleveland Browns24.1222.1-2
09AGreen Bay Packers21.626.2-4.6-1
09HDetroit Lions26.221.64.61
10AIndianapolis Colts2224.5-2.57
10HJacksonville Jaguars24.5222.5-7
11AOakland Raiders20.326-5.7-14.5
11HNew England Patriots2620.35.714.5
12ASan Francisco 49ers22.223.3-1.13
12HArizona Cardinals23.322.21.1-3
13ADenver Broncos21.826.3-4.5-4.5
13HSeattle Seahawks26.321.84.54.5
14AKansas City Chiefs20.825.2-4.4-5
14HMiami Dolphins25.220.84.45
15APittsburgh Steelers19.424.6-5.2-3.5
15HCarolina Panthers24.619.45.23.5
16AChicago Bears21.823.9-2.1-2.5
16HNew York Jets23.921.82.12.5

2014 NFL Power Rankings, 9/16/14

The following table provides an up-to-date, albeit arguably premature, look at the pecking order of team performance through week 2 in the National Football League.  As has been done  numerous times on this site, I have chosen to evaluate teams based on their expected winning percentage as a function of points scored and allowed.  In this instance the Pyth Win% is a calculated figure based upon the average points scored (PF/G) and allowed (PA/G) per game.  All point totals have been adjusted for strength of opponent.  Due to the small number of regular season games that have been played so far in 2014, I have incorporated my prospective team data in order to simulate the portion of the regular season yet to be played; this will provide some context to what has actually happened the first two weeks.  As the season hits roughly week 9 or so, these “fake” game scores will be phased out completely.

2014 NFL Power Rankings, 9/16/14

Team
Name
W
L
PF/G
PA/G
Pyth Win%
Houston Texans2023110.852
Carolina Panthers2022.311.50.829
Cincinnati Bengals2024130.811
Buffalo Bills2025.915.50.77
Washington Redskins1122.814.70.737
Baltimore Ravens1121.414.60.712
Arizona Cardinals2021.215.60.672
Philadelphia Eagles2030.422.80.664
Seattle Seahawks1128.3220.645
Denver Broncos2026.920.90.644
San Diego Chargers112419.10.634
New England Patriots1125.220.70.614
Chicago Bears1124.521.10.587
Minnesota Vikings1120.717.90.586
Dallas Cowboys112219.40.576
Detroit Lions1121.219.20.558
San Francisco 49ers1123.622.50.528
Miami Dolphins1122.223.30.471
Tennessee Titans1117.618.50.471
New York Jets1120.422.40.444
New Orleans Saints0228.131.60.431
Indianapolis Colts0225.228.90.419
Atlanta Falcons1123.327.50.401
Green Bay Packers1123.829.80.37
Tampa Bay Buccaneers0215.720.60.347
Cleveland Browns0217.6260.285
Pittsburgh Steelers1118.3270.285
Oakland Raiders0214.425.20.209
Kansas City Chiefs0213.524.70.191
St. Louis Rams1112.826.60.151
New York Giants0214.430.40.145
Jacksonville Jaguars0213.6370.085

While it may very well be too early to put too much stock in the performance of most of the league, a quick look back at the seeds planted for the top 10 teams in 2013 shows that outlying ability early on was a decent indicator of the harvest to be reeped as the calendar turned to January.  As can be seen below, super bowl combatants Seattle and Denver both ranked within the top 3 league-wide in Pyth-Win% after Week 2.

League Rankings of Top 10 Pyth Win% teams for 2013 Regular Season relative to first 2 games, sorted by Reg. Season Pyth Win% desc

Team
P-W%, Wks 1-17
Lg Rnk
P-W%, thru Wk 2
Lg Rnk
Seattle Seahawks0.80610.9911
Carolina Panthers0.74520.5729
San Francisco 49ers0.7430.39923
New Orleans Saints0.70240.51116
Denver Broncos0.750.7313
Kansas City Chiefs0.64760.7662
Arizona Cardinals0.64670.51314
Cincinnati Bengals0.6480.53412
New England Patriots0.62390.41422
Indianapolis Colts0.584100.3724