InterSkeption: Sport Skeptic Skeptical about Skeptical Sports

Ben Morris at 538 (and formerly at Skeptical Sports) had an article yesterday looking at a few topics in the world of football.  I thought two of them could use a little work, so this is me complaining.  The first has to do with how much a win or loss at different points of the season affects a team’s playoff chances and the second is the bit on rookie quarterbacks. Continue reading

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Baltimore – Pittsburgh and 29 Other Teams Worse Than the Lions

This is probably the easiest first week of the season I’ve had in a little while; I get my data from Yahoo and the past few years they’ve changed their website layout enough that I have to do a fair amount of work to get ready to pull the numbers after the first set of games.  This year, just one tiny change.  And as if that wasn’t good enough news, the Lions won and did so in pretty convincing fashion.  Let’s take a quick look at tonight’s Thursday Night game and celebrate the Lions a little. Continue reading

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Wrapping up NFL Week 1: Guessing in the Dark

As I say every year, picking games in week 1 is tough.  Honestly, it’s tough all year, but particularly early in the season when you have no idea what all the roster changes are going to do and little data to support any particular guesses.  But I go ahead and try anyway, because you can probably count on some carry-over from last season, right?  Here’s a quick rundown of the week 1 picks. Continue reading

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The NFL (and the blog) is back

Hey everyone!  After a busy summer, I have made my way back from the desert in time for the return of the NFL tomorrow night.  As usual, my first order of business is to blithely act like I can predict who will win the week 1 games based on team performance from last year.  Continue reading

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Super Bowl Prediction

By now you’ve had about all the Super Bowl coverage you can probably stand.  Some of what I read included Bill Simmons’ pick (as always), Bill Barnwell’s breakdown and prediction, and a summary of previous offense-defense Super Bowls.  So I’m not going to pile on much and instead just add a couple of my reactions along with the pick. Continue reading

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NFL Conference Title Game Recaps

I thought both games this weekend were pretty entertaining.  The Broncos had a sizable lead for the second half, but the Patriots worked their way back to striking distance; if you hung around for the whole game, they were a two point conversion away from going for an onside kick with a chance to tie the game.  Of course, there are a lot of moving parts in that scenario, which makes the whole thing unlikely, and they never got the two point conversion in the first place.  But if you enjoy football and the prospect of comebacks and working through what teams need to do to get back into it… at any rate, it worked for me.  And the Seahawks-49ers game came down to the last minute, so that has to be a winner.  Let’s do a quick recap. Continue reading

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NFC Conference Title Game Predictions

We’re down to four teams, and as everyone has been telling you, it’s the four teams you probably expected to be here at the beginning of the season.  Of course, that in itself is unexpected.  At the beginning of last year, did a lot of people see Atlanta and Baltimore in the conference finals (or even the 49ers, given the QB switch)?  The Giants the year before?  The Packers were sort of expected to make a run by ‘numbers guys’ in 2010, but I don’t think that was a common opinion, and the Jets made quite a run to keep Mark Sanchez in money a little longer.  The point is, the NFL is not like the NBA.  The season is too short and individual games too messy to predict who is going to make it through a whole season all the way to the end of the playoffs.  Someone usually sneaks through, but not this year.  We’ve got four good teams, including two with an all-time offense and defense.  How’s it going to shake out? Continue reading

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