The Rams were generous enough to lose while there was still a few minutes left in the Lions-Cowboys game, and Fox was generous enough to cut over to show minutes 3 to 1:30 of the game with only some commercials and cuts to the guys in the studio, so I got to see a late comeback victory, sort of. People will blame Tony Romo for the loss while ignoring the fact that he was also mostly responsible for the Cowboys being up by 17 in the first place. Similarly, Stafford could be viewed as the comeback kid, but he wasn’t doing a whole lot in the first half. This shows up in their advanced stats; Stafford’s win probability is only +.07 and Romo’s is a more depressing -.19. Both are reasonably large as probabilities go, but certainly not what you might expect from guys who won/lost their team the game. Their expected points are even more even-keeled at .4 and -4.6; Stafford essentially had no effect on the Lions’ score while Romo only cost his team 4 points. Felix Jones hurt his team as much or more than Romo. But enough about Romo. How did Luigi do?
Over/under: I tried to avoid saying that Luigi was due after going 11-20-1, but the model did have a bounce-back week. It went 10-5-1 (Cincy and Buffalo hit 43 on the nose) to bring its season performance to 21-26-2.
Moneyline: not a great week for underdogs. Luigi hit on San Fran, but Carolina, Miami, and Seattle didn’t get there; Miami was probably dead in the water as soon as Henne went down. In terms of just picking winners Luigi went 10-6 and moved to 29-19 on the year; against the moneyline it went 4-7 for a total of 14-17.
Spread: In all games Luigi went 9-7, but it would have passed on three games. In the ones it preferred, Luigi was 8-5. So on the year it’s 27-20-1 overall and 24-16-1 in the games it likes. Bill Simmons has his own lines and picks from a little earlier in the week. Bill went 8-8 and Luigi went 11-5 (there was a typo in the predictions; Luigi wouldn’t have picked Green Bay, so it was wrong there and Bill was right). So on the season Bill is 34-28-2 and Luigi is 38-24-2. We’re starting to open up a lead!
Here are the power rankings after this week. Green Bay’s defense actually dropped a little bit, but their offense improved enough after shellacking Denver that they grabbed the number one spot. The Patriots dropped numerically but essentially performed to expectations in beating the Raiders. And the Lions dropped a spot despite their victory; the offense had a relatively off day. Dallas actually had about the same result.
And here are the season predictions. You can start to see a little luck creeping in; Green Bay and Detroit have both won a game more than you might expect while Arizona and Philly are both two games below their performance. Note that the list is ordered by how many wins the teams would get if the played the whole season over; if you want a predicted total wins from here on out, add the last column to their actual wins. The Packers are looking to win the NFC North over the Lions 13 wins to 11; even though Arizona and Philly are playing like relatively strong teams, they can only count on 7 or 8 wins at this point. On the other end of things, the Giants are 3-1 but are really playing 50/50 ball; they’re expected to end up with only 8 or 9 wins as well.