Thursday, December 1, 2016

Simulating the Patriots 2001 and Beyond: Patriots at Bengals

We are using the Second and Ten software to see if we can run the Patriots better than the great Bill Belichick. We start in the 2001.

 Week 1 in 2001 the Patriots went on the road to face the Bengals. Drew Bledsoe started in this game before getting injured the next week leaving the door open for Tom Brady. I have both Brady and Bledsoe available and obviously Bledsoe has a very high injury rating. I went with Brady.

 The Patriots lost 23-17 to the Bengals in the real game back in 2001. Here is the boxscore. Let's get to the simulation:

 There are tough losses and then there are heartbreaking losses. We built up a 16-0 lead only to lose 20-19. The game ended as Brady and company put together an incredible last drive. Brady completed a pass to Kevin Faulk well in field goal range. There was just one problem, Faulk fumbled the football. The Bengals recovered and ran out the clock.

The Patriots head home next to play the Jets. The Jets are also 0-1. This was the infamous game where Bledsoe got hurt and Patriot history changed forever. Let's get to the simulation stats:

001 - Week 1
New England at Cincinnati
At Paul Brown StadiumSunday, September 9
Attendance: 62,976

New England0136019

Scoring PlaysNWECIN
2nd Quarter
NWE10:41Vinatieri 26 yard field goal ( 10-43, 4:10 )30
NWE4:40A.Smith 1 yard run ( Vinatieri kick ) ( 9-49, 4:50 )100
NWE0:00Vinatieri 29 yard field goal ( 2-12, 0:22 )130
3rd Quarter
NWE9:55Vinatieri 47 yard field goal ( 7-23, 3:41 )160
CIN4:02Dillon 2 yard run ( Rackers kick ) ( 13-83, 5:53 )167
CIN2:27Rackers 49 yard field goal ( 4-0, 1:02 )1610
NWE0:14Vinatieri 42 yard field goal ( 5-48, 2:13 )1910
4th Quarter
CIN9:58Rackers 36 yard field goal ( 6-38, 1:56 )1913
CIN3:48B.Bennett 10 yard run ( Rackers kick ) ( 10-80, 4:31 )1920

MVP: Mark Roman CB (Cincinnati)
Defense: 5 Tkl, 1 Sack, 1 PD, Fumbles: 2 FF

Monday, November 28, 2016

1986 Red Sox and Beyond: Preseason Predictions

1986 was the first season I followed the Red Sox on a daily basis. I was 11 years old and I loved this team, I still do. It makes sense to start an Out of the Park Baseball Dynasty with this team. We start in 1986 and I will be the GM and the Manager. There will not be a draft, instead actual players will join their actual organizations as move forward in future years. Free agency and trades of course will put a new spin on this alternate baseball history.

Let's get to the 1986 Red Sox Opening Day Roster:

Let's start with the pitching. The Red Sox rotation will consist of Roger Clemens, Bruce Hurst, Oil Can Boyd, Al Nipper and Mike Brown.

 The bullpen consists of Bob Stanley, Steve Crawford, Calvin Schiraldi, Joe Sambito, Tim Lollar, Wes Gardner and Sammy Stewart.

 The everyday lineup has Rich Gedman at catcher, Don Baylor at first base, Marty Barrett at second base, Wade Boggs at third base. Bill Buckner at DH and 22 year old Rey Quinones at shortstop although veterans Ed Romero and Glenn Hoffman may take over the job if Rey struggles

 The outfield consists of Jim Rice in LF, Tony Armas in CF and Dwight Evans in RF The bench includes Hoffman, Romero, Dave Sax and Steve Lyons The Red Sox top prospects are Mike Greenwell, Curt Schilling, Ellis Burks, Dana Kiecker and Jody Reed

The predictions have not been kind to the Red Sox. The AL East looks loaded and the experts are predicting a great pennant race but they don't think it will involve the Red Sox

Click to enlarge

The experts see the National League with the Mets and Astros winning their divisions just like they did in real life.

Click to enlarge

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Free NFL Divisional Round Picks

This is my favorite weekend of the NFL season. You have the four best teams going at it in each conference and it always provides some intriguing match-ups.

For the regular season, underdogs barely had a winning record but they are off to a 3-1 start against the spread in the playoffs. Could the dogs get their revenge in the postseason? Vegas hopes so. Let's take a look at the four match-ups:

Chiefs at Patriots

The Patriots are in a weird spot. Nobody knows what to make of them right now. Are they really the team we saw at end the season? They look horrible.

I had the Chiefs overrated much of the season due to their pretty average yardage differential numbers. Those numbers have improved and in that category they are much better than the Patriots.

It is tough to go against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick but the numbers tell a worrisome story in this one. The Pats are vulnerable.

Pick: Take the Chiefs +4.5

Steelers at Broncos

The big story is at the QB spot for both teams. Will Ben Roethlisberger play and if he does play will he be able to actually throw the ball downfield? Is Peyton Manning washed up? These teams have been near the top of my power rankings all season with the Broncos slightly better. Take the points in this one.

Pick: Take the Steelers +7

Seahawks at Panthers

The Panthers have had a great season but their yardage differential numbers all year have been pretty average. The Panthers got a horrible break when the Vikings failed to knock out the Seahawks last week.  I have the Seahawks 6 points better in this game. It will be a tough way for the Panthers to end their season if that holds true.

Pick: Take the Seahawks +1.5

Packers at Cardinals

The Packers at times look awful. They don't seem to have receivers who can get open and Aaron Rodgers doesn't seem to have a ton of time to throw the ball. The Cardinals spanked the Packers pretty good just a few weeks ago. Rematches this close together however tend to favor the team that was spanked the first time. In terms of yardage differential numbers, these teams are pretty even. Rodgers is the best player on the field and he is getting points.

Pick: Take the Packers +7 

Can you hear all that barking? The numbers all point to the underdogs covering the spread this week. We will see.