The Weekly League: Notes and Ideas for Week Eight

This week's edition of The Weekly League features:

1. More bullets than a John Woo film.
2. The words "Randy Moss" six times, including this one.


3. The GWP Record and Luck table that is sweeping the nation.

The Four Factors you see for each game represent each team's raw performance thus far in four important categories (pass and rush efficiency, pass and rush efficiency against) relative to league average (where 100 is league average and anything above is good).

Along with the Four Factors, you'll see two other numbers: Generic Win Probability (GWP) and Game Probability (PROB). The GWP is the probability a team would beat the league average team at a neutral site. It can be found for all teams here. The PROB is each respective team's chance of winning this particular contest. Your host, Brian Burke, provides PROBs to the New York Times each week, and those numbers (along with methodology) can be found here.

The following games have been chosen as they'll be available to the greatest portion of the network-watching audience, per the NFL maps at

Finally, a glossary of all unfamiliar terms can be found here.

It's an adventure, America, and we're on it together!

Denver vs San Francisco (in London) | Sunday, October 31 | 1:00pm ET
Four Factors

• At 53 percentage points, the Broncos feature the largest split between pass and run efficiency relative to league average.
• Arizona and Buffalo are next -- at 38 and 37, respectively -- but both have considerably stronger running than passing games.
• Troy Smith will start at quarterback for the Niners, in place of Alex Smith, who suffered a left shoulder sprain last week.
• The former actually performed decently in 2007 with Baltimore, producing a 5.3 AYPA -- versus Kyle Boller's 3.8 and Steve McNair's 3.9. (League average that year was about 5.5.)
• Not that Boller and McNair were, you know, all-pros.

Green Bay at New York Jets | Sunday, October 31 | 1:00pm ET
Four Factors

• The Jets-Jets-Jets currently feature the largest negative difference of any team between their GWP and actual records: they've been "lucky," as it were, by 2.24 wins. (See full table at end of post.)
• But don't tell Jet fans that.
• Because they'll flip out, is why.
• Jet QB Mark Sanchez has posted a 1.1% interception rate through six games -- good for second-best in the NFL (to Peyton Manning).
• Last year, it was 5.5% -- that is, third-worst among qualified quarterbacks.

Minnesota at New England | Sunday, October 31 | 4:15pm ET
Four Factors

• Randy Moss with New England in 2010 (three games): 22 tgts, 6.3 YPT, 0.15 EPA/P, 0.06 WPA.
• Randy Moss with Minnesota in 2010 (also three games): 23 tgts, 7.2 YPT, 0.01 EPA/P, 0.12 WPA.
• Randy Moss, Randy Moss, Randy Moss.
• BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, among running backs in success rate (52.1% and 51.2%).
• Woodhead and Green-Ellis are Nos. 1 and 4, respectively, among running backs in EPA/P (+0.25 and +0.12).

Pittsburgh at New Orleans | Sunday, October 31 | 8:20pm ET
Four Factors

• Even while rushing for over two more yards per carry than Pierre Thomas (5.5 versus 3.2), Chris Ivory has only a slightly higher success rate (44.4% versus 43.1%) and a slightly lower EPA/P (+0.01 to Thomas's +0.02).
• Ivory also has lower WPA/G: -0.07, compared to Thomas's +0.08.
• Another difference. Pass targets. Pierre Thomas: 5.7 per game. Chris Ivory: 1.0 total.
• Thomas is out for at least another week with a weird ankle injury.
• The reason why it may not matter anyway: Pittsburgh's crazy run defense, which is conceding only 2.8 YPC, best in the league by far.

Houston at Indianapolis | Monday, November 1 | 8:30pm ET
Four Factors

• Indianapolis is third in the league with 7.3 net yards per pass attempts.
• Houston is second-worst in the league in pass efficiency-allowed, at 7.5 net yards per attempt.
• League average is 6.2 net yards per pass attempt.
• That means that, just going by the raw numbers, Indianapolis will post about 8.8 yards per pass attempt.
• Figure 43 pass attempts -- i.e. the Colts' average per game (including sacks) -- and that's about 381 yards.
• Blam!

GWP Records and Luck
Here's the table, sans comment, of GWP wins and losses as compared to actual wins and losses.

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