The Weekly League: Notes for Week Ten

This week's edition of The Weekly League features:

1. Previews of the Minnesota-Chicago, New England-Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia-Washington games.

2. The GWP win/luck table that makes all the ladies scream.


3. Hella chagrin.

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.

Minnesota at Chicago | Sunday, November 14 | 1:00pm ET
Four Factors

As noted by our host Brian Burke, Jared Allen -- despite having what appears to be an underwhelming year by his standards -- is still second among defensive ends with a 0.96 +WPA this season.
• Allen is, among other things, second in QB hits, with 15.
• That thing about Allen is bad, on account of -- through Week Eight, at least -- Chicago was sporting the worst offensive line (as measure by WPA) in the league.
• Probably a whole bunch of that is from the game where the New York Giants sacked Jay Cutler something like 43 times in the first half.
• Yep. Just checked it out. It was 43 times exactly.

New England at Pittsburgh | Sunday, November 14 | 8:20pm ET
Four Factors

• By GWP, New England ought to be 4-4, not 6-2.
• What that fails to consider, however, is how Bill Belichick is magic.
• So, that's one thing.
• But another thing is how the Steelers feature three of the top five linebackers as measured by WPA (Lawrence Timmons, Jerome Harrison, and LaMarr Woodley).
• Last thing: Carl Bialik of the WSJ says the Steelers might benefit from running Antwaan Randle El in more trick plays.

Philadelphia at Washington | Monday, November 15 | 8:30pm ET
Four Factors

Last week in these pages, I noted how Michael Vick (returning from injury) had been targeting DeSean Jackson (also returning from injury) more than Kevin Kolb had been -- about eight times a game.
• You're never gonna guess how many times Vick targeted Jackson.
• Eight, is how many times.
• Vick averaged +0.35 EPA per play last week versus Indy, and is first among quarterbacks with a +0.29 EPA/P.
• Jackson averaged +0.91 EPA per play last week, and is third among wide receivers with a +0.71 EPA/P.

Generic Wins and Luck
Here's the table, through Week Nine and sans comment, of GWP wins and losses as compared to actual wins and losses.

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3 Responses to “The Weekly League: Notes for Week Ten”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I really like these, I do, but is there any chance you can mix up your criteria for which games you will pick? Basing it on the coverage map means it's always NFC East and North...

  2. Sean S says:

    The green/red shading on the luck factor is confusing.

    If I read it correctly, the ball has been bouncing against San Diego, but their luck factor is shaded green?

  3. Football Polemics says:

    How bad was the Jacksonville strategy of playing for a FG from the 30 yard line? They were moving the ball easily, Texans have the worst pass defense in the NFL, and they basically decided to pack it in and play for the 45 yard FG. Extremely awful coaching.

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