Friday, February 28, 2014

NFL Wrapup: APR's biggest upsets

Finally got around to finishing this. Better late then never, though, right? Right?

Dishonorable Mention: games that just missed the top 10

  • Week 7: Andrew Luck and the Colts shred the Broncos suspect defense.

  • Week 2: The Titans can't quite get past the Texans, and instead give them their last win of the season.

  • Week 15: The Saints go into St. Louis, and look like dopes against the Rams. Again. (To be fair, the 2013 Rams are a lot better than they were in 2011.)

  • Week 5: The Colts somehow score 34 points on the Seahawks, and give them their first loss of the season.

  • Week 9: The Browns have one of a few really good games this season, and gave the Ravens one of the losses that kept them out of the playoffs this year.

APR's Top 10 Upsets of the 2012 Season

  1. Week 15: Chargers 27, Broncos 20 (ρ=1.1438)
    The Broncos had a pretty ordinary defense this season, but for the most part, their record setting offense was more than able to make up the difference. In this game, the Chargers' defense was able to slow down the Broncos enough (holding them to a season low 20 points), and the Chargers' offense was able to control the clock and make sure Peyton Manning and the Broncos' offense spent a lot of time on the sidelines.

  1. Week 10: Jaguars 29, Titans 27 (ρ=1.1511)
    For the first half of their season, the Jaguars looked like they were going to have a chance to go 0-16 this season. Then they put together a solid game on both offense and defense, shocking the Titans by getting their first win.

  1. Week 7: Bears 41, Redskins 45 (ρ=1.1580)
    This is another case of a middle-of-the-road team losing to a really bad one. Even if you take into account one touchdown came on a pick 6, this was a lot of points for the Bears' defense to give up, especially considering the Redskins scored 27 points or less in all but two games this season.

  1. Week 5: Chargers 17, Raiders 27 (ρ=1.1823)
    The Raiders mostly didn't have a very good defense this season; this was one of the few exceptions. They actually held the Chargers to 3 points until the 4th quarter. The Chargers mounted an attempt at a late come back, but the Oakland defense intercepted Philip Rivers on the Chargers last two drives, sealing the deal.

  1. Week 1: Texans 31, Chargers 28 (ρ=1.1972)
    The Chargers managed to establish a 21-point lead with a touchdown on their first drive of the 3rd quarter. But after that, the Texans came roaring back, scoring an unanswered 24 points (including a critical pick 6). Another ugly loss for the Chargers.

  1. Week 7: Patriots 27, Jets 30 (ρ=1.1994)
    This was a very ugly game for Tom Brady. Under 50% completion rate, under 5 yards an attempt passing, no touchdowns and an interception. Somehow the Patriots did manage to score 27 points, and force overtime. But in their final possession, the offense could only manage one first down, and their defense couldn't keep the Jets out of field goal range.

  1. Week 2: Panthers 23, Bills 24 (ρ=1.2023)
    Part of this was a defensive breakdown by the Panthers' defense, only the Saints scored more points on them this season. Another issue in this game was the Panthers' offense twice settling for field goals after having goal-to-go situations.

  1. Week 9: Chargers 24, Redskins 30 (ρ=1.2196)
    The Chargers could only score 24 points on the the Redskins very bad defense that mostly gave up a lot more points this season. Meanwhile, the Redskins scored 30 points on the Chargers

  1. Week 9: Saints 20, Jets 26 (ρ=1.2332)
    This is maybe not totally fair to the Jets, who did manage to claw their way to an 8-8 record, thanks in part to the Dolphins pissing away their chance to get into the playoffs. But along with those 8 wins, the Jets also had 7 losses by double digits, including 4 by 20+ points. And the Saints, who with one more win, would have the NFC's #2 seed, could not beat them.

  1. Week 4: Bengals 6, Browns 17 (ρ=1.2435)
    The Browns actually started out looking pretty good this season, with a decent defense, and (when Brian Hoyer started at quarterback) an offense to match. One of the results was this defeat of their division rival. But continued injuries at quarterback, along with a team that gave up on their season, meant the Browns finished their sixth season in a row with double digit losses.

None of these would qualify for a spot on APR's top 25 regular season upsets.

I always reserve the right to remove a game from the list when it's a case of a playoff bound team resting late in the season. That didn't happen this year.

Biggest Upsets According to the Line

Winning teams in bold. Teams favored by 10 or more points were 28-6-0 this year.

1Titans 16, Steelers 9 Steelers -7
6Rams 38, Texans 13 Texans -7
7Broncos 33, Colts 39 Broncos -7
13Jaguars 32, Browns 28 Browns -7
15Packers 37, Cowboys 36 Cowboys -7
16Colts 23, Chiefs 7 Chiefs -7
2Chargers 33, Eagles 30 Eagles -7½
7Bills 23, Dolphins 21 Dolphins -8
16Giants 23, Lions 20 Lions -8½
5Jets 30, Falcons 28 Falcons -9½
10Rams 38, Colts 8 Colts -9½
12Buccaneers 24, Lions 21Lions -9½
3Colts 27, 49ers 7 49ers -10
12Jaguars 13, Texans 6 Texans -10
15Chargers 27, Broncos 20Broncos -10
9Bears 27, Packers 20 Packers -10½
16Cardinals 17, Seahawks 10Seahawks -10½
10Jaguars 29, Titans 27 Titans -11