The New England Patriots will play the New York Giants in the Super Bowl this Sunday. The Power Rank offers some numbers based predictions on the outcome.
1. It is not 2008. As you might have heard, the Patriots and Giants played in the Super Bowl recently. On February 3, 2008, the Giants pulled off a 17-14 upset over Tom Brady, Randy Moss and the Patriots. While Peter King at SI.com sees many of the same characters this time, this doesn’t mean the teams are similar. The Power Rank gave the 2007 Patriots a 14.7 rating, meaning they were more than 2 touchdowns better than the average NFL team. No other NFL team this past decade has come within 2 points of that year end rating. Our methods predicted that New England would beat New York by 11.1 points in 2008. The Giants cashed in a 19% probability of winning that game. This year, New England has a 8.3 rating, and The Power Rank predicts a point spread of 3.1. The Giants have a 40% chance of pulling the upset.
2. New England’s pass defense really is bad. Many have noted New England’s inability to defend the pass this year. The Patriots ranked next to last in total pass yards given up in the regular season. However, even the best pass defense will give up yards if the opposition throws enough. A better measure of pass defense is yards per pass attempt. But the Patriots don’t look much better by this metric. New England gave up 7.1 yards per pass attempt, 29th out of 32 teams.
3. Expect a lot of points. We also use The Power Rank algorithm to rank offense and defense. These rankings amount to scoring offense and defense that account for strength of schedule. Including the playoffs, New England has scored 32.3 points per game, but we assign an offensive rating of 28.8, still 2nd best in the NFL. This lower rating suggests that New England faced poorer defenses this season. The rating also implies that New England would score 28.8 points against the average NFL defense. New York has scored 25.0 points per game but has a 25.2 offensive rating, 5th best in the NFL. The offense and defense rankings predict a 31.5-28.6 final score for the Super Bowl.
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