This week's edition of The Weekly League features:
1. Rapture-inducing previews of the Cleveland-Miami, Dallas-Indianapolis, Pittsburgh-Baltimore, and New York Jet-New England games.
2. A quiz! and
3. Another quiz, right after the first one!
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.
Finally, a glossary of all unfamiliar terms can be found here.
Cleveland at Miami | Sunday, December 05 | 1:00pm ET
• This game features two of the league's most interesting cases: Peyton Hillis and Cameron Wake.
• Wake, who began his professional career in Canada, is either second or tied for first in sacks, depending on whose numbers you use.
• He's also first in QB Hits, with 21.
• As for Hillis, he's third among all running backs in WPA (0.96) and and seventh in EPA/P (0.09).
• This, from a player who was traded for Brady Quinn this past offseason.
Dallas at Indianapolis | Sunday, December 05 | 4:15pm ET
• We're gonna play a slightly tired game.
• It's called "Guess Who These Frigging Quarterbacks Are!"
• QB #1: 6 GP, -0.23 WPA, 30.8 EPA, -0.04 WPA/G, 0.13 EPA/P, 7.1 net YPA.
• QB #2: 6 GP, +0.17 WPA, 24.7 EPA, +0.03 WPA/G, 0.10 EPA/P, 7.0 net YPA.
• Now... guess who these frigging quarterbacks are!
Pittsburgh at Baltimore | Sunday, December 05 | 8:20pm ET
• "Once a major industrial town, with an economic base focused on steel processing... the city suffered a deindustrialization which cost residents tens of thousands of low-skill, high-wage jobs."
• Guess from which city's -- Pittsburgh or Baltimore's -- Wikipedia page that passage comes?
• "In 2009, Forbes ranked [BLANK] the 7th safest city in terms of violent crime."
• How about that one?
• (Note: only one of those questions is easy to answer.)
New York Jets at New England | Monday, December 06 | 8:30pm ET
• As you'll note, the Patriots and Jets have achieved near-identical GWPs, but by wildly different means.
• New York, for example, ranks 20th in offensive GWP, but fifth in defensive.
• New England, meanwhile, ranks second in offensive GWP, but 23rd in defensive.
• One note is: offensive pass efficiency is more consistent from game to game and is more predictive of winning.
• Another note is: Brian Burke said basically all this earlier in the week at America's most newspapery newspaper.
GWP Wins and Luck
Here's the table, through Week Twelve and sans comment, of GWP wins and losses as compared to actual wins and losses.