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Digging for Orange Gold -- Week 6 Picks and Thoughts

Let's take a look at how statistical matchups look for this week's Broncos game, and for the games of our division rivals. I will be highlighting significant advantages for each team based on the premise that a top 8/ bottom 8 ranking in opposing fields (i.e. scoring offense, scoring defense) represents a significant strength going against a significant point of weakness. It's an approximate Bell type of curve thing to choose the bottom or top 8. When I did this before, I focused on differentials of 15 or more in rank, so it should be somewhat similar. This method was at times slightly more reliable than flipping a coin in predicting games before, so let's proceed!

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Let’s start with our game

Denver Broncos

(2-3)

vs.

San Diego Chargers

(3-2)

Rank

Team (off/def)

pts

tot

pass

rush

3rd%

avg. rtg

overall

Denver Broncos

(off)

9

9

5

17

3

8.6

Denver Broncos

San Diego Chargers

(def)

11

11

20

5

22

13.8

13.4

Denver Broncos

(def)

13

18

11

21

28

18.2

San Diego Chargers

San Diego Chargers

(off)

13

23

19

16

10

16.2

15

The only marginal advantage, which doesn’t fit my criteria for a game-breaking type advantage, is the Broncos passing attack versus the San Diego pass defense. Both teams are good at converting 3rd downs but bad at stopping opponents on third down, so look for a fast paced game with little punting. Both teams rate out as average, which would seem to be reflected in their middle of the pack records. If you had to predict this game, I guess you’d go with homefield advantage. But I still like the Broncos to win because I like the Broncos.

Prediction: Broncos 28, Chargers 24

Moving along to the Oakland Raiders Game

Oakland Raiders

(1-3)

vs.

Atlanta Falcons

(5-0)

Rank

Team (off/def)

pts

tot

pass

rush

3rd%

avg. rtg

overall

Oakland Raiders

(off)

29

25

12

32

28

25.2

Oakland Raiders

Atlanta Falcons

(def)

8

17

7

28

21

16.2

26.4

Oakland Raiders

(def)

30

25

27

24

32

27.6

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons

(off)

6

12

8

21

2

9.8

13

This doesn’t look good for the Oakland Raiders. The Falcons have a 4-0 game-breaking advantage matchup. Most tellingly, two of those matchups are in points on offense and on defense. The only thing the Raiders do slightly better than the Falcons is defend against the run. While the running game may be a factor, it’s not likely to save graces. The Raiders are coming off a bye, but the question is whether their coaching staff is good enough to take advantage of that. They should be motivated. But it’s hard not to pick the Falcons.

Pick: Atlanta Falcons 31, Oakland Raiders, 16

And now for the Kansas City game.

Kansas City Chiefs

(1-4)

vs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(1-3)

Rank

Team (off/def)

pts

tot

pass

rush

3rd%

avg. rtg

overall

Kansas City Chiefs

(off)

25

4

23

2

5

11.8

Kansas City Chiefs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(def)

17

27

32

4

3

16.6

14.1

Kansas City Chiefs

(def)

27

10

8

22

15

16.4

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(off)

20

30

29

23

30

26.4

21.5

This is kind of hard to call. The only matchup advantage I would give credence to is the Kansas City advantage in defending the pass. KC is going with a new quarterback this week, so they will probably regress in total yards of offense. The Chiefs are a middle of the road team rankings-wise, while the Buccaneers are middling-poor. Both have scored only one victory. I would give the edge to the home-team Buccaneers. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs won. It’s staggering to think that first-round-pick Brady Quinn hardly has one season’s worth of starts. It’s not likely he’ll find better luck in the floundering Chiefs franchise, though. He’ll need to be more consistent than he’s ever been if he’s going to get the Chiefs wins and secure a starting job. I’m not rooting for the Chiefs, but I am rooting for Quinn.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20, Kansas City Chiefs 10

Next week I will also break down the average winning percentage of top ten teams in each statistical category I track here. I tried to do it today, but I was adding in my head and it was a mess.

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This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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