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SCOAR: A look back at 2015's results and a look ahead to Week 1 score predictions

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Updated for the new season just in the nick of time!

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For those of you who still aren't familiar with SCOAR:

SCOAR (SCaled Opponent-Adjusted point Ratio) is explained in detail here, but I'll provide a quick recap. Opponent-adjusted point ratio is the ratio of a team's points to the average points of that team's opponents, normalized with a logarithm. This value is calculated for a team's points for and points allowed then combined for a total rating. These results are then scaled using the average points scored across the league in order to give a result that corresponds directly to points.

For some reason I didn't feel like keeping up with SCOAR after the Divisional round last year, so today you get a jumbo SCOAR with a recap of last year's final results and a preview of the 2016 season. Despite an early exit, the Seahawks managed to finish the 2015 season in first place and carry that ranking over into the 2016 season. Their final five weeks of the season, which serve as the basis for the new season, were very strong. The Week 17 beatdown of the Cardinals (even though they weren't trying) was one of the largest single game SCOAR values of the season.

Looking Back at 2015

SCOAR finished the season with a respectable 166-101 (0.622) record in straight up predictions and a less than stellar 121-119-27 (0.504) against the spread. I was disappointed with how little the system improved over the year going against the spread, especially compared to the inaugural SCOAR season in 2014. The top five of 2015 is rather interesting, as it features the Seahawks (lost in Divisional), Chiefs (lost in Wild Card), Bengals (lost in Wild Card), Panthers (lost in Super Bowl), and Patriots (lost in Conference Championship). Noticeably missing are the Super Bowl Champion Broncos, who finished the year in eighth.

Team W L O-SCOAR O Rank D-SCOAR D Rank SCOAR
1 Seattle Seahawks 11 7 3.53 5 -5.33 2 8.85
2 Kansas City Chiefs 12 6 3.12 7 -5.44 1 8.56
3 Cincinnati Bengals 12 5 3.35 6 -5.17 3 8.51
4 Carolina Panthers 16 2 5.28 2 -2.80 9 8.08
5 New England Patriots 13 5 5.12 3 -2.91 7 8.03
6 Arizona Cardinals 14 4 6.42 1 -0.71 15 7.12
7 Pittsburgh Steelers 11 7 3.64 4 -2.59 10 6.24
8 Denver Broncos 13 4 0.02 15 -4.94 4 4.96
9 Minnesota Vikings 11 6 -0.16 17 -4.71 5 4.55
10 Green Bay Packers 11 7 1.59 9 -2.44 11 4.03
11 New York Jets 10 6 0.09 13 -2.89 8 2.98
12 Buffalo Bills 8 8 1.00 10 -0.59 16 1.59
13 Houston Texans 9 8 -3.30 25 -3.16 6 -0.14
14 Washington Redskins 9 8 0.07 14 1.48 19 -1.41
15 Oakland Raiders 7 9 0.89 11 2.62 23 -1.73
16 New York Giants 6 10 2.57 8 4.80 31 -2.23
17 Detroit Lions 7 9 0.32 12 2.57 22 -2.25
18 Atlanta Falcons 8 8 -3.44 26 -1.02 13 -2.41
19 Philadelphia Eagles 7 9 -0.18 18 2.91 26 -3.10
20 Chicago Bears 6 10 -0.82 20 2.34 21 -3.16
21 St. Louis Rams 7 9 -5.37 29 -2.12 12 -3.25
22 Baltimore Ravens 5 11 -1.37 21 2.66 25 -4.03
23 Jacksonville Jaguars 6 10 -0.09 16 3.96 29 -4.05
24 San Diego Chargers 4 12 -2.03 22 2.25 20 -4.28
25 Indianapolis Colts 8 8 -2.21 23 2.62 24 -4.82
26 Miami Dolphins 6 10 -4.28 27 1.34 18 -5.62
27 New Orleans Saints 6 10 -0.20 19 5.69 32 -5.89
28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 10 -2.87 24 3.21 27 -6.08
29 Dallas Cowboys 4 12 -7.31 31 -0.84 14 -6.46
30 Cleveland Browns 3 13 -4.60 28 3.96 30 -8.56
31 Tennessee Titans 3 13 -5.39 30 3.66 28 -9.06
32 San Francisco 49ers 5 11 -8.51 32 1.05 17 -9.56

On to 2016!

I had intended to re-work the early season methodology during the offseason, since the last few weeks of the prior season are probably not a great indicator. Unfortunately, it's three days before kickoff and this is the first time I've opened my spreadsheets so we're stuck with the same old early season system for this season. One change I will be making is using a "neutral" score to account for home/away games to try and better represent home field advantage. I'll track this behind the scenes and make a switch at some point if it seems like it's helping.

To open the 2016 season, the Seahawks remain in first with a decisive advantage over the second place Cardinals. The Seahawks defensive SCOAR alone is almost equal to the Cardinals total SCOAR. In third place we have the Vikings (SCOAR doesn't adjust for injuries). The Steelers come in at fourth, and the Super Bowl champs debut in fifth. Again, these are based completely on 2015 week 13-17 results and will gradually transition to 2016 results over the first 5 weeks of the season.

Team W L O-SCOAR O Rank D-SCOAR D Rank SCOAR
1 Seattle Seahawks 4 1 8.20 1 -13.08 1 21.29
2 Arizona Cardinals 4 1 5.32 3 -8.78 2 14.10
3 Minnesota Vikings 3 2 4.41 5 -3.53 9 7.94
4 Pittsburgh Steelers 4 1 7.10 2 0.11 18 6.99
5 Denver Broncos 3 2 1.75 12 -3.70 8 5.46
6 Cincinnati Bengals 3 2 2.66 9 -2.44 11 5.10
7 Carolina Panthers 4 1 5.14 4 0.58 19 4.57
8 Kansas City Chiefs 5 0 0.53 15 -3.92 7 4.46
9 Houston Texans 3 2 -3.90 24 -7.38 3 3.48
10 Buffalo Bills 3 2 0.75 14 -2.62 10 3.37
11 Los Angeles Rams 3 2 -1.60 19 -3.97 6 2.37
12 New York Jets 4 1 -2.82 22 -4.68 5 1.86
13 Washington Redskins 4 1 3.88 7 2.82 25 1.06
14 New England Patriots 2 3 0.04 17 -0.93 15 0.98
15 Green Bay Packers 3 2 -0.24 18 -0.89 16 0.64
16 Oakland Raiders 2 3 2.62 10 2.95 26 -0.33
17 Detroit Lions 3 2 1.66 13 2.20 21 -0.53
18 Philadelphia Eagles 3 2 3.59 8 4.21 27 -0.62
19 San Diego Chargers 1 4 -4.52 25 -2.26 13 -2.26
20 New York Giants 1 4 4.01 6 6.30 31 -2.28
21 New Orleans Saints 2 3 0.07 16 2.62 22 -2.55
22 Jacksonville Jaguars 2 3 1.95 11 4.63 29 -2.68
23 Baltimore Ravens 1 4 -3.22 23 -0.47 17 -2.75
24 Cleveland Browns 1 4 -5.32 27 -1.02 14 -4.30
25 Atlanta Falcons 2 3 -9.27 32 -4.72 4 -4.55
26 Chicago Bears 1 4 -2.64 21 2.68 23 -5.32
27 Dallas Cowboys 1 4 -8.47 30 -2.35 12 -6.12
28 San Francisco 49ers 2 3 -5.59 28 2.73 24 -8.32
29 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 4 -4.81 26 4.55 28 -9.36
30 Miami Dolphins 2 3 -8.94 31 1.35 20 -10.29
31 Tennessee Titans 1 4 -2.39 20 8.56 32 -10.95
32 Indianapolis Colts 2 3 -6.19 29 5.21 30 -11.40

Week 1 SCOAR predictions

I do not recommend using these for betting purposes (although you're more than welcome to send me money if they help you).

A reminder that SCOAR doesn't know what a normal football score looks like, so it's bound to put up some very unlikely point totals.

Carolina Panthers 25 Buffalo Bills 22
Denver Broncos 23 Baltimore Ravens 16
Chicago Bears 12 Cincinnati Bengals 18
Houston Texans 25 New York Jets 19
Cleveland Browns 20 Green Bay Packers 23
Philadelphia Eagles 28 Jacksonville Jaguars 27
Minnesota Vikings 35 Oakland Raiders 24
Tennessee Titans 19 New Orleans Saints 27
San Diego Chargers 9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14
Kansas City Chiefs 22 Atlanta Falcons 21
Miami Dolphins 3 Detroit Lions 30
Seattle Seahawks 32 Indianapolis Colts 19
New York Giants 24 New England Patriots 14
Dallas Cowboys 24 Arizona Cardinals 27
Pittsburgh Steelers 30 Los Angeles Rams 20
Washington Redskins 27 San Francisco 49ers 15