The Patriots came into Indianapolis and beat the Colts in one of the most hyped mid-season games in NFL history. NE came into the game ranked #1 in efficiency rankings, accounting for strength of schedule. IND came into the game ranked just behind at #2.
This week the Colts will be ranked #1 ahead of the Pats. IND's generic win probability (GWP) -- the probability they would win a game against a league average team at a neutral site-- is 0.92, while NE's is 0.91.
Except for the score, the Colts actually outplayed the Patriots. Given their in-game statistics, it was surprising that NE won the game. One model says IND would have had a 77% chance of winning the game. The 4-point victory by the Patriots came down to one or two critical, high-leverage plays.
Most fans would say, so what? Who cares who was more efficient. The only thing that matters is the score. "You are what your record says you are," says Bill Parcells. That's true, but in-game efficiency stats are very often more indicative of future performance.
Unfortunately for IND, their hopes of an undefeated season are now dashed while NE's are still intact. Updating a previous post, here is NE's probability of finishing the regular season 16-0 accounting for their performance in yesterday's win.
Here are NE's upcoming games and the associated probabilities of winning each one.
So assuming they don't rest starters or suffer a critical injury, NE's probability of finishing the season 16-0 is now:
0.85 * 0.92 * 0.89 * 0.84 * 0.97 * 0.98 * 0.82 = 0.45.