Home > NFL > Week 7 NFL Power Rankings: Learning From Point Differential

Week 7 NFL Power Rankings: Learning From Point Differential

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These NFL Power Rankings use a team’s average margin of victory to rank them.  I have not thrown in an objective strength of schedule variable yet.  The Simple Rating System at PFR uses margin of victory and then uses opponents combined margin of victory to establish their baseline for the SRS.  Here, I am working directly off of Margin of Victory as a team-ranking measure, but subjectively adjusting for mis-ordering based in notable variations in early schedule.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Tennessee Titans

3. New York Jets

4. New England Patriots

5. Indianapolis Colts

These 5 AFC teams are the class of the NFL, because they score the most without giving up a ton of points.  There’s a team on here that’s notably missing that would be on the list of most people’s top five power rankings.  While the Baltimore Ravens have opened up with a vicious early schedule, it’s really difficult to grade them up when they are only outscoring the Browns and the Bills on a game to game basis.

6. Philadelphia Eagles

7. New York Giants

I’m glad the NFL media had such a great time lambasting the NFC East for not featuring a team with a winning record after four weeks, because two weeks later, it’s clear they have the two best teams in the conference.

8. Baltimore Ravens

9. Atlanta Falcons

10. Green Bay Packers

11. Kansas City Chiefs

The Ravens and Chiefs are in the same tier right now.  The Chiefs could walk into the playoffs fairly easily this year, but their biggest issue is that if their division doesn’t pose a threat to them, the Chiefs are going to face just one more above average team the rest of the season, which is the Tennessee Titans.  In their 10 other games, the Chiefs play against very winnable opponents.  If the Chiefs are for real, they will beat up on this schedule and get to 10, 11, possibly even 12 wins.  They actually might end up being better than the Ravens, but the Ravens’ offensive struggles have occurred at least in part because of the strength of the Ravens opponents.

12. Detroit Lions

13. New Orleans Saints

14. Chicago Bears

15. Seattle Seahawks

Having the Lions up at 12th is going to shock a lot of observers, but it’s the super bowl champs that are a more controversial pick here, because they’ve got a positive point differential playing a weak schedule.  The Saints may very well not be as good of a team as these NFC also-rans, but until they actually start playing good teams and losing to them as many expect, they can’t go any lower than 12th-15th.

16. Denver Broncos

17. San Diego Chargers

18. Minnesota Vikings

19. Washington Redskins

20. Houston Texans

21. Dallas Cowboys

22. Cincinnati Bengals

Hard to rank these teams although clearly, the Denver Broncos are in a class by themselves, perhaps closer to the group of NFC teams above.  This is the rank of the NFC’s most average teams.  Washington, Dallas, and Minnesota all fit that bill this season.  Houston is 1-1 against those teams and ranks near them in point differential, so this is a good place for them.  Cincinnati is fortunate to be up here, but they’ve at least saved face this year by scoring as many points as they have given up.

23. Miami Dolphins

24. Cleveland Browns

25. St. Louis Rams

The Rams appear to be in a class by themselves within the NFC.  They are in a point differential class with Dallas, Washington, and Minnesota, having actually beaten the Redskins.  However, they have played a significantly worse schedule than those teams, and fall a class below.  Cleveland and Miami have been essentially the same team this year, so Cleveland is probably widely underrated while Miami might be a bit overrated.

26. Oakland Raiders

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

28. San Francisco 49ers

After starting at 0-5, it surprises me that San Francisco is up this high, but they played a decisive second half against the Raiders, won by a meaningful amount, and even at 1-5, San Francisco doesn’t belong with the four worst teams in football.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

30. Arizona Cardinals

31. Carolina Panthers

32. Buffalo Bills

There are six combined wins in this class of “worst teams in the NFL”.  The Jaguars deserve to be a little above the last three, but just a little bit.  The Cardinals are somehow 3-2 without the ability to score or prevent points from being scored.  The Panthers and Bills are a combined 0-10, and you can thank the bye week for truncating those records right there.  With the 49ers on the upswing, and three wins behind the other two teams who are bad enough to challenge for the first pick, the Panthers and Bills will pick first and second in the draft next year.  The order remains to be seen.

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  1. Detroit Sucks
    October 20, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Detroit at #12? this… is BULL-SHIT

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