Thursday, October 29, 2015

NFL Power Rankings - Week 8

Some big changes in the top 10. There are still 5 undefeated teams left heading into Week 7.

1. New England Patriots: 207
Last Week: 2
Notes:  They were able to handle their toughest divisional match-up of the season. The Dolphins are playing their best football right now and should give the Patriots a run for their money, but Brady & Co will win this one as well. 

2. Green Bay Packers: 183
Last Week: 1
Notes:  Rodgers and team will show why this 6-0 team is significantly better than the 6-0 Broncos.

3. Cincinnati Bengals:178
Last Week: 3
Notes: Their next two games are against divisional opponents (Steelers & Browns). If they win those, they're pretty much a lock for the division.

4. Carolina Panthers: 172
Last Week: 5
Notes: They continue to show that they're the real deal. The first place Panthers of 2015 is significantly better than the first place Panthers of 2014.

5. Arizona Cardinals 162
Last Week: 6
Notes: A closer match-up than what was expected against the Ravens. Their defense should have a field day though against the Browns next week.

6. Denver Broncos: 153
Last Week: 4
Notes: 6-0 is 6-0, but they are not as good as their record indicates. Every game, with the exception of the terrible Lions, was decided by 7 points or less. Don't get me wrong, they are a good team, but they are not at the level of the Packers, Patriots, Bengals, and Panthers.

7. Atlanta Falcons: 146
Last Week: 7
Notes: If I were to say the Falcons would be 6-1 at the beginning of this season, you would likely say that's easily good enough for first place in the NFC South. Not this year with how the Panthers are playing. Outside of two Panthers games and possibly the Colts, they have a fairly easy schedule for the rest of the year and should be able to get back into the playoffs.

8. New York Jets: 102
Last Week: 8
Notes: Despite the loss, they continue to look great. The 4-2 Jets are looking more and more like the wild card favorite in the AFC.

9. Minnesota Vikings: 73

Last Week: 11
Notes: This team doesn't get as much respect / credit as the other above .500 teams, likely due to who they've beaten. Outside of their week 1 loss to the 49ers though, they're only loss was by 3 against the undefeated Broncos. With the Falcons looking like the only solid wild card team, they look like the favorite for a 5 or 6 seed.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers: 65
Last Week: 9
Notes: Even with the loss, they're doing better without Ben than they expected. That being said, the longer he's out, the harder it will be for the Steelers to compete for a playoff spot.

11. New York Giants: 47
Last Week: 14
Notes: With how the rest of the NFC East is playing out, they look to be (barely) the favorite to win the division, but they will struggle against anybody they go against in the playoffs if they don't improve their pass rush.

12. Seattle Seahawks: 39
Last Week: 15

Notes: A victim of a brutal schedule, but they're still underperforming with a 3-4 record. All of their losses were against undefeated teams with the exception of the Rams who they always seem to struggle against. They should be able to win against the Romo-less Cowboys, but the following matchup against the Cardinals will be really interesting.

13. Philadelphia Eagles: 30
Last Week: 10
Notes: Easily the Giants biggest competition for the NFC East. They're next four games are against teams with a combined 8-17 record. They need to win 3 or 4 of these games.

14. Miami Dolphins: 23
Last Week: 17

Notes: They're looking ridiculously better these last two weeks under a new head coach.

15. Oakland Raiders: 14
Last Week: 16
Notes:  Fans have to be happy with how the Raiders are playing, even if they don't end up making the playoffs this year.

16. Buffalo Bills: 11
Last Week: 12
Notes: A comeback that still resulted in a loss against a terrible Jaguars team. After looking like a potential wild card threat, they might end up last in the AFC East.

17. St. Louis Rams: 9
Last Week: 19

Notes: The toughest team to rank. Some weeks they look like a playoff-caliber team and other weeks they are at the level of the Jaguars, 49ers, and Lions. 

18. New Orleans Saints: -17
Last Week: 23
Notes: The last two weeks the Saints look more like what we would expect out of Sean Payton / Drew Brees led team. Outside of Packers / Broncos, a game against the Giants might be the most interesting of the week.

19, Washington Redskins: -18
Last Week: 25
Notes: Despite being 3-4 and only one game out of the lead, I can't see this team competing for the NFC East. Even with their struggles, the Giants and Eagles look a lot better.

20. Indianapolis Colts: -24
Last Week: 13
Notes: Andrew Luck is definitely not playing at the level we expect from him. The Colts are lucky to be in the division they are in because of 7-9 should be good enough to win.

21. Kansas City Chiefs: -42
Last Week: 28
Notes: The Chiefs should be able to make it 2 in a row with a game against the Lions.

22. Dallas Cowboys: -50
Last Week: 18
Notes: If it wasn't clear the last two weeks, it's certainly clear now that they will continue to struggle without Romo (even if they looked better with Cassell). 

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: -56
Last Week: 22
Notes: They have a very tough matchup ahead against the Falcons.

24. San Diego Chargers: -63
Last Week: 21
Notes:  Rivers is having a career season, but the Chargers are having one of their worst seasons since he joined the team.

25. Cleveland Browns: -69
Last Week: 20
Notes: They are starting to look like the Browns we are all used to.

26. Houston Texans: -73
Last Week: 24
Notes:  The biggest mess of the season. Releasing Mallet had to be done.

27. Tennessee Titans: -73
Last Week: 26
Notes:  Better than their 1-5 record, but not by much. With the way the Colts are playing they do have a shot of at least competing for the rest of the season.

28. Chicago Bears: -76

Last Week: 30
Notes: Hopefully the bye week did this team some good and they can forget about that tough loss against the Lions.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: -85
Last Week: 32
Notes: They almost blew it London, but hung on for the win. Even allowing the Bills to come back like that just shows how bad this team is. 

30. Baltimore Ravens: -87
Last Week: 27
Notes: Another case of a team that's better than their record, but at this point they're looking like they're done for the season.

31. San Francisco 49ers: -109
Last Week: 29
Notes: Back to 31 after another loss.

32. Detroit Lions: -126
Last Week: 31
Notes: It's crazy to think this was a playoff team last season.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

NFL Power Rankings - Week 7

Some big changes in the top 10. There are still 5 undefeated teams left heading into Week 7.

1. Green Bay Packers: 181
Last Week: 1
Notes:  Was a nail biter, but the Packers pull off the win and remain undefeated. Even though they're facing an undefeated team on the road, the Packers are the better team and should win.

2. New England Patriots: 178
Last Week: 2
Notes: Wasn't the blow out I expected it to be, but the Patriots proved how they are still the elite in the AFC.

3. Cincinnati Bengals:176
Last Week: 5
Notes: This is the best the Bengals have looked with Andy Dalton. 

4. Denver Broncos: 151
Last Week: 6
Notes: Wasn't pretty and Peyton continues to struggle, but the Broncos pull of the win and remain undefeated. They have an extremely tough match up against the Packers next week.

5. Carolina Panthers: 139
Last Week: 7
Notes: The weakest out of the undefeated teams - they have yet to face a team with a .500 record or above. They face a more challenging stretch of 3 games against the Eagles, Colts, and Packers which will show if this is team is truly as good as their record is.

6. Arizona Cardinals 136
Last Week: 3
Notes: A surprising loss to the Steelers, but the Cardinals look, by far, the best in the NFC West still.

7. Atlanta Falcons: 125
Last Week: 4
Notes: Are the Saints better than they've been playing or are the Falcons not as good as their record? Probably a combination of both.

8. New York Jets: 119
Last Week: 8
Notes: It's not just their defense that's winning games - this team is winning with their offense too and is proving that they are the real deal this year. They face their toughest match up so far against the Patriots next week.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers: 90

Last Week: 10
Notes: Give this team credit for winning two in a row without Ben (including one against a very good Cardinals team). He should be returning soon which would make this team good enough to beat anyone in the league.

10. Philadelphia Eagles: 53
Last Week: 15
Notes: They didn't play well, but certainly outplayed the Giants and have claimed first place of the NFC East.

11. Minnesota Vikings: 44

Last Week: 12
Notes: Their next 4 games: Lions, Bears, Rams, and Raiders are all winnable. This team could quietly become 6-2 halfway through the season.

12. Buffalo Bills: 29

Last Week: 11
Notes: They should continue their pattern of win followed by loss followed by win with a game against the Jaguars next week.

13. Indianapolis Colts: 27

Last Week: 13
Notes: Luck returns, but it wasn't good enough to beat the Patriots. With the rest of the AFC South playing terribly, this division should still easily be theirs.

14. New York Giants: 20
Last Week: 9
Notes: Their worst game of the season. They looked terrible on all sides of the ball. Fortunately for them, they have a winnable game next week against Romo-less Cowboys.

15. Seattle Seahawks: 2
Last Week: 14
Notes: Even though they've been keeping games close, it's just not the same Seahawks team.

16. Oakland Raiders: -14
Last Week: 17
Notes: The upcoming game against the Chargers could decide who gets 2nd place in the division. 

17. Miami Dolphins: -15
Last Week: 27

Notes: They responded to Philbin getting fired in a big way and played their best game of the season.

18. Dallas Cowboys: -28
Last Week: 20
Notes: The Cowboys had a good bye week with the Giants and Redskins losing.

19. St. Louis Rams: -29
Last Week: 22
Notes: The Rams seem only capable of playing their best against division rivals which means a loss to the Browns is very possible.

20. Cleveland Browns: -34
Last Week: 19
Notes: At least they kept the game competitive, which is likely what last year's and the previous years Browns teams would not be able to do. They have a long way to go, but at least the Browns are showing improvements.

21. San Diego Chargers: -37
Last Week: 21

Notes: Philip Rivers throws for 503 yards and still gets the loss. Unbelievable. 

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: -42
Last Week: 24
Notes: Will be a good / bad (however you want to view it) match up against the Redskins this week.

23. New Orleans Saints: -43
Last Week: 29
Notes: Have the Saints found their way? A tough road match-up against the Colts will have it figured out one way or the other.

24. Houston Texans: -44
Last Week: 28
Notes:  Well they proved that they're not the worst in the terrible AFC South, but the Texans are far removed from the team that was just shy of the playoffs a year ago.

25, Washington Redskins: -47
Last Week: 16
Notes: Technically, the NFC East is up for grabs, but the Redskins need to win against the team like Tampa Bay next week to really have a shot.

26. Tennessee Titans: -57
Last Week: 18
Notes:  This team's woes continue with Mariota spraining his MCL.

27. Baltimore Ravens: -59
Last Week: 23
Notes: The last time the Ravens were under .500 at this point of the season was in 2005.

28. Kansas City Chiefs: -67
Last Week: 25
Notes: The losses continue to pile up for Andy Reid and the Chiefs, losers of 5 straight.

29. San Francisco 49ers: -77
Last Week: 31
Notes: The 49ers look a lot better these last two weeks. Should be a good match up against the Seahawks Thursday.

30. Chicago Bears: -78
Last Week: 26
Notes: The Bears give the Lions their first win of the season.

31. Detroit Lions: -102
Last Week: 32
Notes: They had to fight hard for it, but the Lions finally get a win.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars: -108
Last Week: 30
Notes: Bortles looks decent, but the Jaguars continue to look like the worst team in the league.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

NFL Power Rankings - Week 6

Every year, we create NFL power rankings based on algorithm, starting about 1/3 of the way of the season. This is based on record, opponent, points scored versus points against, and a few other factors with the total score being listed next to the team name. Here is the first one we're doing for the 2015-2016 season.

1. Green Bay Packers: 152
Notes:  With Seattle playing well below expectations, they look like the team to beat in the NFC.

2. New England Patriots: 151
Notes: Patriots are a great team, but seem to play even better with a chip on their shoulder. They will likely look to rack up a ton of points next week against the Colts after all that took place in the offseason.

3. Arizona Cardinals 149
Notes: With the exception of the loss to the Rams, the Cardinals have been dominating each game. The offense was expected to be good, but their defense has been impressive.

4. Atlanta Falcons: 148
Notes: Despite the fact that they squeaked by a couple of wins and played all sub .500 teams (minus the Giants), 5-0 is 5-0.  They won't face an above .500 team until the Colts in week 11.

5. Cincinnati Bengals:143
Notes: 5-0 for the first time since 1988, the last time they went to the Super Bowl. They look like the best team in the AFC minus the Patriots.

6. Denver Broncos: 123
Notes: Their defense is the reason this team is undefeated so far, not Peyton Manning.

7. Carolina Panthers: 111
Notes: After last year, who would have thought the NFC South would have 2 undefeated teams at this point in the season? They faced pretty easy competition and have their first true "test' against the Seahawks on the road.

8. New York Jets: 83
Notes: This team reminds me a lot of the Jets during the first two of years Sanchez's career. Decent team, great defense, and a QB that's mediocre but competent enough to win games.

9. New York Giants: 56
Notes: Another game winning drive for Eli that puts the Giants in first by themselves in the NFC East. If it wasn't for poor clock management and play calling in the 4th quarter of their first two games, this team could have been 5-0.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers: 56
Notes: A big win without Ben. Could be a deciding game for a wildcard when you factor in Ben coming back in two weeks, the Steelers schedule, and other AFC teams.

11. Buffalo Bills: 52
Notes: The Bills cut penalties and squeaked by a win against the Titans. With McCoy and Watkins expected to come back this week (and Taylor likely not missing any playing time), Bills are in good shape to capture a wildcard. However, next week will be a big challenge against the Bengals.

12. Minnesota Vikings: 13
Notes: Definitely a different, and better, team with Adrian Peterson back.

13. Indianapolis Colts: 12
Notes: The Colts are 2-0 without Luck (even though those opponents were the Jaguars and Texans). Don't expect that to hold up against the Patriots next week.

14. Seattle Seahawks: 11
Notes: Not the same team as last year. After back to back Super Bowl appearances, this team might not even make the playoffs.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: 6
Notes: Chip Kelley better figure it out quickly with the Giants looking great.

16, Washington Redskins: -9
Notes: A better team with Cousins over RG3, but not good enough to be a playoff team.

17. Oakland Raiders: -14
Notes: Much better than last year. The Raiders of last year would not have been even close to beating the Broncos of this year. I can't remember the last time the Raiders were above 20 in the Power Rankings.

18. Tennessee Titans: -14
Notes: After looking great the first game of the season, the Titans have started to fizzle out. 

19. Cleveland Browns: -21
Notes: A nice win by the Browns, but they have a brutal five game stretch coming up.

20. Dallas Cowboys: -25
Notes: They need to figure out how to win without Romo against the Giants or it might be too late by the time he returns.

21. San Diego Chargers: -25
Notes: Rivers looked good, but the Chargers fall to 2-3 with a loss to the Ben-less Steelers.

22. St. Louis Rams: -27
Notes: Definitely better than their 2-3 start. 2 of the losses were against the Steelers with Ben and the Packers and 1 was against the Redskins who they always seem to struggle against. They are 2-0 against division teams and have a stretch of 5 winnable games coming up.

23. Baltimore Ravens: -44
Notes: This team looks like the worst in the AFC North after the Browns held that title for so long.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: -46
Notes: They already matched their win total of last season, but this team still has a long way to go before becoming competitive.

25. Kansas City Chiefs: -53
Notes: This team had playoff expectations heading into this year, but might end up with one of the worst records in the NFL.

26. Chicago Bears: -56
Notes: Many had them pegged as being the worst, or one of the worst, in the NFL. They are better than that, but will struggle to reach .500.

27. Miami Dolphins: -61
Notes: Philbin is the first coach let go this season and with good reason.

28. Houston Texans: -64
Notes: A game against the Jaguars could decide who ends up in last in the subpar AFC South.

29. New Orleans Saints: -73
Notes: Wow, who would have thought the Saints would be this awful this season. Is this the end of Drew Brees?

30. Jacksonville Jaguars: -84
Notes: Bortles is showing signs of being a good starting QB, but it's not enough for this bad Jags team.

31. San Francisco 49ers: -98
Notes: So close, but they couldn't pull off the upset. With them being in the toughest division in the league, a 2-14 or 3-13 record is quite possible.

32. Detroit Lions: -122
Notes: The only winless team. After being in the playoffs last year, Caldwell is definitely on the hot seat after this bad start.