Advanced NFL Power Rankings: Which team is flying under the radar now?

Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

Previously, the Miami Dolphins were the team flying under the radar getting little respect. This week, there is a very clear heir to that "underrated" throne.

Last week, I spent a good portion of my time pointing out the Colts were quite over-ranked by the subjective rankers, and I was scratching my head. This week, instead of making things clearer, the subjective rankers went ahead and moved the Colts up in the rankings, again. Makes perfect sense, right?

On the subject of over-ranked teams, are the Atlanta Falcons really the best team in the NFL? For the last few weeks, I've said no, and this week it's even more obvious that they aren't the best team in the NFL. You'll see later on that the Falcons are actually one of the top teams when it comes to ranking disparity between their subjective and objective rankings. Being undefeated doesn't necessarily make you the best team in the league.

A few weeks ago, it was the Miami Dolphins who were flying under the radar, playing much better football than most people had realized. This week, we have a clear leader in the "under the radar" category. I won't spoil it for you, you'll have to read on to find out.

Division Averages

Division Avg Ranking
NFC North 10.0395
NFC West 14.4342
NFC South 14.5658
NFC East 16.5789
AFC North 17.6842
AFC East 17.7368
AFC South 19.5000
AFC West 21.4605

IT FINALLY HAPPENED! Now all 4 NFC divisions are ranked above all 4 AFC Divisions. Great team effort there, guys!

Stock Rising

Team Week 9 Average Week 10 Average Difference
TB 20.182 14.636 5.546
IND 17.182 11.909 5.273
NO 24.000 19.273 4.727
CAR 29.909 26.182 3.727
SDG 20.818 17.182 3.636

The Colts' climb in the rankings this week are solely thanks to their Subjective Ranking, as they only rose 1 spot in the overall Objective Rankings.

Stock Falling

Team Week 9 Average Week 10 Average Difference
WAS 17.909 22.182 -4.273
PHI 16.727 20.818 -4.091
NYG 2.818 6.546 -3.728
MIN 12.091 15.364 -3.273
ARI 18.273 20.818 -2.545

Interesting that the 5 teams that dropped the most this week in the rankings are all NFC teams.

Subjective Average

Subjective
ESPN Fox CBS USA Today Sports Illustrated ProFootballTalk NFL.com Pro Football Weekly SB Nation Reddit Associated Press Average Change since last period
Falcons 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.000 0.000 No Change
Texans 2 2 3 4 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2.273 0.363 Rising
Bears 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 3.000 1.273 Rising
49ers 4 5 4 2 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 3.818 0.637 Rising
Packers 6 4 5 5 6 5 5 5 7 5 5 5.273 0.636 Rising
Giants 5 9 9 7 5 6 6 7 6 6 6 6.546 -3.728 Falling
Patriots 9 8 6 6 7 7 7 6 9 7 7 7.182 -0.091 Falling
Broncos 8 7 8 9 8 8 10 8 8 8 8 8.182 0.273 Rising
Steelers 10 6 10 8 9 9 9 9 5 10 10 8.636 1.455 Rising
Ravens 7 10 7 10 10 10 8 10 10 9 9 9.091 -0.727 Falling
Seahawks 12 13 12 11 12 12 11 11 12 11 11 11.636 1.000 Rising
Colts 11 14 11 13 11 11 12 12 11 13 12 11.909 5.273 Rising
Lions 14 12 18 12 15 14 16 14 16 15 13 14.455 1.545 Rising
Buccaneers 13 11 15 14 14 15 15 17 17 16 14 14.636 5.546 Rising
Dolphins 15 17 13 20 13 13 14 13 14 14 15 14.636 -2.363 Falling
Vikings 16 15 17 18 16 16 13 15 13 12 18 15.364 -3.273 Falling
Chargers 17 26 14 15 17 17 18 16 15 18 16 17.182 3.636 Rising
Cowboys 18 16 19 16 19 23 17 18 22 17 19 18.546 -2.455 Falling
Saints 22 18 16 17 18 19 19 20 23 23 17 19.273 4.727 Rising
Eagles 21 22 20 19 20 25 20 22 18 22 20 20.818 -4.091 Falling
Cardinals 20 21 22 23 21 21 22 19 20 19 21 20.818 -2.545 Falling
Bengals 23 19 21 21 24 18 21 24 21 21 22 21.364 -1.273 Falling
Redskins 19 20 25 25 23 24 23 23 19 20 23 22.182 -4.273 Falling
Jets 25 23 27 24 25 26 24 21 26 24 24 24.455 0.000 No Change
Rams 24 28 23 22 22 20 25 25 29 25 26 24.455 -0.364 Falling
Panthers 29 27 24 26 29 22 26 27 27 26 25 26.182 3.727 Rising
Raiders 26 25 29 27 27 27 27 26 28 28 27 27.000 -1.636 Falling
Bills 28 29 28 28 26 29 28 28 25 27 28 27.636 -0.727 Falling
Titans 27 30 26 29 30 28 29 30 24 29 29 28.273 -1.818 Falling
Browns 30 24 30 30 28 30 30 29 30 30 30 29.182 -0.727 Falling
Jaguars 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31.000 0.000 No Change
Chiefs 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32.000 0.000 No Change

Observations:

  • No changes to the top team and bottom two teams. More interesting though, the Jets haven't moved at all this week across the board; neat.
  • The top 12 teams are pretty well set. I am still not at all convinced about the Colts though.
  • Brian Billick (Fox) is going against the grain here and ranking the Chargers as 26th, when the lowest any other site has them is 18th. Even with Billick dragging the Chargers down, they still managed to climb 3.5 spots this week.
  • After a promising start to the season in Washington, the Redskins really have begun to unravel.

Subjective Standard Deviation

Subjective
ESPN Fox CBS USA Today Sports Illustrated ProFootballTalk NFL.com Pro Football Weekly SB Nation Reddit Associated Press Standard Deviation Change since last period
Jaguars 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 0.000 0.000 No Change
Chiefs 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 0.000 0.000 No Change
Falcons 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0.000 0.000 No Change
Bears 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 0.426 -0.626 Falling
Texans 2 2 3 4 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 0.617 -0.026 Falling
Seahawks 12 13 12 11 12 12 11 11 12 11 11 0.643 -0.507 Falling
Broncos 8 7 8 9 8 8 10 8 8 8 8 0.716 0.218 Rising
49ers 4 5 4 2 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 0.716 -0.175 Falling
Packers 6 4 5 5 6 5 5 5 7 5 5 0.750 0.236 Rising
Colts 11 14 11 13 11 11 12 12 11 13 12 0.996 -3.200 Falling
Patriots 9 8 6 6 7 7 7 6 9 7 7 1.029 0.515 Rising
Raiders 26 25 29 27 27 27 27 26 28 28 27 1.045 0.066 Rising
Bills 28 29 28 28 26 29 28 28 25 27 28 1.150 -0.631 Falling
Ravens 7 10 7 10 10 10 8 10 10 9 9 1.164 0.393 Rising
Cardinals 20 21 22 23 21 21 22 19 20 19 21 1.192 -1.147 Falling
Giants 5 9 9 7 5 6 6 7 6 6 6 1.305 0.472 Rising
Jets 25 23 27 24 25 26 24 21 26 24 24 1.559 0.000 No Change
Steelers 10 6 10 8 9 9 9 9 5 10 10 1.611 1.323 Rising
Buccaneers 13 11 15 14 14 15 15 17 17 16 14 1.666 -1.767 Falling
Lions 14 12 18 12 15 14 16 14 16 15 13 1.725 -0.761 Falling
Browns 30 24 30 30 28 30 30 29 30 30 30 1.749 0.190 Rising
Bengals 23 19 21 21 24 18 21 24 21 21 22 1.772 -0.009 Falling
Eagles 21 22 20 19 20 25 20 22 18 22 20 1.800 -0.460 Falling
Titans 27 30 26 29 30 28 29 30 24 29 29 1.814 -0.247 Falling
Vikings 16 15 17 18 16 16 13 15 13 12 18 1.920 1.127 Rising
Panthers 29 27 24 26 29 22 26 27 27 26 25 1.946 1.658 Rising
Dolphins 15 17 13 20 13 13 14 13 14 14 15 2.057 0.637 Rising
Cowboys 18 16 19 16 19 23 17 18 22 17 19 2.148 -0.630 Falling
Redskins 19 20 25 25 23 24 23 23 19 20 23 2.167 0.491 Rising
Saints 22 18 16 17 18 19 19 20 23 23 17 2.339 -0.219 Falling
Rams 24 28 23 22 22 20 25 25 29 25 26 2.536 0.070 Rising
Chargers 17 26 14 15 17 17 18 16 15 18 16 3.040 0.383 Rising

Observations:

  • Not all that surprised that the Chargers are at the bottom of this list considering Billick's rankings.
  • Oh hey another neat thing about the Jets: their standard deviation remained the same this week as well. That means, across all 11 subjective rankings sites this week, their rankings stayed the same. I don't think that's ever happened.
  • Remember when I said the top 12 was pretty well set? I was right. It's pretty clear now who the "haves" and "have-nots" are.

Objective Average

Objective
Football Outsiders Team Efficiency Team Rankings Sagarin BeatGraphs Aikman Efficiency Pro Football Reference Cold Hard Football Facts Average Change since last period
49ers 1 2 5 3 1 4 2 2 2.500 0.125 Rising
Texans 8 3 3 1 3 1 4 1 3.000 -0.125 Falling
Bears 5 12 1 2 6 3 1 4 4.250 1.875 Rising
Falcons 9 6 2 6 5 5 8 3 5.500 -0.375 Falling
Packers 3 9 4 7 2 8 7 5 5.625 1.375 Rising
Broncos 4 1 6 4 10 12 5 6 6.000 -1.000 Falling
Patriots 2 11 7 5 7 2 3 12 6.125 0.000 No Change
Giants 7 7 8 8 9 7 6 8 7.500 -2.250 Falling
Seahawks 6 5 11 9 8 14 9 7 8.625 2.250 Rising
Steelers 10 14 9 10 13 9 12 11 11.000 2.125 Rising
Ravens 12 22 10 13 4 11 14 9 11.875 1.375 Rising
Buccaneers 14 16 16 11 14 6 10 10 12.125 3.250 Rising
Cowboys 11 8 14 12 11 18 11 22 13.375 0.875 Rising
Dolphins 13 13 15 14 22 13 13 13 14.500 -4.375 Falling
Lions 16 10 13 17 21 10 16 18 15.125 -0.250 Falling
Panthers 15 4 19 15 18 19 15 17 15.250 6.250 Rising
Vikings 17 23 20 16 15 15 17 21 18.000 -4.375 Falling
Jets 20 18 18 22 16 24 20 16 19.250 0.875 Rising
Redskins 19 17 24 19 27 17 18 20 20.125 -2.500 Falling
Cardinals 22 25 23 23 20 21 19 14 20.875 -2.625 Falling
Saints 18 28 17 20 28 16 21 24 21.500 3.500 Rising
Rams 21 15 21 18 24 28 23 23 21.625 0.000 No Change
Eagles 26 20 25 26 25 22 24 15 22.875 -2.875 Falling
Colts 28 26 12 25 12 27 26 28 23.000 1.625 Rising
Chargers 24 24 26 21 29 20 22 19 23.125 -1.000 Falling
Bengals 23 19 29 24 23 25 25 25 24.125 0.625 Rising
Raiders 27 21 28 28 30 26 28 27 26.875 -3.125 Falling
Bills 25 29 27 27 17 32 29 30 27.000 0.125 Rising
Browns 29 27 30 29 26 23 27 26 27.125 -0.625 Falling
Titans 31 30 22 30 19 29 31 31 27.875 -0.500 Falling
Jaguars 30 31 31 31 31 30 30 29 30.375 -0.250 Falling
Chiefs 32 32 32 32 32 31 32 32 31.875 0.000 No Change

Observations:

  • The nine bottom teams in Objective average are all AFC teams. And that includes the Colts.
  • The top 12 teams are relatively even: seven NFC and five AFC teams; it's not as lopsided at the top as it used to be.
  • Oh hey cool, the Patriots objective average didn't change at all this week, just like the Jets. It's interesting because even though they're on their bye this week, their rankings can still change based on how their past opponents did this week (strength of schedule adjustments).
  • Last week it was BeatGraphs, this week it's Troy Aikman keeping the Chiefs from being the unanimously-selected worst team in the league.

Objective Standard Deviation

Objective
Football Outsiders Team Efficiency Team Rankings Sagarin BeatGraphs Aikman Efficiency Pro Football Reference Cold Hard Football Facts Standard Deviation Change since last period
Chiefs 32 32 32 32 32 31 32 32 0.331 0.000 No Change
Jaguars 30 31 31 31 31 30 30 29 0.696 -0.357 Falling
Giants 7 7 8 8 9 7 6 8 0.866 -1.720 Falling
49ers 1 2 5 3 1 4 2 2 1.323 -0.086 Falling
Steelers 10 14 9 10 13 9 12 11 1.732 -1.712 Falling
Browns 29 27 30 29 26 23 27 26 2.088 0.088 Rising
Texans 8 3 3 1 3 1 4 1 2.179 0.416 Rising
Falcons 9 6 2 6 5 5 8 3 2.179 0.091 Rising
Packers 3 9 4 7 2 8 7 5 2.342 0.163 Rising
Raiders 27 21 28 28 30 26 28 27 2.472 -1.261 Falling
Bengals 23 19 29 24 23 25 25 25 2.619 1.140 Rising
Jets 20 18 18 22 16 24 20 16 2.634 0.607 Rising
Seahawks 6 5 11 9 8 14 9 7 2.690 -0.287 Falling
Vikings 17 23 20 16 15 15 17 21 2.784 -2.530 Falling
Dolphins 13 13 15 14 22 13 13 13 2.916 1.989 Rising
Chargers 24 24 26 21 29 20 22 19 3.100 -1.214 Falling
Cardinals 22 25 23 23 20 21 19 14 3.140 -1.517 Falling
Buccaneers 14 16 16 11 14 6 10 10 3.257 -3.724 Falling
Broncos 4 1 6 4 10 12 5 6 3.279 0.000 No Change
Redskins 19 17 24 19 27 17 18 20 3.333 -0.440 Falling
Bears 5 12 1 2 6 3 1 4 3.382 -0.204 Falling
Eagles 26 20 25 26 25 22 24 15 3.551 0.311 Rising
Patriots 2 11 7 5 7 2 3 12 3.621 0.070 Rising
Lions 16 10 13 17 21 10 16 18 3.621 0.817 Rising
Rams 21 15 21 18 24 28 23 23 3.672 0.592 Rising
Cowboys 11 8 14 12 11 18 11 22 4.241 0.972 Rising
Bills 25 29 27 27 17 32 29 30 4.272 1.904 Rising
Titans 31 30 22 30 19 29 31 31 4.371 -0.397 Falling
Saints 18 28 17 20 28 16 21 24 4.416 0.479 Rising
Panthers 15 4 19 15 18 19 15 17 4.548 -2.505 Falling
Ravens 12 22 10 13 4 11 14 9 4.781 1.290 Rising
Colts 28 26 12 25 12 27 26 28 6.423 0.100 Rising

Observations:

  • Unlike the Jets, the Patriots' standard deviation did not stay the same this week, so even though their overall average ranking stayed the same, they still moved in a few rankings.
  • But the Broncos' deviation did stay the same! So that just means while the Broncos moved down one full spot this week in the Objective rankings, they essentially did so in unison.
  • The Chargers are actually one of the more consistently-ranked teams. Not sure that's a good thing with their highest ranking being 20th, but whatever.
  • Not too surprised to see the Colts at the bottom of this list.

Overall Average

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Average Change since last period
Texans 2.273 3.000 2.636 0.120 Rising
49ers 3.818 2.500 3.159 0.381 Rising
Falcons 1.000 5.500 3.250 -0.187 Falling
Bears 3.000 4.250 3.625 1.574 Rising
Packers 5.273 5.625 5.449 1.006 Rising
Patriots 7.182 6.125 6.653 -0.045 Falling
Giants 6.546 7.500 7.023 -2.989 Falling
Broncos 8.182 6.000 7.091 -0.364 Falling
Steelers 8.636 11.000 9.818 1.790 Rising
Seahawks 11.636 8.625 10.131 1.625 Rising
Ravens 9.091 11.875 10.483 0.324 Rising
Buccaneers 14.636 12.125 13.381 4.397 Rising
Dolphins 14.636 14.500 14.568 -3.369 Falling
Lions 14.455 15.125 14.790 0.648 Rising
Cowboys 18.546 13.375 15.960 -0.790 Falling
Vikings 15.364 18.000 16.682 -3.824 Falling
Colts 11.909 23.000 17.455 3.448 Rising
Chargers 17.182 23.125 20.153 1.319 Rising
Saints 19.273 21.500 20.386 4.114 Rising
Panthers 26.182 15.250 20.716 4.989 Rising
Cardinals 20.818 20.875 20.847 -2.586 Falling
Redskins 22.182 20.125 21.153 -3.386 Falling
Eagles 20.818 22.875 21.847 -3.483 Falling
Jets 24.455 19.250 21.852 0.438 Rising
Bengals 21.364 24.125 22.744 -0.324 Falling
Rams 24.455 21.625 23.040 -0.182 Falling
Raiders 27.000 26.875 26.938 -2.381 Falling
Bills 27.636 27.000 27.318 -0.301 Falling
Titans 28.273 27.875 28.074 -1.159 Falling
Browns 29.182 27.125 28.153 -0.676 Falling
Jaguars 31.000 30.375 30.688 -0.125 Falling
Chiefs 32.000 31.875 31.938 0.000 No Change

Observations:

  • The Falcons now drop to third overall, behind Houston and San Francisco, and just barely ahead of the Bears.
  • Just look at that definite cluster of teams separating the Ravens and Bucs, then the Colts and Chargers, then the Rams and Raiders.
  • The Chiefs are the only team to have the same exact overall average this week.
  • Well at least only the bottom six teams are AFC teams now.

Overall Standard Deviation

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Standard Deviation Change since last period
Chiefs 32.000 31.875 0.223 0.000 No Change
Jaguars 31.000 30.375 0.547 -0.262 Falling
49ers 3.818 2.500 1.207 -0.246 Falling
Giants 6.546 7.500 1.234 -0.925 Falling
Texans 2.273 3.000 1.533 0.283 Rising
Packers 5.273 5.625 1.632 0.069 Rising
Raiders 27.000 26.875 1.791 -0.866 Falling
Steelers 8.636 11.000 2.032 -0.667 Falling
Browns 29.182 27.125 2.153 0.147 Rising
Cardinals 20.818 20.875 2.231 -1.276 Falling
Bears 3.000 4.250 2.303 -0.322 Falling
Seahawks 11.636 8.625 2.344 0.052 Rising
Broncos 8.182 6.000 2.446 -0.307 Falling
Dolphins 14.636 14.500 2.456 0.827 Rising
Patriots 7.182 6.125 2.531 0.146 Rising
Bengals 21.364 24.125 2.562 -0.275 Falling
Falcons 1.000 5.500 2.634 0.188 Rising
Vikings 15.364 18.000 2.663 -0.918 Falling
Lions 14.455 15.125 2.711 0.028 Rising
Buccaneers 14.636 12.125 2.759 -2.983 Falling
Eagles 20.818 22.875 2.866 -0.295 Falling
Redskins 22.182 20.125 2.903 0.139 Rising
Bills 27.636 27.000 2.924 0.872 Rising
Titans 28.273 27.875 3.161 -0.337 Falling
Jets 24.455 19.250 3.306 0.530 Rising
Rams 24.455 21.625 3.369 0.369 Rising
Ravens 9.091 11.875 3.507 0.146 Rising
Saints 19.273 21.500 3.548 0.298 Rising
Cowboys 18.546 13.375 4.094 0.964 Rising
Chargers 17.182 23.125 4.243 0.730 Rising
Panthers 26.182 15.250 6.327 0.144 Rising
Colts 11.909 23.000 6.923 0.556 Rising

Observations:

  • No surprise that the Chiefs have the lowest Standard Deviation, and it's the same as last week.
  • Chargers towards the bottom of this chart, mostly thanks to Billick. Cowboys right behind them, but it's not just one person's fault.
  • Panthers and Colts are at the bottom of the consistency ranking, but for two very different reasons (we'll get to that shortly).
  • On the whole, consistency actually got worse this week (Deviations went up).

Difference in Averages

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Standard Deviation Change since last period
Colts 11.909 23.000 11.091 3.648 Rising
Chargers 17.182 23.125 5.943 4.636 Rising
Falcons 1.000 5.500 4.500 0.375 Rising
Ravens 9.091 11.875 2.784 -2.102 Rising
Bengals 21.364 24.125 2.761 -1.898 Rising
Vikings 15.364 18.000 2.636 1.102 Rising
Steelers 8.636 11.000 2.364 -0.670 Rising
Saints 19.273 21.500 2.227 1.227 Rising
Eagles 20.818 22.875 2.057 -1.216 Rising
Bears 3.000 4.250 1.250 -0.602 Rising
Giants 6.546 7.500 0.955 -1.477 Rising
Texans 2.273 3.000 0.727 0.488 Rising
Lions 14.455 15.125 0.671 1.796 Rising
Packers 5.273 5.625 0.352 -0.739 Rising
Cardinals 20.818 20.875 0.057 0.080 Rising
Raiders 27.000 26.875 -0.125 1.489 Rising
Chiefs 32.000 31.875 -0.125 0.000 No Change
Dolphins 14.636 14.500 -0.136 2.012 Rising
Titans 28.273 27.875 -0.398 -1.319 Rising
Jaguars 31.000 30.375 -0.625 0.250 Rising
Bills 27.636 27.000 -0.636 -0.852 Rising
Patriots 7.182 6.125 -1.057 -0.091 Rising
49ers 3.818 2.500 -1.318 0.512 Rising
Browns 29.182 27.125 -2.057 -0.102 Rising
Redskins 22.182 20.125 -2.057 -1.773 Rising
Broncos 8.182 6.000 -2.182 1.273 Rising
Buccaneers 14.636 12.125 -2.511 2.296 Rising
Rams 24.455 21.625 -2.830 -0.364 Rising
Seahawks 11.636 8.625 -3.011 -1.250 Rising
Cowboys 18.546 13.375 -5.171 -3.330 Rising
Jets 24.455 19.250 -5.205 -0.875 Rising
Panthers 26.182 15.250 -10.932 -2.523 Rising

Observations:

  • The Colts led the "most overrated" list last week, and they do it again this week. And that gap has even grown!
  • As a Chargers fan, I'm thankful for the Colts or else the Chargers would be the most overrated team this week. Instead they'll have to settle for second place.
  • See how the Falcons are pretty overrated still? Said Football Outsiders: "Atlanta has the lowest DVOA of any 8-0 team during the DVOA Era. In fact, even if we included both 8-0 and 7-1 teams, the 2012 Falcons come out ranked 40th out of 43 teams."
  • As much as the Colts are overrated, the Panthers are now vastly underrated. Wow, guess a slow start will really get people to just give up on you. The Panthers are your new "under the radar" team.

Best Match-ups for Week 10

Opponents (Ranking) Game Time Ranking Difference
Houston (2.636) at Chicago (3.625) Sun, Nov. 11 8:20PM EST 0.989
Detroit (14.790) at Minnesota (16.682) Sun, Nov. 11 1:00PM EST 1.892

Clearly the marquee matchup this week is Houston at Chicago. But Detroit at Minnesota should be a good game too.

Worst Match-Ups for Week 8

Opponents (Ranking) Game Time Ranking Difference
Kansas City (31.938) at Pittsburgh (9.818) Mon, Nov. 12 8:30PM EDT 22.120
Buffalo (27.318) at New England (6.653) Sun, Nov. 4 1:00PM EDT 20.665

It's the second week in a row that Buffalo has been on this list. Tough schedule.

Sources

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