2012 Advanced NFL Power Rankings: Week 17

Stephen Brashear

The Seattle Seahawks keep rolling, and they seem to be better than anyone wants to give them credit for.

Here we are, the penultimate edition of the Power Rankings consensus post. It's been an interesting year, to say the least. We've seen the rise of the NFC as the powerhouse conference in the NFL. We've seen what were once strong teams falter this year. And we've seen the AFC West relegated to its rightful place as the "Laughing Stock" division.

Even though the Colts have actually become even more over-rated this week, I'm not going to harp on that. No, I'll leave the Colts alone this week (mostly). Instead I'd like to give the Seahawks some love.

Something baffles me about the subjective rankers. You'll see in a moment that they are almost unanimous in their agreement that the Seahawks are the fifth-best team in the NFL. In fact, some still believe that the 49ers are a better team than the Seahawks, even though Seattle completely embarrassed San Francisco and their vaunted defense.

What is it about Seattle that makes people not take them seriously? They've scored 150 points in the last three games alone. In fact, they've outscored their last three opponents -- two of which were division rivals, mind you -- by a margin of 150-30. That's just your standard five-times win margin.

Is it because of the contested game against the Packers? Will we ever know?

Division Averages

Division Avg Ranking
NFC West 12.8194
NFC North 13.2083
NFC South 14.3056
AFC North 15.5833
NFC East 16.2639
AFC East 18.2222
AFC South 20.3472
AFC West 21.2500

The NFC East dropped quit a bit this week as a division, allowing the AFC North to jump ahead of them. No longer is the entire NFC stronger than the AFC. Awww, who am I kidding? Of course the NFC is better this year.

Stock Rising

Team Week 16 Average Week 17 Average Difference
SDG 24.753 21.388 3.365
MIN 15.792 13.575 2.217
BAL 12.195 10.238 1.957
GB 6.195 4.300 1.895
STL 17.961 16.188 1.773

Hey sweet, the Chargers are at the top of this list! Wait, you mean this hurts their draft positioning? Crap.

Stock Falling

Team Week 16 Average Week 17 Average Difference
NYG 9.409 12.650 -3.241
SF 2.123 4.975 -2.852
HOU 4.955 7.375 -2.420
TEN 25.234 27.013 -1.779
DAL 13.292 15.050 -1.758

40% of this list is from the NFC East.

Subjective Average

Subjective
ESPN Fox CBS USA Today Sports Illustrated ProFootballTalk NFL.com Pro Football Weekly Reddit Associated Press Average Change since last period
Broncos 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.100 0.446 Rising
Falcons 2 3 2 1 3 2 2 2 2 2 2.100 1.809 Rising
Patriots 5 2 3 3 4 4 3 3 4 4 3.500 0.500 Rising
Packers 4 4 4 4 2 3 4 5 3 3 3.600 2.218 Rising
Seahawks 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 5 5 5.200 1.800 Rising
49ers 3 6 6 6 6 7 7 4 6 6 5.700 -3.882 Falling
Texans 7 9 7 7 7 6 6 7 7 7 7.000 -3.091 Falling
Redskins 9 8 9 9 8 8 9 8 8 9 8.500 -0.409 Falling
Ravens 10 7 11 8 10 11 8 9 9 8 9.100 1.718 Rising
Bengals 11 11 8 10 12 10 10 10 12 11 10.500 1.409 Rising
Colts 8 12 10 11 9 13 12 11 10 10 10.600 0.127 Rising
Vikings 12 10 14 12 11 9 11 12 11 12 11.400 2.327 Rising
Bears 13 13 12 13 13 14 14 13 13 13 13.100 1.627 Rising
Cowboys 14 14 13 14 14 12 13 14 14 14 13.600 -1.873 Falling
Giants 15 17 15 16 15 15 15 15 15 15 15.300 -4.482 Falling
Saints 17 15 22 15 16 16 17 16 16 16 16.600 1.127 Rising
Steelers 18 16 16 17 18 17 16 17 19 17 17.100 -1.554 Falling
Rams 16 18 17 18 17 18 18 18 17 18 17.500 1.136 Rising
Dolphins 19 19 21 20 19 20 19 19 18 19 19.300 0.518 Rising
Panthers 20 20 18 19 20 19 20 20 20 20 19.600 0.673 Rising
Chargers 21 23 20 22 21 21 22 21 22 21 21.400 2.964 Rising
Buccaneers 22 22 19 21 22 24 21 23 21 22 21.700 -1.427 Falling
Browns 24 21 25 23 23 22 24 24 23 23 23.200 -0.654 Falling
Jets 23 27 24 24 25 26 23 22 26 24 24.400 -1.582 Falling
Bills 25 29 26 28 27 23 25 25 24 25 25.700 -0.427 Falling
Titans 27 26 23 25 24 25 27 29 27 26 25.900 -1.718 Falling
Cardinals 26 25 27 26 26 27 29 27 29 27 26.900 0.282 Rising
Lions 28 28 28 27 28 28 26 26 25 28 27.200 0.255 Rising
Eagles 29 24 29 29 29 29 28 28 28 29 28.200 0.346 Rising
Raiders 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30.000 -0.182 Falling
Jaguars 31 31 32 32 31 31 31 31 31 31 31.200 0.073 Rising
Chiefs 32 32 31 31 32 32 32 32 32 32 31.800 -0.073 Falling

Observations:

  • Broncos are a near-unanimous pick for the top spot. Do they deserve it? I contend they do not. While a 10-game winning streak is certainly impressive, Denver has had the seventh-easiest schedule this year (according to Football Outsiders) and plays in the AFC West.
  • CBS really has an axe to grind with the Saints.
  • Outside of that ranking though, not too many "WTF?" moments, the board is generally in agreement with each other.
  • Actually, I take that back: ESPN. Seattle just beat the 49ers handily and yet ESPN still has the 49ers as three spots higher than the Seahawks? WTF ESPN!?

Subjective Standard Deviation

Subjective
ESPN Fox CBS USA Today Sports Illustrated ProFootballTalk NFL.com Pro Football Weekly Reddit Associated Press Standard Deviation Change since last period
Raiders 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 0.000 -0.575 Falling
Broncos 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 0.300 -0.482 Falling
Seahawks 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 5 5 0.400 0.400 Rising
Jaguars 31 31 32 32 31 31 31 31 31 31 0.400 -0.045 Falling
Chiefs 32 32 31 31 32 32 32 32 32 32 0.400 -0.045 Falling
Redskins 9 8 9 9 8 8 9 8 8 9 0.500 0.212 Rising
Bears 13 13 12 13 13 14 14 13 13 13 0.539 -0.881 Falling
Falcons 2 3 2 1 3 2 2 2 2 2 0.539 -0.701 Falling
Giants 15 17 15 16 15 15 15 15 15 15 0.640 -1.258 Falling
Panthers 20 20 18 19 20 19 20 20 20 20 0.663 -1.200 Falling
Cowboys 14 14 13 14 14 12 13 14 14 14 0.663 -1.047 Falling
Rams 16 18 17 18 17 18 18 18 17 18 0.671 -0.210 Falling
Texans 7 9 7 7 7 6 6 7 7 7 0.775 -0.308 Falling
Dolphins 19 19 21 20 19 20 19 19 18 19 0.781 -1.117 Falling
Chargers 21 23 20 22 21 21 22 21 22 21 0.800 -0.498 Falling
Packers 4 4 4 4 2 3 4 5 3 3 0.800 0.225 Rising
Patriots 5 2 3 3 4 4 3 3 4 4 0.806 -0.047 Falling
Steelers 18 16 16 17 18 17 16 17 19 17 0.943 0.445 Rising
Browns 24 21 25 23 23 22 24 24 23 23 1.077 -0.799 Falling
Lions 28 28 28 27 28 28 26 26 25 28 1.077 -0.296 Falling
Bengals 11 11 8 10 12 10 10 10 12 11 1.118 -0.857 Falling
49ers 3 6 6 6 6 7 7 4 6 6 1.187 0.471 Rising
Cardinals 26 25 27 26 26 27 29 27 29 27 1.221 0.108 Rising
Buccaneers 22 22 19 21 22 24 21 23 21 22 1.269 -0.387 Falling
Vikings 12 10 14 12 11 9 11 12 11 12 1.281 -0.005 Falling
Ravens 10 7 11 8 10 11 8 9 9 8 1.300 -0.396 Falling
Colts 8 12 10 11 9 13 12 11 10 10 1.428 0.566 Rising
Eagles 29 24 29 29 29 29 28 28 28 29 1.470 0.688 Rising
Jets 23 27 24 24 25 26 23 22 26 24 1.497 -0.831 Falling
Titans 27 26 23 25 24 25 27 29 27 26 1.640 -0.840 Falling
Bills 25 29 26 28 27 23 25 25 24 25 1.735 0.079 Rising
Saints 17 15 22 15 16 16 17 16 16 16 1.908 0.198 Rising

Observations:

  • Huh ... unanimous agreement with the Raiders as the third-worst team in the NFL.
  • I told you the rankings were pretty consistent, right? Well, let's compare this week to Week 1:
    • Week 1: Lowest: 0.904; Highest: 3.182
    • Week 17: Lowest: 0.000; Highest: 1.908
  • In fact, in Week 1, only 12 teams had a lower Standard Deviation than the team with the highest Standard Deviation in week 17. I call that "agreement"
  • Interesting that the teams in the middle of the pack are actually more consistently-ranked than teams closer to the top- and bottom-10.

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
Seahawks 1 3 2 2 5 2 1 1 2.125 1.589 Rising
Broncos 2 1 1 3 9 5 4 2 3.375 -0.232 Falling
Patriots 3 9 4 1 4 1 2 7 3.875 -0.304 Falling
49ers 5 2 5 4 3 7 3 5 4.250 -1.821 Falling
Packers 4 5 3 6 6 8 5 3 5.000 1.571 Rising
Falcons 11 6 6 5 1 4 7 4 5.500 0.643 Rising
Texans 13 7 9 8 7 3 9 6 7.750 -1.750 Falling
Bears 6 12 10 7 8 6 6 8 7.875 1.839 Rising
Redskins 8 8 8 12 11 12 11 10 10.000 -0.857 Falling
Giants 12 11 14 9 2 11 8 13 10.000 -2.000 Falling
Ravens 10 18 12 11 12 9 10 9 11.375 2.196 Rising
Bengals 7 15 13 13 17 10 14 11 12.500 0.214 Rising
Panthers 9 4 17 17 19 15 16 14 13.875 -0.446 Falling
Saints 18 16 11 14 14 13 13 17 14.500 -0.214 Falling
Rams 16 10 15 15 10 21 17 15 14.875 2.411 Rising
Vikings 19 23 7 10 18 19 12 18 15.750 2.107 Rising
Cowboys 15 17 16 16 13 20 15 20 16.500 -1.643 Falling
Steelers 17 14 21 18 23 14 19 12 17.250 -0.679 Falling
Dolphins 20 19 19 20 22 16 21 16 19.125 /td> 0.732 Rising
Buccaneers 23 20 23 19 15 17 18 24 19.875 -1.161 Falling
Lions 14 13 27 22 27 18 22 26 21.125 0.018 Rising
Chargers 21 24 20 21 20 24 20 21 21.375 3.768 Rising
Colts 26 27 18 24 16 23 26 27 23.375 -1.804 Falling
Jets 25 21 24 25 24 25 24 22 23.750 -1.607 Falling
Browns 22 25 22 26 29 22 25 23 24.250 -0.250 Falling
Cardinals 28 30 25 23 26 26 23 19 25.000 -0.286 Falling
Bills 24 22 28 27 25 31 27 25 26.125 -1.554 Falling
Eagles 27 26 29 28 28 27 28 30 27.875 0.268 Rising
Titans 31 29 26 29 21 29 29 31 28.125 -1.839 Falling
Raiders 30 28 30 30 30 28 30 28 29.250 0.464 Rising
Jaguars 29 32 31 31 31 30 31 29 30.500 0.643 Rising
Chiefs 32 31 32 32 32 32 32 32 31.875 -0.018 Falling

Observations:

  • See? The Seahawks can't seem to get any respect. All but two objective rankings have them as second or better. Whereas not a single subjective site had them higher than fifth.
  • 12 of the top 17 teams are in the NFC. That's 70.5% of the top 17 teams playing in the NFC.
  • Colts only beat the Chiefs by one touchdown? Better drop their ranking. (Not that I disagree)
  • Would you actually believe that statistically-speaking, the Chargers are a better team than the Colts?

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 31 32 32 32 32 32 32 0.331 -0.019 Falling
Raiders 30 28 30 30 30 28 30 28 0.968 0.268 Rising
Jaguars 29 32 31 31 31 30 31 29 1.000 0.650 Rising
Eagles 27 26 29 28 28 27 28 30 1.166 0.041 Rising
Seahawks 1 3 2 2 5 2 1 1 1.269 -0.009 Falling
Jets 25 21 24 25 24 25 24 22 1.392 -0.708 Falling
49ers 5 2 5 4 3 7 3 5 1.479 0.751 Rising
Chargers 21 24 20 21 20 24 20 21 1.576 -0.898 Falling
Packers 4 5 3 6 6 8 5 3 1.581 -0.097 Falling
Redskins 8 8 8 12 11 12 11 10 1.658 0.825 Rising
Bears 6 12 10 7 8 6 6 8 2.027 -1.587 Falling
Dolphins 20 19 19 20 22 16 21 16 2.027 -0.823 Falling
Saints 18 16 11 14 14 13 13 17 2.179 1.149 Rising
Cowboys 15 17 16 16 13 20 15 20 2.291 -0.065 Falling
Browns 22 25 22 26 29 22 25 23 2.332 -0.446 Falling
Broncos 2 1 1 3 9 5 4 2 2.497 -0.145 Falling
Bills 24 22 28 27 25 31 27 25 2.571 0.581 Rising
Patriots 3 9 4 1 4 1 2 7 2.666 0.110 Rising
Texans 13 7 9 8 7 3 9 6 2.681 0.477 Rising
Falcons 11 6 6 5 1 4 7 4 2.693 -0.304 Falling
Ravens 10 18 12 11 12 9 10 9 2.736 -0.923 Falling
Bengals 7 15 13 13 17 10 14 11 2.916 -0.094 Falling
Buccaneers 23 20 23 19 15 17 18 24 3.018 0.768 Rising
Titans 31 29 26 29 21 29 29 31 3.059 -0.310 Falling
Cardinals 28 30 25 23 26 26 23 19 3.162 0.248 Rising
Rams 16 10 15 15 10 21 17 15 3.370 0.266 Rising
Steelers 17 14 21 18 23 14 19 12 3.527 -0.209 Falling
Giants 12 11 14 9 2 11 8 13 3.536 0.374 Rising
Colts 26 27 18 24 16 23 26 27 3.935 -2.133 Falling
Panthers 9 4 17 17 19 15 16 14 4.649 0.246 Rising
Vikings 19 23 7 10 18 19 12 18 5.093 -0.748 Falling
Lions 14 13 27 22 27 18 22 26 5.255 0.931 Rising

Observations:

  • Team Rankings and BeatGraphs both dropped the Colts significantly this week, and all but one other site either kept the Colts ranking the same or dropped the Colts. So therefore, the Colts consistency actually improved this week.
  • Pretty good consensus on the Seahawks being that good.
  • The top three teams with the lowest deviation are in the AFC, top three teams with highest deviation are in the NFC.

Overall Average

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Average Change since last period
Broncos 1.100 3.375 2.238 0.106 Rising
Seahawks 5.200 2.125 3.663 1.694 Rising
Patriots 3.500 3.875 3.688 0.098 Rising
Falcons 2.100 5.500 3.800 1.226 Rising
Packers 3.600 5.000 4.300 1.895 Rising
49ers 5.700 4.250 4.975 -2.852 Falling
Texans 7.000 7.750 7.375 -2.420 Falling
Redskins 8.500 10.000 9.250 -0.633 Falling
Ravens 9.100 11.375 10.238 1.957 Rising
Bears 13.100 7.875 10.488 1.733 Rising
Bengals 10.500 12.500 11.500 0.812 Rising
Giants 15.300 10.000 12.650 -3.241 Falling
Vikings 11.400 15.750 13.575 2.217 Rising
Cowboys 13.600 16.500 15.050 -1.758 Falling
Saints 16.600 14.500 15.550 0.457 Rising
Rams 17.500 14.875 16.188 1.773 Rising
Panthers 19.600 13.875 16.738 0.113 Rising
Colts 10.600 23.375 16.988 -0.839 Falling
Steelers 17.100 17.250 17.175 -1.117 Falling
Dolphins 19.300 19.125 19.213 0.625 Rising
Buccaneers 21.700 19.875 20.788 -1.294 Falling
Chargers 21.400 21.375 21.388 3.365 Rising
Browns 23.200 24.250 23.725 -0.452 Falling
Jets 24.400 23.750 24.075 -1.594 Falling
Lions 27.200 21.125 24.163 0.136 Rising
Bills 25.700 26.125 25.913 -0.991 Falling
Cardinals 26.900 25.000 25.950 -0.002 Falling
Titans 25.900 28.125 27.013 -1.779 Falling
Eagles 28.200 27.875 28.038 0.306 Rising
Raiders 30.000 29.250 29.625 0.141 Rising
Jaguars 31.200 30.500 30.850 0.358 Rising
Chiefs 31.800 31.875 31.838 -0.046 Falling

Observations:

  • Overall, the Broncos retain the top spot.
  • Seahawks are just barely ahead of the Patriots.
  • Again, 12 of the top 17 teams are from the NFC. That only leaves four NFC teams in the remaining bottom 15 teams. I don't know that I've ever seen that much disparity.

Overall Standard Deviation

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Standard Deviation Change since last period
Chiefs 31.800 31.875 0.373 -0.043 Falling
Raiders 30.000 29.250 0.745 0.116 Rising
Jaguars 31.200 30.500 0.809 0.393 Rising
Chargers 21.400 21.375 1.208 -0.678 Falling
Eagles 28.200 27.875 1.353 0.402 Rising
Redskins 8.500 10.000 1.384 0.620 Rising
Packers 3.600 5.000 1.397 0.200 Rising
Dolphins 19.300 19.125 1.474 -0.841 Falling
Jets 24.400 23.750 1.487 -0.779 Falling
49ers 5.700 4.250 1.508 0.728 Rising
Seahawks 5.200 2.125 1.772 -0.017 Falling
Browns 23.200 24.250 1.826 -0.552 Falling
Patriots 3.500 3.875 1.886 0.146 Rising
Texans 7.000 7.750 1.915 0.006 Rising
Broncos 1.100 3.375 2.025 0.103 Rising
Bills 25.700 26.125 2.157 0.331 Rising
Cowboys 13.600 16.500 2.157 -0.348 Falling
Saints 16.600 14.500 2.285 0.045 Rising
Bengals 10.500 12.500 2.337 -0.125 Falling
Ravens 9.100 11.375 2.354 -0.607 Falling
Buccaneers 21.700 19.875 2.401 0.346 Rising
Steelers 17.100 17.250 2.455 0.040 Rising
Cardinals 26.900 25.000 2.483 0.136 Rising
Falcons 2.100 5.500 2.498 0.128 Rising
Titans 25.900 28.125 2.622 -0.415 Falling
Rams 17.500 14.875 2.646 0.489 Rising
Bears 13.100 7.875 2.954 -0.551 Falling
Giants 15.300 10.000 3.566 0.741 Rising
Vikings 11.400 15.750 4.137 -0.145 Falling
Panthers 19.600 13.875 4.236 -0.324 Falling
Lions 27.200 21.125 4.693 0.463 Rising
Colts 10.600 23.375 6.951 0.415 Rising

Observations:

  • Wow, overall, the Chiefs, Raiders, Jaguars and Chargers are very consistent in their rankings.
  • The bottom five teams are significantly less consistent in their rankings than the rest of the league.

Difference in Averages

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Standard Deviation Change since last period
Colts 10.600 23.375 12.775 1.931 Rising
Vikings 11.400 15.750 4.350 0.220 Rising
Falcons 2.100 5.500 3.400 1.166 Rising
Cowboys 13.600 16.500 2.900 -0.230 Rising
Broncos 1.100 3.375 2.275 0.678 Rising
Ravens 9.100 11.375 2.275 -0.478 Rising
Titans 25.900 28.125 2.225 0.121 Rising
Bengals 10.500 12.500 2.000 1.195 Rising
Redskins 8.500 10.000 1.500 0.448 Rising
Packers 3.600 5.000 1.400 0.647 Rising
Browns 23.200 24.250 1.050 -0.405 Rising
Texans 7.000 7.750 0.750 -1.341 Rising
Bills 25.700 26.125 0.425 1.126 Rising
Patriots 3.500 3.875 0.375 0.804 Rising
Steelers 17.100 17.250 0.150 -0.876 Rising
Chiefs 31.800 31.875 0.075 -0.055 Rising
Chargers 21.400 21.375 -0.025 -0.804 Rising
Dolphins 19.300 19.125 -0.175 -0.214 Rising
Eagles 28.200 27.875 -0.325 0.078 Rising
Jets 24.400 23.750 -0.650 0.025 Rising
Jaguars 31.200 30.500 -0.700 -0.570 Rising
Raiders 30.000 29.250 -0.750 -0.646 Rising
49ers 5.700 4.250 -1.450 -2.060 Rising
Buccaneers 21.700 19.875 -1.825 -0.267 Rising
Cardinals 26.900 25.000 -1.900 0.568 Rising
Saints 16.600 14.500 -2.100 1.342 Rising
Rams 17.500 14.875 -2.625 -1.274 Rising
Seahawks 5.200 2.125 -3.075 0.211 Rising
Bears 13.100 7.875 -5.225 -0.212 Rising
Giants 15.300 10.000 -5.300 -2.482 Rising
Panthers 19.600 13.875 -5.725 1.119 Rising
Lions 27.200 21.125 -6.075 0.237 Rising

Observations:

  • The Colts rose in the subjective rankings, and fell in the objective rankings. Therefore, their over-ranking got even worse.
  • The Vikings, while being the second-most over-ranked team, still have a third of the disparity the Colts do.
  • San Diego is very consistently not good. Their Subjective and Objective rankings are within 1/40th of a spot within each other.
  • Crazy: the 10 most under-ranked teams are all NFC teams.
  • The Seahawks are definitely under-ranked here, but it's not historically bad nor is it comparatively that bad. The Bears, Giants, Panthers and Lions are getting even less respect.

Best Match-ups for Week 17

Opponents (Ranking) Game Time Ranking Difference
Carolina (16.738) at New Orleans (15.550) Sun, Dec. 30 1:00 p.m. EST 1.188
Baltimore (10.238) at Cincinnati (11.500) Sun, Dec. 30 1:00 p.m. EST 1.262
NY Jets (24.075) at Buffalo (25.913) Sun, Dec. 30 1:00 p.m. EST 1.838

Worst Match-Ups for Week 17

Opponents (Ranking) Game Time Ranking Difference
Kansas City (31.838) at Denver (2.238) Sun, Dec. 30 4:25 p.m. EST 29.600
Arizona (25.950) at San Francisco (4.975) Sun, Dec. 30 4:25 p.m. EST 20.975

Some definite clunkers this week, which naturally means we'll see two huge upsets (probably not).

Sources

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