Advanced NFL Power Rankings: 49ers Are Consensus No. 1

September 16, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Lions 27-19. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

There are lots of websites out there that release their Power Rankings each week. We take all those rankings and crunch the numbers to get a big-picture view of how all 32 teams in the NFL stack up.

Greetings, football fans! I'd like to introduce something to you that I've been doing over at Bolts from the Blue for the last three years or so. I call it the NFL Power Rankings Consensus, and well, the name kind of speaks for itself.

Simply put: I troll the web for various NFL power rankings, load them up into my computer and crunch the numbers. I then make observations based on what the numbers tell me. Don't worry, it's nothing too complicated, and I'll walk you through the various displays, explaining as we go along.

Methodology

This week there are 18 different sources for the power rankings. But, not all rankings are created equally: some are based on running statistics through computers to generate rankings, and others are based on gut feelings on how well teams are playing, like the one from SB Nation.The latter is probably what you're used to when you think of "Power Rankings." I've broken down the stats-based rankings and the perception-based rankings into two categories -- "Objective" and "Subjective" rankings, respectively. This will become more obvious as we move along.

Division Averages

Before we get to looking at where all the teams rank, let's take look at the bigger picture in the NFL. This table takes the average rankings for each team, then averages the rankings of each team in the division. It's used as a way of showing where the tougher and weaker divisions lie each week.

Division Avg Ranking
NFC East 11.9306
NFC West 13.9167
NFC North 14.5000
AFC North 15.9861
NFC South 16.2500
AFC East 17.6944
AFC West 19.9444
AFC South 21.7778

As you can see, the NFC East is the dominant division in the NFL, while the NFC West – the former laughingstock of the NFL — is respectable, and it's not all because of the 49ers. Two weeks into the season, the NFC is becoming the powerhouse conference in the NFL now as the top three divisions are NFC divisions, and the AFC occupies the bottom 3 positions.

Stock Rising

This table is kind of self-explanatory: it shows which teams have moved up the most this week compared to last week.

Team Week 2 Average Week 3 Average Difference
Cardinals 22.000 14.643 7.357
Chargers 16.462 11.214 5.248
Seahawks 23.385 18.143 5.242
Eagles 11.308 6.286 5.022
Dolphins 30.923 26.571 4.352


Observations:

  • It's no surprise that the 2-0 Cardinals, coming off a huge upset of New England, have risen the most.
  • Should the Chargers knock off the Falcons, it'll be interesting to see how much more they'd climb.
  • Maybe it was a bit early to completely write off Miami in Week 1, or Philadelphia for that matter.
  • You'll see shortly, this likely won't be the last time we see Seattle on this list.

Stock Falling

Like the "Stock Rising" chart above, this one shows which teams are slipping.

Team Week 2 Average Week 3 Average Difference
Saints 12.846 19.786 -6.940
Chiefs 20.923 27.857 -6.934
Patriots 1.385 5.643 -4.258
Cowboys 9.077 13.286 -4.209
Titans 23.539 27.643 -4.104


Observations:

  • EVERYONE OFF THE NEW ORLEANS BANDWAGON!
  • It's no surprise the Chiefs are slipping this quickly. They have looked awful in the first two games. As you'll see in a bit, they quite possibly haven't hit rock-bottom just yet.
  • The Patriots are looking vulnerable early in the season it seems.
  • Much like Philadelphia getting a "correction" upward, the Cowboys are getting a "correction" downward after being trounced by the Seahawks.

Subjective Average

We'll start off with the Subjective Average. These rankings are the ones that has actual people ranking the teams based on their gut feelings. You'll see in a moment that some of these sites may even just throw darts at a board, or have a chicken pecking at numbers. I then take all those rankings and average them together, then sort the table based on the average ranking. This method evens out the peaks and valleys and allows us to get a more reliable "big picture" view of the perception of where teams rank in the league.

Subjective
ESPN Fox CBS USA Today Sports Illustrated ProFootballTalk NFL.com SportingNews Pro Football Weekly National Football Post SB Nation Reddit Associated Press ProFootballFocus Average Change since last period
49ers 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.000 1.000 Rising
Texans 2 2 2 4 2 2 2 2 2 4 2 2 2 2 2.286 1.560 Rising
Packers 4 6 7 2 3 3 4 5 3 2 3 3 3 4 3.714 1.748 Rising
Falcons 3 3 3 5 6 9 3 3 6 5 4 4 4 5 4.500 2.115 Rising
Ravens 6 5 6 6 4 6 6 4 5 6 6 5 5 8 5.571 -2.417 Falling
Patriots 5 8 10 3 5 5 7 6 4 3 7 6 7 3 5.643 -4.258 Falling
Eagles 7 4 4 8 7 4 5 9 7 8 5 8 6 6 6.286 5.022 Rising
Giants 8 7 15 7 8 8 9 8 8 7 9 7 8 7 8.286 0.176 Rising
Steelers 9 9 8 11 10 7 10 10 10 11 8 9 10 9 9.357 1.951 Rising
Broncos 10 12 13 14 9 10 8 7 9 14 11 11 11 10 10.643 -2.258 Falling
Chargers 11 15 5 15 12 11 11 11 11 15 10 10 9 11 11.214 5.248 Rising
Bears 12 10 14 13 14 18 12 12 12 13 13 12 15 13 13.071 -3.994 Falling
Cowboys 15 13 12 9 15 17 15 13 13 9 15 14 14 12 13.286 -4.209 Falling
Lions 13 11 17 10 17 14 14 14 15 10 12 13 13 16 13.500 -0.269 Falling
Cardinals 14 16 9 17 11 12 13 16 14 17 16 15 12 23 14.643 7.357 Rising
Bengals 16 14 16 18 20 21 20 15 20 18 18 16 18 20 17.857 0.143 Rising
Panthers 19 20 18 16 21 13 18 17 19 16 22 21 17 15 18.000 3.385 Rising
Seahawks 17 22 11 20 13 15 16 20 21 20 23 20 19 17 18.143 5.242 Rising
Jets 18 17 19 19 22 19 19 22 17 19 20 18 16 18 18.786 -2.940 Falling
Redskins 20 19 21 21 16 16 17 19 18 21 17 19 20 21 18.929 -3.083 Falling
Saints 24 24 23 12 23 24 22 18 23 12 14 22 22 14 19.786 -6.940 Falling
Buccaneers 21 18 24 22 18 22 21 21 16 22 24 17 21 22 20.643 -0.258 Falling
Bills 22 21 20 23 24 20 23 23 22 23 19 23 23 19 21.786 2.599 Rising
Rams 23 23 22 24 19 23 24 24 24 24 27 24 24 26 23.643 3.972 Rising
Colts 27 25 25 30 25 25 25 27 26 30 21 25 25 27 25.929 3.225 Rising
Dolphins 25 29 26 28 27 26 26 25 25 28 26 26 26 29 26.571 4.352 Rising
Vikings 29 28 30 26 26 27 27 28 28 26 25 27 27 28 27.286 -1.363 Falling
Titans 26 27 29 25 31 29 28 26 29 25 29 30 28 25 27.643 -4.104 Falling
Chiefs 28 26 28 27 30 28 29 29 27 27 28 28 31 24 27.857 -6.934 Falling
Raiders 30 30 27 29 32 30 31 32 31 29 31 29 30 31 30.143 -3.989 Falling
Browns 32 31 32 31 29 32 30 30 32 31 30 31 29 32 30.857 0.143 Rising
Jaguars 31 32 31 32 28 31 32 31 30 32 32 32 32 30 31.143 -2.220 Falling

Observations:

  • It didn't take long to get a consensus top team in the NFL. After just two games, the 49ers are your unanimous pick for the best team in the NFL.
  • Even though the NFC dominates the divisional rankings, the top 12 teams are evenly split between the NFC and AFC.
  • But AFC teams occupy the bottom five spots this week.
  • Though the Browns lost again this week, they actually moved up slightly, but only to make room for the Jaguars.
  • The color backgrounds help to highlight this, but do you notice the gap between where the Cardinals are ranked and where the Bengals land? Over three positions separate the two, and they're ranked immediately next to each other. It seems like there's a sharp delineation between the "haves" and the "have-nots" to start the season. Historically, this will even out as the season goes on.
  • There are quite a few pundits that are holding out hope for the Saints, while many others have given up hope. This lack of consistency in the rankings leads us nicely into our next chart...

Subjective Standard Deviation

Put simply, Standard Deviation is a tool in statistics to measure how much variance there is in a set of numbers. To put more simply: I use it to look at who's ranked the most- and least-consistently. In Standard Deviation, the lower the number, the more consistent the values in the set. For our purposes, this means the lower the Standard Deviation, the more consistent the rankings. The opposite is true too: the higher the number, the less consistent the rankings.

This table is sorted by most-consistently ranked to least-consistently ranked.

Subjective
ESPN Fox CBS USA Today Sports Illustrated ProFootballTalk NFL.com SportingNews Pro Football Weekly National Football Post SB Nation Reddit Associated Press ProFootballFocus Standard Deviation Change since last period
49ers 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0.000 -0.785 Falling
Texans 2 2 2 4 2 2 2 2 2 4 2 2 2 2 0.700 -0.069 Falling
Ravens 6 5 6 6 4 6 6 4 5 6 6 5 5 8 0.979 -0.047 Falling
Browns 32 31 32 31 29 32 30 30 32 31 30 31 29 32 1.060 0.275 Rising
Steelers 9 9 8 11 10 7 10 10 10 11 8 9 10 9 1.109 -0.573 Falling
Jaguars 31 32 31 32 28 31 32 31 30 32 32 32 32 30 1.125 0.128 Rising
Vikings 29 28 30 26 26 27 27 28 28 26 25 27 27 28 1.278 0.071 Rising
Raiders 30 30 27 29 32 30 31 32 31 29 31 29 30 31 1.302 -1.905 Falling
Dolphins 25 29 26 28 27 26 26 25 25 28 26 26 26 29 1.348 0.277 Rising
Packers 4 6 7 2 3 3 4 5 3 2 3 3 3 4 1.385 0.107 Rising
Bills 22 21 20 23 24 20 23 23 22 23 19 23 23 19 1.612 -0.520 Falling
Eagles 7 4 4 8 7 4 5 9 7 8 5 8 6 6 1.623 -0.990 Falling
Falcons 3 3 3 5 6 9 3 3 6 5 4 4 4 5 1.637 -0.306 Falling
Chiefs 28 26 28 27 30 28 29 29 27 27 28 28 31 24 1.641 -1.033 Falling
Jets 18 17 19 19 22 19 19 22 17 19 20 18 16 18 1.655 0.424 Rising
Rams 23 23 22 24 19 23 24 24 24 24 27 24 24 26 1.757 -0.146 Falling
Bears 12 10 14 13 14 18 12 12 12 13 13 12 15 13 1.791 -0.302 Falling
Redskins 20 19 21 21 16 16 17 19 18 21 17 19 20 21 1.791 -0.203 Falling
Titans 26 27 29 25 31 29 28 26 29 25 29 30 28 25 1.913 0.007 Rising
Giants 8 7 15 7 8 8 9 8 8 7 9 7 8 7 1.980 -0.081 Falling
Patriots 5 8 10 3 5 5 7 6 4 3 7 6 7 3 1.986 1.361 Rising
Broncos 10 12 13 14 9 10 8 7 9 14 11 11 11 10 2.022 -0.566 Falling
Bengals 16 14 16 18 20 21 20 15 20 18 18 16 18 20 2.100 -0.412 Falling
Cowboys 15 13 12 9 15 17 15 13 13 9 15 14 14 12 2.185 0.500 Rising
Colts 27 25 25 30 25 25 25 27 26 30 21 25 25 27 2.187 -0.996 Falling
Lions 13 11 17 10 17 14 14 14 15 10 12 13 13 16 2.196 0.669 Rising
Buccaneers 21 18 24 22 18 22 21 21 16 22 24 17 21 22 2.379 0.358 Rising
Panthers 19 20 18 16 21 13 18 17 19 16 22 21 17 15 2.450 0.213 Rising
Chargers 11 15 5 15 12 11 11 11 11 15 10 10 9 11 2.541 1.041 Rising
Cardinals 14 16 9 17 11 12 13 16 14 17 16 15 12 23 3.265 0.409 Rising
Seahawks 17 22 11 20 13 15 16 20 21 20 23 20 19 17 3.335 0.602 Rising
Saints 24 24 23 12 23 24 22 18 23 12 14 22 22 14 4.554 2.807 Rising

Observations:

  • Since they have a Standard Deviation of exactly 0, that means the 49ers were the unanimous choice.
  • The Texans pretty close to a consensus 2nd-place team, with just a few dissenters.
  • The Ravens are slowly settling into the No. 6 spot.
  • We see a few pundits out there who believe in the Cardinals and Seahawks, and there are plenty of skeptics still out there as well.
  • To a lesser extent, the same holds true for the Chargers. There are some pundits who see the Chargers as a top 10 team, but others aren't so sure. This week's Falcons game should go a long way to cementing the Chargers' perception one way or the other.
  • To start the season, there was a lot of excitement and hope that the Panthers would be a contender this year. After starting 1-1, some pundits are losing that enthusiasm while others are still holding out hope.
  • There are a few die-hards out there holding onto the hope that the Saints aren't that bad. The Saints are ranked anywhere from 12th down to 24th; that's quite a swing!

One thing I'd like to point out about the Standard Deviation method here: it's not perfect. Because teams are bound on each end of the spectrum (they can't be any less than 1 or more than 32), we tend to see more consistent numbers as you get to each end of the spectrum. It's not a steadfast rule as there are plenty of times there's no consensus on the best or worst teams in the NFL, it is kind of the rule of thumb. Just something that's the nature of the numbers.

Objective Average

I call these rankings the "Objective" rankings because unlike the rankings above, these are rankings based on statistical models of some sort. I use the term "Objective" loosely here because there is still some inherent bias in how the various models are constructed. Each ranking site has their own criteria in what they feel is success in the NFL.

All that said, these rankings are more objective as they remove perception and bias and produce rankings based on how well teams actually play, not how they're perceived to play.

Objective
Football Outsiders Team Rankings Sagarin BeatGraphs Average Change since last period
49ers 13 2 4 1 5.000 3.000 Rising
Patriots 1 7 1 16 6.250 -4.917 Falling
Packers 2 13 3 7 6.250 2.083 Rising
Ravens 5 6 2 12 6.250 -2.250 Falling
Falcons 3 9 11 3 6.500 2.500 Rising
Eagles 11 4 7 4 6.500 1.167 Rising
Texans 4 10 6 8 7.000 1.667 Rising
Seahawks 21 3 8 5 9.250 10.083 Rising
Steelers 10 12 5 14 10.250 2.417 Rising
Broncos 8 16 12 6 10.500 0.500 Rising
Cardinals 30 1 10 2 10.750 8.250 Rising
Cowboys 16 5 16 9 11.500 -5.500 Falling
Chargers 15 11 9 11 11.500 0.833 Rising
Giants 14 8 14 17 13.250 -2.583 Falling
Bears 7 21 13 13 13.500 -3.167 Falling
Lions 19 14 17 10 15.000 3.667 Rising
Jets 6 20 15 21 15.500 -5.833 Falling
Dolphins 23 18 20 15 19.000 6.000 Rising
Redskins 22 15 19 23 19.750 -6.083 Falling
Bengals 25 17 24 19 21.250 1.750 Rising
Saints 12 23 18 32 21.250 -8.250 Falling
Panthers 9 22 27 28 21.500 2.500 Rising
Bills 17 25 26 24 23.000 2.333 Rising
Buccaneers 18 24 28 22 23.000 -1.333 Falling
Rams 32 19 29 18 24.500 6.833 Rising
Colts 28 29 22 20 24.750 2.917 Rising
Titans 24 27 21 27 24.750 -4.417 Falling
Vikings 20 31 23 25 24.750 -2.750 Falling
Browns 29 26 25 29 27.250 -1.250 Falling
Raiders 26 28 30 26 27.500 -1.167 Falling
Chiefs 27 30 32 31 30.000 -5.667 Falling
Jaguars 31 32 31 30 31.000 -3.333 Falling

Observations:

  • I'll be the first to admit: it's kind of hard to compare these numbers to last week's as the sources have changed each week
  • Right now, the Football Outsiders ranking uses their DAVE ranking. DAVE relies on 75 percent preseason projections to rank teams and only 25 percent of current play; and their current ratings aren't adjusted for opponent either. That's why the 49ers are still ranked 13th over at Football Outsiders, but 4th-or-better at the other sites.
  • Most of the Objective rankings take until about Week 4 before there's enough data to objectively portray a team's play accurately
  • That's interesting, much like in the subjective rankings, there's a sharp delineation in the middle. This time, it's between the Jets and Dolphins.
  • Outside of that, this table speaks for itself.

Objective Standard Deviation

Objective
Football Outsiders Team Rankings Sagarin BeatGraphs Standard Deviation Change since last period
Jaguars 31 32 31 30 0.707 -1.787 Falling
Raiders 26 28 30 26 1.658 -0.836 Falling
Browns 29 26 25 29 1.785 -2.298 Falling
Chiefs 27 30 32 31 1.871 -3.864 Falling
Chargers 15 11 9 11 2.179 -2.605 Falling
Texans 4 10 6 8 2.236 -1.163 Falling
Titans 24 27 21 27 2.488 -0.006 Falling
Eagles 11 4 7 4 2.872 0.515 Rising
Dolphins 23 18 20 15 2.916 -0.643 Falling
Redskins 22 15 19 23 3.113 -2.906 Falling
Giants 14 8 14 17 3.269 -1.445 Falling
Bengals 25 17 24 19 3.345 1.931 Rising
Steelers 10 12 5 14 3.345 -1.152 Falling
Lions 19 14 17 10 3.391 0.300 Rising
Bills 17 25 26 24 3.536 -0.235 Falling
Falcons 3 9 11 3 3.571 -2.145 Falling
Buccaneers 18 24 28 22 3.606 -1.178 Falling
Ravens 5 6 2 12 3.632 2.218 Rising
Colts 28 29 22 20 3.832 -0.358 Falling
Broncos 8 16 12 6 3.841 1.013 Rising
Vikings 20 31 23 25 4.023 1.573 Rising
Packers 2 13 3 7 4.323 -0.666 Falling
Cowboys 16 5 16 9 4.717 0.171 Rising
49ers 13 2 4 1 4.743 -2.328 Falling
Bears 7 21 13 13 4.975 -0.818 Falling
Jets 6 20 15 21 5.937 3.312 Rising
Rams 32 19 29 18 6.103 5.160 Rising
Patriots 1 7 1 16 6.139 5.668 Rising
Seahawks 21 3 8 5 7.013 2.024 Rising
Saints 12 23 18 32 7.327 3.768 Rising
Panthers 9 22 27 28 7.566 -0.223 Falling
Cardinals 30 1 10 2 11.649 2.233 Rising

Observations:

  • That's crazy that all four of the worst-ranked teams overall also happen to have the lowest Standard Deviation, meaning the consensus is that they're all not good. Sorry Big Cat Country, Silver And Black Pride, Dawgs By Nature and Arrowhead Pride.
  • Overall, the swings are much wilder in the Objective Rankings for two reasons: smaller sample size and because it takes about four weeks for these stats to settle.
  • Remember that part about the DAVE ranking? Well it seems to be holding Arizona down as Football Outsiders has them ranked 30th, yet the other sites much higher. Same story for Seattle.
  • The inverse is true for New Orleans and Carolina as the DAVE ranking is keeping them held a bit higher right now.

Overall Average

Now let's compare the two sets of data. We'll start with the "Overall Average" chart. This takes the Subjective Average and the Objective Average, and then averages those two numbers. This way it gives equal weight to both averages so that even though Subjective Average has a larger sample size, it doesn't drown out the Objective Average.

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Average Change since last period
49ers 1.000 5.000 3.000 2.000 Rising
Texans 2.286 7.000 4.643 1.613 Rising
Packers 3.714 6.250 4.982 1.915 Rising
Falcons 4.500 6.500 5.500 2.308 Rising
Ravens 5.571 6.250 5.911 -2.334 Falling
Patriots 5.643 6.250 5.946 -4.587 Falling
Eagles 6.286 6.500 6.393 3.094 Rising
Steelers 9.357 10.250 9.804 2.183 Rising
Broncos 10.643 10.500 10.571 -0.879 Falling
Giants 8.286 13.250 10.768 -1.204 Falling
Chargers 11.214 11.500 11.357 3.040 Rising
Cowboys 13.286 11.500 12.393 -4.855 Falling
Cardinals 14.643 10.750 12.696 7.804 Rising
Bears 13.071 13.500 13.286 -3.581 Falling
Seahawks 18.143 9.250 13.696 7.663 Rising
Lions 13.500 15.000 14.250 1.699 Rising
Jets 18.786 15.500 17.143 -4.387 Falling
Redskins 18.929 19.750 19.339 -4.583 Falling
Bengals 17.857 21.250 19.554 0.946 Rising
Panthers 18.000 21.500 19.750 2.942 Rising
Saints 19.786 21.250 20.518 -7.595 Falling
Buccaneers 20.643 23.000 21.821 -0.795 Falling
Bills 21.786 23.000 22.393 2.466 Rising
Dolphins 26.571 19.000 22.786 5.176 Rising
Rams 23.643 24.500 24.071 5.403 Rising
Colts 25.929 24.750 25.339 3.071 Rising
Vikings 27.286 24.750 26.018 -2.056 Falling
Titans 27.643 24.750 26.196 -4.260 Falling
Raiders 30.143 27.500 28.821 -2.577 Falling
Chiefs 27.857 30.000 28.929 -6.301 Falling
Browns 30.857 27.250 29.054 -0.554 Falling
Jaguars 31.143 31.000 31.071 -2.776 Falling

Observations:

  • The top 12 hasn't changed too much here.
  • Seattle jumps quite a bit, buoyed by their Objective rankings. Same story in Miami.
  • The Jets are being dragged back down by their Subjective rankings. Pundits are jumping ship already after just one loss.
  • Interestingly, based on the overall average, you can see clusters developing:
    • The top seven teams starting with the 49ers down to the Eagles.
    • The next 10 teams from the Steelers to the Lions.
    • The Jets all on their own.
    • Then it's pretty smooth from the Redskins on down to the bottom.

Overall Standard Deviation

The Overall Standard Deviation does not average anything out, it just takes the Standard Deviation across all the rankings. Yes this will even things out slightly, but it goes to show which teams have consensus across the board.

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Standard Deviation Change since last period
Jaguars 31.143 31.000 1.048 0.440 Rising
Raiders 30.143 27.500 1.771 1.316 Rising
Steelers 9.357 10.250 1.892 0.632 Rising
Chiefs 27.857 30.000 1.915 1.793 Rising
Ravens 5.571 6.250 1.938 -0.780 Falling
Browns 30.857 27.250 1.957 0.770 Rising
Eagles 6.286 6.500 1.972 0.962 Rising
Redskins 18.929 19.750 2.183 1.095 Rising
Bills 21.786 23.000 2.248 0.301 Rising
Texans 2.286 7.000 2.309 0.179 Rising
Falcons 4.500 6.500 2.368 0.804 Rising
Titans 27.643 24.750 2.381 0.003 Rising
Vikings 27.286 24.750 2.445 -0.288 Falling
Chargers 11.214 11.500 2.468 0.484 Rising
Broncos 10.643 10.500 2.542 0.284 Rising
Lions 13.500 15.000 2.587 0.274 Rising
Packers 3.714 6.250 2.599 0.094 Rising
Colts 25.929 24.750 2.687 0.757 Rising
49ers 1.000 5.000 2.787 1.132 Rising
Bengals 17.857 21.250 2.812 0.239 Rising
Bears 13.071 13.500 2.833 0.344 Rising
Buccaneers 20.643 23.000 2.872 -0.068 Falling
Cowboys 13.286 11.500 3.035 -0.274 Falling
Giants 8.286 13.250 3.112 -0.221 Falling
Rams 23.643 24.500 3.287 -1.003 Falling
Patriots 5.643 6.250 3.392 -2.792 Falling
Jets 18.786 15.500 3.440 -0.552 Falling
Dolphins 26.571 19.000 3.635 -0.693 Falling
Panthers 18.000 21.500 4.417 -0.357 Falling
Saints 19.786 21.250 5.332 -3.128 Falling
Seahawks 18.143 9.250 5.766 -2.128 Falling
Cardinals 14.643 10.750 6.408 -1.446 Falling

Observations:

  • You would be confident in saying the Jaguars, Raiders and Chiefs are not very good teams right now.
  • You could be just as confident in saying the Steelers, Ravens and Eagles are actually pretty good teams right now.
  • The Cardinals and Seahawks being at the bottom of this list is no surprise. There are some pundits still holding on to their perception of these teams, but the numbers say otherwise. Also, see: Outsiders, Football.

Difference in Averages

This compares the Subjective average ranking with the Objective average ranking. This tells us just how far off people are from the formulas. A positive number means people think they will be or are better than the stats indicate, a negative number means the math thinks they're better than what people think. The closer to 0 this number is, the more in agreement the Subjective and Objective rankings are.

Generally speaking, the Subjective Rankings tend to react to a team's performance quicker than the mathematical models can. So that's why in the charts it's generally considered a good thing if the Subjective Rankings are higher than the Objective Rankings. The opposite can most certainly hold true in that some teams are actually better or worse than they're perceived. But it's difficult to tell which teams fall into each category.

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Standard Deviation Change since last period
Giants 8.286 13.250 4.964 -2.759 Falling
Texans 2.286 7.000 4.714 0.107 Rising
49ers 1.000 5.000 4.000 2.000 Rising
Panthers 18.000 21.500 3.500 -0.885 Falling
Bengals 17.857 21.250 3.393 1.607 Rising
Packers 3.714 6.250 2.536 0.336 Rising
Buccaneers 20.643 23.000 2.357 -1.075 Falling
Chiefs 27.857 30.000 2.143 1.267 Rising
Falcons 4.500 6.500 2.000 0.385 Rising
Lions 13.500 15.000 1.500 3.936 Rising
Saints 19.786 21.250 1.464 -1.310 Falling
Bills 21.786 23.000 1.214 -0.265 Falling
Steelers 9.357 10.250 0.893 0.466 Rising
Rams 23.643 24.500 0.857 2.861 Rising
Redskins 18.929 19.750 0.821 -3.001 Falling
Ravens 5.571 6.250 0.679 0.167 Rising
Patriots 5.643 6.250 0.607 -0.658 Falling
Bears 13.071 13.500 0.429 0.827 Rising
Chargers 11.214 11.500 0.286 -4.414 Falling
Eagles 6.286 6.500 0.214 -3.855 Falling
Jaguars 31.143 31.000 -0.143 -1.113 Falling
Broncos 10.643 10.500 -0.143 2.758 Rising
Colts 25.929 24.750 -1.179 -0.308 Falling
Cowboys 13.286 11.500 -1.786 -1.291 Falling
Vikings 27.286 24.750 -2.536 -1.387 Falling
Raiders 30.143 27.500 -2.643 2.823 Rising
Titans 27.643 24.750 -2.893 -0.312 Falling
Jets 18.786 15.500 -3.286 -2.894 Falling
Browns 30.857 27.250 -3.607 -1.393 Falling
Cardinals 14.643 10.750 -3.893 0.893 Rising
Dolphins 26.571 19.000 -7.571 1.648 Rising
Seahawks 18.143 9.250 -8.893 4.842 Rising

Observations:

  • The Giants bounce back and win their second game and all of a sudden everyone is back on board. Not so fast, maybe? This is a fickle bunch.
  • Based on past coverage I've seen, it seems like the media has been wanting the Texans to be good for quite a while now. In this instance, it seems like they're hyping them up a little bit too much. Either that or the objective rankings haven't caught up to them yet.
  • Kansas City, based on the numbers, is playing even worse than perceived. They have a little bit more to fall.
  • Generally, if a team's difference in average is anywhere between 1 and -1, then their perception matches their actual performance on the field. So basically, from the Steelers to the Broncos, all those teams are playing about as well (or poorly) as everyone thinks.
  • Yes, the media loves to hate on the Browns, but based on the numbers, they could cut them a little slack.
  • It seems the media isn't quite ready to buy completely into the Cardinals just yet.
  • Miami and Seattle, though they're at opposite corners of the country, share one thing in common: they get no respect. Rodney Dangerfield says hello (from the grave).

Matchup Previews

This is something a little new I'm trying out. I take a look at what should be the best match-ups based on the rankings, and also what should be the biggest blow-outs.

Best Match-Ups for Week 3

Opponents (Ranking) Game Time Ranking Difference
New England (5.946) at Baltimore (5.911) Sun, Sep 23 8:20PM EDT 0.035
Cincinnati (19.554) at Washington (19.339) Sun, Sep 23 1:00PM EDT 0.215

Biggest Blowout Potential for Week 3

Opponents (Ranking) Game Time Ranking Difference
San Francisco (3.000) at Minnesota (26.018) Sun, Sep 23 1:00PM EDT 23.018
Pittsburgh (9.804) at Oakland (28.821) Sun, Sep 23 4:25PM EDT 19.017


Sources

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