Meadow Muffins of the Mind

The droppings of some guy's imagination.

Tag: Buccaneers

NFL Power Rankings – Week 11

Three teams share the lead with an 8-2 record.  None of them are #1.  As always, a combination of scoring margin and opponents’ scoring margin:

Rank Team W L T Margin Sched Rtg SOS Rank Last Wk
1 Packers 7 3 0 13.456 1.781 15 2
2 Steelers 7 3 0 13.025 4.5 2 4
3 Eagles 7 3 0 10.894 3.694 5 5
4 Falcons 8 2 0 10.161 2.311 12 7
5 Titans 5 5 0 9.703 2.178 13 1
6 Patriots 8 2 0 9.581 3.256 8 6
7 Jets 8 2 0 9.542 1.692 17 3
8 Ravens 7 3 0 8.592 0.992 19 10
9 Chargers 5 5 0 8.331 0.431 26 9
10 Colts 6 4 0 8.067 0.767 23 8
11 Saints 7 3 0 5.429 -2.121 32 15
12 Giants 6 4 0 5.406 0.831 21 11
13 Browns 3 7 0 5.061 4.711 1 14
14 Bears 7 3 0 5.033 -0.867 28 18
15 Chiefs 6 4 0 4.469 -0.881 29 16
16 Lions 2 8 0 3.844 2.544 11 12
17 Dolphins 5 5 0 2.467 4.317 3 17
18 Raiders 5 5 0 2.453 0.628 24 13
19 Redskins 5 5 0 1.583 3.983 4 23
20 Texans 4 6 0 0.665 3.215 9 24
21 Bucs 7 3 0 0.056 -1.994 31 28
22 Cowboys 3 7 0 0.04 2.165 14 27
23 Vikings 3 7 0 -0.111 3.539 6 19
24 Bills 2 8 0 -0.403 3.322 7 30
25 Broncos 3 7 0 -1.55 3.05 10 21
26 Rams 4 6 0 -1.731 -1.356 30 22
27 Jaguars 6 4 0 -1.858 1.742 16 29
28 Bengals 2 8 0 -2.261 1.689 18 20
29 Seahawks 5 5 0 -2.67 -0.27 27 25
30 49ers 3 7 0 -3.961 0.539 25 26
31 Cardinals 3 7 0 -7.335 0.84 20 31
32 Panthers 1 9 0 -11.119 0.831 22 32

The simple takeaway from this week – the Saints are starting to round into form it seems. That and the Bucs 21-0 win over the 49ers – their best result of the year – did not go unnoticed by the model.

What is also interesting is that while the AFC continues to dominate the Top 10, the NFC is starting to rise to the top, with three of the four top rated teams being NFC entries.  In a year without a dominant outfit, it might very well be that the NFC has the best teams – but the AFC just has many many more good ones.  I mean even the bad AFC teams – like Buffalo, clearly are playing good football now, marked by their shocking comeback over the possibly dead Bengals.

NFL Power Rankings – Week 10

Another week of strange results, none stranger than the Miami Dolphins lining up six guys behind center to beat the Tennessee Titans.  As the season evolves, the movements up and down the table get smaller.  That said, when you hang 59 points up, it gets you noticed.  As always this is a combination of scoring margin and opponents scoring margin against other teams – this week’s story is about the actual data, and not the ordinal data per se:

Rank Team W L T Margin Sched Rtg SOS Rank Last Wk
1 Titans 5 4 0 11.663 2.969 9 1
2 Packers 6 3 0 11.25 1.583 19 3
3 Jets 7 2 0 10.649 2.26 13 4
4 Steelers 6 3 0 10.521 4.382 2 2
5 Eagles 6 3 0 10.32 3.431 4 9
6 Patriots 7 2 0 9.219 2.524 12 12
7 Falcons 7 2 0 8.552 2.108 17 8
8 Colts 6 3 0 8.336 0.28 24 6
9 Chargers 4 5 0 8.056 1.611 18 7
10 Ravens 6 3 0 7.618 2.229 14 11
11 Giants 6 3 0 5.883 0.078 25 5
12 Lions 2 7 0 5.878 3.045 8 10
13 Raiders 5 4 0 5.809 0.642 23 15
14 Browns 3 6 0 5.313 4.868 1 14
15 Saints 6 3 0 4.809 -1.914 32 16
16 Chiefs 5 4 0 3.938 -0.007 26 13
17 Dolphins 5 4 0 3.681 3.958 3 21
18 Bears 6 3 0 3.347 -1.042 29 19
19 Vikings 3 6 0 1.851 2.795 10 17
20 Bengals 2 7 0 0.854 2.132 16 22
21 Broncos 3 6 0 -0.01 3.156 6 26
22 Rams 4 5 0 -0.198 -1.67 31 23
23 Redskins 4 5 0 -0.303 3.086 7 18
24 Texans 4 5 0 -0.328 2.561 11 20
25 Seahawks 5 4 0 -1.443 -0.054 27 27
26 49ers 3 6 0 -1.455 1.212 20 25
27 Cowboys 2 7 0 -1.963 2.176 15 29
28 Bucs 6 3 0 -1.966 -1.521 30 24
29 Jaguars 5 4 0 -3.368 1.076 21 30
30 Bills 1 8 0 -4.191 3.253 5 31
31 Cardinals 3 6 0 -6.686 0.786 22 28
32 Panthers 1 8 0 -10.748 -0.137 28 32

As I mentioned above, the actual numbers are the story of the NFL right now, much less so than the Titans still measuring up as the #1 team in the league.  Why is this the case?  Well, let’s take a trip down memory lane to last year’s final rankings.

Rank Team W L T Margin Sched Rtg SOS Rank
1 Saints 13 3 0 12.538 0.475 25
2 Patriots 10 6 0 12.133 3.227 5
3 Packers 11 5 0 11.944 0.413 27
4 Vikings 12 4 0 11.874 0.64 23
5 Ravens 9 7 0 11.219 2.063 11
6 Cowboys 11 5 0 10.699 2.011 13
7 Chargers 13 3 0 10.188 0.423 26
8 Colts 14 2 0 9.914 1.711 18
9 Jets 9 7 0 9.729 1.901 14
10 Eagles 11 5 0 9.171 1.858 16
11 Falcons 9 7 0 6.74 2.943 6
12 Panthers 8 8 0 5.963 4.01 2
13 Texans 9 7 0 5.575 0.388 29
14 Steelers 9 7 0 5.55 1.05 20
15 49ers 8 8 0 5.202 0.389 28
16 Cardinals 10 6 0 4.446 -0.429 32
17 Bengals 9 7 0 4.286 2.333 8
18 Dolphins 7 9 0 3.912 4.037 1
19 Broncos 8 8 0 3.553 1.85 17
20 Giants 8 8 0 3.203 3.265 4
21 Titans 8 8 0 1.861 2.205 9
22 Bears 7 9 0 0.74 1.881 15
23 Bills 6 10 0 -0.157 2.343 7
24 Redskins 4 12 0 -2.254 0.215 30
25 Jaguars 7 9 0 -2.682 0.896 21
26 Bucs 3 13 0 -4.159 3.747 3
27 Chiefs 5 11 0 -5.081 0.513 24
28 Browns 5 11 0 -5.145 1.23 19
29 Seahawks 5 11 0 -5.289 0.039 31
30 Raiders 5 11 0 -6.96 2.181 10
31 Lions 2 14 0 -10.271 2.057 12
32 Rams 1 15 0 -13.181 0.756 22

As we see even with the flawed sample here, that the top rating of 12.5 points (and remember these are points scored netted by opponents scoring margin) is higher than the current Titans score of 11.7.   And the league worst Panthers rating of -10.7 is significantly better than the Rams’ -13.2 stinkfest.  Put into English, the league is squished together more this season.  Indeed, the median for this year to date is 3.7 versus last year’s 4.3.  Of course last year, we know the Colts and Saints sat people the last couple of weeks.  So let’s cut this off at Week 14:

Rank Team W L T Margin Sched Rtg SOS Rank
1 Saints 13 1 0 15.493 0.814 25
2 Colts 14 0 0 14.307 2.539 9
3 Ravens 8 6 0 12.084 2.477 10
4 Patriots 9 5 0 11.972 3.544 3
5 Eagles 10 4 0 11.075 1.468 18
6 Vikings 11 3 0 10.768 0.072 28
7 Chargers 11 3 0 9.875 0.946 23
8 Cowboys 9 5 0 8.714 1.964 16
9 Packers 9 5 0 8.408 -0.36 30
10 Giants 8 6 0 7.431 3.163 4
11 Bengals 9 5 0 6.668 2.026 15
12 Jets 7 7 0 6.498 1.123 20
13 Cardinals 9 5 0 6.079 0.151 27
14 Broncos 8 6 0 5.66 2.321 11
15 Texans 7 7 0 5.535 0.856 24
16 49ers 6 8 0 5.438 2.759 8
17 Falcons 7 7 0 5.275 3.9 1
18 Dolphins 7 7 0 4.399 3.613 2
19 Steelers 7 7 0 4.274 0.024 29
20 Titans 7 7 0 3.663 2.806 6
21 Panthers 6 8 0 1.988 2.952 5
22 Jaguars 7 7 0 -0.727 1.433 19
23 Bears 5 9 0 -1.265 1.717 17
24 Bills 5 9 0 -1.654 1.096 21
25 Redskins 4 10 0 -2.122 -0.479 31
26 Seahawks 5 9 0 -4.381 -0.81 32
27 Bucs 2 12 0 -5.989 2.797 7
28 Browns 3 11 0 -6.633 2.082 14
29 Raiders 5 9 0 -6.823 2.302 12
30 Chiefs 3 11 0 -8.12 0.415 26
31 Lions 2 12 0 -10.148 2.191 13
32 Rams 1 13 0 -12.059 1.048 22

The bookends are even MORE pronounced once we removed the garbage time week.  In fact last year by that time, there were four teams that graded higher than any team does this year.  Last year, there was only one team within three points of the Saints (the Colts).  As of now there are 7 teams separated by that margin at the top.  I am not sure if Tennessee is the best, and the wins sure don’t indicate that they are.  But the numbers are so constricted that their case that they could be … is not torn to crap – not yet anyway.

As far as other news goes?  The Bucs are sure low ranked for a 28th rated team.  Deal with it, they need to beat somebody we respect  Finally, I am not sure if the Eagles are the 2nd best team in the NFC, but if Vick is healthy and it clicks like last night – their offense can surely impersonate an unbeatable lot.

 

NFL Power Rankings – Week 8

In another week of high impact games, we see the Saints and Packers make huge statements.  As always, the rankings are point margin based (modified so blowouts count less) and combined with the opponents results against other teams.

Rank Team W L T Margin Sched Rtg SOS Rank Last Wk
1 Titans 5 3 0 13.97 3.126 8 1
2 Steelers 5 2 0 12.838 4.446 2 2
3 Patriots 6 1 0 10.98 2.372 14 4
4 Jets 5 2 0 10.076 1.576 17 3
5 Chargers 3 5 0 9.42 3.357 5 10
6 Colts 5 2 0 9.273 -0.012 26 5
7 Packers 5 3 0 8.715 1.965 15 12
8 Falcons 5 2 0 7.922 1.207 20 7
9 Eagles 4 3 0 7.349 3.241 7 11
10 Giants 5 2 0 7.18 2.537 13 8
11 Lions 2 5 0 7.142 3.285 6 13
12 Chiefs 5 2 0 6.69 -0.667 28 6
13 Ravens 5 2 0 6.427 1.57 18 9
14 Raiders 4 4 0 5.691 0.254 25 22
15 Vikings 2 5 0 3.89 4.033 3 15
16 Bears 4 3 0 3.784 0.57 24 14
17 Dolphins 4 3 0 2.788 3.074 9 21
18 Redskins 4 4 0 2.678 2.803 12 16
19 Saints 5 3 0 2.655 -1.001 31 25
20 Texans 4 3 0 2.462 4.819 1 19
21 Browns 2 5 0 2.392 3.821 4 18
22 Rams 4 4 0 0.898 -0.696 30 24
23 Bengals 2 5 0 0.304 0.732 22 23
24 Seahawks 4 3 0 -0.982 -0.554 27 20
25 Cowboys 1 6 0 -2.52 0.694 23 17
26 49ers 2 6 0 -2.58 0.795 21 27
27 Broncos 2 6 0 -3.135 2.927 11 26
28 Bucs 5 2 0 -3.753 -1.395 32 28
29 Jaguars 4 4 0 -4.524 1.351 19 30
30 Cardinals 3 4 0 -5.335 1.772 16 29
31 Bills 0 7 0 -6.463 2.965 10 32
32 Panthers 1 6 0 -8.473 -0.687 29 31

Some observations:

  • Finally, the Cowboys form is starting to dip.  They were doing just enough to lose against a schedule of good teams, but now getting crushed by Jacksonville sent them tumbling.  They are as bad as they seem.
  • On the other hand, the Chargers vault back into the Top 5 with a win over the Titans, still the #1 due to the body of work.  The Chargers have been the ultimate team that is a few mistakes away from a good record.  The #1 offense and defense by yards, their wins have been dominant and their losses have been maddening.  I do not think they are the 5th best team in the NFL, but their ranking is a good potential harbinger for future results.  Of course they will put the ball on the ground 4 possessions in a row again now that I said it.
  • The Saints have scuffled all season, with their offense not popping and a pretty mediocre schedule.  But the win against Pittsburgh was huge for them – they have a chance to fix what ails them.
  • Yes, the 2-5 Lions are 11th – they have a positive scoring margin.  They seem like they just need to learn to win the games they are losing – if they make a 2nd half run, don’t be stunned.
  • The Bucs at #28 are still not getting any respect from the model, despite the 5-2 record (they are the opposite of Detroit, a good record with a negative margin).  They need to start beating decent teams, and that has not materialized yet.  But when they do, the numbers will respect it.

NFL Power Rankings – Week 3

As has been explained before, the rankings are 50% a team’s margin of victory – 50% the other team’s scoring margin against everybody else.  After 28 points, additional points are only counted half up to 42.  Thus, the best a team can do for a given game is 38.5 points (a 6 touchdown win on the road).  So theoretically the best possible score is 77 (win all your games by 42 points against teams who beat their other opponents on the road by 42).  With that sort of scale in mind, the week 3 rundown:

Rank Team W L T Margin Sched Rtg SOS Rank Last Wk
1 Steelers 3 0 0 32.667 17.417 1 1
2 Falcons 2 1 0 21.625 9.958 2 2
3 Packers 2 1 0 19.458 6.792 4 4
4 Titans 2 1 0 18.375 5.208 6 9
5 Jets 2 1 0 15.417 7.25 3 8
6 Bears 3 0 0 12.667 6.5 5 13
7 Colts 2 1 0 11.667 0 21 6
8 Chiefs 3 0 0 10.167 -1 27 5
9 Eagles 2 1 0 9.417 0.167 20 9
10 Chargers 1 2 0 9.333 3.333 11 7
11 Ravens 2 1 0 8.333 5 7 17
12 Texans 2 1 0 5.417 4.583 9 3
13 Cowboys 1 2 0 4.5 1.833 13 22
14 Patriots 2 1 0 4.417 0.583 16 16
15 Seahawks 2 1 0 3.417 -2.75 30 19
16 Vikings 1 2 0 2.75 -0.083 23 14
17 Saints 2 1 0 2.75 -0.083 23 26
18 Dolphins 2 1 0 2.25 -0.417 25 23
19 Browns 0 3 0 2.083 3.75 10 11
20 Bengals 2 1 0 1.417 -2.25 29 25
21 Broncos 1 2 0 0.333 0.5 17 12
22 Lions 0 3 0 -0.125 4.875 8 20
23 Redskins 1 2 0 -1.833 0.667 15 18
24 Rams 1 2 0 -3.542 -7.375 31 32
25 Bucs 2 1 0 -3.583 -1.75 28 15
26 Raiders 1 2 0 -5.208 0.458 18 29
27 Cardinals 2 1 0 -6.917 0 21 27
28 Giants 1 2 0 -8.5 0.333 19 28
29 Bills 0 3 0 -8.667 2.333 12 24
30 49ers 0 3 0 -12.667 1.333 14 30
31 Jaguars 1 2 0 -13.917 -0.75 26 20
32 Panthers 0 3 0 -23 -11.167 32 31

Some observations for the week?

  • The Steelers stay at the top with their win over TB.  Their three opponents have not lost to anyone else.  Right now the defense has carried them – I don’t think Tampa will be a good team for much longer, but the model does not know that.
  • The big leaps of the week go to Dallas and New Orleans.  The latter might be a surprise, but the Falcons become the best team they’ve played, by far – and that combined with the close result lifted the ship quite a bit.
  • On the negative side, the Jaguars 11 spot drop is the worst of the week – a decisive loss combined with losses by previous opponents cause the double whammy.  Bucs felt it also.
  • The Panthers and 49ers remain lousy – though now the Jaguars join them.
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