2011 NFL Power Rankings #4

For the first time in these rankings, none of the top teams lost. On the other hand, that did not prevent a 4th team from ascending to #1 in four different go-rounds of this thing. You know the drill by this point, here are the results:

Rank Team W L RPI Margin PairWins
1 Lions 5 0 0.787 (1) 14.433 (5) 31
2 Patriots 4 1 0.729 (3) 16.738 (3) 29
3 Packers 5 0 0.77 (2) 17.225 (2) 29
4 49ers 4 1 0.642 (7) 14.946 (4) 28
5 Bills 4 1 0.71 (4) 13.925 (6) 27
6 Ravens 3 1 0.642 (8) 19.323 (1) 26
7 Saints 4 1 0.698 (5) 12.9 (7) 25
8 Raiders 3 2 0.61 (9) 9.363 (11) 23
9 Cowboys 2 2 0.573 (13) 12.448 (8) 23
10 Bengals 3 2 0.574 (11) 7.329 (12) 21
11 Texans 3 2 0.52 (16) 9.983 (9) 20
12 Steelers 3 2 0.573 (12) 9.933 (10) 20
13 Titans 3 2 0.571 (14) 6.658 (14) 19
14 Jets 2 3 0.486 (18) 7.125 (13) 18
15 Redskins 3 1 0.609 (10) 3.896 (16) 15
16 Chargers 4 1 0.665 (6) 2.188 (19) 14
17 Broncos 1 4 0.362 (25) 0.6 (20) 13
18 Bears 2 3 0.459 (21) 6.05 (15) 12
19 Giants 3 2 0.488 (17) -0.142 (22) 11
20 Bucs 3 2 0.534 (15) -1.763 (24) 11
21 Falcons 2 3 0.476 (20) -2.563 (26) 8
22 Seahawks 2 3 0.447 (22) -0.925 (23) 8
23 Eagles 1 4 0.365 (24) 2.379 (18) 7
24 Vikings 1 4 0.316 (26) 2.85 (17) 6
25 Jaguars 1 4 0.304 (27) -7.875 (29) 4
26 Chiefs 2 3 0.478 (19) -7.95 (30) 4
27 Panthers 1 4 0.304 (28) -0.075 (21) 4
28 Browns 2 2 0.399 (23) -6.781 (28) 3
29 Cardinals 1 4 0.265 (29) -1.783 (25) 3
30 Dolphins 0 4 0.255 (30) -2.896 (27) 2
31 Colts 0 5 0.216 (31) -12.392 (32) 0
32 Rams 0 4 0.206 (32) -11.385 (31) 0

So, what are some of the takeaways from this week’s results?

  • Green Bay is no longer #1.  However, it’s win over Atlanta after such a treacherous start is a great harbinger for the future.  Besides, Detroit certainly deserves to be considered a #1.
  • Big moves of the week were for the Steelers – beating up on a former Top Ten entry in Tennessee and the Patriots for winning their archrival game.  The Tampa Buccaneers took over the big disappointment after their non-effort against the 49ers.

2011 NFL Power Rankings #3

Another week, another number one bites the dust.  Of course, as the underlying quality of the teams gets revealed, some of the movement in the rankings is explained there.  Also – now with 4 games down, the “good team” criteria kicks in.  So if a team has at least played 1/3 of their schedule (1 game so far) against > .500 RPI teams, the games count in that comparison criteria.  Anyway, at number one is probably the people’s number one:

Rank Team W L RPI Margin PairWins
1 Packers 4 0 0.802 (1) 19.875 (2) 31
2 Lions 4 0 0.776 (2) 15.104 (5) 30
3 Patriots 3 1 0.696 (5) 17.979 (3) 27
4 Bills 3 1 0.698 (4) 13.521 (6) 27
5 Saints 3 1 0.724 (3) 17.208 (4) 27
6 Titans 3 1 0.651 (6) 12.063 (8) 26
7 Ravens 3 1 0.651 (6) 21.292 (1) 26
8 Texans 3 1 0.63 (9) 12.375 (7) 23
9 Cowboys 2 2 0.573 (13) 12 (9) 23
10 49ers 3 1 0.599 (11) 8.083 (10) 21
11 Redskins 3 1 0.641 (8) 6.833 (13) 20
12 Raiders 2 2 0.542 (15) 7.938 (11) 19
13 Jets 2 2 0.526 (17) 6.938 (12) 18
14 Bucs 3 1 0.554 (14) 3.917 (18) 18
15 Giants 3 1 0.618 (10) 6.625 (15) 17
16 Bengals 2 2 0.516 (19) 6.563 (16) 16
17 Bears 2 2 0.49 (20) 6.792 (14) 16
18 Steelers 2 2 0.526 (17) 4.188 (17) 12
19 Broncos 1 3 0.401 (22) 1.917 (20) 12
20 Chargers 3 1 0.583 (12) -1.229 (23) 9
21 Falcons 2 2 0.536 (16) -2.75 (26) 8
22 Jaguars 1 3 0.354 (25) -6.292 (27) 7
23 Eagles 1 3 0.354 (24) 1.042 (21) 6
24 Browns 2 2 0.406 (21) -6.333 (28) 5
25 Panthers 1 3 0.333 (26) 0.042 (22) 5
26 Cardinals 1 3 0.297 (28) 3.208 (19) 5
27 Seahawks 1 3 0.302 (27) -8.167 (29) 3
28 Dolphins 0 4 0.234 (30) -2.208 (24) 2
29 Vikings 0 4 0.255 (29) -2.396 (25) 2
30 Chiefs 1 3 0.359 (23) -12.063 (32) 1
31 Colts 0 4 0.214 (32) -9.208 (30) 0
32 Rams 0 4 0.229 (31) -10.354 (31) 0

Notes?

  • Detroit leaps to #2 both by staying unbeaten and beating a team who has been well regarded so far.  Dallas, #9 on this list, is only 2-2, but has played four good opponents.  They are just a bit behind Green Bay, though I think it is fair to say GB passes the eye test as well as the numerical one.
  • Baltimore, with the best adjusted scoring margin in the league, seems to have the most upside of any team on the list.  They have shown a propensity to score, though the Sunday game against the Jets was a different deal with all those returns and whatnot.
  • It is impossible to write this without mentioning the Eagles, suddenly 1-3 and 2 games off the pace in the NFC East.  Given the crazy level of turnover they underwent, it stands to reason that they will be a better team in Week 10 than now.  However, the team has to put some games away, or it might be too late.  This is not the NBA or baseball, where you have 50 games to iron things out.

NFL Power Rankings – Week 14

After bearing witness to one of the league’s best weeks, featuring the most improbable comeback of recent memory – what does that do to the numbers?  Interestingly, not much – as the season wears on the results create less and less shock.  More instructive are the numbers, and that in theory, on a neutral field, there is evidence that up to fourteen teams are within roughly a touchdown of each other.  As always this combines scoring margin and opponent’s scoring margin.

Rank Team W L T Margin Sched Rtg SOS Rank Last Wk
1 Patriots 12 2 0 15.309 4.094 1 1
2 Chargers 8 6 0 11.861 1.433 20 5
3 Packers 8 6 0 11.678 2.089 15 3
4 Steelers 10 4 0 11.513 3.709 3 2
5 Falcons 12 2 0 10.977 1.477 19 4
6 Eagles 10 4 0 9.831 2.867 7 6
7 Ravens 10 4 0 8.968 2.146 13 7
8 Jets 10 4 0 6.91 2.213 12 10
9 Saints 10 4 0 6.457 -1.043 32 8
10 Colts 8 6 0 6.195 1.659 17 11
11 Giants 9 5 0 6.175 0.122 27 9
12 Titans 6 8 0 5.854 1.586 18 12
13 Bears 10 4 0 5.836 0.711 24 13
14 Chiefs 9 5 0 4.412 -0.516 29 15
15 Raiders 7 7 0 3.409 1.034 22 18
16 Lions 4 10 0 3.346 3.453 4 17
17 Dolphins 7 7 0 3.138 2.959 6 14
18 Browns 5 9 0 2.573 1.93 16 16
19 Texans 5 9 0 1.747 3.782 2 19
20 Cowboys 5 9 0 1.151 2.419 10 20
21 Bucs 8 6 0 1.127 0.092 28 21
22 Jaguars 8 6 0 0.783 2.319 11 23
23 Bills 4 10 0 -0.732 2.643 8 26
24 Vikings 5 9 0 -0.894 2.606 9 22
25 Rams 6 8 0 -1.344 -0.683 30 25
26 Redskins 5 9 0 -1.381 2.119 14 27
27 Bengals 3 11 0 -1.715 3.035 5 28
28 49ers 5 9 0 -1.824 0.997 23 24
29 Seahawks 6 8 0 -3.758 0.277 26 29
30 Broncos 3 11 0 -4.889 1.432 21 30
31 Cardinals 4 10 0 -7.281 -0.834 31 31
32 Panthers 2 12 0 -9.642 0.679 25 32

Besides the Patriots escaping against Green Bay to hang yet another impressive scalp, what can the numbers tell us?

  • It’s December.  We know the Chargers finish strong.  That said, the Chiefs have a lead on them – and so enthusiasm must be tempered.  If the Chargers make the tournament look out – but “make” is the big chore here
  • #25, #28, #29, #31 … somebody is hosting a playoff game in 3 weeks.  For realz.
  • In earlier rankings, the Lions were nearly a top 10 team.  Now, at 4-10, they are 16, which actually seems like a fair ranking for them.  The luck has not been there to win the games, but the scoring margin has.  This is a team that has a chance to do something sooner than the cynics think.

NFL Power Rankings – Week 9

Just when the Patriots seem to be growing, they get whomped by the Cleveland Browns.  The Seahawks show some serious mirage-properties.  The Bengals look finished.  Yep, it’s the NFL wildness.  As always the rankings are a combination of scoring margin and opponents scoring margin against other teams.

Rank Team W L T Margin Sched Rtg SOS Rank Last Wk
1 Titans 5 3 0 13.786 2.942 7 1
2 Steelers 6 2 0 13.03 4.499 3 2
3 Packers 6 3 0 10.734 1.067 20 7
4 Jets 6 2 0 10.097 1.847 13 4
5 Giants 6 2 0 9.004 0.848 21 10
6 Colts 5 3 0 8.97 0.658 23 6
7 Chargers 4 5 0 8.225 1.781 15 5
8 Falcons 6 2 0 8.126 1.501 17 8
9 Eagles 5 3 0 8.052 4.209 5 9
10 Lions 2 6 0 7.917 4.917 1 11
11 Ravens 6 2 0 7.482 1.232 19 13
12 Patriots 6 2 0 7.306 1.837 14 3
13 Chiefs 5 3 0 6.971 0.471 25 12
14 Browns 3 5 0 6.113 4.863 2 21
15 Raiders 5 4 0 5.801 0.634 24 14
16 Saints 6 3 0 5.299 -1.423 31 19
17 Vikings 3 5 0 2.401 2.151 11 15
18 Redskins 4 4 0 2.204 2.329 10 18
19 Bears 5 3 0 1.843 -1.345 30 16
20 Texans 4 4 0 1.656 4.469 4 20
21 Dolphins 4 4 0 1.518 3.33 6 17
22 Bengals 2 6 0 0.134 1.259 18 23
23 Rams 4 4 0 0.076 -1.518 32 22
24 Bucs 5 3 0 -2.166 0.209 28 28
25 49ers 2 6 0 -3.167 0.208 29 26
26 Broncos 2 6 0 -3.619 2.443 9 27
27 Seahawks 4 4 0 -3.998 0.252 27 24
28 Cardinals 3 5 0 -4.579 1.577 16 30
29 Cowboys 1 7 0 -4.768 1.951 12 25
30 Jaguars 4 4 0 -5.069 0.806 22 29
31 Bills 0 8 0 -5.737 2.888 8 31
32 Panthers 1 7 0 -10.036 0.464 26 32

Some of the key observations as the Thursday night schedule starts to heat up?

  • Holy blowout!  The Patriots getting demolished by the Browns sent them plummeting to 12th from 3rd.  I am not sure they are this bad, but they do not have a ton of margin for error as their receivers gel.  That said, the Browns are THIS close to being a good team.
  • Ditto for 10th ranked Detroit.  Another tough loss to a good team.  They are THIS close to breaking through with all that talent on the offensive side of the ball.
  • Dallas and Carolina might consider taking the rest of the season off.
  • Seattle falls to 4-4 with a destructive loss to the surging Giants.  On the surface the loss is not a shock – but could this start the trend of Pete Carroll teams falling down the toilet as the season evolves?

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.

2011 NBA Preview: Teams 30-25

The first part of our 2011 NBA Preview started with last year’s rankings recapped.  But of course, that was LAST year.  What about this year – and shouldn’t an NBA preview feature wanton, almost certainly incorrect assessments about who is most likely to raise the banner next season?  But of course!  But to reach the top, we start at the bottom, so we count down the teams to the favorite to take home the gold.

30. Minnesota Timberwolves (29th ranked in 2010, 29th offense, 27th defense)

After a season where GM David Kahn decided to stockpile point guards – we now have a situation where he decided to stockpile small forwards.  We have #4 overall pick Wesley Johnson – who has NBA talent but is 23, so one wonders if he has any star future – we have the highly fungible Martell Webster, Corey Brewer – a glue guy on a team desperate for stuff to glue together, and Michael Beasley – who really should be playing power forward.  Alas, Kevin Love is occupying that spot because Kahn has been seduced by Darko Milicic as a center with a pulse.  The team has a lot of depth, but I am not sure any of them besides Love are any good at all.  They are horrid on both ends of the floor and there is not a lot in their offseason that offers evidence of change.  Kurt Rambis’ attempts to fit these guys into the triangle also showed real questions about his ability to coach a CYO team.

CAN WIN THE TITLE IF: A Godzilla like space creature comes in and marauds every other city in the country but, due to a fear of Prince music, leaves Minneapolis untouched.

29. Toronto Raptors (17th overall in 2010, 5th offense, 30th defense)

The Raptors, like many of the teams in the toilet bowl section of this preview, are a series of complimentary players waiting for a superstar to save them.  Of course Chris Bosh, their best player, walked out the door to fulfill a pinky swear promise with Wade and LeBron, and left this Charmin-soft band of misfits behind.  Props to Brian Colangelo for foisting Hedo Turkoglu’s deal on the unsuspecting Phoenix Suns, but what is left here might be the single least intimidating team in NBA history.  With Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, Linus Kleiza, Leandro Barbosa – they can score and shoot well.  They were the 5th best offense a year ago, and that will suffer with Bosh’s absence – though they should still be middle of the pack.  However, their appalling defense of a year ago (not just 30th, but 30th by a larger margin than the difference between 29th and 25th) figures to be even worse too.

CAN WIN THE TITLE IF: The NBA changes its rules to allow all games played in Canada to be decided by a game of 21 or Knockout.

28. Detroit Pistons (28th overall in 2010, 21st in offense, 26th in defense)

The real surprise over the years as the Pistons have fallen apart from their 2003-2008 heyday is how they still play a molasses slow pace, but are now incredibly easy to play against.  26th in defense!  How?  After losing Flip Saunders, their offense faded from super efficient to pretty shaky, but the defense has slid too.  We know Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon are not defensive aces, but Tayshaun Prince (when healthy), Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace (who to be fair, had a good season) – where is the accountability?  Really there feels like there is just a depression over the franchise – this has not been a crash, but a gradual descent into irrelevance, kind of incredible given that they were in the semifinals as recently as 2008.  The ownership change to Mike Ilitch, who knows winning with the Red Wings and Tigers, will help – but not yet.

CAN WIN THE TITLE IF: The clock turns back to 2004.

27. Cleveland Cavaliers (1st overall in 2010, 3rd offense, 8th defense)

The #1 team of last year is 27?  How?  Ummm … I don’t know.  Seriously, what LeBron’s loss will do for their previously 3rd ranked offense cannot be overstated.  Their offense relied on having lots of good shooters and LeBron to slice them up.  Now?  Well Ramon Sessions is a good pick and roll point guard, but nobody would call him a LeBron playmaker.  Actually the cupboard is not that bare on some level, Hickson and Varajeao could be a very good frontcourt and they did defend well in the past.  I would not be surprised if they did better, but I am not sure where the offense comes from.

CAN WIN THE TITLE IF:  They trade for Antawn Jamison to give LeBron that help … oh wait a minute.

26. New Jersey Nets (30th overall in 2010, 30th offense, 25th defense)

The 12-70 Nets can’t get a whole lot worse than last year.  Considering this team flirted with East postseasondom in 2009, and Devin Harris and Brook Lopez have all star ability in them, there are some raw materials.  I loved the pickup of Anthony Morrow, who is one dimensional, but elite at that dimension (shooting the rock).  If they surprise me, they have the pieces to do so.  That said, their first round pick, Derrick Favors, is more a guy to dream on in the future than the present.  Their coaching will be somewhat improved with Avery Johnson (since Kiki Vandeweghe was just a sacrificial lamb) although Lawrence Frank is not at all a bad coach – the marginal improvement from the beginning of last season to this year is pretty small.  Really I just don’t see how they got THAT much better despite all their claims about cap space.  Travis Outlaw does not an offseason make.

CAN WIN THE TITLE IF: Well, they add Carmelo Anthony without seriously injuring the core i.e. just moving Favors, they start becoming interesting.  They have the cap room and assets to make a big move, so on some level this is a team that can at least dream – just not with this roster.

25. Golden State Warriors (22nd overall in 2010, 14th offense, 28th defense)

The best thing that happened to them is that Chris Cohan sold his team.  I know nothing about the new owners, but if they are just adequate that will be plenty.  This year’s team will not bear the fruit of this infusion of competence, but still one of the best markets in the league has hope again.  The team will be fun. Stephon Curry is one of my favorite players in the league, though he is paired with one of my least favorites in Monta Ellis.  They will run and score – their pace last year was the fastest in the league by a wide margin.  They will not defend – and getting David Lee in the offseason only makes that worse – although new coach Keith Smart might at least pretend since unlike Don Nelson, he will give a shit.  Also unlike Don Nelson, Smart might play Brandan Wright, who has been either injured or treated unconscionably by Nelson in the past.  There is talent even if they can’t guard a traffic cone.

CAN WIN THE TITLE IF: The playoffs occur at Rucker Park.  Really at least the last three teams in this section still have some ceiling – maybe not title ceiling, but could at least keep their fans flipping the sports pages until March.  The Warriors will be zany, and they will unearth good NBDL talent – but this is still a year or two away from being really somebody.



NFL Power Rankings – Week 6

Another week in the books, with the Patriots and Ravens playing the league’s game of the year to date – with Ben Roethlisberger joining the Steelers to set up a potentially magical season (yeah it’s true even if their fans are uber-obnoxious).  The parity of the league is a bit of a myth – baseball has had more playoff diversity – but this season is turning into something totally unpredictable.  As always, these rankings are 50% team’s scoring margin, 50% the opponent’s scoring margin against other teams:

Rank Team W L T Margin Sched Rtg SOS Rank Last Wk
1 Steelers 4 1 0 17.65 5.5 3 1
2 Titans 4 2 0 14.781 2.573 10 3
3 Jets 5 1 0 13.01 1.594 18 2
4 Ravens 4 2 0 11.383 6.217 1 4
5 Patriots 4 1 0 10.7 1.95 14 6
6 Colts 4 2 0 9.575 0.908 22 5
7 Falcons 4 2 0 8.94 2.273 12 7
8 Eagles 4 2 0 8.225 1.017 21 13
9 Giants 4 2 0 7.146 3.313 9 14
10 Lions 1 5 0 6.808 4.308 4 10
11 Chiefs 3 2 0 6.72 1.42 19 9
12 Packers 3 3 0 6.454 0.204 25 8
13 Chargers 2 4 0 5.81 -1.44 30 11
14 Bears 4 2 0 5.479 1.229 20 12
15 Vikings 2 3 0 4.74 3.54 7 16
16 Broncos 2 4 0 4.617 5.533 2 15
17 Redskins 3 3 0 3.783 3.617 5 18
18 Cowboys 1 4 0 3.64 3.34 8 17
19 Seahawks 3 2 0 3.19 0.89 23 21
20 Saints 4 2 0 1.565 -3.81 32 26
21 Texans 4 2 0 0.775 1.942 15 23
22 Bengals 2 3 0 -0.118 -1.818 31 20
23 Rams 3 3 0 -0.356 -0.398 26 24
24 Dolphins 3 2 0 -0.475 2.025 13 27
25 Browns 1 5 0 -0.869 3.548 6 19
26 49ers 1 5 0 -3.433 2.483 11 29
27 Raiders 2 4 0 -3.919 -0.502 27 25
28 Bucs 3 2 0 -5.42 -0.62 29 22
29 Cardinals 3 2 0 -5.93 1.72 17 30
30 Jaguars 3 3 0 -6.475 1.858 16 28
31 Panthers 0 5 0 -10.815 -0.615 28 31
32 Bills 0 5 0 -13.143 0.258 24 32

A few thoughts on the week that was:

  • On some basic level it comes down to wins and losses.  These rankings are driven by modified scoring margins – which are a better indicator of team quality.  That said, there are only sixteen datapoints for each team, so the wins definitely ought to matter to them.
  • The NFC East has slowly risen from frankly, not a whole lot, to its perch as maybe the best division in football again.  The Eagles and Giants are flawed, but they have put some of their early season issues behind them.  Even the last place Cowboys are more a case of stupid mistakes – their problems seem correctable.  The Eagles, in particular, might have hung up the stunning statement of the year, whipping a very good Atlanta team.
  • The big surprise is the Lions staying at #10 with a 1-5 record.  That 44-6 win last week holds a lot of weight, especially considering they have hung with their other opponents for the most part.
  • The Florida teams seem undervalued for their records.  But note, their losses almost across the board have been routs, especially compared to the close shaves of their wins.
  • Tennessee as #2 is the surprise.  I am not sure their quality can persist – but they have the results to prove it, and have beaten a fairly good caliber of opponent all season.