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.
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