2011 NFL Power Rankings #5

Well, we are down to a single unbeaten – and so we get a change at the top yet again.  The 49ers, the team that precipitated the change with the win over previous #1 Detroit – was justly rewarded by the numbers.  What ARE those numbers??

Rank Team W L RPI Margin PairWins
1 Packers 6 0 0.749 (1) 15.908 (3) 31
2 Patriots 5 1 0.73 (2) 14.604 (4) 30
3 49ers 5 1 0.698 (3) 16.892 (2) 29
4 Ravens 4 1 0.672 (5) 19.948 (1) 27
5 Lions 5 1 0.684 (4) 13.219 (5) 27
6 Bills 4 2 0.65 (7) 12.392 (6) 26
7 Raiders 4 2 0.613 (9) 7.546 (12) 24
8 Titans 3 2 0.581 (11) 6.368 (14) 22
9 Steelers 4 2 0.589 (10) 6.873 (13) 22
10 Saints 4 2 0.64 (8) 9.808 (8) 22
11 Cowboys 2 3 0.535 (15) 10.88 (7) 20
12 Bengals 4 2 0.57 (13) 6.108 (15) 18
13 Bucs 4 2 0.576 (12) 0.067 (22) 17
14 Jets 3 3 0.514 (16) 7.715 (11) 16
15 Texans 3 3 0.492 (18) 8.448 (10) 16
16 Redskins 3 2 0.491 (19) 1.69 (18) 15
17 Bears 3 3 0.472 (21) 9.55 (9) 15
18 Falcons 3 3 0.508 (17) 2.025 (17) 14
19 Chargers 4 1 0.653 (6) 0.253 (21) 11
20 Giants 4 2 0.555 (14) 1.675 (19) 11
21 Seahawks 2 3 0.476 (20) -0.335 (23) 11
22 Eagles 2 4 0.47 (22) 5.008 (16) 10
23 Broncos 1 4 0.361 (25) 1.23 (20) 9
24 Vikings 1 5 0.304 (26) -2.369 (25) 6
25 Jaguars 1 5 0.292 (27) -5.371 (27) 5
26 Panthers 1 5 0.288 (28) -1.1 (24) 4
27 Browns 2 3 0.392 (24) -5.44 (28) 3
28 Chiefs 2 3 0.461 (23) -9.785 (31) 3
29 Cardinals 1 4 0.268 (29) -3.945 (26) 3
30 Dolphins 0 5 0.243 (31) -5.81 (29) 1
31 Rams 0 5 0.262 (30) -9.498 (30) 1
32 Colts 0 6 0.225 (32) -10.348 (32) 0

A few items to note:

  • The most obvious quirk is the muddle in the NFC East.  How are the first place Giants at 4-2, only 20th and only the 3rd highest rated team in the division?  Well, the Giants have a >.500 RPI (schedule adjusted winning percentage basically) but their strength of schedule is 29th in the league.  The Cowboys have a better adjusted scoring margin (basically they have done better margin wise than their opponents typically allow) and have played the #1 schedule in the league.  The Redskins gap is explained mostly by the head-to-head, and that the Redskins have played more good teams than the Giants have (but not by a huge margin).  It is hard to get that worked up about shuffling the teams around.
  • Packers are the obvious top ranked team.  The 31 pairwins shows that they outflank every team in the five ratings criteria, and with the #1 RPI and #3 scoring margin – even considering their pedestrian schedule (17th so far) their resume is clearly the tops.
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