2011 NFL Power Rankings #6

It was really funny actually.   If I had typed this article out a night earlier, before the Monday night stinkbomb by the Ravens, their #1 scoring margin and other metrics had them tied in PairWins with the Packers.  But alas, Jacksonville pulled off the shocking win and so here we are.  I guess Tebow-mania is a big sidelight of the week, they look like a couple of crappy teams to me.  So now, onto the rankings!

Rank Team W L RPI Margin PairWins
1 Packers 7 0 0.751 (1) 15.831 (2) 31
2 Patriots 5 1 0.718 (2) 14.197 (4) 29
3 49ers 5 1 0.678 (3) 16.943 (1) 29
4 Ravens 4 2 0.605 (8) 14.324 (3) 28
5 Bills 4 2 0.645 (5) 12.642 (6) 26
6 Saints 5 2 0.652 (4) 13.238 (5) 26
7 Lions 5 2 0.609 (7) 11.818 (7) 25
8 Jets 4 3 0.546 (12) 7.85 (11) 22
9 Bengals 4 2 0.577 (11) 6.272 (13) 21
10 Chargers 4 2 0.596 (9) 2.383 (17) 20
11 Bears 4 3 0.54 (15) 9.042 (10) 20
12 Steelers 5 2 0.613 (6) 6.489 (12) 19
13 Texans 4 3 0.543 (14) 11.557 (8) 18
14 Raiders 4 3 0.544 (13) 2.111 (18) 18
15 Falcons 4 3 0.58 (10) 5.18 (14) 18
16 Cowboys 3 3 0.526 (19) 10.017 (9) 15
17 Titans 3 3 0.493 (20) 1.401 (19) 13
18 Bucs 4 3 0.526 (18) -0.645 (24) 13
19 Giants 4 2 0.539 (16) 0.975 (20) 12
20 Redskins 3 3 0.443 (22) -0.261 (22) 12
21 Chiefs 3 3 0.532 (17) -4.039 (27) 10
22 Eagles 2 4 0.459 (21) 4.444 (15) 10
23 Seahawks 2 4 0.439 (23) -0.314 (23) 9
24 Broncos 2 4 0.428 (24) -1.606 (26) 8
25 Jaguars 2 5 0.363 (26) -1.012 (25) 6
26 Panthers 2 5 0.354 (27) 2.529 (16) 5
27 Browns 3 3 0.426 (25) -6.956 (30) 4
28 Vikings 1 6 0.306 (28) -0.256 (21) 4
29 Cardinals 1 5 0.259 (29) -4.319 (28) 3
30 Dolphins 0 6 0.242 (32) -5.174 (29) 0
31 Colts 0 7 0.243 (31) -10.41 (31) 0
32 Rams 0 6 0.248 (30) -12.633 (32) 0

The hardest schedules?  It was the Cowboys, but funny what adding the Rams to your resume can do.  Using Dallas – who fell 5 places despite a win this week – we can build an example of SoS calculations.  Dallas’ opponents entering this past week were:  Jets (2-3 vs rest of league), 49ers (5-0), Lions (4-1), Redskins (3-1), Patriots (4-1)  … so Dallas’ opponents were 18-6 in their other games.  Add second order strength of schedule metrics and suddenly Dallas has the toughest schedule through 6 weeks.  But this week, the Lions lost, the Redskins lost and Dallas added Saint Louis … so from 17-6, it slips to … Jets (3-3), 49ers (5-0), Lions (4-2), Redskins (3-2), Patriots (4-1), Rams (0-5) … 19-13 and a drop from #1 to #7 as a result.  Here are the schedule quartiles below.

  1. Bills (20-11, .563)
  2. 49ers (19-13,.562)
  3. Bears (25-17, .561)
  4. Lions (22-17, .559)
  5. Falcons (23-17, .554)
  6. Cowboys (19-13, .553)
  7. Patriots (18-14, .552)
  8. Raiders (22-15, .547)

The cupcake schedules as of today?

  1. Ravens (16-18, .483)
  2. Texans (18-21, .480)
  3. Chargers (13-19, .465)
  4. Steelers (14-24, .432)
  5. Browns (10-22, .419)
  6. Giants (10-20, .411)
  7. Cardinals (12-21, .402)
  8. Redskins (9-22, .385)

What is notable here is that the AFC North has a lot of the easier schedules.  Considering that this year the AFC North is paired with the AFC South and NFC West, this is not surprising.  The NFC East is also paired with the NFC West.  So the Cowboys #7 schedule vs the Giants, Eagles and Redskins is stark now.  The Cowboys appear to have a much easier schedule coming down the pike – the upside is there.  The Chargers made a leap despite a loss because of the “good team” metric.  Adding the Jets to their schedule suddenly gave them enough quality opponents to qualify for that criteria.  Indeed the divisional schedules should all match up fairly closely towards the end.  Looking down the list, it seems like the Bills have similar level of schedule upside – while the Chargers have a tougher road ahead.

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