2012 NFL Update #2

Well, that was something, wasn’t it?  What I can say about the ghastly prime time games involving the Patriots, Ravens, Packers and Seahawks is that, well – it’s unpredictable.  Cris Collinsworth, while the best football analyst on television is also the spearhead of the most visible broadcast, was at his wits end trying not to blurt out that this is pretty ridiculous.  What is fascinating about the scab refs is not that they have screwed up pass interference calls or 100 mph sort of snap judgments – but that they have been so reliably bad at the easy stuff.  We see balls mis-spotted, we see fumble calls being egregiously blown.  The refs are screwing up way worse than you’d expect.  It obviously is reflecting in a product, which has become much more compelling, but in a rather creepy dangerous sort of “what’s gonna happen next” sort of way.

That said, there has been 3 weeks of football in the can, and thus more trends and such.  As the season goes on, the fluctuations in the rankings will shrink – but right now the schedule strength causes a lot of flopping about.  So what of Week 3?

Rank Team W L RPI Margin PairWins
1 Falcons 3 0 0.75 (3) 25.667 (1) 30
2 Texans 3 0 0.681 (5) 25.667 (1) 29
3 Cardinals 3 0 0.847 (1) 21 (3) 29
4 Seahawks 2 1 0.764 (2) 16.917 (6) 28
5 Ravens 2 1 0.639 (7) 17 (5) 25
6 Broncos 1 2 0.599 (8) 20.917 (4) 24
7 Jets 2 1 0.553 (14) 10.917 (10) 23
8 Cowboys 2 1 0.678 (6) 8.625 (13) 23
9 Patriots 1 2 0.589 (10) 16 (7) 22
10 Eagles 2 1 0.692 (4) 2.167 (20) 22
11 49ers 2 1 0.567 (11) 9.5 (12) 20
12 Vikings 2 1 0.556 (13) 4.333 (16) 19
13 Packers 1 2 0.53 (15) 13.417 (8) 17
14 Chargers 2 1 0.592 (9) 5.583 (15) 16
15 Giants 2 1 0.508 (16) 11.292 (9) 16
16 Dolphins 1 2 0.502 (17) 8.333 (14) 14
17 Steelers 1 2 0.389 (24) 3.333 (17) 13
18 Bills 2 1 0.484 (18) 3.25 (18) 12
19 Jaguars 1 2 0.561 (12) 2.667 (19) 12
20 Bears 2 1 0.458 (20) 9.917 (11) 12
21 Bucs 1 2 0.444 (21) 1.208 (21) 10
22 Bengals 2 1 0.47 (19) -1.083 (23) 9
23 Chiefs 1 2 0.436 (22) -3.25 (24) 8
24 Colts 1 2 0.433 (23) -4.083 (26) 6
25 Raiders 1 2 0.363 (25) -7.25 (28) 4
26 Lions 1 2 0.347 (28) -6.917 (27) 4
27 Titans 1 2 0.363 (25) -14.5 (31) 3
28 Rams 1 2 0.319 (29) -0.083 (22) 3
29 Browns 0 3 0.361 (27) -8.417 (29) 2
30 Redskins 1 2 0.242 (30) -3.583 (25) 2
31 Panthers 1 2 0.224 (31) -9.042 (30) 1
32 Saints 0 3 0.069 (32) -14.75 (32) 0

Some of the quick thoughts from the week past:

  • You will hear all sorts of doomsday stats about the Saints 0-3 start and how so few teams have made the playoffs after an 0-3 beginning.  Of course these stats are nonsense as far proving that a bad start is fatal – it is more that 0-3 is a harbinger that your team sucks, and THAT is why the 0-3 start is problematic.  It is a sign of league balance that there are only two winless sides at this point.  The Saints start has been particularly troubling as the Redskins, Panthers and Chiefs are by no means a murderer’s row of opposition.  The Browns – well, we knew this all along.
  • The Cardinals as of today certainly earned their lofty ranking.  The dominant victory over the Eagles showed another game where they allowed fewer than 20 points.  The defense – with studs like Patrick Peterson and Darnell Dockett – has been championship timber so far even with the offense being relatively uninspiring.  If this sounds like a familiar formula to win the NFC West, well …
  • On the other hand, the Falcons and Texans are passing the eye test much easier.  The Falcons – football’s boring, stable boyfriend – have shown some duende and force in the early going not yet seen.  Do they have the horsepower to not just be a quality team but a truly fear inducing one?  The Texans, they are just so balanced across the board – although that division might end up inflating their record slightly.  But you can’t quibble with the results so far.
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