2012 NFL Update #3

The problem with having something giant magically pop up in your life is that the old things slip – like putting an NFL update together in time.  Alas, my neglect of this – especially with the league going to Thursday games.  Obviously with Arizona’s execrable offensive line performance, the lofty perch the Cardinals hold in the pre-Week 4 power rankings will change.  At the same time, there is more of the league to observe, so here is a quick update with the rankings prior to Thursday.  Note that if we added Thursday to the soup the Rams would be #7 and the Cardinals would be #4.

Rank Team W L RPI Margin PairWins
1 Texans 4 0 0.627 (4) 21.083 (1) 29
2 Falcons 4 0 0.67 (3) 18.875 (3) 29
3 Cardinals 4 0 0.75 (1) 16.542 (5) 29
4 Ravens 3 1 0.625 (5) 16.25 (6) 27
5 Bears 3 1 0.604 (8) 13.063 (8) 25
6 Patriots 2 2 0.609 (7) 17.625 (4) 24
7 Eagles 3 1 0.677 (2) 3.938 (15) 24
8 Vikings 3 1 0.578 (10) 6.854 (11) 23
9 49ers 3 1 0.623 (6) 15.542 (7) 22
10 Broncos 2 2 0.563 (11) 19.375 (2) 21
11 Bengals 3 1 0.56 (12) 3.875 (16) 19
12 Rams 2 2 0.503 (15) 4.125 (14) 19
13 Seahawks 2 2 0.594 (9) 8 (10) 19
14 Packers 2 2 0.466 (21) 10.646 (9) 18
15 Chargers 3 1 0.554 (13) 3.667 (17) 15
16 Dolphins 1 3 0.499 (16) 4.458 (13) 14
17 Cowboys 2 2 0.498 (17) 2.646 (19) 13
18 Colts 1 2 0.479 (18) -3.333 (26) 12
19 Giants 2 2 0.448 (22) 6.458 (12) 10
20 Jaguars 1 3 0.552 (14) -1.917 (23) 9
21 Lions 1 3 0.429 (23) -2.188 (24) 9
22 Steelers 1 2 0.379 (28) 0 (20) 6
23 Redskins 2 2 0.401 (26) 2.708 (18) 6
24 Jets 2 2 0.467 (20) -2.208 (25) 5
25 Bills 2 2 0.388 (27) -5.042 (28) 3
26 Titans 1 3 0.469 (19) -7.792 (29) 3
27 Browns 0 4 0.411 (25) -3.375 (27) 3
28 Chiefs 1 3 0.417 (24) -7.917 (30) 2
29 Bucs 1 3 0.313 (30) -0.271 (21) 2
30 Panthers 1 3 0.307 (31) -1.188 (22) 1
31 Raiders 1 3 0.368 (29) -9.75 (32) 0
32 Saints 0 4 0.188 (32) -8.042 (31) 0

Some of the usual observations:

  • Despite the intro – the Cardinals 4-0(1) start is still pretty remarkable.  What is particular fascinating is that the entire NFC West is .500 or better – just think that two seasons ago this was the sickest joke in playoff football history.  Season is long, so there is time for this to change, but still.
  • Patriots sagging at 1-2 hung up a 45 point second half over the poor Buffalo Bills.  2-2 is not “fixed” by any means, but the 4th rated scoring margin portends to bigger things ahead.
  • We have talked about the NFC East as a surprise, but clearly the NFL’s biggest shock so far is the 3-1 start enjoyed by the Minnesota Vikings – who were largely expected to stink.  Adrian Peterson’s return has helped a ton, but really it is the development of Christian Ponder into an adequate NFL quarterback and a defense which has largely been good enough.  They have not piled up any of the Bears/Vikings games yet, but a win over Detroit at least for now seems like a nice feather.
  • The disappointment?  Well – it has to be the Saints, though last week represented progress.  Frankly, in prime time with Drew Brees ready to set a record, it would be hard to envision them losing to San Diego – although their defense is horrific enough to allow that possibility.  Can the Saints go 10-2 the rest of the way?  I wouldn’t put it past them, but clearly they are up against it now in the playoff chase.
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