clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL Power Rankings, Week 7: freeland1787 Edition

New, comments

How does the NFL landscape shape up after 6 weeks?

The Patriots are still the top rated team, but Bill Belichick is on to the Jets.
The Patriots are still the top rated team, but Bill Belichick is on to the Jets.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

If you missed it last week, I have decided to throw my hat into the ring into devising a Power Rankings system. I have the teams ranked by offense, defense, special teams, and schedule. I rank the individual components based on how they compare to league average. All of the numbers are compiled on this spreadsheet.

For those that don't want to click on the link, here are the overall rankings:

Rank Team Offense Defense Schedule Sp. Teams Average
1 New England Patriots 101 53 103 56 78
2 Green Bay Packers 79 61 97 55 73
3 Cincinnati Bengals 79 51 95 57 71
4 Carolina Panthers 59 69 99 48 69
5 Denver Broncos 38 87 100 45 68
6 Pittsburgh Steelers 73 54 68 56 63
7 Atlanta Falcons 66 52 80 48 61
8 New York Jets 49 93 77 24 61
9 Arizona Cardinals 67 63 62 44 59
10 Minnesota Vikings 47 62 62 63 59
11 New York Giants 61 59 53 53 57
12 Philadelphia Eagles 35 75 53 61 56
13 Buffalo Bills 56 52 53 42 51
14 St. Louis Rams 35 57 37 64 48
15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40 48 39 65 48
16 Indianapolis Colts 33 34 52 70 47
17 Seattle Seahawks 51 56 36 45 47
18 Oakland Raiders 45 46 41 55 47
19 Miami Dolphins 38 48 39 61 47
20 Cleveland Browns 44 40 34 59 44
21 New Orleans Saints 46 33 33 52 41
22 San Francisco 49ers 47 31 35 50 41
23 Chicago Bears 51 36 31 44 41
24 Dallas Cowboys 44 27 47 42 40
25 Baltimore Ravens 52 27 16 63 39
26 Washington Redskins 35 50 37 35 39
27 Kansas City Chiefs 47 38 18 54 39
28 Houston Texans 41 41 33 35 37
29 San Diego Chargers 52 38 32 25 37
30 Tennessee Titans 34 53 17 36 35
31 Detroit Lions 15 41 20 46 30
32 Jacksonville Jaguars 43 26 12 38 30

Full Color

If you don't care about numbers, the system also creates tiers to separate the good and great teams from the pack as well as the bad and awful teams. Here's this week's update on the individual tiers:The Patriots offense still breaks the scale with a 101 rating, the only unit in the NFL to grade that high. They will have a tough test against the Jets and their 93 rated defense. The Jets will be the toughest defense the Patriots will face all season, with no distinct weakness that the Patriots can exploit. The Patriots 56 rating on Special Teams is not an accurate reflection of their Special Teams grade due to the fact that they have not attempted a serious kickoff return in 6 weeks so far. Of the 6 undefeated teams, the Patriots have the best opponent record at 13-11 (.542). Despite youth and inexperience in the secondary, the Patriots defense is still an above average unit with a 54 rating and above average scores in everything but turnover %.

0-37 = Awful 
37-50 = Bad
50-63 = Average 
63-75 = Good 
75-100 = Great

In terms of separating teams by tiers, the Patriots are the only team that ranked in the Great Team Tier (75-100). Only 14 teams rank as above average or better as of now and the 5 teams that are ranked as good are the NFL's usual suspects. All 5 teams are undefeated and were in the playoffs last year. Speaking of the playoffs, the Power Ranking system labels this as the current playoff picture:

Playoff Seeding
Seed AFC NFC
1 New England Patriots Green Bay Packers
2 Cincinnati Bengals Carolina Panthers
3 Denver Broncos New York Giants
4 Indianapolis Colts Arizona Cardinals
5 Pittsburgh Steelers Atlanta Falcons
6 New York Jets Minnesota Vikings

Now let's compare to the Playoff Picture based on W-L Record. The Power Ranking System and the W-L standings agree on 11 of the 12 playoff spots after Week 6. The overall playoff picture is still murky because there isn't a lot of separation since it's too early in the season.

Seed AFC NFC
1 Cincinnati Bengals Green Bay Packers
2 Denver Broncos Carolina Panthers
3 New England Patriots Arizona Cardinals
4 Indianapolis Colts Philadelphia Eagles
5 New York Jets Atlanta Falcons
6 Pittsburgh Steelers Minnesota Vikings

In terms of parity, 5 of the 6 AFC teams leading the playoff race were in the playoffs last year and 3 of 6 in the NFC. The only two surprise teams would be the Falcons and Jets, who experienced coaching turnover. The Jets' ascension to playoff contender after Week 6 is not surprising given the opposing offenses they've played and the Jets top rated defense. The Falcons somewhat lucked their way into a 5-0 start with 4 of their 5 wins coming on 4th quarter comebacks. Their defense is suspect, but their offense is legit if they can avoid turnovers. The Colts are the only team outside the upper half of the rankings, but unfortunately someone has to represent the AFC Suck South Division.