First, since these are the first power rankings of the year, I will give you a primer on how these are determined. Two years ago, my friend and I had a math project that was to create a formula to rank a specific sport or industry by "goodness". We decided to try and create a formula to rank the NFL teams. It proved to be a difficult task but we have come up with a pretty good system IMO. Since two years ago, we have tweaked and adjusted the formula to where it is know. Here is what the formula takes into account
- Record (winning percentage)
- Strength of Schedule
- Strength of Victory
- Points Per Game and Points Allowed per game
- Yards per Game and Yards allowed per Game
- Total offensive rank and Total defensive rank
- Turnover differential
- Divisional Strength
- Conference Strength
After the jump, see the first edition of the Power Rankings for this year. The earlier in the season we are, the higher the total score will be (closer to 1) and the narrower the margin will be. By week 17, there will probably be no team above a .991 ranking and there will be massive differences from 1 to 16.
1. Green Bay Packers (6-0) - .997 - The Packers are the last undefeated team in the NFL and their ranking reflects that. The only thing holding them back from a perfect 1 is their awful SOS. They have played just one good team (Saints) and one above average team (Falcons) while also playing some of the NFL's worst teams, the Broncos, Rams, and Panthers.
2. New England Patriots (5-1) - .993 - The Patriots lead the 1 loss teams due to a high powered offense. Despite giving up a ton of yards per game, their defenses PPG rating (far more important in these rankings than yards) is not awful and their SOS includes games vs. the Bills, Jets, Cowboys, Raiders, and Chargers.
3. San Francisco 49ers (5-1) - .992 - With a huge win over the Lions, the now 5-1 49ers debut at #3 in this poll. There offense has been over 24 points 5 times, and they have a blowout 48 to 3 win. Their SOS includes games against the Lions, Eagles, Bengals, and Cowboys. Good start to the season for Jim Harbaugh.
4. Baltimore Ravens (4-1) - .990 - The hated Ravens debut at #4 due to an awesome Defense, a good SOS, and a good TO margin. Despite playing 1 less game then the Lions (usually having that extra W will vault you ahead of another team), there stats have been impressive enough to put them here. With wins against the Steelers, Texans, and Jets, and their sole loss against the Titans, their SOS is very high.
5. Detroit Lions (5-1) - .989 - Despite a crushing defeat this week, the Lions are 5-1 and sitting pretty for an NFC Wild Card birth. They are the lowest of the 5 win teams because of their offensive and defensive rankings. They are not bad but not great either. Their SOS is good with games against the 49ers, Bucs, and Cowboys.
6. San Diego Chargers (4-1) - .987 - The Chargers have quietly put together a great start. However, their SOS is awful with games against Minnesota, Kansas City, Miami, and Denver. Their only respectable game was vs. the Pats and they lost. Their schedule gets tougher with games still left against the Packers, Raiders (*2), Ravens, and Bills.
7. New York Giants (4-2) - .978 - The Giants debut as the highest two loss team because of some quality wins and high rankings in both offense and defense. A good divisional rating helps as well.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) - .973 - The Steelers have rebounded from a beating in week 1 but their TO margin is haunting them right now. With games against the Ravens, Texans, and Titans, their SOS is among the top 10 in the league which helps them. Their #1 rated pass defense is also helping them. As the run defense normalizes and if they beat the Pats and Ravens, they will yet again be among the top 3 to top 5 of this poll.
10. Buffalo Bills (4-2) - .972 - The Bills were not in the computer for some reason but when I put them in they finished here. I thought there ranking would be higher but despite a big win over the Pats and respectable losses to the Bengals and Giants, their offensive and defensive ranks are not strong enough to put them in the top 5 to 7 teams.
11. Tampa Bay Bucaneers (4-2) - .970 - The Bucs started off slow with a loss to the Lions but have rebounded since, going 4-1. They have the toughest schedule in the league so far with games against the Lions, Falcons, 49ers, and Saints. Talk about a brutal opening. You would thing tarting 4-2 positions themselves well for a post-season run. Not. After a game with Chicago and then a bye, they play New Orleans, Houston, Green Bay, and Tennessee. If they go 3-2 in those 5 games, a playoff berth should be in hand as there last five games are considerably easier.
12. New Orleans Saints (4-2) - .968
13. Oakland Raiders (4-2) - .954
14. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) - .947
15. Tennessee Titans (3-2) - .879
16. Washington Redskins (3-2) - .871
17. Houston Texans (3-3) - .886
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) - .221
29. Carolina Panthers (1-5) - .199
30. Miami Dolphins (0-5) - .189
31. Indianapolis Colts (0-6) - .113
32. St. Louis Rams (0-5) - .102
That is all for this week. These will be posted weekly on Wednesday along with my Stars of the Week post. Enjoy. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.