2011 NFL Power Rankings Analysis: Week 18 - The Final Word

HATERS GONNA HATE

I apologize for the late posting of this column, and for not doing one last week. With all the holiday festivites and family visiting us, I didn't have much time to focus on the column as I usually do. Sadly, this is likely to be the last Power Rankings post for the season. I may do one following the draft, I'll just have to see how many sites put out their rankings.

Well, what an eventful week in Chargers land. Or more accurately, an uneventful week as so far there's really only been one major change on the team. We're sure there's more change coming, but we just don't know when or how.

Based on what fans in San Diego are saying, as well as the various pundits, you'd think this team was in shambles, on the verge of collapse. There are screams demanding wholesale changes and overhaul to this team. As you're going to see, things aren't quite as bad as it may seem. For instance, according to Football Outsiders, the Chargers still have a 7th-ranked offense. But this year their defense dropped to 29th. Their Special Teams improved to 23rd, but at just a -1.2% rating, they're not far from being average.

The biggest problem this year was with the defense, and the team has already begun addressing that with the firing of Greg Manusky and promotion of John Pagano. Now let's hope AJ focuses even more on the defense in this year's draft, specifically on the front 7. Both Norv and AJ are skating on thin ice this season, so let's all hope they find a way to bring this team to glory again. What's that saying? Winning cures all?

Notable Quotes

I have to say, I was disappointed this week as there wasn't really anything worth quoting this week; it's all stuff we've heard before. The one good quote I found was actually by a commenter on Reddit. Reddit user atrollsatan broke the season down for us and offers up this nice summary of the NFL:

Playoff Teams

Awesome Offense: Packers, Saints, Patriots

Awesome Defense: Ravens, 49ers, Steelers

Explosive Wildcard: Lions, Giants, Falcons, Bengals

One Dimensional: Broncos, Texans

Coulda Shoulda Woulda

Eagles, Cowboys, Jets, Titans, Chargers

Unjust Injuries

Raiders, Bears, Chiefs, Bills

Hopeful Late Surge

Cardinals, Seahawks, Dolphins, Panthers

Still Rebuilding

Redskins, Browns, Vikings

No Hope

Jaguars, Buccaneers, Rams

OH GOD WHY

Colts

Division Averages

Division Avg Ranking
AFC North 12.4833
NFC North 14.4000
NFC South 15.4167
NFC East 15.6333
AFC East 16.3167
AFC West 18.3333
NFC West 18.6000
AFC South 20.8167

Surprises

Team Week 1 Average Week 18 Average Difference
SF 25.667 4.000 21.667
CIN 30.778 10.222 20.556
DEN 29.000 14.556 14.444
CAR 30.889 22.889 8.000
DET 15.667 8.000 7.667

Disappointments

Team Week 1 Average Week 18 Average Difference
IND 11.778 31.444 -19.666
TB 12.333 29.667 -17.334
STL 17.667 31.556 -13.889
SDG 7.000 16.111 -9.111
NYJ 7.333 16.222 -8.889

Subjective Average

Subjective
ESPN CBS ProFootballTalk NFL.com SportingNews Pro Football Weekly National Football Post SB Nation Reddit Average Standard Deviation
Packers 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.000 0.000
Saints 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2.111 0.314
Patriots 4 3 2 3 4 3 3 4 4 3.333 0.667
49ers 3 4 4 4 5 4 4 5 3 4.000 0.667
Ravens 5 5 5 5 3 6 6 3 5 4.778 1.030
Steelers 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 6 6 5.778 0.416
Falcons 7 7 7 8 7 7 9 7 7 7.333 0.667
Lions 8 9 8 7 8 8 7 9 8 8.000 0.667
Giants 9 8 9 10 9 9 11 8 9 9.111 0.875
Bengals 11 11 10 9 11 10 10 10 10 10.222 0.629
Texans 10 10 12 11 10 11 8 11 11 10.444 1.066
Cowboys 13 13 13 12 14 13 12 13 14 13.000 0.667
Eagles 15 14 11 14 12 14 18 20 12 14.444 2.753
Broncos 14 12 16 13 15 12 15 16 18 14.556 1.892
Chargers 16 18 14 19 13 18 16 18 13 16.111 2.183
Jets 19 16 18 16 18 16 13 14 16 16.222 1.812
Titans 12 15 21 18 17 15 22 12 15 16.333 3.333
Raiders 17 19 17 15 16 20 14 17 17 16.889 1.729
Cardinals 18 17 19 20 20 17 25 15 20 19.000 2.667
Seahawks 21 20 20 17 21 19 20 23 19 20.000 1.564
Chiefs 22 22 15 24 24 23 17 19 24 21.111 3.143
Dolphins 24 23 22 22 22 22 21 21 21 22.000 0.943
Bears 20 21 24 23 19 21 24 24 23 22.111 1.792
Panthers 23 25 23 21 23 24 23 22 22 22.889 1.100
Bills 25 26 25 25 25 25 19 25 25 24.444 1.950
Redskins 26 24 26 26 27 26 26 28 26 26.111 0.994
Jaguars 27 27 27 28 28 27 28 27 27 27.333 0.471
Browns 28 29 28 29 29 28 27 26 28 28.000 0.943
Vikings 30 30 29 27 26 29 29 29 29 28.667 1.247
Buccaneers 29 28 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 29.667 0.667
Colts 32 31 32 31 31 32 31 32 31 31.444 0.497
Rams 31 32 31 32 32 31 32 31 32 31.556 0.497

Observations:

  • Just because you're the 4th seed in the AFC doesn't necessarily mean you're the 4th-best team in the AFC. Heck, it doesn't even mean you're better than some of the teams that didn't make it into the playoffs. [cough]Broncos[/cough]
  • Aside from the Broncos, it looks like the rankings are pretty well aligned based on final record, with the 12 teams in the playoffs occupying the top of the charts.
  • Ouch, the Rams have now overtaken the colts as the worst team in the league.

Subjective Standard Deviation

Subjective
ESPN CBS ProFootballTalk NFL.com SportingNews Pro Football Weekly National Football Post SB Nation Reddit Average Standard Deviation
Packers 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.000 0.000
Saints 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2.111 0.314
Steelers 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 6 6 5.778 0.416
Jaguars 27 27 27 28 28 27 28 27 27 27.333 0.471
Rams 31 32 31 32 32 31 32 31 32 31.556 0.497
Colts 32 31 32 31 31 32 31 32 31 31.444 0.497
Bengals 11 11 10 9 11 10 10 10 10 10.222 0.629
Falcons 7 7 7 8 7 7 9 7 7 7.333 0.667
Patriots 4 3 2 3 4 3 3 4 4 3.333 0.667
Cowboys 13 13 13 12 14 13 12 13 14 13.000 0.667
49ers 3 4 4 4 5 4 4 5 3 4.000 0.667
Lions 8 9 8 7 8 8 7 9 8 8.000 0.667
Buccaneers 29 28 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 29.667 0.667
Giants 9 8 9 10 9 9 11 8 9 9.111 0.875
Dolphins 24 23 22 22 22 22 21 21 21 22.000 0.943
Browns 28 29 28 29 29 28 27 26 28 28.000 0.943
Redskins 26 24 26 26 27 26 26 28 26 26.111 0.994
Ravens 5 5 5 5 3 6 6 3 5 4.778 1.030
Texans 10 10 12 11 10 11 8 11 11 10.444 1.066
Panthers 23 25 23 21 23 24 23 22 22 22.889 1.100
Vikings 30 30 29 27 26 29 29 29 29 28.667 1.247
Seahawks 21 20 20 17 21 19 20 23 19 20.000 1.564
Raiders 17 19 17 15 16 20 14 17 17 16.889 1.729
Bears 20 21 24 23 19 21 24 24 23 22.111 1.792
Jets 19 16 18 16 18 16 13 14 16 16.222 1.812
Broncos 14 12 16 13 15 12 15 16 18 14.556 1.892
Bills 25 26 25 25 25 25 19 25 25 24.444 1.950
Chargers 16 18 14 19 13 18 16 18 13 16.111 2.183
Cardinals 18 17 19 20 20 17 25 15 20 19.000 2.667
Eagles 15 14 11 14 12 14 18 20 12 14.444 2.753
Chiefs 22 22 15 24 24 23 17 19 24 21.111 3.143
Titans 12 15 21 18 17 15 22 12 15 16.333 3.333

Observations:

  • Green Bay: still unanimous.
  • Pundits pretty much in agreement that the Cowboys were just barely playoff-calibre
  • AFC West teams all occupying the bottom-third of the list when it comes to consistent rankings.

Objective Average

Objective
Football Outsiders Team Efficiency Team Rankings Sagarin BeatGraphs Aikman Efficiency Average Standard Deviation
Saints 1 3 1 2 3 3 2.167 0.898
Packers 3 5 2 1 1 1 2.167 1.463
Steelers 2 1 5 5 6 9 4.667 2.625
Patriots 4 7 3 4 9 5 5.333 2.055
Ravens 9 9 6 6 2 2 5.667 2.867
49ers 8 13 4 3 4 4 6.000 3.512
Falcons 6 10 9 8 7 8 8.000 1.291
Lions 10 8 7 7 10 7 8.167 1.344
Texans 7 2 20 9 5 6 8.167 5.698
Eagles 5 4 8 11 17 10 9.167 4.298
Giants 16 6 10 10 8 14 10.667 3.399
Chargers 13 12 12 12 22 18 14.833 3.848
Titans 15 14 17 16 11 17 15.000 2.082
Jets 11 18 19 15 19 12 15.667 3.249
Bengals 18 16 15 13 14 20 16.000 2.381
Bears 20 17 18 14 16 13 16.333 2.357
Cowboys 17 11 24 17 23 11 17.167 5.113
Seahawks 12 24 13 19 18 19 17.500 4.031
Dolphins 14 19 14 21 25 16 18.167 3.976
Cardinals 27 22 11 22 15 22 19.833 5.273
Raiders 25 15 23 20 13 23 19.833 4.413
Panthers 19 23 21 25 20 15 20.500 3.149
Broncos 23 27 22 18 12 28 21.667 5.437
Chiefs 22 25 16 24 28 29 24.000 4.282
Bills 28 20 25 23 27 27 25.000 2.769
Browns 24 26 29 28 21 24 25.333 2.687
Redskins 21 21 27 26 31 26 25.333 3.496
Jaguars 26 28 26 27 24 25 26.000 1.291
Vikings 30 29 28 29 29 21 27.667 3.037
Buccaneers 32 32 32 30 26 31 30.500 2.141
Colts 29 31 30 32 30 32 30.667 1.106
Rams 31 30 31 31 32 30 30.833 0.687

Observations:

  • Packers no longer unanimous. In fact, the Packers are no longer at the top. The Saints and Packers have the same overall ranking average, but because the Saints are more-consistently ranked, they take the top spot.
  • Wow, Broncos are now the third-best team in teh AFC West according to the objective stats. The difference between the Steelers and the Broncos here is 17 positions. That doesn't bode too well for Denver come Sunday.
  • There's reason for concern in Cincinatti, as they're hovering around a 16th-place ranking, going against number-8 Houston.

Objective Standard Deviation

Objective
Football Outsiders Team Efficiency Team Rankings Sagarin BeatGraphs Aikman Efficiency Average Standard Deviation
Rams 31 30 31 31 32 30 30.833 0.687
Saints/a> 1 3 1 2 3 3 2.167 0.898
Colts 29 31 30 32 30 32 30.667 1.106
Falcons 6 10 9 8 7 8 8.000 1.291
Jaguars 26 28 26 27 24 25 26.000 1.291
Lions 10 8 7 7 10 7 8.167 1.344
Packers 3 5 2 1 1 1 2.167 1.463
Patriots 4 7 3 4 9 5 5.333 2.055
Titans 15 14 17 16 11 17 15.000 2.082
Buccaneers 32 32 32 30 26 31 30.500 2.141
Bears 20 17 18 14 16 13 16.333 2.357
Bengals 18 16 15 13 14 20 16.000 2.381
Steelers 2 1 5 5 6 9 4.667 2.625
Browns 24 26 29 28 21 24 25.333 2.687
Bills 28 20 25 23 27 27 25.000 2.769
Ravens 9 9 6 6 2 2 5.667 2.867
Vikings 30 29 28 29 29 21 27.667 3.037
Panthers 19 23 21 25 20 15 20.500 3.149
Jets 11 18 19 15 19 12 15.667 3.249
Giants 16 6 10 10 8 14 10.667 3.399
Redskins 21 21 27 26 31 26 25.333 3.496
49ers 8 13 4 3 4 4 6.000 3.512
Chargers 13 12 12 12 22 18 14.833 3.848
Dolphins 14 19 14 21 25 16 18.167 3.976
Seahawks 12 24 13 19 18 19 17.500 4.031
Chiefs 22 25 16 24 28 29 24.000 4.282
Eagles 5 4 8 11 17 10 9.167 4.298
Raiders 25 15 23 20 13 23 19.833 4.413
Cowboys 17 11 24 17 23 11 17.167 5.113
Cardinals 27 22 11 22 15 22 19.833 5.273
Broncos 23 27 22 18 12 28 21.667 5.437
Texans 7 2 20 9 5 6 8.167 5.698

Observations:

  • With the exception of the "Team Rankings" ranking putting them at number 20, the Texans actually were relatively consistently-ranked.
  • Broncos, Cardinals and Cowboys on the other hand, were all over the map.

Overall Average

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objevtive Average Average Standard Deviation Standard Deviation
Packers 1.000 2.167 1.583 1.087 1.167
Saints 2.111 2.167 2.139 0.618 0.056
Patriots 3.333 5.333 4.333 1.708 2.000
49ers 4.000 6.000 5.000 2.482 2.000
Ravens 4.778 5.667 5.222 2.029 0.889
Steelers 5.778 4.667 5.222 1.776 -1.111
Falcons 7.333 8.000 7.667 1.020 0.667
Lions 8.000 8.167 8.083 0.998 0.167
Texans 10.444 8.167 9.306 3.862 -2.278
Giants 9.111 10.667 9.889 2.380 1.556
Eagles 14.444 9.167 11.806 4.315 -5.278
Bengals 10.222 16.000 13.111 3.243 5.778
Cowboys 13.000 17.167 15.083 3.859 4.167
Chargers 16.111 14.833 15.472 3.029 -1.278
Titans 16.333 15.000 15.667 2.971 -1.333
Jets 16.222 15.667 15.944 2.503 -0.556
Broncos 14.556 21.667 18.111 5.110 7.111
Raiders 16.889 19.833 18.361 3.415 2.944
Seahawks 20.000 17.500 18.750 3.077 -2.500
Bears 22.111 16.333 19.222 3.487 -5.778
Cardinals 19.000 19.833 19.417 3.944 0.833
Dolphins 22.000 18.167 20.083 3.222 -3.833
Panthers 22.889 20.500 21.694 2.462 -2.389
Chiefs 21.111 24.000 22.556 3.907 2.889
Bills 24.444 25.000 24.722 2.329 0.556
Redskins 26.111 25.333 25.722 2.372 -0.778
Jaguars 27.333 26.000 26.667 1.108 -1.333
Browns 28.000 25.333 26.667 2.265 -2.667
Vikings 28.667 27.667 28.167 2.205 -1.000
Buccaneers 29.667 30.500 30.083 1.506 0.833
Colts 31.444 30.667 31.056 0.884 -0.778
Rams 31.556 30.833 31.194 0.680 -0.722

Observations:

  • Wow, Ravens and Steelers with the same Overall Average. Should make for a great game next weekend if the Steelers win this week.
  • Chargers slightly above average, but the top-ranked team in the AFC West.

Overall Standard Deviation

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objevtive Average Average Standard Deviation Standard Deviation
Saints 2.111 2.167 2.139 0.618 0.056
Rams 31.556 30.833 31.194 0.680 -0.722
Colts 31.444 30.667 31.056 0.884 -0.778
Lions 8.000 8.167 8.083 0.998 0.167
Falcons 7.333 8.000 7.667 1.020 0.667
Packers 1.000 2.167 1.583 1.087 1.167
Jaguars 27.333 26.000 26.667 1.108 -1.333
Buccaneers 29.667 30.500 30.083 1.506 0.833
Patriots 3.333 5.333 4.333 1.708 2.000
Steelers 5.778 4.667 5.222 1.776 -1.111
Ravens 4.778 5.667 5.222 2.029 0.889
Vikings 28.667 27.667 28.167 2.205 -1.000
Browns 28.000 25.333 26.667 2.265 -2.667
Bills 24.444 25.000 24.722 2.329 0.556
Redskins 26.111 25.333 25.722 2.372 -0.778
Giants 9.111 10.667 9.889 2.380 1.556
Panthers 22.889 20.500 21.694 2.462 -2.389
49ers 4.000 6.000 5.000 2.482 2.000
Jets 16.222 15.667 15.944 2.503 -0.556
Titans 16.333 15.000 15.667 2.971 -1.333
Chargers 16.111 14.833 15.472 3.029 -1.278
Seahawks 20.000 17.500 18.750 3.077 -2.500
Dolphins 22.000 18.167 20.083 3.222 -3.833
Bengals 10.222 16.000 13.111 3.243 5.778
Raiders 16.889 19.833 18.361 3.415 2.944
Bears 22.111 16.333 19.222 3.487 -5.778
Cowboys 13.000 17.167 15.083 3.859 4.167
Texans 10.444 8.167 9.306 3.862 -2.278
Chiefs 21.111 24.000 22.556 3.907 2.889
Cardinals 19.000 19.833 19.417 3.944 0.833
Eagles 14.444 9.167 11.806 4.315 -5.278
Broncos 14.556 21.667 18.111 5.110 7.111

Difference in Averages

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objevtive Average Average Standard Deviation Standard Deviation
Broncos 14.556 21.667 18.111 5.110 7.111
Bengals 10.222 16.000 13.111 3.243 5.778
Cowboys 13.000 17.167 15.083 3.859 4.167
Raiders 16.889 19.833 18.361 3.415 2.944
Chiefs 21.111 24.000 22.556 3.907 2.889
Patriots 3.333 5.333 4.333 1.708 2.000
49ers 4.000 6.000 5.000 2.482 2.000
Giants 9.111 10.667 9.889 2.380 1.556
Packers 1.000 2.167 1.583 1.087 1.167
Ravens 4.778 5.667 5.222 2.029 0.889
Buccaneers 29.667 30.500 30.083 1.506 0.833
Cardinals 19.000 19.833 19.417 3.944 0.833
Falcons 7.333 8.000 7.667 1.020 0.667
Bills 24.444 25.000 24.722 2.329 0.556
Lions 8.000 8.167 8.083 0.998 0.167
Saints 2.111 2.167 2.139 0.618 0.056
Jets 16.222 15.667 15.944 2.503 -0.556
Rams 31.556 30.833 31.194 0.680 -0.722
Colts 31.444 30.667 31.056 0.884 -0.778
Redskins 26.111 25.333 25.722 2.372 -0.778
Vikings 28.667 27.667 28.167 2.205 -1.000
Steelers 5.778 4.667 5.222 1.776 -1.111
Chargers 16.111 14.833 15.472 3.029 -1.278
Titans 16.333 15.000 15.667 2.971 -1.333
Jaguars 27.333 26.000 26.667 1.108 -1.333
Texans 10.444 8.167 9.306 3.862 -2.278
Panthers 22.889 20.500 21.694 2.462 -2.389
Seahawks 20.000 17.500 18.750 3.077 -2.500
Browns 28.000 25.333 26.667 2.265 -2.667
Dolphins 22.000 18.167 20.083 3.222 -3.833
Eagles 14.444 9.167 11.806 4.315 -5.278
Bears 22.111 16.333 19.222 3.487 -5.778

Observations:

  • Funny how two playoff teams are the two most overrated teams in the league to finish the year.
  • Yes the Cowboys had a strong showing at the end, but they still aren't as good as you'd like to think.
  • Interesting how all three AFC West teams not named the Chargers are overrated. And the Chargers are a bit underrated.
  • The Eagles continue their streak of being severely underrated. Just goes to show how much "expectations" goes into the subjective rankings.
  • And the pundits are being unfairly bearish on the Bears.

Sources

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