2012 NFL Consensus Power Rankings: Pre-Season Week 1

Just like the majority of NFL players are gearing up to play their first 2012 NFL pre-season game this week, I too must practice in preparation for the regular season. So it's time to dust off the cobwebs and boot up the Rankings Machine and get it to crunch numbers again.

The good news for the Rankings Machine is that a lot of pundits are taking the summer off still. But, there are still some dedicated professionals out there that work over the summer and provide us with new content in the form of the Subjective Power Rankings.

We'll call this the Diet Coke of Power Rankings (I'm sure I've used that phrase before, oh well).

Notable Quotes

SBNation

The Chargers seem to have the talent to be one the league's top teams, but they'll once again be battling against luck, health and coaching. 2010 was the year of disastrous Special Teams, and 2011 was the year of Greg Manusky, disastrous Defensive Coordinator. If first-year DC John Pagano (brother of Chuck Pagano) can be as good as his brother was with the Ravens, the Chargers should have no problem making the playoffs.

This guy ... this guy gets it.

SportingNews

They still have the top-line talent to make up for two disappointing, playoff-less seasons. More consistency, both from Philip Rivers and a defense led by new coordinator John Pagano, will put them neck-and-neck with Denver.

So does this guy.

ProFootballTalk

We ranked the Chargers as a middle-of-the-pack team for 2012 because Turner has been on the job for five seasons, and San Diego's final-year positioning has essentially gotten worse on an annual basis. Some of it has to do with bad luck. Most of it has to do with underachieving, and we're not sold that the '12 Chargers are good enough to push the envelope they've established in the AFC.

We'll just have to see about that, now won't we?

Division Averages

Division Avg Ranking
NFC East 12.2083
NFC North 13.7917
AFC North 14.4583
NFC South 16.6667
AFC East 16.7917
AFC West 17.7083
NFC West 19.1667
AFC South 21.2083


My initial gut reaction to this ranking is that the AFC West is woefully underrated. But then I got thinking about it and I don't think overall ranking is a good measurement of a division's competitiveness. In future editions, I think I'll start incorporating divisional Standard Deviation too. That way it'll show which divisions are more tightly-grouped, and thus more competitive with each other.

Subjective Average

Subjective
ESPN CBS ProFootballTalk SportingNews SB Nation Associated Press Average Standard Deviation
Packers 3 2 1 2 1 1 1.667 0.745
Giants 1 1 3 1 3 3 2.000 1.000
Patriots 2 3 2 3 2 2 2.333 0.471
49ers 5 6 4 4 4 4 4.500 0.764
Texans 6 4 7 5 5 6 5.500 0.957
Ravens 4 11 5 6 6 5 6.167 2.267
Steelers 8 5 6 8 7 7 6.833 1.067
Eagles 7 8 8 9 10 8 8.333 0.943
Broncos 10 13 10 7 9 10 9.833 1.772
Saints 13 9 9 12 8 9 10.000 1.826
Lions 9 10 13 11 11 12 11.000 1.291
Falcons 12 7 12 13 13 13 11.667 2.134
Bears 11 15 11 15 12 11 12.500 1.803
Cowboys 14 14 14 10 15 15 13.667 1.700
Bengals 16 12 15 14 16 14 14.500 1.384
Chargers 15 17 16 16 14 16 15.667 0.943
Jets 20 19 18 19 19 17 18.667 0.943
Bills 23 18 19 17 17 19 18.833 2.034
Titans 18 23 20 18 20 21 20.000 1.732
Panthers 21 24 17 21 18 20 20.167 2.267
Chiefs 17 22 21 23 21 18 20.333 2.134
Seahawks 22 20 22 20 22 22 21.333 0.943
Cardinals 19 16 25 24 26 23 22.167 3.532
Buccaneers 24 26 26 22 25 26 24.833 1.463
Redskins 25 27 24 25 23 25 24.833 1.213
Raiders 26 21 23 32 24 24 25.000 3.464
Dolphins 27 28 27 28 27 27 27.333 0.471
Jaguars 28 25 30 26 29 31 28.167 2.115
Rams 29 29 28 30 28 28 28.667 0.745
Vikings 31 30 29 31 30 29 30.000 0.817
Browns 30 31 32 27 32 30 30.333 1.700
Colts 32 32 31 29 31 32 31.167 1.067

Observations:

  • Not a lot has changed since the end of the 2011 regular season. It would seem the expectation is the Chargers are going to be an "average" team (by average, I'm using the "median" definition).
  • CBS, you okay there? Cardinals better than the Chargers? Okay ...
  • Of course, in the AFC West, the Denver Broncos are getting all the sizzle. Picking up a future-Hall of Fame Quarterback during Free Agency will do that. I have my doubts of just how good the Broncos will be this year, but I'm not going to analyze it too much.
  • I certainly think the Kansas City Chiefs will be better than a bottom-third team this year. Their draft wasn't anything that special, but they're getting some key players back from injury. Not to mention they'll have a 4th-place schedule this year. They could be dangerous.
  • SportingNews has the Raiders at #32? I know they're a mess and all, but the worst team in the league? I'm not so sure.
  • Slightly amused by the fact that Green Bay is still ranked higher than the reigning Super Bowl Champions.
  • Last year, expectations were a bit high for the Rams. Not so much this year.

Subjective Standard Deviation

Subjective
ESPN CBS ProFootballTalk SportingNews SB Nation Associated Press Average Standard Deviation
Dolphins 27 28 27 28 27 27 27.333 0.471
Patriots 2 3 2 3 2 2 2.333 0.471
Rams 29 29 28 30 28 28 28.667 0.745
Packers 3 2 1 2 1 1 1.667 0.745
49ers 5 6 4 4 4 4 4.500 0.764
Vikings 31 30 29 31 30 29 30.000 0.817
Chargers 15 17 16 16 14 16 15.667 0.943
Eagles 7 8 8 9 10 8 8.333 0.943
Jets 20 19 18 19 19 17 18.667 0.943
Seahawks 22 20 22 20 22 22 21.333 0.943
Texans 6 4 7 5 5 6 5.500 0.957
Giants 1 1 3 1 3 3 2.000 1.000
Steelers 8 5 6 8 7 7 6.833 1.067
Colts 32 32 31 29 31 32 31.167 1.067
Redskins 25 27 24 25 23 25 24.833 1.213
Lions 9 10 13 11 11 12 11.000 1.291
Bengals 16 12 15 14 16 14 14.500 1.384
Buccaneers 24 26 26 22 25 26 24.833 1.463
Browns 30 31 32 27 32 30 30.333 1.700
Cowboys 14 14 14 10 15 15 13.667 1.700
Titans 18 23 20 18 20 21 20.000 1.732
Broncos 10 13 10 7 9 10 9.833 1.772
Bears 11 15 11 15 12 11 12.500 1.803
Saints 13 9 9 12 8 9 10.000 1.826
Bills 23 18 19 17 17 19 18.833 2.034
Jaguars 28 25 30 26 29 31 28.167 2.115
Chiefs 17 22 21 23 21 18 20.333 2.134
Falcons 12 7 12 13 13 13 11.667 2.134
Ravens 4 11 5 6 6 5 6.167 2.267
Panthers 21 24 17 21 18 20 20.167 2.267
Raiders 26 21 23 32 24 24 25.000 3.464
Cardinals 19 16 25 24 26 23 22.167 3.532

Observations:

  • Dolphins and Patriots are equally consistent in their rankings, just at opposite ends of the spectrum.
  • Chargers have a pretty solid hold on that #16 spot.
  • The Cowboys would have been very consistently ranked had the crackpots at SportingNews not put them in the top 10. Seriously?
  • Also, CBS is a lone wolf in thinking the Ravens will be weaker than everyone else thinks.
  • Some people want to believe in the Panthers, others not so much.
  • Who knows what to think about the Raiders or Cardinals?

Sources

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