2013 NFL Power Rankings Consensus, Week 2: 49ers, Broncos battle for top spot

Jeff Gross

After all the teams have played just one game, perceptions have been changed and teams are moving all over the board. This isn't the last time teams will be on the move.

If the preseason rankings are based on nothing but preconceived notions and gut feelings, then the first 2 weeks of the season are for jumping to conclusions. Based on reactions following the first game of the season, the Baltimore Ravens are probably just as bad as the Jacksonville Jaguars this year. Take it to the bank.

As Football Outsiders' Aaron Schatz likes to point out: historically, weeks 1-2 do a terrible job of predicting weeks 3-17. Basically, you can't use these first two games to definitively point out how good or bad a team is.

But that won't stop us (and the other rankers) from trying!

Notable Quotes

Philip Rivers was 1-of-7 with a pick-six in the fourth quarter Monday night. Including last year, Rivers' 7.7 fourth-quarter QBR is less than half of any other QB.

-- ESPN

Blowing a big lead to open the season won’t do much more than tease hopes, but there were positive [sic] to take away and a half-game glimpse of what they could be keeps them in this range of the rankings.

-- ProFootballFocus

The San Diego Chargers need a leader. Someone to get fired up when things start to go south. They also need depth on defense, better tackling, and the forethought not to give Mathews the ball up the middle two times in a row. The first half of Monday night's game, the 2013 Chargers were putting on a show. A bit after halftime, the 2012 Chargers appeared and waived their white jerseys in surrender.

-- Reddit

Division Averages

Division Avg Ranking
NFC West 11.7667
NFC North 13.4167
NFC East 15.7500
NFC South 16.0000
AFC South 17.9000
AFC East 18.9500
AFC North 19.0000
AFC West 19.2167

Stock Rising

Team Week 1 Average Week 2 Average Difference
PHI 24.000 15.808 8.192
NYJ 30.222 24.404 5.818
TEN 26.000 21.154 4.846
DET 21.111 16.288 4.823
NO 11.778 7.615 4.163

Stock Falling

Team Week 1 Average Week 2 Average Difference
PIT 16.444 24.365 -7.921
MIN 16.333 23.269 -6.936
ATL 4.444 10.615 -6.171
WAS 11.111 16.904 -5.793
NYG 12.444 17.981 -5.537

Subjective Average

As a refresher: these rankings are the ones that has actual people ranking the teams based on their gut feelings. You'll see in a moment that some of these sites may even just throw darts at a board, or have a chicken pecking at numbers. I then take all those rankings and average them together, then sort the table based on the average ranking. This method evens out the peaks and valleys and allows us to get a more reliable "big picture" view of the perception of where teams rank in the league.

Subjective
ESPN Fox CBS USA Today Sports Illustrated ProFootballTalk NFL.com SportingNews SB Nation Reddit Associated Press ProFootballFocus Walter Football Average Change since last period
49ers 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 1.539 -0.095 Falling
Broncos 3 2 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 1 2 2 3 1.846 0.821 Rising
Seahawks 2 3 3 3 3 4 3 1 3 3 3 3 1 2.692 -0.136 Falling
Texans 6 4 5 4 6 3 4 4 5 5 4 6 8 4.923 2.744 Rising
Patriots 5 5 4 6 5 9 5 5 4 6 5 5 6 5.385 0.393 Rising
Packers 7 6 8 5 7 6 9 6 6 4 7 4 5 6.154 -0.487 Falling
Saints 8 12 6 7 4 8 7 9 8 7 6 8 4 7.231 4.547 Rising
Falcons 4 8 7 9 14 10 8 10 7 8 8 7 7 8.231 -3.787 Falling
Bears 9 7 9 11 8 12 6 12 9 9 10 9 10 9.308 4.136 Rising
Ravens 11 9 13 8 12 7 13 7 10 10 15 11 12 10.615 -3.282 Falling
Bengals 10 10 12 10 9 13 10 13 11 11 14 12 11 11.231 -2.231 Falling
Cowboys 13 13 10 12 10 14 12 8 13 12 11 10 15 11.769 4.120 Rising
Colts 12 11 11 13 11 15 11 11 12 13 9 16 21 12.769 -0.213 Falling
Eagles 14 16 15 22 15 5 15 14 17 14 12 13 18 14.615 9.385 Rising
Lions 18 14 20 14 17 11 17 18 14 17 13 19 17 16.077 5.034 Rising
Rams 15 15 14 15 18 17 16 15 18 21 16 20 14 16.462 0.649 Rising
Giants 16 20 19 16 20 16 19 17 21 16 20 14 13 17.462 -5.018 Falling
Chiefs 20 17 18 17 13 19 22 16 19 19 17 15 19 17.769 3.898 Rising
Dolphins 17 22 17 18 19 22 14 20 16 18 18 17 16 18.000 2.222 Rising
Redskins 19 18 22 23 21 20 18 21 15 15 19 18 9 18.308 -7.197 Falling
Titans 22 21 16 19 16 23 23 22 22 24 21 25 23 21.308 4.692 Rising
Vikings 21 19 23 21 22 18 20 19 24 22 22 24 25 21.539 -5.206 Falling
Panthers 24 27 24 20 26 27 21 24 20 20 23 23 20 23.000 -2.000 Falling
Steelers 23 26 21 24 24 29 25 23 23 25 27 21 24 24.231 -7.787 Falling
Cardinals 25 25 25 26 28 21 26 28 26 26 24 28 22 25.385 0.171 Rising
Chargers 26 23 28 30 30 24 24 27 28 23 25 26 27 26.231 -0.342 Falling
Bills 29 24 29 27 27 25 27 29 29 29 28 22 26 27.000 1.333 Rising
Jets 27 30 26 29 23 28 28 25 27 27 26 30 29 27.308 2.914 Rising
Buccaneers 28 28 27 25 25 30 29 26 25 28 29 29 28 27.462 -4.906 Falling
Browns 30 29 31 28 31 31 30 31 30 31 31 27 30 30.000 -4.778 Falling
Raiders 31 31 30 31 29 26 31 30 31 30 30 31 31 30.154 1.735 Rising
Jaguars 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32.000 -1.333 Falling

Observations:

  • Wow, that's a lot of subjective sources. I should cut some of them down, maybe take out some of the less "accurate" rankers (I'm looking at you CBS and Walter Football)
  • The top 13 is pretty well defined, from the 49ers down to the Colts.
  • The next 7 is pretty well well defined. The middle-of-the-pack teams.
  • The bottom teams (Titans on down) are the next grouping.
  • Only 2 sites moved the Chargers up this week. All others dropped them down.

Subjective Standard Deviation

Refresher again: Standard Deviation is a tool in statistics to measure how much variance there is in a set of numbers. To put more simply: I use it to look at who's ranked the most- and least-consistently. In Standard Deviation, the lower the number, the more consistent the values in the set. For our purposes, this means the lower the Standard Deviation, the more consistent the rankings. The opposite is true too: the higher the number, the less consistent the rankings.

This table is sorted by most consistently–ranked to least consistently–ranked.

Subjective
ESPN Fox CBS USA Today Sports Illustrated ProFootballTalk NFL.com SportingNews SB Nation Reddit Associated Press ProFootballFocus Walter Football Standard Deviation Change since last period
Jaguars 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 0.000 -0.667 Falling
49ers 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 0.499 -0.186 Falling
Broncos 3 2 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 1 2 2 3 0.769 -0.174 Falling
Seahawks 2 3 3 3 3 4 3 1 3 3 3 3 1 0.821 -0.602 Falling
Patriots 5 5 4 6 5 9 5 5 4 6 5 5 6 1.211 -0.337 Falling
Browns 30 29 31 28 31 31 30 31 30 31 31 27 30 1.240 -1.059 Falling
Texans 6 4 5 4 6 3 4 4 5 5 4 6 8 1.269 -0.222 Falling
Raiders 31 31 30 31 29 26 31 30 31 30 30 31 31 1.350 1.036 Rising
Packers 7 6 8 5 7 6 9 6 6 4 7 4 5 1.406 -0.227 Falling
Bengals 10 10 12 10 9 13 10 13 11 11 14 12 11 1.423 -1.071 Falling
Buccaneers 28 28 27 25 25 30 29 26 25 28 29 29 28 1.646 -0.620 Falling
Bears 9 7 9 11 8 12 6 12 9 9 10 9 10 1.682 0.339 Rising
Cowboys 13 13 10 12 10 14 12 8 13 12 11 10 15 1.846 -0.578 Falling
Jets 27 30 26 29 23 28 28 25 27 27 26 30 29 1.937 1.151 Rising
Saints 8 12 6 7 4 8 7 9 8 7 6 8 4 2.006 -1.515 Falling
Cardinals 25 25 25 26 28 21 26 28 26 26 24 28 22 2.058 -0.695 Falling
Vikings 21 19 23 21 22 18 20 19 24 22 22 24 25 2.061 -0.994 Falling
Rams 15 15 14 15 18 17 16 15 18 21 16 20 14 2.135 -0.788 Falling
Bills 29 24 29 27 27 25 27 29 29 29 28 22 26 2.148 0.584 Rising
Steelers 23 26 21 24 24 29 25 23 23 25 27 21 24 2.154 -0.255 Falling
Dolphins 17 22 17 18 19 22 14 20 16 18 18 17 16 2.219 -0.971 Falling
Chiefs 20 17 18 17 13 19 22 16 19 19 17 15 19 2.224 -0.831 Falling
Falcons 4 8 7 9 14 10 8 10 7 8 8 7 7 2.224 0.653 Rising
Chargers 26 23 28 30 30 24 24 27 28 23 25 26 27 2.292 0.380 Rising
Ravens 11 9 13 8 12 7 13 7 10 10 15 11 12 2.338 1.183 Rising
Giants 16 20 19 16 20 16 19 17 21 16 20 14 13 2.437 0.487 Rising
Lions 18 14 20 14 17 11 17 18 14 17 13 19 17 2.526 -0.617 Falling
Panthers 24 27 24 20 26 27 21 24 20 20 23 23 20 2.542 -0.585 Falling
Titans 22 21 16 19 16 23 23 22 22 24 21 25 23 2.671 0.314 Rising
Colts 12 11 11 13 11 15 11 11 12 13 9 16 21 2.965 1.622 Rising
Redskins 19 18 22 23 21 20 18 21 15 15 19 18 9 3.539 1.115 Rising
Eagles 14 16 15 22 15 5 15 14 17 14 12 13 18 3.691 1.991 Rising

Observations:

  • Well it only took 1 week to come up with a consensus worst team, and again it's the Jaguars. Is anyone surprised?
  • Funny how the Redskins and Eagles are the two least consistent teams in the rankings after one game
  • After being one of the more consistently-ranked teams last week, the Chargers are on the move towards inconsistency.

Objective Average

Look what makes a return this week! Albeit with just 2 sources, but it's a start.

I call these rankings the "Objective" rankings because unlike the rankings above, these are rankings based on statistical models of some sort. I use the term "Objective" loosely here because there is still some inherent bias in how the various models are constructed. Each ranking site has their own criteria in what they feel is success in the NFL.

All that said, these rankings are more objective as they remove perception and bias and produce rankings based on how well teams actually play, not how they're perceived to play.

Objective
Football Outsiders Team Rankings Average Change since last period
Broncos 1 1 1.000 -1.000 Falling
Patriots 2 4 3.000 -3.000 Falling
Seahawks 4 2 3.000 -3.000 Falling
49ers 5 3 4.000 -4.000 Falling
Packers 3 9 6.000 -6.000 Falling
Saints 8 8 8.000 -8.000 Falling
Texans 9 7 8.000 -8.000 Falling
Ravens 13 5 9.000 -9.000 Falling
Bears 14 6 10.000 -10.000 Falling
Panthers 6 18 12.000 -12.000 Falling
Bengals 10 15 12.500 -12.500 Falling
Falcons 12 14 13.000 -13.000 Falling
Dolphins 18 11 14.500 -14.500 Falling
Colts 19 10 14.500 -14.500 Falling
Redskins 7 24 15.500 -15.500 Falling
Lions 17 16 16.500 -16.500 Falling
Eagles 15 19 17.000 -17.000 Falling
Cowboys 22 13 17.500 -17.500 Falling
Giants 16 21 18.500 -18.500 Falling
Buccaneers 11 26 18.500 -18.500 Falling
Rams 29 12 20.500 -20.500 Falling
Titans 25 17 21.000 -21.000 Falling
Jets 21 22 21.500 -21.500 Falling
Bills 26 23 24.500 -24.500 Falling
Steelers 20 29 24.500 -24.500 Falling
Vikings 30 20 25.000 -25.000 Falling
Chiefs 23 28 25.500 -25.500 Falling
Chargers 24 27 25.500 -25.500 Falling
Cardinals 27 25 26.000 -26.000 Falling
Browns 28 31 29.500 -29.500 Falling
Raiders 31 30 30.500 -30.500 Falling
Jaguars 32 32 32.000 -32.000 Falling

Observations:

  • Football Outsiders' ranking uses their DAVE ratings for now
  • While we only have two sources so far, it doesn't stop us from seeing trends. For instance: the Broncos being the consensus best team, and the Jaguars the consensus worst team.

Objective Standard Deviation

Objective
Football Outsiders Team Rankings Standard Deviation Change since last period
Saints 8 8 0.000 0.000 No Change
Broncos 1 1 0.000 0.000 No Change
Jaguars 32 32 0.000 0.000 No Change
Jets 21 22 0.500 0.500 Rising
Raiders 31 30 0.500 0.500 Rising
Lions 17 16 0.500 0.500 Rising
Cardinals 27 25 1.000 1.000 Rising
Falcons 12 14 1.000 1.000 Rising
Patriots 2 4 1.000 1.000 Rising
Seahawks 4 2 1.000 1.000 Rising
49ers 5 3 1.000 1.000 Rising
Texans 9 7 1.000 1.000 Rising
Bills 26 23 1.500 1.500 Rising
Browns 28 31 1.500 1.500 Rising
Chargers 24 27 1.500 1.500 Rising
Eagles 15 19 2.000 2.000 Rising
Chiefs 23 28 2.500 2.500 Rising
Giants 16 21 2.500 2.500 Rising
Bengals 10 15 2.500 2.500 Rising
Packers 3 9 3.000 3.000 Rising
Dolphins 18 11 3.500 3.500 Rising
Ravens 13 5 4.000 4.000 Rising
Bears 14 6 4.000 4.000 Rising
Titans 25 17 4.000 4.000 Rising
Cowboys 22 13 4.500 4.500 Rising
Steelers 20 29 4.500 4.500 Rising
Colts 19 10 4.500 4.500 Rising
Vikings 30 20 5.000 5.000 Rising
Panthers 6 18 6.000 6.000 Rising
Buccaneers 11 26 7.500 7.500 Rising
Rams 29 12 8.500 8.500 Rising
Redskins 7 24 8.500 8.500 Rising

Observations:

  • Well that's quite the disparity for the Rams, Redskins and Buccaneers.
  • Amusing that half the league has a Standard Deviation of under 2. In this context, it means FBO and TR models are within 4 rankings spots of each other. So, general agreement on their performance (and projections) through 1 game.
  • Amusing too that there's consensus with the Saints at 8.

Overall Average

Now let's compare the two sets of data. We'll start with the "Overall Average" chart. This takes the Subjective Average and the Objective Average, and then averages those two numbers. This way it gives equal weight to both averages so that even though Subjective Average has a larger sample size, it doesn't drown out the Objective Average.

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Average Change since last period
Broncos 1.846 1.000 1.423 1.244 Rising
49ers 1.539 4.000 2.769 -1.325 Falling
Seahawks 2.692 3.000 2.846 -0.290 Falling
Patriots 5.385 3.000 4.192 1.586 Rising
Packers 6.154 6.000 6.077 -0.410 Falling
Texans 4.923 8.000 6.462 1.205 Rising
Saints 7.231 8.000 7.615 4.163 Rising
Bears 9.308 10.000 9.654 3.790 Rising
Ravens 10.615 9.000 9.808 -2.475 Falling
Falcons 8.231 13.000 10.615 -6.171 Falling
Bengals 11.231 12.500 11.865 -2.865 Falling
Colts 12.769 14.500 13.635 -1.079 Falling
Cowboys 11.769 17.500 14.635 1.254 Rising
Eagles 14.615 17.000 15.808 8.192 Rising
Dolphins 18.000 14.500 16.250 3.972 Rising
Lions 16.077 16.500 16.288 4.823 Rising
Redskins 18.308 15.500 16.904 -5.793 Falling
Panthers 23.000 12.000 17.500 3.500 Rising
Giants 17.462 18.500 17.981 -5.537 Falling
Rams 16.462 20.500 18.481 -1.370 Falling
Titans 21.308 21.000 21.154 4.846 Rising
Chiefs 17.769 25.500 21.635 0.032 Rising
Buccaneers 27.462 18.500 22.981 -0.425 Falling
Vikings 21.539 25.000 23.269 -6.936 Falling
Steelers 24.231 24.500 24.365 -7.921 Falling
Jets 27.308 21.500 24.404 5.818 Rising
Cardinals 25.385 26.000 25.692 -0.136 Falling
Bills 27.000 24.500 25.750 2.583 Rising
Chargers 26.231 25.500 25.865 0.024 Rising
Browns 30.000 29.500 29.750 -4.528 Falling
Raiders 30.154 30.500 30.327 1.562 Rising
Jaguars 32.000 32.000 32.000 -1.333 Falling

Observations:

  • The Broncos now take over the top spot from the 49ers.
  • The Chargers now become the 4th-worst team in the league. That's a bit harsh ...
  • There's a sharp delineation between the Chargers and the Browns. Showing that the Browns, Raiders and Jaguars are quite a bit worse than the Chargers, even though the Broowns are only one spot below San Diego.
  • Same delineation between Rams and Titans. Everyone else is more or less evenly-spaced.

Overall Standard Deviation

The Overall Standard Deviation does not average anything out, it just takes the Standard Deviation across all the rankings. Yes this will even things out slightly, but it goes to show which teams have consensus across the board.

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Standard Deviation Change since last period
Jaguars 32.000 32.000 0.000 -0.667 Falling
Broncos 1.846 1.000 0.772 -0.171 Falling
Seahawks 2.692 3.000 0.854 -0.569 Falling
49ers 1.539 4.000 1.024 0.339 Rising
Raiders 30.154 30.500 1.275 0.961 Rising
Browns 30.000 29.500 1.289 -1.010 Falling
Patriots 5.385 3.000 1.436 -0.112 Falling
Texans 4.923 8.000 1.619 0.128 Rising
Bengals 11.231 12.500 1.665 -0.829 Falling
Packers 6.154 6.000 1.708 0.075 Rising
Saints 7.231 8.000 1.886 -1.635 Falling
Cardinals 25.385 26.000 1.962 -0.791 Falling
Bears 9.308 10.000 2.154 0.811 Rising
Chargers 26.231 25.500 2.217 0.305 Rising
Bills 27.000 24.500 2.241 0.677 Rising
Lions 16.077 16.500 2.363 -0.780 Falling
Giants 17.462 18.500 2.471 0.521 Rising
Steelers 24.231 24.500 2.594 0.185 Rising
Falcons 8.231 13.000 2.655 1.084 Rising
Ravens 10.615 9.000 2.678 1.523 Rising
Jets 27.308 21.500 2.680 1.894 Rising
Dolphins 18.000 14.500 2.705 -0.485 Falling
Titans 21.308 21.000 2.886 0.529 Rising
Vikings 21.539 25.000 2.898 -0.157 Falling
Cowboys 11.769 17.500 3.074 0.650 Rising
Colts 12.769 14.500 3.266 1.923 Rising
Chiefs 17.769 25.500 3.468 0.413 Rising
Eagles 14.615 17.000 3.605 1.905 Rising
Rams 16.462 20.500 3.933 1.010 Rising
Buccaneers 27.462 18.500 4.374 2.108 Rising
Redskins 18.308 15.500 4.626 2.202 Rising
Panthers 23.000 12.000 4.938 1.811 Rising

Observations:

  • Across the board, every site has the Jaguars last. I saw them play on Sunday, I agree with that ranking.
  • Once factoring in all sources, the Panthers become the least consistently–ranked team overall, just beating out the Redskins.

Difference in Averages

This compares the Subjective average ranking with the Objective average ranking. This tells us just how far off people are from the formulas. A positive number means people think they will be or are better than the stats indicate, a negative number means the math thinks they're better than what people think. The closer to 0 this number is, the more in agreement the Subjective and Objective rankings are.

Generally speaking, the Subjective Rankings tend to be more reactionary to a team's performance than the mathematical models are. You'll often end up with major peaks and valleys for a team in the Subjective rankings, where the Objective rankings are more steady.

Subj vs Obj
Subjective Average Objective Average Standard Deviation Change since last period
Chiefs 17.769 25.500 7.731 29.398 Rising
Cowboys 11.769 17.500 5.731 21.620 Rising
Falcons 8.231 13.000 4.769 9.213 Rising
Rams 16.462 20.500 4.039 21.150 Rising
Vikings 21.539 25.000 3.462 19.795 Rising
Texans 4.923 8.000 3.077 10.744 Rising
49ers 1.539 4.000 2.462 3.906 Rising
Eagles 14.615 17.000 2.385 26.385 Rising
Colts 12.769 14.500 1.731 14.287 Rising
Bengals 11.231 12.500 1.269 10.269 Rising
Giants 17.462 18.500 1.039 13.483 Rising
Saints 7.231 8.000 0.769 12.547 Rising
Bears 9.308 10.000 0.692 14.136 Rising
Cardinals 25.385 26.000 0.615 26.171 Rising
Lions 16.077 16.500 0.423 21.534 Rising
Raiders 30.154 30.500 0.346 32.235 Rising
Seahawks 2.692 3.000 0.308 2.864 Rising
Steelers 24.231 24.500 0.269 16.713 Rising
Jaguars 32.000 32.000 0.000 30.667 Rising
Packers 6.154 6.000 -0.154 5.513 Rising
Titans 21.308 21.000 -0.308 25.692 Rising
Browns 30.000 29.500 -0.500 24.722 Rising
Chargers 26.231 25.500 -0.731 25.158 Rising
Broncos 1.846 1.000 -0.846 1.821 Rising
Ravens 10.615 9.000 -1.615 5.718 Rising
Patriots 5.385 3.000 -2.385 3.393 Rising
Bills 27.000 24.500 -2.500 25.833 Rising
Redskins 18.308 15.500 -2.808 8.303 Rising
Dolphins 18.000 14.500 -3.500 16.722 Rising
Jets 27.308 21.500 -5.808 24.414 Rising
Buccaneers 27.462 18.500 -8.962 13.594 Rising
Panthers 23.000 12.000 -11.000 10.000 Rising

Observations:

  • This table is usually good to identify the overrated teams and the sleepers. But with there only having been one game played, it's hard to have confidence in that conclusion just yet.
  • However, it does help to think that the Panthers aren't nearly as bad as people think right now. Nor are the Chiefs really that good, yet.
  • Chargers? Yeah, not that great.

Sources

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