Team Rankings: Week Eleven

We have lots of juicy goodness on this Wednesday morning. I promise.

Who's Ready For a New Number One?
The Texans' GWP is ridiculously high, despite losing players like Mario Williams for the year and playing without Andre Johnson for a huge chunk of the season. Now, quarterback Matt Schaub is going to miss the rest of the season, and Houston is going to be stuck with either Matt Leinart or T.J. Yates at QB. They aren't going to be able to survive this loss, but with seven wins, they may still be able to sneak into the playoffs.

The Packers, on the other hand, continue to roll through opponents like a boulder flying down a hill. The defense looked good against the Vikings, though the Purple and Gold are rocking a rookie QB and a lackluster receiving core.

I'm not sure that the Packers or Steelers will be able to pass the Texans this weekend, as the Pack play the low-ranked Bucs, and the Steelers are on bye. It may take a couple of weeks, but Houston won't be on top for too long.

Other Fun Facts
  • The Ravens just can't make up their minds, can they? They take care of the Steelers twice this season, but yet they can't beat the lowly Seahawks. Watching the game, I can tell you that Joe Flacco didn't look very good, but the Ravens lost because of fumbles on special teams, not their overall play. Don't read too much into their loss, but Flacco needs to become more consistent if the Ravens want to be a title contender.
  • The Oakland Raiders are still the highest ranked AFC West team, and it's possible that they'll continue to get better as the season goes along and Carson Palmer learns the offense and his receivers' tendencies. Raider Nation needs Darren McFadden to come back and add another explosive element to their offense, but as of now, the Raiders can celebrate being in first place.
And with that, here are your full, unabridged rankings for the week.

2 GB20.740.44128
3 PIT30.740.5057
5 NE50.670.57226
6 NO70.660.46717
8 PHI40.630.52915
10 SF130.580.50128
17 SD180.480.451324
30 TB270.280.551630
31 KC310.230.443129


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12 Responses to “Team Rankings: Week Eleven”

  1. Jonathan says:

    I don't usually criticize these rankings, but why is Indianapolis still in your top 32??

  2. Ian B says:

    Take this with a grain of salt, but I would prefer these rankings to be published on Tuesday. You just saw your team play, then you want immediate feedback. To get all of the bitching out of the way, I also saw that last week's team rankings are all out of whack. For example, San Diego is listed as 18th last week in this article, but they were something like 12th in last week's article.

    I think one of the biggest stories is: what's happened to Buffalo?? I don't follow their team closely, but it's obvious their play has dropped off some. It's especially interesting given that at their high point, the Bill gave Ryan Fitz-harvard a huge contract. According to 49er beat writers, the niner front office is not happy with that contract given that Alex Smith's contract ends this year.

  3. Zach Sanders says:

    I would also prefer these to go up on Tuesday, but I was swamped yesterday, so I couldn't get to it until this morning.

    Perfect world: Up Tuesday.

  4. RaH says:

    Texans too low.

  5. Will says:

    Speaking of is the OFUM% average 2.1 when only 3 of the 32 teams have OFUM% > 2?

  6. bigmouth says:

    Zach: Ian's right, something's wrong. The Bolts weren't ranked 18th last week, they were 12th.

  7. James says:

    So what's Houston's realistic GWP with Leinart out there instead of Schaub? Here's my stab at it:

    It looks like Leinart has been about a 0 EPA level player for his career (although he hasn't played since 2009). So far this year Schaub has put up 69.9 EPA, just about where you'd expect based on his 2009 and 2010 seasons. Let's call that a 70 EPA difference.

    To make things simple, I just calculated the Texans win probability using the Pythag Formula after subtracting 70 points scored. That gives them a 0.617 GWP and places them just above the Lions ranking.

    Sure, this isn't the most scientific method and there are plenty of caveats, but isn't this an informed, simple way to estimate Houston's true talent level?

    I like it because it *seems* about right. It makes sense they should be ranked similarly to the 49ers. Both teams are built on solid defense and running games, and are led by questionable quarterbacks. Sure, Leinart might be worse than Smith, but Houston definitely has the edge in the receiving corps.

  8. Anonymous says:

    James - I think you are probably underestimated Leinart here. Schaub's EPA are at least partly dependet on the OLine, the running fames and his receivers. This should make the job a bit easier for Leinart than in the past.

  9. Brian Burke says:

    Looks like the ofum numbers are only outputting the rushing fumbles, not the total fumbles. I'll have to fix that. The OAK and SD rankings got jacked because I ran the numbers in between the Thurs night games and Sun games, overwriting the previous week's true rankings. We'll get it sorted.

  10. Sam's Hideout says:

    Sounds like you need some ISO9000 process engineering there. *grin*

  11. Jim Glass says:

    I think you are probably underestimated Leinart here. Schaub's EPA are at least partly dependet on the OLine, the running fames and his receivers.

    Yes, the "QB's numbers" really are team passing numbers. There are 10 other offensive players contributing to every play, plus all the situational substitutes. attributes 28% of passing offense to the QB (and says the difference between the average starting QB and backup QB is only 2.3 points per game). This will be an interesting test of that.

  12. James says:

    Ok, Schaub should share some of his EPA with the rest of the team, but how much? To Jim Glass's point, while the average backup is only 2.3 ppg worse than the starter, Schaub and Leinart are not your average starter and backup. Schaub's been a Top 5-10 QB based on EPA/play the past three years and Leinart's had opportunity and been downright bad. Remember that the average starter to backup QB includes a range of situations with everything from Bledsoe to Brady, McNabb to Ponder, and Rodgers to Flynn. As a starting point:

    Schaub EPA/P past 3 years: 0.20
    Leinart EPA/P in 30 Games played: 0.02

    Jason Lisk said the average team with a winning record loses 0.182 of its winning percentage and 1.33 ANY/Att when the backup plays (more pointedly, the Warner to Leinart dropoff was 1.54 ANY/Att).

    A 0.182 dropoff from Houston's 0.73 GWP puts them at 0.55, which is in the ballpark of my back of the envelope 0.617. Furthermore, if I understand Brian's equations properly, a 1.0 dropoff in the Texans' OPass* drops them down to approximately 0.54 GWP.

    So it seems reasonable to me to estimate the Texans' GWP with Leinart to be somewhere in the 0.55 to 0.62 range, right around where I think they should be with the 49ers. Thoughts, advice, suggestions?

    *OPass - OPass is NY/Att, which isn't the same as ANY/Att, but close. Looking at this year's NYA and ANYA it seems 1.3 ANYA is about the same as 1.0 NYA in that range.

    On a related note, isn't it extremely unusual for a team to jump 0.10 in GWP in one week? Last week Houston was 0.73, and now they are 0.83!! Could that be an effect of the OFumb error Brian mentioned? That would significantly change my and Jason Lisk's GWP estimation...

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