Team Rankings: Week Ten

They Are Who We Thought They Were
We didn't see a whole lot of movement on top of the list, but that's to be expected as the season goes on. The larger the sample, the more the stagnant the rankings, thanks to increased knowledge and less noise.

The AFC West Worst
  • After being the Dolphins' first victory of the season, the Kansas City Chiefs fall to second-to-last being 4-4 on the year. Yes, you heard that right, astute readership: a team tied for the AFC West lead has been the second worst team in the league, at least according to these rankings. All but one of KC's wins were very close games, and all but one of their losses came in a blowout. 
  • The Chargers, on the other hand, looked like the offensive team we expected them to be against Green Bay's porous defense. Mike Tolbert gave the Chargers a steady run presence and a target out of the backfield, and Vincent Jackson had himself a day. How much of the success was the Chargers' offense compared to the Packers' defense? Both, actually.
  • You know who else is tied for the AFC West lead? The Raiders, that's who. The Raiders and Carson Palmer can't even take care of Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos, who are only a game out of first place, themselves. The Raiders are going to need Carson Palmer to, well, not suck if they have any chance of making it to the postseason this year.
Another Fun Fact
  • The Giants don't move at all, even after beating New England. In fact, the Patriots were the one who moved up in the rankings. Weird, huh?
With that in mind, here are your rankings.

2 GB20.700.48126
3 PIT40.680.4958
4 PHI30.650.53611
5 NE70.640.56225
7 NO50.630.48814
12 SD130.560.461116
14 SF120.550.48129
27 TB320.360.511730
31 KC230.330.482627


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14 Responses to “Team Rankings: Week Ten”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting to see TB jump from 32 to 27 after a game where they seemed to never have a legit chance to win. Conversely, interesting to see the Saints fall two spots after a game that they controlled from beginning to end. Why?

  2. Mike says:

    Another observation: The Falcons move up 8 spots after beating the worst team in the league.

  3. James says:

    Anon - the Saints themselves didn't go any where, their GWP stayed the same at 0.63 while the Pats and Cowboys both improved to 0.64 from 0.61 and 0.62, respectively.

    I suspect that's largely because the Patriots defense (up from 28 to 25) played much better against the good Giants offense (down from 6 to 9), and the Cowboys passing offense averaged 9.0 yards/att against the previously #16 Seahawk defense while the Saints only hit 7.2 ypa vs the #30 defense. Since passing offense is more indicative of future performance, you would have expected the Saints to put up superior numbers against a worse defense.

    Mike - That's largely from bunching, although both their offensive and defensive rankings improved. Note that if they made the same 0.06 increase in their GWP (last week's 0.41 to today's 0.47) they would still be #16 behind the Jets.

  4. Brian Burke says:

    A few points in general--Teams can move due to other teams above and below them moving. They can move also just by movement by previous opponents, which affects opponent GWP. Additionally, there can be clumps of teams tightly packed together. A team at the bottom of a clump can appear to skyrocket in terms of rankings by a solid outing. Remember that each rank is not necessarily equally spaced in terms of GWP. Notice the clumps from 11-15 and from 16-22. ATL vaulted that bottom clump.

    Specifically, regarding ATL-IND: ATL threw for 9.0 AYPA and held IND to below 2.0 AYPA. That's huge.

    Regarding TB-NO: TB actually had really good numbers, throwing for 7.4 AYPA and holding NO to 5.4 AYPA. I realize some of that was 'trash', but not all of it.

  5. bigmouth says:

    Forgive me for fixating on the 49ers every week, but they seem such a persistent anomaly. How is it that they're ranked 9th in defense and 12th in offense, but only 14th overall?

    How is the whole worse than the sum of the parts?

  6. Anonymous says:

    bigmouth -

    The overall rank is not necessarily going to fall somewhere between the O and D ranks. An obvious example are teams that are ranked highest and lowest...if a team were ranked 31 and 31 in O and D, we would probably expect them to be ranked 32. If a team were ranked 2 and 2, we would expect them to be ranked 1.

    Think of it this way too...if a team's O and D rank were 16 and 16 (or any two equal numbers), then it's very likely their rank will fall somewhere slightly above or below 16 rather than on 16 exactly. The narrower the difference between O and D rank, the more likely the overall rank will fall "outside" of the two ranks.

  7. Michael Beuoy says:

    Another point on SF - I don't believe that penalty rate is factored into either the O RANK or D RANK (since it's total committed penalties). SF has a higher than average penalty rate, which would drag their ranking down above and beyond what is reflected in their O RANK and D RANK.

  8. Jim Glass says:

    Oak pays at least and 1st and a 2nd to get Palmer for nine games, and so far he has 6 picks in 6 quarters and just lost to Tebow.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Have you done research into the predictive power of quarterback rushing? I would imagine that there is a difference between Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers besides just the passing efficiency statistics that isn't fully captured by routing their scrambles into rushing efficiency. In particular, I'd imagine that a team with a successful scrambler would significantly beat a team with an equivalent passer with no scrambling skills in third down conversions.

  10. Behan01 says:

    SF's offense has a below average AYPA and average RunSR, while having great OINT% and OFUM%. They're already pretty close to the mean on the first two and they're likely to regress on the later two. So they've played above their heads and still aren't particularly good (offensively).

    Basically they're a pretty average team that's had some turnover luck. The one bright spot is the pass defense is decent.

  11. weinsteinium says:

    @Anon - I ran a linear regression for qb scrambling success rate and season wins from 2006 through 2010 and there is basically zero correlation.

    I suspect that is because over the league as a whole, qb scrambling isn't a big part of how teams win. I'm sure that for any given team or qb scrambling success might matter. But across the league as a whole it has no effect on winning.

    Maybe someone knows how to isolate just the teams that rely on scrambling.

  12. bigmouth says:

    Anonymous: Thanks, that makes perfect sense. I'm just a little irrational when it comes to the Niners, lol.

    Behan01: The really bright spot for SF has been the run defense, but the pass defense has been much better than expected.

  13. Anonymous says:

    @Behan01: Turnover luck has been running against the 49ers, IIRC, because they've both recovered fewer than half the turnovers they've caused and fewer than half the turnovers created against them. True, that INT% has to be unsustainable.

    Also, don't forget that these rankings don't reflect special teams, so anyone with good special teams will be underrated.

  14. RaH says:

    @bigmouth Since passingDef is so much more important than runDef in this model, I would hope you could understand that would make it imperative for a team to be a quality defense through the air.

    Contrary to what pundits will pound in your skull, the run game isn't what makes and breaks teams.

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