Week 2 Power Rankings


Calculated Power Rankings and Unit Strength following week 2 of the NFL season.  I use an engineering method of iteratively solving for best fit to the data (scores) to create the ranks and related applications that corrects for opponents played.

This week I am adding a new piece of data being reported, the rank in 2009 data only. For the overall rank and the next scoring, 40% of the data is from the 2009 results, 60% is from the preseason projection. Similar in concept to DAVE and DVOA from Football Outsiders, the net scoring and overall rank is derived from the DAVE equivalent (done to smooth data, early on 2009 data is very suspect in accuracy, little things here and there can seriously obscure the big picture). For infomation purposes, the rank in the DVOA equivalent, 2009 live data only, is presented in the bracket. (see here for calculation methodology)

Hopefully the bracketed number helps to explain the results a little bit. This is probably the least accurate week all season, week 1 was just a tweak of preseason data, this week is when we start getting heavy doses of this season’s data. As of yet the relationships between all teams is poorly established, which partially explains the wacky results for 2009 only data.

Next week only 40% of the data will be derived from preseason data. I expect some big changes as teams held back by their poor preseason ranking (49ers, Bengals) shoot up the board, and teams held high by their good preseason ranking (Titans, Giants) will fall back, as next week more than half the data will be live data.

Game to watch this week is the Steelers vs. the Bengals. Overall rankings gives this to the Steelers easily, but live 2009 data favors the Bengals, the chance for an upset looms large. It also has big ramifications for the Packers standing (and will help to keep it in place).

This week the Packers remained high because the program “thinks” that the Bengals are an elite team. The Packers declined in net points fairly significantly, but so did the rest of the top. This was a rough week to be rated very high in the rankings. Baltimore was the only top 5 team to win.

Previous Rank in parenthesis, net scoring listed, 2009 data only rank in brackets.

Week 2 Power Rankings:
1. New Orleans Saints (10) – 11.5 [1]
2. Baltimore Ravens (2) – 9.1 [8]
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (1) – 8.4 [12]
4. Tennessee Titans (3) – 5.5 [20]
5. Green Bay Packers (5) – 5.3 [10]
6. New York Jets (13) – 5.3 [2]
7. New York Giants (7) – 5.2 [16]
8. New England Patriots (14) – 4.7 [9]
9. Chicago Bears (9) – 4.6 [11]
10. Atlanta Falcons (8) – 4.3 [13]
11. Minnesota Vikings (12) – 4.2 [14]
12. Indianapolis Colts (6) – 4.0 [18]
13. Philadelphia Eagles (4) – 3.7 [17]
14. San Diego Chargers (11) – 2.9 [21]
15. San Francisco 49ers (22) – 2.6 [3]
16. Arizona Cardinals (23) – 1.5 [4]
17. Dallas Cowboys (15) – 1.1 [22]
18. Houston Texans (18) – 0.9 [15]
19. Denver Broncos (24) – -0.3 [5]
20. Cincinnati Bengals (25) – -0.9 [6]
21. Miami Dolphins (19) – -1.2 [23]
22. Seattle Seahawks (28) – -1.4 [7]
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (16) – -1.8 [24]
24. Buffalo Bills (26) – -3.1 [19]
25. Carolina Panthers (17) – -3.1 [30]
26. Washington Redskins (21) – -3.9 [26]
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20) – -4.6 [31]
28. Cleveland Browns (27) – -6.3 [29]
29. Oakland Raiders (29) – -8.0 [25]
30. Kansas City Chiefs (30) – -8.5 [27]
31. Detroit Lions (32) – -11.5 [28]
32. St. Louis Rams (31) – -14.3 [32]

Record Week 1: 14-2
Record Week 2: 11-5
Misses last week: Chi-Pit, Hou-Tn, GB-Cin, Ari-Jax, and NO-Phi

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