Week 10 Power Rankings


Calculated Power Rankings, Unit Strength, Strength of Schedule, and Estimated Final Record following week 10 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.

Everything is based on correcting the scoring offense and defense of each team for opponents, by calculating the expected scoring against an average opponent, instead of averaging the points scored against the actual opponents played. This allows all teams are evaluated on a level plane. Power is defined as scoring offense minus scoring defense, the list sorted by the net difference.

I run a full season calculation and a most recent 4 weeks calculation and blend them (4:1) to acknowledge change and teams that are hot/cold.

Power Rank:

Despite the loss, New England maintains its spot as top dog. However Indy’s win and New Orleans’ weak showing against the Rams causes the Colts to move ahead of the Saints. Quietly the Saints defense has been in decline as of late, relative to earlier in the season.

The two pretenders that I pointed out last week took a bit hit to their rank as the system corrected itself. The Jets and Dolphins unusually high ranks have come down to earth, overall the top 10 looks very solid. It is expected, by this time of year, 6-7 of the final 10 are in the top 10.

Early on the change indicator was a bit of an oddity that didn’t show much. As of late it has become a much stronger indicator of who’s hot and who’s not, with Tennessee as the league’s hottest team currently, showing the most dramatic improvement in recent weeks, and the Broncos are the league’s coldest team. San Diego and Houston have been sustaining positive change for several weeks, most teams will oscillate around zero, sustained positive change is a sign of a team showing sustainable improvement.

In the battle for the basement, Oakland takes over for St. Louis as the worst team in the league. St Louis’ strong showing against New Orleans helped a great deal.

The early season trend of no below average teams, just a slightly below average team or two, then a huge drop to several awful teams is dissipating, with Tennessee and Carolina rising up out of the doldrums, Chicago and Seattle falling back from average. But the trend that showed up strongly last year that hasn’t been as notable yet this season is beginning to form again. At the top is a concentration of the best defensive teams. The best offenses are much more spread out than the best defenses. This trend showed strongly last year as well.


Net = Projected net scoring agaisnt an average opponent (PPG)
Off = Projected offensive scoring against an average defense (PPG)
O Rk = Rank of offense
Def = Projected scoring by an average offense against the defense (PPG)
D Rk = Rank of defense
Chg = Difference between data run of most recent 4 weeks and full season (hot/cold) (PPG)
C Rk = Rank of change.

Strength of Schedule:

Instead of using points, or quality opponents, etc, the method that I chose to rank the strength of schedule is the average power rank of opponent played. The current power rank is used and each week the full season recalculated.


Seas = Average power rank of all opponents all season
Prev = Average power rank of teams played thus far
P Rk = Ranked difficulty of past schedule
Fut = Average power rank of teams yet to be played
F Rk = Ranked difficulty of future schedule.

Estimated Final Record:

I use the power rank, current record, and future opponents to estimate the final record for the team. The net scoring against an average opponent for one team is subtracted from another to determine who is favored and by how many points.

If a team is favored by 14+ points, I assumed that they win 100% of the time.
If a team is favored between 7 and 14 points, I assumed that they win 80% of the time.
If a teams is favored between 0 and 7 points, I assumed that they win 60% of the time.
If a team is not favored between 0 and 7 points, I assumed that they win 40% of the time.
If a team is not favored between 7 and 14 points, I assumed that they win 20% of the time.

It is looking like the NFC wildcard race is going to be a good one, with 5 teams currently projected to tie for the two spots. The AFCN is currently projected to supply both AFC wild cards. Baltimore’s win over Denver a few weeks ago could prove to be problematic for Denver if they can’t recover to take the division from San Diego.

Power Ranking Performance:

Week 1 record – 14-2
Week 2 record – 11-5
Week 3 record – 12-4
Week 4 record – 11-3
Week 5 record – 7-7
Week 6 record – 9-5
Week 7 record – 9-4
Week 8 record – 7-6
Week 9 record – 8-5
Week 10 record – 8-7
Total – 96-48
Missed Last Week – Tn-Buf, NYJ-Jax, Den-Was, Atl-Car, Dal-GB, SD-Phi, NE-Ind

Bad week. 2 of 5 on predicting underdogs (Cin, KC correct). Power ranks have definite limitations picking games. Looking forward to a hopefully more accurate pick generator next season that I hope can correct many of the power ranking limitations.

Enjoy Very Happy

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3 Responses to “Week 10 Power Rankings”

  1. dullgeek Says:

    Waldo,

    Any chance you can put your RSS feed back to provide full articles? I read your site primarily through google reader, and I’m only getting partial articles now.

    Please?

    • waldo56 Says:

      I think that it was a setting issue more than a post type issue. I like the look of it this way on the page (plus I get to find out what people are and aren’t reading). However there is a setting for me, whether feeds see a summary or full post, I had it on summary, and just adjusted it. Hopefully this solves the problem. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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