Week 14 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:

The Patriots still hold on to their spot near the top, their outcome this week did little to affect their placement. They are probably a few spots high due to the crazy blowout against Tn (likewise Tn is low), just one of the drawbacks to this method.

The top has largely remained the same with the Jets and Baltimore climbing on strong showings this week. Both likely overshot their true spot and will fall back a bit. Green Bay surprisingly drops, they couldn’t score enough against a Bears team sinking into the abyss; a blowout was needed to keep their spot.

As is there is a very smooth gradient from the bottom to the top, clumps of teams are beginning to dissolve. One interesting thing to note, Detroit and St Louis are worse than Indy and New Orleans are good, perhaps an indication that they are not as unbeatable as they seem.

Looking at the change indicator, Tennessee, Washington, San Diego, Buffalo, and Green Bay are the hottest teams in the league; Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Atlanta, New England, and Seattle are the coldest teams in the league, relative to their play earlier in the season.


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.

The situation largely remains static this week. The NFCE tie is broken for the division, however the 6 playoff teams have not changed for several weeks. Any teams that want to take GB’s or Dallas’ spot will have to make their move soon. In the AFC Baltimore has pulled into a projected tie with Cincinnati, however due to tiebreaks the division remains the same. Baltimore and Denver are the current wild card favorites, with the AFCE breathing down their neck. All other changes this week are up or down a game here and there, without any position changes or playoff ramifications.

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
Week 11 record – 12-4
Week 12 record – 12-4
Week 13 record – 10-6
Week 14 record – 14-2
Total – 144-64
Missed Last Week – Cle-Pit, Ari-SF

Overall a pretty good week. Missed 2 upsets, accurately predicted 1 minor upset (KC-Buf).

Enjoy!

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