Beatpaths’ NFL Power Rankings: Week 6

By referring to my graphical rankings, I’ve come up with a Power Ranking of all 32 NFL Teams. I didn’t rank any team below another team it had unambiguously beaten. I had to make some subjective quality choices for the rest of the list, but I’ll detail them below.

On to the rankings…

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First, the graph I’m using for reference. No team can be ranked behind a team that is further down their beatpath.

6-Clean

1: Indianapolis: It was a subjective choice on who to put at the top, but Indianapolis was the obvious choice – they’re undefeated, can really pour on the points, and Peyton looks freakishly confident.
2: Jacksonville: Their only two losses are to two very good teams – Denver and Indianapolis – and they’ve beaten Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. They’re ranked ahead of Denver because of the Miami factor – Denver has consistency problems.
3: Cincinnati: They’re still extremely good, competent, and consistent. Subjective: Better than Pittsburgh
4: Pittsburgh: If not for Maddox, they might be higher. But Maddox stunk so badly that it seems like a flaw in the entire team’s judgment. Subjective: Better than Denver
5: Denver: They’ve shown flashes of brilliance. They really just need to improve their consistency.
6: New England: Don’t count them out, they’re getting well and still have great coaching and a great scheme. Subjective: Better than San Diego
7: San Diego: They’re consistently brilliant, but they’ve also consistently been beaten by teams that have lost to teams San Diego has beaten. Which makes them inconsistent. Subjective: Better than Seattle
8: Seattle: Another team with some real raw talent. Tough call on how to rank these next four teams. Subjective: Better than Carolina
9: Carolina: Still dangerous – losing to New Orleans in Week 1 got them off on the wrong foot, though. Subjective: Better than Atlanta
10: Atlanta: I’ll probably regret having Atlanta so low, but they just don’t seem to have much depth. They can stomp mediocre teams, but I don’t see them beating many good teams. Subjective: Better than Tampa Bay
11: Tampa Bay: I probably would have ranked them higher if not for Griese’s injury. But Tampa Bay has not yet beaten many quality teams. Subjective: Better than Kansas City
12: Kansas City: They’re good enough to dominate mediocre teams, but not much better. See Atlanta. Subjective: Better than Washington
13: Washington: Denver and Kansas City effective exposed Washington’s mediocrity.
14: Dallas: Parcell’s reality-distortion field gets them half of their victories.
15: Giants: The Giants can be pretty bad, but look out – every once in a while things click for Eli.
16: St Louis: Boy, the first few minutes of that Indy game were fun to watch. Subjective: Better than Philadelphia
17: Philadelphia: One loss too many for me to respect them more. I really think St. Louis would beat them. Subjective: Better than Cleveland
18: Cleveland: We’re down to the teams that are pretty damn good for bad teams. Subjective: Better than Chicago
19: Chicago: I keep hearing good things about this team that aren’t reflected in their record. Subjective: Better than Detroit
20: Detroit: Joey, joey… weren’t you better in Oregon?
21: Green Bay: This is about as high as the system would let me rank them. Subjective: Better than Minnesota
22: Minnesota: The Looooove Boat… (bwana-bah) promises something for…. eeeeveryooooone.
23: New Orleans: Isn’t Aaron Brooks supposed to be better than this?
24: Buffalo: They have the coolest NFL Primetime music. That in itself guarantees them a couple of extra wins every year. Subjective: Better than Miami
25: Miami: And fading fast. Subjective: Better than Tennessee
26: Tennessee: They have a fair amount of room they can move up in these rankings if they do something convincing.
27: Baltimore: Getting slower and more boring every week. Subjective: Better than Oakland
28: Oakland: They can pull a rabbit out of a hat every once in a while, but they’re really pretty pathetic overall. Subjective: Better than the Jets
29: Jets: It seems odd for them to be this low – maybe Tennessee is better than I think. That would give them more room to move up. Subjective: Better than Arizona
30: Arizona: They had such promise in the preseason. What happened? Subjective: Better than San Francisco
31: San Francisco: They seem okay at beating really low expectations, but not enough to actually be competitive. I think they’re this bad now, but have a good chance of improving over the next few weeks. Subjective: Better than Houston
32: Houston: How could they not be rated this low? And what will be higher – the number of points they score against Indy, or the number of times their QB gets sacked?

3 Responses to Beatpaths’ NFL Power Rankings: Week 6

  1. Sid says:

    I sort of understand what you’re saying, but is it possible to explain it a little better?

  2. tt says:

    Sure – the detailed explanation is at this link. But basically, a team has unambiguously beaten another team, if they’ve beaten them without being in a circular beatpath with them. For instance, if Miami beats Denver, who beats KC, who beats Miami, then it’s a circular beatpath, and none of them should get credit for the win because it’s no longer clear who is better than who.

    Second, I delete extra arrows – Indy already has a beatpath to Houston, so if they beat them head-on, I’m not going to draw the redundant arrow.

    So each graph shows which team has convincingly proven (so far) what other teams they are better than. The graph – and the rankings – will change over time as more matchups happen, and as more circular beatpaths happen (which is always because a team underperforms or has overperformed in the past).

    Finally, using that, I generate a power ranking. No team can be above a team that has a beatpath to them. The rest of them are my subjective choices – you can see what those choices are in the list. After thinking about it, I think some of my choices were pretty bad – like having Baltimore be better than Oakland?? Yeesh.

    You can also see that Philly beating San Diego this week is going to have a big effect on the rankings…

  3. tyler says:

    nice to know i’m an idiot. just found the list rankings.

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