2008 NFL Week 14 Beatpaths Rankings

Hi ho BeatPath fans! Kenneth back with the commentary, and if you thought previous weeks had controversy, well, you haven’t seen anything yet!

Rank Team Notes Last Week BeatPower

1

(Beat KC) And thus our proprietor achieves his goals with beatpaths, and gets the Broncos ranked on top. No, kidding. But how did the Broncos get up here? Well, they split with KC, which got them out from a nasty beatloss that was holding them back. That gave them a beatwin over Tampa, who happens to be highly ranked themselves. Actually, the Broncos have beatwins over most of the NFC South, which is fairly highly ranked, so they get boosted up. I don’t quite have a feel for tiebreakers yet, so I don’t know why they beat out the Cowboys…but surely, all those people who felt that Dallas wasn’t the best team in the league are happy now, right? Right?

17

95.7

(21/23 – 0/23)

2

(Lost to PIT) Of course, the Cowboys aren’t doing too shabby, either. The loss to the Steelers gets looped away because Philly beat the Steelers, and Dallas beat the Eagles (which means that the PHI-DAL rematch in week 17 will be important to both the Steelers and Cowboys). And, they still have a beatwin over the Buccaneers, so they stay strong.

1

92.0

(21/25 – 0/25)

3

(Lost to CAR) The Buccaneers stay strong, too, despite getting absolutely whupped last Monday night. Seriously, I haven’t seen a team run that easily since the Colts were playing without Bob Sanders. But the loss just turns into a split, and they still have a path to Carolina via Minnesota, so not much changes for the Bucs. To be honest, the list of teams they have beatpaths to looks pretty similar to last week.

4

90.9

(20/22 – 2/22)

4

(Lost to SF) The loss to the 49ers gets looped away by the Jets’ win over Arizona. Things like this are why I can’t take the Jets seriously as a postseason contender. I mean, I know they won’t have to travel to the west coast in the playoffs, but still–good teams win those games regardless.

2

97.9

(23/24 – 0/24)

5

(Beat CLE) The teams above them change, but the Titans stay where they are. You don’t get much credit for beating up on the Browns.

5

95.7

(22/23 – 1/23)

6

(Beat DET) Congratulations on just barely not losing to the Lions–again. The Vikings move up barely due to other teams falling.

8

77.1

(18/24 – 5/24)

7

(Beat DAL) Another team that moves up mostly due to other’s faults, although they leapfrog Carolina, mostly due to Carolina’s wins looking less impressive.

10

85.0

(14/20 – 0/20)

8

(Beat CIN) Now, you’re probably thinking “No way did beating the Bengals help that much”, and you’re right. What helped was the Ravens beating the Redskins, which caused a 6 team beatloop to form of BAL=>WAS=>NO=>GB=>CHI=>IND=>BAL. That got the Colts out from under the Redskins, Saints, Packers, and Bears, which helped them a great deal. More on this loop later.

15

76.1

(14/23 – 2/23)

9

(Beat TB) Life’s so unfair: you beat up on the division leader, and you don’t move up in the rankings but they do! Well, that’s the problem with having a beatloss to the Vikings. The Panthers are not helped by all the season splits in the NFC North.

9

69.0

(14/21 – 6/21)

10

(Lost to PHI) If you were wondering where some of those top teams landed, well, here’s your first. Don’t blame the loss to the Eagles, though, which got split away; this is mostly caused by the crash that the Redskins had, which took a lot of support away from the Giants. Speaking of Giant support, I’d like to take an opportunity to remind everyone that 10th is still, you know, top 10.

3

84.4

(11/16 – 0/16)

11

(Beat WAS) Of course, I don’t want to indicate that Baltimore beating Washington didn’t help Baltimore out a lot, too. They get out from under the same teams that the Colts did, and they get out from under the Colts, too. Colts still have a more impressive resume due to beating the Patriots, but still.

18

71.4

(11/21 – 2/21)

12

(Beat GB) Now here’s one I wasn’t expecting. The win over the Packers doesn’t do much because it gets looped away from Green Bay beating Indianapolis, and since Indy swept the Texans they’re still under the Colts. But a rising tide lifts all boats, I guess, and the Texans follow the Colts and Ravens up the ladder.

19

50.0

(9/19 – 9/19)

13

(Lost to NO) The season split means the Falcons lose their beatpath over the Saints, which isn’t that impressive now anyway, but would still be useful. As it is, they fall back due to a lack of good beatwins.

7

61.5

(6/13 – 3/13)

14

(Beat STL) Not much happens to the Cardinals, but because of the chaos around them they shift upwards a bit.

16

50.0

(8/18 – 8/18)

15

(Beat ATL) Normally, you’d think that getting rid of a beatloss would be good, but since this one also took out a lot of the support underneath them, it ends up hurting the Saints a bit.

11

54.5

(9/22 – 7/22)

16

(Beat NYG) The season split gets the Eagles from under the Giants, but that wasn’t a big problem for them. The main issue is that their only direct beatwin is over the 49ers.

13

73.3

(7/15 – 0/15)

17

(Beat SEA) Of course, having a direct beatpath to the 49ers is better than nothing, so that’s good for the Patriots. They move up a few spots amongst the madness.

20

60.7

(7/14 – 4/14)

18

(Lost to TEN) I wouldn’t read anything into this move–the three teams the Browns jumped all cratered due to the 6 team beatloop.

21

42.1

(7/19 – 10/19)

19

(Lost to BAL) And here they find themselves, finally. It’s got to hurt that their only remaining beatwin is over the Lions. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing a lot of ways for the Redskins to get back that juicy beatpath.

6

50.0

(1/14 – 1/14)

20

(Beat JAC) Not having the Colts under their beatpath really hurts. However, the Bears are one team that could re-establish a path from this loop, if they split with the Packers in two weeks (who knows what the graph will look like then, though).

14

38.2

(3/17 – 7/17)

21

(Lost to HOU) The positive for me, as a Bears fan, is that now they are ranked higher than the Packers.

12

31.2

(2/16 – 8/16)

22

(Beat BUF) And now we get into the dregs of the rankings, where nothing much changes so I instead write things I think are funny. Surprising that a quality (by win-loss) team like Miami is down here, but I guess playing a 4th place schedule doesn’t give you a lot of quality wins.

23

34.1

(6/22 – 13/22)

23

(Beat NYJ) They don’t get credit for the Jets win because they lost to the Cardinals, who the Jets beat. And that ARI loss is a sweep, so they won’t get credit for it for awhile. Bummer for the 49ers.

24

30.0

(6/20 – 14/20)

24

(Beat OAK) Some nice news here for Chargers is that the Broncos splitting with Chiefs gave them back their beatwin over KC, so they now have beatwins over both them and the Raiders. Which I guess you can always use to comfort yourself when the season ends.

22

21.9

(2/16 – 11/16)

25

(Lost to IND) You might have thought this game was meaningless, but it takes away Cincy’s beatwin over Jacksonville. Which is still meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but it matters to those two teams.

25

3.8

(0/13 – 12/13)

26

(Lost to SD) It’s weird listening to some writers talk about the Raiders with reverence to Al Davis. I mean, I’m young, but I’ve been following the NFL pretty well since about 1990 or so, and Al Davis was always crazy. More effective, usually, but always crazy. I know the Raiders have a great history, but it seems so far removed from the present that I don’t get how people recall it.

26

9.4

(0/16 – 13/16)

27

(Lost to MIA) I wonder if the Bills closed that roof to try and attract fans, because how many Torontans (is that right?) would want to come out to a cold game?

27

23.1

(5/26 – 19/26)

28

(Lost to CHI) This team is going to be interesting next season. I would expect them to bounce back in a big way, but then, most of my reasons for thinking that are reasons they should be good this year, too.

28

6.5

(1/23 – 21/23)

29

(Lost to ARI) So…who do we think the new coach is going to be?

30

4.3

(0/23 – 21/23)

30

(Lost to NE) I bring it up, because I was thinking of how many of these teams were going to get new coaches, and it occurred to me that the Seahawks theoretically already have next year’s coach ready. Who knows if that goes through now, though.

29

4.2

(0/24 – 22/24)

31

(Lost to DEN) Herm Edwards, I would expect to stick around. The Chiefs were expected to be rebuilding and have been surprisingly effective at times this year.

31

2.2

(0/23 – 22/23)

32

(Lost to MIN) Of course, the Lions are cleaning house. I noticed that Culpepper is listed as not likely to play this week. They’re saying it’s an injury; I wonder if he just realized that he’d have to be playing for these jokers again.

32

0.0

(0/25 – 25/25)

9 Responses to 2008 NFL Week 14 Beatpaths Rankings

  1. The MOOSE says:

    I think it’s very interesting to see how much disagreement there is between these rankings and mine this time. All of the top 5 teams are the same, but none of them are in the same order. I think it’d be hard to say that either NYJ or DEN is really the best team in the league, so both probably have it wrong.

    Right now I’m liking Iterative best. While NYJ is at the top, they only have 4% strength left in their win over TEN and nothing else to support them. Aside from that, the rest of the rankings look at least reasonable. When might your redesign be ready so we can consolidate all of this information into one place?

  2. […] Beatpaths The Winning Ways of Winners « 2008 NFL Week 14 Beatpaths Rankings December 11th, 2008 Uncategorized […]

  3. Tom says:

    MOOSE, why do you end up with different rankings, despite the same graph of beatpaths and loops?

  4. doktarr says:

    Tom, he uses a different algorithm to decide the strength of a team’s beatwins. Right now, there are six teams (NYG, NYJ, PHI, PIT, DAL, DEN) who have no beatlosses in the standard (I want to start calling it “parallel”) algorithm. Any of them could be #1. It takes a separate method to break that “tie” and Moose uses a different one.

    Unsurprisingly, I share Moose’s preference for the iterative rankings. A week ago, iterative had Denver really high and parallel had Denver floating in space with no relations. Now, parallel has Denver up top, in roughly the position iterative had it in last week, while iterative has Denver somewhere between 7th and 13th (Moose puts them at 11).

    The changes in the iterative algorithm from week-to-week at this stage of the season are really to subtle to project, but it looks like there were two factors involved:

    1) The season split with Miami, and the rapid rise of Indianapolis, meant that New England only had one bad loss (San Diego) to loop away, and was able to just barely reclaim its win over Denver.

    2) Tampa Bay’s loss to Carolina, Dallas’s loss to Pittsburgh, and Washington’s loss to Baltimore conspired to allow IND=>PIT=>BAL to rise, and allowed CAR=>ARI=>DAL=>TB to re-emerge. This pushes Denvers best win, Tampa, down considerably.

    Denver will have a chance to rise again, or to confirm their current ranking, when they travel to Carolina this week.

  5. The MOOSE says:

    Because I use a different strategy to order them. This explains how I do it: http://www.beatgraphs.com/RatingsAndRankings.php

  6. ThunderThumbs says:

    It’s that damn MIN->CAR beatwin that is lousing everything up. 🙂 That’s my theory. Carolina defeats Denver this week, and that all clears up, with the exception of NYJ->TEN.

    I actually have time free this weekend. I’m going to try and do some songwriting, but when I’m sick of it, I’m on the redesign again. I’m torn between wordpress and drupal… will probably do wordpress again just for ease.

  7. Mike T says:

    Any team that loses to the Chiefs, Jaguars and Raiders in the same season has no right to sniff the top 10, much less the highest spot in the rankings.

    I’m a regular reader of this site and am interested in the concept of using metrics to rank teams, but I think looping away wins and losses is problematic. I think anyone paying attention would agree that the Browns win over the Giants was an extreme fluke, yet it still happened. The old adage that any team can beat another one on any given day is absolutely true, it’s just that the better team wins most of the time. And similarly, the Giants should be penalized for losing to a lesser opponent — and the Browns should be credited — but using that one result to nullify the results of a bunch of other games just because the Browns lost to somebody else doesn’t seem like the best way to proceed.

    What about some sort of rankings that sum the number of wins of the teams you’ve beaten and subtract from that total the sum of the losses from the teams you’ve beaten? That would leave the Giants (assuming .5 for tie games) with a total of 52.5 (67 combined wins – 14.5 combined losses), whereas Denver would wind up with a total of 6 (46 W – 40 L). This way, teams are penalized for losing games to lesser opponents without also losing credit for beating other teams. A system like this could also eliminate some of the instability associated with teams like the Jets, who

  8. doktarr says:

    Mike,

    The problem with the Giants is that one loss can wipe out multiple wins. When all wins and losses are created equally, New York ends up pretty high:

    http://www.beatgraphs.com/archive/iterative/2008/I_2008_14_NO.php

    As for Denver, it’s just as easy to argue that any team that can sweep the NFC south and can beat the Jets is a top 10 team. The fact that both of these arguments can be made forces us to look elsewhere for clarity.

  9. […] Tom here with the “confidence” rankings of this week’s picks, based on comparing the BeatPower scores of each match-up: […]

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