2008 NFL Week 17 Beatpaths Rankings

Hey gang, Kenneth here. Well, the regular season’s over. The graph, and rankings, will probably be pretty stable from now on. You may get some movement at the top, but for most of the teams, this is how their seasons went. So let’s get to it…and a new team at the top!

Rank Team Notes Last Week BeatPower

1

(Beat TEN) After a huge winning streak, the Colts shake their beatloss to the Titans and land on top of the rankings. Looking back at how the Colts’ season has gone, it all seems so unlikely–not at all what you would have predicted at the start of the season. But Peyton and friends are on top and ready to go for the playoffs.

3

98.2

(27/28 – 0/28)

2

(Lost to MIA) Splitting with the Fish doesn’t hurt–they’ve got alternate routes into them. Not making the playoffs may be a blessing for the Jets, beatpaths-wise; they won’t have to face any teams that will loop away their win over the Titans, which is still keeping them up high.

1

100.0

(28/28 – 0/28)

3

(Lost to IND) Titans lose a beatwin over the Colts but still look good overall. The Titans seem like an odd team to me–I can’t get a handle on them. They’re mostly still new, still young, so they seem like playoff newcomers; I wonder how they’ll do on the big stage. They do have the veteran QB in Collins though, which might help.

2

94.8

(27/29 – 1/29)

4

(Beat CLE) Looks like Big Ben is going to be okay, which is good news for the Steelers. Here’s what I want to know–other than that, when’s the last time you heard of someone getting injured and out for the playoffs because they played in a meaningless Week 17 game? I mean, you always hear people warning about the danger, but you never hear what the standard example is. Is there one? I can’t think of one.

4

86.5

(22/26 – 3/26)

5

(Beat JAC) Slight re-ordering of the graph puts the Ravens slightly higher. Ryan’s been getting all the press this season, but Flacco’s been holding his own, too. Seems hard to guess which one I’d like better for the future–but then, I’m starting to believe that you can’t judge QBs after one season.

7

82.0

(20/25 – 4/25)

6

(Beat NYG) The Vikings gain a beatwin over the Carrs Giants, which let them stay where they are. I still don’t believe in Tavaris Jackson as a QB, but sometimes when a guy gets hot you have to ride him as far as you can. In Chicago we call it the Grossman Principle.

6

83.9

(22/28 – 3/28)

7

(Lost to MIN) So, the Giants finally have a beatloss. It’s been a long strange season for the Giants, and I don’t know about their chances without Wild Bill Plaxico, but they seem to be okay in the NFC. For what it’s worth, you can check out some of the comments in previous posts for discussion about what happens if you remove this game from the results. It removes the MIN=>NYG beatwin, but not much else changes.

5

79.6

(20/27 – 4/27)

8

(Beat NO) Carolina stays where they are on the win. Carolina seems to be in a good position right now–talented enough to be a contender, but not old enough that they’re at the end of their window. A Super Bowl win would be a nice mark in a lot of those players’ careers.

8

72.7

(15/22 – 5/22)

9

(Beat BUF) Well, everyone else is saying it, and beatpaths agrees–the Patriots got screwed. Although I guess the Jets were more screwed. But hey, that’s how it goes. Certainly New England fans can handle one season at home; I’m sure they’ll be back soon. And whatever it’s faults, the NFL playoffs are certainly more fair than the BCS. For the record, the Pats move up because the teams ahead of them–especially the Falcons and, um, Broncos–look worse.

13

77.8

(14/18 – 4/18)

10

(Lost to PHI) Splitting with the Eagles doesn’t do much in beatpaths–Dallas has an alternate path to Philly. It sure made them look bad, though. The Cowboys have so much talent, it’s hard to see how you could improve the team–unless you could get a safety who can defend “crazy”.

9

75.0

(18/26 – 5/26)

11

(Beat CHI) No change for the Texans on the win. Houston clearly has a lot of pieces in place–it seems like a matter of just filling in enough glue to make it all gel. Not playing in the AFC South would probably help things out, too.

11

74.0

(18/25 – 6/25)

12

(Beat KC) The Bengals win again, but move up more from others falling. If beatpaths counts for anything, it seems like Marvin Lewis should be retained. I don’t know about this team in the future–Chad and T.J. are getting old and could both be gone, and I doubt they’ll be better than the Ravens or Steelers anytime soon. But they definitely seem like they shouldn’t be ranked in with the truly bad teams of this season.

14

65.4

(17/26 – 9/26)

13

(Lost to SF) What an awful loss to end a disappointing season. It doesn’t hurt, though–there are 3 loops (PHI, ARI, and NO) that take it out for the Redskins, and they have alternate beatpaths to all of those teams. Overall, I don’t think Zorn did a bad job–it was a tough task to win in the NFC East this season.

16

61.5

(16/26 – 10/26)

14

(Beat DAL) Philly splits with the Cowboys, which restores their win over the Cardinals and lets them rise. We’ll see how they do now that they’re in the playoffs. Out of all the road “favorites”, they’re the only ones that the rankings have below their opponent.

19

57.1

(15/28 – 11/28)

15

(Beat STL) Nice season for the Falcons, but they lose some spots due to San Diego falling some (more on that later).

12

75.0

(7/14 – 0/14)

16

(Lost to OAK) Meanwhile, the Bucs lose to the Raiders–the Raiders!–and go up 2 spots! Crazy, right? Any guesses? I’ll give you a second while I talk about how badly the Bucs look now. I mean, 4 straight losses when you only needed 1! Yes, 3 of them were to playoff teams, but 3 losses is a lot and 1 of them was to, let me remind you, THE RAIDERS.

Okay, if you said “Philly beating Dallas” you are absolutely right! But why? Well, last week Dallas was looping away its loss to the Cardinals through their win over the Eagles, but the season split took away that option. So instead, a 4 team beatloop formed (by the way, there are 9 of those this week–a lot!) between Minnesota, Arizona, Dallas, and–you guessed it–Tampa Bay! Thus, they removed their beatloss to the Cowboys and have no beatlosses left. Whew–got all that?

18

66.7

(5/15 – 0/15)

17

(Lost to HOU) Losing to Houston causes a 3 team beatloop between the Bears, Texans, and Colts. That means that the 4 team beatloop involving CHI=>IND that was looping away CAR=>CHI disappears, and the Carolina loss reappears for the Bears. As a fan, this stung, but the season went so much better than it could have that it’s hard to get too broken up over it. I think this team is going to rise next year.

15

47.2

(5/18 – 6/18)

18

(Beat SEA) Cardinals win, but it’s over someone in the NFC West so no one cares. I hope Arizona puts up a decent effort this weekend–since they got in so undeservedly, it’d be nice if they at least were more than a speedbump in Atlanta’s way this weekend. Maybe they could even win?

17

48.2

(13/28 – 14/28)

19

(Beat NYJ) Splitting with the Jets busts up a lot of loops which gives Miami back a few wins, but they’re all against bad West (AFC and NFC) teams, so not much improvement. I suppose I should rail against “undeserving Miami” here, too, but my heart’s not in it. Besides, they could be 10 spots better and beatpaths would still have them as an underdog this weekend.

20

44.4

(12/27 – 15/27)

20

(Beat WAS) Beating Washington loops out the loss to the Saints, and the 49ers jump over them and the plunging AFC West this week. I don’t know how long Iron Mike’s motivational tactics will work, but he seems to have these guys playing well, and the NFC West should be there for the taking, as always.

23

31.2

(7/24 – 16/24)

21

(Lost to SD) The season split with the Chargers removes a beatloop from the Patriots, but otherwise doesn’t hurt (in beatpaths, anway…). It’s the Dolphins splitting with the Jets that puts the MIA=>DEN back in play and really stomps on the Broncos this week. Tough way to end the season, and the Shanahan era. I realize the old regime might have gotten stale, but revitalizing the franchise seems like a huge task–who’s up to it?

10

32.8

(6/29 – 16/29)

22

(Lost to NE) Saints falling from above helps out a bit. Be a shame if the Bills have to leave upper NY in the near future. I hope the Toronto thing works out. It’d be better than, say, LA.

25

29.6

(6/27 – 17/27)

23

(Lost to CAR) If you missed it, losing to Carolina didn’t matter, but San Fran beating Washington took away a beatwin over the Niners and Oakland beating Tampa Bay took away a win over the Raiders, meaning the Saints meager support got weaker. There’s so much offensive talent here, I feel like this team is going to be boom or bust over the next few years–sometimes winning 12, sometimes winning 5.

22

28.6

(5/28 – 17/28)

24

(Lost to PIT) Well, at least they got some nice shots in on Roethlisberger. Still, their two lines seem to be in good shape, so maybe they can bounce back next year.

24

10.0

(0/15 – 12/15)

25

(Beat DEN) Once again, the MIA-NY season split causes the Chargers to fall under the Dolphins and drop. It’s odd–it seems like the AFC West got really hurt by the fact that the Jets lost to so many of them–it looped away a lot of the conference’s wins. So much so that going 8-8 in the AFC West looks worse than going 9-7 in the NFC West, as odd as that seems.

21

18.8

(2/24 – 17/24)

26

(Lost to BAL) Ugh. I know I’ve said it before, but good luck next year Jags fans. Your road is going to be tough.

27

20.0

(4/25 – 19/25)

27

(Beat TB) More verticality in the graph means more teams above the Raiders means a slight drop. The win got looped away, as you would expect. Say this for the Raiders–it’s never boring. Why doesn’t ESPN hover over the Raiders like they do the Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants?

26

12.5

(0/24 – 18/24)

28

(Beat DET) Way to hold serve, Pack. I’m still scared of them next year, though. I think they’ve got a good base.

28

11.1

(3/27 – 24/27)

29

(Lost to CIN) I know these guys weren’t expected to do much, but they haven’t even shown the fiestiness you want out of a young, rebuilding team. I assume Herm is out; I think the next coach should be someone who can really get the team to play hard.

29

2.1

(0/24 – 23/24)

30

(Lost to ARI) I hear the people saying that Holmgren is in demand now that he’s out of Seattle. I just don’t believe it. Did people not pay attention to Seattle? Even when they were good they weren’t great.

30

3.8

(1/26 – 25/26)

31

(Lost to GB) Congratulations, Lions. You have managed to secure the “worst team of all time” prize. And, unlike those ’76 Bucs, you don’t have a franchise Super Bowl win to comfort yourself with. Hey, maybe in 25 years, eh?

31

0.0

(0/25 – 25/25)

32

(Lost to ATL) And yet..somehow, the Rams managed to end up worse in beatpaths. Well, not somehow–the Rams were ranked under the Seahawks and the Lions weren’t, which is the sole reason. Meaning that the Rams’ real problem was that they played (and lost to) the wrong teams. Congratulations Rams. Good luck next season.

32

0.0

(0/26 – 26/26)

2 Responses to 2008 NFL Week 17 Beatpaths Rankings

  1. […] Beatpaths The Winning Ways of Winners « 2008 NFL Week 17 Beatpaths Rankings January 3rd, 2009 NFL […]

  2. […] However, increased stability in the rankings isn’t worth much if those rankings aren’t an accurate representation of each team’s performance relative to the field over the course of the regular season. So, the idea for this post is too take the final regular season rankings and look backwards. If the final rankings are better than the rankings of previous weeks, they should have a better pick record, because with the luxury of hindsight and more comprehensive information they can (in theory) more accurately rank teams relative to one another. […]

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