2009 NFL Week 16 Beatpaths Power Rankings

Hello folks! Kenneth here again! Yes, I’m back in the saddle after a week of frantically trying to get things done, get presents bought, and get myself to Chicago in the snow. But now I’m back! Thanks to site patriarch ThunderThumbs for doing the dirty work for me. I’m actually shocked he wrote so much–I thought he was just going to bang out a bunch of one liners. Makes me feel guilty. Let’s give him a hand, huh?

Anyway, on with the rankings. If you need to see the graph, you can find it here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

(Lost to TB) Really, New Orleans? Really? I mean, Seattle losing to Tampa is one thing, but you guys are supposed to be competing for the title of the best team in the league. This loop doesn’t really hurt…yet..but what is up with this team? (Note: This may become a recurring theme)

1

89.47

(105 – 0) / 133

#1 – #5

2

(Lost to NYJ) We know what happened to Indy, at least–they pulled their MVP candidate, as well as everyone else. If you’re wondering, though, they don’t really gain much from the loss–it gets loops away a win over the Jags, and the Colts still have paths to both Jacksonville and the Jets.

3

83.83

(90 – 0) / 133

#1 – #7

3

(Beat JAC) Hello! I bet you didn’t expect to see the Patriots so high up. I know I didn’t, given the current debate over them. The Pats beat the Jags just in time to ride Jacksonville’s vault up the charts. Maybe New England has their house in order?

5

78.20

(77 – 2) / 133

#3 – #9

4

(Beat TEN) So what causes the Chargers to fall? I mean, if you look at the graph they seem just as high as the Colts and Saints, and higher than New England even! Well, the truth is in the middle of the graph–there are two main trunks of support in the middle. New England (and thus the Saints and Colts) have paths to the top of both of them–one headed by Atlanta and one headed by Cincinnati. San Diego only connects to the Atlanta trunk–which makes the fact that they lost their win over Cincinnati (earlier) seem all the more damaging.

2

74.81

(66 – 0) / 133

#1 – #12

5

(Lost to NE) The Jags were already under the Pats, so in that sense this loss doesn’t hurt them so much. The Jags rise because the Texans beat Miami, which forms a 3 team loop of JAC=>HOU=>MIA=>JAC, which gets the Jaguars out from under the Dolphins.

9

68.80

(54 – 4) / 133

#4 – #15

6

(Beat DEN) The win over the Broncos gets looped away in a 3 team loop with Dallas, but that loss was already looped away, so no big loss there. Why the fall, then? I’m going to do my customary thing and punt: it’s because the Falcons, a big source of their support, fell.

4

67.29

(48 – 2) / 133

#3 – #15

7

(Beat MIA) The Texans rise because the Jags rise. Confused? Let me try again. The Texans’ win gets them out from under the Jets in a 3 team loop of HOU=>MIA=>NYJ=>HOU, which also gets out from under some other teams. Thus, while they don’t put many more edges below them they do remove a lot from on top, which is why they rise–although they are still under the Jags. In essence, the Jags are their ceiling, and last week they raised the ceiling. Also, they got rid of their other…ceiling. Okay, it’s not a perfect metaphor.

11

66.54

(51 – 7) / 133

#5 – #16

8

(Beat KC) The Bengals are another team rising up because they’re no longer under other teams. Teams that have fell hard this week…but then, I’m getting ahead of myself. If I were a Cincinnati fan, I would be concerned that they couldn’t beat the Chiefs by more than 7 points.

14

64.66

(47 – 8) / 133

#6 – #18

9

(Lost to CAR) Can losing to a team actually help your situation? Check this out: the Giants losing to Carolina created a 3 team beatloop of CAR=>NYG=>DAL=>CAR. That removes DAL=>CAR from the graph, which last week was a part of a 4 team beatloop of ARI=>NYG=>DAL=>CAR=>ARI. Thus, the second NYG=>DAL win doesn’t get looped away (the first NYG=>DAL was already looped away in 3 team loops with NO and PHI). Now, beating Carolina would have achieved the same effect, so the Giants weren’t better off losing. But in effect, just interacting with Carolina assured that the Giants would regain a path over the Cowboys. I feel a Doktarr comment coming…

Oh, and the Giants fall even though they climb on top of the Giants because the Cowboys fall, and they fall because…

15

62.41

(37 – 4) / 133

#4 – #17

10

(Lost to CHI) Oh! I thought this was going to be Dallas. Minnesota is hanging on a thread–a thread called “2 wins over Green Bay and 1 over Baltimore”, which is a long name for a thread, actually. But they still have no beatlosses for the moment. Best fantasy moment of the season–my league’s championship (which I wasn’t in) was decided on the final play of this game–the 10+ yards and reception AP got put the one team over the top, but the fumble put him back under again. Epic.

12

62.03

(32 – 0) / 133

#1 – #23

11

(Beat WAS) Hm? What do you mean finish it up? Oh! Right! Well, this is boring but the Cowboys main source of support was the Falcons, and they fell this week, dragging the Cowboys with them. That makes 3 NFC East teams the Falcons let down. If you swapped them with the Redskins, you could make your own little division of NFC disappointment.

6

60.15

(33 – 6) / 133

#5 – #18

12

(Beat BAL) I didn’t catch any highlights from this game. Seems like another thriller for the Steelers. I’d criticize them for not winning big and/or losing to teams they should beat, but really, that seems to be the fad nowadays. They just beat the trend.

17

56.77

(27 – 9) / 133

#7 – #21

13

(Beat BUF) Okay, so why did the Falcons drop? What’s the big mystery? Well, the answer is…psych! It’s actually mostly because the Dolphins fell. Hah, you thought there was going to be answers didn’t you!

7

55.64

(28 – 13) / 133

#8 – #19

14

(Beat SEA) If you’re wondering about the reason for the big Packers jump, it’s basically the same reason as everyone else–less oneness of path leads to less teams above them. Specifically in Green Bay’s case, they were held down by the Bengals.

20

55.26

(25 – 11) / 133

#8 – #24

15

(Lost to SD) Losing to San Diego isn’t exactly surprising, but getting crushed by them like that is. BTW, nice idea NFL putting the only Christmas game on NFLN. I was at my parent’s house, who don’t have cable, so I saw nothing.

19

54.14

(25 – 14) / 133

#9 – #22

16

(Lost to PHI) This loss gets looped away in a 3 team beatloop, so nothing much changes. Denver has only two links in the graph–below #2 Indianapolis and above #31 Cleveland. So basically, they can fit anywhere in between those two. That is a very weird team.

16

50.38

(2 – 1) / 133

#2 – #30

17

(Lost to HOU) More stalling on my point–the Dolphins fall because the Jets fall. Although, if you’ve been paying attention you should know the story behind that. I have to admit that I’m totally befuddled by the AFC this year. I mean, I usually know less about that conference but this year I’m even worse. Apparently the Dolphins are still in it? Does anyone know which of these teams actually deserve to get in?

8

50.00

(16 – 16) / 133

#9 – #22

18

(Lost to PIT) The season split breaks up a 3 team loop with Green Bay, meaning PIT=>GB=>BAL reappears. Still, because the Ravens aren’t under both pillars of the graph this week, they actually rise somewhat.

21

49.62

(14 – 15) / 133

#9 – #26

19

(Beat STL) I’m starting to hear some people jump on the Cardinals bandwagon again, because they haven’t looked absolutely awful as recently as the other NFC contenders (similar effects surround the Eagles and Cowboys). What are the chances that lighning strikes twice, though?

23

49.62

(15 – 16) / 133

#10 – #26

20

(Beat IND) Okay! For reals, this time. First off, the win over Indy ends up in 2 3 team loops, with Jacksonville and Miami. More interesting is what happens with HOU=>MIA–as mentioned before, that forms a 3 team loop that removes NYJ=>HOU. Thus, instead of the Jets being on top of the Texans and everyone under them, like they were last week, they end up only on top of the Panthers. The graph, of course, also got changed. Last week, it was like one long tower. This week–well, imagine if you had a stack of oreos, and you took the top half and put it right next to the lower half. That’s kind of what you have here, and the Jets are at the bottom of that top half. So you can see why they fell. It’s also why so many teams rose this week–they essentially had that top half of cookies–delicious, delicious cookies–taken off of them. Excuse me, I need to take a snack break.

10

47.74

(13 – 19) / 133

#10 – #23

21

(Beat DET) I’m having trouble coming up with a real flaw that the 49ers have to correct this offseason. I feel like they just need to be a little better everywhere, which is a hard thing to have to do. On the other hand, this could mean that they could use an upgrade on the lines. Well, every team can use that, really.

24

45.86

(12 – 23) / 133

#13 – #26

22

(Beat NYG) As discussed above, this win is looped away in a 3 team loop with the Cowboys. That breaks up a 4 team beatloop, but the win they would get from that (CAR=>ARI) is looped away in another, existing, 4 team beatloop (ARI=>JAC=>BUF=>CAR=>ARI). Last week the Panthers were pretty disconnected from the entire graph. This week they’re a main piece of support for several teams. Hrm.

18

44.74

(10 – 24) / 133

#11 – #25

23

(Lost to DAL) Scenario: Redskins dump Zorn and Campbell. Next year features none/less of the close losses (I know this loss wasn’t close, but work with me here) but overall the same record. Casual observers figure the team is no worse for the change and is likely to improve under year 2 of the new regime. It doesn’t happen.

22

41.35

(7 – 30) / 133

#12 – #26

24

(Lost to ATL) Are we calling the Terrell Owens experiment a failure or an incomplete?

25

41.35

(8 – 31) / 133

#14 – #26

25

(Lost to CLE) The loss to Cleveland forms a 3 team beatloop with Cincinnati, which causes OAK=>CIN to disappear and the Raiders to crater. But come on, seriously–did you really think Oakland was supposed to be up there? On top of a legitimate playoff team?

13

39.47

(0 – 28) / 133

#13 – #32

26

(Beat MIN) The season split means little, as Minnesota still has a path to Chicago. I honestly had a feeling this win might happen. Because if the Bears had lost, then the season would have made sense. The Bears would have been a bad team that needed to start over with a new OC (definitely), a new coach (probably), or a new GM (maybe). Instead, this win gives the faintest glimmer of hope that maybe this team, as is, can do it–can pull it together and be good next season. It’s just very confusing, and there aren’t easy answers now. And that is what seems consistent about the Bears–not being good or bad, but maddeningly in both states at the same time. I’d call them Schrödinger’s team, but I honestly think there are some other teams (Oakland, Denver, Philly) that deserve the title more.

26

36.47

(9 – 45) / 133

#19 – #27

27

(Beat NO) I guess now we understand that win over Seattle a bit more.

27

30.45

(6 – 58) / 133

#19 – #27

28

(Lost to GB) I think not getting Holmgren as GM is going to be a blessing in disguise. I doubt he would stick with Mora for long, he’d want to coach again, both aspects would suffer like before, and the Seahawks would be spinning their wheels.

28

19.55

(5 – 86) / 133

#26 – #28

29

(Lost to SF) I guess Matthew Stafford hasn’t looked much worse than any of the other first round QBs, which is nice. But then, he cost a whole lot more than they did. The next few offseasons are going to be crucial for the Lions, and I’m not sure they have the front office to pull it out.

29

13.91

(2 – 98) / 133

#27 – #30

30

(Lost to ARI) On the one hand, drafting a QB first overall would be nice, because they have an established (sort of) starter in Bulger that can hold the fort for awhile while the kid gets ready. But on the other hand, they have too many problems to go for a QB now–I feel he’d just get killed from a lack of support. Go for Suh.

30

12.78

(0 – 99) / 133

#27 – #32

31

(Beat OAK) As mentioned before, the win gets looped away through Cincinnati. So, do we think this Harrison kid is the real deal or what?

31

10.15

(1 – 107) / 133

#29 – #31

32

(Lost to CIN) I have to say, I thought the Jared Allen trade 2 years ago was going to be a real boon for the team, but it doesn’t seem to have panned out. At least, not yet.

32

6.39

(0 – 116) / 133

#30 – #32

5 Responses to 2009 NFL Week 16 Beatpaths Power Rankings

  1. Tom says:

    Kenneth,

    I was in the same position in my fantasy playoff, utterly dependent on AP not getting a couple extra points in overtime to tie it up. Thankfully, he did what he’s good at and fumbled the ball.

    Is there really an Eagles bandwagon? My view of Eagles fans (myself included) is that they’re generally so pessimistic and ready for disappointment that they preclude any expansion of the fanbase beyond their region. (This mentality generally holds for all Philly fans of Philly teams.)

    The Skins should dump more than Zorn—pretty much the entire coaching menagerie needs to be let go. Next year they’ll have Portis (with any luck), Betts, Cartwright, Ganther, plus Cooley and Davis. They could keep Campbell, rebuild the o-line, and have a Joe Gibbs-style power running game with one of the deepest backfields in the league. Their defense was actually pretty good this year. Need to use Haynesworth better and teach Landry that free safeties shouldn’t drop coverage of deep receivers in anticipation of jumping a route. Otherwise, not too much of a problem.

    As far as the Bills go, I don’t think TO is the most pressing problem with their team—and I say this as a still-bitter Eagles fan. He didn’t turn their franchise around, but he certainly didn’t hurt them (even with all the attendant drama that follows him around).

  2. Pat says:

    “rebuild the o-line”

    I love that you quietly put that in there, as if it’s something you can do in your spare time.

  3. Kenneth says:

    It’s possible, if you focus on that and nothing else. The Jaguars, IIRC, did that this past offseason. I think they spent their top two draft picks on OL.

  4. Tom says:

    You want an o-line? I can get you an o-line, believe me. There are ways, dude. You don’t wanna know about it, believe me. Hell, I can get you an o-line by 3 o’clock this afternoon… with bench depth. These fucking amateurs…

  5. [...] The Winning Ways of Winners « 2009 NFL Week 16 Beatpaths Power Rankings January 1st, 2010 [...]

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