2009 NFL Wildcard Beatpaths Power Rankings

Hey folks! Kenneth here again. Not so much movement in the graph–a lot of little shuffling, but otherwise mostly stable. But what can you expect with only 4 games? On to the rankings!

You can see the graph that I’m always talking about here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

(Bye) Going to be an interesting game, here. The thing the Chargers do best–the only thing they really do well, actually–is pass, which is what the Jets stop the best. I think the Chargers will pull it out, but then, I had them meeting the Packers in the Super Bowl.

1

84.68

(86 – 0) / 124

#1 – #8

2

(Bye) On the other hand, I think the Saints should be scared as hell of the Cardinals. Either team coming out of that game looked like poison to the Saints. I mean, they both have at least as good a defense as the Saints do currently, and they clearly have a strong enough offense. What advantages does New Orleans have that Green Bay didn’t? Besides home field advantage, I can’t think of one.

2

83.47

(83 – 0) / 124

#1 – #9

3

(Bye) The Colts jump up here because the two teams above them fall. Although they do look significantly better this week, due to an old beatpath looking LOTS better. Foreshadowing!

5

81.85

(79 – 0) / 124

#1 – #8

4

(Beat PHI) The Cowboys finally, once and for all, establish a beatpath over the Eagles. I suppose they might lose it with a loss to the Cardinals, if it gets there.

6

77.82

(70 – 1) / 124

#2 – #11

5

(Bye) Surprise! You weren’t expecting this, were you? It’s due to the Ravens stomping the Patriots. There used to be a BAL=>DEN=>NE=>BAL beatloop, but with a season split now between Baltimore and New England, DEN=>NE re-enters the graph. BAL=>DEN stays out, however, because of a 3 team beatloop with Cincinnati. Long story short, the Broncos are now situated right on top of the Patriots, which gives them a TON of support they didn’t have before. They are also the mystery beatpath helping the Colts out. Delivering On Promises!

19

77.02

(68 – 1) / 124

#2 – #10

6

(Lost to BAL) Wow, that was a beatdown. You would have thought that New England would be a team that could come back from a 24-0 start, but they didn’t even seem to try. And Brady was making some awful decisions–that first INT, for example. The pessimist would say that he looked like Jay Cutler against the Ravens; I am ever the optimist and like to think that Jay Cutler looked like Tom Brady! In any case, the Pats don’t lose much, since they still have two crucial beatpaths over the Falcons and Titans. In fact, the system still has them as a beatpick over the Ravens!

3

75.40

(66 – 3) / 124

#4 – #11

7

(Lost to DAL) The Cowboys and Eagles were very close before, so this loss is not seen as a big deal in the system. On the one hand, I see how successful the Eagles are and think it’s crazy to start breaking them up. But on the other hand–when was the last time you felt good about the Eagles’ chances going into the postseason? At some point, they have to stop going in there just hoping to get lucky, right?

4

74.19

(64 – 4) / 124

#4 – #12

8

(Bye) Once again, the Falcons play the role of Atlas, holding up all the teams above. In Beatpath’s ’09, you’re either above the Falcons or you’re under them. That was less profound than it sounded in my head.

10

68.15

(57 – 12) / 124

#8 – #13

9

(Bye) Vikings still don’t really have any impressive victories to their name, which is why they’re down here without any beatlosses. They can improve that this weekend by beating the Cowboys, though.

7

64.11

(35 – 0) / 124

#1 – #20

10

(Beat CIN) Jets gain a beatpath to Cincinnati, which gives them some more teams underneath. Which is nice. Beating the Chargers would do even more damage.

13

62.90

(46 – 14) / 124

#9 – #16

11

(Bye) I suppose there are differences between linchpins. I implied above that the Falcons and Titans were both linchpin teams, but the Steelers only have the Titans underneath them, and this is all that can do for them. Still useful, sure, but not as impressive as a win over the Falcons would be.

9

60.48

(26 – 0) / 124

#1 – #22

12

(Bye) So how confident are Tennessee people about Vince Young, really? I feel like next season there’s such a large range of possible outcomes. It’s both frightening and exciting. It’s frightciting!

12

56.85

(24 – 7) / 124

#7 – #23

13

(Lost to NYJ) So much for ending the season with no beatlosses. It seems like Carson Palmer has run out of time on his reputation. I hear a lot of talk about an injury; I guess for Cincy’s sake they should hope that’s what it is.

8

55.65

(29 – 15) / 124

#10 – #23

14

(Bye) This is when the comments start getting hard, folks. Here’s something: how many more years is the Ricky Williams show going to go on? I guess it’s not a huge concern, as the Dolphins still have Ronnie Brown, but losing Williams would be a big blow.

14

52.82

(22 – 15) / 124

#9 – #21

15

(Lost to ARI) The loss just creates a season split between Arizona and Green Bay. Previously, there was a 3 team beatloop with the Vikings, but that doesn’t matter so much to the Packers since they lost twice to Minnesota. For what it’s worth, I don’t think the Packers got jobbed. The fumble was forced cleanly, even if there was a facemask afterwards. After that, things are just random; it’s not like that facemask had an effect on the play, after all.

11

52.42

(24 – 18) / 124

#12 – #24

16

(Bye) Texans, literally with the same graph as last week. I’d love to talk more about this team, but really I don’t know much about them outside of their fantasy players. How is Mario Williams doing? I have no idea.

17

50.40

(2 – 1) / 124

#2 – #30

17

(Bye) In the pseudo-second season for non-playoff teams of hiring new coaching staffs, my Bears are locked in a tight battle with the Giants for a new defensive coordinator in Perry Fewell. I don’t know how much I liked the Bills’ defense last year but how cool would it be to have the guy from Jane’s Addiction on your staff?

18

50.40

(3 – 2) / 124

#3 – #29

18

(Bye) Remember how big Julius Peppers Watch ’09 was? Is there a chance of that happening again this offseason?

16

49.60

(20 – 21) / 124

#11 – #22

19

(Beat NE) As mentioned above, beating the Patriots removed NE=>DEN but didn’t change anything for the Ravens, thanks to losses to the Bengals. So, the Ravens are down here, stuck beneath the Packers. Beating the Colts would probably help, though.

15

45.97

(12 – 22) / 124

#13 – #26

20

(Beat GB) On the Cardinals’ side of ARI=>GB, the win does little. Before, GB=>ARI was looped away in a 3 team beatloop with Minnesota; now it’s in a season split. That would give back ARI=>MIN, but it’s also present in a 3 team beatloop with San Francisco (ARI=>MIN=>SF=>ARI), so no change for the Cardinals…yet.

21

45.16

(16 – 28) / 124

#14 – #25

21

(Bye) Does anyone in Buffalo want to spin the TO wheel again? Huh? Oh, let’s face it, this is not going to get interesting until they hire someone.

22

44.76

(2 – 15) / 124

#9 – #30

22

(Bye) The graph can play tricks on you, shifting the placement of teams without really changing the graph too much. The 49ers look worse off compared to last week by the eyeball test, but nothing has really changed.

20

43.95

(11 – 26) / 124

#15 – #27

23

(Bye) Who really knows what’s going on in Al Davis’ head? I wouldn’t have thought it would be hard to fire a guy you hired as a midseason replacement last year, but apparently it is.

23

42.34

(0 – 19) / 124

#11 – #32

24

(Bye) The Jaguars seem to have the Eagles’ problem, except that they’re not as good so they don’t get playoff appearances. Or, maybe they’re as good but they have to play the Colts twice every year. I’m surprised at how quickly opinion has turned against David Garrard. Do people really not think he’s worth building around anymore?

24

38.71

(2 – 30) / 124

#15 – #30

25

(Bye) Oh, drat–I wrote about the Shanahan hire last week. What to talk about this week? Uh, let’s see…who’s going to be the free agent that Washington drastically overpays this year? If there was a CBA I might go for Brandon Marshall, but I’m pretty sure that without an agreement he’s a restricted free agent.

25

37.90

(0 – 30) / 124

#14 – #32

26

(Bye) Not directly related to the Bucs of today, but why is Monte Kiffin following his son everywhere? This guy can’t get good jobs for himself somewhere, without having to work for someone who acts like a jerk all the time? I know, his son and all, but geez.

26

35.48

(0 – 36) / 124

#15 – #32

27

(Bye) Little to talk about here. The news on the Bears is more who they didn’t get (Bates, Weis, Packers QB coach whose name escapes me) than who they got. Although they appear to have officially-unofficially told Mike Martz it’s not happening, which is a Good Thing.

27

33.87

(7 – 47) / 124

#20 – #28

28

(Bye) I dunno if this whole Patriots West thing is going to pay off for the Chiefs. I mean, outside of Pioli it’s been awhile since these guys were on top of the world in New England, and subsequent events indicate that maybe these guys weren’t the cornerstone of that success. Weis in particular; I think people conflate what Tom Brady is now with the Patriots under his guidance, but New England didn’t really have a great offense when Weis was there. They were a defensive team.

28

29.44

(0 – 51) / 124

#22 – #32

29

(Bye) My read on this is that USC was/is about to get blasted to the stone age with sanctions, and Carroll wanted to get out of Dodge. Now he can fumble around the NFL for awhile, then go back to college somewhere in 3 years with the Nick Saban “he’s just a great college coach” reputation and make the big bucks again. And heck, if he wins in the NFL, icing on the cake! Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic, but that’s how I see it. Good luck, Seattle.

29

28.63

(2 – 55) / 124

#21 – #31

30

(Bye) Looks like the Mangenius gets another go at it. I’m curious what Holmgren is looking for next season. Is he going to be okay with Mangini if he has a 6-10 season? Because I’m not sure expecting more than that is reasonable.

30

28.63

(0 – 53) / 124

#21 – #32

31

(Bye) I guess the Lions are helped by the fact that the Pistons suck now, too. All they have to do is knock down the Tigers and Red Wings, and things won’t seem as bad in Ford Field!

31

26.21

(0 – 59) / 124

#21 – #32

32

(Bye) I suppose I should really start paying attention to the local news, to see where these guys are going to go in the draft. Although it’s early, so I guess I can wait. Besides, I’m pretty sure if I looked at a St. Louis sports page right now it’d mostly be filled with cries of “how are we going to pay Pujols if we’re paying Matt Holiday all that money?”

32

20.97

(0 – 72) / 124

#24 – #32

7 Responses to 2009 NFL Wildcard Beatpaths Power Rankings

  1. it’s not like that facemask had an effect on the play, after all.

    Refs call fouls on stuff that doesn’t affect the play all the time. And they call 15-yard face mask fouls on stuff like that all the time.

    Yeah, bad calls happen all the time. But trying to say this shouldn’t have been a penalty is just… bull.

    D∈T

  2. Kenneth says:

    Well, I wasn’t trying to say that it shouldn’t have been a penalty, just that it wasn’t a penalty that mattered in the course of the game. It’s like a hold by a receiver on the other side from where the run goes–those two players are not actually in the play, so it doesn’t really matter.

    I guess my point is that in general, I care less about having penalties called when they’re not impacting the game. The fact that Rodgers had his face mask grabbed after he fumbled didn’t affect whether the ball was grabbed out of the air and returned for a TD (like it was), bounced on the ground and fell under a pile of players, or picked up by a GB RB and taken in for a GB TD. It’s incidental to the course of the play–a technicality. And I think most fans, when they don’t have so much at stake in a game, prefer that those penalties go uncalled.

    (Facemask is a little different from holding, I guess, in that the facemask penalty is intended not only to prevent a move against the rules but also to discourage dangerous behavior, and so it should get called even if it doesn’t affect the play because it can always hurt someone.)

    Overall, of course it was a facemask and according to the rules should have been called. And I understand why Green Bay fans would want it called, since it could have saved their season. But it’s not a blown call that prevented them from winning, it’s a blown call that didn’t save their butts. I guess that’s different in my mind.

  3. Sorry, but this is kind of a sore point. All this season they were emphasising protecting quarterbacks, calling even minor hands to the face contact. And now the NFL says there was no penalty to call.

    If the rule is on the books, call it.

    D∈T

  4. doktarr says:

    I can’t imagine the Rams won’t pick Ndomakong Suh. They need help everywhere, so you may as well take the best player available, and Suh is as close to a can’t miss guy as exists in the draft.

  5. Kenneth says:

    That’s how it looks right now but a lot changes from now until the draft (East-West game, Combine, Pro Days, etc.)

  6. […] I’m late and posting in the middle of the divisional round, but here is the analysis of the rankings after the Wildcard round. One big mover as a result of the Wildcard games, and that is Denver—a good illustration of how […]

  7. […] Also, I just heard that as of right now the Red Wings are out of the playoffs, so it seems like my plan from last week is well […]

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