2010 NFL Week 13 Beatpaths Power Rankings

Hey all! Sorry I’m late with the rankings this week. It has been CRAZY busy around here. But that always happens this week. Plus, I started to write the rankings last night and instead got stuck coding some stuff to help parse results out, and I look up and it’s 3am! Wow!

Anyway, we got more rankings with more commentary. This week, we have more season splits, longer loops, and a flatter graph–but still SEA=>CHI. But I’m getting ahead of myself–let’s get to the rankings…

You can see the graph for this week here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

(Beat DEN) Whoa! Did you have these guys up here? Because I sure didn’t! The season split with Denver breaks up several three team loops, and gives back the Chiefs their wins over the 49ers, Chargers, and Jaguars. But that’s not the real story here; more, it’s just that the Chiefs maintained their power and position this week. That’s not the case for the former number one…but more on them later.

2

65.33

(23 – 0) / 75

#1 – #19

2

(Beat WAS) Giants do the same as the Chiefs, mostly just maintaining things to keep high up in the graph. Their win over the Redskins gets looped away by their loss to the Titans, but that loss was already looped away, so no benefit or loss from this week’s game.

3

64.67

(22 – 0) / 75

#1 – #20

3

(Beat BAL) Steelers also maintain a high position. The season split with Baltimore doesn’t give them any more beatwins or losses. I didn’t get a chance to really watch that game, but it doesn’t seem like you can really credit Pittsburgh that much. It was a close win that could have gone either way, but it seems like people were really talking the Steelers up after it–at least more than I would have thought.

4

63.33

(20 – 0) / 75

#1 – #18

4

(Beat TB) Atlanta pulls one out over the Bucs. They already had a beatwin over the Bucs, but they still look a bit more impressive this week–in the graph, that is. I don’t know that I’m more impressed with what they’ve done on the field.

7

62.00

(18 – 0) / 75

#1 – #22

5

(Beat CAR) Sometimes an objective data-based ranking system will have teams that just seem to defy logic. The Beatpaths had the Broncos a few years back, and now they have the Seahawks. They still have their path over the Bears, and that keeps them high up. You can see a good discussion by some commenters as to why this is here. Long story short is that the NFL schedule is asymmetrical, and that makes (we think) some games stay longer in the beatpaths graph.

5

61.33

(19 – 2) / 75

#3 – #21

6

(Beat NYJ) So the Patriots completely dominate a Super Bowl contender, and they drop from #1 to #6. I hear you saying “What’s up with that Beatpaths?” Well, here’s what’s up. First off, beating the Jets didn’t give the Patriots back any wins, and their previous loss to the Jets had already been looped away, so the win basically gave them no benefit. The problem for New England came with two of their main pillars of support–wins over the Dolphins and the Chargers. Both of those teams took tumbles in the rankings, which took away a lot of their accomplishments, and that’s why they fell this week. Basically, they just don’t have unambiguous wins that look impressive right now. I imagine that could change with a win this weekend against Chicago.

1

60.67

(16 – 0) / 75

#1 – #21

7

(Beat DET) Bears get the season sweep over the Lions, but are haunted by that loss to the Seahawks. God only knows what chaos would happen if it ever went away. We’ll see what will happen this weekend. I’m honestly not scared; I think my Bears can win this thing.

6

58.67

(16 – 3) / 75

#4 – #23

8

(Lost to NE) Of course, I thought the Jets could have won against the Patriots. What happened there? Surely Jim Leonhard doesn’t matter THAT much. Anyway, just like the Patriots, this loss doesn’t really affect the Jets–the loss gets looped away, the win it takes out was already looped away, and they don’t gain a new beatloss.

8

56.67

(10 – 0) / 75

#1 – #24

9

(Beat HOU) A decent win by the Eagles that gives them some help. The win over the Texans makes a 3 team loop of PHI=>HOU=>TEN=>PHI. That takes the TEN=>PHI result out of the group at the 3rd level, which breaks up last week’s 4 team loop of PHI=>IND=>WAS=>TEN=>PHI, which restores PHI=>IND to the graph. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look so impressive right now, so the Eagles tread water.

9

56.00

(9 – 0) / 75

#1 – #24

10

(Beat CIN) The Saints move up some not really based on the merits of beating the Bengals. Are there any merits to that? Especially in the close way they pulled it out. Anyway, the flattening of the graph helps the Saints out–basically, it makes more teams look like the Saints.

15

53.33

(5 – 0) / 75

#1 – #29

11

(Beat SF) Watching the highlight shows for this game, it seemed like the Packers dominated the 49ers. Reading Football Outsider’s Quick Reads column makes it seems like they just got some big plays (and what big plays they were–did you see that Driver touchdown?). I guess both of those can be true.

11

52.00

(7 – 4) / 75

#5 – #27

12

(Lost to ATL) I was pulling for the Bucs to win that one. And I thought they were going to win it, too. They looked good. When Freeman threaded that fourth down pass to the receiver on their last drive, I thought to myself, “he’s going to pull it out”. Of course, he threw the game ending pick on the next play.

14

52.00

(6 – 3) / 75

#3 – #27

13

(Beat SD) Raiders beat the Chargers, again, giving them the season sweep. If you’re curious about what happens in this situation (and it has been a point of contention before), here’s how we handle it. Each level of loop length only loops away one result, regardless of how many loops it is in. So, in this case, there are three 3-team loops involving OAK=>SD: one with Arizona, one with Houston, and one with Tennessee. Those only take away the first OAK=>SD result, however, so when we move on to look for loops of length 4 and higher, we still have an OAK=>SD to use. And that means we can create a 5 team loop this week: OAK=>SD=>JAC=>CLE=>MIA=>OAK . Which means that the win over the Chargers this week looped away the Raider’s loss to the Dolphins, which took a lot of teams off of them. They now are only under the Steelers in the graph, which accounts for their rise up the graph.

21

51.33

(3 – 1) / 75

#2 – #29

14

(Beat TEN) It doesn’t look like the Jaguars lost much because they only moved one spot, but they really lost a lot this week. The aforementioned 5 team loop cost them their win over the Browns. There’s another 5 team loop this week of JAC=>BUF=>DET=>STL=>SD =>JAC that took away the Jaguars win over the Bills. I’ll go over how that loop got created later, but the big point is that these two loops cost the Jaguars a lot of support. They maintain their position pretty well just because other teams are swirling around them, but they do look worse than they did last week.

13

50.67

(2 – 1) / 75

#2 – #30

15

(Lost to DAL) What the hell, Peyton? This loss gets looped away in a 3-team loop with Dallas. But that breaks up a longer 4-team loop of IND=>WAS=>TEN=>PHI=>IND. Now, you might be saying, “Wait–I thought you said in the Philadelphia commentary that that got broken up by the Eagle’s win over Houston”. Well, you’re right, and I’m right–I just wasn’t fully honest. The truth is, either of those wins would have broken up that 4 team loop. In any case, as mentioned the effect of this loss is to put the Colts under the Eagles again.

16

50.67

(3 – 2) / 75

#3 – #29

16

(Lost to PIT) The loss to the the Steelers costs the Ravens something. The season split breaks up a 3-team loop with the Falcons, which means that ATL=>BAL returns to the graph. That means that the Ravens no longer have no beatlosses. That’s not a huge thing, considering that the Falcons have no beatlosses so it only adds 1 team above them. But it’s never good to have teams above you in the graph.

17

50.67

(2 – 1) / 75

#2 – #30

17

(Lost to CLE) So, at this point you’ve figured out what happened. The loss to Cleveland, coupled with Oakland’s win over the Chargers, made that big 5 team loop (MIA=>OAK=>SD=>JAC=>CLE=>MIA). That cost the Dolphins their win over the Raiders. You wouldn’t think that would matter that much, but it does hurt some, as does some things that happened to some of Miami’s support, namely the fact that Detroit and Buffalo lost beatwins this week. But more on that later.

12

50.00

(6 – 6) / 75

#7 – #27

18

(Lost to OAK) Each time I think that their special teams can’t screw up again, there they go. For some reason, in my mind good special teams (like the Bears) are skills that are consistently repeatable, but bad special teams (like the Chargers) aren’t and are due to regress to the mean. Those two thoughts seem contradictory, but I feel like that should be possible (albeit unlikely–it’s more likely that being bad at special teams can be consistent as well). In any case, those two 5-team beatloops both take away the Charger’s win over the Jaguars, which accounts for their drop this week–they have no beatwins anymore.

10

49.33

(0 – 1) / 75

#2 – #32

19

(Lost to PHI) I’ve been taking classes in Swedish, and this year they meet on Thursday, which means I’ve missed most of the Thursday games. Which is too bad for me, since it sounds like this one was a neat little barnburner. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Texans are a surprise team next year–they seem like they have a lot of talent, if they can just shore up some disaster areas they should improve a great deal. On the other hand, it seems like we’re always waiting and expecting the Texans to “take the next step”.

18

49.33

(0 – 1) / 75

#2 – #32

20

(Beat MIA) The Browns beating the Dophins gets them out from under the Jaguars (see: 5 team beatloop), which helps a lot. The three teams they’re under now (Jets, Falcons, and Chiefs) don’t have any beatlosses, so the Browns have some room to move now.

24

48.67

(1 – 3) / 75

#4 – #31

21

(Lost to STL) So, is the consensus that the Cardinals have 3 guys and no quarterbacks? Is it time to start plucking guys off the trash heap to see if you find someone who knows how to throw to Larry Fitzgerald? I hear the UFL finished its season, maybe there’s something there.

20

47.33

(0 – 4) / 75

#5 – #32

22

(Beat ARI) No respect, eh? Rams beat the Cardinals but are still ranked below them. It’s close, but basically while the Rams have beatwins their beatlosses (Oakland, Tampa Bay) look worse than Arizona’s (Atlanta, Seattle). Anyway, about that other 5 team loop (STL=>SD=>JAC=>BUF=>DET=>STL). What happened is that the Rams got a season split with the Cardinals, which broke up a 3-team loop from last week of STL=>SD =>ARI=>STL. Thus, STL=>SD stayed in the graph past the 3-team level, and eventually created the 5 team loop. This got the Rams out from under the Lions, which was a HUGE help for them. They’ve still got some work to do to look respectable, but they’re on their way now.

30

46.67

(2 – 7) / 75

#5 – #30

23

(Lost to NO) Cincinnati gets another team above them, and falls further down the charts. Despite him being a USC guy, I root for Carson Palmer, but at this point I think he’s done–at least in Cincy.

19

46.00

(1 – 7) / 75

#7 – #31

24

(Beat BUF) The Tavaris Jackson Experience mostly went the way I expected–3 INTs, one a pick 6. Mostly I continue to be wrong in my expectations of Sidney Rice and Adrian Peterson, both of whom I’ve been wrong about since the before they were drafted. I thought Adrian Peterson would have had a major injury that would have cost him time by now, and I didn’t think Sidney Rice was going to turn into any kind of decent receiver. Turns out I was wrong, and they both bailed out the Vikings last week.

23

44.67

(3 – 11) / 75

#10 – #29

25

(Lost to JAC) I’ve just recently flipped over to the opinion that Jeff Fisher will be out of Tennessee this offseason. I think there’s just too much tension and strife. I still think he can be a good coach, and I would hire him if I had an opening. But I don’t know if he’ll play Vince Young again, and I think he’d have to to return. I do agree with Bud Adams in wondering why anyone on the Titans thinks that Kerry Collins is the man to lead them.

25

44.67

(0 – 8) / 75

#8 – #32

26

(Lost to NYG) Through a complicated set of events mostly detailed in piecemeal commentary above, the Redskins’ direct link situation doesn’t change much. What does change is that the Rams move out from under the Lions–and since the Redskins are under the Rams, they also benefit.

31

44.67

(0 – 8) / 75

#6 – #32

27

(Lost to GB) More suck for the 49ers. It pains me to see a Bears legend crash and burn so hard. I guess we should have guessed that a guy relying so much on the force of personality would run into trouble. Depressing.

22

42.67

(0 – 11) / 75

#10 – #32

28

(Lost to KC) Well, that was fun. The Josh McDaniels era ends in a whimper as the defense shows up just as the offense leaves. As for his replacement, I’d like to say that I think hiring Urban Meyer (assuming he’d even take it) would be a bad idea. Here’s the problem: he’s a college coach moving to the NFL. That’s a huge transition. And you’re hiring him in large part because he coached Tim Tebow. And you want Tebow to succeed. But in order for Tebow to succeed he needs to become a much better pocket passer*–which is also a huge transition. So you’re relying on two guys to make really difficult changes, simultaneously, in order for it to work. I think it’s a bad idea. I think you should get a NFL guy to come in and see if Tebow can actually become a useful NFL player. In any case, it’s usually a bad idea to hire an NFL coach specifically to cater to a single player (see: Mike Tice in Minnesota).
* As a footnote, it’s also possible that Meyer could come in and install his offense and it might actually work in the NFL, and neither of them would have to change. But that seems unlikely, and anyway, the offense in Denver is currently good. Why mess with that?

32

39.33

(0 – 16) / 75

#12 – #32

29

(Beat IND) I think this says more about the Colts than the Cowboys. At this point, you can kind of say that Dallas has started playing at the level that they’re supposed to (beating the Lions, losing to Saints), and that means the Colts have sunk to the level where they can get beat by the Cowboys. By 3 points. I guess it’s not so bad. But hey, feel good Cowboy Nation!

27

38.67

(0 – 17) / 75

#14 – #32

30

(Lost to CHI) So, the big 5-team beatloop took away the Lions’ only beatwin (over the Rams), which cost other teams relying on some of those wins more than it did the Lions (who have so many beatlosses it really doesn’t matter). At least they also got rid of their loss to the Bills at the same time. I think I’ve said this before, but at some point the Lions have to stop coming close in games and start actually winning them.

29

38.67

(0 – 17) / 75

#12 – #32

31

(Lost to MIN) Like the Lions, the 5-team beatloop Bills lost their only beatwin–over the Lions. Now the two of them sit on the bottom of the graph next to each other.

26

37.33

(0 – 19) / 75

#11 – #32

32

(Lost to SEA) I guess I was a little surprised the Panthers weren’t here already. Can you really bet on Jimmy Clausen as your QB of the future and pass on a QB in the draft? Although, is Andrew Luck worth taking a chance on as the number one? I guess the real question is, is there a Ndamukong Suh-type player out there who’s a can’t miss prospect at another position? I’m sure that no one has the answers to these questions yet, so why am I asking now? Because there’s nothing good to write about the Panthers, that’s why.

28

32.00

(0 – 27) / 75

#16 – #32

5 Responses to 2010 NFL Week 13 Beatpaths Power Rankings

  1. The MOOSE says:

    KC’s split didn’t earn them anything back. All of the links you mentioned were caught by other loops still.

    HOU → KC → JAC → HOU
    HOU → KC → SD → HOU
    IND → KC → JAC → IND
    IND → KC → SD → IND
    KC → SF → OAK → KC

  2. I think the Jets are secretly kind of mediocre. Yeah, they’ve got 9 wins, but they’ve struggled to beat a lot of bad and mid-level teams, which in my experience is not a good sign.

    Re: 49ers@Packers: Yeah, there were a fair number of big plays (the 49ers TD drive was basically that one completion to V.Davis). But the Packers put the game away with a 17-play drive that took 8:35 off the clock and ended with a field goal that made it a 3-score game.

    D∈T

  3. Kenneth says:

    Aw, god dammit!

    I need to do work on my program to show this stuff. It’s way too easy to miss that kind of stuff.

  4. WRT the Cardinals: Yeah, Derek Anderson is a disaster. How anyone thought it would be otherwise, I can’t say. Max Hall and John Skelton are both rookies, so I think it’s just too early to say about them. No matter what the Cardinals do in the upcoming draft, I think they need to find a FA QB who can start for a year or two (easier said than done, to be sure).

    WRT Singletary: my impression from watching the 49ers is that he’s a pretty good defensive guy, with absolutely no clue about how to run an offense. I mean, Derek Anderson was bad, but at least he’s not David Carr.

    D∈T

  5. The MOOSE says:

    Monday Night Preview:

    NYG @ MIN – NYG is taking a huge tumble regardless of tonight’s outcome thanks to the fall of SEA. If the “home” team wins, it’d get caught by CHI → MIN → NYG → CHI. Since CHI → MIN → WAS → CHI already removes the other two pieces, there would be no change to the graph at all. If NYG wins, the win would hold, giving them a slight boost. I believe it’d move them from #12 in my rankings to #9.

    BAL @ HOU – These teams are near the same place they were last week, mostly unaffected by the teams around them. This is one of those strength of schedule games we were discussing earlier, and it looks like the winner will keep the victory regardless of who it is. It’s not a very good deal for BAL since if they win they get almost no benefit with HOU having no surviving BeatWins. A HOU win however would give them BAL’s wins while dumping HOU’s losses on top of BAL. BAL’s wins (DEN, CAR) aren’t very impressive, but HOU has a lot of teams on top of them. The net effect would be BAL falling below HOU, but HOU not rising.

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