2010 NFL Week 14 Beatpaths Power Rankings

Hey all! This is Kenneth here with more rankings! I apologize for the delay; given the holidays, work, and classes, I wasn’t able to get these out last night. So just pretend you don’t know who won in SF-SD; I know I don’t. In any case, there’s a lot going on this week…big changes in the graph, and a long-standing oddity finally resolves itself. Let’s get right to the fun!

You can see the graph for this week here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

(Beat CIN) So, I bet you’re wondering how the Steelers are number one here and not the Patriots. Well, they both have a lot of support–they both have wins over the Dolphins, and the Steelers have a bonus win over the Buccaneers while the Patriots have a win over the Bears. Basically? They’re tied in Edgepower–exactly even. And the rankings system breaks ties by choosing the team that was ranked higher last week…and that’s the Steelers. For now.

3

73.86

(42 – 0) / 88

#1 – #12

2

(Beat CHI) The Patriots beat down ANOTHER quality team, and come close to the top ranking. It should be noted that the win over the Bears helps a lot–even more than it looked like it might last week, because the Bears jumped significantly this week. But more on that later. Honestly, the Patriots are good. Good enough that I’m not particularly distraught that they beat down my Bears (as long as they do the same to the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers this week). Still, I’m not going to give them the Lombardi trophy yet. These stretches of total domination are not uncommon, and they don’t always last the rest of the season. Sometimes a hot team can go cold for no good reason. Not saying that will happen, just saying, lots of things can happen still.

6

73.86

(42 – 0) / 88

#1 – #12

3

(Lost to NE) The Bears finally free themselves from the shackles of being under the Seahawks. And what shackles they were–the Bears are flying up the rankings! There’s a huge drop between the Patriots and the Bears, but there’s a drop as huge from them to the number 4 team. What happened? Well, this is how it went down: the 49ers beat Seattle, creating a season split. That removed SEA=>SF from the graph, which broke up a three team loop from last week of SEA=>SF=>STL=>SEA. That meant that STL=>SEA survived the 3 team loop stage and got to the 4 team stage, where it created a new beatloop of CHI=>DET=>STL=>SEA=>CHI. And that’s how SEA=>CHI was removed from the graph. Now, the Rams and Seahawks play each other in Week 17, which could cause the whole thing to blow up again. I really don’t know what might happen that far out. That wasn’t the only reason the Bears rose up so far, however–they also got a big boost from Miami, who rose themselves. But more on that later…
Oh, final note! About this game, I’m really annoyed by the people saying Jay Cutler played a bad game. He was down 21-0 after having thrown, like, 3 passes (and the score wasn’t his fault). You’re expecting a lot from a guy to overcome THAT. Cutler could have played better, but come on!

7

69.32

(35 – 1) / 88

#2 – #13

4

(Beat CAR) The Falcons get nothing from beating the Panthers. I’m not even sure if it’s a season sweep already (I don’t think it is). I know I don’t care. The Falcons basically tread water and stay at number 4.

4

64.77

(26 – 0) / 88

#1 – #19

5

(Beat NYJ) The Dolphins get a nice win, although it looks nicer if you remember the Jets as they were before they got stomped by the Patriots and not as they actually were in this game. But in any case, is a win over the Jets really that big to jump the Dolphins 12 spots? The key here for Beatpaths is Jacksonville’s win over the Raiders. That creates a 3 team loop with San Diego which removes the OAK=>SD result at the 3 team level. Thus, a 5 team from last week gets broken up: OAK=>SD=>JAC=>CLE=>MIA=>OAK. That means that MIA=>OAK goes back in the graph, and that gives a fair amount of support to the Dolphins. They also benefit from splitting the series with the Jets by getting back their win over the Packers (there was a 3 team loop there). Add it all up, and it’s an impressive week for the Dolphins.

17

64.77

(30 – 4) / 88

#4 – #14

6

(Beat STL) The Rams immediately becomes the Saints’ best victory this season. Personally, I wonder if New Orleans would still have pulled away if Bradford throws a TD instead of a pick 6 near the goal line. But a win is a win.

10

56.82

(12 – 0) / 88

#1 – #24

7

(Beat DAL) The Eagles continue to rise, at least a bit, mostly due to the fact that they have no beatlosses. The win over the Cowboys is not seen as impressive, no matter what pundits think. The Eagles also lose their beatwin over the Colts due to a IND=>TEN=>PHI=>IND beatloop, but that doesn’t sting so much, because the Colts…well, the Colts aren’t looking too good.

9

56.25

(11 – 0) / 88

#1 – #24

8

(Lost to DET) The Packers go up the rankings despite losing to the Lions. Which is nice, because it seems wrong to ding the Packers for losing without their All-Pro QB. Of course, they are getting dinged, and Beatpaths does that all the time. But the loss here isn’t so great. It caused a season split with the Lions, costing them their win over Detroit and…nothing else. Meanwhile, the Dolphins beating the Jets broke up a 3 team loop (mentioned above) and put GB=>NYJ back in the graph, which helped the Packers out a bunch. So, a net gain for Green Bay.

11

56.25

(17 – 6) / 88

#5 – #22

9

(Beat MIN) Of course, when one highly ranked team sheds a beatloss, that can have significant effects for all sorts of teams. Take the Giants, for example–they were highly reliant on their win over Seattle to provide them support in the graph. Now that Seattle isn’t on top of Chicago, they find themselves with less support. They added a beatwin over the Vikings, but that only helps a little–not enough to make up for the loss.

2

55.68

(10 – 0) / 88

#1 – #25

10

(Beat WAS) A pretty wild ending for the Buccaneers this week, although it probably was less wild if you were at the game not being misled by the confused TV announcers. The Buccaneers gain a little this week because the Rams look better, which gives them a boost.

12

55.68

(13 – 3) / 88

#3 – #24

11

(Lost to SD) Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Do you know what cost the Chiefs so much? If you said Seattle doesn’t look so hot right now, you’d be correct! The Chiefs have beatwins over Cleveland and Buffalo compared to the Giants extra one over the Vikings; surprisingly, it’s the Giants who win that battle. If anyone would like to stand up and just take the AFC West, I think we’d all appreciate it.

1

53.98

(7 – 0) / 88

#1 – #26

12

(Beat OAK) The win over the Raiders loops away the loss to the Chargers, as we talked about. Of course, that loss was already looped away, but it’s not looped away in a smaller loop, which broke up larger loops from last week and gave the Jaguars some wins back. Which wins? Buffalo and Cleveland! Well, they can’t all be winners, but something’s better than nothing. Side note: True story–I called the winning MJD TD run seconds before the play started. Absolutely true.

14

52.84

(6 – 1) / 88

#2 – #26

13

(Lost to MIA) Jets follow up an absolutely stinker against the Patriots by laying down against a divisional opponent. That sets a bad precedent for my Bears, but never mind that now. I’ve mostly gone over the Jets already…the only good thing they got this week is their beatwin over the Packers back.

8

52.27

(11 – 7) / 88

#6 – #24

14

(Lost to JAC) You’ve pretty much heard the story–the Raiders are now under the Dolphins again, and that put a lot more teams on top of them. But they are also buoyed by the Rams surge, so they look slightly better in edgepower this week, even though they fall down the rankings.

13

51.70

(9 – 6) / 88

#5 – #25

15

(Beat HOU) Baltimore gains a beatpath over the Texans. That gives them 3 for this year. This game really makes me wish I didn’t have class on Thursdays, because I would really have liked to have seen how the Ravens–THE RAVENS–blew that lead. Come on!

16

51.14

(3 – 1) / 88

#2 – #29

16

(Lost to SF) The Seahawks go from precarious upstarts to milquetoast middle-of-the-roaders. I’d guess that they’re in for worse, seeing how they’ve been this year and how bad they were against San Francisco, but I’ve underestimated this team before.

5

50.00

(2 – 2) / 88

#3 – #30

17

(Beat DEN) The Cardinals stomp the Broncos, but it gets thrown out in a three team loop with Seattle. That was a loss that was already looped away for the Cardinals, so they gain nothing and lose nothing. They’re right back where they started from.

21

47.73

(0 – 4) / 88

#5 – #32

18

(Lost to NO) The Rams don’t change much for themselves–they actually look a little worse than last week when viewed by themselves–but they put a lot more teams under them and a lot more teams below them. They did this by regaining their beatwin over San Diego. How did that happen? There are two factors: the 49ers win over the Seahawks, and the Jaguars win over the Raiders. The former, as mentioned above, created a 4 team loop of STL=>SEA=>CHI=>DET=>STL, and the latter created a 3 team loop of JAC=>OAK=>SD=>JAC. That removed DET=>STL and SD=>JAC at the 3 and 4 team levels, respectively. Either would be enough to break up a 5 team loop from last week of STL=>SD=>JAC=>BUF=>DET=>STL, which puts STL=>SD back in the graph. The fact that both happened is just gravy. Well, the 4 team loop happening is a little more than gravy, since it als keeps DET=>STL from re-entering the graph, which is quite useful for the Rams.

22

46.59

(7 – 13) / 88

#9 – #26

19

(Lost to IND) Boy, I sure am glad Kerry Collins isn’t making anything I said about him look foolish. Tennessee loops this loss away with their win over the Eagles, which was a loss that had already been looped away. The Titans rise because the only team holding them down, the Dolphins, also rose, giving the Titans room to breathe (or choke, if you want to be mean-spirited about it).

25

46.59

(0 – 6) / 88

#5 – #32

20

(Lost to NYG) The footage of the Metrodome collapse was fascinating. That said, I’m conflicted on this week’s game (apparently) being outside. On the one hand, I hear outdoor pro football in Minnesota and think “It’s about time”. On the other hand, I’m worried that this is going to be used as a reason to move the Vikings out of Minnesota and into LA, and I’ll be quite upset if the old NFC North goes away. They already stole the Lakers, leave the Vikings!

24

45.45

(4 – 12) / 88

#8 – #29

21

(Lost to BAL) Texans put up a good fight but ultimately lose to the Ravens. Remember when we were all talking about how this was going to be the year the Texans were going to break through? And here it is week 14 and they’re guaranteed of not having a winning season. I’m really starting to feel bad for some of these guys. How long has their coach been there? Seems like his seat should be getting warm…

19

44.32

(0 – 10) / 88

#9 – #32

22

(Lost to BUF) This loss gets looped away in two 3 team loops, one with New England and one with Miami. I didn’t mention it before, but that 3 team loop with Miami also breaks up last week’s 5 team loop of OAK=>SD=>JAC=>CLE=>MIA=>OAK. That ends up causing JAC=>CLE to re-enter the graph, which hurts the Browns a bit.

20

43.75

(1 – 12) / 88

#11 – #31

23

(Beat KC) STL=>SD re-entering the graph really hurts the Chargers, because now they have a lot more teams on top of them. I want to point out (again) that I’m writing this without looking up the results of tonight’s game. I can only presume the Chargers won, but then, in this topsy-turvy NFL season, who knows?

18

43.18

(4 – 16) / 88

#10 – #28

24

(Beat SEA) 49ers win big over Seattle but don’t get to keep the win. Instead, the season split breaks up a three team loop of DEN=>SEA=>SF =>DEN, giving the 49ers a win over the Broncos instead. I know Beatpaths likes the Seahawks, but honestly, I’m not really sure which one I’d choose.

27

43.18

(1 – 13) / 88

#9 – #31

25

(Beat TEN) Ouch. The collapse of the Colts has been much talked about in the media, but I think everyone there would still put them in the top 75% of the league. Not Beatpaths rankings, though. The basic problem is that the Chargers gained a season split with the Chiefs, which broke up a 3 team loop of IND=>KC=>SD=>IND and put the Colts under the Chargers. That’s what’s forcing the Colts down this graph.

15

41.48

(3 – 18) / 88

#11 – #29

26

(Lost to TB) I heard some people say they don’t think Shanahan would quit after one season, but I can see it. After all, Schottenheimer left Washington after one season. Or was he fired? Either way, this team is a mess.

26

41.48

(0 – 15) / 88

#10 – #32

27

(Lost to PHI) Another loss for the Cowboys. I guess Jason Garrett is human after all. Still, there seems like there’s enough talent here to be respectable; they probably could be in the playoff race if the team hadn’t given up on Wade Phillips. Teams like the Cowboys are what make me afraid about my Bears, because I’m not really convinced that there’s a huge difference between them. Be warned, America: This Could Be Your Team!

29

39.20

(0 – 19) / 88

#12 – #32

28

(Beat CLE) As mentioned, this win gets looped away twice–but at least that loops away two losses for the Bills, to the Dolphins and Patriots. The breakup of the STL=>SD=>JAC=>BUF=>DET=>STL loop also gives the Bills a beatwin over Detroit–their only one right now. Unfortunately for the Bills, those things aren’t what’s hurting them right now–being under teams like the Vikings is their problem. They rise a bit because they look about as bad as they did last week, which we can’t say for some teams.

31

39.20

(1 – 20) / 88

#12 – #31

29

(Lost to PIT) I caught some of this game, and I actually thought the Bengals played okay. They could have given the Steelers a real fight if they hadn’t had blown themselves up with bad turnovers so much. But in the end, they lost, and the season is lost.

23

36.93

(1 – 24) / 88

#12 – #31

30

(Beat GB) Detroit gets the season split against Green Bay, but it doesn’t really change anything. What does change is that they’re back under the Bills again, a spot which puts a lot of downward pressure on their ranking.

30

35.23

(0 – 26) / 88

#13 – #32

31

(Lost to ARI) So much for the interim coach theory. Denver gets pushed down by Indianapolis, who is now under the Chargers, which is what puts so many more teams on top of Denver.

28

31.25

(0 – 33) / 88

#18 – #32

32

(Lost to ATL) If you look at the graph, you might think that the Lions are the worst team, but the Panthers are in fact far worse. The difference is that while the Lions are bad, they have a direct beatloss to pretty much only one team–the Bills. So, that’s the only set of over teams that gets piled on top of them. Meanwhile, the Panthers have direct beatlosses to the Bengals, Browns, and Seattle. That’s a lot more teams (and their beatlosses) being piled onto the Panthers. By sharing the wealth, and spreading out instead of digging deep, the Panthers are able to hold onto the last spot.

32

23.86

(0 – 46) / 88

#22 – #32

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