2010 NFL Wildcard Beatpaths Power Rankings

Evening folks! Kenneth here, with some more rankings for you! Last weekend was pretty entertaining, huh? We got a lot of fun games, and KC-BAL :). Hopefully this weekend will prove as entertaining. But let’s get to the rankings!

You can see the graph for this week here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

(Bye) No change for the Patriots, who sit high on top of the rankings once more. I’m a little worried that the Jets are the best team to beat the Patriots this year, and if it doesn’t happen this week, it won’t happen at all. I’d really like to see someone other than New England win.

1

78.37

(59 – 0) / 104

#1 – #8

2

(Bye) The Bears move up to number two in the rankings, due in part to some of the teams that were above them (like the Eagles and Colts) looking worse after losses, and especially due to the Jets looking much better. Super Bowl XX rematch, anyone?

7

72.12

(47 – 1) / 104

#2 – #10

3

(Beat KC) The one direct beatpath game we picked, and the only one we got right. So we have that going for us. Baltimore gets little for beating the Chiefs, so they don’t go anywhere, and can’t keep up with the Bears’ rapid rise.

2

68.75

(39 – 0) / 104

#1 – #14

4

(Beat IND) J-E-T-S! The Jets win the Duel of Clutch Field Goals. For their troubles, they get a direct beatwin over Indianapolis, which helps them out a lot in terms of support. I don’t know that I would trust them going much farther with a shaky Mark Sanchez and the disappearing-reappearing LaDanian Tomlinson running game, but I’m interested to watch.

9

67.79

(39 – 2) / 104

#3 – #13

5

(Lost to GB) Philadelphia loses the Duel of Not Clutch Field Goals. I really felt like Green Bay was the better team all game, and the game wasn’t as close as it ended up. I guess that’s not a particularly unique view. As far as the graph goes, this loss looped away the Eagles’ win over Detroit, but that’s not a huge deal–the Eagles have an alternate beatpath to them anyway.

3

64.90

(31 – 0) / 104

#1 – #16

6

(Bye) Nothing changing for the Steelers. It’s odd to me the lack of any spotlight, seemingly, on Pittsburgh so far this week. You hear a lot about the Jets yapping, and a lot about the Patriots not yapping. And I’ve heard some talk about the Ravens running their mouth. But no real coverage about the Steelers not running their mouth. Is it a coincidence that they’re the furthest west team of that trio? Hrm.

5

63.94

(29 – 0) / 104

#1 – #19

7

(Bye) Here we have another team treading water as they wait to start playing in the playoffs. I still don’t have a good feel for this team. What are they great at? It seems like they do everything well, but you usually think of a #1 (or 2, or even 3) seed having a big strength. I feel like I could name it for each other team still in the playoffs, but what not the Falcons.

6

63.94

(29 – 0) / 104

#1 – #21

8

(Lost to NYJ) Well, you can’t win them all. I suppose Peyton Manning has heard that more than he’d like. I really get tired of this “Peyton Manning isn’t clutch enough to win in the playoffs” stuff, though. It’s not like he’s really he’s lost to bad teams–these are good teams he’s playing, and he’s not winning them all. It happens.

4

63.46

(32 – 4) / 104

#4 – #15

9

(Bye) Giants maintain position. It’s weird; a lot of times when there are two teams in a city, you can easily say which one is the dominant one in terms of fanbase (Yankees over Mets, Lakers over Clippers, Knicks over Nets, Cubs over White Sox (sigh)), but I don’t have an idea about Giants versus Jets. It seemed like only yesterday the Giants were the big team, winning the Super Bowl and making the playoffs each year. But now the Jets seem to be the talk of the town. I really have no grasp of the situation.

8

60.10

(27 – 6) / 104

#6 – #17

10

(Bye) Buccaneers stay steady as well. Did you know that this is the youngest team in the league? I think that’s right. If that’s right, that’s got to mean good things for them next year, right?

10

56.25

(17 – 4) / 104

#4 – #23

11

(Lost to SEA) Ouch. Just, ouch. It’s GOT to sting to lose to a 7-9 team in the playoffs. Yes, they were at home with the massive crowd advantage, and yes, the Saints were pulling guys off of Pee-Wee rosters to play running back. But still. This loss creates a season split, which breaks up a three team loop of NO=>SEA=>ARI=>NO. The loss to Arizona is still looped away by lots of other loops, though, so no big loss for the Saints (well, Beatpaths-wise). I think the thing that comes off looking worst in this game is the defensive coaching of the Saints. It was clear that Seahawks decided that Roman Harper was a weakness and they were going to hit on it as much as they could. You can’t come up with a way to counteract that? I know he was the backup, but still! You scored 36 points–you should be able to count that as a win.

11

55.77

(13 – 1) / 104

#2 – #23

12

(Bye) No change for the Raiders, at least graph-wise. How do you end up writing a contract that just gives up Nnamdi Asomugha? I’m not saying you can’t possibly lose him; I’m just surprised you could do that. Specifically, I’m surprised that a contract can ban a team from using the franchise tag.

12

54.81

(11 – 1) / 104

#2 – #25

13

(Bye) Texans also don’t move, but they make the move of hiring Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator. My reaction: seriously? I’m not questioning his ability–I think he’s a good defensive mind. But Wade–did you have to stay in Texas? Do you really want to go to work in a city so close to the one that just chewed you up and spit you out? I know his family has long historical ties to Texas, but still…

13

52.88

(16 – 10) / 104

#8 – #21

14

(Beat PHI) So, some more on that loop formed–it’s a 4 team loop consisting of GB=>PHI=>DET=>MIA=>GB. So, this win gets looped away (the first win over the Eagles was looped away by GB=>PHI=>ATL=>GB). And the Miami loss was already looped away in a four team loop! So, the Packers gain nothing from this win. They can get something if they get a win this weekend, though. I’m hoping they do, because I would love to see a Bears-Packers NFC championship game at Soldier Field. Epic.

16

51.44

(4 – 1) / 104

#2 – #28

15

(Lost to BAL) Small change for KC, in their edgepower, but they look more or less the same in the graph. This is actually the one game I missed most of, and it seems like I picked a good one to skip. I’m rooting for Kansas City, but I bet they take a step backwards next year. That seems to be how these rapid rises work.

14

50.96

(15 – 13) / 104

#9 – #22

16

(Bye) Not much happening in Jacksonville. I wonder where they’re going to go in the draft? It seems like they have a lot of areas that are solid but could still be improved. I guess that could be a good thing–it lets you take the best available player.

15

50.48

(9 – 8) / 104

#7 – #25

17

(Bye) Lions loop away a loss to the Eagles, but it doesn’t mean much. I’m curious what the Lions will do with their QB situation this offseason. How many more chances are you going to give Stafford? And, if you do end up giving up on him, what’s going to be your backup plan? Are you going to go with Hill and Stanton and see if that works?

17

50.48

(9 – 8) / 104

#7 – #25

18

(Bye) Dolphins gain another loop for their loss to the Lions. That’s it for the Dolphins. I heard that their owner (or GM, or whomever) publicly apologized for the whole Harbaugh thing, and admitted fault and that he didn’t realize the effect it would have. I like that; I like that he’s willing to learn and realizes that he doesn’t have to project an image of total perfection all the time.

18

50.48

(6 – 5) / 104

#4 – #26

19

(Bye) Too bad that the NFC East played the AFC South this season; we’ll have to wait another 4 years for the Wade Phillips Revenge Bowl. Maybe this 18 game schedule thing will take off and we’ll get it that way.

19

48.08

(0 – 4) / 104

#5 – #32

20

(Bye) Of course, if Detroit has an interesting QB situation, the Vikings are positively fascinating. It’s like CSPAN versus Mythbusters. And, uh, Tavaris Jackson is Adam Savage, and Joe Webb is Jaime Whatsaman? And Favre is…you know what, this metaphor sucks. The Vikings are boned at QB next year, let’s leave it at that.

20

46.63

(0 – 7) / 104

#5 – #32

21

(Beat NO) Well, blow me down! Or knock me over with a massive stiff arm. That was one heck of a run, and one heck of a game overall. I really thought when New Orleans scored 17 points on their first 3 possessions that the game was decided, but it shows what I know. The win breaks up a 3 team loop with Arizona, but that win is looped away by lots of other loops, so no benefit for the Seahawks. More importantly, I want everyone to see this video of the run (it’s the one with the Super Mario sound effects). I know the Lynch run surprised a lot of people, but I wasn’t completely taken aback–he had a few lesser Beast Mode moments during the Seahawks’ game against the Bears, so I knew he had it in him.

21

44.71

(5 – 16) / 104

#11 – #28

22

(Bye) I’d have to say the big question in Tennessee, after you figure out the QB thing, is how to make Chris Johnson Chris Johnson again. He had an okay season, sure, but not the kind of impact they need him to have.

22

44.71

(0 – 11) / 104

#8 – #32

23

(Bye) Notice how I stopped even mentioning that teams didn’t really move? Yeah, that’s how it goes at this point in the season. I’m personally eagerly awaiting to hear who the Browns hire to coach, because that will give me something to write about them. I guess I’d suggest they wait out the playoffs and see who you might like from those teams, because why not? I think teams worry about being coachless too much. Wait for the guy you want.

23

43.75

(4 – 17) / 104

#12 – #28

24

(Bye) Did it hurt anyone in Buffalo to see that run by Marshawn Lynch? I wouldn’t think so, because he wasn’t doing that for you and even if he did he wouldn’t have taken you anywhere, but I don’t really know that team so well. Maybe the fanbase hates him, I don’t know.

24

41.35

(5 – 23) / 104

#12 – #27

25

(Bye) Boy, the Rams must be kicking themselves now. That could have been you!

25

40.87

(8 – 27) / 104

#16 – #26

26

(Bye) Well, at least you have the weather, San Diego, which I’m told is nice. I’d sure enjoy some of that right now.

26

36.06

(1 – 30) / 104

#17 – #31

27

(Bye) I don’t know when trades can start happening, but I’m a little surprised that the hypothetical McNabb trades haven’t been floating around so much. Certainly lots of teams need a QB enough to take a chance on Donovan. Let’s get speculating, people!

27

35.10

(0 – 31) / 104

#17 – #32

28

(Bye) Is there any word on whether they’re keeping TO, or Ochocinco for that matter? I thought they did alright this season, but the last game suggests that maybe they don’t need those guys.

28

32.21

(4 – 41) / 104

#17 – #28

29

(Bye) So, Ron Rivera signed for 4 years and 11 million dollars. Harbaugh signed for 5 years and 25 million dollars. I guess that shows what the Panthers were looking for.

29

17.31

(3 – 71) / 104

#23 – #29

30

(Bye) The plan: Luck stays at Stanford while Harbaugh goes to coach the 49ers. This upcoming season Harbaugh tanks the 49ers so they get the number one overall pick, where they can pick Luck. GENIUS.

30

13.94

(2 – 77) / 104

#25 – #30

31

(Bye) I don’t have anything to say about the Cardinals so I’ll talk about the Fiesta Bowl instead. Was anyone watching when the Auburn guy was lining up for the game winning FG and Brent Musberger said, “This is for all the Tostitos?” I laughed when he said that, and then instantly hated myself for thinking it was funny. Bad Musberger! No overdoing the product placement!

31

11.54

(0 – 80) / 104

#26 – #32

32

(Bye) So, there’s rumors that wherever Josh McDaniels lands up, he’s going to want to trade for Tebow. I say the Broncos should deal him with a quickness. I mean, you already have Orton, who looks like he can handle the fort for awhile. Do you really think Tebow is going to become a real NFL QB? I’m still skeptical.

32

7.69

(0 – 88) / 104

#27 – #32

8 Responses to 2010 NFL Wildcard Beatpaths Power Rankings

  1. ThunderThumbs says:

    So, I went to Oahu over Christmas break with the girlfriend – she has family there. For the second part of vacation we went one island over, to Molokai. Spotty internet, only one sports bar on the island, with only network tv, not much in terms of wifi anywhere. I was getting sporadic updates on the final Broncos game. Finally we’re driving back to the west coast and I’m gazing out the passenger side window, and we pass this house that is painted entirely blue with orange trim, with a huge Broncos decal on the front wall. They had a blue truck and an orange boat, parking signs that said “free parking for Broncos fans only”, and an outdoor garage where an entire family was watching the Broncos game on a HUGE hdtv. It was kind of like stepping into a dream.

    Anyway, we parked the car and walked up with a bag of chips we had, and they served us beer. Late in the fourth quarter, Tebow runs around and avoids a sack and completes a third-and-long downfield. I say, “Man, there’s no way Orton would have been able to do that.” The entire family howls in agreement, and one of the guys says, “I KNOW!! Man, we’ve been screaming about that since game 5!” They had a huge Tebow poster next to the tv.

    At any rate, whether it’s better or worse for them, I think Tebow is a real Denver Bronco, and Orton never really was – it was just a place for him to spruce up his resume for the next stop in his journeyman career. What was it that Walsh said about Beuerlein? He’ll play just well enough to get you beat? That’s kind of how I feel about Orton. For folks who watched every game while it was happening, there was a consistent feeling of dread, and a real lack of surprise when he wouldn’t come through in the big moments. Tebow’s kind of the opposite – inconsistent and worse stats, but then somehow you’re back in the game. The guy just doesn’t give up.

  2. The MOOSE says:

    RE: NE

    I feel completely the opposite. While I am nervous about the NYJ game simply because I dislike the team, Rex, LT, and their attitudes and don’t want to hear them gloat over a win, I think NE should win this game. I think PIT would be a tougher challenge and BAL would be a nightmare for an AFC championship matchup. ATL or GB would also be difficult matches in the SB. But after 2007, I certainly won’t ever take a game for granted.

  3. Kenneth says:

    This is kind of a unique subject, since we’re both fans of teams that Orton has played for.

    I understand exactly what you’re saying. The thing is, I feel like Orton is the kind of guy who is undervalued by fans because he doesn’t make incredible plays, and isn’t the kind of great threat at quarterback. But he’s steady, and he can move the team. I feel like Orton is the kind of QB who you can build with, but not around. Meaning that he would be a good fit on a team that is very good at the other parts of the game–a good defense and running game, for example. He’ll give you what you need out of the QB position, but not much more. But that’s very useful! There’s not a lot of skillful QBs in the league, and having one that just doesn’t kill you may not be ideal, but it’s a decent situation comparatively.

    Conversely, I think a Tebow gets overrated because of those magical moments. Which he CAN get you out of, which is nice. But he’s more likely to get you into those situations, too. And that’s bad for a football team–consistent small gains are usually better for you than constantly having to beat long odds. Now, when Orton gets into those bad situations (and he will–everyone does), he’s a worse bet than Tebow to get you out of it. And you (the royal you, not you specifically) notice that, and so you like Tebow better. But you (maybe) don’t notice that when Tebow’s in the game, you have to do that more often than when Orton is in the game. And that’s the benefit to Orton, but it’s harder to recognize that.

    All of this is mostly speculation, also, since I’ve only watched maybe one Broncos game all year, and it wasn’t with Tebow. I’m basically going off of highlight shows, what I’ve read, and impressions from past seasons. I could be completely off on all of this.

    I could also just be overly sympathetic to Orton, who exceeded expectations every time he played in Chicago. Admittedly, those were often extremely LOW expectations, but still. If the Broncos move Orton (or he moves–I don’t know what his contract status is) I think a lot of teams would really benefit from having him. San Francisco or Arizona seem like good fits. Maybe Tennessee, too…

  4. Kenneth says:

    Ha, that last comment came in while I was typing my reply.

    Re: NE
    I don’t know, I can’t shake that SNF game against the Steelers whenever I try to think about Pittsburgh beating New England. I know, that was one game, and it was awhile ago, but still. And I know, the Jets got killed too, but at least they have beaten the Patriots this season. It’s easier to put faith in them because of that, I guess.

    Baltimore, I knew they lost to the Patriots but I didn’t realize it was only 3 points. I’m still feel like New England should win, but I suppose I should take the Ravens more seriously. Maybe I’m still shell-shocked from watching them tear apart the Bears. 🙂

    I’m still going to have to see Atlanta in the playoffs before I can shake my feeling that they’re a paper tiger, and I’m not sure if Green Bay has the horses to hang with the Patriots. I don’t really know that I think anyone in the NFC does, really. But we’ll see! The beauty of a playoff system!

  5. JT says:

    The Hawaii story is great, btw. Sounds like it was meant-to-be.

    As for Indianapolis, it really sucks that Manning couldn’t have covered the final kickoff better or played better defense on that game-winning drive by the Jets. If he could’ve just got more pressure on Sanchez there…

    Not sure if it means anything, but all the AFC playoff teams remaining are from cities further east than Atlanta, the easternmost NFC city.

  6. The MOOSE says:

    Honestly I hate thinking too far ahead; I feel like I’m jinxing my team. But if you’re not sure GB can hang with NE go take another look at the game they played this year (31-27) where Rodgers was inactive due to concussion. They were the only team in the last 5 to put up more than 7 points. I was a lot more comfortable with the 36-7 win over CHI.

  7. ThunderThumbs says:

    I fear that Orton’s flaws might go a little deeper than that. I saw a stat that this season that seemed to encapsulate what I’ve been struggling with regarding Orton. When Orton had a 2nd-down incompletion, the Broncos third down conversion was… well, I don’t even remember the percentage, but it was something like two. Maybe three. Meaning, 2-3 third down conversions for the entire season, after 2nd-down incompletions. I think Tebow has already surpassed that number in just three games. There was also the stat of how were 0-5 or 0-6 or something (with Orton) when we were tied or within a score either way at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Something along those lines. There was Orton being good between the 20s and not so good in the red zone. Orton throwing interceptions or fumbling at the end of the game on game-winning drive opportunities. Orton saying that he was amazed they didn’t throw more interceptions given how far behind they were. That may have been true, but what quarterback *says* that?

    It just seems like for as talented as he is, there’s something funky going on there, and I just haven’t trusted him. At least with Tebow I feel like there’s good reason to believe he’ll work to improve his footwork, his anticipation, and his ability to read 2-3 receivers before running rather than 1-2. I don’t think there’s as much reason to believe that Orton will work on becoming more clutch, at least not with Denver. There was just this blase feeling attached to him the entire season. Which may not have been entirely his fault, given McDaniels’ stated desire to move him before the 2010 season, but it still isn’t a good recipe.

  8. Kenneth says:

    Re:NE

    I don’t wanna say I told y’all…but I told y’all.

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