2010 NFL Playoff Divisional Round Predictions

Hey all! I thought that the rankings were getting a bit crowded, so I decided to split out this weekend’s predictions into it’s own post. I didn’t go over it last week, so here’s the methodology if it wasn’t clear:

1.) If one team has a beatpath to its opponent, pick them
2.) Otherwise, pick the team with the higher ranking

All clear? Let’s get to it then!

New York Jets versus New England Patriots: This one is clear. The Patriots, besides being the number one team in the league, have a beatpath to the Jets through Chicago. It’s a clear pick for the Patriots.
Baltimore Ravens versus Pittsburgh Steelers: This one is less clear. Neither of these teams have any beatlosses. In my mind, that makes any pick risky, because it means that they’re essentially equal, and their relative positioning is based on tiebreakers. Essentially, you’re only judging them by strength of schedule. Still, we have those tiebreakers for a reason–this reason, in fact. The Ravens are ranked #3, while the Steelers are ranked #6. That’s pretty close, and you could argue that the home field advantage should neutralize it. But that’s not how I roll. It’s a close call, but the pick is the Ravens.
Green Bay Packers versus Atlanta Falcons: Another one without any beatpath relationship. The Falcons have no beatlosses, and the Packers are only under the Patriots. The rankings are clearer, however. The Falcons have a fair amount of support, enough to have them ranked at #7, while the Packers have only 4 teams below them and are ranked #14. The pick is the Falcons.
Seattle Seahawks versus Chicago Bears: Back to a beatpath pick! The Bears have a direct beatpath to the Seahawks. It looks pretty long in the graph, but there are hidden paths (specifically, either NYJ=>HOU or IND=>KC) that shorten it a bit. In any case, the call is clear: the Bears.

So, that’s two beatpath picks (New England over New York and Chicago over Seattle) and two weaker rankings picks (Atlanta over Green Bay and Baltimore over Pittsburgh). The Ravens pick is probably the weakest. Personally, I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out! Enjoy the weekend!

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

2010 NFL Week 17 Beatpaths Power Rankings

Evening…er, morning…er, whatever, folks! Kenneth here, with another set of rankings. I decided to finish off these rankings before this weekend’s games, so let’s not delay with pleasantries!

Instead, let’s go over something more significant–the Beatpaths predictions for this week’s playoff games!

New York Jets versus Indianapolis: There’s no beatpath here. But Indianapolis is ranked #4 to New York’s #9, so the rankings would give the edge to the Colts.
Baltimore versus Kansas City: Baltimore has a clear beatpath to Kansas City through Houston, so they are definitely the favorites.
New Orleans versus Seattle: Shockingly enough, there is no direct beatpath here. But the rankings have New Orleans at #11 and Seattle at #21. I think we can safely call the Saints the pick here.
Green Bay versus Philadelphia: No beatpath here. But the rankings are the clearest here: Philadelphia is the #3 team, and Green Bay is a distant #16. This is the strongest discrepancy in rankings (even more so than Baltimore-Kansas City), and is clearly a pick of Philadelphia.

So that’s one beatpath pick of Baltimore over Kansas City, and 3 other picks by rankings. Officially, we would count Ravens-Chiefs as our strongest pick. We’ll see how well it holds up this weekend!

You can see the graph for this week here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

(Beat MIA) The Patriots cap off an impressive season with a win over the Dolphins. In the process, they end up even further ahead of the pack than they were last week. It’s starting to get hard to imagine a situation in which they don’t take home the Lombardi trophy, but then, we’ve been in this situation before. No matter how good you are, winning 3 games against tough opponents is always hard. Still, I bet hard on the Patriots in my playoff fantasy league, because I think they’ll back it up.

1

78.16

(58 – 0) / 103

#1 – #8

2

(Beat CIN) Hallelujah! The Great Injustice of 2010 has been reversed, with the Ravens finally looping away their early season loss to the Bengals with a season split. That gave them back wins over the Bills, Dolphins, and Buccaneers. They didn’t get back their win over the Jets, but it was used in a larger 4 team loop of BAL=>NYJ=>PIT=>ATL=>BAL to loop away their loss to the Falcons. The end result is a rocket ship trip up the rankings to #2. We here at Beatpaths, plus many of our commenters, knew this was coming. If the NFL sticks to its “late season divisional matchup” plan, it could cause considerable harm to the Beatpaths stability. Something to work on in the offseason, I guess.

15

68.45

(38 – 0) / 103

#1 – #14

3

(Lost to DAL) The loss makes a season split between these two teams, but little harm is done to the Eagles by losing the beatwin. As noted above, Beatpaths has Philly as the heavy favorite in this game, but I think it’ll be a tougher go. The big question I have is about their defense–with all the Vickapalooza hype, I haven’t gotten a good idea of how strong it is. They’ll need to be firm to go deep in the playoffs.

6

65.53

(32 – 0) / 103

#1 – #16

4

(Beat TEN) Indianapolis and Philadelphia, by the way, are in almost the same position, beatpaths wise. The only difference is that the Colts are under the Patriots, and the Eagles are not. In any case, the Colts pulled out a win against the Titans for a season sweep and the #3 seed. Neither seems too important to me–I’d consider the Ravens and Jets to be six of one, half a dozen of the other, though Beatpaths clearly disagrees with me.

4

65.05

(32 – 1) / 103

#2 – #15

5

(Beat CLE) Pittsburgh beats up the Browns–pretty heavily, too–but still falls down the rankings. What gives? Well, the key is in that 4 team beatloop from above. It cost the Steelers their win over the Falcons, while not gaining them anything (their loss to the Jets was already wiped out by another 4 team loop). That took out a fair amount of their support, so they tumble down the chart.

2

64.08

(29 – 0) / 103

#1 – #19

6

(Beat CAR) Well, that was uneventful. The Falcons easily dispatched the Panthers–even considering the failed fourth down attempts. Also, due to others’ work, they shed their last remaining beatloss (to Pittsburgh). Unfortunately, some of the other teams aligned themselves on top of other teams better, and ended up zooming past the Falcons, who mostly have the same resume as last week.

3

64.08

(29 – 0) / 103

#1 – #21

7

(Lost to GB) The loss causes a season split, but it doesn’t do much; the loss to Green Bay was already wiped out in a three team loop with the New York Giants, a loss which is covered in a three team loop with Philadelphia. So, there could be some interesting effects if the Bears and Eagles meet up in the next round. As a Bears fan, I honestly don’t find last week’s game to be distressing at all; it was basically an exhibition game for the team, and in that context they showed admirable dedication. I have no doubt that when the games are for real again, they will show more discipline and better strategy.

5

64.08

(30 – 1) / 103

#2 – #15

8

(Beat WAS) The Giants get a season sweep over the Redskins, but it does little to their cause. The Giants are the highest rated team in these rankings not to be headed to the playoffs, but that’s solely because of the impact of divisions and the horrible NFC West. I think most would agree that we’d put the Giants in a list of the top 12 teams before we would put the Seahawks, so I don’t feel bad about this ranking at all.

7

61.65

(27 – 3) / 103

#4 – #17

9

(Beat BUF) It’s a New York Daily Double, as the Jets take the next spot in the rankings. Unlike the other teams involved in that 4 team loop above, the Jets were unaffected; both of the paths involved in the loop (loss to Baltimore, win over Pittsburgh) were looped away already.

12

59.71

(22 – 2) / 103

#3 – #19

10

(Beat NO) Tampa Bay continues its climb up the rankings by earning a season split against the Saints. This seems a bit disingenuous–as far as I could tell, the Saints gave up once it was clear they weren’t catching the Falcons. In any case, this win gives the Buccaneers back a beatpath over the Browns. It also breaks up a three team loop with Arizona, which lets TB=>ARI to survive a level and make a four team loop of TB=>ARI=>DAL=>DET=>TB–but that ends up not mattering to the Bucs as much, because they already had looped away their loss to the Lions.

13

56.31

(17 – 4) / 103

#4 – #23

11

(Lost to TB) Well, let’s go over the flip side of that game! The losses to Cleveland and Arizona are still wiped out by other loops, so no big deal in losing them. What does hurt the Saints, however, is the Ravens evening up with the Bengals, which puts BAL=>NO back in the graph. Although that does give the Saints back their beatwin over the Bengals, so that’s nice, I guess.

9

55.83

(13 – 1) / 103

#2 – #23

12

(Beat KC) The Raiders sweep the division and end up at .500 for the season. With this result, they decided they should fire their coach? I know there was an issue with the offensive coordinator maybe being the brains of the operation and possibly leaving, but still–shouldn’t you recognize this accomplishment?

16

54.85

(11 – 1) / 103

#2 – #25

13

(Beat JAC) Houston, a big mover of the week! What’s the skinny? Well, they split with the Jaguars, which did two things. First, it broke up a three team loop with the Chiefs, which put HOU=>KC back in the graph, giving the Texans some support again (they went from having 0 positive edgepower to 16 in one week). Second, it broke up a three team loop with Washington. That allowed HOU=>WAS to survive one level deeper in the graph, where it formed a four team loop of HOU=>WAS=>JAC=>DAL=>HOU. That looped away the Texans’ loss to the Cowboys, which gave them more room to rise.

28

53.40

(16 – 9) / 103

#8 – #21

14

(Lost to OAK) The Chiefs are hurt by circumstances out of their control, as shown above. But they also got dinged by this loss, which formed a four team loop of KC=>CLE=>MIA=>OAK=>KC, costing the Chiefs their win over the Browns.

8

51.94

(15 – 11) / 103

#9 – #22

15

(Lost to HOU) Way to show up small in these last few weeks, Jacksonville. I guess you’re not ready for the big time yet. How much longer is Jack Del Rio going to get?

14

51.94

(9 – 5) / 103

#5 – #25

16

(Beat CHI) Yeah, I was surprised, too. The Packers beat the Bears, but fall. Part of this is that the win over the Bears doesn’t give them any support back–the only loop broken up was with the Giants, and that win is looped away lots of ways. Part of this is a dip in strength of Minnesota. And part of it is the Packers losing their win over Dallas. How? Well, pay attention now: Detroit beat Minnesota, earning a season split. That broke up 3 team loop of DET=>MIA=>MIN=>DET, leaving the path DET=>MIA in the graph at the 4 team level. That’s where it formed a loop of GB=>DAL=>DET=>MIA=>GB. And that’s how the Packers’ win over the Cowboys disappeared. Good luck in the playoffs, guys!

10

51.46

(4 – 1) / 103

#2 – #28

17

(Beat MIN) A strong showing at the end by the Lions gives hope for next year. I kept saying that they were playing better than their record, just not getting the wins they should. I guess they know how to win now. Watch out next year, the Lions have a taste for blood! Meanwhile, this win did some major restructuring for the Lions. You know about the one 4 team loop above from the Packers comment, but there were 5 other ones involving the Lions that showed up. One of them was described in the Buccaneer’s part; the other 4 were also generated by DET=>MIA being loosened, and got rid of the Lions’ losses to the Bills and Jets. That gave the Lions a lot of room to move up, and they did so.

29

51.46

(9 – 6) / 103

#5 – #25

18

(Lost to NE) Stay classy, Miami. Apparently they tried to give the head coaching job to Jim Harbaugh, then when he said no tried to extend Sparano? Yeah, that sounds like it’s going to end well. This is looking like a big Tuna mess.

11

50.49

(6 – 5) / 103

#4 – #26

19

(Beat PHI) Congrats Cowboys, I guess, for earning the season split with the Eagles. The Cowboys have moved up more by the work of others. The Lions got them out from under the Vikings and Packers, the Bucs got them out from under the Cardinals, and the Texans freed them from the Jaguars grasp.

27

48.06

(0 – 4) / 103

#5 – #32

20

(Lost to DET) It seems like the Vikings committed to Leslie Frazier based on the strength of a not particularly impressive set of games here at the end. But then, that seems to be a pattern for this team. They committed to Brad Childress when he didn’t really seem to be doing that well, and they committed to Tavaris Jackson for so long, too. I wish former Bear Leslie Frazier luck, but my instinct tells me this is not going to go well.

18

46.60

(0 – 7) / 103

#5 – #32

21

(Beat STL) What a blight on the nation! Truly, this is the true travesty of our times. A sub-.500 team in the playoffs? That’s 1980s NHL talk! Not in my NFL, no siree! I’m going to interrupt this rant to mention that this split does little for the Seahawks–it breaks up a four team loop involving their win over the Bears, but that win is looped away in another four team loop, so no benefit. Now, back to this thing! Let’s get some bipartisanship on this thing. Surely we can stop arguing over Obamacare and Tea Parties to make sure this never happens again, right? Let’s go Washington (DC, that is), make it happen!

17

45.63

(5 – 14) / 103

#11 – #28

22

(Lost to IND) Sounds like Bud Adams decided to keep Fisher and ditch Young. I think that’s the right decision. I like Young, and I think he will do good things in this league still. But Fisher has shown himself to be a winner, and I wouldn’t expect Vince Young to hold the team together and lead them to success while they transition to their first new coach in over a decade. The best scenario would have been for Fisher to pull his head out of his butt, trust Young and stop trotting out the decaying corpse of Kerry Collins, but since that wasn’t an option, this is probably a good plan B.

20

45.63

(0 – 9) / 103

#7 – #32

23

(Lost to PIT) I would have thought I would be happy to hear that the Manginious (sp?) had been fired. But I’m really ambivalent. I guess part of it is that the Browns seemed to be fun to watch this season, with their “plucky determination” and “ability to beat the Patriots” (always a plus in my book). We’ll see how things go now. I think it’s key, however, to prevent Holmgren from coaching. I don’t think he can do that and GM.

22

45.15

(4 – 14) / 103

#10 – #28

24

(Lost to NYJ) Buffalo loses their win over the Lions, but gets back their win over the Bengals (due to Baltimore splitting with Cincinnati). It ends up being a net positive for the Bills.

26

42.23

(5 – 21) / 103

#12 – #27

25

(Lost to SEA) Boo, Rams! We needed you to hold off the Seahawks! In any case, this loss broke up a four team loop, and ends up putting the Rams under the Lions again. Here’s hoping they build off this season, though.

23

41.26

(8 – 26) / 103

#16 – #26

26

(Beat DEN) Too little, too late, Chargers. And it sounds like both AJ and Norv will be staying–which is causing great anguish to the one San Diego fan I know.

24

36.41

(1 – 29) / 103

#17 – #31

27

(Lost to NYG) Um…well, good luck next year, Shanahananahanahanahan*slap*. You’re going to need it.

25

35.44

(0 – 30) / 103

#17 – #32

28

(Lost to BAL) Their win over the Ravens gone, the Bengals fall below teams that they were keeping at bay. This whole Marvin Lewis thing is really weird. I don’t get how a coach with his record gets to make demands of the front office. And yet, from what I hear of the situation, I actually support Lewis. Weird.

19

33.01

(4 – 39) / 103

#17 – #28

29

(Lost to ATL) Bummer for the Panthers. They lose again, and they lose out on Andrew Luck. Even worse, there’s been so much talk about it that I have to assume that the Panthers more or less talked themselves out of Matt Moore or Jimmy Clausen being the long term situations. Which means they’ll be pressured to take a QB with the number 1 spot, but of course he won’t be as good as Luck and they’ll end up putting #1 pick money and pressure on a kid who doesn’t deserve/can’t handle it (see: Alex Smith). I guess what I’m saying is, see you here for the next 4 years, Panthers!

30

17.48

(3 – 70) / 103

#23 – #29

30

(Beat ARI) Soooo…Jim Harbaugh is the coach now, huh? Haven’t we pretty much established that hiring a college coach to be head coach in the NFL is a bad idea? Has one year of Pete Carroll making the playoffs in the worst division in history really erased everyone’s heads of the memories of Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, and Bobby Petrino?

31

14.08

(2 – 76) / 103

#25 – #30

31

(Lost to SF) I almost hit publish before I wrote something for the Cardinals. Shows you how the might have fallen, now that the Cardinals are just an afterthought. The Cardinals are hurt by the season sweep, which shoves them under the 49ers. A sad state of affairs for this team, although historically not unusual.

21

11.65

(0 – 79) / 103

#26 – #32

32

(Lost to SD) And so, the team of our site’s proprietor, whose low reputation at one time was basically responsible for the creation of this site, end up at the bottom of our rankings. They do have the Tim Tebow future to look forward to, though. You could look at that as good or bad, of course…

32

7.77

(0 – 87) / 103

#27 – #32

2010 NFL Week 17 Beatpath Graph

We (finally) have the end-of-season graph. Sorry for the delay, vacation travels combined with a massive cold have conspired to limit my week. The rankings were 6-10 for Week 17. Overall, this appears to have been a far less accurate season than the other seasons we’ve had so far, but I haven’t fully tabulated up all the numbers yet. But without further ado, here is the graph!

2010-17-nfl-clean.png

2010 NFL Week 16 Beatpaths Power Rankings

Hello again folks, and welcome to a shockingly on time version of the Beatpaths rankings! That’s right, the relative calm of the week between Christmas and New Year’s has let me hit this small window between the delayed Tuesday game and the Thursday Night game. And…wait, what do you mean there’s no Thursday night game this week? AARGGH!!! Well, enough about my schedule…let’s look at some rankings!

You can see the graph for this week here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

(Beat BUF) YAWN…the Patriots crush another opponent, and stay high up on top of the rankings. They’re even further ahead of second place than they were last week. I really don’t like the Patriots, but there’s no denying that they’re the best team in the league this year.

1

81.63

(62 – 0) / 98

#1 – #7

2

(Beat CAR) Pittsburgh moves up a spot after the team who was at #2 mysteriously abandons the position. Well, it’s not so mysterious, really. In any case, the Steelers look very impressive themselves, except when compared to the Patriots. Once again, there’s a large gap between 1, 2, and 3 this week.

3

72.45

(44 – 0) / 98

#1 – #13

3

(Lost to NO) Sometimes, you get graph fluctuations, where the graph structures itself one way for a week, then reverts to its previous structure the next week. That’s what happened here; for one week, the graph was aligned in a large tower; this week, it flattened itself out again. That’s how you can get the yo-yo rankings of the Falcons, who went from #4 two weeks ago to #9 last week and back to #3 now. As for their loss to the Saints? Well, it got looped away as part of a season split–but that did break up an existing 3 team beatloop with Pittsburgh. That put their loss to the Steelers back in the graph, but as I’ve been saying all season, There’s No Shame In Losing To Pittsburgh.

9

65.82

(32 – 1) / 98

#2 – #17

4

(Beat OAK) The Colts! They’re furiously trying to charge up the charts. This week, they were able to loop away their loss to the Chargers with this win over Oakland (also, the Chargers loss to the Bengals does the same). That threw a whole mess of teams off of them (more on this later), and let the Colts move upwards.

8

64.80

(30 – 1) / 98

#2 – #16

5

(Beat NYJ) The Bears get a quality win over the Jets and they go down? What is up with that? Well, they do have the win over the Jets, which helps. But they lost their win over the Packers when the Pack beat the Giants and made a 3 team beatloop–a loss that the Bears had already looped away with their win over the Eagles. Unfortunately, next week’s game against the Packers could easily mean nothing for the Bears (the Falcons play earlier in the day), so there’s a decent chance they throw it rest their starters, which would create a season split. I know I would sit the first team, or at least Jay Cutler, who already has one concussion this season.

2

63.27

(27 – 1) / 98

#2 – #17

6

(Lost to MIN) First, before I do anything, I want to get to this:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Okay, I’m back. So, while this loss was huge for the NFL, as far as Beatpaths is concerned it wasn’t so big; it got looped away in a 3 team loop with the Giants, and that win was already looped away by their loss to the Bears (remember, from 5 seconds ago?).

6

62.24

(24 – 0) / 98

#1 – #20

7

(Lost to GB) So, the Giants get pummeled by the Packers, but they get to rise? Two reasons: one, this loss got looped away in a three team loop with the Redskins, and two, they are still under the Colts, and the Colts rising means that the Giants have room to rise, too. That said, I wouldn’t feel great about my chances if I were a Giants fan right now.

11

57.65

(18 – 3) / 98

#4 – #21

8

(Beat TEN) Chiefs! They rise up because the Colts give them some room, too. They also benefit from the flattening of the graph; they weren’t high up the tower, so the shortening (is that a word?) of things makes their edgepower look better relative to everyone else–much like the Falcons.

14

57.65

(17 – 2) / 98

#3 – #19

9

(Beat ATL) Well, beating the Falcons got looped away, and they didn’t get their win over the Steelers is still looped away in a three team loop with the Browns. They could get that back if Pittsburgh loses to Cleveland this weekend, but how likely is that? Meanwhile, they look worse because Dallas, their best support last week, took a tumble and dragged them down with them.

13

55.61

(11 – 0) / 98

#1 – #23

10

(Beat NYG) Once again, the Packers just aren’t keeping their most impressive wins. This one, you may remember me saying, is looped away by the loss to Chicago. Their remaining beatwins, just like last week, are not that impressive. But things will change if they beat the Bears this weekend.

12

54.59

(10 – 1) / 98

#2 – #25

11

(Lost to DET) The loss to Detroit is looped away in a three team loop with Minnesota. That costs them a beatpath, but that’s not the reason for their big tumble. The real culprit is the collapse of Oakland, who was propping them up. For the first time in awhile, I feel real optimism for the Raiders; I think they could have a good season next year, although the sooner they address their QB situation long term the better.

4

54.08

(11 – 3) / 98

#3 – #24

12

(Lost to CHI) I think you would have to put Sanchez out in the punt formation a lot of times on real punts before that kind of trickery worked, right? I wonder why teams don’t do that that often. Obviously you don’t want key players playing on special teams, but what if you only did it on punts you were sure were going into the end zone? Might be a neat thing to build up over the season.

10

54.08

(10 – 2) / 98

#3 – #26

13

(Beat SEA) Easy come, easy go. Or, I guess in the Bucs case, easy go, easy come. I think. In any case, this win over Seattle let Tampa Bay loop away its loss to Detroit from the week before, in a four team loop of TB=>SEA=>CHI=>DET=>TB. That shoots the Buccaneers back up the charts.

27

53.57

(11 – 4) / 98

#3 – #26

14

(Lost to WAS) Way to faceplant this one, guys. This loss gets looped away in a three team loop with Houston, which was a win Jacksonville had already lost in a three team loop with Kansas City. I have some sympathy for Jacksonville, but I’ve never really been convinced that they were a strong team, and so I’m not surprised that they’re likely to stay at home for the postseason.

15

52.55

(10 – 5) / 98

#5 – #24

15

(Beat CLE) Baltimore takes care of Cleveland in preparation for their BIG GAME this weekend…getting the chance to create a season split with Cincinnati! Watch out for Shipley and Simpson, guys!

16

52.55

(7 – 2) / 98

#3 – #27

16

(Lost to IND) Alright, so what happened to Oakland? Well, it was their own fault–losing this game caused them to drop. But only because it sunk the Chargers, who the Raiders were sitting on top of (FORESHADOWING!). In my usual style, I’ll leave the details for later, thus giving me more time to think of witty things to say.

5

52.04

(9 – 5) / 98

#5 – #26

17

(Lost to TB) Matt Hasselbeck looked really old on Sunday. Of course, coming up gimpy on a run when no one hits you will do that. And this guy was the developmental QB of the future for the Packers early in Favre’s career. Think about THAT.

19

49.49

(7 – 8) / 98

#8 – #25

18

(Beat PHI) Normally, the only division rival I root for is the Lions, because I feel sorry for them. But I was rooting for the Vikings last night, and good on them for pulling one out. Of course, if they spend 3 years starting Joe Webb in an attempt to develop him into a star, Minnesota might make my pity list, too.

17

48.98

(5 – 7) / 98

#5 – #28

19

(Beat SD) The win gets looped away in a three team loop with the Colts, which actually does remove a beatloss for the Bengals, which is nice. I kind of felt like the Bengals were better than a 2 win team. Not much better, mind you, but better. Still has to be a disappointing season in Cincinnati. Maybe they can win this week and cause all of Baltimore (who reads Beatpaths) to jump out a window.

20

48.98

(3 – 5) / 98

#4 – #29

20

(Lost to KC) This loss gets looped away in a three team loop with Oakland, which was already looped away for Tennessee. Tennessee has a lot of talent, but they need to figure out this QB situation quickly. I think we all know Kerry Collins isn’t the answer, and I don’t see how they could credibly bring back Vince Young (although I still think the only time they looked competitive was when he was on the field). Maybe a trade for Matt Flynn is in order?

18

47.45

(0 – 5) / 98

#5 – #32

21

(Beat DAL) Well, THAT was unexpected. And what’s more, it stuck! The ARI=>DAL link was not looped away. Just another point of evidence in the…uh…”loopmentum” of strength-of-schedule games.

23

46.43

(3 – 10) / 98

#9 – #29

22

(Lost to BAL) I’m starting to get the feelings I had last year about Josh Freeman about Colt McCoy this year. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. File that away for fantasy football next year.

22

45.41

(3 – 12) / 98

#10 – #29

23

(Beat SF) The win over the 49ers (which, for awhile, I was deathly afraid wasn’t going to happen) creates a season split, which breaks up three team loops with the Panthers and Chargers, giving the Rams those wins back. Which is nice, but the big story here is the Buccaneers. Since they Escaped From (under) Detroit, they let the Rams (who are under them) rise up the rankings as well. This team might be awful according to beatpaths, but at least they could finish with a .500 record, which is why I’m rooting for them this week. Well, that, and I live in St. Louis.

28

44.90

(6 – 16) / 98

#11 – #27

24

(Lost to CIN) Okay, so what did happen to San Diego? Well, remember that due to this loss AND due to Oakland’s loss to Indianapolis (either would have been sufficient), they lost their beatwin over Indianapolis. Which was the ENTIRE cause of their support last week (and several other teams, too). Without that, they fell down the charts. They’re also now back below the Rams, to add insult to injury. And out of the playoffs. Way to go, San Diego.

7

40.31

(0 – 19) / 98

#12 – #32

25

(Beat JAC) Redskins move up a bit because the Rams rise. What are the chances that Redskins go for a full season with Rex Grossman next year? I actually don’t hate the idea, if you can draft a QB for the future who you expect to take over the next year (or that year if things go south). Rex Grossman may not be a good QB, but he’s not awful, and more importantly he’s easy to boot to the bench when the new guy is ready.

30

40.31

(0 – 19) / 98

#12 – #32

26

(Lost to NE) You know, given the huge stable of running backs that the Bills were stockpiling, it’s funny to me that their passing offense has been their best part this season. I don’t know what it’s going to take to be competitive in the near future, but hopefully they’ll be fun while we wait.

24

39.80

(1 – 21) / 98

#12 – #31

27

(Lost to ARI) So, I mentioned how the Cowboys fell a bit and hurt some teams, right? Well, it turns out that they fell because the Lions fell. I’ll go over that in a bit, but honestly, you should be able to guess that one.

21

37.76

(2 – 26) / 98

#16 – #30

28

(Lost to DEN) This loss gets looped away in a three team loop with Oakland, and that win was already looped away, so no big change for the Texans. I guess it’s back to the drawing board for the Texans. At least they have good players in the most important positions.

25

33.67

(0 – 32) / 98

#18 – #32

29

(Beat MIA) Congratulations Detroit! Unfortunately for you, this win gets looped away by your loss to Minnesota. But you can get that back if you earn the season split next week! Oh, and you lost all your support when you lost your beatwin to Tampa Bay, dragging you and several other teams down. But hey, draft time is coming up!

26

29.59

(0 – 40) / 98

#18 – #32

30

(Lost to PIT) The Panthers are truly awful. But they benefit from St Louis splitting with San Francisco, which gave them back their win over the 49ers. I was just about to wish the Panthers good luck next season, and it just occurred to me the massive amount of awful Luck puns we’re going to see over the next year. So we have that to look forward to, I guess.

32

28.57

(2 – 44) / 98

#19 – #30

31

(Lost to STL) You heard the story–49ers under the Panthers, fall down to 2nd to last. For a team that did not look like it really belonged on the same field with the Rams (who are still deservedly below .500, mind you), the 49ers were able to do an admirable job of staying in the game. Top of the ToDo list for next year: get a QB not named Smith (sorry, Akili!).

29

25.00

(1 – 50) / 98

#21 – #31

32

(Beat HOU) So, I know the season’s not over yet. But let’s say this is how it stands. Would you give the Broncos the top pick in the draft? Because that’s what Beatpaths would do. I’m torn, because I think both the Panthers and the Broncos have looked pretty bad this season. But the Broncos have the excuse of a fair amount of injuries IIRC, including Elvis Dumervil. If they got the top pick, that could be a Tim Duncan situation going on there, except multiplied by 5/22 because of more players in the NFL than the NBA. Er, I think I lost the point somewhere back there.

31

20.41

(0 – 58) / 98

#23 – #32

2010 NFL Week 15 Beatpaths Power Rankings

Hello folks! Welcome to another week of Beatpath Rankings! Like our site’s proprietor, I have to apologize for being late. It’s the holidays, you know. As usual, I am writing these rankings up with no idea what happened in Thursday’s game. Honestly, I forgot that there was a game on Thursday. And that it was Thursday. And what football was. The holidays can be stressful. Let’s get to the rankings.

You can find the graph for this week here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

(Beat GB) The Patriots beat the Packers in a game that was a lot closer than most people thought. I guess Tom Brady’s Star Power ran out or something (are Guitar Hero jokes too old?). The Patriots are now clearly on top of the rankings, far above anyone else, as the clear number one team.

2

82.99

(64 – 0) / 97

#1 – #7

2

(Beat MIN) The Bears beat up Favre and beat down the Vikings, and in doing so take over the number 2 spot in the rankings. Okay, it’s not really their doing, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

3

78.35

(56 – 1) / 97

#2 – #8

3

(Lost to NYJ) So, Pittsburgh lost ground to some teams this week. Why? Well, it is due to their loss to the Jets. That created a four team loop of NYJ=>PIT=>MIA=>GB=>NYJ, and that cost the Steelers’ their win over the Dolphins. That knocks Pittsburgh down a peg, but don’t feel too bad for them–they still have a beatwin over Oakland, the team propping up Miami, so they’re still in good position. And they don’t have any beatlosses to boot!

1

75.26

(49 – 0) / 97

#1 – #10

4

(Lost to BUF) So, the Dolphins manage to lose to the (then) number 28 team and go up a spot? What happened? Well, Miami already had a win over Buffalo, so the loss just created a season split. But, you say, that must have busted up another beatloop somewhere! And it did–it busted up MIA=>BUF=>CLE=>MIA. But then, CLE=>MIA managed to get looped away in a four team beatloop of CLE=>MIA=>GB=>NYJ=>CLE. (You may notice that that loop is dependent on the same MIA=>GB result that the other new four team loop mentioned above uses. It’s Miami’s luck that they’re able to use one win to loop away two losses, to PIT and to CLE). So, long story short, the loss to the Bills costs the Dolphins their win over Green Bay, which is too bad but not so awful because the real money this week is in having a beatpath to Oakland, which they still do. And so they stay high.

5

72.16

(46 – 3) / 97

#3 – #10

5

(Beat DEN) The Raiders take a big jump this week (although not so big in the context of some teams to follow). This jump doesn’t have anything to do with their beating Denver, except in the fact that it’s good for them that they’ve swept the AFC West so far this year. The flipside of which is that they’ve been absolutely horrible against everyone else. At least they know what they have to work on for next year.

14

69.59

(43 – 5) / 97

#5 – #12

6

(Beat NYG) Philadelphia gets into the act of having more teams under them, which has really boosted a lot of teams raw edgepower numbers. But when everyone jumps up, teams don’t really switch that much. That was some classic DeSean Jackson action on that last punt return–the “OH COME ON” when he fumbles it, to the “YOU DUMMY JUST FALL ON IT DON’T TRY TO PICK IT UP AND RETURN IT”, to of course, the “HOLY COW HOW DID THEY LET HIM DO THAT”. I hate to be another fawning voice in the chorus, but that was some good stuff. Admittedly I feel okay saying that knowing that my boy Devin Hester has already proven himself the best returner in NFL history.

7

68.04

(35 – 0) / 97

#1 – #16

7

(Beat SF) So, here’s the first in the group of big jumpers. How did a win over the 49ers give the Chargers such a big boost? Well, it didn’t do all the work, but it helped by looping away San Diego’s loss to St. Louis in a 3 team loop. The rest of the work was done by the team coming up next, who is boosting up the Chargers.

23

67.01

(40 – 7) / 97

#6 – #13

8

(Beat JAC) Okay, so what’s happening here? Well, the Colts beat the Jags for a season split. That broke up a 2 three team loops–one with the Chiefs and one with the Giants. That gave Indianapolis back beatwins over both of them, and some good support to boot. You may remember earlier in the season that the Giants were the pillar of support for the top teams; it seems like that’s coming back, to a point. Certainly, there are other teams providing support to the top–but I’m getting ahead of myself…

25

65.46

(39 – 9) / 97

#7 – #14

9

(Beat SEA) A few weeks ago, beating the Seahawks would have been real news. Now, it means next to nothing for the Falcons. The drop in ranking for the Falcons isn’t because they look worse, it’s because a lot of other teams lined up on top of each other and made themselves look better. I’m still a little afraid that the Falcons have a big flop saved up in them, and I’m worried that they’ll have it in the playoffs. But we’ll see how they handle the Saints this week.

4

63.40

(26 – 0) / 97

#1 – #20

10

(Beat PIT) The win over the Steelers manages to loop away the Jets’ last remaining loss (although it would have happened anyway, but never mind that). I’m looking forward to this weekend’s game (especially now that I don’t have to worry about the Bears losing the division); I think it will show a lot about Mark Sanchez. He couldn’t handle the Patriots’ D, he handled the Steelers’ D…what can he do with the Bears?

13

60.82

(21 – 0) / 97

#1 – #21

11

(Lost to PHI) It’s a New York two-fer in the rankings! For their part, the Giants boosted themselves up a bit by regaining their win over the Jaguars. They had to pay the price of returning under Indianapolis’ thumb, but it seems to have been worth it for now.

9

59.28

(29 – 11) / 97

#9 – #17

12

(Lost to NE) A pretty impressive showing by Matt Flynn, considering what had happened to his predecessors against the Patriots. The loss doesn’t do much to hurt the Packers; rather, they just didn’t get in on the giant tower-stacking everyone else did. Their most impressive win is over the Vikings.

8

58.76

(20 – 3) / 97

#3 – #21

13

(Lost to BAL) The loss gets looped away in a three team loop with the Bengals. That costs the Saints their win over Cincinnati, but they weren’t really using it anyway. The Saints actually look slightly better this week–the improvement of their win over Dallas slightly overshadows the tumble their win over St. Louis took–but it’s way overshadowed by the zooming nature of other teams, so the Saints fall down the rankings.

6

57.73

(15 – 0) / 97

#1 – #23

14

(Beat STL) I have fond memories of Thomas Jones, but how can anyone deny what Jamaal Charles is doing here? It’s not hard guys–one guy is really good and another is a plodding veteran. I’m all for keeping guys fresh, but the Chiefs are splitting the carries 50-50. What up?

11

53.61

(17 – 10) / 97

#8 – #21

15

(Lost to IND) The Jaguars are another team caught up in the middle muck of the graph. There’s not much to say about these guys. In this case, the Jaguars gained a lot from what happened underneath them, but the loss put them under the Giants, so they come out about even.

12

52.58

(18 – 13) / 97

#10 – #21

16

(Beat NO) The thing the Ravens will regret most about this season (if they obsessively follow Beatpaths each week, that is) is losing to the Bengals in week 2. That single loss is soaking up wins over the Dolphins, the Jets, the Bucs, and now this win over the Saints. I can only imagine the chaos coming in week 17, assuming the Ravens get the season split.

15

51.55

(4 – 1) / 97

#2 – #28

17

(Lost to CHI) The Vikings get swept by the Bears, it’s true. But they moved up in the rankings. Why? Because the Bills look better than they used to–but more on that later.

20

48.45

(16 – 19) / 97

#12 – #22

18

(Beat HOU) The season split breaks up a bunch of three team loops for the Titans, but they’re all reinforced by other loops, so the Titans don’t get any wins back. The only benefit for the Titans is that their beatlosses are only to really highly ranked teams, so they don’t have much weighing them down.

19

47.42

(0 – 5) / 97

#5 – #32

19

(Lost to ATL) Another week, and another indication that the Seahawks are not ready for prime time–though Beatpaths clearly has them as the class of the NFC West, for what that’s worth. And I know, they beat my Bears–thank heavens that got looped away finally.

16

43.30

(2 – 15) / 97

#12 – #30

20

(Beat CLE) The Bengals get to move up in the world since the Colts–the team directly above them–rose up so highly. Beating the Browns did little–that loss was already one of the one looped away by the win over Baltimore. So, I guess it might do something if and when they lose the rematch.

29

43.30

(1 – 14) / 97

#9 – #31

21

(Beat WAS) Beating the Redskins earned the Cowboys a season split. That broke up a few three team loops. The one with Indy meant nothing, as the win is still looped away by other loops. But the loops with Detroit and Houston weren’t backstopped, meaning that the Cowboys got wins over those teams back. That actually gave them a lot of a boost, and got them up higher in the rankings.

27

42.27

(12 – 27) / 97

#15 – #24

22

(Lost to CIN) As mentioned before, the loss gets looped away in much the same way, and not much changes for the Browns. It’s interesting that the Browns win over the Patriots hasn’t had the catastrophic effect that the Bengals’ win over the Ravens has had.

22

41.75

(1 – 17) / 97

#13 – #31

23

(Lost to CAR) This loss gets looped away by the Cardinals’ win over the Saints (wow, forgot about that one), which was already looped away multiple times, so no big loss for the Cards. They’re more hurt because the Chiefs (who they are somewhat under) are now under a lot of teams, which piles a lot on top of the Cardinals.

17

41.24

(0 – 17) / 97

#13 – #32

24

(Beat MIA) The season split breaks up a loop with Cleveland, but that win is looped away in other ways, so the Bills gain nothing from this win. They’re benefitting by the surging…Lions? Yes, the Lions propped up the Bills, which makes up for teams being ordered more on top of each other on top of the Bills this week.

28

40.21

(10 – 29) / 97

#15 – #25

25

(Lost to TEN) So, if I’m Gary Kubiak, I’m both worried and pissed that Bill Cowher has flat out said he wants your job next year. Boosting the defense of this team to merely bad could be a huge boost to its chances.

21

33.51

(1 – 33) / 97

#18 – #31

26

(Beat TB) So…didn’t see that coming, did you? After having trouble getting wins together earlier this season, now the Lions are starting to get some. And surprisingly enough, this one sticks for the Lions, which gives them a great deal of support (well, relative to what they had, which was nothing). The Lions are moving up in the world, and in the Beatpath rankings!

30

32.99

(9 – 42) / 97

#18 – #26

27

(Lost to DET) Too bad for the Buccaneers, who crash down the charts. Their value had been tied up in both not having too many teams above them–which is gone now that they’re under the Lions–and the value from their win over the Rams. That’s also not so great anymore, but more on that in a bit.

10

30.41

(8 – 46) / 97

#20 – #27

28

(Lost to KC) Poor Rams. They spent so much time trying to climb up to just mediocrity, and now they’re thrown violently back down the rankings. The problem they have is that they lost their beatpath over the Chargers when the Chargers beat the 49ers and created a 3 team loop. That cost them a lot of their support, and took away any safety net they had. I still like them to take this division, but they’ll have a heck of a time doing anything with it if they get to the playoffs.

18

24.74

(2 – 51) / 97

#21 – #30

29

(Lost to SD) The 49ers are also a victim of the DET=>TB result, sending them down the charts. I’d say that in their case, they deserve it, but really, have they been that worse than the Rams? It sure seems that way, but they’re only a game apart.

24

24.74

(1 – 50) / 97

#21 – #31

30

(Lost to DAL) I didn’t see that game coming, and I even kind of still like Sexy Rexy. Just a little. I know, I know, he wasn’t as good as he seemed, but still, 4 TDs! I bet I could have won a lot of money betting on that beforehand. In any case, this team is cooked and going nowhere. I have no idea what they’re going to do at QB next season. Maybe their karma will kick in and someone else will inexplicably dump a serviceable QB that they can pick up.

26

18.56

(0 – 61) / 97

#24 – #32

31

(Lost to OAK) I still don’t think much of Tebow, but I have to admit he looked pretty good on that draw/scramble for 40 yards and a TD. A lot faster than I thought he was. I still don’t think he’s a NFL passer, and I really don’t think he’ll become one, so the question is whether you can win with that. Of course, the Broncos don’t have to, unless they decide to donate Kyle Orton to the Redskins or something.

31

17.53

(0 – 63) / 97

#24 – #32

32

(Beat ARI) At this point, aren’t Carolina fans mad when their team wins games and moves them possibly off of the number one pick? Unless people don’t want it because they don’t want to hear endless debates of whether to take Andrew Luck or stick with Jimmy Clausen. My suggestion is to do both. Worst case scenario, you have to trade one of them, but you still have a good QB. Well, I guess the worst case scenario is that they both bomb, but in that case you’re screwed either way anyway. Do like Sir Mix-A-Lot and Uh! Double-Up! Uh! Uh!

32

14.95

(0 – 68) / 97

#25 – #32

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