New Look!

So we have a new look now. I had originally been using a wordpress theme that I kind of arbitrarily picked because it had some green grass on it, which reminded me of turf, even though I think it was originally intended to be something of a gardening theme. If anyone seriously misses that look&feel, I think that’s a perfect example of attachment-through-familiarity, I’m not sure there’s really much good reason at all to otherwise appreciate it. 🙂

Nick Bell stepped forward to volunteer his time and effort to get us set up with a new theme, and he’s done a great job suggesting and implementing a theme that is organized, clean, and has a lot of room for future tweaks if we decide to add more functionality to it.

Go ahead and leave any comments about the new design below, we’ll be able to make some adjustments if anyone notices anything wonky. Beyond that, thanks to Nick! And also for everyone’s patience since I think I first noted I’d be putting a new design in place something like two years ago.

2010 NFL Week 13 Beatpaths Power Rankings

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

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

You can see the graph for this week here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

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

2

65.33

(23 – 0) / 75

#1 – #19

2

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

3

64.67

(22 – 0) / 75

#1 – #20

3

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

4

63.33

(20 – 0) / 75

#1 – #18

4

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

7

62.00

(18 – 0) / 75

#1 – #22

5

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

5

61.33

(19 – 2) / 75

#3 – #21

6

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

1

60.67

(16 – 0) / 75

#1 – #21

7

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

6

58.67

(16 – 3) / 75

#4 – #23

8

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

8

56.67

(10 – 0) / 75

#1 – #24

9

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

9

56.00

(9 – 0) / 75

#1 – #24

10

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

15

53.33

(5 – 0) / 75

#1 – #29

11

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

11

52.00

(7 – 4) / 75

#5 – #27

12

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

14

52.00

(6 – 3) / 75

#3 – #27

13

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

21

51.33

(3 – 1) / 75

#2 – #29

14

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

13

50.67

(2 – 1) / 75

#2 – #30

15

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

16

50.67

(3 – 2) / 75

#3 – #29

16

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

17

50.67

(2 – 1) / 75

#2 – #30

17

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

12

50.00

(6 – 6) / 75

#7 – #27

18

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

10

49.33

(0 – 1) / 75

#2 – #32

19

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

18

49.33

(0 – 1) / 75

#2 – #32

20

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

24

48.67

(1 – 3) / 75

#4 – #31

21

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

20

47.33

(0 – 4) / 75

#5 – #32

22

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

30

46.67

(2 – 7) / 75

#5 – #30

23

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

19

46.00

(1 – 7) / 75

#7 – #31

24

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

23

44.67

(3 – 11) / 75

#10 – #29

25

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

25

44.67

(0 – 8) / 75

#8 – #32

26

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

31

44.67

(0 – 8) / 75

#6 – #32

27

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

22

42.67

(0 – 11) / 75

#10 – #32

28

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

32

39.33

(0 – 16) / 75

#12 – #32

29

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

27

38.67

(0 – 17) / 75

#14 – #32

30

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

29

38.67

(0 – 17) / 75

#12 – #32

31

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

26

37.33

(0 – 19) / 75

#11 – #32

32

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

28

32.00

(0 – 27) / 75

#16 – #32

2010 NFL Week 13 Beatpath Graph

A more accurate week, and maybe it’s just me coming around to what beatpaths has been telling me, but this one is the first week where I felt like the upsets really were upsets. The rankings were 12-4 this week. Once again it’s SEA->CHI that is sticking out like a sore thumb. I haven’t taken a close look at the rest of the season, but it seems there has got to be a big rankings shift coming soon.

2010-13-nfl-clean.png

2010 NFL Week 12 Beatpaths Power Rankings

Hey folks! Some interesting moves up and down the rankings this week. Let’s get right to it!

You can find the graph for this week’s rankings here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

(Beat DET) Another week, another win, and the Patriots are on top once again. This is the one Thanksgiving game I didn’t see, but I think it went the way everyone expected.

1

68.31

(26 – 0) / 71

#1 – #16

2

(Beat SEA) Here’s a new face! The Chiefs took out the Seahawks last week, and it benefitted them mightily–it’s the main reason of their support and shoots them all the way up to number 2. I know what you’re thinking–the Seahawks? Really?

12

67.61

(25 – 0) / 71

#1 – #16

3

(Beat JAC) The Giants move up some this week. The boost that the Seahawks gave the Chiefs is also given to the Giants. They already had a good foundation, but beating the Jaguars created a 3 team loop with Indianapolis that looped away their last beatloss.

5

66.90

(24 – 0) / 71

#1 – #17

4

(Beat BUF) The Steelers survive against Buffalo, but beating the Bills doesn’t do much for their power, so they stay about the same.

3

64.08

(20 – 0) / 71

#1 – #19

5

(Lost to KC) Seahawks lose to Kansas City…so why are they ranked so high? Well, they still have a beatwin over Chicago, who’s giving them a giant boost. There’s a lot of path there that seems shaky; we’ll see how long it all holds.

9

63.38

(21 – 2) / 71

#3 – #18

6

(Beat PHI) The Bears get a boost because their win over Philadelphia created a 3 team loop with New York. That split up a 4 team loop that had added Green Bay; essentially, CHI=>PHI=>NYG=>CHI replaced CHI=>GB=>PHI=>NYG=>CHI. That restored CHI=>GB to the graph, which gave Chicago a lot more support. That game more or less played out exactly how I thought it would have to to for the Bears to win–the defense (and the field) was able to prevent Vick from making big plays, and the offense was effective and avoided big mistakes. I still have trouble believing in this team, but I’m getting closer each week.

13

61.27

(19 – 3) / 71

#4 – #20

7

(Beat GB) You’d think that beating a quality team like the Packers would boost the Falcons up the graph, but no. The win gets looped away in a 3 team loop with Philadelphia. Which does loop away the last beatloss the Falcons had, which helps, but they were only under the Eagles, so the lift is light.

6

59.86

(14 – 0) / 71

#1 – #23

8

(Beat CIN) The Jets win over Cincinnati gets looped away in a 3 team loop with Baltimore. What a huge divergence in these teams since last year, huh? In more interesting news, the Jets are meeting the Patriots in the premiere matchup of the week according to Beatpaths–much higher than the also-touted Steelers-Ravens matchup.

7

59.15

(13 – 0) / 71

#1 – #22

9

(Lost to CHI) Well, if you were paying attention, the Eagles lost their beatwin over Atlanta, and that hurt them a good deal. However, they are still without a beatloss, so they have room to grow.

2

57.75

(11 – 0) / 71

#1 – #22

10

(Beat IND) Pretty good win by the Chargers, but I think it is less “the Chargers know how to beat Manning” and more “the Colts have been off all season and now people are coming to terms with that”. In either case, this win is looped away in three team loop with the Chiefs.

10

55.63

(9 – 1) / 71

#2 – #23

11

(Lost to ATL) As mentioned, this loss gets looped away by their win over the Eagles, which was had been looped away before, so no change. The Packers drop because they now have teams above them. They also lost a beatwin over Minnesota in a 3 team loop with Washington. Yes, the Redskins beat the Packers! I had to look it up myself.

8

53.52

(9 – 4) / 71

#5 – #25

12

(Beat OAK) Beating the Raiders gives Miami a shiny new beatwin. As you can see, it’s really not doing much right now.

11

53.52

(11 – 6) / 71

#7 – #23

13

(Lost to NYG) Jags loop away the loss with their win over the Colts, which had already been looped away. It’s results like that that make me think the paths are going to get interesting once we start finishing up the divisional games.

16

53.52

(8 – 3) / 71

#4 – #24

14

(Lost to BAL) This loss is actually looped away in a 3 team loop with Cincinnati–but unlike so many of those, it wasn’t already looped away. Meaning that the Buccaneers lost a path to the Bengals. Now they to host the Falcons. Good luck fellas–I still got your back.

14

52.82

(6 – 2) / 71

#3 – #27

15

(Beat DAL) Saints keep the win over Dallas, but they lose their win over the 49ers when the 49ers beat the Cardinals. So they get a win over a team with no beatwins and lose one. It all adds up to another week with no beatlosses but no real impressive wins and place in the middle of the rankings again.

15

52.11

(3 – 0) / 71

#1 – #30

16

(Lost to SD) Wowie! What a drop for the Colts! Well, they lost their win over the Giants as previously mentioned, and that win contained a lot of the value that the Colts had, so here they are. They’ll come back if they can recapture that win, which they’ve done before in this season.

4

51.41

(3 – 1) / 71

#2 – #29

17

(Beat TB) The Ravens don’t have their rematch with the Bengals until the last week of the season. I’m a little scared of the loop chaos that matchup could unleash.

17

51.41

(2 – 0) / 71

#1 – #30

18

(Beat TEN) Houston sheds a loss to the Giants by beating the Titans. Sometimes, I forget things that have happened in this year. The Titans beat the Giants? Seems like ages ago.

21

49.30

(0 – 1) / 71

#2 – #32

19

(Lost to NYJ) I don’t know what more to say about the Bengals. Their coach is dead meat, their QB looks done. Um. How about Cedric Benson? Are they going to continue riding that train for seasons to come?

24

47.89

(1 – 4) / 71

#4 – #31

20

(Lost to SF) Green Bay has the Lambeau Leap. Pittsburgh has the Terrible Towels. I am hoping that this signifies the starting of a tradition in Arizona of irate, barely comprehensible rants after embarrassing losses on Monday Night Football.

22

47.18

(0 – 4) / 71

#5 – #32

21

(Lost to MIA) It seems like there might be some promise of hope in Oakland. But I’m just not sure I believe they can take another step. The first thing, I guess, would be to stabilize the QB situation, but can you trust the guys who drafted JaMarcus Russell to do that?

18

46.48

(3 – 8) / 71

#8 – #29

22

(Beat ARI) I guess I see now what the hype about the 49ers was. With halfway decent QB play, they look more than capable of beating NFC West teams. Still, not much to write home about. And congratulations for taking over half the season to find someone!

23

46.48

(0 – 5) / 71

#5 – #32

23

(Beat WAS) As mentioned, the Vikings got rid of a beatloss to Green Bay with the win, as well as one to Chicago. But they’re still under a lot of teams and have little to their name. And if AP is hurt…

25

45.77

(5 – 11) / 71

#10 – #27

24

(Beat CAR) Considering the records, I guess that game could have been predicted to be close. But given how these teams have played, I thought that game was way too close for the Browns. Did enjoy the Peyton Hillis steamrolling of the Carolina guy on that TD run, though.

26

45.77

(1 – 7) / 71

#8 – #31

25

(Lost to HOU) Tennesssee continues an amazing fall-they were at number 4 only two weeks ago! Now, they have no beatwins and they’re under the Dolphins due to MIA=>TEN=>NYG=>CHI=>MIA being broken up by the smaller CHI=>PHI=>NYG=>CHI beatloop. And, they suck at fighting. Bad times in Tennessee.

19

44.37

(0 – 8) / 71

#8 – #32

26

(Lost to PIT) Ouch. Just, ouch. How many ways can the Bills find to lose close games late? I really feel for Steve Johnson. He’s done a lot to help that team, so I feel like he should get a small pass for that, but man, that was tough to see.

27

40.14

(4 – 18) / 71

#13 – #28

27

(Lost to NO) As far as Beatpaths is concerned, the Jason Garrett era looks a lot like the Wade Phillips one. Although to be fair, Garrett is dealing with the baggage accumulated by Phillips.

29

36.62

(0 – 19) / 71

#15 – #32

28

(Lost to CLE) I don’t know that I have anything for this team. Are people still floating Bill Cowher rumors?

28

32.39

(0 – 25) / 71

#18 – #32

29

(Lost to NE) Lions lose another one. There’s no real shame in losing to the Patriots, but the Lions are going to feel mighty sore if they end this season with only 2 wins. Just so long as they don’t start picking up the Ws this week.

30

32.39

(3 – 28) / 71

#15 – #29

30

(Beat DEN) Rams pick up a second beatwin on the season! Unfortunately, they’re still under the Raiders and Lions, which is hurting them more than any wins so far have helped them.

31

26.06

(2 – 36) / 71

#19 – #30

31

(Lost to MIN) So who are the Redskins going to overpay in free agency this year? Why not complete the circle and get TO?

32

23.94

(0 – 37) / 71

#20 – #32

32

(Lost to STL) The Broncos hit the bottom after losing to the Rams. I have to say, I feel bad for Beatpaths proprietor ThunderThumbs but I hate Josh McDaniels, so overall I’m slightly happy.

20

21.13

(0 – 41) / 71

#22 – #32

2010 NFL Week 11 Beatpaths Power Rankings

Ah…Thanksgiving weekend. A time for traditions. Gathering with family, turkey dinner, and watching NFL games. Waiitt…NFL games? Consarnit! I’m late with the rankings!

Well, another Thanksgiving tradition goes on–Beatpath Rankings after the Thanksgiving games. But you can enjoy with me as we discuss what the rankings looked like before Thursday. Enjoy!

You can see this week’s graph here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

(Beat IND) Big win by the Patriots last week, but I wonder if the emotion of that and the short week is going to cause a trap with their upcoming game against the Lions. Oh wait! I already know it didn’t. This win gives a direct beatpath for New England to Indianapolis, and that makes them the clear best team in the league, as opposed to last week.

1

72.46

(31 – 0) / 69

#1 – #13

2

(Beat NYG) Through a complicated set of events, the Eagles jump above their Pennsylvanian brethren to take the #2 spot this week. How did they accomplish that? Through a little work of their own, and a little help. They got help from the Redskins beating the Titans, which created a 4 team beatloop of PHI=>IND=>WAS=>TEN=>PHI, which removed their beatloss to the Titans. But that broke up a larger loop from last week of PHI=>IND=>NYG=>CHI=>GB=>PHI, which meant that GB=>PHI was due to come back into the graph. Or, it WOULD have, except that Philly beat the Giants this week, letting them turn the PHI=>IND=>NYG segment in the 5 team loop from last week into simply PHI=>NYG, making a new 4 team loop of PHI=>NYG=>CHI=>GB=>PHI. So, GB=>PHI stays out of the graph, and TEN=>PHI leaves too. It all adds up to Philadelphia having no beatlosses and rising to #2 in the rankings this week.

6

65.94

(22 – 0) / 69

#1 – #19

3

(Beat OAK) Pittsburgh tumbled a bit this week, mainly because it’s two big pieces of support–MIA and TEN–both had their own problems. More on those guys later. But even without that, they’re still highly ranked. But Edgepower now clearly sees them as inferior to the Patriots, as opposed to last week when they were almost even.

2

63.77

(19 – 0) / 69

#1 – #19

4

(Lost to NE) Another reason why the Patriots look better this week is that the Colts, who they just got a path to, are also looking better this week. Do you know why? I’ve already hinted at it…okay, here’s the reason. It’s in the breakup of that 5 team loop from before (PHI=>IND=>NYG=>CHI=>GB=>PHI). The PHI=>IND=>NYG segment got pulled out and put back in the graph. Now, we know that Indianapolis looped away the loss to Philly with a win over Washington, but they kept the win over the Giants. And that gave back a lot of support to the Colts, and so they rise up the rankings.

13

63.04

(19 – 1) / 69

#2 – #18

5

(Lost to PHI) Big Blue’s loss to Philly hurts them in that it puts the Colts on top of them, it’s true. But they got some help from another source–my Chicago Bears! Yes, the Bears beating Miami created a four team loop of CHI=>MIA=>TEN=>NYG=>CHI. That loops away the Giants loss to Tennessee, which gets a lot of teams out from on top of them. So, they gain a little, and lose a little, and end up in about the same place.

5

59.42

(15 – 2) / 69

#3 – #21

6

(Beat STL) Atlanta rising this week as well, due to their being no teams on top of Philly (the only team they’re under). I feel like people were underrating the Falcons earlier this season, and now they’re overcompensating. I like the Falcons, I’m just not sure I see them getting things done in the playoffs.

12

58.70

(13 – 1) / 69

#2 – #24

7

(Beat HOU) The win over the Texans gives little help the Jets, and they basically tread water. I mistakenly thought that beating the Texans would win, but I misread the little lines in the graph. They’re tricky buggers, they is! As for the Jets…Beatpaths is (notoriously) score-agnostic, game-situation-agnostic, whatever-you-can-think-of-that-isn’t-wins-and-losses-agnostic, so it still believes in the Jets. Personally, I’d like to see them win games without pulling it out at the end–oh, look what happened on Thanksgiving!

7

57.97

(11 – 0) / 69

#1 – #23

8

(Beat MIN) Lots of things happened around the Packers, but not much happened TO the Packers, and so they stay about the same. Big game this weekend at the Georgia Dome, though. Go Falcons!

9

56.52

(9 – 0) / 69

#1 – #26

9

(Lost to NO) The loss to New Orleans is looped away in a 3 team loop with Arizona, which was a win that the Seahawks had already looped away last week, so no change for the Seahawks.

8

55.80

(11 – 3) / 69

#4 – #23

10

(Beat DEN) Well, there is SOME change for Seattle–they no longer have a beatwin over San Diego, who jumps up the charts as a result. The win over Denver caused a 3 team loop that blew away that loss, and now the Chargers are only under the Patriots. Still, they don’t have much support at the moment, so this is as far as they get. Win some more, and they’ll look better. And I’ll be impressed. I have no idea how they’re doing this well with a passing attack cobbled out of Phillip Rivers and spare parts at WR.

17

54.35

(7 – 1) / 69

#2 – #25

11

(Lost to CHI) Big drop for the Dolphins, as the loss to the Bears cost them their path to the Titans. Not that that looks impressive now–well, more about that when we get to the Titans. It’s an unfortunate fact of Beatpaths–and more objective stats-based rankings–that they don’t tend to distinguish between different iterations of a team. Certainly the Miami team that was out last Thursday wasn’t the same one that had been playing up to that point. Although, why did they try to pass so much? I don’t know that running would have helped–the Bears were stopping the run pretty well–but why try to win it with your third string QB missing his top target (in the second half) behind a patchwork line?

3

53.62

(7 – 2) / 69

#3 – #26

12

(Beat ARI) The Chiefs’ win over Arizona is looped away in a 3 team loop with Oakland, which is a loss they had already shed. And the search for quality wins continues for Kansas City.

11

53.62

(5 – 0) / 69

#1 – #27

13

(Beat MIA) Bears do a lot of damage to other team’s paths, but not much to their own–they’re still about where they were. I, for one, am not fearing the Vickopalypse. I think the Bears have a fast defense that will do a good job at keeping Vick contained (the lousy Soldier Field turf will help, too). They’ve done so in the past. I know Vick is a better passer now, but I still think the Bears can limit them. The way to beat the Bears defense is to either overpower them in the run or to methodically slice them up with small plays marching down the field. I don’t think either of those are strong points of the Eagles–I think of them as a big-play machine, although I could be wrong. The real issue will be when the Bears’ have the ball–if they can move the ball against the Eagles’ formidable defense without turning it over, then it will be a game.

15

53.62

(9 – 4) / 69

#5 – #25

14

(Beat SF) The Buccaneers now have a beatwin over the 49ers. That and a quarter will get you a phone call. Wait, is that right anymore? What does a payphone call cost now? I haven’t used one in ages. I don’t even see them around. What’s the new phrase? I’m old.

18

52.90

(7 – 3) / 69

#4 – #27

15

(Beat SEA) Much like the Seahawks, this game quickly disappeared into oblivion for the Saints. At least next week I’ll have a thrilling game to talk about for the Saints even if it gets swallowed hole by loops.

14

52.17

(3 – 0) / 69

#1 – #30

16

(Beat CLE) Jacksonville adds a third beatwin to their stable, but the real news is the rise of the Chargers and Eagles, both of whom give the Jaguars some room to breathe. Oh, and they’re in first place in their division, which is pretty nice, too. I guess.

21

52.17

(6 – 3) / 69

#4 – #26

17

(Beat CAR) The Ravens fall some more, but it’s not their fault. Well, I guess it’s their fault that they lost to Cincinnati earlier this year–a loss which continues to haunt them. Since the Bengals lost to the Bills this week, it created a 3 team loop and the Ravens lose their win over Buffalo. They get a win over Carolina, though…until the Bengals lose to them too.

10

51.45

(2 – 0) / 69

#1 – #30

18

(Lost to PIT) Oakland gets a beatloss again with the loss. Looks like it’s still going to be some time before they’re playing with the big boys.

16

50.72

(2 – 1) / 69

#2 – #30

19

(Lost to WAS) So, the Titans. They had a beatpath to the Giants. Now they don’t. They were ranked number 4. Now they’re number 19. These are not unrelated. Now they’re trying to win with a QB named Rusty Smith. That sounds more like a NASCAR driver than a starting QB. But don’t worry, Randy Moss is here!

4

50.00

(1 – 1) / 69

#2 – #31

20

(Lost to SD) The loss to the Chargers gets looped away–twice–by wins that they Broncos had already lost, so they don’t lose much here. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Broncos aren’t really much worse than the Chiefs or Raiders, they just had the misfortune/decency to show it at the beginning of the season.

19

47.10

(0 – 4) / 69

#5 – #32

21

(Lost to NYJ) I guess we now know that Revis > Andre Johnson, which is surprising to me.

20

47.10

(0 – 4) / 69

#5 – #32

22

(Lost to KC) This loss gets looped away by the Cardinals win over the Raiders, which went bye-bye a long time ago. Is Larry Fitzgerald in a Jared Allen in Kansas City situation here? I have to say that I’m skeptical that Arizona is going to get quality QB play in the next 2 years.

25

45.65

(0 – 6) / 69

#7 – #32

23

(Lost to TB) For some reason I have a memory of the 49ers being favored against the Buccaneers, which is just ridiculous to me. But I can’t seem to figure out what the odds were. In any case–when are people going to give up on the 49ers? Come on folks.

24

44.93

(0 – 7) / 69

#6 – #32

24

(Lost to BUF) In fairness, it’s my understanding that the Bengals lost 2 of their starters in the defensive secondary during the course of this game, and that’s when it went from “Bengals in control” to “Wild West Shootout and Cincinnati brought a knife”. I guess I’m not surprised that this season has gone this way for the Bengals. I just am continually surprised that last season went so well for them. I assume Marvin Lewis is gone, right?

26

44.93

(1 – 8) / 69

#7 – #31

25

(Lost to GB) Now, at least people have the decency to mostly ignore the 49ers. The only difference between San Francisco and this team is the amount of Wrangler Jeans commercials made by team members. Bench the Favre!

22

44.20

(4 – 12) / 69

#10 – #28

26

(Lost to JAC) Wow, I’m completely off the reservation here. But that’s what happens when you get to the point of the rankings when you’re talking about bad teams that don’t really move much in the rankings. Cleveland really looks okay to me, though. I’m sending them good thoughts for next year. Although if you look at the past 20+ Bears season, that probably doesn’t bode well. At least the Heat are losing.

23

44.20

(0 – 8) / 69

#8 – #32

27

(Beat CIN) I like what’s going on in Buffalo but I still think they should draft a QB this year. Because I don’t know that this isn’t just a Kitna effect (remember Cincinnati?) year for Fitzpatrick. And even if it isn’t, it’s always nice to have a young backup, just in case you need it. Just look at Green Bay.

27

40.58

(3 – 16) / 69

#14 – #29

28

(Lost to BAL) Man, this team has fallen apart. I feel like there’s talent here, but you certainly can’t see it.

29

36.23

(0 – 19) / 69

#13 – #32

29

(Beat DET) I’m sort of glad that the Cowboys ended up losing on Thanksgiving, because now we don’t have to hear endless stories about how the three game winning streak proves that “The Cowboys Are Back” and “Jason Garrett Is For Realz Yo”. Although I don’t suppose a 3 point loss to the Saints is going to stop anyone from writing those stories.

28

34.78

(0 – 21) / 69

#15 – #32

30

(Lost to DAL) Now we get to the “I don’t really think these teams are this bad” part of the rankings. Which I guess just consists of Detroit and St. Louis. Still, at some point you have to start winning games. Look at Seattle. I don’t think they’re any more talented than these teams, but they’ve won some games.

30

31.88

(2 – 27) / 69

#16 – #30

31

(Lost to ATL) The Rams can’t even use the excuse of “Seattle plays in a much worse division than us”. They’re in the same division! Take advantage of the situation Rams.

31

25.36

(1 – 35) / 69

#20 – #31

32

(Beat TEN) Well, beating the Titans sure caused some havoc WAAAY up the graph, but the Redskins can’t really see it from here. Who knows, though–if the Redskins win some more…ah, forget it. I don’t even want to try to imagine it.

32

23.91

(0 – 36) / 69

#21 – #32

2010 NFL Week 10 Beatpaths Power Rankings

Hey folks! Kenneth here with more rankings! We’ve got some another new team on top of the rankings this week. Let’s get right to it!

You can see this week’s graph here.

Rank Team Notes Last Week EdgePower

1

(Beat PIT) The Patriots take the top spot this week. They don’t get credit for the win over the Steelers–it gets looped away by their loss to the Browns, which was already looped away by their win over the Ravens. Still, that game definitely made it seem like they were better than Pittsburgh; literally every time I turned it on, the Patriots were scoring (I seriously had the best TV turning-on-luck that night).

7

83.33

(44 – 0) / 66

#1 – #10

2

(Lost to NE) Steelers slip to number 2 this week. A Pittsburgh/NE game looks even more interesting now that they’re the top two spots in beatpaths. If you look at the graph you’ll see that the Steelers and Patriots look very similar. That’s true; the differences are hidden in the final, pretty version of the graph, but New England has slightly better redundant links to teams, and more of them (Pittsburgh has more wins looped out). But the two teams are pretty close to equal in the Beatpaths world.

1

81.82

(42 – 0) / 66

#1 – #10

3

(Beat TEN) One thing making the Pats and Steelers look equal is that they’re both sitting on top of the Dolphins, who take the number 3 spot in the rankings. I’ll be honest, I am surprised that Miami is this high–I would not have expected it offhand. But their only losses seem to be to good teams (Ravens, Jets, Pats & Steelers), which can make their W/L record deceiving at first glance.

11

78.03

(39 – 2) / 66

#3 – #11

4

(Lost to MIA) Of course, the foundation for those Dolphins are the Titans, who hold them up nicely. Sometimes EdgePower tells you things that straight rankings don’t. In this week it’s telling us that there are 4 elite teams at the top that are far above everyone else. Not that the Titans are very close to the Patriots, but they’re much closer than anyone below them is to them. Put it this way–in terms of Edgepower, the dropoff from 4 to 5 (Giants) is bigger than the dropoff from 5 to 20.

3

74.24

(36 – 4) / 66

#4 – #12

5

(Lost to DAL) On that note, the Giants lead the “best of the rest” category (otherwise known as “the NFC”). The loss the Cowboys just causes a season split, which is not so bad as they still have paths to Dallas. The Giants are actually pretty much equal with the Eagles, which should make this week’s game pretty interesting.

4

60.61

(19 – 5) / 66

#5 – #19

6

(Beat WAS) And here are those Eagles! I told you they were about equal. Philadelphia is the first team do something really interesting loop-wise this week. Their win over the Redskins gave them a season split. That broke up two 3-team beatloops relying on the WAS=>PHI result, one with Detroit and one with Indy. Philadelphia kept the win over Detroit, but the win over Indianapolis ended up in a larger beatloop (our first loop of >3 teams in awhile). I know Vick was amazing on Monday night, but didn’t anyone stop to think “geez, this Redskin defense really looks terrible”?

10

60.61

(19 – 5) / 66

#5 – #19

7

(Beat CLE) The Jets manage to avoid tying the Browns, barely. Still, the Browns are not considered a quality team by Beatpaths, leaving the Jets in their old position of not having any impressive wins (that are not looped away). But they still have no beatlosses, so they can rise as soon as they beat a good team. Houston this weekend would suffice (assuming there’s not some other loop waiting to happen I’m not seeing).

9

57.58

(10 – 0) / 66

#1 – #24

8

(Beat ARI) Seattle drops some, not due to anything much of their own doing, but mainly due to their beatwin over my beloved Bears holding less value this week. Since I live in St. Louis I’m pulling for the Rams to win this atrocity of a division, but I have to admit that my head is liking the Seahawks right now.

5

56.82

(15 – 6) / 66

#6 – #21

9

(Bye) So, you might notice that this is the first rankings in awhile where Green Bay shows up before Chicago. That’s because of the aforementioned Philly and Washington season split. That broke up the WAS=>PHI=>IND=>WAS loop, meaning that PHI=>IND survived later into the elimination process. It didn’t survive forever, though–it was eventually used to create a 5 team loop of PHI=>IND=>NYG=>CHI=>GB=>PHI. That lead Philly to shed its beatloss to Green Bay, but it also meant that Green Bay got rid of its only beatloss–to Chicago. That caused a great rift in the graph–instead of teams being generally ordered together in one long line, two piles (of a sort) were created, with the Giants on top of one and the Eagles on top of the other. The 4 elite teams mentioned above are the ones with the paths to both piles, which is what makes them so much more (Edge)powerful than everyone else. Anyway, long story short is that the Packers are left with no beatlosses but only beatwins to unimpressive teams, so they are now squarely in Jets-land. This weekend won’t help much, as they already have a win over the Favres.

8

56.06

(8 – 0) / 66

#1 – #26

10

(Lost to ATL) Ravens loop away this loss in a 3 team loop with Pittsburgh, a win which they had already lost before. I liked that Roddy White admitted to pushing off on that touchdown play–I don’t know that he meant to cheat on the play, and I think it’s just best to admit when a call (or non-call) goes your way.

14

53.79

(5 – 0) / 66

#1 – #27

11

(Lost to DEN) What the hell, Chiefs? Seriously? This loss doesn’t cost the Chiefs anything they hadn’t already looped away. I thought the Chiefs were in a bad position when they had a lot of wins over unimpressive teams. Now they’ve started acquiring losses to unimpressive teams. Not an improvement, guys.

15

53.79

(5 – 0) / 66

#1 – #27

12

(Beat BAL) This win loops away the Falcons’ loss to Pittsburgh, which is nice but as There’s No Shame In Losing To The Steelers it’s not so big a deal. Atlanta is one of the spokes of the Philadelphia pile, so what they really need to do to continue moving up the rankings is get their hands on some other parts of the pile.

16

53.79

(11 – 6) / 66

#6 – #24

13

(Beat CIN) More fallout from the Vickalypse–the new 5 team loop removes the Colts win over the Giants, which it turns out was a large part of their ranking. The Colts are now over Denver, Cincinnati, Carolina, and Washington. Yuck. Still, my eyes tell me not to count out the Colts anytime soon.

2

53.03

(4 – 0) / 66

#1 – #28

14

(Bye) No big change for NO. I guess they’re supposed to get Reggie Bush back, which should be nice. What inquiring fantasy owners want to know is when is Pierre Thomas coming back, for crying out loud?

12

52.27

(3 – 0) / 66

#1 – #30

15

(Beat MIN) Bears get swept up in the new 5 team loop, which takes away their win over the Packers. We had talked about that being a real vulnerability for them (and other teams on top of them) for awhile, and now it happened. I know Cutler had a pretty good game last week, but it seemed to me like all of his good passes came when he held onto the ball and/or scrambled out of the pocket and made plays to receivers who had broken off their routes and were in free-play mode. Which is to say, I didn’t see any of the timing-based, throw-to-the-spot plays that are supposed to be the main part of a Mike Martz offense. So I think that the real reason Cutler did well is that the Minnesota front four couldn’t get to him (they didn’t blitz at all), and he had lots of time to work with. All of which means I wouldn’t be surprised to see them fall flat on their face against a team with more and better blitzes. I’m hopeful they won’t, of course, but not optimistic.

6

51.52

(9 – 7) / 66

#7 – #25

16

(Bye) The downside of me writing this thing is that I have a lot less to say about AFC teams. And I have nothing to say about a team that didn’t play anyone and didn’t change any of their direct paths. And yet, I still squeezed fifty one words out of it.

13

51.52

(2 – 0) / 66

#1 – #30

17

(Bye) Hey, I used up that no-comment-bye bit on a team right before this one. Guess I should have looked ahead to see what was coming up. Speaking of which, I guess the Chargers have the Broncos this week. Maybe that will shed some light on the AFC West.

18

48.48

(6 – 8) / 66

#7 – #26

18

(Beat CAR) The Buccaneers beat a team they really should beat. That may not sound like much, but for a young team that is on the upswing it’s important for them to get used to doing that.

20

48.48

(6 – 8) / 66

#7 – #28

19

(Beat KC) This win gets looped away in a 3 team loop with San Francisco, who was already looped away for Denver, so no real boost to their chances. In the Beatpaths world. In the real world, it just makes it look like anyone can win the AFC West. The Broncos may not qualify as much, but they do fit the criteria of “anyone”.

17

47.73

(0 – 3) / 66

#4 – #32

20

(Lost to JAC) The Texans lose the Only One Of You Can Be Considered Serious This Season Bowl to the Jaguars. This loss gets looped away in a three team loop with the Chiefs, which was a win already looped away for the Texans so it doesn’t hurt them that much. Except maybe for pride. I feel like if one of these teams was actually going to be serious, they should have stomped the other one.

19

45.45

(0 – 6) / 66

#6 – #32

21

(Beat HOU) Just as the Texans get no damages from the loss, the Jaguars get no benefit from the win. And we’re once again left with 2 teams ranked right next to each other the week after they play each other, although this one is infinitely less interesting than a Steelers-Patriots rematch would be. Although, considering the relative closeness of the two games, maybe not.

23

45.45

(5 – 11) / 66

#9 – #27

22

(Lost to CHI) The Vikings offense is down to Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson. It’s basically the Panthers offense from 2005, except Steve Smith is better than Harvin and Peterson is better than whoever Carolina had. But anyway, you put two guys on Harvin and 8 guys in the box to stop AP and you’re done. Now, three years ago when Peterson was first coming in the league, he’d beat those 8 man fronts easily. I don’t think he’s slowed down in year 4; I think this is just a clear indication that Steve Hutchinson and the vaunted Vikings offensive line is not playing at a high level anymore.

21

43.94

(4 – 12) / 66

#10 – #28

23

(Lost to NYJ) I really thought the Browns were going to pull this one out. Just as well; I wasn’t really interested in Return of the Mangenius anyway.

25

43.18

(0 – 9) / 66

#9 – #32

24

(Beat STL) Put me firmly in the “no PI” camp in this game; I don’t think you can claim that the receiver would have stopped, turned, and gotten back around to that ball. In any case, this game gets looped away in a 3 team loop with Seattle, which was a loss the 49ers had already looped away, so no cookies for you, San Francisco.

32

43.18

(0 – 9) / 66

#8 – #32

25

(Lost to SEA) Not that the Green Bay front office needs any more validation. But I feel like the situation in Arizona this year really validates the way they handled the Favre situation. They had a chance to continue having high quality QB play, and they went for it instead of continuing a love affair with a hero. Now, I’m not saying that the Cardinals should have ditched Warner earlier–far from it. Just that a good QB can mask a lot of problems, and it’s very hard to replace one of those. The Cardinals obviously couldn’t, and it’s not exactly their fault–it’s hard to do! But they’re obviously suffering this season because of it.

22

42.42

(0 – 10) / 66

#9 – #32

26

(Lost to IND) So is the plan to draft a QB this year? Certainly you can’t keep waiting for Palmer to turn it around, right?

26

41.67

(1 – 12) / 66

#9 – #31

27

(Beat DET) Hooray! The Bills finally got a win! And hooray, it wasn’t against my Bears!

28

37.12

(3 – 20) / 66

#15 – #29

28

(Beat NYG) You’ll notice I discreetly avoided bringing up my proclamation that the Giants were the best team in the NFC. Yes, I’ve eliminated all evidence. Wait…doh! Anyway, this win for the Cowboys just creates a season split with the Giants.

30

33.33

(0 – 22) / 66

#14 – #32

29

(Lost to TB) So DeAngelo (I hope I capitalized that correctly) Williams is out for the season, apparently. I’d say “too bad”, but really, is it too bad that he’s not out there in this complete abomination of a season? Save yourself while you can, dude.

31

33.33

(0 – 22) / 66

#14 – #32

30

(Lost to BUF) Losing to the Bills drops the Lions below them and down in the rankings. I knew the Bills were too good to go 0fer, but I’m a little surprised they beat the Lions. I keep feeling like the Lions should have more wins than they do. It’s getting a bit worrying that they’re not pulling some of these out. I mean that in a generic unbiased opinion sort of way; as a fan of a team that has to play them twice each year, I’m okay with it.

24

28.79

(2 – 30) / 66

#17 – #30

31

(Lost to SF) I guess this Bradford kid still has some things to learn, yet.

27

23.48

(1 – 36) / 66

#21 – #31

32

(Lost to PHI) It’s nice that with the Raiders looking decent the Redskins have stepped up to try and make up the lack of crazy incompetence in the league. I don’t care if the contract could be voided tomorrow, I still thought it was weird to make any deal right then.

29

21.21

(0 – 38) / 66

#23 – #32