The Knish’s NFL Power Rankings: Week Seven

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The Knish's NFL Power Rankings- Week Seven

Each week I publish the model’s rankings in the following categories: Projected Final Standings, Overall (Power), Quarterback, and Offense and Defense. 

Predictive analytics in the NFL involves a constant battle with the sample size. We finally have a sufficient sample size that the numbers are stabilizing. This data is now fully incorporated into the model.

Projected Final Standings:

These projections take into consideration current record, health, and remaining schedule. On Fridays, I post the Futures Market version of this chart with available values. 

TeamDivisionProj. WinsTo Make PlayoffsWin DivisionWin ConferenceWin Super Bowl
CardinalsNFC West13.6998.00%70.00%29.50%11.00%
BuccaneersNFC South12.9897.00%84.00%25.50%15.50%
RavensAFC North12.3392.50%66.00%30.50%11.00%
BillsAFC East12.0497.00%93.50%25.00%13.50%
RamsNFC West11.9593.00%27.50%13.50%8.00%
CowboysNFC East11.9394.00%90.50%12.00%6.50%
PackersNFC North11.8190.50%80.50%11.00%6.00%
ChargersAFC West10.5376.50%41.50%9.00%3.50%
TitansAFC South10.2386.00%80.50%8.00%3.00%
ChiefsAFC West9.9870.00%30.00%7.00%5.00%
SaintsNFC South9.6254.50%12.00%3.00%2.00%
RaidersAFC West9.4660.50%22.00%5.00%2.00%
BrownsAFC North9.4056.50%18.00%6.00%3.50%
BengalsAFC North9.1150.00%13.00%4.50%1.50%
VikingsNFC North8.1739.50%15.00%1.65%1.00%
49ersNFC West8.0831.50%2.00%1.10%0.90%
BroncosAFC West7.9724.50%5.50%0.65%0.15%
SteelersAFC North7.8122.50%3.50%0.85%0.70%
ColtsAFC South7.7633.00%17.00%1.15%0.90%
SeahawksNFC West7.7622.00%0.95%0.55%0.75%
FalconsNFC South7.4817.50%2.00%Close to 0Close to 0
BearsNFC North7.3518.50%4.50%Close to 0Close to 0
PanthersNFC South7.2915.50%2.50%Close to 0Close to 0
EaglesNFC East7.0416.50%5.00%Close to 0Close to 0
PatriotsAFC East6.9919.50%5.00%0.65%0.20%
WashingtonNFC East6.019.50%4.00%Close to 0Close to 0
DolphinsAFC East5.815.00%1.00%Close to 0Close to 0
GiantsNFC East5.082.50%0.80%Close to 0Close to 0
JetsAFC East5.033.00%0.75%Close to 0Close to 0
JaguarsAFC South4.462.00%1.35%Close to 0Close to 0
TexansAFC South4.171.50%1.00%Close to 0Close to 0
LionsNFC North2.19Close to 0Close to 0Close to 0Close to 0

Strength of Schedule 

Ideally, you want to be a good team on the far right of the chart. Teams on the right have easier remaining schedules. They also have the biggest disparities from the schedule they have played, and the one they will play.

The teams on the right have already played the toughest part of their schedule. 

Power Rankings (RES):

You can use the power rankings to produce a raw expected spread (RES) on a neutral field by combining the numbers for any two teams. The RES does not account for the scheme employed by each team. Thus the model’s ultimate prediction may differ.

Remember, the RES does not make any accounting of home-field advantage. The model disagrees strongly with the commonly-held belief that home-field advantage is worth 3 points. The model adjusts its home field advantage weekly based on numerous factors, including rest, and recent travel. The model also includes its own advantage based on whether a team is traveling east or west. No team in the league has ever received more than 2.13 points for home-field advantage.  

You can also use the RES to find value in the look-ahead lines for next week. 

Quarterback Rankings:

The quarterback rankings are an objective measure which I named Total Passer Rating. There is no perfect score. However, I have never seen a quarterback finish the season with a ranking over 14. As with any ranking, it is subject to some disagreement. Generally, I think we will all agree with the broad strokes. The model uses these rankings in developing its power rankings, offensive efficiency rankings, and simulations of every game. 

RANKPlayerTPR Adj.Comment
1Matthew Stafford13.73He is quietly proving all the detractors wrong.
2Tom Brady13.30He is the MVP frontrunner. Just sensational. Although, it looked to me like something was off on the final drive of the first half and throughout the second half.
3Patrick Mahomes13.23He is not having a great year by his standards, but he is still third on this list.
4Tyrod Taylor13.09Returning soon!
5Kyler Murray12.93He has been sensational. He is the most electric player in the NFL.
6Josh Allen12.60Not his best performance on Monday night.
7Justin Herbert12.32It was a bad game on a big stage. Nothing more and nothing less.
8Aaron Rodgers12.29After the first game, he was at the bottom of this list. Now he is back in his rightful place.
9Derek Carr11.99No Gruden, no problem. I expect Carr to continue to excel all season.
10Russell Wilson11.98Out until after the bye week.
11Lamar Jackson11.95What he did in 6 quarters starting with the second half last Monday and through the Chargers game was nothing short of amazing.
12Dak Prescott11.87Quietly putting together a season worthy of MVP discussion. He has the weapons. Collins is returning to right tackle. The issues are his calf, Smith, and penalties.
13Kirk Cousins11.45I like him far more than most. I think he is capable of far more than Minnesota allows him to show.
14Joe Burrow11.28Big game last week for the Bengals to put their stamp on the season in a rout. Bigger one this weekend. They beat up on a lesser opponent. Now the question is can they change with a better opponent. They are going up in weight class this week.
15Carson Wentz11.27A solid bounce-back year from him. This is where the model said he would be – middle of the pack. Nowhere near his one outlier season, nowhere near as bad as last season.
16Jameis Winston11.15A week off, and now a weak secondary. If Winston is ever going to change the narrative he has to be the quarterback that can win you games with his immense arm talent.
17Ryan Tannehill11.06I still think the Arthur Smith offense suited his skills much better. But he got a big win and they are going to be in the division race all season.
18Teddy Bridgewater10.98The run of weeks against weak defenses ended two weeks ago and Teddy has fallen from the top 3 to the middle of the pack as expected.
19Mac Jones10.48He does not get rattled.
20Matt Ryan10.39Look out for this Atlanta team moving forward. Ryan has been playing well. He and Pitts have something.
21Jacoby Brissett10.37He is a backup now
22Daniel Jones10.02The model is not high on him. In his defense, he does operate a horrible scheme with horrible coaching. Does not look as bad as I expected.
23Jimmy Garoppolo9.91He will be back
24Taylor Heinicke9.87Not the long-term answer but easy to root for him
25Sam Darnold9.77He needs CMC. Still, I was going to be more than a little surprised if NYJ Darnold turned into a top 15 quarterback. As soon as the schedule got tougher, he reverted.
26Ben Roethlisberger9.76I have nothing left to say. He got lucky to beat Geno Smith
27Baker Mayfield9.60There are some serious concerns in Cleveland as performance slips and injuries mount.
28Andy Dalton9.35Backing up Fields
29Jalen Hurts9.17He is a fine stop-gap, but I am not sure I see the long-term upside. IF I am Philly I will continue to dance with him, but I am looking in the draft next season.
30Jared Goff8.96This is what the model expected. Look at the gap between him and Stafford on this list. McVey was spot on.
31Trevor Lawrence8.88Made some big-time throws and the upside is apparent.
32Tua Tagovailoa8.27Disappointed that he was injured this season. Really disappointed with that horrific pick he threw. The model had high hopes for him in the preseason.
33Davis Mills7.39Will be heading back to the bench soon. He has something.
34Zach Wilson6.43I am still high on him long-term.
35Justin Fields5.94Very high on Fields long-term. As long as Lazor is calling the plays.

Offensive & Defensive Rankings:

Both the offensive and defensive rankings are premised on efficiency. The median team always receives a ranking of 1.00. Thus, the Arizona Cardinals Offensive ranking of 1.16, indicates that they are 16% more efficient on offense than the league median. The New York Jets have a ranking of .76 which indicates they are 24% less efficient than the league median. 

(The model finds the median to be far more important in the NFL than the mean, or average)

The defensive rankings work identically to the offensive rankings. The most surprising team on the list is the Arizona Cardinals and their defensive rating of 1.35. They are artificially boosted by some blowouts. This number will regress. 

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