Surprises in Week 8 NFL Rankings
It’s NFL Power Rankings time once again! Back in Week 6, we brought you what we believed to be a fair, unbiased, statistical analysis of all 32 NFL teams based on season-long performance and core, measurable team stats. It’s time to take a look at our NFL Power Rankings for Week 8 – and when we sorted the results, let’s just say we found a few surprises.
Here’s how our SidelineMOB NFL Power Rankings Formula breaks down. Wins mean more than anything, of course, so we multiply them by two. For every other team ranking we use, we invert the standings and divide the ranking by 10. For example, the Kansas City Chiefs are #1 in scoring defense per game, so we flip that, make them 32/10 = 3.2 points. (The Jaguars, dead last, would get 0.1 point.) Here’s the formula:
Wins*2 + Offensive Per-Game Scoring Rank/10 + Offensive Yards Per Game Rank/10 + Defensive Per-Game Scoring Rank/10 + Defensive Yards Per Game Rank/10 + Offensive 3rd Down Conversions Rank/10 + Defensive 3rd Down Conversions Rank/10 + Best Team QBR Rank (1-32)/10 + Point Differential Rank/10
So what shocked us about our Week 8 NFL power rankings? First of all, the San Diego Chargers ranked #7. We were as surprised as you, until we looked at some of the core data and realized that, as of now, the ranking is deserved. That places the 4-3 Chargers ahead of the Packers, Bengals, Lions and Patriots. Another surprise squad was the Carolina Panthers, who rank 11th in our Week 8 power rankings based on strong defense and a high 3rd down conversion percentage. A few teams that finished lower than expected (Patriots 13th, Titans 16th) suffer from current offensive anemia and relatively low 3rd down conversion rates; for the Pats, this should improve with the return of Rob Gronkowski.
NFL Power Rankings Formula: Week 8
- Kansas City Chiefs (32.05 total points). The Chiefs stand tall as the NFL’s last unbeaten team in 2013, and reach #1 in our poll by virtue of their #1 scoring defense, #1 3rd-down defense, and #2 point differential. How long will their streak continue?
- Seattle Seahawks (31.4 points). The Seahawks climb to #2 and win a tiebreaker over the Saints due to having a better team record.
- New Orleans Saints (31.4 points). The Saints are the most balanced team in the NFL right now. They rank in the top 10 in all our core statistics but one (where they’re 11th). Check the chart below!
- Denver Broncos (30.9 points). The Broncos took their first loss at the Colts last Sunday night, and you have to start worrying about their inability to stop anyone on defense through the air.
- Indianapolis Colts (29.7 points). The Colts are the NFL’s 2013 Jekyll and Hyde team. They’ve beaten the Seahawks, Broncos and 49ers, and lost to the Dolphins and Chargers.
- San Francisco 49ers (28.45 points). Here comes the 49ers roll that many expected; after a dominating win over the Titans (their 4th straight), the Niners get the Jaguars next.
- San Diego Chargers (26.75 points). Surprise, surprise! Philip Rivers is playing out of his mind, and the Chargers own wins over the Colts and Cowboys. See the chart below to find out how the Bolts achieved this #7 ranking (and no, Ron Burgundy didn’t help them cheat).
- Green Bay Packers (26.5 points). It will be quite interesting to see how the Packers cope on offense without the services of Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley for awhile; as of now, other players like Jarrett Boykin seem to be stepping up to carry the load.
- Cincinnati Bengals (25.55 points). The Bengals and Lions played a great game on Sunday, and it’s no surprise these evenly matched teams are 9th and 10th in our poll. With Cincy winning on the road, is this a sign of progress for the AFC North-leading Bengals?
- Detroit Lions (25 points). Despite the loss to the Bengals in Week 7, Detroit finds itself at 4-3 and in the thick of the NFC North chase. Can the Lions defeat the Cowboys in Week 8?
- Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have quietly amassed some of the best defensive statistics in the NFL, and at 3-3 still have not played a game in the NFC South. Should they go 4-2 or better in the division, this is a sneaky dark horse team in the NFC playoff hunt.
- Dallas Cowboys.
- New England Patriots.
- New York Jets. The Jets needed a stabilizing win to prove some legitimacy, and they got it with a hard-fought victory over the Patriots. Can Rex Ryan keep this unlikely run going for Gang Green?
- Chicago Bears.
- Tennessee Titans. The Titans were overwhelmed by the 49ers Sunday but showed fight late. With a bye week and then games vs. St. Louis and the Jaguars, Tennessee can climb back over .500.
- Baltimore Ravens.
- Atlanta Falcons.
- Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles only managed 3 points against Dallas. Uh-oh – when your chief division rival has you figured out…
- Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers won another 3-point nail-biter against Baltimore Sunday, and have won 2 straight since their atrocious 0-4 start.
- Washington Redskins.
- Miami Dolphins. After a hot start, the Dolphins have come back to Earth following a home loss to division-rival Buffalo. The next 2 games (at New England, vs. Cincinnati) aren’t too forgiving.
- Buffalo Bills.
- Houston Texans. Could it be that the 2-5 Houston Texans, considered by many to be a Super Bowl contender, could now be angling for a franchise QB in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft?
- Cleveland Browns.
- St. Louis Rams. With Sam Bradford done for the season with a torn ACL, the Rams may find themselves in a position to cut bait and start fresh with a new QB (much like Houston).
- Arizona Cardinals.
- Oakland Raiders.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Doug Martin was likely lost for the season due to a Week 7 injury, taking away Mike Glennon’s security blanket. To be fair, Glennon’s numbers have been solid since taking the starting job in Tampa; he doesn’t seem to be the problem.
- Minnesota Vikings.
- New York Giants. Chalk up a victory for the now 1-6 Giants, as well as a game where Eli Manning didn’t throw a pick. With games coming up vs. Philly and the Raiders, isn’t it crazy to think this team could be 3-6 in a couple of weeks?
- Jacksonville Jaguars.
NFL Power Rankings Formula: The Week 8 Chart
- NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Colts, Jets Earn Respect (sidelionreport.com)
- NFL Power Rankings Week 7: Hurt (thefarmclub.net)
- NFL Power rankings week 8: Kansas City Chiefs claim the top spot (musiccitymiracles.com)
- NFL Power Rankings, After Week 7 (ohsknows.wordpress.com)