Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I use a set of 17 weighted statistics--some of them traditional and some of them custom--as the core basis of my ratings, but I adjust the rankings slightly based on various qualitative factors (coaching, injuries, opinion, strength of schedule, etc).

Power rankings are good to have, but they only tell you where teams sit in relation to one another in the overall scheme of things. A team lower in rank could easily defeat a team above it if they matchup well with them--something to keep in mind when evaluating weekend games.

Rank Contenders
Early talk of an undefeated season is a little silly, but they are improving in their weak areas.
Just when it looked like DAL would pull off the upset, Tom Brady became Tom Brady.
Another quality win under their belts. Still problems with red zone offense.
Horrible play on 3rd down cost them a win. Losing Jahvid Best could become a problem.
Sean Payton goes down with an injury, and so does the team. Defense is becoming an issue.
Took care of business in week 6, but questions about their O-line and defense linger.
Need to improve the intangibles to remain among the top group.
Good road effort in BAL until the 4th quarter. Is it time to ask the tough question about Schaub?

Rank (LW) Pretenders
DAL gave us a taste of what they are capable of with a healthy lineup. Defense giving Romo a chance for redemption.
SF is perhaps the most perplexing team in the NFL. Rank high in 6 key categories and near the bottom in 5 others.
Solid bounce back win against BUF to keep them atop the division.
Lost a coin flip game vs NY, but can they overcome a shaky defense and inconsistency from Fitzpatrick?
Shutting down WSH's running game was a surprise to all and avoided a 1-5 catastrophic start.
Continue to win in spite of Sanchez. How far can they carry him?

Carson Palmer gives them a chance, but he could also be a total disaster.
Went back to basics against CAR, but position here is tentative.


Rank (LW) On the Bubble
Big letdown vs PHI. QB controversy has put this team back 2 steps.
Both losses have come against weak teams. Still need a legitimate win over a good team.
Finally covered a game at home. Consistentcy will be a season-long process.
Three wins against bad teams and three losses against good teams.
Defense showed signs of falling back to earth before the bye.
A true example of a bubble team. Most people waiting for the other shoe to drop. Defense is average without Haden and now Hillis pulls a hammy.
Rank (LW) "Suck for Luck" Sweepstakes
Mistakes finally catch up to this young team. A lot of promise, but still a long ways to go.
Falling down in the end zone isn't going to keep the rookie on the bench. The Ponder era has started.
Good luck Tim Tebow. All I will say to DEN fans is be careful what you wish for.
This could actually be a bubble team if they had a good starting QB. Defense is pretty decent.
Still dusting themselves off after getting embarassed in MIN.
A closer look reveals a win over NY wasn't worth the jump I gave them. Maybe Whitehurst can keep them competitive.
Matt Moore reminded us why CAR was so bad last year. No team needs Andrew Luck more than MIA.
How much is a win over IND really worth? Team hasn't quit yet which is an encouraging sign for Haley's job security.
Team is still playing hard to get their first win, but can't get out of their own way.
Reached rock bottom with 3 pathetic points after a bye. Lloyd aquisition was a smart move.