NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 24: Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns in action against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on October 24 2010 in New Orleans Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Peyton Hillis
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Thanks to our friends over at SBNation-Atlanta, we bring you the Unbiased Power Rankings. Using high-tech mathematical equations, explained below, they break down the NFL from #1 to #32. Whether you agree with it out not, at least it is something different!
The top six teams remain the same for another week but only one of those teams is in the same spot they were last time. After a one-week hiatus, the Atlanta Falcons regained the top spot after a last-second win against the Green Bay Packers. Last week's number one team, the New England Patriots, slipped to second, while the Pittsburgh Steelers moved up to third. The Baltimore Ravens climbed into fourth, the Philadelphia Eagles dropped to sixth and the New York Jets, after a non-last-second win, remained in fifth. There is a cluster in the middle of the league but the bottom four teams remain the same with the Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers all stating their case for the worst teams in the NFL.
The Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers were the biggest recipients of the unbiased love, moving up four spots after their impressive victories over the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts, respectively. The New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins all enjoyed bumps this week as well with each of them rising three spots from last week's rankings.
The Tennessee Titans plummeted five spots after a pathetic performance against the Houston Texans. They've gone from a contender to a bad football team in one Vince Young meltdown. The Washington Redskins, after several weeks of high ranks, fall four spots to 13th after a loss to the 27th-ranked team in our rankings, the Minnesota Vikings. The Eagles, Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars were also victims of the power rankings, each slipping three spots.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can continue to play the "no respect" card because our rankings refuse to give them any. They are ranked 21st again despite having the eighth-best record in the NFL. Yes, they are 7-4 but they have not yet beat a team with a winning record. They'll try to change that this week against the Falcons, but until they do, they are in the third tier of teams. The Jaguars and St. Louis Rams are other teams that might be playing above their heads right now and are destined to be exposed.
With another week in the books and only five more to go before the playoffs, enjoy the latest rankings; chopped up into bite-sized tiers for easy consumption. Jason Kirk's top five is in the same order as my rankings are and our top 10 has nine of the same teams but he doesn't have as much love for the Giants as the Unbiased Calculator does.
The NFL has its own version of the Final Four with the Falcons, Patriots, Steelers and Ravens all distancing themselves from the rest of the pack. Those four teams have played the best football through the first 12 weeks and they inhabit the top tier in the Week 13 rankings. The Jets and Eagles belong in the conversation but at a lower tier. Each of the big four teams have separated themselves with impressive wins against solid opponents. They've also not lost a "bad" game (their combined losses are to teams with 7.3 wins on average). If you had to pick a team to win the Super Bowl right now, you could do a lot worse than choosing between the Falcons, Patriots, Steelers and Ravens.
Regardless of a team's current record, this is how we see the playoffs shaping up through Week 12.
|New England Patriots||Atlanta Falcons|
|Kansas City Chiefs
|Indianapolis Colts||Seattle Seahawks|
||New Orleans Saints|
|New York Jets
||Green Bay Packers|
The Biggest Games of Week 13
No. 4 - Redskins vs. Giants: The Giants try to keep pace with the Eagles while the Redskins hope to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
No. 3 - Texans vs. Eagles: Houston bounced back last week but can they use the Bears template to stop Michael Vick and the Eagles?
No. 2 - Steelers vs. Ravens: Two of the top four teams face off in a game that will reward the winner with large amounts of unbiased points.
No. 1 - Jets vs. Patriots: Two teams ranked in the top five. It barely edges out the Steelers/Ravens for top honors.
Wild Card Weekend:
Jets @ Chiefs: Dwayne Bowe could have 28 TDs by the time this game rolls around.
Ravens @ Colts: The Colts are looking less and less like a playoff team.
Ravens @ Steelers: This very game is being played this week.
Jets @ Patriots: See above.
Steelers @ Patriots: Five Super Bowl titles between them since 2001.
Wild Card Weekend:
Packers @ Bears: No running game could spell doom for the Packers in January.
Saints @ Seahawks: Seattle no longer seems invincible at home.
Saints @ Falcons: It just seems inevitable, doesn't it?
Bears @ Eagles: A rematch of their Week 12 game, this time in Philly.
Eagles @ Falcons: The two best teams all year in the NFC. It's their density. I mean, destiny.
Patriots vs. Falcons: Atlanta gets another chance at the Lombardi Trophy.
Methodology: The Unbiased Power Rankings are exactly that, unbiased. We take into account a team's wins, losses and a strength of schedule component to arrive at a truly unbiased rating. We have no preseason polls, no preset baselines. Only the performance on the field - this season - matters. Emotion is not welcome here. Still interested? Here's the ingredients we use to make this delicious stew of math-based power rankings.
Each team is awarded five points for a win and five points for every game a defeated opponent wins. To measure a loss, the total number of opponent wins is divided by the number of the ranked team's losses.