Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NFL Wrapup: APR vs. ESPN

Starting with week 4, I posted a constrast of APR's power rankings with ESPN's weekly power rankings. This is the 2010 season wrapup for that series of posts.

For each week, a team is counted if it has a ±8 differential listed.

Teams that ESPN liked more than APR, 2010:

Buccaneers (6 weeks)
Their 10-win record looks good, until you realize the Buccaneers did not beat a team with a winning record until week 17. And that was a Saints team that likely wasn't trying very hard after the Falcons opened up a 21-0 halftime lead over the Panthers.
Seahawks (5 weeks)
Yeah, they won a playoff game, but they were just awful in the regular season. All 9 of their losses were by 15 points or more, including a 38-15 pasting by the Buccaneers.
Rams (4 weeks)
The Rams were pretty awful too, though (arguably) better than the Seahawks. The Rams defense held their opponent to 20 points or less in 10 games this season. The trouble was, the offense only scored more than 20 points in three games.
Texans (2 weeks), Dolphins (2 weeks), Vikings (1 week)

Teams that APR liked more than ESPN, 2010:

Browns (12 weeks)
The Browns were a very frustrating team to evaluate. They had 10 games decided by a touchdown or less, and lost 7 of them (and nearly 8, only beating the Panthers because a last-second field goal try doinked the upright).
Lions (8 weeks)
The Lions had similar season to the Browns (4-6 in games decided by 7 or less). That four game winning streak at the end of the season makes APR look at least a little better (and possibly saved HC Jim Schwartz's job).
Bills (4 weeks)
The Bills were 3-5 in games decided by 7 or less. APR probably gives too much weight to close losses. On the other hand, I suspect it could be a very close balance between giving too much and too little weight in these situations.
Bengals (3 weeks), Titans, Broncos (2 weeks), Packers, Chargers, Cowboys, Vikings, Buccaneers (1 week)