Tuesday, December 27, 2011

NFL Week 16 APR vs. ESPN

What this is

A comparison of APR's Week 16 power rankings with ESPN's rankings for the same week of games. This acts as a sanity check (both ways) to see what teams are over- or underrated.

Only teams with the widest differential are listed. The number in parentheses is the difference between APR's rank and ESPN's rank.

Teams ESPN likes more than APR:

Raiders (+9)
ESPN likes to rank playoff-contenders (too) high, even if their last 4 games feature a 3-game losing streak, and an overtime win over the struggling Chiefs.
On the Bubble:
Speaking of overrated playoff contenders, the Titans (+7), are still alive for one of the AFC's wildcard spots.
APR gives the Lions (+6) a 5-spot bump for demolishing the Chargers, but ESPN's 2-spot bump is enough to keep them on the bubble.

Teams APR likes more than ESPN:

Dolphins (-12)
As noted in this week's power rankings, the Dolphins have five losses by 3 points or less, including this week at the Patriots. I'll stipulate that APR has them ranked too high at #12, but they don't belong in the bottom 12, where ESPN has them, either.
Seahawks (-9)
As noted earlier, the Seahawks have been playing tough this year, and took the NFC's (presumed) #2 seed to the wire on Sunday. Again, APR has them too high at #9, but the Seahawks have played as good as or better than some of the teams ESPN has above them (Eagles, Jets, Titans, Raiders).
Eagles (-9)
Good news for the Eagles: Michael Vick is healthy, the defense is finally coming together, they've put together a 3-game winning streak, and they're only one win behind the division-leading Giants. The bad news, of course, is this is all too little, too late.
On the bubble:
Nobody closer than Vikings and Cardinals (-5)