Tuesday, October 9, 2012

NFL Week 5 APR vs. ESPN

What this is

A comparison of APR's Week 5 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:

Chargers (+9)
The 3 teams the Chargers have beaten are a combined 3-11. They also got crushed by the Falcons, and gave the Saints their first win. Really not an impressive resume. The Chargers simply don't deserve a spot in the top half of the power rankings.
Ravens (+7)
APR dropped the Ravens 8 spots after their very unimpressive 9-6 win over a Chiefs team that the Falcons, Bills, and Chargers had all put away easily. The Ravens should bounce back with some more impressive wins, or if the Chiefs ever win another game.
Giants (+7)
APR moved the Giants up 2 spots on their victory over the Browns, but ESPN moved them up 3, so the gap is one spot wider this week. The Giants really need to beat somebody with a better record than 1-3 before they will go much higher in APR.
Cowboys (+7)
I'm not sure how ESPN can justify the Cowboys at #13. Even if you like their wins over the Giants and Buccaneers, they got destroyed by the Seahawks and Bears. They just don't belong anywhere close to the top 10 right now.
On the bubble
Steelers (+6), Eagles (+6)

Teams APR likes more than ESPN:

Seahawks (-9)
The Seahawks' offense is pretty awful, but they have managed to scrape together 3 wins, and their two losses are by a combined 10 points.
Rams (-9)
Especially given Sam Bradford's performance Thursday night (7/21, 141 yards, 2 tds, 1 int), I will stipulate that APR has them way too high at #9. But the Rams are clearly better than last year.
Broncos (-7)
The score margin in the Broncos losses (-6 to the Falcons, -6 to the Texans, -10 to the Patriots) look closer than they really are, and so APR is giving the Broncos more power than they really deserve. I wonder if Peyton Manning is wishing he could go back in time, and pick a team with a better defense?
On the bubble
Nobody closer than -5 (Bears, Jaguars)