Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NFL Week 4 APR vs. ESPN

What this is

A comparison of APR's Week 4 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:

49ers (+16)
APR is very much a what-have-you-done-lately system. And lately, the 49ers have a couple blow-out losses, and a couple wins over (so far) not very impressive teams. They're gonna have to do better than a win over the Rams to get to the top half of APR's rankings.
Bengals (+12)
Maybe APR has the Bengals underrated at #23, but their two wins (home, over the very bad Steelers and the struggling Packers) aren't that impressive.
Packers (+8)
So far, the Packers have one win, a blow-out of the struggling 1-3 Redskins. Next Sunday's game against the Lions should help resolve this APR/ESPN conflict, one way or the other.

Teams APR likes more than ESPN:

Bills (-12)
Thanks to their defense, the Bills have clawed their way to a 2-2 record (and could be 3-1 or even 4-0 if they had played a bit better in their two losses). I'm not sold on how good they are yet, but they're not a bottom 10 team.
Jets (-10)
The Jets are 2-2 as well, but it feels a lot more flukey for them. Take away a late penalty in week 1, and an offensive meltdown by the Bills, and they could easily be 0-4. We'll see how the season plays out, but based on what I've seen so far, I'll be surprised if the Jets finish in front of the Bills in the AFC East.
Buccaneers (-9)
Well, the good news for the Bucs is that in 3 of their 4 games, they've been in them right to the end. The bad news is they've lost because of sloppy, undisciplined play. The worse news is their offense is a mess, and they've switched to a rookie quarterback that, based on Sunday's performance, really isn't ready to be a starter. APR has them ranked at #22, but even at that low level, there's a good case that they're overrated.