Tuesday, October 8, 2013

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:

49ers (+7)
The 49ers win over the Texans was impressive, but I think they need to do more to put those ugly losses to the Seahawks and Colts behind them before I'm willing to call them a top 10 team.
On the bubble:
The Texans (+6) might be able to pull out of their tailspin, but they don't have a lot of headroom anymore to get into the playoffs. And with the way the offense has been struggling, they may have trouble getting to 8 wins this year. At 2-3, with the prospect of a lot more losses to come, I don't see the justification to rank them in the top half of the league.

Teams APR likes more than ESPN:

On the bubble:
I think ESPN's ranking of #30 for the Buccanneers (+6) is largely a reflection of the dysfunction evident within that organization. APR has them at #24, which seems pretty fair according to what they've actually done on the field.
APR has the Cardinals (+6) at #13, which is probably too high. Carson Palmer is at least somewhat of an upgrade over the quarterbacks they had last year, but that position remains very much the weak link for the Cardinals. Still, I guess wins and losses trump every other stat, and while the Cards are at 3-2, it's hard to justify ranking them too near some of the really bad teams in the league.