Tuesday, October 22, 2013

NFL Week 7: APR vs. ESPN

What this is

A comparison of APR's Week 6 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:

Jets (+7)
I'm not quite sure what to make of the Jets right now. The Patriots are the only quality team they've beaten, and they've had a couple late wins pretty much gifted to them. On the other hand, their defense has been doing pretty well, and Geno Smith has only a couple games with a passer rating lower than 71.9. If they can even split their next two games (@ Bengals, vs Saints), I'll be willing to admit they belong higher in the rankings.
On the bubble:
Nobody closer than the Bears (+5)

Teams APR likes more than ESPN:

Cardinals (-9)
As mentioned last week, Carson Palmer is the weak link on this team, and he threw a couple more game-breaking interceptions last Thursday. Still, I think because of the strength of their defense and special teams, the Cards are better than at least a few of the teams ESPN has ranked above them (Browns, Falcons, Eagles)
On the bubble:
The Packers (-6), and all the other highly ranked teams seem pretty close together, and I don't see a real favorite. All of the teams ESPN has rated above them have a better win-loss record, so I don't see anything to complain about ESPN's #9 rank. This is another difference that will have to be resolved going forward.