Tuesday, December 24, 2013

NFL APR vs. ESPN Week 15

Yeah, this is for last week. Better late than never? I was getting this week's post ready, and noticed I never posted the week 15 version. But I still have the writeup on my hard drive, so here it is.

What this is

A comparison of APR's Week 15 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:

Packers (+11)
Matt Flynn has now played 14 quarters of football for the Packers this season. In 6 of those quarters, he was really awful. In 8 of those quarters, he was okay. And in two of those quarters, he was really good. The end result is that in spite of a 2-4-1 record since Rodgers got hurt, the Packers still have a chance for the playoffs. But until Rodgers comes back, they don't really deserve a spot in the middle of thepower rankings.
On the bubble:
APR drops the Chiefs (+6) 2 spots for taking the trouble to demolish a really bad Raiders team. That drop may also be their earlier wins getting less weight, which means their 3 game losing streak counts for more.
The Colts (+6) haven't beaten a team outside the AFC South since October.

Teams APR likes more than ESPN:

Rams (-9)
Four of the Rams wins this seasons have come against teams that are either in the playoffs, or in contention. But #11 is still too high for an 8-loss team.
On the bubble:
APR drops the Buccaneers (-6) a couple spots after they got pounded by the 49ers. They clearly still have some problems to solve, but Coach Schiano has (probably) saved his job, at least for this year.