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Old 12-28-2005, 11:16 AM  
Carlota69 Carlota69 is offline
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Can't believe we are ranked so high!

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Week 17 power rankings
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Aaron Schatz / FootballOutsiders.com
Posted: 46 minutes ago



MOVING UP: SEA (from 6 to 3), KC (From 7 to 4), WAS (from 8 to 5), PIT (from 10 to 7)
MOVING DOWN: NYG (from 4 to 8), SD (from 5 to 9), OAK (from 16 to 20)


There's a reason we use objective numbers for our power rankings, instead of just going with the ebb and flow of conventional wisdom. Sometimes the numbers are trying to tell us something.


Four weeks ago, we had the Washington Redskins ranked in the top 10 even though they were 5-6 and had lost three straight. Suffice to say, we got a lot of complaints. But the numbers said that the Redskins had played games close with a tough schedule and suffered from very bad luck recovering loose balls.




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Football Outsiders.com tackles the NFL with a mix of innovative statistics, game tape analysis and good old-fashioned fan debate. They are the authors of Pro Football Prospectus 2005.

For further in-depth coverage, click here.


Four weeks later, the Redskins have four straight wins and control their own playoff destiny at 9-6. The last two weeks, they've beaten two division rivals by a combined score of 70-27. They're looking like a dangerous team going into the playoffs, since for some unknown reason nobody can figure out that you need to double Santana Moss. And they now rank in the top five of the FOXSports.com Power Rankings.


These power rankings are based on the innovative DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) ratings from FootballOutsiders.com. The DVOA system breaks down every single play of the season and compares each one to the NFL average based on situation and opponent. Each play is judged on both total yards and yards towards a first down. (Click here for further explanation.)


If you want to see the actual DVOA ratings, along with some additional numbers we use to judge teams, you can find those on FootballOutsiders.com. The team totals are here, and we also have separate pages for offense, defense, and special teams.


The power ratings table gives each team's rank from 1-32 in offense, defense and special teams. These ranks are all weighted so early games are less important. The column marked Full Year shows where each team ranks if we consider September games to be just as important as recent games. The column marked Unadjusted shows where a team would rank if we did not consider strength of schedule or abnormal luck in recovering loose balls.


Remember, of course, that any statistical formula is not a replacement for your own judgment, just a tool to use in analyzing performance.


ALSO SEE:


In-depth explanation of DVOA and power rankings criteria

Inside this week's rankings


FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS POWER RANKINGS: Week 17
Rk Team W-L Last Wk Full Year Unadjusted Offense Rk Defense Rk Sp. Tms Rk
1. COLTS 13-2 1 1 1 1 6 31
Maybe losing to Seattle was a good thing. The last two teams to finish 15-1 (2004 Steelers, 1998 Vikings) didn't even make it to the Super Bowl. NEXT: vs. ARI
2. BRONCOS 12-3 2 3 4 2 11 13
This is just another example of "Mountain Time Zone" bias. Like when Ryan Dinwiddie won the Heisman Trophy, or Karl Malone's dozen MVP awards. NEXT: at SD (Sat.)
3. SEAHAWKS 13-2 6 4 2 4 15 14
If you want to run it wide against the Seahawks, go left. Seattle allows an average of just 2.1 yards on running back carries around right end, best in the league, but 6.6 yards per running back carry around left end, 30th in the league. NEXT: at GB
4. CHIEFS 9-6 7 8 9 5 8 29
Why so high? They've beaten three of the top teams in the last five weeks, and they really outplayed the Cowboys but lost on a couple bounces. Every time the steady Broncos or the resurgent Patriots stomp another team, Kansas City's rating goes up. Too bad they won't make the playoffs unless the Lions find some courage against Pittsburgh, and with so many older players this late-season surge doesn't make them a team on the rise for 2006. NEXT: vs. CIN
Rk Team W-L Last Wk Full Year Unadjusted Offense Rk Defense Rk Sp. Tms Rk
5. REDSKINS 9-6 8 10 13 11 5 8
Note that Washington isn't fifth for the entire season. For these power rankings, we use a weighted formula that gives more strength to recent games in order to capture a better picture of how teams are playing right now. For the full season, Washington is No. 10. (That rating is listed for every team under "Full Year.") NEXT: at PHI
6. BENGALS 11-4 3 2 3 3 22 21
Remember when the Bengals had one of the league's top pass defenses? Cincinnati is 13th in defense for the season, but 22nd in the weighted rating. "Our defense is falling apart" isn't really the thing you want to hear going into the playoffs, no matter how great your offense may be. NEXT: at KC
7. STEELERS 10-5 10 5 5 10 2 27
The Steelers are probably headed for the playoffs, and they're headed there on a hot streak, so it's a little early to talk about next year. But I'll do it anyway. One of the strongest trends I've found is that offenses that are much better on first and second down than third down tend to improve the following year. I used this trend to predict San Diego's resurgence last year and Seattle's championship-quality season this year. And the offense it picks out for 2006 is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Which is a little scary for the rest of the AFC, because the Steelers would be "rebounding" from 11-5. NEXT: vs. DET
8. GIANTS 10-5 4 7 6 12 3 18
We've now reached the point in the season where a few teams have weighted rankings that are very different from their rankings for the entire season. The best example of this is the Giants' special teams. Jay Feely didn't miss a field goal until Week 8, but of course he's missed a few famous ones since. The Giants had both a kick and punt returned for touchdowns back in Week 1, but those are their only return touchdowns all year. NEXT: at OAK (Sat.)
Rk Team W-L Last Wk Full Year Unadjusted Offense Rk Defense Rk Sp. Tms Rk
9. CHARGERS 9-6 5 6 10 6 21 16
"Inconsistency is the only thing in which men are consistent" Horace Smith. NEXT: vs. DEN (Sat.)
10. JAGUARS 11-4 11 9 8 8 12 12
The Jaguars are the worst team in the league running to the right side. Running backs average just 1.9 yards on runs behind right tackle and 3.4 yards on runs around right end. NEXT: vs. TEN
11. PANTHERS 10-5 9 12 7 20 4 7
Against Dallas, the Panthers had 150 net yards passing in the first half but just 87 net yards passing in the second half. This exemplifies a problem Carolina has had all season. According to DVOA, Carolina ranks 10th in pass offense in the first half of games (8.1 net yards per pass) but 18th in the second half (5.6 net yards per pass). NEXT: at ATL
12. PATRIOTS 10-5 13 13 15 7 25 17
The Patriots lead the league in preventing long runs; only 10 percent of rushing yards have come 10 or more yards past the line of scrimmage. Last year, the Patriots led the league in preventing long runs, allowing just seven percent of rushing yards 10 or more yards past the line of scrimmage. In 2003, the Patriots led the league in preventing long runs, allowing just six percent of rushing yards 10 or more yards past the line of scrimmage. No other team in the league has even been in the top 10 in this category all three seasons. NEXT: vs. MIA
Rk Team W-L Last Wk Full Year Unadjusted Offense Rk Defense Rk Sp. Tms Rk
13. BEARS 11-4 12 11 11 29 1 23
Come on, feel the Illi-noise! They've got a real quarterback now, and I'll make this clear: If I did the ratings on my subjective opinion rather than the numbers, the Bears would be much higher. But in the numbers, we've got a whole season to measure and just two weeks of Rex Grossman. NEXT: at MIN
14. RAVENS 6-9 14 19 20 22 7 5
The two games where Kyle Boller has played out of his gourd are even more stunning when you consider that Jamal Lewis is D-U-N done, and the Baltimore offensive line is crumbling from age and injury. NEXT: at CLE
15. VIKINGS 8-7 15 21 21 14 10 11
Daunte Culpepper is rehabbing by himself in Orlando instead of staying with the team in Minnesota. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he's lost a bunch of weight and even his face is noticeably thinner. Join us next week for another episode of "Kate Moss, Quarterback." NEXT: vs. CHI
16. COWBOYS 9-6 17 14 16 15 14 22
Bill Parcells is considering retirement. By "retirement," the Tuna means "quitting and then taking another job after a year off." NEXT: vs. STL
Rk Team W-L Last Wk Full Year Unadjusted Offense Rk Defense Rk Sp. Tms Rk
17. BUCS 10-5 19 15 12 13 16 24
Alex Smith has two touchdowns for the Bucs, while Alex Smith has no touchdowns for the 49ers. Perhaps the other Alex Smith is the other Alex Smith, while this Alex Smith is Alex Smith. NEXT: vs. NO
18. DOLPHINS 8-7 22 16 17 28 13 3
I didn't do a very good job last week of explaining why the Dolphins dropped despite winning four straight games. The wins were fairly close, and their rating also includes all the losses that preceded those wins, including a 22-0 loss to Cleveland. Of course, they beat up on Tennessee, and they're back up four spots. NEXT: at NE
19. FALCONS 8-7 18 18 14 9 28 20
Oh, apples. Oh tasty, delicious apples. NEXT: vs. CAR
20. RAIDERS 4-11 16 20 18 17 17 30
On the other hand, sometimes the numbers tell us that a team is better than its record, but the team doesn't turn it around like Washington, instead they just give up on the season and start playing like Chumpzilla. Hi, we're the Oakland Raiders. NEXT: vs. NYG (Sat.)
Rk Team W-L Last Wk Full Year Unadjusted Offense Rk Defense Rk Sp. Tms Rk
21. EAGLES 6-9 20 17 19 31 9 4
The opposite of the Giants, the Eagles were horrible on special teams early in the year. They had the injury to kicker David Akers and struggles on returns, unexpected for a team that ranked in the top six in special teams each year since 2000. They still ranked last in the league as late as Week 9. But with Akers back and punter Sean Landeta finding the Fountain of Youth, the Eagles have climbed all the way up to 15th for the year and, as you can see above, fourth in the weighted special teams rating. This would be even more exciting if the rest of the team had not imploded. NEXT: vs. WAS
22. CARDINALS 5-10 25 24 23 21 20 26
Arizona ranks last in the league in first-quarter offensive DVOA. NEXT: at IND
23. LIONS 5-10 24 26 25 23 23 19
Must find something positive to say ... must find something positive to say ... OK, here's something Detroit ranks second in the league defending runs up the middle. So Shaun Rogers and Big Daddy Wilkinson still know what they are doing. NEXT: at PIT
24. TITANS 4-11 23 23 22 16 30 6
DVOA ranks Tennessee 31st in red zone defense and 32nd in defense during the second half of close games (within one touchdown). NEXT: at JAC
Rk Team W-L Last Wk Full Year Unadjusted Offense Rk Defense Rk Sp. Tms Rk
25. BILLS 5-10 30 25 24 26 26 1
Since Willis McGahee declared that he was the best back in the NFL, after Week 6, McGahee is averaging 3.2 yards per carry with just a single touchdown. O Hubris, where is thy sting? NEXT: at NYJ
26. BROWNS 5-10 21 22 28 24 24 10
They really get up for those division rivalry games, don't they? 0-5 in the AFC North, scoring less than 12 points per game. NEXT: vs. BAL - you guys can get up for a game against the "old" Browns, right? Right?
27. PACKERS 3-12 29 28 27 25 19 32
Dreads are cool, but those braids coming out the back of Noah Herron's helmet are horrible. NEXT: vs. SEA
28. JETS 3-12 28 27 30 30 18 28
Did anybody notice that we made it through Monday night's game without a penalty during a punt or kickoff? For a second there, I thought the NFL would be changing its name to the National Block in the Back League. NEXT: vs. BUF
Rk Team W-L Last Wk Full Year Unadjusted Offense Rk Defense Rk Sp. Tms Rk
29. TEXANS 2-13 26 31 31 18 32 2
The offense has steadily been improving from pathetic to mediocre, but the defense is still horrible. NEXT: at SF
30. RAMS 5-10 27 29 26 19 31 15
For a young and talented back, Steven Jackson sure has put up some stinkers this year: 28 yards against San Francisco, 17 yards against the Giants, and 6 yards against Arizona. Steve, find some consistency in the off-season, will ya? NEXT: at DAL
31. SAINTS 3-12 31 30 29 27 27 25
If Houston beats San Francisco, the Saints could end up with the top pick based on strength of schedule, and frankly, they deserve it after the nightmare of this season. NEXT: at TB
32. 49ERS 3-12 32 32 32 32 29 9
D'Brick, D'Brick, D'Brick is on fire. We don't need no runner, get the mutha who can block. NEXT: vs. HOU
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:19 AM   #2
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Wow. That's kind of surprising.

I'm impressed at Detroit being #23, too. I think they're going to shut down the Steelers on Sunday and win going away.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:19 AM   #3
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Yep about makes you wanna barf!

Not the ranking, just the shoulda coulda, bs we been through this year!
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rain Man
Wow. That's kind of surprising.

I'm impressed at Detroit being #23, too. I think they're going to shut down the Steelers on Sunday and win going away.
YO, quit bogartin that, send it this way
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:21 AM   #5
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That is just odd...

While I appreciate the props, I cannot agree. No way KC sniffs a top10 ranking from me.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptlyon
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man
I'm impressed at Detroit being #23, too. I think they're going to shut down the Steelers on Sunday and win going away.
YO, quit bogartin that, send it this way
ditto
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man
Wow. That's kind of surprising.

I'm impressed at Detroit being #23, too. I think they're going to shut down the Steelers on Sunday and win going away.
I just pray that the stuff you are smoking is the same stuff Pittsburgh decides to smoke on Sunday.Now that would be sweet!
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by coryt
That is just odd...

While I appreciate the props, I cannot agree. No way KC sniffs a top10 ranking from me.
Top 10 isn't that difficult, there are a lot of really bad, incosistent teams out there this year. And the NFC as a whole is just plain bad.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by morphius
Top 10 isn't that difficult, there are a lot of really bad, incosistent teams out there this year. And the NFC as a whole is just plain bad.
1. Indy
2. Denver
3. New England
4. Seattle
5. Chicago
6. Cincinatti
7. New York Giants
8. Jacksonville
9. Carolina
10. Tampa Bay

... and then KC somewhere shortly after. Really the 2nd half of that top5 could go anywhere, but I put em all above KC.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:41 AM   #10
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You all just have no faith. Keep in mind that Detroit has won games this year against Green Bay, Baltimore, Cleveland, Arizona, and New Orleans, with an average margin of victory of 8.5 points.

They were very much in the game in their losses to Tampa, Carolina, Chicago, Minnesota, and Green Bay, losing by an average of only 3.75 points. One more score in each of those games, and they'd be looking at a playoff spot.

The only games they lost by more than one score were against Chicago, Minnesota, Atlanta, Dallas, and Cincinnati, where their average loss was by only 20 points. That's just three scores in this fast-moving league.

When you add to that all of the first-round talent they've got at wide receiver to go with their 1-2 punch of Harrington and Garcia, not to mention Boss Bailey, Earl Holmes, Shaun Rogers, and Big Daddy Wilkinson on defense, I think they're going to hand the Steelers their hard hats this week.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rain Man
You all just have no faith. Keep in mind that Detroit has won games this year against Green Bay, Baltimore, Cleveland, Arizona, and New Orleans, with an average margin of victory of 8.5 points.

They were very much in the game in their losses to Tampa, Carolina, Chicago, Minnesota, and Green Bay, losing by an average of only 3.75 points. One more score in each of those games, and they'd be looking at a playoff spot.

The only games they lost by more than one score were against Chicago, Minnesota, Atlanta, Dallas, and Cincinnati, where their average loss was by only 20 points. That's just three scores in this fast-moving league.

When you add to that all of the first-round talent they've got at wide receiver to go with their 1-2 punch of Harrington and Garcia, not to mention Boss Bailey, Earl Holmes, Shaun Rogers, and Big Daddy Wilkinson on defense, I think they're going to hand the Steelers their hard hats this week.
WOW - that must be some long lasting $hit
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:44 AM   #12
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And let me add that Detroit has five defensive linemen - FIVE - who have three or more sacks. That team is going to decimate Pittsburgh next week.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:48 AM   #13
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Now, I'll admit that the loss of Earl Holmes and Boss Bailey to injured reserve last week may hurt a bit, but I think that their backups Wali Rainer and Donte Curry will perform just as well.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:53 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rain Man
You all just have no faith. Keep in mind that Detroit has won games this year against Green Bay, Baltimore, Cleveland, Arizona, and New Orleans, with an average margin of victory of 8.5 points.

They were very much in the game in their losses to Tampa, Carolina, Chicago, Minnesota, and Green Bay, losing by an average of only 3.75 points. One more score in each of those games, and they'd be looking at a playoff spot.

The only games they lost by more than one score were against Chicago, Minnesota, Atlanta, Dallas, and Cincinnati, where their average loss was by only 20 points. That's just three scores in this fast-moving league.

When you add to that all of the first-round talent they've got at wide receiver to go with their 1-2 punch of Harrington and Garcia, not to mention Boss Bailey, Earl Holmes, Shaun Rogers, and Big Daddy Wilkinson on defense, I think they're going to hand the Steelers their hard hats this week.
Still LOL! Taste of Sarcasm, anyone?
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:54 AM   #15
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And let me add that Detroit has five defensive linemen - FIVE - who have three or more sacks. That team is going to decimate Pittsburgh next week.

And Laughing!
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