I’m very excited to announce a new addition to the blog. I believe I have a pretty good formula for ranking each team. It is based on my belief that offensive and defensive efficiency are the best predictor of a team’s combined strength.

To that end, the stats I rely on to determine that efficiency are Yards/Attempt in passing and Yards/Carry in rushing. I look at these for both the offense and the defense. My basic theory is that if you add together the YPA and YPC of a team’s offense and subtract the combined value of the defenses YPA and YPC, you have a pretty good idea of how a team is performing.

I wanted to add red zone efficiency into the mix as well (another key indicator on offense and defense in my opinion), but I couldn’t find a source for that info on the web. *Please let me know if you know where I can find this info. (UPDATE: I got this info, but chose not to include it this season)

Efficiency is a key measure, but the game is really decided by points. There are lots of intangibles that can’t be measured that add up to points either scored or prevented. Is a team really a bend, but don’t break defense? Is a team great between the 20s, but scoring a bunch of field goals? All that should show up in points scored and points allowed, so I’ve added avg pts/game scored and allowed to the formula.

That gives us:

(YPC (offense) + YPA (offense) + Avg Pts/Game Scored) – (YPC (defense) + YPA (defense)+ Avg Pts/Game Allowed)

I’m pretty happy with the results (they don’t include the Saints/Titans game), but I’d love to hear your reactions.

.nobrtable br { display: none }

Team Rank
New England
Green Bay
Tampa Bay
San Francisco
San Diego
Kansas City
NY Giants
NY Jets
St. Louis
New Orleans

Here is the Excel version for folks that would like to get more power over sorting and detail. It includes each teams YPC and YPA info.

13 Responses

  1. Aaron

    Good idea. I will keep an eye on it and reserve my harsh Mike Holmgren criticisms for the TNT Blog. Looks reasonable to me, but of course I am sure a bunch of people will find all sorts of reasons why it doesnt work. However, it is as good as anyone elses statistics based rankings. Really, anyone can beat anyone else at any given time but certainly a few teams have a higher probability of winning. Later.

  2. Adam

    I like the effort you’re putting forth, but a few quick things jumped out at me:
    – How do you account for special teams play?
    – What about turnovers?
    – This formula will make teams with easy schedules appear much better than they are.
    – This does not take into account teams that play “conservatively” in blowout games. If a team is up by 30 with 5 minutes left and give up 2 touchdowns because they are playing a prevent/soft defence, the performance affects their ranking adversely.

  3. hawkblogger

    Hi Adam,

    I think things like special teams plays and turnovers will show up in points scored and points given up.

    I thought about including a strength of schedule bit, but frankly don’t have time to calculate the cascading effect each week.

    Even without that, I think the rankings are pretty solid. Is there a particular ranking that seems out of whack for you?

  4. Adam

    Nothing really seems out of whack – I was just giving some feedback. I believe as the season goes on, this ranking system will become more representative of the conference/division rankings based on win/loss records.

    Early on in the season it is difficult to rank teams based solely on numbers. If you have the time you may want to incorporate more subjective analytics into your ranking system in order to account for anomalies that analysis of the numbers don’t always catch.

    I congratulate you on your efforts thus far.

  5. patsfan

    If you are a stat junkie and haven’t checked out this site, you should. http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com. They have some innovative perspectives on defensive and offensive efficiency. Great blog, BTW. Started by a patsfan, but it has really evolved into something entirely different.

  6. patsfan

    I was trying to say your blog was a great one, but I realized it would have been easy to assume I was talking about chff. What a great service you provide for your team’s fan base! You need to toot your own horn a bit to get more hits.

    Anyway, I realized the link to the stat discussion on chff isn’t necessarily obvious, so here it is. http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com/Quality_Standings.php

    I think the Seahawks might provide an interesting challenge for the Cowboys in the playoffs. That defense will have to bring its A game, though.

  7. hawkblogger

    Thanks, man! Honestly, I barely have time to update the site, let alone advertise. If you have any tips for getting the word out, let me know.

  8. patsfan

    Seriously, I’d contact the guys at CHFF for advice, especially Kerry Byrne. They started their site just a few years ago for reasons similar to the ones that caused you to start your blog, and, at the time, it wasn’t much more than a blog with a heavy pro-Pats bias. They have their web addresses online. Who knows, they might give you a plug on their site if they think it is good enough.

    I’d comment and somehow provided a relevant link to an article on your blog as often as I could on the chat boards. That’s how I found it.

  9. hawkblogger

    Thanks, patsfan. I sent a note to Kerry. I’m pretty content muddling along in obscurity. I just need an outlet for my maniacal ramblings.