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THIS WEEK
Seahawks fans are licking their wounds, but the rankings formula seems to like what they are doing the past few weeks. They have climbed to 8th, which is their first time in the top ten this season, despite blowing a big lead to the Bengals on the road. Seattle is aided greatly by their strength of schedule, which is 5th in the NFL so far. Arizona, on the flip side, is hurt by their SOS which ranks 30th of 32 teams. Seattle has improved more than any other team in the top half of the rankings over the past three weeks. The Broncos have fallen off more than any top fifteen team, except for the Titans.

RANKINGS (WITH SOS)

Scatter

This view helps to give you a view of how teams are grouped together. You will generally see tiers of strength develop as the season wears on.

RANKINGS EXPLAINED
Power rankings are always debatable. I don’t buy into the gut feel methods most places use to determine their rankings, so I developed a formula a few years back that attempts to take at least some of the subjectivity out of the discussion. My approach was simple, I measured offensive and defensive efficiency based on the Yards Per Carry (YPC) and Yards Per Attempt (YPA), as well as points scored and points allowed. The formula to calculate “Team Strength” was as follows:

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

The formula has proven to be a pretty accurate predictor of success, but I am always looking for ways to improve it. I read a great article on ColdHardFootballFacts.com. There was one gem in there about predicting championship teams. The article mentioned passer rating differential as the “mother of all stats.” A full 69 of 72 champions have ranked in the Top 10 in this statistic. It is a stat after my own heart, as I believe offensive and defensive efficiency is the key measurable outside of point differential. Turnovers would factor in there as well, but I am not convinced a team has as much control over that. My power rankings use YPA and YPC differentials. I went ahead and replaced the YPA with offensive and defensive passer rating, to give me this:

(YPC (offense) + Passer Rating (offense) + Avg Pts/Game Scored) – (OPP YPC (defense) + OPP Passer Rating (defense)+ OPP Avg Pts/Game)


As of September 23, 2014, I have added a strength of schedule component to the rankings as well. 

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