Wednesday, November 10

Power Rankings revisited

We've already seen the soul-crushing situation at the top, but look at what we have down in the real meaty part of the NFL's curve, according to ESPN's staff:

The chief complaint I have with Power Rankings is that the authors tend to not take into account recent play and momentum. They basically just rank the teams as they fall in the season standings with a game or two adjustment here and there. Now, obviously, overall record is a fairly useful indicator of a team's "power," and I'm not suggesting that the rankings be completely divorced from wins and losses, but I do think more emphasis needs to be placed on the current stature of a team.

Sticking the Browns at 23rd here is a classic example. Yes, we're 3-5, but the past two games we've absolutely hammered the teams sitting at #6 and #9, and our most recent three losses came to the clubs ranked...wait for it...#1, #2, and #3. Yikes. (Good news: #5 comes to town this weekend! That's a brutal stretch.) Are you actually suggesting that just over 2/3 of the league is better than Cleveland right now?

Anyway, you'd think the Power Ranking team would factor in recent results and opponents a little more than they have here. Considering how dominant and disciplined Cleveland has looked the past two times out, wouldn't you take them over the five teams ranked just ahead of us? (I selectively cut the list there; Miami sits at #17 and they're not bad. I think we can beat anyone right now, but that's not the point of this exercise.) The Vikings are a disaster that barely squeaked by DA and his Cardinals last weekend; the Rams...well, they're not bad, maybe you could keep them above us; the Jaguars suck; the Bears are the worst 5-3 team in the history of eight-game samples; and the Redskins coach is calling his quarterback out of shape.

The Browns look like a top-half club to me. Deal with it.

1 comment:

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thinking about how dominant and disciplined Cleveland has looked the previous two instances out, wouldn't you consider them more than the 5 clubs graded just forward of us
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