Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2013 NFL Power Ratings

I took a break from NFL previews to focus on something I believe is much more important: NFL and NCAAF power ratings.

I used Jeff Fogle's preliminary market ratings as a baseline for mine. Fogle used his final ratings from last year and adjusted for factors like injuries, off-season moves, abnormal turnover differentials, etc. I did some homework during the past couple weeks and tweaked some numbers accordingly and eventually came up with my own power ratings.

Keep in mind these are preliminary considering training camp hasn't even started yet for some teams, and with injuries and other transactions bound to take place, these numbers are definitely not set in stone.

85 San Francisco
84 Denver, New England,
83 Seattle
82 Green Bay
81 Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston
80 Baltimore, New Orleans, New York Giants
79 Pittsburgh, Chicago, Dallas
78 Carolina, Washington (with RG3)
77 Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Miami, Tampa Bay
76 Kansas City, Minnesota, Philadelphia, San Diego, St. Louis
75 Buffalo, Cleveland, Tennessee, Washington (without RG3)
74 Arizona, New York Jets
73 Oakland
72 Jacksonville

Power ratings can be used to project the beginning stages of a point spread. For example, if San Francisco played Atlanta on a neutral field, my power ratings suggest San Francisco would be about a 4-point favorite. Other factors such as location, perception, schedule spots, etc. are then implemented into the number in order to create a more accurate point spread. Remember these are preliminary numbers that will be altered as the off-season progresses.

I don't think Baltimore will regress too much this year and we have to remember they weren't a juggernaut during last year's regular season. While they did lose some valuable veterans on defense, the Ravens acquired Elvis Dumervil and Michael Huff, who should help plug the hole on defense. Baltimore's offensive line remains intact and transformed into one of the best units during the playoffs after shuffling the line up. My concern with the Ravens is the wide receiver corps and the assumption that they could potentially start three or four rookies which I will be keeping an eye on them during training camp.

Cincinnati has one of the best defensive units in the league but their offense becomes stagnant at times and I don't trust Andy Dalton to get the job done. The Bengals played the second easiest schedule in the league last year behind Indianapolis (per Pro Football Reference) and I'm not buying the hype regarding them winning the AFC North.

Cleveland has a solid offensive line and appears to be on the uptick, but nevertheless, I have them listed as a 75 because I need to see more from Brandon Weeden. 

Don't get me wrong Denver is definitely one of the best teams in the NFL but they did play a cupcake schedule last year (due in large part to their awful division). I wouldn't be surprised to see them win twelve games in 2013 considering they have one of the easiest schedules but I'm not convinced they are as good as San Fran at this point and Denver will most likely begin the season one point lower on the power rating scale.

I'm not too high on Green Bay coming into this year so I conservatively pegged them as an 82 but will be quick to move them up the ladder if they can show me something in their opening game at San Fran.

New Orleans is a tricky team to get a read on considering how bad their defense is. I am expecting their offense to continue to be one of the best in the league especially with Sean Payton returning to the helm. Also Rob Ryan is coming in to coach the defense and will implement a new 3-4 scheme and I'm not sure if the Saints will be able to comfortably adjust in such a short period of time. I currently have them pegged as an 80 but will be adjusting on the fly depending on what I see from their defensive unit.

San Francisco is the best team in the league in my opinion but the wide receiver situation worries me a bit. Crabtree could miss the season and Manningham reportedly won't be ready for training camp, which leaves Anquan Boldin and A.J. Jenkins. However Vernon Davis is a cross between a tight end and a wide receiver and I expect to see him line up wide more often than we've seen in the past. San Fran's outstanding offensive line and stout defense make them the best team in the NFL regardless of some skill position setbacks.

I had Seattle ranked as high as an 84 but their subpar offensive line ultimately made be shift them down a point. The Seahawks probably have the best secondary in the league but their linebackers aren't too special in my opinion. When you factor in some of the suspensions that are set to take place during the first month of the season I conservatively ranked them as an 83. 

Tampa Bay is another tough team to grasp because of the free agents they brought in. Revis is arguably the best cornerback in the league when healthy but he will be less than a year removed from a torn ACL by the time Week 1 rolls around. Dashon Goldson is one of the best safeties in the league and their defense appears to be much improved, but looking good on paper does not necessarily translate to on-field production. I currently have them listed as 77 but that number could definitely be on the rise.

Washington was very fortunate to win ten games last year in my opinion and I don't envision them doing it again in 2013. Late season collapses by the Cowboys and Giants directly attributed to Washington winning the NFC East. The Redskins had the highest fumble recovery percentage (67.39%) in 2012 and I would expect that to regress back to the mean. The return of Brian Orakpo (tore his pectoral muscle in Week 2) will help improve a defense desperately in need as well as free up Ryan Kerrigan for some one-on-one opportunities. I expect a regression from Robert Griffin III because I'm assuming he will operate from the pocket much more often this year. He also threw a ton of bubble screens and other short patterns which helped inflate his completion percentage.

I'm still fine-tuning my NCAAF power ratings at the moment but will put them up on the site as soon as I get them finished.

No comments:

Post a Comment