2009-10 NFL Power Rankings – Week 9

Welcome back to the MikesPickz NFL Power Rankings. Sorry that they are so late this week, it has been a hectic week for me, but there is good news- which you will find two paragraphs below.

Two quick things to mention from last week: The New York Giants had their secondary exposed again, this time by the division rival Eagles. The Giants lost their 3rd straight game and now are sitting at 3rd in the division. They will need to fix the secondary issues before heading into this week’s game against the Chargers, if they don’t, Rivers will pick them apart. The Arizona Cardinals, who had the number 1 ranked rushing defense got torched on the ground for 270 yards by the Panthers.

*BRAND NEW* – I have been working on a formula to accurately rank all of the teams in the NFL and at the same time eliminate almost all of the bias that I may have. The formula may in itself have some biases because it is based on what statistical categories I find valuable, but I think that most people would agree on which categories are important. After I input the data into the formula and get the final weighted number, I simply order the list by that number. This is the first week that I am using the formula and because of that I will label it BETA, and I am open to any feedback on the new rankings (and please do leave a comment with your thoughts).

I must say I think the formula is quite accurate, but some teams were ranked so close to each other that they could go either way. For this week, I want to show you the raw rankings. These are not including my opinion, I do have a few minor disagreements, which will be mentioned in the description. Without further ado, here are the ranking:

*Tiers consist of teams that finished within 20 points of each other using my ranking formula*

Tier 1

  1. Saints– I don’t think there is much question here
  2. Broncos– This is probably the one that will draw the most disagreement. I have to admit #2 is slightly high for them, and that the Colts should be #2 but the Broncos have had a great season against good competition.
  3. Colts– Immediately I can tell why the Colts got bumped to #3 despite being undefeated this season- they have had the 2nd easiest schedule in the NFL (Redskins are first). The Colts opponents are a combined 17-33 and the Colts have had 3 games end with less than a TD difference, despite Manning’s amazing season.
  4. Bengals– I don’t have a huge problem with the Bengals being ranked this high, if you look at their team they are pretty solid all around.

  5. Tier 2

  6. Vikings– The Vikings just missed the cut for Tier 1, they have the same problem as the Colts- their schedule has been super easy to date. They have had the 3rd easiest schedule in the NFL with their opponents record being 19-32.
  7. Falcons– The Falcons have a moderate record of 4-3, but they have played the 4th toughest schedule in the league (Opponents record 30-19). I think the Falcons are ranked slightly higher than they should be, the Patriots I believe should be ranked higher than them (there was only a 3 point difference in their grades).
  8. Steelers– I had ranked the Steelers #7 last week, so I have no problem with them remaining #7 after their BYE week.
  9. Patriots– It will be interesting to see how they play against the Dolphins this week, since they are coming of the BYE after pounding two of the worst teams in the NFL in back-to-back weeks.
  10. Ravens– The Ravens rebounded from their 3 game losing streak with a dominant win against the Broncos last week.
  11. Cowboys– The Cowboys have an explosive offense especially with Miles Austin opening up the passing game.
  12. Cards– They should be embarrassed after losing to the Panthers last week. The #1 ranked rushing defense allowed 270 yards rushing? Wow, it didn’t help that Kurt Warner did his best Delhomme impression by throwing 5 INTs.
  13. Eagles- I have a small disagreement with the Eagles at 12, I think they should flip with the Cards and Cowboys. I think the Eagles should be 10 followed by the Cowboys and then the Cards. The main killer of the Eagles was the loss to the Raiders.
  14. Dolphins– The Dolphins are a better team than their record indicates, they have just faced some bad luck to start the season. They have the toughest schedule in the NFL to date with their opponents having a combined record of 29-15 (tied for toughest with the Titans).
  15. Giants- The Giants are opposite of the Dolphins, they are not as good as their record indicates. They have been exposed the last 3 weeks and I think they will be exposed again this week. Their 5 wins include the Redskins, Bucs, Chiefs and Raiders (who have 5 combined wins).
  16. Chargers– The Chargers offense is explosive and with LT starting to run effectively, I think they are a team to watch over the 2nd half of the NFL season.
  17. Texans– The Texans are off to their best start in franchise history thanks to the play of Matt Schaub (one of the most underrated QBs in the NFL). They are trying to eclipse the 8 win mark for the first time ever and I think they will be able to do it this season.

  18. Tier 3

  19. Bears- They need to perform better on the road.
  20. 49ers– They are able to beat the bad teams and play competitive against the good teams. I think the 49ers are a team to watch for in the 2nd half of the NFL season. With Smith at QB and Crabtree at WR, the 49ers offense has seemed to actually have some life in it. I expect Crabtree to have a big 2nd half.
  21. Jets– The Jets hopefully have practiced some special teams defense this week. I still can’t believe that Ginn was able to return two kick-offs 100+ yards for a TD in the SAME QUARTER. Their defense played well, but it has played well most of the season, and it is proven they need more than just a defense (even though they have the #1 ranked rushing team).
  22. Packers– The Packers seem a little low in the rankings, but it is because they are the king of beating up on bad teams. They beat the Browns, Rams, Lions and Bears this season, while losing to the Vikings twice and Bengals.
  23. Panthers– The win against the Cards was huge, will it be a turning point for their season?
  24. Jaguars– The Jaguars have one of the beat RBs in the league on their team (MJD), but they are not a good football team. Just look at their last 3 games: Wk 5- Shut out by Seahawks, Wk 6- Need OT to beat Rams, Wk 8- Lose to the winless Titans.
  25. Bills– Their 3-4 record is deceiving, they are not that good.
  26. Raiders– They beat the Eagles and held them without a TD, yeah I still can’t get over it.
  27. Seahawks– The Seahawks are an interesting team. They are interesting because it amazes me how they can play so well at home and so terrible on the road.

  28. Tier 4

  29. Titans– They have had some bad luck this season with the fact that they have had the toughest schedule (opponents are 29-15) in the NFL, but for a team that went 13-3 last season, they should have more than 1 win this season. Chris Johnson is a monster at RB and switching to Young was a great decision. They will have a tough game this week against the 49ers, who rank second in stopping the run.
  30. Browns- There really isn’t much to say about the Browns. Mangini is a terrible head coach
  31. Lions– The Lions that went 0-16 last season have not had an easy schedule to start this season (opponents are 30-21), but they missed a huge opportunity against the Rams last week. They need Calvin Johnson back on the field.
  32. Chiefs– The Larry Johnson mess is a huge distraction and this team does not need any distractions, I have a feeling this week could be a long one for them.
  33. Rams– They got a win! I think it will be their only one of the season. Steven Jackson owners must be happy that he finally got in the end-zone, despite the fact that he is tied for second in the NFL with 784 yards. St. Louis really is a one man show.
  34. Redskins– The Redskins have had the easiest schedule in the NFL to date (opponents are 16-35), yet they only have 2 wins? Their offense is terrible, and I feel bad for Jim Zorn because it wasn’t just his fault, it was poor execution by his players. Who will be fired first Zorn or Mangini? The race is on.

  35. Tier 5

  36. Bucs– The remaining schedule for the Bucs is:  Packers, @Dolphins, Saints, @Falcons, @Panthers, Jets, @Seahawks, @Saints, Falcons. If you see a win in there, let me know.

A possible update to the formula that I am considering is any teams that are within 3 points of each other, will be subject my opinion in their ranking (see my Falcons description).
Due to great feedback from my readers, I have made a minor adjustment to my formula and I believe the rankings are even better now. Find the adjusted rankings here.
That will do it for this week’s power rankings, be sure to check back next week for another ranking. Any questions or comments? Post them in the comment section below or send me a tweet @MikesPickz.
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  1. I like most of the rankings. I agree with you the the Broncos are a little high, but they are a good team. I also agree with you on the Eagles. They are better than the Cowboys and the Cards… maybe even the Ravens. They have been playing very good, well rounded football. Even with out Westbrook.

  2. There is no way that the Broncos are better than the Colts, let alone the Saints. Also, the Eagles are not better than the Cowboys. The Cowboys have only lost to the Broncos and the Giants, yet are somehow 4 places worse than a team they destroyed (Falcons) and have the same record as.

    With your philosophy, 49ers ranked over Packers is a joke. This team shows no consistency, losing by 4 to the Colts and 35 to the Falcons. Wow, they play competitively with good teams… So have a number of teams, but in the end, that doesn’t matter. Shouldn’t they be playing competitively if they are in the NFL? You don’t get brownie points for almost winning. There is no asterisk next to a game you lost in the closing seconds. Otherwise, the Cowboys would only have one loss.

    1. John,
      I hope that you read the intro to my rankings, I used the raw data of my formula to display the rankings and then if I disagreed with a ranking, I commented on that fact in the description. I clearly state that I feel the Broncos are better than the Colts (read Erik’s comment as he notes he agrees with me that the Broncos are high). And let alone the Saints? I have the Saints higher than the Broncos. I also noted that I felt the Falcons were higher than they should be. The Eagles are a better team than the Cowboys (sorry its true and I can tell from this comment that you may be slightly Cowboys biased- and that’s OK everyone has a favorite team), so I stand by what I said about the Eagles.

      The 49ers do show consistency so I do not know what you are talking about. They have played 7 games and only been blown out one time, with their best offensive weapon injured in that game. The 49ers have played every game close except when they destroyed a very bad Rams team.

      The Packers have bigger issues than the 49ers do. They cannot protect Rodgers at all, he has been sacked 31 times this season by far the most in the NFL. If the Packers cannot protect him, they will be in trouble. I didn’t mention anything about brownie points for almost winning, in fact in my formula there is nothing about how much you lost to each opponent. Once again, if you read my intro you would notice that this is the raw data from my formula (not a rankings based strictly on my opinion). I posted the raw data in order for me to get feedback (which obviously you gave) on my formula. A number of people have commented to me about suggestions and I actually have adjusted the formula and the new rankings will be posted immediately when I finish this comment.

  3. Yea, I’m a Cowboys fan, but I am not being biased to the extent where I think they are invincible. I know the team has problems, but I think a lot of people don’t realize how good of a defense they have. Hopefully the Boys will show up Sunday night and get/earn/deserve more respect.

    Also, I misstated what I meant before. I meant to say that the Saints are not better than the Colts, not the Broncos not being better than the Saints. I still think the Saints are overrated, but hey, what do I know.

    I know you made a new ranking, but the Giants are better than the Dolphins. Cardinals should be a lot lower as well.

    1. Yea, I agree that the Cowboys have the potential. It will be interesting to watch them against the Eagles this week.

      I do disagree with the Saints comment, I do not think that they are overrated, but hey everyone has there own opinion. As long as the Saints and Colts are in the top two, it doesn’t matter the order to me.

      I believe that the Giants were ranked better than the Dolphins (in the new rankings) and I agree the Cards may be ranked slightly higher than they deserve.

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