NFL Week 4 Power Rankings

Last week I put up my first power rankings; you should go take a look there to see how I put them together and where teams were at after two games.  This is a quick reminder that week 4 means going into week 4, and here are your rankings (again, you’ll want to click to blow up the picture):

Movers: Pittsburgh takes over the top spot after stomping Tampa Bay.  While it’s true that they only gave up 13 points, their defense didn’t change much; instead their offense jumped almost a full point, which is basically the difference between an average team and either the best or worst team in the league.  Charlie Batch had quite a day for only throwing 17 passes.

Kansas City moved up from 9th to 2nd after throttling the 49ers.  They both passed and ran well (9.3 yards per pass and 5.3 yards per rush) whereas San Fran could do neither.  The Chiefs look like the real deal now, but we’ll know more after they play the Colts this weekend.

Speaking of the Colts, Indy jumped about .5 points and moved from 14th to 9th.  They have the league’s 4th best offense, but a below-average defense (the Colts are joined only by the Patriots, Eagles, and Packers as being above-average teams with below-average defenses).

Finally, their big day against the Jaguars led to the Eagles jumping from 23rd in the league, due to a crummy defense, to 11th with a decent offense and a just-below-average defense.  Next up is a completely average Washington team, so we should know more about which side Philly falls on after this weekend.

Shakers: As you might expect given the Pittsburgh game, Tampa Bay fell from 13th and a bit above average to 27th in the league; their score in the model was cut in half.  Their next game is against the Bengals, who also aren’t especially good despite being 2-1, so maybe they can recover and try to figure things out.

Jacksonville, San Fran, and Carolina have taken over the bottom spots in the rankings.  Carolina was already down there, but the 49ers and Panthers had been just a bit below average.  Despite their reputations as running teams, with Frank Gore, Jonathan Stewart, and DeAngelo Williams, the Panthers are only getting 3.64 yards per run and the 49ers are getting 3.9; average is 4.05.  Jacksonville is only getting 3.68, and none of these teams are passing well.  Their defenses are also below average, as you’d expect for the worst teams in the league, but the real deficiencies are on offense.

To give you the endpoints again, if the Steelers were at home against an average away team, they would win 80% of the time.  If the Jaguars were at home against as average away team, they would win 31% of the time.

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