There wasn’t much change in the power rankings from last week to this. Oakland continued its meteoric rise with another big victory, but the rest of the league stayed about where it was. This should be comforting; it means that we’re starting to hone in on what teams are really like. Here are the rankings:
And here are the win predictions for the rest of the season.
This will be where the action is going forward. We’re getting into the sweet spot where we know the teams fairly well and there are few enough games that the uncertainty in prediction isn’t too huge; we should have an increasingly good sense of how the season will end up in the next couple weeks. The NFC division winners should be the Giants, Atlanta, Green Bay, and either Seattle or Saint Louis; both are estimated to come in at about 8 wins (yikes). The wild cards would be the Saints and Chicago or Tampa Bay. Not much changed on this front except Saint Louis caught up to Seattle. In the AFC I have New England, Pittsburgh, a complete mess in the the South (only Jacksonville is out), and Kansas City. The wild cards will be two out of the Jets, Baltimore, and the two non-winners of the AFC South. The only big change here is that the Jets cost themselves against the Patriots, and if they don’t win the division they might not make the playoffs at all. The next two weeks should separate the teams out a bit, although they don’t play each other head-to-head much. The league’s change to making week 17 all divisional games may end up paying off on the excitement/importance scale.