I was so upset about how the weekend went that I forgot to put in the power rankings and season predictions. Here you go, with a little discussion.
Power Rankings: The Lions’ loss dropped them a fair amount, although it isn’t so much the fact that they lost as how they lost. Ignoring sacks, Stafford only picked up 5.9 yards per pass, and the running game is still awful at 3.7 yards per rush. The Lions didn’t lose any turnovers, but did fumble twice; the act of fumbling is more predictive than actually losing fumbles. Stafford was also sacked 5 times, much more than in previous games. The Lions pass defense held up pretty well, but they were absolutely gashed in the running game. All in all, the Lions lost ground on offense and defense and dropped from 4th to 10th. The 49ers, on the other hand, pretty much played to expectations and held their ground. Houston was the other big loser this weekend, dropping from 5th to 13th. Chicago might have been the biggest gainer, moving from 27th to 19th (and about average) after drubbing the Vikings.
Season Predictions: Our current luckiest teams are the Packers, Saints, and 49ers, all of which are projected to do well and are at least a game ahead of expected. Other teams are also ahead of projections (such as the Giants, Bucs, and Raiders), but they aren’t as close to the top of the list. On the other end, the Eagles and Texans lead the list of unlucky but good teams. If you add current wins to expected future wins, here are your division winners (and one race that’s too close to call): Packers (13), Patriots (12), Ravens (12), Houston (9), Giants (9), New Orleans (10), 49ers (11), Chargers/Raiders(9). If the Raiders actually get Carson Palmer, his play is going to determine if they can keep up their good record and win the division.