It’s a pretty busy day today and if I get any blogging time later I have something else I’m thinking about writing, so I’m just going to throw the power ranking and season predictions up without much comment. Maybe, like, two of them.
Here are the power rankings. I’m looking forward to the Bears-Texans game; it should be both fun to watch and informative. Also, I like that Detroit is starting to climb away from average and is ahead of the Vikings at this point.
Here are the season win predictions. I’m excited that the Lions have gotten their estimate closer to 8 wins, since I can take them off my 7 wins/eliminated from any playoff hope list. If they manage to beat the Vikings on the road this weekend (spoiler: I have it as a 50/50 game), it’ll be an important divisional win. For the record (and those unwilling to do a little math), the current 7 wins-or-less list is Tennessee, Jacksonville, Kansas City, St. Louis, Oakland, Cleveland, Arizona, New Orleans, Philly, Carolina, Buffalo, the Jets, Dallas (depending on how generous you want to be with rounding), Washington, and Cincinnati. The 7 wins list idea is basically that if you want to have any chance of making the playoffs, you need to be aimed for at least 8 wins. Then with either some mid-season improvement or some luck, you might have enough wins to get in. If you’re aimed at less than .500, you aren’t going to make it. This list includes truly crappy teams (Tennessee, Jacksonville), surprisingly crappy teams (New Orleans, Carolina, kind of), and simply mediocre teams. The mediocre teams then fall into two groups, those that don’t have enough wins so far despite having promising second halves ahead (Cincy, Buffalo, the Jets) and those that are secretly crummy or have hard second halves (Arizona, Philly). Someone from this list could end up making the playoffs, but it would take one or more of a truly good run of luck, a truly good turn around in performance, or a truly incorrect rating by my model. This leaves 17 teams fighting for 12 playoff spots; we’ll see how the list changes after the weekend, and eventually switch to a “who’s in” instead of a “who’s out” format.