Just a quick note on tonight’s game, and a table for all you guys who enjoy power rankings.
We get an old-fashioned NFC East showdown tonight as the Giants travel to DC. Neither team has a lot of luster right now though; Washington is on its back-up QB, who some people thought should be the starter anyway, and the Giants had arguably the worst start to the season of any team that had a chance of being decent. But Cousins has given Washington something to hope about, and the Giants’ convincing win over Houston was certainly a step in the right direction.
As for the game, all three models give Washington the edge. Cousins has only thrown about 75% of the team’s passes, so he can’t take full credit for their 4th-in-the-league passing efficiency, but Kirk has the higher yards per attempt (and net yards, and QB rating) than RGIII anyway. The Giants are only 24th. Washington isn’t great at it, but they have the better yards per rush as well. Both teams have been below average at defending the pass and above average at defending the rush, but Washington is better at both. Washington has faced an easier slate of opponents so far, but the models still have things coming out in their favor. They expect a cover against the line of -3 I see on SBR.
Power rankings! For people who don’t remember, these rankings are based on Luigi’s regression weights for how a team would do against an average opponent. Higher is better for both offense and defense, but teams tend to have negative defensive ratings. Agreeing with some other sites, I have the Bengals at the top. Enjoy!