NFL Efficiency- Week 8
The Buffalo Bills make the big leap this week into the top spot with the Saints quick stay at number 1 coming to a rapid end as they give up the 7 spots they climbed the week before with the disaster in Saint Louis. They were replaced by the Lions in the top 5. The only team to fall out of the top 10 was the Cowboys who were replaced by the Eagles. As we make the turn into the halfway point of the year here are some things to look for:
AFC East- Buffalo has been the most consistently impressive of the group. They are 3-1 against high quality opponents and have wiped out bad teams. The Patriots are 3-2 versus quality opponents while the Jets are only 1-3. Unless NY turns that around this will be a two horse race with the Jets desperate for a wildcard spot.
AFC North- Another great divisional race. The Ravens held the top pot for some time and are 3-0 in big games, but they have a tendency to play down to bad teams, which could cost them the division. The Steelers got their first quality win of the year against the Patriots last week and are 1-2 in those games. Cincinnati has yet to be tested, with a 1-1 record, though its against arguably the two best teams in the NFL. The division looks to be the Ravens to lose.
AFC South- It is a 1 team race but don't sleep on the Jaguars. They have the 3rd most efficient defense in the NFL. That is always going to make them a good spoiler, but 6 losses is to hard to overcome.
AFC West- Who knows what to make of this one. The Raiders have the best team but their whole team changes with the replacement at QB. They are 2-2 in tough games but play down to bad teams. KC has gotten mauled by better teams with the exception of the 28-0 win against the Raiders. Hard to take them or the Chargers, 0-2 against good teams, seriously despite the 4-3 record.
NFC East- Don't look now, but here come the Eagles. Did they dig themselves too much of a hole to come out of though? The Giants look like a paper tiger, but they did find ways to beat the Bills and Eagles, two teams much better than NY. Its not crazy to think they could go 0-6 in their next 6 games. Dallas is more of a dangerous team than a good one. They are 1-4 against good teams but are almost always close in these games. If they could learn to win they could make a move.
NFC North- This is the best division in the NFL. Three teams in the top 10 and the worst, the Vikings, ranks 18th. Detroit/Green Bay will be interesting. For the most part Detroit has been more impressive but it is very close. Chicago is dangerous because of the defense, but the offense is not consistent enough for them to be a threat for the division. Minnesota waited too long to make the change to be relevant but they can spoil the year for some fringe wildcard contenders.
NFC South- The team to watch out for here is the Falcons. They are currently shown playing slightly above average football, but they were so bad early in the season that it means they are actually playing at a very high level right now. New Orleans problem is they play no defense at all which is always going to make them susceptible to a loss against a team with a good QB or good running game. Tampa will have a hard time finishing the year 0.500.
NFC West- This is just terrible. It's the 49'ers and 3 teams in the bottom 8. Somehow the AFC and NFC West have totally missed the memo that the league is set up for all teams to be around 0.500.
NFL Efficiency Rankings, Thru Week 8
|Rank||Change||Team||Off Eff||Def Eff||Total Eff|
|2||-||San Francisco 49ers||13.10%||-42.97%||56.07%|
|5||+1||Green Bay Packers||38.18%||-11.65%||49.84%|
|6||-||New England Patriots||39.27%||-0.01%||39.28%|
|8||-7||New Orleans Saints||49.43%||17.90%||31.53%|
|13||-2||New York Jets||14.10%||1.82%||12.28%|
|19||+3||New York Giants||9.43%||24.40%||-14.97%|
|20||-2||San Diego Chargers||-6.34%||10.61%||-16.96%|
|22||+2||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-18.26%||-0.29%||-17.97%|
|26||+3||Kansas City Chiefs||-25.40%||3.59%||-28.99%|
|31||-||St. Louis Rams||-44.90%||6.45%||-51.35%|