NFL Efficiency, Week 9
The first half of the season is now over and this is when I always feel the league starts to take shape. Usually it is these next four weeks that let everyone know the real Super Bowl threats from the also rans. But these rankings should give a good idea of what teams are for real, which are paper tigers, and which teams are going to play spoiler down the line.
This is the first year in some time without a team looked at as dominant, but the 5-3 Titans have played the best football of the year thus far. Nobody really talks about them and the Super Bowl, probably because of the loss to Denver but they are the most consistent team in the NFL ranking 3rd in offense and 4th in defense. Detroit is the big shocker in the top 5, a number I find hard to justify. They have the most efficient offense in the NFL right now, which is an indictment on how bad the offensive play has been this year, and play average defense so they rank high. They have been victims of a brutal road schedule, but I have to think that while they will be dangerous that the ranking will slowly fall as the year goes on. The Jets round out the top 5 with a defense trending upward and an offense downward over the last 4 weeks. The defense is about 6% off of last years pace.
The team most consider the best in the NFL, the Giants, rank 6th. They have never fared well in these rankings and usually they fall apart by years end so it would not be stunning if the same happens here. They have played a very easy schedule. San Diego is a very dangerous team and should be the favorite to win the West. Indy is barely hanging onto a top 10 position, something that they have had forever in this ranking system.
Oakland and Kansas City are two stunners at 11 and 12. They usually are in the upper 20s, but have turned things around this season. It will be tough for them to keep up with the Chargers as neither really displays a dominant home or away tendency making them vulnerable week by week. Oakland has been trending upward so if you had to choose one team to be there at the end it would be the Raiders. The Patriots terrible defense puts them at 13, but they are in a favorable position because they do not have a tough schedule and the remaining offenses they play are poor.
The Browns and Bears are going to be dangerous teams because they both play good defense making them upset contenders every week. Baltimore has the be considered a big disappointment. Maybe they turned things around with the shelling of Miami, but they have not been impressive in their wins. They probably have the most overrated defense in the NFL as they are only holding teams about 7.5% below their averages, yet many think they are the 2nd best in the league.
The Rams, at 21, will be a live team as well. Their offense is bad, but defensively they have been a shock ranking 7th overall. That should be enough to win the NFC West. Once you get to number 25 you get to the really bad football teams starting with the Bucs who have defied the odds to be 5-3. Carolina is by far the worst team in the NFL and the Bills, Broncos, Cardinals, and Cowboys are all in a world of hurt right now too.
2010 NFL Efficiency Ratings, thru week 9
|Rank||Team||Scoring Efficiency||Defensive Efficiency||Overall Efficiency|
|3.||Green Bay Packers||9.81||23.53||33.34|
|5.||New York Jets||-0.08||24.66||24.59|
|6.||New York Giants||18.19||6.16||24.35|
|7.||San Diego Chargers||17.4||4.19||21.59|
|12.||Kansas City Chiefs||-4.1||19.33||15.23|
|13.||New England Patriots||27.01||-13.59||13.42|
|14.||New Orleans Saints||2.94||7.43||10.38|
|21.||St. Louis Rams||-24.2||14.16||-10.04|
|24.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-3.92||-21.34||-25.26|
|25.||San Francisco 49'ers||-19.96||-6.54||-26.5|