NFL

NFL Efficiency Rankings - Week 6

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Two of the top three teams lost but still kept their spots. San Diego, in particular, lost to a far weaker team, but did so thanks to special teams play. One criticism the system receives is that it doesn't include special teams.

It's not that special teams don't matter or can't affect game outcomes. The reason they're excluded from the model is that they are wildly inconsistent from week to week. So while their explanatory power can be significant, they are not predictive. And because special teams performance is not predictive, is it really a mark of good or bad team? Or is it just randomness, subject to a handful of non-repeating plays in each game, of which there are only 16 in a season?

The NFC South looks particularly weak so far. The teams range from 21st to 27th. The NFC West might be even weaker, featuring the two bottom teams and led by 17th ranked Seattle.

As crazy as these rankings may seem (and they do to me to), they did predict several upsets (at least according to the point spreads). Several of these apparently qualify as shocking to many media outlets: ARI over NO, WAS over GB, PHI over SF, CHI over CAR. In the 5 games in which the model disagreed with the consensus, it went 4-1. In other words, consensus favorites were 5-9 last week, and the model was 8-6.

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RANK
TEAM
LAST WK
GWP
Opp GWP
O RANK
D RANK

1
SD
1
0.81
0.42
1
10

2
NYG
2
0.74
0.54
4
2

3
KC
3
0.66
0.56
23
1

4
PIT
8
0.64
0.49
12
3

5
DAL
4
0.60
0.58
2
16

6
GB
14
0.60
0.49
5
14

7
IND
13
0.60
0.57
8
19

8
CHI
9
0.60
0.53
16
4

9
WAS
5
0.59
0.52
7
15

10
MIA
11
0.59
0.48
15
13

11
HOU
6
0.58
0.57
6
21

12
PHI
15
0.55
0.47
14
11

13
TEN
16
0.55
0.55
13
5

14
BAL
7
0.54
0.50
19
9

15
NE
12
0.54
0.47
3
30

16
MIN
21
0.53
0.47
20
8

17
SEA
18
0.51
0.50
27
7

18
NYJ
10
0.50
0.51
18
12

19
DEN
20
0.48
0.51
9
27

20
CIN
17
0.46
0.46
25
18

21
TB
23
0.45
0.47
10
32

22
SF
25
0.44
0.51
22
20

23
NO
27
0.43
0.40
11
31

24
ATL
28
0.41
0.43
24
23

25
CLE
19
0.40
0.50
21
24

26
JAC
26
0.38
0.56
28
29

27
CAR
22
0.37
0.54
32
6

28
DET
29
0.35
0.51
17
28

29
BUF
24
0.34
0.52
29
25

30
OAK
30
0.30
0.49
26
26

31
STL
31
0.27
0.40
30
22

32
ARI
32
0.24
0.44
31
17

Team efficiency stats are listed below.

TEAM
OPASS
ORUN
OINT%
OFUM%
DPASS
DRUN
DINT%
PENRATE

ARI
4.3
4.5
4.5
1.5
6.4
4.3
3.9
0.54

ATL
5.9
4.1
1.7
0.3
6.2
4.2
6.0
0.40

BAL
6.1
3.6
3.5
0.8
5.3
4.2
0.7
0.43

BUF
4.8
4.8
2.9
1.0
7.0
4.8
0.7
0.31

CAR
4.1
3.9
6.0
3.3
5.5
3.8
5.7
0.43

CHI
5.8
3.9
5.9
0.0
5.4
3.5
3.6
0.39

CIN
6.2
3.7
3.1
1.5
5.8
4.4
4.1
0.42

CLE
5.9
3.9
3.7
2.5
6.9
4.1
2.0
0.47

DAL
7.2
4.1
2.9
0.0
6.4
4.5
1.7
0.64

DEN
7.4
2.3
1.4
1.1
6.8
4.4
2.0
0.51

DET
5.7
3.6
3.3
1.2
6.6
4.8
4.2
0.52

GB
6.6
4.7
3.6
0.4
5.2
4.7
3.3
0.51

HOU
6.4
5.1
3.0
0.4
7.7
3.6
1.9
0.34

IND
7.2
3.2
0.9
1.1
6.5
4.8
2.0
0.36

JAC
5.6
4.4
4.4
1.1
7.8
4.4
2.4
0.38

KC
5.8
4.5
2.8
0.5
5.8
3.2
1.9
0.28

MIA
6.3
3.9
3.6
1.5
5.5
4.2
2.5
0.24

MIN
5.6
4.8
5.3
1.5
5.1
4.0
1.4
0.51

NE
7.0
4.3
1.6
0.0
6.8
4.4
4.6
0.35

NO
6.6
3.3
2.5
1.1
6.3
4.1
2.9
0.31

NYG
6.8
4.5
4.6
1.5
4.7
3.5
4.4
0.54

NYJ
5.5
5.1
0.0
1.2
6.1
3.3
2.8
0.55

OAK
5.5
4.4
3.5
0.8
6.6
5.0
1.4
0.62

PHI
6.1
5.3
0.6
0.8
5.4
4.3
4.9
0.55

PIT
6.0
4.3
4.9
1.6
5.5
2.6
3.9
0.36

SD
8.7
4.3
2.2
1.8
4.8
3.8
4.7
0.38

SF
5.8
3.7
4.7
1.3
6.6
3.9
2.5
0.42

SEA
5.8
3.6
4.7
0.0
6.5
2.7
2.9
0.35

STL
5.1
3.7
3.9
0.0
6.1
4.3
2.2
0.46

TB
6.2
3.9
2.4
0.5
6.4
4.9
7.5
0.32

TEN
5.8
4.6
2.5
1.3
5.5
4.2
3.5
0.61

WAS
6.9
3.9
1.8
0.9
6.3
4.5
1.8
0.34

Avg
6.1
4.1
3.2
1.0
6.1
4.1
3.1
0.43