NFL Power Index Rankings: Seahawks 4th, Surprise Number 1


With seven weeks completed on the NFL season, there is not enough data available to dust off the NFL Power Index. This statistical ranking system removes emotion and bias from equation. The results this week make sense except for two teams near the top of the rankings: Seattle, and a shocking team that checks in at No. 1.

A brief explanation of methodology: This index was developed back in 2011 using data from the previous decade’s games. About 30 different team stats were correlated to winning. After days of number crunching, indexes were formed based on those results. Those indexes are combined to form the Power Index.

Wins and losses are not included in the model. Instead it is composed of variables that leads to wins and losses. This will ultimately lead to the this model to be predictive, but the analysis necessary for that has not been completed yet.

Coefficients are modified slightly each year to account for the additional data. Strength of Schedule was added last season. Penalties were removed in 2013. The model is being constantly improved.

The Raw Power Index is normalized so 50 is average to historical data, with maximum being near 100 and minimum being near zero. (No team has ever been that good or that bad yet.) Teams with a value over 80 rare. The same goes for teams under 20.

Some notes on this weeks rankings:

The number one team here is shocking. The New York Jets have been good, but good enough to be the league’s most powerful team? Hmmm…

When that result showed up, every single data point had to be checked. Lets just say that they’ve been significantly better (at least statistically) than was expected.

The Arizona Cardinals look like a historically elite team until their strength of schedule is factored in. They are still a top tier team though, but some of their statistical success is discounted for playing the league’s third-easiest schedule so far.

The Seahawks on the other hand are being held up by their tough schedule and two blowout wins. While it is weird to see a 3-4 team that high, blowout wins and close losses will do that.

NFL Power Index results:

1NY Jets1.
2New England0.
7Green Bay0.825.6-2.3-1.564.91
15NY Giants-0.724.2-5.4-1.553.61
16Kansas City0.325.3-2.92.453.33
17St. Louis0.619.7-8.51.853.18
19Tampa Bay1.028.0-4.1-2.649.82
20New Orleans-1.821.712.20.749.36
26San Diego-1.726.
30San Francisco-0.724.6-4.42.526.98

Significantly more data goes into these rankings than is shown. Included are a few data indexes to provide some context. Columns included are described below.

Yds – yards per play index. Offense and defense include, and run/pass handled separately.

ST – Special teams index. Created with punt and kick return data.

3% – Third down conversion index. Uses both offense and defense.

SOS – Strength of schedule index. Taken from TeamRankings.

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