NFL Power Rankings: Each Tuesday morning (after NFL Monday Night Football concludes the week’s activities) several media outlets come out with “NFL Power Rankings” to rate all 32 NFL teams from 1 to 32 (why the word “Power” and not just “NFL Rankings”? Interesting…)
And sometimes the rankings are similar, sometimes there is a lot of disparity. Which is why I like looking at a number of NFL Power Rankings and combine them to come up with…
NFL Combined Power Rankings!! (WOOT!)
How do I come up with the NFL Combined Power Rankings?
This is something I’ve done on and off for awhile now. I figured maybe it would be fun to actually post this publicly.
I use a system called Relative Placement. The basics of it: majority rules. The strength of it: when you have something very highly subjective to rank (such as professional sports rankings), you grab a number of “votes” and compare and combine them to come up with a final ranking. This is commonly used in dance competitions, and I think it works very well for the NFL Power Rankings.
For more about relative placement, you can read about it here:
If you want to read more about my NFL Combined Power Rankings, read my first post about it here:
On with the show! First..the NFL Power Rankings
My resources and criteria
- Find 7 NFL Power Rankings. This was done googling “NFL Power Rankings” and selecting some links on the first page, not surprisingly they came from sources I already often read
- A team must be ranked in the top 5 in one ranking to be considered. Mostly to save time. I didn’t want to apply the relative placement system to all 32 teams for all 7 rankings
- Only top 5 scores are considered.. If a team is ranked in the top 5 by one ranking, they are eligible for this combined ranking. However, if they are not in the top 5 of a different ranking that I use, then for tallying purposes I assign them a “6th” place.
NFL Power Rankings used
NFL.com did not have its power rankings up at the time I’m writing this. Using google, the Washington Post appeared in the results and they have two different rankings, one by an NFL Beat writer and one called “Fancy Stats”. The “Fancy Stats” NFL Power Ranking sounded quite interesting:
Each week, Neil Greenberg will give his NFL power rankings based on myriad metrics, including traditional stats that reflect recent performance such as margin of victory and strength of schedule to more advanced metrics you would find at Football Outsiders, Pro Football Focus and Advanced NFL Analytics.
Welcome to the NFL Combined Power Rankings Mr. Fancy Stats Neil Greenberg!
Here are the individual NFL Power Rankings I used
(Hawks: # 7)
Here are my NFL Combined Power Rankings
Remember, a non-top-five vote for a team is assessed “sixth” place.
1st: Denver Broncos (last week: 2)
VOTES: 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 4th
2nd: San Diego Chargers (last week: 3)
VOTES: 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd
3rd: Dallas Cowboys (last week: 7)
VOTES: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, no-vote
4th: Philadelphia Eagles (last week: 5)
VOTES: 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 4th, no-vote, no-vote
5th: Seattle Seahawks (last week: 1)
VOTES: 3rd, 3rd, 5th, 5th, 5th, 5th, no-vote
6th: Indianapolis Colts (last week: 6)
VOTES: 4th, 5th, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote
7th: (TIE) Arizona Cardinals (last week: 8) and Green Bay Packers (last week: unranked)
VOTES: 5th, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote
Fell Out Of Rankings: Cincinatti Bengals, San Francisco 49ers
a.k.a. no 1st through 5th Votes this week
What It Says…
Some interesting points simply from reading a relative placement sheet
- The rankings are much more clear this week with clean majorities for the top five placements. In other words:
- Broncos are a clear 1st with a majority of 1st votes
- Chargers are a clear 2nd with a majority of 1st and 2nd votes
- Cowboys are a clear 3rd with a majority of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd votes
- Eagles are a clear 4th with a majority of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th votes
- Seahawks are a clear 5th with a majority of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th votes
- Last week it was only the top three placements with clean majorities.
- Interesting that the Seahawks only had one no-vote, and the Eagles (ahead of them) had two no-votes
- Also interesting that in the NFC West, the Seahawks are 3rd behind the Cardinals and 49ers. Yet the Power Rankings have the Cardinals (7) and 49ers (unranked) behind the Seahawks
My personal opinion:
Very surprised the Seahawks were ranked that highly. Even garnering not one, but two third place votes. Overall I would have expected the highest anyone would rank them to be 5th.
Which also points to the strength of relative placement and “limiting power to any one judge”. Even without the two 3rd place votes, they still got the 5th place vote majority. So interestingly, with the combined rankings they did end up 5th.
Why would I expect them ranked lower?
The Seahawks got their butts handed to them in fashion by the Dallas Cowboys, and I have not been super impressed with them yet this season. Not to mention, every team listed above (including those that have fallen out of the rankings) all have better winning percentages than the Seahawks.
I do think a lot of us (fans and writers and analysts alike) are possibly just thinking that the Seahawks ceiling/potential is much higher than what they’ve been playing at, and I’m guessing that those that write NFL Power Rankings are not yet ready to write off the Seahawks. However, that just means this coming week against the St. Louis Rams will be very telling. If the Seahawks do not win convincingly, I am more than fine with them falling out of the top 5, down to 8th or 9th for sure.
About Me and About Relative Placement
I come from a background of doing a lot of swing dance competition judging. Without getting into it, there are a lot of styles to swing dancing and at an elite level you have to basically compare apples to oranges and decide which you like better. So you have to combine the scoring of seven different judges and come up with a final placement.
For that reason, I’m always interested in scoring and rankings of any sort. Especially when it is subjective like NFL football. In this case, instead of taking any one specific ranking into account, I like taking them all into account to come up with a “final” power ranking (combined power rankings)
Believe it or not, my wife and I use relative placement for a lot of different tallying, not just for swing dance judging, from ridiculous situations to sometimes very important critical decisions.
That’s this week’s NFL Combined Power Rankings! Have a great week!