Big shoutout to @smckenz3 for writing up my crappy rankings last week...he poured a ton of time into that and it is much appreciated. Just another of the great guys on this site...thanks!
Some serious movement in the top half of the rankings this week, and a bit toward the bottom as well. While we're certainly seeing a clearing of top-tier teams from the herd, the great middle is muddled as ever. This week, I'm gonna provide one stat per team that points to why I have them ranked as such. Enjoy!
Remember, if you don't like where you are in these rankings...play better!
CCG Favorites--Pick Range: #29-32
1. Los Angeles Rams
Why: The Rams lead the League in 15 statistical categories, but we'll go with Best DYPP defense in the League (22.03), 3 points clear of 2nd place (19.51), where 3rd place is 18.67. Wow. Good luck, everyone else.
2. Carolina Panthers
Why: Best 3rd Down % in the League (39.84%). Skaggs won't let them punt. And the 2nd best scoring team in the League.
3. Indianapolis Colts
Why: 7 straight wins, is ridiculous, but par for the course for the team with League's highest rated QB (minimum 150 passes): 117.28, 25-4 TD-INT ratio.
4. New York Jets
Why: Discipline and efficient balance. 2nd fewest penalties in the League, #4 in OYPP, #8 in DYPP. Those numbers equate to good coaching.
Playoff-caliber Teams, One Could Get Hot and Win It All--Pick Range: #21-29
5. Detroit Lions
Why: League's best YPCA (3.77) and YPGA (72.7) means you can't run on the Lions. If you have to pass, that's when Keyshawn and Cam Jones smile.
6. Dallas Cowboys
Why: League's best OLine rating (8.32) and fewest sacks allowed (11) plus 3rd best DYPP means that Dallas wins both sides of the line of scrimmage.
7. Green Bay Packers
Why: Offensive Efficiency. The Pack are only team in the League under 11 OYPP (10.5). In this League, offense usually wins.
8. San Francisco 49ers
Why: 2nd best YPG/YPGA ratio in the League. Coach Duncan knows that field position wins games in the Playoffs.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Why: Fewest Turnovers in the League. Barkley & Co. have turned it over only 5 times (all INTs).
10. Atlanta Falcons
Why: Stingiest 3rd Down % Defense in the League (22.14%) plus 2nd most sacks in the League. RIP QBs on 3rd down.
11. Philadelphia Eagles
Why: Best YPGA (218.6) and Most defensive TDs means the Eagles have playmakers all over the D. Combine that with the League's 2nd best 3rd Down % on O.
12. Denver Broncos
Why: 2nd best YPAA in the League (7.1) in the pass-happy AFC West is solid.
13. Seattle Seahawks
Why: By many measures, the Hawks have the League's 2nd best defense, highlighted by their insane 6.43 YPAA.
Edge of the Playoffs--Pick Range: #14-20
14. Oakland Raiders
Why: Most safeties in the League (2) is mitigated by giving up as many points as they score (0 score differential, 238 each way).
15. Miami Dolphins
Why: Excellent trench warfare. Dolphins have given up only 13 sacks, and are #4 in the League with 27 sacks in their own right.
16. Houston Texans
Why: Offensive efficient is good (6th in OYPP, 4th in 3rd%), but overall YPG is 30th. Get those guys playing a little faster, eh?
17. Cleveland Browns
Why: Top yardage defense in the League (302.5 YPGA) and solid YPCA is balanced 5th worst YPC. Apparently, a game against CLE is a giant stalemate.
18. Cincinnati Bengals
Why: The number 15 is rough for the Cincy offense: 15 INTs ties for 2nd worst in the League, and 15 drops IS the worst. 9.49 YPAA is also the worst mark in the League.
19. Kansas City Chiefs
Why: Chiefs can't get to the QB. Fewest sacks in the League (9) leaves lots of time for opposing QBs to pick apart their secondary (-20 YPGD).
Economy Seats on the Airplane of NFLHC--Pick Range: #5-13
20. New Orleans Saints
Why: Worst pass yardage and overall yardage defense in the League outweighs being tied for 6th in offensive yardage (366.1 yards per game).
21. Baltimore Ravens
Why: Ravens can stop the run (2nd best YPCA in the League) but not the pass (2nd worst YPAA). Opposing coaches, you know what to do.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers
Why: Causality. PIT can't get to the QB (4th fewest sacks), which means QBs pick them apart (4th worst YPAA).
23. Arizona Cardinals
Why: Offensive efficiency starts up front. Cards have 3rd worst OLine rating (7.43) and the 3rd worst OYPP and 3rd Down %.
24. Tennessee Titans
Why: The Titans are almost the League's most average team, except for their point differential (-59, with 18 TDs scored and 27 allowed).
25. New York Giants
Why: Giants see the fewest plays on defense in the League, but need to stay on the field during 3rd downs on offense (5th worst 3rd down %).
26. New England Patriots
Why: Pats are a sieve in run defense. Worst rush yardage team by a mile (115 per game, 5.4 per rush) kills a good pass defense (225 yards pass per game).
27. Chicago Bears
Why: Most sacks in the League (34) matches the number of TDs given up (34, tied for 5th worst). 2nd worst rushing offense (60 ypg) doesn't help.
Possibly Picking #1 Overall--
28. Buffalo Bills
Why: Buffalo's 3rd down offense is atrocious (only team under 20%) and their passing offensive is 2nd worst in the League (#31 in YPG and YPA).
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Why: Points are hard to come by for the Bucs. League's lowest scoring team per game (14.4) with the 2nd worst point differential means it doesn't get better when the Bucs move to D.
30. Minnesota Vikings
Why: Worst rushing yardage offense in the League means that Vikes can't get into the end zone (4th lowest scoring per game).
31. Los Angeles Chargers
Why: The ball is precious and the Chargers don't like the ball. Most turnovers in the League (15 INT, 10 FL) combines with 2nd worst YPC (3.46).
32. Washington Redskins
Why: All the reasons. Worst yardage offense per game, fewest total TDs, most penalties. There are areas in which the Skins aren't terrible, but they are rare.