Advanced NFL Power Rankings: Week 1


Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The NFC West still owns the power rankings top spots after an eventful Week 1 in the National Football League. Unfortunately for the Seattle Seahawks, despite pulling off a tough win, they managed to drop from #1 to #2 in the latest polls.

It wasn’t all that long ago when the NFC West was the butt of all the jokes in the league. Now look at it. Now the division is home to the most intimidating collection of teams, since the old NFC North – black and blue division of the 1960’s.

Better yet, look at the NFC in its entirety: all four NFC divisions have an average ranking better than 16. The bottom three conferences are in the AFC, and they are miles apart.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers are the contiguous choice for a consensus top pick – as deserved after beating the formidable Green Bay Packers. Denver and Seattle are lurking on their doorstep in the battle for second place. The Broncos did drop to some extent since the start of preseason, which is to be expected with the amount of injuries the team sustained.

This table grosses the average ranks for each team, and then averages the rankings of each team in the division. It’s used as a way of displaying where the stronger and punier divisions lie each week.

DivisionAvg Ranking
NFC West11.6667
NFC North14.1389
AFC North14.5000
NFC South14.9444
NFC East15.8611
AFC South19.2222
AFC West20.5278
AFC East21.1389

Noticeably – the only thing keeping the AFC West out of the subterranean vault is Denver taking the weight of the division upon its shoulders, and the Jets dragging the whole world in the East down. However – the Bills are doing their share to hurt the East as well.

This table shows which teams jumped ahead in the rankings the most as opposed to last weeks positions.

Team | Preseason Week 1 | Average Week 1 | Average Difference


Fret not Seahawks fans – Even though the final score was relatively unexpected, Seattle beat an upgraded Panthers defense in a 1 p.m. Eastern time slot. No small task for a West Coast team. Russell Wilson played a strident game, with 320 passing yards and one touchdown. More to the point, Wilson’s 33 attempts surpassed his mark in all but three games last season … and he had a 75 percent completion rate on top of that.

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