NFL Week 12 Unbiased Power Rankings: Patriots Take Top Spot Over Falcons, Eagles, And Steelers

The beauty of the Unbiased Power Rankings is the stability of it all. Just because a team wins or loses, does not mean their ranking has to change, as evidenced by nine teams remaining the same as last week. This is not an emotion poll. There are no knee-jerks here. The Unbiased Rankings will not steer you wrong.

The Redskins, Bears and Chiefs may not instill fear into their opponents, but those three teams were the biggest movers in this week's Unbiased Power Rankings. The Seahawks were the biggest casualty, dropping five spots while the Texans and Dolphins fell four spots each.

The top six teams remained the same but the order was shuffled. The Eagles jumped the Steelers, who settled in at fourth overall and the Patriots passed the Falcons for the top spot in the rankings. The Jets (fifth) and Ravens (sixth) stayed put.

The Redskins are the biggest surprise. They are ranked ninth in the unbiased rankings but have only the 15th-best record in the NFL. Though they've struggled this season, their wins over the Packers, Eagles and Bears prove they are a team that is not to be overlooked.

A team that can be overlooked is the Buccaneers. They have the fourth-best record in the league but are ranked 21st in our rankings. The Bucs' best win this season was against the 4-6 Rams and they have not beaten a team with a winning record this season.

How do the rest of the teams fit in and what does this mean for the playoff picture? To the rankings we go.


Tier I
Rank
Team
Rating
1
New England Patriots
230.5
2
Atlanta Falcons
227.0
3
Philadelphia Eagles
220.7
4
Pittsburgh Steelers
217.3
5
New York Jets
197.0
Tier II
Rank
Team
Rating
6
Baltimore Ravens
186.0
7
Green Bay Packers
180.7
8
New Orleans Saints
174.7
9
Washington Redskins
174.6
10
Indianapolis Colts
166.3
11
Tennessee Titans
165.0
12
Chicago Bears
155.3
Tier III
Rank
Team
Rating
13
New York Giants
145.3
14
Kansas City Chiefs
144.5
15
Oakland Raiders
144.4
16
Jacksonville Jaguars
140.8
17
Houston Texans
135.7
18
San Diego Chargers
135.6
19
Seattle Seahawks
135.0
20
Miami Dolphins
127.4
21
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
127.3
Tier IV
Rank
Team
Rating
22
Cleveland Browns
107.0
23
St. Louis Rams
104.7
24
Denver Broncos
100.7
25
Arizona Cardinals
100.3
26
San Francisco 49ers
80.9
27
Dallas Cowboys
80.6
Tier V
Rank
Team
Rating
28
Minnesota Vikings
62.0
29
Detroit Lions
60.4
30
Cincinnati Bengals
55.8
31
Buffalo Bills
36.8
32
Carolina Panthers
26.0


The Best of the Best

I originally created these rankings as a way to objectively look at each NFL team to determine who was, legitimately, the best. I did this, so my Falcons-fandom wouldn't sway my decision. The irony of an Atlanta blog listing the Falcons as the number two team in an "unbiased" ranking is not lost on me. That's why I share the methodology. The curtain has been pulled back. Still, I listen to numerous commentators and analysts talk about the best team in the league and it's always several minutes before the Falcons are brought into the discussion. This is why these rankings are so important. The biases are removed and only the play on the field matters. /steps off soapbox

There are five teams this week that have established themselves are Super Bowl champion material. The Falcons and Eagles from the NFC and the Patriots, Steelers and Jets from the AFC. The rest of the teams have not played at the caliber these five teams have this season. Remember, these rankings are based on the body of work throughout the year.

NFC South

Despite what the standings says, the NFC South race remains a two-team affair. The Falcons have established themselves as the best team in the league with the Saints a solid wild card team. The Buccaneers are 7-3 but have not shown they are any type of threat to either the Falcons or Saints. The Panthers finally passed the Buffalo Bills and are now the worst team in the entire NFL.

Unbiased Playoff Picture

Regardless of a team's current record, this is how we see the playoffs shaping up through Week 11.

AFC
NFC
Seed
Team
Seed
Team
1
New England Patriots
1
Atlanta Falcons
2
Pittsburgh Steelers
2
Philadelphia Eagles
3
Indianapolis Colts
3
Green Bay Packers
4
Kansas City Chiefs
4
Seattle Seahawks
5
New York Jets
5
New Orleans Saints
6
Baltimore Ravens
6
Washington Redskins

 

The Biggest Games of Week 12

No. 3 - Jaguars vs. Giants: Both teams could either be great or terrible. No one knows for sure.

No. 2 - Eagles vs. Bears: Important game for both teams in the NFC playoff picture.

No. 1 - Packers vs. Falcons: Aaron Rodgers comes to town. Dunta Robinson gets to earn his pay this week.

AFC Breakdown

Wild Card Weekend:

Ravens @ Colts: Old Baltimore vs. New Baltimore.

Jets @ Chiefs: The Jets will win in the last-second. Because that's what they do.

Divisional Playoffs:

Ravens @ Patriots: After the post-game comments from their last meeting, this would be epic.

Jets @ Steelers: The offenses may not score.

Championship Game:

Steelers @ Patriots: Five Super Bowl titles between them since 2001.

NFC Breakdown

Wild Card Weekend:

Redskins @ Packers: The Redskins are a good football team. Right?

Saints @ Seahawks: A rematch of their Week 11 meeting, this time in Seattle.

Divisional Playoffs:

Saints @ Falcons: This would be their third meeting of the year.

Packers @ Eagles: Could the Packers D shut down Michael Vick?

Championship Game:

Eagles @ Falcons: The football gods enjoy drama too.

Super Bowl:

Patriots vs. Falcons: They met in the preseason and practiced during training camp. A reunion in the Super Bowl may not be far off.

Methodology: The Unbiased Power Rankings are exactly that, unbiased. We take into account a team's wins, losses and a strength of schedule component to arrive at a truly unbiased rating. We have no preseason polls, no preset baselines. Only the performance on the field - this season - matters. Emotion is not welcome here. Still interested? Here's the ingredients we use to make this delicious stew of math-based power rankings.

Each team is awarded five points for a win and five points for every game a defeated opponent wins. To measure a loss, the total number of opponent wins is divided by the number of the ranked team's losses.

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