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Unbiased NFL Power Rankings, Week 7: Analyzing The NFC Contenders

We've released the full Unbiased Power Rankings and analyzed the best teams in the league but now we set our sights on the contenders (and pretenders) in the NFC. To the conference-specific rankings!

Tier I
Rank
Team
Rating
8
Atlanta Falcons
69.0
8
New York Giants
69.0
10
Philadelphia Eagles
68.0
Tier II
Rank
Team
Rating
11
Arizona Cardinals
63.0
12
Washington Redskins
58.7
13
St. Louis Rams
57.0
14
New Orleans Saints
53.5
15
Seattle Seahawks
52.5
Tier III
Rank
Team
Rating
18
Chicago Bears
48.5
20
Green Bay Packers
43.3
Tier IV
Rank
Team
Rating
24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
34.0
26
Dallas Cowboys
28.3
27
Minnesota Vikings
24.0
28
Detroit Lions
23.4
Tier V
Rank
Team
Rating
29
San Francisco 49ers
18.6
32
Carolina Panthers
3.4


NFC Contenders

The NFC has been overshadowed by the dominant AFC teams but that doesn’t mean they can’t play ball. After six weeks, three teams have separated themselves from the pack. The Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles have established themselves as the frontrunners in the JV conference. The Falcons, despite their loss to the Eagles, get the nod due to having the same record but playing a tougher schedule.

On the second tier resides three NFC West teams (Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks) with the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints mixed in.

The major surprises are the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers – 9th and 10th in the NFC, respectively – and the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings who only rank higher than the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers in the NFC.

Eight NFC teams are in the top two tiers but three of them will be disappointed come January. Since someone has to win the NFC North, the Rams, Saints and Seahawks - according to the Unbiased Rankings - could be on the outside looking in when Santa Claus hands out playoff berths in December.

Methodology: The Unbiased Power Rankings are exactly that, unbiased. We take into account a team’s wins, losses and their strength of schedule 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.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.