Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NFL AP Poll: Week 13

The pollsters have consistently refused to put Arizona in the top slot, and they feel vindicated after the Cards lost in Seattle.  New England topped the final Heath Post poll in 2010, Green Bay topped the final Heath Post poll in 2011, and Denver topped the final AP poll in 2012 (the first year that poll was issued).  Now those teams are 1-2-3 in the new AP poll, while Seattle (which topped the final AP poll last year) is at number 7.  So there's not quite as much parity in the NFL as some folks would like to think:

1.  New England Patriots:  9-2
2.  Green Bay Packers:  8-3
3.  Denver Broncos:  8-3
4.  Arizona Cardinals:  9-2
5.  Dallas Cowboys:  8-3
6.  Philadelphia Eagles:  8-3
7.  Seattle Seahawks:  7-4
8.  Indianapolis Colts:  7-4
9.  San Francisco 49ers:  7-4
10.  Kansas City Chiefs:  7-4

Now let's talk about Miami for a minute.  The Dolphins remain at number 15 after a close loss in Denver, and they have a record of 6-5.  The pollsters have Miami as the highest-ranked 6-win team, but the Dolphins may be even better than that.  Look at Miami's six wins (home teams listed first):

9/7:  Miami 33 - 20 New England
9/28:  Oakland 14 - 38 Miami (in London)
10/19:  Chicago 14 - 27 Miami
10/26:  Jacksonville  13 - 27 Miami
11/2:  Miami 37 - 0 San Diego
11/13:  Miami 22 - 9 Buffalo

Now here are the five losses:

9/14:  Buffalo 29 - 10 Miami
9/21:  Miami 15 - 34 Kansas City
10/12:  Miami 24 - 27 Green Bay
11/9:  Detroit 20 - 16 Miami
11/23:  Denver 39 - 36 Miami

So Miami has played five games against teams that have won at least 7 games -- and has gone 1-4.  But three of those losses were by four points or less.  Meanwhile, Miami has gone 5-1 against teams that aren't very good -- and all five wins were by double digits.  If the Dolphins had won even one of the three close games they lost against Green Bay, Detroit, or Denver, they would be ranked much higher.  And yet that type of close loss is very flukey -- over time, you would expect those to even out.

Here's another way to think about it.  In 11 games, the Dolphins have outscored their opponents by 66 points -- the same as the Chiefs.  Only six teams (the Pats, Packers, Ravens, Colts, Broncos, and Eagles) rank ahead of Miami in this category.  So keep an eye on the Dolphins.

The imploding Redskins actually moved up from 30th to 29th after their close loss in San Francisco over the weekend.

To celebrate Thanksgiving, the NFL has finally stopped having byes!  From here on out, everyone plays every week.  It's like football has come back.  For once, we have two great games on Thanksgiving:  the Eagles will visit the Cowboys, and the Seahawks will visit the Niners.  Then we get two more great games on Sunday:  the Broncos are at the Chiefs in the Sunday night game, and the Patriots go to Green Bay for a rare 1 v. 2 poll match-up.  So settle in and enjoy the games.  LIFE, MORE LIFE!

1 comment:

  1. I am, indeed, keeping an eye on the Dolphins. Last night, they beat the Jets, and it was fantastic.