NFL Week 13 Power Rankings: The 49ers Just Struck Gold
Everyone has his or her own set of NFL power rankings, but not all of them are computer-driven, algorithmically-derived approaches that look at underlying data to figure out true team strength.
But numberFire's power rankings do just that.
Using our nERD metric, which indicates the expected point differential against an average opponent on a neutral field, here is how our model ranks and rates all 32 teams after 12 weeks.
numberFire's NFL Power Rankings
The Buffalo Bills reclaimed some juice on Thanksgiving with a convincing 25-6 win over the New Orleans Saints (10th in nERD), marking the Bills' second win against a top-20 team by nERD (they also beat the Kansas City Chiefs, who rank 9th). Their nERD climbed from 9.45 to 11.05, giving them the second-biggest jump in the league this week. They're still largely untested, but that's about to change.
The New England Patriots' odds are up to 96.3% after yet another win, their sixth straight victory. Back in Week 6 when their record was 2-4, their playoff odds bottomed out at 8.9%. Their nERD was -5.17; it's now 6.99. They play the Bills twice by the end of the season, including next week.
The single largest playoff odds shift this week belongs to the San Francisco 49ers, whose Week 12 victory got their odds up from 43.5% to 78.1%, a chance of 34.6 points. Their division odds still sit down at 0.1%, but they're now in a great position to make the postseason even with a 6-5 record. They face only one top-14 team by nERD the rest of the way: the Los Angeles Rams (8th) in Week 18.
Two teams with 97.2%-plus playoff odds now have mediocre nERD scores. The Tennessee Titans (99.3% likely to make the playoffs) have a nERD of just 0.62, 16th in the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens are 97.2% likely to make the postseason but have a subpar nERD of -0.64.
A win over the Seattle Seahawks (24th in nERD) now has the Washington Football Team up to 5-6 on the season. The win boosted their playoff odds by 16.6 points (to 20.0%). They're still a long shot to clinch a playoff berth but can really muck things up in the division. Their final six games are against the Las Vegas Raiders (19th in nERD), Dallas Cowboys (4th), Philadelphia Eagles (14th), Cowboys (4th), Eagles (14th), and New York Giants (26th).