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Week 11 True Power Rankings: Chiefs remain in first place

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On Tuesday, the pundits moved the Chiefs up to second, and after we factor in data from the number-crunchers, the Chiefs remain in first place.

In Tuesday’s Week 11 Pundit Power Rankings, we saw that the Kansas City Chiefs moved from fourth to second in our aggregated model — but only because in the eyes of the writers, the New England Patriots fell so hard.

But unlike the pundits, the number-crunchers don’t care about expectations, how nice of a guy Drew Brees happens to be or what the Eli Apple trade means for the New Orleans Saints defense. The crunchers still say the Chiefs are the NFL’s best team — and for that reason, the Chiefs hold on as the number one team in this week’s Arrowhead Pride True Power Rankings.

As always, we’ll start with how the number-crunchers see the NFL in Week 11:

Cruncher Power Rankings for Week 11

Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC Teams

Rank Team Elo DVOA SRS PE
1
(1)
Chiefs
9-1
2
(1)
1
(1)
2
(1)
2
(3)
2
(2)
Rams
9-1
4
(4)
2
(2)
3
(2)
3
(2)
2
(3)
Saints
8-1
1
(3)
6
(7)
1
(3)
4
(6)
4
(7)
Steelers
6-2-1
3
(5)
5
(11)
4
(4)
5
(9)
5
(5)
Bears
6-3
11
(13)
4
(4)
6
(6)
1
(1)
6
(8)
Chargers
7-2
6
(8)
3
(5)
7
(10)
7
(7)
7
(9)
Ravens
4-5
14
(12)
7
(10)
5
(5)
6
(5)
8
(3)
Patriots
7-3
5
(2)
11
(6)
9
(7)
8
(4)
Rank Team Elo DVOA SRS PE
9
(6)
Panthers
6-3
8
(7)
12
(3)
11
(8)
16
(7)
9
(21)
Titans
5-4
10
(14)
16
(22)
10
(25)
11
(24)
11
(11)
Texans
6-3
17
(16)
13
(12)
11
(15)
9
(11)
11
(14)
Vikings
5-3-1
7
(10)
14
(16)
16
(18)
13
(15)
13
(10)
Eagles
4-5
9
(6)
18
(20)
15
(12)
14
(12)
14
(12)
Seahawks
4-5
13
(11)
26
(26)
8
(9)
10
(10)
15
(19)
Packers
4-4-1
18
(21)
10
(13)
18
(20)
17
(18)
16
(17)
Broncos
3-6
23
(25)
9
(8)
13
(16)
19
(17)
Rank Team Elo DVOA SRS PE
17
(15)
Cowboys
4-5
15
(17)
23
(23)
13
(11)
15
(13)
18
(18)
Colts
4-5
21
(24)
15
(15)
20
(17)
12
(14)
19
(13)
Falcons
4-5
11
(9)
22
(19)
17
(13)
20
(16)
20
(20)
Redskins
6-3
16
(18)
19
(21)
19
(21)
18
(20)
21
(21)
49ers
2-8
28
(26)
8
(9)
27
(28)
21
(22)
22
(16)
Bengals
5-4
19
(15)
21
(17)
22
(14)
25
(19)
23
(23)
Jaguars
3-6
22
(20)
17
(18)
24
(24)
26
(27)
24
(27)
Lions
3-6
20
(19)
29
(29)
26
(26)
23
(23)
Rank Team Elo DVOA SRS PE
25
(28)
Browns
3-6-1
31
(32)
25
(28)
21
(23)
22
(28)
26
(24)
Dolphins
5-5
24
(23)
20
(14)
29
(29)
28
(26)
27
(25)
Buccaneers
3-6
25
(22)
28
(27)
23
(19)
27
(25)
28
(28)
Giants
2-7
29
(30)
24
(25)
25
(27)
29
(29)
29
(25)
Jets
3-7
30
(27)
27
(23)
28
(22)
24
(21)
30
(32)
Bills
3-7
26
(29)
30
(32)
31
(32)
31
(32)
31
(30)
Cardinals
2-7
27
(28)
32
(31)
30
(30)
30
(31)
32
(31)
Raiders
1-8
32
(31)
31
(30)
32
(31)
32
(30)
Numbers in parentheses are the previous week's ranking.
The left-hand column is the average of all rankings.
Other questions?
Read the True Power Rankings Methodology

The Chiefs dropped a spot in Elo and SRS, rose one position in PE and remained first in DVOA — and remained first in the average cruncher ranking.

Much of this had to do with Saints dismantling the Cincinnati Bengals 51-14 on Sunday. A game with a big point differential counts a lot with all of the models except DVOA. The Chiefs’ 12-point win over the Arizona Cardinals — which Elo considers a well-below-average team — gave the Chiefs only five Elo rating points for the two-score win. But the Saints’ 31-point victory over the pretty-much-average Bengals gave New Orleans 25 Elo rating points — which is a pretty good-sized chunk in that system. SRS — which like Elo, considers opponent strength — behaved similarly.

We see a similar phenomenon in the biggest disagreement among the crunchers this week. The Tennessee Titans — an average team — beat the Patriots, 34-10. That 24-point victory gave both teams the biggest change in Elo rating points — in Elo, the winning and losing teams in a game gain and lose the same number of rating points, respectively — but since the victory was unexpected, the Titans received a 42-point boost. Because Elo tends to move more slowly than the other models, that moved the Titans up just four positions in Elo — but the 24-point victory gave them a 15-place boost in the SRS rankings, and a 13-position rise in PE.

I could do this all day — this stuff is fascinating to me — but let’s move on to the big numbers — the Week 11 True Power Rankings.

True Power Rankings for Week 11

Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC Teams

Rank Team Pundits Crunchers
1
(1)
Chiefs
9-1
2
(4)
1
(1)
2
(3)
Saints
8-1
1
(1)
2
(3)
3
(2)
Rams
9-1
3
(3)
2
(2)
4
(7)
Steelers
6-2-1
4
(7)
4
(7)
5
(6)
Chargers
7-2
5
(5)
6
(8)
6
(4)
Patriots
7-3
6
(2)
8
(3)
7
(8)
Bears
6-3
9
(11)
5
(5)
8
(10)
Vikings
5-3-1
7
(8)
11
(14)
Rank Team Pundits Crunchers
9
(5)
Panthers
6-3
8
(6)
9
(6)
10
(12)
Texans
6-3
10
(10)
11
(11)
11
(20)
Titans
5-4
13
(19)
9
(21)
12
(11)
Ravens
4-5
19
(16)
7
(9)
13
(16)
Packers
4-4-1
11
(13)
15
(19)
14
(9)
Eagles
4-5
14
(9)
13
(10)
15
(17)
Redskins
6-3
12
(15)
20
(20)
16
(15)
Seahawks
4-5
16
(17)
14
(12)
Rank Team Pundits Crunchers
17
(18)
Cowboys
4-5
15
(21)
17
(15)
18
(13)
Falcons
4-5
17
(14)
19
(13)
19
(19)
Colts
4-5
20
(22)
18
(18)
20
(14)
Bengals
5-4
18
(12)
22
(16)
21
(21)
Broncos
3-6
24
(24)
16
(17)
22
(23)
Jaguars
3-6
22
(20)
23
(23)
23
(22)
Dolphins
5-5
21
(18)
26
(24)
24
(28)
Browns
3-6-1
23
(27)
25
(28)
Rank Team Pundits Crunchers
25
(24)
Lions
3-6
25
(23)
24
(27)
26
(27)
49ers
2-8
31
(28)
21
(21)
27
(25)
Buccaneers
3-6
26
(25)
27
(25)
28
(29)
Giants
2-7
28
(30)
28
(28)
29
(26)
Jets
3-7
29
(26)
29
(25)
30
(31)
Bills
3-7
27
(31)
30
(32)
31
(30)
Cardinals
2-7
30
(29)
31
(30)
32
(32)
Raiders
1-8
32
(32)
32
(31)
Numbers in parentheses are the previous week's ranking.
The left-hand column is the average of all rankings.
Other questions?
Read the True Power Rankings Methodology

Because the Chiefs remained in first with the crunchers — and rose a couple of positions with the pundits on Tuesday — this outcome wasn’t really in doubt. The Chiefs are at the top of the rankings for the second consecutive week.

The Houston Texans moved into the top 10, while the Philadelphia Eagles fell out. Down at the bottom, the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars traded places — putting the Dolphins back in the cellar.

The biggest disagreement between the pundits and crunchers this week is about the Baltimore Ravens. The crunchers still like the Ravens — all but Elo have them in the top 10 — and taken together, the crunchers have them at seventh. But as pundits will do, they’ve decided that if Joe Flacco isn’t playing, the Ravens have no chance, and therefore ranked the team 16th. Normally I’d say that the Ravens success depends more on their defense — which is clearly among the best in the league — but in 2018, that argument is starting to lose favor.

Now let’s take a look at our weekly reality-check: the Week 11 cruncher grades.

Cruncher Grades for Week 11

Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC Teams

Team AvgGrade Elo DVOA SRS PE
Chiefs
9-1
B+
(B+)
B+
(B)
A-
(A-)
B+
(B+)
B
(B)
Rams
9-1
B
(B)
B
(B-)
B+
(B)
B
(B)
B
(B)
Saints
8-1
B
(B-)
B+
(B)
B-
(C+)
B+
(B-)
B
(C+)
Steelers
6-2-1
B-
(C+)
B
(B-)
B-
(C+)
B
(B-)
B-
(C+)
Bears
6-3
B-
(B-)
C+
(C)
B-
(B-)
B-
(B-)
B
(B)
Chargers
7-2
B-
(C+)
B-
(C+)
B-
(B-)
C+
(C+)
B-
(C+)
Ravens
4-5
C+
(C+)
C+
(C+)
C+
(C+)
B
(B-)
B-
(B-)
Patriots
7-3
C+
(B-)
B-
(B)
C+
(C+)
C+
(B-)
C+
(B-)
Team AvgGrade Elo DVOA SRS PE
Panthers
6-3
C+
(C+)
C+
(B-)
C+
(B-)
C
(C+)
C
(C+)
Vikings
5-3-1
C+
(C)
C+
(C+)
C
(C)
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
Titans
5-4
C
(C-)
C+
(C)
C
(C-)
C
(C-)
C+
(C-)
Texans
6-3
C
(C)
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
Eagles
4-5
C
(C+)
C+
(B-)
C
(C)
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
Seahawks
4-5
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
C-
(C-)
C+
(C+)
C+
(C+)
Packers
4-4-1
C
(C)
C
(C-)
C+
(C)
C
(C)
C
(C)
Broncos
3-6
C
(C)
C-
(C-)
C+
(C+)
C
(C)
C
(C)
Team AvgGrade Elo DVOA SRS PE
Cowboys
4-5
C
(C)
C
(C)
C-
(C-)
C
(C)
C
(C+)
Falcons
4-5
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
C-
(C)
C
(C)
C
(C)
Colts
4-5
C
(C)
C-
(C-)
C
(C)
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
Redskins
6-3
C
(C)
C
(C)
C
(C)
C
(C)
C
(C)
Bengals
5-4
C-
(C)
C
(C)
C-
(C)
C-
(C)
C-
(C)
49ers
2-8
C-
(C-)
D+
(C-)
C+
(C+)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
Jaguars
3-6
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
C
(C)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
Lions
3-6
C-
(C-)
C-
(C)
D
(D+)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
Team AvgGrade Elo DVOA SRS PE
Browns
3-6-1
C-
(D+)
D
(D-)
C-
(D+)
C
(C-)
C-
(C-)
Dolphins
5-5
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C)
D+
(C-)
C-
(C-)
Buccaneers
3-6
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
D+
(D+)
C-
(C)
C-
(C-)
Giants
2-7
C-
(D+)
D+
(D)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
C-
(D+)
Jets
3-7
D+
(C-)
D
(D+)
D+
(C-)
D+
(C-)
C-
(C)
Bills
3-7
D
(F+)
C-
(D+)
D
(F+)
D
(F+)
D-
(F)
Cardinals
2-7
D
(D)
D+
(D+)
D
(D-)
D
(D-)
D-
(D-)
Raiders
1-8
D-
(D-)
D-
(D-)
D
(D)
F+
(F+)
F+
(D-)
Grades in parentheses are the previous week's grade.
Other questions?
Read the True Power Rankings Methodology

And then there were six. What we see here is what we have seen for the last several weeks — a definite group of teams at the top, another group at the bottom and a whole lotta meh in between. But this week, two more teams — the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Chargers — move into the top group. The Chargers, of course, have been the darlings of the pundits since before the season the began, but they haven’t been as high on the Bears.

Perhaps they — and we — should rethink that.

So it’s on to the Week 11 games. Starting on Tuesday, we’ll do it all again.