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Week 12 True Power Rankings: Chiefs drop to third place

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On Tuesday, the pundits moved the Chiefs down to third, and after we factor in data from the number-crunchers, they stay there.

In Tuesday’s Week 12 Pundit Power Rankings, the Kansas City Chiefs moved from second to third in our aggregated model. The pundits followed their usual formula — the Los Angeles Rams beat the Chiefs, and that’s that.

But the number-crunchers look at it differently. They care about which teams the Chiefs — and all the others — have played to reach their season records.

So let’s start with how the number-crunchers see the NFL in Week 12:

Cruncher Power Rankings for Week 12

Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC Teams

Rank Team Elo DVOA SRS PE
1
(2)
Saints
9-1
1
(1)
4
(6)
1
(1)
1
(4)
2
(1)
Chiefs
9-2
2
(2)
1
(1)
2
(2)
4
(2)
3
(2)
Rams
10-1
4
(4)
2
(2)
3
(3)
3
(3)
4
(4)
Steelers
7-2-1
3
(3)
6
(5)
4
(4)
5
(5)
5
(5)
Bears
7-3
9
(11)
3
(4)
6
(6)
2
(1)
6
(6)
Chargers
7-3
6
(6)
5
(3)
8
(7)
7
(7)
7
(7)
Ravens
5-5
12
(14)
9
(7)
5
(5)
6
(6)
7
(8)
Patriots
7-3
5
(5)
10
(11)
8
(9)
9
(8)
Rank Team Elo DVOA SRS PE
9
(11)
Vikings
5-4-1
8
(7)
13
(14)
14
(16)
13
(13)
9
(18)
Colts
5-5
18
(21)
11
(15)
11
(20)
8
(12)
11
(9)
Panthers
6-4
7
(8)
15
(12)
14
(11)
14
(16)
11
(11)
Texans
7-3
16
(17)
14
(13)
10
(11)
10
(9)
13
(14)
Seahawks
5-5
11
(13)
26
(26)
7
(8)
11
(10)
14
(15)
Packers
4-5-1
19
(18)
8
(10)
16
(18)
15
(17)
14
(16)
Broncos
4-6
22
(23)
7
(9)
12
(13)
17
(19)
16
(17)
Cowboys
5-5
13
(15)
22
(23)
13
(13)
12
(15)
Rank Team Elo DVOA SRS PE
17
(20)
Redskins
6-4
17
(16)
16
(19)
17
(19)
16
(18)
18
(19)
Falcons
4-6
14
(11)
18
(22)
18
(17)
18
(20)
19
(13)
Eagles
-6
10
(9)
23
(18)
22
(15)
20
(14)
20
(9)
Titans
5-5
15
(10)
24
(16)
19
(10)
19
(11)
21
(22)
Bengals
5-5
21
(19)
19
(21)
20
(22)
24
(25)
22
(21)
49ers
2-8
28
(28)
11
(8)
27
(27)
21
(21)
23
(23)
Jaguars
3-7
23
(22)
17
(17)
23
(24)
28
(26)
24
(24)
Lions
4-6
20
(20)
29
(29)
25
(26)
22
(23)
Rank Team Elo DVOA SRS PE
25
(25)
Browns
3-6-1
31
(31)
25
(25)
21
(21)
23
(22)
25
(28)
Giants
-7
27
(29)
21
(24)
26
(25)
26
(29)
27
(26)
Dolphins
5-5
24
(24)
20
(20)
29
(29)
29
(28)
28
(27)
Buccaneers
3-7
26
(25)
28
(28)
24
(23)
27
(27)
29
(29)
Jets
3-7
30
(30)
27
(27)
28
(28)
25
(24)
30
(30)
Bills
3-7
25
(26)
31
(30)
30
(31)
32
(31)
31
(31)
Cardinals
2-8
29
(27)
32
(32)
31
(30)
30
(30)
32
(32)
Raiders
2-8
32
(32)
30
(31)
32
(32)
31
(32)
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 held somewhat steady across the board — except for dropping a couple of positions in PE — but it wasn’t enough to offset the gains the New Orleans Saints made this week and last, so the Chiefs drop to second place with the number-crunchers.

The Saints’ 48-7 win over the Eagles had a big impact with the points-based systems. The lopsided win this week — combined with the one the week before — finally moved them to the top spot in the unweighted PE model. (Remember when the Baltimore Ravens topped the PE rankings earlier this season? That ship sailed!) With the Saints already in the top spot in Elo and SRS last week, the PE change — plus a jump up in DVOA — shouldered the Saints past the Chiefs.

If there’s any consolation for Chiefs fans, it’s that the data-based systems still agree that the Chiefs are a better team than the one that just handed them their second loss of the season. The Rams’ narrow victory — and strength of the two teams’ schedules — saw to that.

In the pundit rankings on Tuesday, we saw some movement in and out of the top and bottom tiers of the rankings. The crunchers just shuffled the top and bottom eight teams a little.

The biggest disagreement among the crunchers in Week 12 is the Atlanta Falcons — and after reading all of the comments the pundits wrote on Tuesday, they’re just as confounded by the Falcons as the data models are. Elo and SRS both dinged the Falcons this week, but they rose a bit in both DVOA and PE. All agree, though, that the Falcons are pretty much an average team.

Now let’s see what happens when we put it all together in the Week 12 True Power Rankings.

True Power Rankings for Week 12

Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC Teams

Rank Team Pundits Crunchers
1
(2)
Saints
9-1
1
(1)
1
(2)
2
(3)
Rams
10-1
2
(3)
3
(2)
3
(1)
Chiefs
9-2
3
(2)
2
(1)
4
(4)
Steelers
7-2-1
4
(4)
4
(4)
5
(7)
Bears
7-3
6
(9)
5
(5)
6
(6)
Patriots
7-3
5
(6)
7
(8)
7
(5)
Chargers
7-3
7
(5)
6
(6)
8
(10)
Texans
7-3
8
(10)
11
(11)
Rank Team Pundits Crunchers
9
(8)
Vikings
5-4-1
9
(7)
9
(11)
10
(12)
Ravens
5-5
13
(19)
7
(7)
11
(9)
Panthers
6-4
10
(8)
11
(9)
12
(19)
Colts
5-5
12
(20)
9
(18)
13
(16)
Seahawks
5-5
11
(16)
13
(14)
14
(13)
Packers
4-5-1
15
(11)
14
(15)
15
(17)
Cowboys
5-5
14
(15)
16
(17)
16
(15)
Redskins
6-4
16
(12)
17
(20)
Rank Team Pundits Crunchers
17
(11)
Titans
5-5
17
(13)
20
(9)
18
(21)
Broncos
4-6
23
(24)
14
(16)
19
(18)
Falcons
4-6
20
(17)
18
(19)
20
(14)
Eagles
-6
18
(14)
19
(13)
21
(20)
Bengals
5-5
19
(18)
21
(22)
22
(25)
Lions
4-6
22
(25)
24
(24)
23
(23)
Dolphins
5-5
21
(21)
27
(26)
24
(22)
Jaguars
3-7
24
(22)
23
(23)
Rank Team Pundits Crunchers
25
(24)
Browns
3-6-1
25
(23)
25
(25)
26
(28)
Giants
-7
26
(28)
25
(28)
27
(26)
49ers
2-8
29
(31)
22
(21)
28
(27)
Buccaneers
3-7
27
(26)
28
(27)
29
(29)
Jets
3-7
29
(29)
29
(29)
30
(30)
Bills
3-7
28
(27)
30
(30)
31
(32)
Raiders
2-8
31
(32)
32
(32)
32
(31)
Cardinals
2-8
32
(30)
31
(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

Here, the Chiefs remain in third overall — although the Rams edge them out by only an eighth of a ratings point. And there is a bit of a disagreement between the pundits and crunchers when it comes to how the top-tier teams should be ranked.

The Houston Texans moved into the top tier, while the Minnesota Vikings drop out. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns drop into the bottom tier, while the Detroit Lions rise above.

Last week, the pundits and crunchers disagreed sharply about the Baltimore Ravens. They still do. The crunchers held them steady — they aren’t thinking about Joe Flacco — while the pundits apparently recognized they might have been overreacting about the Ravens’ quarterback situation. The scribes responded by moving the Ravens up six spots.

Otherwise, the biggest disagreement between the two camps is about the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. The pundits and crunchers simply disagree about how average the Broncos are. The crunchers think the 49ers don’t belong in the bottom tier, but the pundits do.

And here’s our weekly reality-check: the Week 12 cruncher grades.

Cruncher Grades for Week 12

Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC Teams

Team AvgGrade Elo DVOA SRS PE
Saints
9-1
B+
(B)
A-
(B+)
B-
(B-)
A-
(B+)
B+
(B)
Chiefs
9-2
B+
(B+)
B
(B+)
A-
(A-)
B+
(B+)
B-
(B)
Rams
10-1
B
(B)
B
(B)
B+
(B+)
B+
(B)
B-
(B)
Steelers
7-2-1
B-
(B-)
B
(B)
B-
(B-)
B
(B)
B-
(B-)
Bears
7-3
B-
(B-)
C+
(C+)
B-
(B-)
C+
(B-)
B
(B)
Chargers
7-3
C+
(B-)
C+
(B-)
B-
(B-)
C+
(C+)
C+
(B-)
Ravens
5-5
C+
(C+)
C+
(C+)
C+
(C+)
B-
(B)
B-
(B-)
Patriots
7-3
C+
(C+)
B-
(B-)
C+
(C+)
C+
(C+)
C+
(C+)
Team AvgGrade Elo DVOA SRS PE
Colts
5-5
C+
(C)
C
(C-)
C+
(C)
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
Texans
7-3
C+
(C)
C
(C)
C
(C+)
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
Vikings
5-4-1
C+
(C+)
C+
(C+)
C+
(C)
C
(C)
C
(C+)
Panthers
6-4
C
(C+)
C+
(C+)
C
(C+)
C
(C)
C
(C)
Seahawks
5-5
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
C-
(C-)
C+
(C+)
C+
(C+)
Packers
4-5-1
C
(C)
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
C
(C)
C
(C)
Broncos
4-6
C
(C)
C-
(C-)
C+
(C+)
C
(C)
C
(C)
Cowboys
5-5
C
(C)
C+
(C)
C-
(C-)
C
(C)
C+
(C)
Team AvgGrade Elo DVOA SRS PE
Redskins
6-4
C
(C)
C
(C)
C
(C)
C
(C)
C
(C)
Falcons
4-6
C
(C)
C
(C+)
C
(C-)
C
(C)
C
(C)
Titans
5-5
C
(C)
C
(C+)
C-
(C)
C
(C)
C
(C+)
Eagles
-6
C
(C)
C+
(C+)
C-
(C)
C-
(C)
C-
(C+)
Bengals
5-5
C-
(C-)
C
(C)
C
(C-)
C
(C-)
C-
(C-)
49ers
2-8
C-
(C-)
D+
(D+)
C+
(C+)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
Jaguars
3-7
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
C
(C)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
Lions
4-6
C-
(C-)
C
(C-)
D+
(D)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
Team AvgGrade Elo DVOA SRS PE
Giants
-7
C-
(C-)
D+
(D+)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
Dolphins
5-5
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
D+
(D+)
C-
(C-)
Browns
3-6-1
C-
(C-)
D
(D)
C-
(C-)
C
(C)
C-
(C-)
Buccaneers
3-7
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
D+
(D+)
C-
(C-)
C-
(C-)
Jets
3-7
D+
(D+)
D
(D)
C-
(D+)
D+
(D+)
C-
(C-)
Bills
3-7
D
(D)
C-
(C-)
D
(D)
D
(D)
F+
(D-)
Cardinals
2-8
D
(D)
D+
(D+)
D
(D)
D
(D)
D-
(D-)
Raiders
2-8
D-
(D-)
D
(D-)
D
(D)
D-
(F+)
D-
(F+)
Grades in parentheses are the previous week's grade.
Other questions?
Read the True Power Rankings Methodology

Last week, we had six teams with B grades at the top. Now there are only five, as the Los Angeles Chargers drop out. The Chicago Bears, however, remain with the cool kids at the head table; it looks more and more like they could be a team to watch if they make it to the postseason.

So we’re on to the Week 12 games — which this week won’t include the Chiefs, but there will still be a lot of good food to eat anyway! And starting on Tuesday, we’ll fire up the spreadsheet and see how the calculations fall.