With the season complete we have our final rankings and can now compare our predicted records with the true records. The Seahawks and Broncos ended up running away with it as the best two teams in the NFL while the 49ers laid a clear claim on the number 3 spot. All three teams have a very different approach. The Broncos were terrible defensively but other worldly on offense. The other teams are defensive powerhouses with a decent ability to score. The Broncos brand of football is typically less successful in the playoffs because all it takes is one bad game by the offense or one great game by an opposing QB to take advantage of the deficiencies on the team.
The Panthers, who ranked 4th, would be most similar to the 2009 New York Jets that had issues scoring but kept teams out of the end zone. The Bengals and Saints both showed good balance. Not surprisingly 11 of the 12 playoff teams ranked in the top 12. The other team, the Packers, ranked 19 but had been much higher for most of the season prior to injury to Aaron Rodgers. The Cardinals are the team that was most worthy of a playoff spot and failed to get it.
In terms of overachievers the one that did the most was the Jets who finished with 2.8 more wins than expected, a number that is very high. How was that the case? The main reason was that the Jets, when they won, barely won games, and when they lost they lost big. Its very rare for teams to win 8 games, 5 of which were by a slim margin, and basically have every loss be by double digits. The Jets were that team this year finding ways to win close game and then not compete in others. The Colts, Patriots, Packers, and Bears were other teams whose records were better than the numbers, but these were all 1.5 wins more or less which is not too high.
The biggest underachievers were the Texans, Buccaneers, and Falcons, who were at 2.4, 2.3, and 2 wins below expectations. The Texans and to a lesser extent Buccaneers saw this happen due to an excessive amount of close losses. That’s usually a sign of bad coaching and both coaches were fired. The Bucs also had a difficult schedule as did the Falcons, who also had their share of close losses. Atlanta’s coach survived and Im not sure if that’s a decision they will be happy with next season.
Final 2013 Power Rankings