The big three teams remain intact but slowly Seattle has made their way back into the mix of top teams in the NFL. It’s been an interesting run for Seattle with our rankings. They remained pretty high even when the team wasn’t winning early in the year, but as their struggles continued they started to fall, eventually dropping to 15. The fact that they have bounced back to number 5 is pretty outstanding as usually once teams go that far down that’s it.
At the rate they are going they will end up with the best defensive efficiency by the end of the season. They are currently holding teams to 23.7% below their average. The only team better is Detroit at 27.1%.
The other interesting team is the Ravens who these ranks have been high on all year in spite of their record. They are the final team with a 30% or higher total efficiency and are the most balanced team in the NFL, outscoring their opponents average by 14.4% and holding opponents offense down by 17.5%. They should be favored to win the AFC North and are the one team that can really beat you in different ways. Teams like the Broncos, Packers, and Colts are completely one dimensional. If their offense has a really bad game they will get upset in the playoffs. New England is the only other team that has the weaker unit capable of getting by in the event the stronger one lets down.
The 49ers have really fallen on hard times this year and at number 22 and rapidly falling look to be finished after a three year run near the top of these rankings. Defensively they are still a very good team. They rank 8th in the NFL at preventing points. But the offense is atrocious. The move away from the run game and reliance on the pass has killed them.
Their scoring output is 21% below average expectations. The only teams worse are the Buccaneers, Jets, Titans, Raiders, and Jaguars. None of those teams have a QB making more than $5 million let alone close to $20 million a season. The next closest high priced bad offense Kaepernick’s would be Stafford’s Lions at 15.7% below expectations. The only other higher priced player in the double digit negatives is Andy Dalton at -10.6%. The Bears at -5% are the only other team with a high priced QB to be in the negatives.
In looking at those names, these are the QB’s that have made up the new era mid tier salary range. Almost every one of them made someone scratch their head when they heard the numbers come in for a variety of reasons. Some teams protected themselves more than others, but the bottom line is mid tier QB has been poor this season.
NFL Power Rankings, Through Week 14
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Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.