Week 1 NFL Power Rankings, Presented by GMC
Everyone has their own set of NFL power rankings, but not all of them take computer-driven, algorithmically-derived approaches that look at underlying data to figure out true team strength.
But numberFire's power rankings do just that.
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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.
numberFire's NFL Power Rankings
Checking in on the Champs
The Los Angeles Rams are projected for 9.9 wins by numberFire's model and rank fourth in nERD (4.07) after tying for seventh a year ago (6.30). A lot of parity is expected this season, according to our model, which is standard for a more mathematical-based model. Regression is real (their Pythagorean wins were 10.6 last season), but even with that, the Rams are set up to have success again. They're 35.1% likely to win the NFC West.
A New Look in Denver
The Denver Broncos received a massive quarterback upgrade and are slotted in ninth in our power ratings (2.40 nERD) after finishing 18th (-0.83) last year for one of the largest nERD changes in the league. They're expected to win 9.4 games, which would be a 2.4-win increase from last season when they were a near-average team. Those 9.4 projected wins lead to just a 52.4% playoff probability, but with Russell Wilson under center, the ceiling is the Super Bowl.
Is Baltimore Back?
One of the larger shifts in nERD from last season belongs to the Baltimore Ravens, whose nERD has climbed from -2.21 to 2.10, a 4.31-point shift. Baltimore holds a 57.6% playoff probability and a 3.8% Super Bowl chance, a mark that ranks ninth-best in the NFL. An 8-9 team last year (with an expected win rate of 8.4), Baltimore shouldn't be slept on as the 10th-ranked team in the NFL. Sneaking into the top-10 is crucial, too, because...
The Favorites Matter
The past 10 Super Bowl champions all have had a Week 0 nERD that ranked them inside the top 10 of the NFL. If that trend continues, the potential champions this season are the Buffalo Bills (15.8%), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12.7%), Kansas City Chiefs (8.9%), Los Angeles Rams (5.7%), Green Bay Packers (6.5%), San Francisco 49ers (7.5%), Los Angeles Chargers (5.3%), Dallas Cowboys (4.6%), Denver Broncos (2.6%), and the Baltimore Ravens (3.8%). Combined, this group comprises 73.4% of expected Super Bowl odds.