Week 14 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
We have a new number-one team in the power rankings: the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas' nERD score is now the only one in double-digit territory at 10.08, and despite trailing the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East, Dallas holds 99.8% playoff odds of their own. That comes along with 12.0% Super Bowl odds, a 3.2-point uptick from last week.
The Eagles climbed to the two-spot behind Dallas, thanks to another win of their own and a loss by the Kansas City Chiefs, who have now joined the Buffalo Bills at 9-3. The 8-4 Cincinnati Bengals join them in the top five before a falloff to the rest of the league by nERD scores.
Just beyond those teams, we have two more 8-4 teams with some quarterback turmoil. The San Francisco 49ers just lost Jimmy Garoppolo for the season, and the Baltimore Ravens list Lamar Jackson as week-to-week with a knee injury.
We know where the Eagles have landed in this week's iteration of the power rankings, but we have to go a long way down the list to find the second 10-win team in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings are just 11th in our power rankings despite a 10-2 record. We've discussed them before in this column, but their one-score ways keep continuing. They just beat the New York Jets (8th in our rankings) by five points. Why are they not higher?
Minnesota beat the Green Bay Packers by 16 points in Week 1 but lost by a combined 54 points to the Eagles and the Cowboys, the top-two teams in the rankings. Other than that, they are 9-0 in one-score games. Yes, we can make the case that this team is undefeated except for two losses to numberFire's top-two squads, which is understandable. But those were routs, they eked one out to beat the Bills by just three points, and the one-score record shows grit -- but also luck. They're not beating bad teams by a lot, and when tested, they've been either pushed to the brink or overpowered. The model thinks they're overrated, and their Pythagorean win record is 6.3-5.7.
The three largest playoff odds shifts this week belong to the Bengals (up 18.5 points to 94.6%), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (up 18.4 points to 92.6%), and the Atlanta Falcons (down 19.4 points to 4.4%).