Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 Playoff Power Rankings

Unscripted NFL Power Rankings
2016 Playoffs

Previous Power Rankings:

Season-End Recap:
Before the last rankings of the 2016 season and the playoffs leading to SuperBowl 51, let's take a quick look back at the year in Unscripted rankings: 

Following SuperBowl 50, the Top 10 included 6 teams that remain in the Top 10 this week - the Broncos, Patriots, Seahawks, Chiefs, Steelers, and Packers - who have a collective record of 66-29-1. The other 4 were a now-hilarious grouping of the Panthers, Cardinals, Bengals, and Jets, with a collective record of 24-38-2.

In my preseason predictions, I correctly picked all 4 AFC division winners (Patriots, Steelers, Texans, & Chiefs), but in the NFC only got the Packers right. My forecasted conference championship games of Bengals-Patriots and Cardinals-Packers certainly won't happen, but my prediction of the Patriots prevailing over the Packers in SuperBowl 51 may still become reality (though if I had to guess now I'd anticipate a shootout between the Patriots and Falcons).

Overall, it has been a season with incredible parity. The average margin of victory this year was 10.23 points, the lowest since a 10.09 margin in 1935 (when 9 teams played a 12-game schedule). By season's end, 146 games (57% of all games) had been decided by only one score, the most in league history. So it has also been a tough, but fun challenge to consider each team's season-history, how they played the previous Sunday, and how they might perform in future games to create each week's rankings. Thank y'all for taking the time to read them (literally hundreds of blog-views from these football posts). Now let's get back to the rankings!

On the bubble:
16. Buccaneers, 15. Redskins, 14. Texans
13. Dolphins, 12. Lions, 11. Cardinals

The Top 10:

10. Denver Broncos (9-7)
Last Week: 12th
Best Ranking: 1st (Week 5, Post-SuperBowl)

9. Oakland Raiders (12-4)
Last Week: 6th
Best Ranking: 4th (Week 14, 13, 12, 11)

8. New York Giants (11-5)
Last Week: 9th
Best Ranking: 8th (Playoffs, Week 13)

7. Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1)
Last Week: 7th
Best Ranking: 2nd (Week 12, 11, 1, Preseason)

6. Green Bay Packers (10-6)
Last Week: 8th
Best Ranking: 1st (Week 2)

5. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
Last Week: 5th
Best Ranking: 3rd (Week 15)

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
Last Week: 4th
Best Ranking: 1st (Week 3)

3. Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
Last Week: 3rd
Best Ranking: 3rd (Playoffs, Week 17, 16, 10)

2. Dallas Cowboys (13-3)
Last Week: 2nd
Best Ranking: 1st (Week 14, 13, 12, 11)

1. New England Patriots (14-2)
Last Week: 1st
Best Ranking: 1st (Playoffs, Week 17, 16, 15, 10, 9, 8, 4)

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