Thursday, August 12, 2010

2010-11 Preseason Offense Rankings

Today I unveil my preseason rankings for NFL offenses. These rankings are calculated with the model I used to pick 9 of 11 of the 2009-10 playoffs. For each team, I used the data from the end of last season and then factored in the percentage of each roster that turned over as well as regression to the mean. That modified data is then fed into the model to estimate the point total each team would score against a perfectly average team. This procedure does not factor in schedule, so it purely is trying to determine the "best" offense in the league, not which offense will actually put up the best numbers.

The model uses situational variables such as yards per pass attempt on first down, percentage of first downs that a team passes on and yards per rush allowed on third down. The situational data allows us to examine specific match-ups and understand why one team has a higher probability of winning than another. In order to compare teams fairly however, we have to compare their performances against a "standard" team. While no team is perfectly average in every category, I constructed the average team to have a constant barometer to compare teams. With that very brief introduction, the rankings for the upcoming season are below. I included a ranking for each team, their estimated points against an average team, and their rank from the end of last year according to the NFL (who use yards per game to rank offenses).

Rank Team Offense 2009-10 Rank
1 San Diego 28.3 10
2 New Orleans 27.4 1
3 Dallas 26.8 2
4 Green Bay 26.4 6
5 Minnesota 26.2 5
6 Houston 25.9 4
7 New England 25.9 3
8 NY Giants 25.7 8
9 Indianapolis 25.6 9
10 Pittsburgh 24.8 7
11 Philadelphia 23.8 11
12 Baltimore 23.6 13
13 Arizona 23.1 14
14 Tennessee 22.9 12
15 Jacksonville 22.3 18
16 Atlanta 22.0 16
17 Denver 21.8 15
18 Washington 21.6 22
19 Miami 21.2 17
20 NY Jets 20.9 20
21 Chicago 20.9 23
22 Carolina 20.8 19
23 Cincinnati 20.6 24
24 Tampa Bay 19.7 28
25 San Francisco 19.7 27
26 Seattle 19.5 21
27 Detroit 19.4 26
28 Buffalo 19.3 30
29 Oakland 19.2 31
30 Kansas City 18.4 25
31 St. Louis 17.7 29
32 Cleveland 16.8 32

The biggest change from the end of last season to the beginning of this season is for the team at the very top of the rankings: San Diego. They jump from the 10th best offense last season to the best offense this season. There is a caveat to this jump in offensive ability however, and it comes from Norv learning from his past mistakes. If they just pass a little more frequently on first down, using one of their best assets, they will be able to tear up most defenses.

Condolences to fans in Cleveland however, as, even with some assumed regression to the mean, the Browns are not likely to get out of the cellar. They are projected to repeat as the worst offense in the league. This low ranking is driven by the incredibly inept passing game that was more than 1 yard below league average per attempt on first and second downs. With 80% of their roster returning, it does not look like there will be much room for improvement.

No comments:

Post a Comment