November 21, 2018 - by Seth Trachtman
In this post we highlight our biggest NFL Week 12 rankings and predictions changes, after a week that featured lopsided wins by the Saints and Colts.
Here are the biggest increases in team predictive rating heading into Week 12. Our predictive ratings are measured in points, with a 0.0 rating equivalent to a “perfectly average” team on a neutral field:
|Team||Result||Old Rank||New Rank||Old Rating||New Rating||Rating Change|
|New Orleans||W 48-7 vs. PHI||1||1||7.9||9.4||1.5|
|Indianapolis||W 38-10 vs. TEN||21||17||-1.3||-0.1||1.2|
|Denver||W 23-22 at LAC||19||18||-0.7||-0.3||0.4|
|Cincinnati||L 24-21 at BAL||22||22||-2.4||-2.0||0.4|
|Oakland||W 23-21 at ARI||31||31||-7.1||-6.8||0.3|
There were only two major increases in the ratings this week, led by the Saints. Drew Brees’ squad has increased 3.1 points in two weeks after huge wins at Cincinnati (51-14) and vs. Philadelphia. New Orleans is now our top ranked team (by a margin of 2.0 points over the LA Rams), and we give the Saints a 28% chance to win the Super Bowl.
The Colts also saw a big ratings increase, moving up four spots in the rankings as a result. Andrew Luck has looked healthy again after a slow start to the season, and the Colts have a not-insignificant shot at the playoffs after four straight wins. Three of those wins were by at least two touchdowns, including last week’s 38-10 win over Tennessee.
See where every team currently stands in our NFL rankings.
Here are the top gainers in projected total wins for the 2018 season heading into Week 12:
|Team||Result||Old Proj Wins||New Proj Wins||Proj Wins Change|
|Indianapolis||W 38-10 vs. TEN||7.5||8.2||0.7|
|Denver||W 23-22 at LAC||6.5||7.2||0.7|
|Oakland||W 23-21 at ARI||2.8||3.4||0.6|
|Houston||W 23-21 at WAS||10.1||10.7||0.6|
|Dallas||W 22-19 at ATL||7.6||8.2||0.6|
The aforementioned Colts are now projected to finish .500, which would be quite an accomplishment after a 1-5 start to the season. It looks like GM Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich have the team going in the right direction, with several rookies making key contributions during their recent run.
Denver was a touchdown underdog at the Chargers according to last week’s predictive ratings, but emerged victorious 23-22. The Broncos are still well back in the AFC West behind Kansas City and LAC, but this could be the progress GM John Elway needs to see for head coach Vance Joseph to keep his job.
Did the Raiders eliminate their shot at the No. 1 overall draft choice by beating the Cardinals? That could be the case. We now project Oakland to finish with 3.4 wins and Arizona with 3.5 wins. Arizona currently has the edge based on strength of schedule, and we project the only other current 2-8 team, San Francisco, for 4.0 wins.
See our latest projected season win totals for all teams on our NFL projections.
The following teams increased their odds to win their division the most last week:
|Team||Division||Result||Old Div Win Odds||New Div Win Odds||Odds Change|
|Houston||AFC South||W 23-21 at WAS||58.2%||76.6%||18.4%|
|Chicago||NFC North||W 25-20 vs. MIN||51.9%||69.5%||17.6%|
|Dallas||NFC East||W 22-19 at ATL||20.3%||35.9%||15.6%|
|New Orleans||NFC South||W 48-7 vs. PHI||90.5%||97.1%||6.6%|
|Pittsburgh||AFC North||W 20-16 at JAX||87.6%||93.1%||5.5%|
A big win by Houston, coupled with a loss by Tennessee, really helped the Texans’ cause in the AFC South. Houston still has some work to do, and have some very important games coming up. They face Tennessee at home this week and Indianapolis at home in Week 14.
The Bears saw an obvious increase in their NFC North champ odds by beating second place Minnesota on Sunday night. Chicago is clearly in the driver’s seat, though this week is worrisome with a visit on Thanksgiving to Detroit while QB Mitchell Trubisky is questionable to play.
The picture is certainly looking brighter for Dallas after defeating Atlanta, along with Washington’s loss against the Texans. Keep in mind these projections don’t include injuries, only our preseason ratings and results to date, so Washington QB Alex Smith’s season-ending leg injury isn’t figured into our projections. The Cowboys’ chances to win the NFC East may now be even better than 36% as a result.
See our latest division winner odds for all teams on our NFL projections.
The following teams increased their odds to make the playoffs the most last week:
|Team||Result||Old Playoffs Odds||New Playoffs Odds||Odds Change|
|Dallas||W 22-19 at ATL||24.9%||42.8%||17.9%|
|Seattle||W 27-24 vs. GB||31.6%||48.7%||17.1%|
|Chicago||W 25-20 vs. MIN||75.0%||88.1%||13.1%|
|Houston||W 23-21 at WAS||77.6%||88.6%||11.0%|
|Indianapolis||W 38-10 vs. TEN||13.5%||24.3%||10.8%|
As mentioned above, the Cowboys saw a nice boost with their win and a Redskins loss. Nearly all of their 17.9% playoff odds increase was an increase in division win odds.
Seattle picked up a huge win vs. Green Bay, but this week’s game at Carolina is arguably even bigger. Like the Seahawks, the Panthers’ odds to win the division are nearly 50/50 (49.7% to be exact). It seems likely the NFC Wild Card teams will finish with nine wins or less, but there are quite a few teams currently in contention.
The Chargers look most likely to take the top AFC Wild Card spot with a two-game lead, but there are a group of five 5-5 teams behind them that includes the Colts. The good news for Indy is that they have the second easiest remaining schedule among that group of .500 teams, only trailing the Titans.
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