September 10, 2019 - by Seth Trachtman
Delanie Walker and the Titans made easy work of Cleveland in Week 1.
In this post we highlight our biggest NFL Week 2 rankings and predictions changes, after a week that featured big wins by Baltimore, Tennessee, and New England.
Here are the biggest increases in team predictive rating heading into Week 2. Our predictive ratings are measured in points, with a 0.0 rating equivalent to a “perfectly average” team on a neutral field:
|Team||Division||Result||Old Rank||New Rank||Old Rating||New Rating||Rating Change|
|Baltimore||AFC North||W 59-10 @ MIA||14||3||1.4||5.3||3.9|
|Tennessee||AFC South||W 43-13 @ CLE||18||7||0.4||3.5||3.1|
|New England||AFC East||W 33-3 vs. PIT||2||1||5.3||7.6||2.3|
|San Francisco||NFC West||W 31-17 @ TB||20||13||0.2||1.6||1.4|
|Minnesota||NFC North||W 28-12 vs. ATL||13||9||1.6||2.8||1.2|
For the second straight year, Baltimore absolutely demolished their Week 1 opponent, and this time you cannot blame Nathan Peterman. The Miami Dolphins were torched for 59 points by the Ravens in a name-your-score game. Miami appears to be tanking, so the result could say as much about the Dolphins as it does the Ravens. Baltimore is heavily favored again this week against the Cardinals, who earned the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Cleveland was arguably the most hyped team of the offseason, but Tennessee halted that narrative with a 43-13 win over the Browns on the road. The Browns were only 0.7 points better than the Titans in our preseason predictive ratings, so the win by Tennessee doesn’t come as a complete shock, but the margin of victory does give Tennessee a big boost this week. The Titans host Indianapolis in Week 2. We wrote about why you might not want to overreact to the Titans’ blowout of the Browns, though. Keep in mind that Tennessee did get outgained against Cleveland (slightly) and used a flurry of turnovers to turn it into a late rout.
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 2:
|Team||Division||Result||Old Proj Wins||New Proj Wins||Proj Wins Change|
|Baltimore||AFC North||W 59-10 @ MIA||8.7||10.7||2.0|
|Tennessee||AFC South||W 43-13 @ CLE||7.8||9.8||2.0|
|New England||AFC East||W 33-3 vs. PIT||10.9||12.0||1.1|
|San Francisco||NFC West||W 31-17 @ TB||8.1||9.2||1.1|
|Minnesota||NFC North||W 28-12 vs. ATL||8.5||9.4||0.9|
When is a win more than a win? When you win big and the computer nerds who understand that point differentials matter for predictive purposes take notice, that’s when.
Both Baltimore and Tennessee have seen their projected win totals increase by a full 2.0 wins after their Week 1 results, and look to be in better playoff position, as noted below.
Already blessed with one of the easiest schedules in football, New England is now projected to win 12 games after their convincing 33-3 win over Pittsburgh in Week 1. They’re obviously huge favorites as they visit the struggling Dolphins in Week 2.
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|
|Baltimore||AFC North||W 59-10 @ MIA||27.9%||64.6%||36.7%|
|Tennessee||AFC South||W 43-13 @ CLE||24.5%||49.8%||25.3%|
|New England||AFC East||W 33-3 vs. PIT||70.8%||83.6%||12.8%|
|Green Bay||NFC North||W 10-3 @ CHI||28.9%||40.3%||11.4%|
|New Orleans||NFC South||W 30-28 vs. HOU||48.4%||59.3%||10.9%|
Baltimore’s big win, along with losses by the other three teams in the AFC North, suddenly make the Ravens favorites to win the division. While Cleveland and Pittsburgh got most of the talk in the offseason, both teams had Week 1 performances that they’d like to forget.
The AFC South looked wide open following Andrew Luck’s surprising retirement, but Tennessee has taken the early lead with their win and losses by division foes Houston, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville. Houston ranks second in division win odds at 23%, less than half of the Titans’ 50% odds.
The Packers got a nice boost by beating the division rival Bears on the road. The division win odds of the Packers (40%) and Vikings (36%) are now neck-and-neck in the NFC North. The Bears dropped from a virtual three-way tie in our initial NFC North preseason projections at 29.4%, to only a 13.1% chance of winning the division after the key home loss to the Packers.
It was a rough week for the “worst-to-first” hopefuls. Last year’s last place finishers went 1-5-2 in Week 1, with only the Raiders winning, but their division win odds are still very low thanks to the Chiefs and Chargers being in their division. We now put the collective odds of a 2018 last-place team to win a division this year at 49.1%.
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||Division||Result||Old Playoffs Odds||New Playoffs Odds||Odds Change|
|Baltimore||AFC North||W 59-10 @ MIA||45.3%||76.7%||31.4%|
|Tennessee||AFC South||W 43-13 @ CLE||35.5%||65.0%||29.5%|
|San Francisco||NFC West||W 31-17 @ TB||35.6%||50.3%||14.7%|
|Minnesota||NFC North||W 28-12 vs. ATL||41.8%||55.8%||14.0%|
|Green Bay||NFC North||W 10-3 @ CHI||45.0%||58.9%||13.9%|
After big wins, all five teams listed have at least a 50/50 shot of making the playoffs as we enter Week 2. San Francisco is perhaps the best early story as they dig out of several years of futility. A 31-17 win on the road at Tampa Bay gave them a nice bump, as they now have the seventh best odds to make the playoffs in the NFC, and have moved ahead of division rival Seattle. The 49ers have a chance to start the season 2-0 with a visit to Cincinnati forthcoming.
Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer could be in a do-or-die season after missing out on the playoffs last year, but the early returns looked good with a dominant 28-12 win vs. Atlanta. A visit to Lambeau Field against the Packers in Week 2 will be another big test.
See our latest odds to make the playoffs for all teams on our NFL projections.
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